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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Band Themed Short Story Project Week 6

It's been a good week for the band themed project this week, as I've finished five out of the seven stories. They are nearly all Flash Fiction pieces this week, because I was fed up of trying to write longer stories then not finishing them. I've decided that after Week 9, when I'll have run out of nominated bands, I'll spend a week finishing off stories.

The story I wrote around The McCoys called 'Queen Of The Quip' came 2nd in February 7th's Write Invite, so I was very pleased about that.

I wasn't on the Storgy Competition longlist, which was a bit disappointing, but I imagine they got a lot of entries and the longlist, frankly, wasn't very long!

The first story of the week was inspired by And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead, nominated by the lovely Ninette Hartley. I wrote a Flash piece of about 500 words about a gothy teenager and his mother. Ninette liked it and said it had a good twist. I may well enter it in the Flash 500 comp at the end of March.

Tuesday's band was Bellowhead. I'd never heard of them. My writer friend, Susannah Rickards nominated this English contemporary folk band. I didn't finish the story, but it's one I like, so will be happy to work on it a bit more at some point. I'm a little nervous, as Susannah is such a brilliant writer, that my effort will be pretty darn poor when compared to her short stories.

I thought The Grateful Dead would be a fairly easy band to write about or around. They were 'The Godfathers of the Jam Band', so I used that as a title. I also managed to finish the story, but haven't yet sent it to Carolyn Hartwell who used to hang out with my late husband back in the day.

It was fun researching The Modernaires. They were a quintet who sang with The Glenn Miller Band back in the 1940s. I love Glenn Miller's music and the whole big band scene. I found some wonderful images, too. I was fascinated by the only female member of The Modernaires, Paula Kelly who went on to marry fellow bandmate, Hal Dickinson. I wrote a quirky little Flash piece, which I hope captured the era. The Modernaires were nominated by writer, Ferne Arfin who is currently trying to raise funds for crowd-funding her novel, Tunnel of Mirrors with Unbound.
I was dreading The Rolling Stones, as from past experience with this project, I've found that the better documented the band's history, the harder it is to write a story around them.
My late father was a huge Stones fan and I grew up listening to their debut album (I still have the original my dad listened to) and High Tide and Green Grass. My dad invariably would do his Mick Jagger impressions while dancing to The Stones at parties (and there were a lot of parties when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s). Fellow writer, Shirley Wright nominated this band. I didn't manage to finish my story. The main character, based on Mick Jagger, isn't particularly likeable either, but I do have this knack of writing from an unsympathetic character's viewpoint, which doesn't go down terribly well with readers or editors!

INXS was easier to write about simply because I chose 'in excess' as the theme for my story. I wrote just over 1,400 words on this in the space of about 35 minutes. The story wrote itself and I based it on a true family story, which my second cousin told me about yesterday morning. It's a very sad tale and shocking that it's actually true. Thank you to Australian Jo Skehan for nominating this Sydney based band.

I wrote two band stories yesterday. The second was The Mamas and Papas, nominated by Lisbeth Foye. I wrote this story as part of the Write Invite competition and avoided using a band or a singer as the main character/s. Instead I wrote a quirky piece about a retired couple with a bit of a Valentine's theme. I used a lot of Mamas and Papas lyrics for this one and I was very pleased with the result. However, I doubt very much whether Rob, the Write Invite judge will like it. I think that with some tweaking that it might make a good womag story. We'll see.

So, that's Week 6 completed. It's half term week this week, so my routine will be a little different. Megan is having her first ever make-over on Wednesday, which we're both rather nervous about. Megan isn't really 'into' pampering (like her mother) and is a bit of a tomboy (put it this way, she's a huge Dr Who fan). She won the make-over on a scratch card from New Look. Hopefully, we'll get some nice photos out of it. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Jo, you have certainly retained your stamina and congratulations on everything you've achieved so far. Have a great half-term with Megan.