Follow by Email

Friday, 26 September 2014

Dust everywhere!

This week has been remarkably productive writing-wise, which is a miracle considering work started on our downstairs bathroom.

I spent Monday clearing out the bathroom and doing bits and pieces of housework, which was a complete waste of time, because when Steve (of Affinity Bathrooms) started gutting the room, there was a layer of dust all over the house! I did manage to fit in a longish bike ride, but no writing today.

On Tuesday, after another longish bike ride and in between making Steve cups of coffee, I had a final read-through of the 'blacksmith story' I worked on last week, printed it off on my new printer and walked down the road to post it off. I really hope the womag in question likes it, because if they don't, I really don't know where else I can send it. I then tweaked a different story and entered it in The First Black Pear Press Competition. It's always tricky to know what sort of thing a new competition team will go for, but the story in question should appeal to most tastes. I then pulled up a story that Woman's Weekly were very interested in a few months ago, but felt didn't quite work. Clare suggested I 'rest' it for a few weeks and go back to it. It's interesting that with the benefit of a good long 'rest', you see a story in a completely different light. It's well worth spending time dusting off old stories from time to time. (Like what I did there?) I realised that one of the main reasons this particular story didn't work the first time around was that I'd told it from two different viewpoints when I should have told it from just one. I also thought of a new twist I could incorporate, which I feel gives the story added 'umph'. The original story was far too long. I'd written beyond the story's natural end, so had to cut about a thousand words. This wasn't as painful as it sounds. By this time the banging and drilling in the bathroom next door was getting to me, so I decided to call it a day.

Fortunately, the rain stopped early enough on Wednesday morning for my bike ride. In fact, when the sun came out, it was a beautiful morning. I also realised what a mad world we live in when the scrap man came to the door and asked if he could take some stuff out of our skip. Actually, there might be a story there..... I was meeting friends for a belated birthday lunch today, so after a quick bath, I drove the twenty miles to meet them halfway. We chatted far longer than I'd factored in time-wise, so it was a mad dash back to Rugby with a quick pit-stop at Sainsbury's for essentials. Didn't manage to get any writing done today. One unexpected bonus was that my friend said she thought I'd lost weight. Oh, and another was that I found out I'd come 6th in last week's Write Invite competition. I was particularly thrilled as Rob said in his write-up that the last line really made the story rise up the rankings. Great to hear when I always used to be rubbish at endings!

After yet another longish bike ride (the weather has been so good again this week) and a businessy-type email to write, I settled down to work on the story Woman's Weekly had been interested in. It still wasn't right and I knew I'd have to go away and mull it over. My copy of Issue 2 of Firewords arrived this week and prompted me to look for a couple of stories to submit to them. No payment, but it's a beautifully illustrated literary journal I'd be proud to appear in. I received a phone call from my late husband's mother to say his father had been rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties. Knowing my ex-father-in-law, he'll pull through and bounce back. He has been doing since he got encephalitis and subsequently Parkinson's at the age of sixty-five. He's now nearly eighty-nine. I'll be visiting him on Saturday.

So... it's Friday again, another bike ride and I'm just about to start work on that pesky womag story and sort out a story to enter in the Henshaw Press Prize. It's creeping ever closer to the closing date for most of the September competitions. I want to enter Flash 500, but having now entered all my old Flash stories, I'll now have to write a couple of new ones. I find Flash incredibly difficult to get right, so this will be a real challenge. I'd better hurry up and get started, because my husband's band, Visitation have yet another gig tonight, so it will be an early tea, then off out for 6ish.

I want to mention how much I'm enjoying Cilla, ITV's new drama series. I've always loved Sheridan Smith and I think this particular role will bring her many awards. I hope so. She's also a much better singer than Cilla Black!


  1. Well done on all that writerly work Jo! Good luck with all your womag submissions and competition entries.

  2. Thanks, Alison! If only I were half as successful in writing comps as you!