This post doesn't have a title because I don't know what it is about just now. I just wanted to write a post but didn't feel a particular sway towards a topic or a thing to tell you about so I'm just going to write and see what happens.
THIS IS FUN, RIGHT?!
So I'll start by telling you I've made a lot of story submissions these past 2 weeks. I was what you might call 'on fire' submissions-wise for a good few days and just kept sending stuff out. A few things I already know the fate of - I didn't win The Lascaux Flash thingy or The Writers' and Artists' one. But that's okay, isn't it, like always.
I'm awaiting news of stories at The BBC, Mslexia, Bath, The South American Short Story Prize and Short Fiction Journal and still the decision-making hasn't happened yet for the funding I applied for to write my novel (should know by June, so still a wee while yet).
The Great Submission Event of 2013 happened cos I had a good look at my 'completed_unpublished' folder and saw that it was empty because I have been TERRIBLE at keeping up to date with my file keeping and saving things in the right place. I had several 'completed_unpublished' stories still hanging out in the 'ideas_works in progress' folder and a few which were just knocking about willy-nilly in the very general 'my documents'. Oof. I had to have a good clear out. And so I did - and reader, (I watched Jane Eyre this week) it took days.
BUT. I came out the other end and now have what can only be described as a fairly tidy couple of folders. I realised I am REALLY TERRIBLE when it comes to editing a story and just saving it as another version of the story, sometimes in a different place to the original. I deleted all previous versions of stuff and I also deleted some VERY OLD (like, 7 years old) stories which were...yeah, terrible.
One such story, Hooked, (not a sequel or prequel or equal to the film Hook) I started 7 years ago and is about a woman who is being haunted (yes) by picture hooks on her walls (yes).
I am saying no more about it but I am going to ask you: look in your document folders. If, like me, you have saved stuff from years ago (or even days ago - I don't think bad ideas stop really, but the years-ago ones are easier to spot as 'bad') see if you have a story idea you started, maybe finished, but that seems so far away from you and what you'd write now that it's alien.
Have a look - and if you feel like it - share in the comments.
Oh, well look at that - I started with no particular place to go and have ended with a rallying call for your best bad ideas. Share!
I have folders full of bad ideas...
... go on, tell us one!
Ha ha, oh don't. I have a story that starts with an old lady grinding up woodlice. And as for Hooked -- I have something on submission that I don't want to jinx but will try to remember to come back and tell you about once I've been rejected (!) There are days when I imagine I am THAT WRITER that the judges complain about in their judges' reports.
On that note, we've entered some of the same comps, so hope to meet up with you on a shortlist some time soon, eh? Good luck with your subs!
p.s. I love woodlice.
Ha, I like the disclaimer, Tracey! I also like the sound of the story, I'm already wondering 'why, old lady, why?!'.
Thank you for telling us about your (I've already said this on Twitter but heck I'll say it again) LOUSY idea (ba-boom).
And yeah - let's get on a shortlist together! That'd be lovely.
Please can I be on a shortlist with you both 'n' all? Thank you. That's kind of you.
Yes you can.
Anyone else want to join us?
Back when my son was a wee bub and I'd get forty mins of free time each morning while he napped, I'd scribble down what became known (in my head) as - wait for it, you'll never guess - the forty minute story. I didn't get a single one of them published, but the one that got rejected the fastest was about a woman who fed the birds every day then put out a saucer of cat food: "Feed the Birds". Clearly I was off my head from sleep deprivation and should have had a kip along with my son, but hey, I learnt a lot about what I can write in forty minutes and now I make sure I have at least two hours before I'll even start a new story.
As ever I admire your dedication, Rachel - and I bet those 40 minute stories (I sense a radio show coming on...) were an excellent apprenticeship.
That woman sounds lovely. I think we need to merge out stories. SO FAR:
An old woman who is being haunted by picture hooks is in her garden grinding up wood lice to feed the birds (and/or cats).
I know exactly what you mean. I have one in my drafts folder about a man reacting to his dog becoming ill... he learns canine first aid and acupuncture (?! I know) then when it dies he learns taxidermy and also... hosts a dog seance. And it's all a terrible idea, which I should know is a terrible idea, then it keeps looking at me. ANYWAY.
Good luck with all your submissions!
I actually really like the sound of that story! Maybe it's just not the right time to write it?
Thank you for sharing, and for the good luck wishes. Hope your stuff is going well.
This post made me laugh! And I love the way it begins with an honest declaration that it doesn't know where it's going, but then ends up somewhere rather wonderful. Picture hook?! Didn't see that coming.
I have one about a shopkeeper who gets so fed up with shoplifters (or thieves, as I prefer to call them), he climbs onto the roof of his shop to take them out with his sniper's rifle, which all shopkeepers have, obviously.
And, of course, there's the worst novel ever written, which I refuse to delete because it amuses me. Then I panic that I'll die and my family will find it and publish it for me as some sort of memorial ...
... or your writing group. Ra ha ha ha.
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