Little bits at a time…

I was struck recently at how slow progress on First Drop was, but then realised that I’d been thrown by a number of other, smaller projects, restarting the MA (which takes me a lot of time) and playing about with Pregabalin.

On the upside, the projects have been useful and fun, ranging from writing (lots – and various), attending the local Marlborough Literary Festival (whilst the content of which was excellent, it was a show I found disability-hostile in the extreme, even being shouted at by one organiser who obviously didn’t give a monkeys about disabled people and stability on stairs), attending the monthly Hampshire Writer’s Society meetings at Winchester University (they have some really interesting guest speakers) and a Writing Group at Salisbury Library (Mondays, 10:15), and reading (also a fair bit, including attending a local reading group at Salisbury Library).

The Pregabalin has stabilised on a dose that does me very well. Pain is being managed effectively, except when upset by travel stress and an enforced lack of ability to pace. Hypo’s and the associated, suspected ‘boosted insulin–>fat deposit’ are not seen except possibly late at night.  We’ll see if I can now manage my weight, too!

Sent back to the kitchen

(Rejections & failed competitions) I’m not sure how many of these I’ve mentioned so, if in doubt, here they are. They’re probably not everything, as a result. I’m listing them mainly to show sideline activity!  Some, such as the Radio Writer’s entry to BBC, are still pending.

A short story submitted to Interzone.  Polite rejection, inviting further submission.

A couple of Flash Fiction entries to a local festival, the Mere Literary Festival. The stories had to include ‘the end of the line‘ and had less than a week to be written (and posted or delivered).  I’m not even sure if my posted entries got there.

A 2,500 word fiction piece ‘I fall asleep’, written earlier in the year, to another local, the Frome Festival.  I suspect this was too ‘catty’ as it was written from the cat’s viewpoint, though one test reader didn’t realise until after it had been read.  It may be something to consider sending elsewhere.

A quick 250 Flash Fiction entry to Inktears (this link opens to show their latest short story competition).

On the worktop & Cooking

I wasn’t sure what to develop so I’ve written the openings for three possible Creative Non-fiction books for my MA. One, of course, is on Pain Management, another on the Orient Express, grief and my Dad, and the last a more dramatised version of our local village history. Let’s see what comes of each.

A piece on Time for Arachne Press’s Solstice Shorts story competition, as I think I’ve mentioned before. After several false starts a new story has coalesced. I like the idea of reading stories and over the solstice seems a good way to celebrate winter.  I’ve just been to an incredibly useful Reading Aloud Workshop rising from the crowdfunding for this run by Katy Darby of Liar’s League fame. I had intentions around trying to start something like this in the Stonehenge/ Salisbury are and the workshop has solidifed these plans. Great stuff.

First Drop is still going, and Rosemary is asking where the next chapter is. Well, more than asking.  Is it good that a SF-phobic reader is absorbed by a SF story?

I’m looking at one or two other competitions, including the Bridport Prize, but have to slow down and focus.  From reading competition winners, I suspect that my subject matter is not what many competition judges are looking for. Sure, my writing style and quality may also be suspect(!) but I have to get the subject matter correct, first, I think.

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