Christmas Stress (boo!) & Competitions

96371213_keep-calm_377x171I’m already starting to feel a bit stressed by Christmas. Is it just me? (and don’t even ask me how NaNo is going, please. It’s not good news).

Lovely, calm yoga-teacher (amongst many other things!), Julia, has blogged about Christmas stress here and it’s good advice, which I’m trying to follow.

Last week was manic. It started with another dog attacking ours in a park (she’s OK) and finished, yesterday, with an all-day training course, for which we had to provide our own lunch, buy our own drinks and print out and bring our own handouts! (But chairs were provided, so that’s OK). Welcome to the Voluntary Sector!

After the course, I ‘popped into’ a nearby Asda and I was sooo excited because it’s a SHOP – a big one – and you can always get great bargains in Asda, so I came out, all jolly, loaded up with bags and it was still only 4pm and I was heading for home for the weekend, with a swing in my step .. and, ahem, I finally got out of that car park at 6.20pm!!! NOOOOOO!

(Long story, involving a closed High Street in the town and total gridlock in the Asda car park!).

The only thing that kept me going, on the way home (once I got out!) was Radio 2’s programme about the assassination of JFK, exactly 50 years to the day – and hour. Not that it was jolly, or anything but it was fascinating and put things in perspective. (My hold-up in the car park was nothing to Jackie Kennedy cradling her husband’s head in her lap, seconds after he was shot, for example).

Anyway, let’s cheer things up a bit, shall we!

Here are some lovely FREE writing competitions for you:

1. Spinetinglers Christmas Ghost Story Competition

The closing date is 13th December for this one and you could win cash for your story (maximum length – 5,000 words).

2. Apex Christmas Flash Fiction

This is a free-to-enter, flash fiction competition, which has to have a Christmassy theme but it also has to be ‘dark science fiction, fantasy, or horror’. The closing date’s 16th December and, if you’re feeling really inspired, you can enter up to 3 times!

3. If you live in Essex*, then you might like to enter this one – 300 words maximum and closing date 9th December.

4. Do you live in South Wales*? You’ve got until 14th December to get your Christmas story in for this one.

*although they don’t specifically say ‘you can’t enter if you don’t live in our area’, I suspect they’ll only choose winners from their region for these competitions, so I wouldn’t waste your time entering those if you don’t live locally.

If you find any more Christmas story or poetry competitions, let me know and I’ll add them to the list!

And finally… I only need 21 more followers to hit the ‘400’ mark and then I’ll be running another competition on the blog!

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5 Responses to Christmas Stress (boo!) & Competitions

  1. KH says:

    Thanks for all the info and very glad little Bonnie is OK. It is so horrible for both our dog and us when these things happen. Good wishes Kath KH

  2. Debbie W says:

    I’m sorry to hear about Bonnie’s terrible time, Helen. Same thing happened around here recently, and the dog owners were dealt with by police. Do make sure you follow it up because although these incidents may be becoming more commonplace that doesn’t mean we should accept them as the norm.

    No, I’m not stressed by Christmas. I never am. Two of my boys have b’days in Dec and one in January so Christmas/New Year in between is a doddle, lol!

    Thanks for the links, much appreciated.

  3. Wendy says:

    Poor Bonnie. I do sympathise, Helen, although I have it the other way – my Bonnie will often try and fight if a dog runs up to her but I always put her on a lead if I see a dog near and call out ‘My dog doesn’t like other dogs (although I’ll still get till get people who let their dogs charge at her) I hope your lead up to Christmas gets better!

  4. Julia says:

    Thanks for the name check, Helen, and all the comps info. Glad your dog is OK.

  5. Linda says:

    I don’t do stress very often these days, but I don’t think I’d have been able to keep calm if I was stuck in a car park for all that time! Thanks very much for the links, I have a Christmas ghost story looking for a home and I didn’t know about Spinetinglers so I’ll take a look at them.

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