Friday 15 June 2012

this week

  • I've had a brilliant few days of writing related goodness. Just been getting on with stuff, feeling open to new ideas, working on a new story, a couple of proposals, and entering this amazing competition to win a 10-day residency at Anam Cara retreat in Ireland. It closes tomorrow - send a 500 word story - no entry fee - bloody good deal. 

  • I thought about how when you sit down to write, it's okay to take a little time to warm up. Give your head space. If you sit at your desk and the first 20 minutes is looking around the room, looking through your documents, that's okay. You're warming up. You're letting your brain have a little think about what it wants to do.  Getting in the mind set. 

  • Tonight we're having a smorgasbord for tea because we do this really cute thing (HA!) where we theme our meals to major sporting and world events. England are playing Sweden tonight in the Euro cup so it's pickled fish, meats, eggs, mince and potatoes, beet salad, and these little chocolate cookies that you don't have to bake. 

  • I realised I haven't read a really good novel in ages. I read 'Fifty Shades of Grey' - that really rude one - the other week and I read it very quickly but was ultimately disappointed (I really didn't mean that to imply anything...) Any recommendations? What's the novel this year that you've bought or wanted to buy for friends? (Mine is Vanessa Gebbie's The Coward's Tale - just magnificent)

Saturday 9 June 2012

I didn't get the job - but that's okay

Don't know what I'm talking about? Scroll down to the previous couple of posts.

I know saying something like 'but that's okay' is what people do immediately after sharing semi-bad news, but I'm being honest.

With a little help from my almost- sister- in- law (Anjani, she's an Ayurvedic therapist) I've been able to see clearly the positives about the process of applying and interviewing, and it feels like I am unlocking something else, or getting closer to where I should be, even though I didn't get the job.

I feel this light and positivity despite getting 2 rejections this week as well. Both Flash Fiction Online and Fleeting Magazine passed on the stories I sent. However, there is just something that stings more with a magazine rejection rather than the times you don't get listed in a competition. It feels more personal, though I understand all the reasons why stories don't make it.

We had a great few days having Anjani stay with us, the way how when you have a guest you see the place where you live through fresher eyes, and you take a little more time getting to places, and you seek out new things to try or you just plain notice things you haven't before.

I'm excited about a couple of writing projects / goals I'm working towards - one of which is Salt Publishing's Scott Prize for Short Stories. I had my eye on this prize last year but ultimately didn't feel like the time was right for me to put my stories in one place. That's altered a little this year, there's a coherence I feel I can get that I couldn't before. I couldn't sleep last night so I looked this prize up and thought about the stories I already have and some I don't and it feels possible.

I also found this interesting publishing house. Miel are reading for the whole of June and have really exciting guidelines (for this writer, anyway).

My blog will be 3 years old soon. It'd be nice to do something, but what...?

Hope you're well. Yes, YOU. 


Friday 1 June 2012

I'm writing this

while sipping cava and eating salt and vinegar crisps. I know how to look after myself, don't I?

The cava was a birthday present (from April) (the month - don't know anyone called April) which I put in the fridge earlier this week when I found out I had an interview for the Writer in Residence job. BUT I don't know yet if I got it or not and won't know for sure until Wednesday (because of all the shitting bank holidays) so I thought I'd open it anyway be celebratory about being interviewed no matter what the outcome is. YAY!

The day went well in lots of ways, but I have that nagging feeling I didn't quite say all I wanted to in the interview part, and I pitched my presentation to the students a little off: one of the stories I shared was too quiet and steady really, plus they were tired - unfortunately I drew the short straw and was the last writer to talk to them - they were a little restless, I felt, and definitely ready for lunch. The 2nd story I read to them had more energy and got some laughs.

I really can't call it, I have no idea who out of the 4 of us who attended the interview day will get the job. All the other 3 candidates were lovely, talented and accomplished writers, but all very different. A theatre practitioner, a screen-writer, a poet/novelist, and me: a short story writer. 

If I don't get it, it's still a great experience, and it's made me think I'd like to get involved in writing in schools in some way. Visits, workshops maybe. Do any of you writers do this? If so, can you give me any advice?

I've subbed several short stories this week so hope to have some news of publication soon. I have stories being read at Fleeting Magazine, Flash Fiction Online, and The Yeovil Literary Prize.

Now I must refill this flute.