Thinking Outside The (Packaging) Box

I’ve started to pack. If not exactly ‘in earnest’ then, with a reasonable amount of gusto. I’m surrounded by flat-pack boxes and I’ve just taken a big bag of stuff down to the charity shop (and got myself a copy of ‘Shopaholic And Sister’ – the only one in that series that I haven’t read – for 20p, while I was there! Not that I’ve got time to read it, of course).

And I’ve been clearing out my ‘twirler’, which is my revolving (perhaps that should be ‘revolting’) food cupboard in the kitchen. So far, the record is a bottle of Coke dating back to 2005. Ugh! Why didn’t I do this before?!

I keep half-lifting the cardboard box that I’m putting the ‘still-in-date’ food in. (Yes, so far I’ve packed one box). It’s very heavy. What’s the etiquette for packing for removal men, I wonder? Do you fill the boxes up to the top, or only half way? I will have to take advice. I don’t want anyone to slip a disc!

On the writing front, Sue Moorcroft’s blog has got details of the winning stories in the Choc-Lit Short Story competition (which I intended to enter but failed). You can read the winning story by Lucy Mouland and I really liked it. Ooh, there are so many people out there who can write! Sometimes I wish there were fewer of them…!

Today I also remembered that a story People’s Friend bought from me months ago, has apparently never been published (although they don’t send out contributors’ copies any more, they do you usually ‘alert’ writers if their stories are appearing in a forthcoming issue). I emailed PF to ask what happened to it and they told me that the story had appeared in March 2011!! Eek! I have never seen it. They’re going to try to dig me out a copy. Clearly, People’s Friend have the equivalent of my ‘twirler’, where things disappear, only to emerge, years later…

Yesterday I entered a strange – but fun – ‘flash fiction’ competition (more information on those on Sally’s blog here). There was no word limit – it just had to be no more than a minute in length! And you had to phone a special number and leave the story as a message. I timed it about fifty times before I phoned up and hopefully I got it right in the end.

I am going to be running a ‘flash fiction’ competition on here very soon, with a copy of Linda Lewis’ brand new book ‘The Writer’s Treasury of Ideas’ – signed especially for you – as the prize. I know it’s fab because I’ve already got my copy! There’s an interesting interview with Linda here – with lots of tips for writers.

Now then, I’ve just got to get an idea for a competition theme…!

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11 Responses to Thinking Outside The (Packaging) Box

  1. gailaldwin says:

    Hi Helen – are you going to link your competition to National Flash Fiction Day? You might get a huge response if you do that. See http://nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/
    Good luck with the packing – wait until you get onto the books – they’ll be a few surprises there, I guess.

  2. That looks a good book Helen.

  3. Keith Havers says:

    PF are pretty good, in that they pay out before publication. But it can leave you wondering when your story will appear. They sent me an e-mail alerting me about publication of my story the day after the copy was taken off the shelves. Luckily I had already bought it the week before.

    • Keith – yes, in the past they’ve alerted me in good time (once to tell me that one of my stories was going into an anthology, which meant I had to spend £7 buying it, just to see the story in print… la la laaa!) but this time obviously someone forgot!

      ________________________________

  4. Catherine Robinson says:

    Best of luck with the house move Helen! And you’ll be pleased to know the sonnet I wrote in your class is going to be published in the Stratford Literary Festival book – thanks for encouraging me to send it in!! Catherine

  5. suemoorcroft says:

    Helen, let me have details of your comp when it’s all sorted and if I can, I’ll give it a mention on my blog – if you’d like?

  6. Would just like to echo how brilliant Linda Lewis’ book is. Although, now that my head is full of so many ideas, my sleep is suffering lol

    Xx

    • Vikki
      Yes, I know what you mean! It’s amazing, isn’t it? Linda’s head must just be bursting with ideas – lucky her! I don’t seem to get that many any more or maybe I’ve just got too much else on my mind!

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