‘Wondrous Stories’

Yes In Concert, 1977 - pic courtesy of Wikipedia

Just look at that title. Not my ‘wondrous stories’, I hasten to add but the title of the only ‘Yes’ song that I’d ever heard before last Friday when I was dragged taken out to a ‘Yes’ concert (more of that later).

But, there is a link – I do have some notices for you about a few short story competitions!

If you live in the East Midlands (Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Rutland, Leicestershire or Northamptonshire), there’s a free short story competition here, which Writing East Midlands is running in conjunction with the Lincolnshire Echo.

That counts me out – shame – but there must be some of you out there for whom it’s relevant!

There are loads of other events and opportunities on the Writing East Midlands website that I don’t have space to promote so if you live in that region have a look here.

We have a similar organisation in the West Midlands – see here – and they’re running a short story competition as part of the Birmingham Book Festival, on the theme of ‘clocks’ and with a closing date of 31st January 2012. It costs £5 per entry but there’s nothing in the rules about having to live in the region in order to be eligible to enter. If that sounds interesting, there are more details here.

Write Invite

And finally, I’ve written about ‘Write Invite’ before (here) but just in case you didn’t see that, you might like to know that it’s a ‘live’ writing competition that takes place on the internet every Saturday between 5.30pm and 6pm. It’s fun!

There’s a prize of £50 for the winner and it costs £4 to enter. But the good thing is – your first entry is FREE – I’ve been assured by the organisers that this should happen automatically when you register on the site – have a go and see what happens. So even if you just have one go and never do it again, it’s a bit of fun and good writing practice.

I didn’t enter this week because I was busy with a story to send to my writing buddy (we swap every fortnight) but just for your info, this week’s themes (they pop up at 5.30pm and then you have to choose one and submit your story on that theme no later than 6pm) were:

1. Kiss-Chase
2. Fixed!
3. A Parting Of The Waves

So if you think you’d have been inspired enough by one of those titles (and it’s amazing how your brain can focus when time is tight!), then have a look at the Write Invite website and maybe have a go next weekend? It’s only half an hour of your time and it gets the brain cogs whirring!

Now, back to that ‘Yes’ concert. I must admit, I’m more of an Abba, Take That, Bucks Fizz kinda gal (OK, maybe not Bucks Fizz, but you get the idea).

But my beloved had bought me a ticket and – as he pointed out – he ‘goes to lots of poetry events’, so I couldn’t really argue.

“Never mind,” I said to my friend earlier that day, “I’ll get a nice drink in the interval.” I had a big, sparkly G&T in mind (this was in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and believe me, they do serve G&Ts! This is a place that even has its own poet-in-residence!) but guess what? There Was No Interval!!

No – just two and a half hours of happy-clappy, hippy ‘progressive rock’ (sorry if you like ‘Yes’. And if you do – where were you on Friday? You could have taken my place). I put myself into a trance – well, as much as I could because every few seconds, high-powered beams swept around the ceiling and – because we were right up at the top – zapped me straight in the eye.

Half way through I leaned over. “I promise I will never make you go to another poetry reading,” I said. Sweetly.

At last, it was over. We filed out of the Hall with all the other denim-clad oldies. I glanced hopefully in the direction of the bar.

But wait! There was a woman at the exit, handing out leaflets for a ‘future event’. I should have wrestled her to the ground with a cry of “Nooooo!” but I was too slow.

He took one, grinned and held it up like a trophy. “Great!” he said. “’Jethro Tull’!”

And the moral of this (not-so-wondrous) story is: it’s good to have separate interests.

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10 Responses to ‘Wondrous Stories’

  1. Keith Havers says:

    Thanks for those links, Helen. Living in Nottingham those first two are of special interest to me.

  2. Denise Bayes says:

    I’ve recently discovered Write invite and am already planning my Saturdays around it! Meanwhile I join you on Abba and have to say Bucks’ Fizz ‘Land of Make Believe’…bit of a classic?

  3. I agree about the seperate interests. When we go away I take the laptop – if I don’t want to do what Gary’s doing I can write instead so we’re both happy.

  4. Seperate interests are good – but as writers we should be willing to open our eyes to new experiences (even if they’re not to our taste). You never know what might spark a story,,,

  5. Sandra says:

    Thanks for the information on the Write Invite website. I joined earlier in the week and then participated yesterday evening. When I clicked to get started at 5.30, the computer went into ‘hang’ mode, and I watched the circling arrow with dismay as the time ticked away. I kept trying though, and eventually succeeded and managed to put something together. What an experience that was! I was exhausted when the time was up. I never would have thought it possible to put something together so quickly in response to a prompt, but it’s revitalised me so much I’ve managed to whip up another submission for another site this morning, and have the gem of an idea for another ezine. Thanks again!

    • Oh well done, Sandra and sorry to hear that you had problems with the site! I’d ‘like’ to think it was because soooo many people, in response to my posting, tried to enter the competition this week but I suspect it was just a ‘techy’ thing. Usually it all runs very well and if you ever have a situation (which happened to me once), when you can’t enter at all – even though you’ve paid your money – then, if you flag it up with them, they will credit your account, so you won’t lose out. Good luck in the Write Invite comp!

         

      ________________________________

      • Sandra says:

        I won!! Thanks for bringing the link to my attention. 🙂

      • Sandra – that’s brilliant, well done!! I had to think what you meant for a moment but then I checked on the Write Invite website and you won last Saturday! I’m really pleased for you – especially as you had a few problems with a slow-loading site/computer! I liked your story too – I’m sure you could lengthen that and do something else with it (competition entry?). Enjoy spending your £50 – and if anyone wants to read Sandra’s excellent, prize-winning entry, go to the results table on the site and click on Sandra’s name: http://www.write-invite.com/results-table.php

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