Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Last day of August

Well, today I have been a big girly - like a big girl's blouse but floppier - in physical form and emotional. But I'm feeling much better now, thank you.

The day started with two (positive) rejections for two pieces of flash fiction. Both had some sound feedback from two editors

Snippets from  1)Great introduction and use of the bananas to set the scene. This piece is packed with really effective description 
....What a great description of a bunch of rotten bananas. I'll never look at them the same way.
Effective opening, some nice moments

The overall feeling though, was that this was an introduction to a much longer story waiting to be told.
I'll do just that - write it longer. Unfortunately, that means that this market can't take it but I'll have something to put out there with some confidence that at least the beginning is good ;-)

Snippets from 2)  The author does a great job of relaying the mother's thoughts and worries...
solid prose, it's a tragedy one might read in the newspaper
This time I set the scene too well without leaving the reader with the element of surprise, not enough effective buildup. Whether I do anything further with this one, I don't know but I feel like I might be able to take elements of it and make it into a longer story by drip feeding the information.

Then 10.30am dawned and my dentist appointment. I had a clean and polish with hygienist. Mouth bled a lot, as it always does, but I left her with sparkling teeth even if my gums were now a lot more sore than they had been in a while. Then to the denist, a lovely chap! He found two teeth with cracks in them, which probably account for pain upon biting and the hot/cold sensitivity. Three xrays were required.
Oops. Mouth wide open, xray pad inserted - excrutiating pain in my left ear followed. When it settled, I realised it wasn't my ear but my jaw - it had sublaxed. All part of the Ehlers-Danlos but still very painful.
I left with an appointment for Friday to re-construct one of the teeth, £80 light from my bank account and a jaw that needed punching to slot back into place. On top of my poorly feet (another damn #eds thing). I hobbled home, woozy, a bit shaky and not at all looking forward to my trip to the pain clinic that afternoon.

Of course, I bemoaned my woes on twitter, picked myself up and headed off to my appointment. We arrived early, to park, and sat and had a coffee. With three minutes to go, I duly presented myself to the outpatients, only to be told we were in the wrong 'oupatients' department. I could have sobbed. It meant a five minute walk to a little old-fashioned portakabin style place, which also meant I was now late. When we arrived, I soon realised the pain clinic also doubled as the STD clinic. Leaflets for chlamydia and HIV adorned the walls and a bowl offering free condoms sat on the table in reception. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Honestly - I was there to see the pain lady! And NO - I didn't collect any condoms on the way out.

It turned out to be a positive experience and I took a lot of leaflets and ideas away with me. I did cry, because sometimes that's all you can do when you have this sort of pain. But I wiped my tears, listened to the nurse and felt a whole lot better.

I'm still hobbling and my jaw is still hurting but I've sent out another two flash stories to the rejecting market from this morning and the sun is still shining. I have a mind full of bubbling ideas for stories and my fingers are itching to get back to work on WiP.

I didn't dance today but perhaps I will tomorrow.

Monday, 30 August 2010

A non-bank holiday

Up here in Sunny Scotland (for it is today) there is no bank holiday. Apparently we had one in early August but I must have blinked or something. The kids were already off school and it was situation normal, espcially in a tourist little village somewhere in Perthshire.

I started the day off dancing in the dining room. Daughter the elder pleaded with me to stop. I can only think it was because of my thread-pulled pink dressing gown and bed hair and not the dancing itself. She even pulled the curtains together - and we never pull the curtains together in the dining room. I think she was frightened someone might walk past and as we are on the school-run walk, I guess there was every chance. I blame Radio 2 for playing a ditty little number from Saturday Night Fever. (Did you know my brother looks like John Travolta? Can't see it myself ...)

Radio 2 have played out some great old tunes today - a run down of all time bestsellers or something. It's on in the background as I work away, studying, critting, writing, twittering ... They played I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing and I expected Puff the Magic Dragon to follow but alas, it was something by Leif Garret.

Daughter the younger came home from school for lunch and told me someone's mum has had a hyrospectomy. I had to laugh, especially when she said, 'I suppose you'll tweet that.'

I enjoyed David Almond's talk yesterday at #edbookfest. An unassuming man to look at, I was fascinated and compelled to hear him talk about his writing process. I just love to listen to these 'made-it' authors. It was very moving and I can't remember what prompted it, but I had a tear in my eye more than once. I held my breath when The Son asked a question - he has form - but all was fine when he asked the author about writer's block. He must have impressed (or they were desperate) because he was invited to ask another. I didn't breathe and waited for it. It was okay - he asked Mr Almond what his views were on life after death. A good question, if you know the author's books.

Oh - and talking of #edbookfest - I never did find the missing plastic duck despite many discussions on twitter last night, including a wake - if you don't follow - don't ask. All stream-of-consiousness stuff to the uninitiated I would guess.

I'm not sure that 2hrs each way on the train was worth the rushed McDonald's and just over an hour at @edbookfest but it fulfilled the criteria of a 'family day out'. Please remind me, next time I plan an outing with my three plus one other. It was rather stressful at times, especially when they started playing slaps on the crowded train.

Anyway, I've honestly done a little studying, I've read four stories for my writing forum and done some 'things' on the net. I never mentioned scrabble, twitter, facebook ... oops, yes, I just did. The ironing won't do itself so I'd better press on.


Sunday, 29 August 2010

Sunday 29th August - #Edbookfest day

Good news this morning!

Awoke to find that daughter the elder has been shortlisted for the 12-16 Slingink Prize. She's very happy. So am I. It takes away my disappointment at not being placed - but it's all part of the game isn't it. She's now dancing around the kitchen and so was I a couple of minutes ago - told you I like to dance ;-)

We are off the Edinburgh Book Festival and found that with a family railcard, we can go 2 adults and 4 kids for £37.70 - far cheaper than the petrol and parking. So very shortly, we'll be off. Sorry to see that the lastest train leaves at 17.50 though -would have liked to stay longer.
Must remember to pack my study book. I have about 140 pages left to read before I can start my final assignment for my OU course. After that, there is an exam and then I'm DONE! Can't wait.

And just to confirm how strange life actually is - can you believe that it's SNOWING?

Have a good day folks. We intend to.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

First Blog

Oh well, here goes.

I suppose I should start by writing a little about me - and if you know me, you'll know there is very little that is 'little' about me.

I love to write. I love to write a bit more than I love to dance. I'm not sure how well I do either especially as I have a spatial awareness problem and a darn disability. Perhaps, if you've seen me dance or write, you can comment and let me know?

Like many wannabe writers and actual writers I have loved to write since I found that I could. I wrote lots of stories and kept them in an old battered faux leather suitcase, the sort that was around in the 60's that many kids seemed to have. When we moved house in 1973, my parents decided it didn't need to come with us. I guess that's why I hoard, why I'm so protective of things dear to me. It's such a load of carpe diem.

I didn't write again until I was about fourteen. Such a lot of typical teenage angst stuff - nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I'm going down the garden to eat worms kinda stuff. Only, back then, we didn't have a garden but we did do a lot of camping.

I dipped into writing on and off and have some of my dire short stories, typewritten and tippexed, in a red folder somewhere.

When I left the police force in 2005, I had started to write fiction (and some not so fiction) in earnest. I joined a few online writing forums and turned my OU degree from Social Sciences to Creative Writing. I even won a couple of competitions. My first win was with Twisted Tongue http://www.twistedtongue.co.uk with my story Post Mortem. It inspired me. I felt like I'd come home and this was what I should be doing. Ha.

I decided I needed a name. I didn't like Sharon. Never had. And my best friend is called Tracey and we used to work together and I didn't want to be part of Viz or some lad-lit comedy. And who had ever heard of anyone called Sharon ever making it? I'm sure they have - Sharon Tate - she ended up with her head cut off.

So I thought long and hard and I decided I liked the name Effie. Can't remember the thought processes but then my husband came up with Effie Merryl. I liked it. A lot. Then he said, yes, Ephemeral. Hmm. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephemeral)

But I still liked. And if I only lasted for one day then it had better be good. I'm working on it.

Why should I blog?

Because everyone else seems to do it.
People tell me I should.
I enjoy networking and it's a great way to network.
I love writing.
I like the sound of my own writing voice (sometimes).
A way of remembering the things of the past when my mind forgets (through old age/alcohol/otherwise)
And probably many other reasons which I will remember as I go along this well trodden path.

If you don't like what I say, you don't have to read. I promise not to flame you so please don't flame me. I may rant a bit. I may rant a lot, but I wouldn't want to offend you.

Happy blogging!

Oh - and if you like what I say, please let me know and follow me.

Who will be the first the comment?