The Fickle Story Pickle

I was one of the winners of The Campaign for Real Fear, as you are probably aware by now- mainly because I’ve been harking on about it on twitter, and because the blog entry right next to this one is also talking about it…

Needless to say, I’m still over the moon. Not just because it means publication in a well respected and exciting magazine, and hearing my words spoken in a podcast version of the collection (which might freak me out a little bit, I think) but also because it will make me write more short stories. I have a slightly fractious, frustrating relationship with short fiction. Some days I will be in the mood to write one, and my brain will go utterly blank. I’ll sit and stare at my notebook and try to remember what I dreamt about the night before or trawl through some random childhood memories (childhood being what I like to write about the most) and nothing will come to me. Sometimes I’ll even get down (one of three) editions of Brewer’s we have in the house and choose entries from this at random, because this worked once before and produced possibly the best thing I’ve written (The story was called London Stone and you can still read it- there’s a link for issue 9 of Pantechnicon on the left-hand side). But invariably, that doesn’t work either.

So I’ll have a month or so of no short stories at all, but that’s okay because I’m normally entangled in a long term project anyway. Then out of the blue a story will come, when I’m not expecting it, and I will have no idea where it has come from. I have to get the entire thing out in one afternoon or I’ll lose it, but it’s there. I see writers on twitter and other interweb places and they are capable of pulling stories out of thin air and doing it over and over again- I am so jealous! The reason that The Campaign for Real Fear gives me hope is that, for once, the story came when I called it. And apparently, it was even worth reading!

Big thanks again to my proof readers, who spot all the stuff I never would, and I look forward to reading the other winners.

ps) I changed the photo from the one where I’m looking with distrust at a chintzy bed spread- I think this one is more engimatic. Best you don’t know it was taken down the pub. I’ve also updated the links so they actually go somewhere now. Hurrah!

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