I already knew this, I can’t say I didn’t, so why then do I feel disquiet at the notion of the ‘slush pile’? It’s not the fact of being in a queue or of waiting for an evaluation of suitability, those are regular experiences in my world. It isn’t even the element of subjectivity, the lack of control, or the length of time invested in the wait because these too are familiar in matters such as applications for research funding. In both circumstances, there are rules to be followed; this many words or characters, this kind of remit, and that … Continue reading The #Scrapslush campaign
..a large, brown, cardboard package containing letters, CDs, a study guide, a study calendar, a TMA form (a what?!), and a Serious Looking Book. My Open University Creative Writing course is about to kick off. So what was it about signing those papers, ticking the box marked yes and sending off a fat-ish cheque made them think I meant it?! Continue reading In the post today..
I’ve seen this debate elsewhere, publish on your blog so you have a ‘presence’ or keep your work to yourself so that it remains saleable. So far, I’ve just put up early pieces; exercises, bits and bobs that might entertain but that wouldn’t make it into a slush pile, never mind a magazine. Last week though, on leave and with only myself to entertain, I wrote what I think is one of my best short stories EVER (nah – doesn’t take much!) and, it being under 500 words, I was about to sling it up here for my many thousands … Continue reading If not the blog then, where?
Just a little while ago, we were talking about the kinds of support we get from other writers and how we value the small communities that build up around blogs and tweets. Some of us are beginners with little to offer except awe for those who are into their third novel. Published or not, that’s tenacity, and if so far they haven’t hooked a publisher, this may say more about the vastness of the market than the quality of their work. If you can’t find ’em, you can’t impress ’em, and as the same principle applies in reverse, getting an … Continue reading Authors and writers in Second Life
If you did, just out of interest and in relation to the post on profanity, what is your impression of the language used in that story? I won’t remind you because I’d like your thoughts based on what you recall rather than a dissection of the words themselves. We talked a lot in various exchanges about realism and the kinds of expressions particular characters might use and this is clearly a situation in which the main character might be expected to let rip. I wonder, then, how far the impression of authenticity was affected for you by what was or … Continue reading Did you read ‘Madness’?
Here’s a thought. Ever seen those sketch artists on the street or at local fayres who produce a portrait of you in a matter of minutes and you love it just because of the unique focused attention it offers? Well, how about an equivalent for writers/wannabe writers? Quite a few talk about doing their writing in cafes or bars (here, it would be the local pub – wey hey!) which presumably means either buying quantities of coffee or beer or trying to avoid attention while making just one last three hours. What about trading your services for a bit of … Continue reading Writing as cabaret
I have recently unfollowed someone for using the C word in a tweet. The offender gave a cursory apology but, in suggesting that those of us with ‘delicate sensibilities’ should ‘cover our ears’, rather belied himself. As a writer of court reports, some of them addressing abusive and criminal behaviours and requiring verbatim quotes, I am not unfamiliar with offensive language nor too fragile of constitution to repeat it when required. In fact, in therapy sessions, when clients have no other words for something and use, let’s call it a ‘street’ word so as not to attract unwelcome attention, I … Continue reading Language most foul
Appended to my last post (the text, not the bugle) was a suggested link titled ‘Aww man, we gotta blog?!‘ An unpromising catch at first glance but, being trapped in the middle of an edit for a clinical journal, I was tempted as if to chocolate and made the click. This was it, a blog about blogging for PhD candidates (PhD.umpingground) which neatly articulated my drift of yesterday and collided it with another from my research world. So, writing blogs are for writing, practising writing, practising writing for an audience, marshalling thoughts, expressing ideas, asking questions, learning how to present … Continue reading Writers and writerly things: Part 2
You know those mornings when you’ve missed the alarm and you very slowly become aware of increasing levels of light filtering through your eyelids? Assuming you don’t now have 30 seconds to wash the dog, post a sandwich, and comb your lipstick, this is a moment of dawning. A dangling of consciousness between the loose freedom of unstructured sleep and the linear organisation of strategic necessity. Left foot, left knicker leg, try to get the bra the right way round, remember to remove spotty dog slippers before leaving the house. That kind of linear. Dawning is a moment of minor … Continue reading Writers, writing, writerly things
Dennis Dennis is a case alright. Big, thick-set, yellow hair thinning on top now he’s hitting forty. I’ve known him for years; first when his exasperated mum hauled him into the Centre hoping to get him fixed and him trailing behind with a wicked grin tweaking his mouth in which was stuffed the Mars Bar he’d half-inched from our shop. Dennis was a LAD…continued on Nano fiction page Continue reading Dennis