How time flies. I feel shamefaced that I haven't written a post since August. We've been touring in our motorhome (see future posts) and I've been writing short stories. Three were submitted to Woman's Weekly (happy hundreth birthday WW). Two rejected. I'm still hopeful that the third, a longer Christmas story called 'Keeping Christmas' may be accepted for a WW fiction special. I also submitted a story to Writers Forum, for which I received a commendation and a useful critique which I will definitely use to make some improvements and re-submit as they suggest.
I've had a little more success with letters and photos being published in Take a Break magazine.
A special thrill was winning a place in Malvern Theatres' short story competition 'As You Read It'. The eight writers selected to read their stories performed in front of a substantial and receptive audience last night. I'm very proud to have been chosen. http://www.malvern-theatres.co.uk/
I became more terrified as the 9th (rehearsal) and 10th November (performance) drew nearer. I woke at 3am yesterday morning, and despite deep breathing, getting up to make chamomile tea, eating a banana (good for inducing sleep allegedly), I didn't drop off again until it was almost time to get up.
The rest of the day was spent trying to chill out and numb my nerves. The copious amounts of chamomile and lavender (inhaled, massaged and in the case of the chamomile - drunk as well), plus yoga, self-manicure and pedicure etc etc worked sufficiently well to get me to Malvern before 6.30 to get ready for the performance an hour later.
I was met by Sophie, the Education Manager, who was very involved with the organisation of the event and the writers throughout the evening. Bill, the Stage Manager showed me to the dressing room and was very kind and supportive. This was much appreciated, especially when waiting in the wings to go on. Nic Lloyd, the CEO of Malvern Theatres (without whom 'As You Read It' would not have taken place) came to the green room to cheer us all on. According to Grasshopper who was in the audience with two friends, he also gave a witty introduction to the evening.
I was first on after the interval, to a wonderful warm welcome from the audience. Amazingly my nerves disappeared, the audience laughed in all the right places, I didn't make a single mistake and I really enjoyed myself.
Meeting all the other writers was also great. Fay Wentworth, who read her story 'Whisper in the Wind' is an extensively published writer. To visit her website click on http://www.faywentworth.wordpress.com/
Andrew Owens, a fellow member of the Worcester Writers Circle read his story 'Bootleg to Paris'. He regularly reads at performance venues around the west mids.
The other writers were Ellie Targett who also has a number of books under her belt. She read 'Preparations'. John Jinks read 'Get me to the Church on Time', Oliver Jones - 'RE. The Tables Turned', Daniel Howard - 'Dreaming of Lucas', David Phelps - 'Unwanted Guests'.
Many thanks to Malvern Theatres, Nic Lloyd, Sophie Mclellan and Bill (I don't know Bill's surname) for this fantastic opportunity. When is the next one?