Wednesday, 5 September 2012


So, there was champagne after all.
Husband booked a table for afternoon tea at the Montpellier Chapter and ordered champagne (very lovely champagne) to celebrate my having written lots of words - whether publishable or not.

The Montpellier Chapter Hotel

We sat in the conservatory amid much tropical undergrowth. There were rattan chairs, the sort of old encaustic floor tiles that I wanted to take home with me - and did I mention there was champagne? 
And a light made of floating glass bubbles...which we'll have to go back in the evening to fully appreciate.
Ooh - and cake!
 "Hurrah! I've typed many - many - words!"

I've printed it all out - and it's encouragingly weighty. My six year old said he couldn't believe I'd written so many words. "I'd've given up after ten pages," he said solemnly.
I had a go at 'editing' the first two pages and my wordcount shot up by over a hundred words - just like that! I find it impossible to spend a year making stuff up and trying to increase the wordcount - and then to suddenly whittle it away again. CAN'T DO IT!

I think I'm going to try easing myself into it by editing something else first. A while ago I met up with a couple of would-be writer friends and we all agreed to enter stories in the Costa Short Story Competition. Of course I went home and forgot all about it, but I was reminded the other day when I read a blog-conversation between two 'proper' published writers about whether to enter or not. They decided not to submit anything since it would be impossible to tailor their stories to meet the approval of the judges (intelligent  writerly types - who would want lyrical prose and meaningful subject matter) AND the voting members of the public (ignorant plebs - who would surely want sensationalist material with a twist at the end). Pah! I thought they were being both snooty and lily-livered.

So, I shall dig out an old story and take it apart - add bits - change the order - generally practise my editing skills before sending it to the Costa Awards. I can't see what there is to lose.



  1. Go for it enter. I've sent an entry to the Costa Short Story comp. Good luck! PS I love champagne too.

    1. Yes - there's something irresistible about sending off a story to Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet, isn't there?Good luck to you too!


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