I had a fabulous time on Tuesday evening when I plucked up the courage to attend The Lutterworth Writers' meeting for the first time. I craftily squeezed in their January theme 'breaking the ice' into my Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly story and read it out to the group. I think they were rather underwhelmed, although my writing buddy thinks it's one of the best ones I've done so far.
I got home from the writers' group to find an email from Bridgwater Writers letting me know I'd won 2nd prize in their 40th Anniversary Short Story Competition on the theme of bridges. I was delighted. I'd written the story especially for the competition, so it was its first outing. It will be published in a special anthology. I won a Silver Membership to Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff and a signed box set of 10 books (Mabinogion stories from Seren publishers) worth £100. It's such a boost to have a story in the top three of a competition.
Another of my band stories based on Siouxsie and The Banshees won 5th place in last week's Write Invite Competition. (That story was the really bonkers one I mentioned in last week's blog!)
Our friend, Allan Wenman, chose Half Man-Half Biscuit. I enjoyed writing this story and have almost finished it. I can't get the ending quite right, so I haven't yet sent it to Allan. This was a fun story to write, as you can imagine! My character is called Rich T. He should be a rapper with a name like that, but instead he's an ex-footballer.
My friend Jam Wellies, whom I met at a party in a field in Glastonbury back in 2010, suggested Flogging Molly. I'd never heard of the band before. Apparently, they're an American Irish punk band. I googled them and looked at titles of their albums and songs to come up with a weird little story. I wrote it during the half hour Write Invite Competition yesterday. The theme was 'Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky' - a Hendrix lyric. It was a bit of a gift. What I love about Write Invite is that you can get a story finished in a very short space of time. Ideal for my band themed project!
Last band of the week was Duran Duran chosen by writer, Sophie Duffy. This is another unfinished story, but I've based it around the life of John Taylor, the bass guitarist. I've done 500 words or so.
I must just mention I saw the DTs for the first time at The Musician in Leicester on Friday night. They're a great rock blues band, who were gigging a lot in the 1980s and 90s. They were amazing. It was great to spend an evening dancing and enjoying a live band for the first time this year.
So, that's Week 4 of the band themed stories project over. I'm so glad to see the back of January. Already the days are drawing out a little and there's a whiff of spring in the air. I'm looking forward to meeting up with fellow writer, Katie Carr, tomorrow in Leamington Spa. Katie is another Write Invite devotee. I'm sure we'll have lots to talk about.