In Which I Am An Ungrateful Whinger

I’ve not blogged for ages. This is naughty. Life has been busy. And talking of things not done –

I’ve not really been into the competition-entering Thang this past year.  2010, as some of you  know, was very busy and stressful.

I did try. I abandoned a few stories that ran out of time (one soooo near to completion that I’ll send it elsewhere, soon). But then, almost on a whim, I entered a poetry competition.  Again. Even though I am Not A Poet – as I have explained to my OU tutor, the witty and wonderful Caron Freeborn. (Particularly wonderful today as she has granted me an extension for my assignment – backache has me doing the Womble Walk if I sit for more than a few minutes).


The competition? Writers’ News, August. The brief? The theme: Generation Gap.

So I played for a bit with words, which is how I approach poetry. (To be honest, approach is too strong a word. I go for what sounds good. It’s about as technical as spreading jam.)

And lo and behold, today February’s WN catapaults through my door (yes, catapaults – my postie is very enthuisiastic – hello Phil), and I flick through the pages to discover that…
once again…
I have been shortlisted.

Now I know what you’re thinking. I should be doing the Happy Dance.
Can’t. Bad Back, you know.
But seriously, I am partly doing the Happy Dance, yet there’s a little part of me that’s whispering…

shortlisted Again…I should be delighted…but wouldn’t it be nice to, ahem…win?
Or even be runner-up?
Wouldn’t one win be more heartening, more impressive to editors, agents & the literati in general, than four shortlistings?

So tell me – d’you see my point, or am I just an ungrateful whinger?

Oh – and just to make up for no posts for ages, straight after I post this one, I shall dip into my drafts and drag out one that needs to see the light of day.
Need to stand up. Maximum sit-down exceeded. Womble walk, here we come.

Close at home and far away

I don’t like this week. Unexpected events are eating into my time, and everything has taken longer than planned (or gone wrong/broken down/fallen over etc!). I’ve got lots of  ‘take-home’ work to do for my main Proper Job, plus I’m now working extra hours (why oh why did I say yes!) So now I don’t get a day off this week.

Not to mention the fact that I still haven’t completed my tax return (or last year’s Aug-Dec final figures that need to be done first). Gulp. I know the deadline approacheth apace…sigh.

The main printer at home has gone bonkers, so with that and the bizarre ‘thou shalt be a complete jellybrain’ curse that I’ve been under for days, it took me a while this morning to polish and finally print my poem, ‘Colleagues’.

But it’s done, and duly sent off by post to the Generation Gap themed competition in Writers’ News. Fingers crossed…

That’s what’s happening close to home. Now for Far Away…

If you’re aware of 100 Stories for Haiti, put together by Greg McQueen, you might be interested to know there’s a similar collection coming out to raise funds for the Red Cross Pakistan Floods Appeal.  There are more details here(and I’ve popped the link in my blogroll). 50 Stories For Pakistan will be a book of 50 (you’d never have guessed!) stories of varying genres by a whole host of writers, with a max word count of 500 – and of course no violence, destruction, death etc.

I started rewriting a short story I wrote a couple of years ago, which I’m going to send – I’m sure there will be lots of submissions, so we’ll see how that goes. It would be great to donate a story to something so worthwhile. If you want to donate directly to the appeal right now, the link in the sidebar over there > will take you straight to the donation page.

Once thing’s for sure – their problems make mine seem pretty insignificant. I’ll stop whinging.
That’s all for now…

Woo-hoo! “The man from Del Monte – he say yes!”

OK, it wasn’t exactly the man from Del Monte, it was whoever it is that looks at the submissions for the WiseWords page in Prima.

So now I have proof for myself that, as other writers have commented, you never know you’ve been published in WiseWords until you receive the cheque (no letter, just a sheet with in-house codes and a cheque attached at the bottom!).

I’m glad I didn’t know though, because one of the Proper Jobs has been pretty stressful over the last couple of days, and when I got in at 3.30 pm it was the nicest kind of surprise to find a cheque waiting for me 🙂

Right, need to go and finish a poem for a Writers’ News competition – it has to be posted tomorrow. I never really think of myself as a poet – but of the two poetry comps I’ve entered, one was tiny with no shortlist or even runner-up, the other was a standard Writing Magazine competition and I made the short-list. So I must sometimes have it in me to Rite a decent Rime 😉 – I’ll give it a go.