Over the weekend I submitted my first ever entry to the Furious Fiction competition run by the Australian Writers’ Centre. You have to writer a story that’s less than 500 words. This month, it had to be set in a bookstore or a library and had to contain 6 of the following words: Broken, Music, Around, Grubby, Game, Mechanical, Smelt, Coffee, Beige, Hands, Twelve, Letters, Backpack, Nameless, Cowboy, Operate, Cupid, Train, Pungent and Untouched. I worked on that 500 words for hours and I’m happy with the result. I am not sure if I can share it (there was no #amreading of the Terms and Conditions, haha) but I’ll share it once the competition ends. This is officially the first writing competition I have entered as an adult. Writing comps are probably a good way to get some honest feedback.
Mine is the post-apocalyptic story of a young woman who had been living in the abandoned library at her old school, reading her way through the stacks and getting to Fahrenheit 451, the book that really blew my own mind when I was 15. Writing 500 words is hard, but it’s a different kind of hard to writing a 50K first draft (Hello, Nanowrimo is just around the corner!)
Staying focused is challenging. There are so many distractions and other more important things to do and I have to admit, my writing is often relegated to the ‘tomorrow’ pile. Other than submitting my Furious Fiction, I just took three days away from the computer. I worked on it in my notebook then did some final editing in Word, and uploaded it. It was great. I did a lot of long-hand writing and reading, but I really missed blogging. I was getting a little too obsessed with checking my stats so I knew I needed to take a break.
I should probably cash-in on the Non Fiction Boom and write a how-to book on marriage and parenting but then I am really only an expert on staying married to my Hubby and raising my Son. I am pretty good at it, if I’m allowed to brag. Marriage is a pretty crazy thing when you really think about it not to mention the way we raise kids; all of us sequestered off into our own little houses. My own experience of raising my son feels now like I was constantly looking for company, for him and for me and this allowed me to meet some of the most amazing people over the years. I am doing the same thing now, I guess, joining in writer’s groups and competitions. Desperately Seeking Peeps.
Having other people around who are doing the same thing really helps, whether that be writing or raising kids. Someone to bounce ideas off…at the very least, someone to look at and think ‘well, I am certainly not going to go it that way!’
I bought 5 books on Thursday, from the $7 book shop and one of the them was a paperback copy of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I must have read this book 10 times as a teenager and even in the 80s, 30 years after it was written, it was still sci-fi. I read it now and we can see the Seashell Radios in the earbuds and bluetooth headphones we all wear everywhere, the ‘parlour walls’ are the huge TVs we all have, and the ignorant shreiking ‘familes’ on those parlour walls are the reality tv we watch, the game shows, the blockbuster movies we devour. At least the powers that be haven’t banned books…yet… Read this book, it will give you chills.
I’m also nearly finished a very light read called Paris and Other Disappointments by Adam Rozenbachs. (This was not at the $7 shop. $19.95 at QBD) The tagline is One Son. One Dad. Three weeks in hell. It’s very funny and sweet and reminds me of the 3 weeks I once spent with my mum and little sister in the UK. Perhaps I should write about that time? I am not sure how funny it would be though. I might give it a few more years. Tragedy + Time = Comedy.