Friday, 6 August 2010

Ha, so, anyway, but. Sigh.

HA, well. Yesterday was s'posed to be the first day of writing 500 words of The Book. I did everything else on my list of things to do, apart from write the 500 words.

SO, not the best start. But I did go to the hairdresser's, and having my hair cut is always a traumatic experience. Not that I'm precious about my hair, I just hate being in the hairdresser's. There is something about being sat in front of myself that makes me act like an idiot. It's intimidating, and weird, and I try to over compensate for this by talking too much and acting like I don't find it intimidating or weird. One of my earliest published stories (2006, called The Closest Thing, in this anthology) was set in the chair at the hairdresser's.

ANYWAY. After the hair thing (good cut, by the way) I did all kinds of essential stuff like wash the sofa throw, make a rice salad, finish reading a book... Good book, actually, so not my fault. One Day by David Nicholls - great, absorbing, funny... nice premise too: each chapter is set on July 15th over 20 years - 1988 to 2008, following the almost-relationship and friendship of the two lead characters, Emma and Dexter. I'm certain it'll be made into a film and ruined some time in the next couple of years. *See comments*

BUT. Today. Today was better. Today I did it. 557 words of The Book exist that did not exist 2 hours ago. It still took me a while to get there. First I had to go for coffee, do some food shopping, do laundry, read blogs, check emails, check the websites of prizes I've entered, check emails, read blogs, check emails. But I did it with that Grayson Perry quote 'Creativity is failure' firmly in my mind.

SIGH. Pat on back. Sip of wine.


And now - a couple of useful or interesting things for your writer's eyes:

Competitions Closing Soon

Wells Festival of Literature
Stories between 1800-2000 words
£500 first prize
£4 entry
Closes August 31st
(Festival takes place in early October, which means there's probably a quick turnaround for the results with this one.)

Aesthetica Annual Creative Works Competition
Send 1 or 2 stories of up to 2000 words each
£500 first prize
£10 entry
Closes August 31st
(I think 2 stories for the £10 entry fee is pretty good)

Ilkley Literature Festival
Stories of up to 3000 words
£200 first prize
£4 entry
Closes September 1st
(Like the Wells Competition, the festival takes place in October so there's probably a quick turnaround for results again.)

And 2 blog posts I've enjoyed this week

Editorial Ass on the different types of publishing we can choose to pursue - a really direct, useful and balanced post from someone who works in the industry.

Creepy Queery Girl's inspired metaphorical post entitled 'I feel like a sperm'. Read why here.


Rachel Fenton said...

Brillo-well done for churning out that word count! Pat well deserved!

Will check out the links..very intriguing..sperm indeed....oh, and the competitions, of course..that will be first...well done again...

Teresa Stenson said...

Thanks, Rachel. The sperm thing isn't too rude - just a 'We writers are like sperm trying to get to the egg (publishing deal)' analogy. It has a hopefulness about it, believe it or not.

Teresa Stenson said...

Re: 'One Day' - oddly, coincidentally, in yesterday's Independent - a snippet of news about Anne Hathaway filming in a North London Lido for her new role as Emma Morley in David Nicholl's romantic comedy, 'One Day'.

Sometimes you read a book and you just know it'll be adapted into a film any minute now. Interested to see how this one goes. It's a bit, a bit, 'Time Traveler's Wife', and that was a disastrous film. I'll stop harping on now.

Teresa Stenson said...

Although, it's being directed by Lone Scherfig who made 'An Education' which I liked a lot.

Now I'll stop.

Dan said...

I always liked Aesthetica, although the magazine was a lot easier to get hold of when I lived in Leeds. I'm not sure about their 'death or glory' approach - just having one prize makes it seem a bit of a long shot and puts me off entering.

I'm also interested in the Wells Festival one - it's pretty rare to get a minimum word count limit (particularly one that gives you a 200-word "target zone").

Well done on the 557 words, by the way. I'm increasingly convinced that just getting on and getting your distractions out of the way as quickly as you can is a lot more efficient than pretending they don't exist and trying to work around them.

Keep up the good work!

Writing Wanton Wrongs said...

Aesthetica was a lot easier to get hold of before borders packed up!

I understand the hairdressers thing,its all those bloody mirrors! You feel under pressure to act a certain way and you're watching yourself from three different spit and polished daily angles, Err.

I really enjoyed One Day,it does have all the hallmarks of 'this will be made into a film v.simmilar to 500 days of summer'( Keeps quiet about opinions on adaptions,and the meduas usual failing to credit lesser known writers and translators for screen glories)

Well done for the galvanising,500 words a day seems a great amount.

Teresa Stenson said...

Hi Dan - you can get Aesthetica in WHSmith's, or at least you can here, but that could be because the magazine head office is based here.

I also like the 'between 1800 and 2000 words' about Wells. Even though none of my stories are that long. It's just refreshing.

Thanks for the well-done. I am going to try really really hard to keep it up.

Hey Pearl - it's been a good few days since I finished 'One Day' but I'm finding it's still with me, which is a good sign. Did 500 Days start out as a book too? I wasn't too sure about the film. I can't remember quite why now. Maybe felt a little forced. I do like Joseph GL and Zoey Deshanel a lot though.

The big book-film adaptation coming up (for me anyway) is Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go'. Loved that book.

Thanks to you too for well-doning me for what is essentially a very small amount of words.