Friday, 31 May 2013

Competitions

Over two weeks since my last entry! May is my busiest work month of the year so I'm really not too surprised that I didn't get to post much during the month. It also just happened that the BNZ Literary Award competition's deadline is today and I have been working on entries for that which can be viewed here

https://www.facebook.com/BNZBank/app_189973057820785?app_data=page%7Cread-short-stories%7Csearch%7Chaphazard+serendipity.
 
I got all settled in to write an entry last night but as I was flicking around the internet I discovered there was another national flash fiction competition I could enter so I thought I would give it a crack. Great idea, except the deadline was 31/5 at midnight and the time was already 9pm so it was a total rush job - real flash fiction, written in a flash! I have entered the story - maximum 300 words and as usual I used every one - but I am now afraid to go back and read it as I sent it away with 38 minutes to spare and my judgement is never at it's best at that time of night, I have a feeling I will hate the story if I re read it so I'm not going there right now. Once the judging is over I can share it with you and we can all have a cringe about my '2 hour flash fiction' but I did the best I could under the circumstances and I have pushed send so there is nothing I can do to change it now. At least the title will get noticed though as it was inspired by the recent news story about the baby found in the sewer in China so I called the story 'How Do You Fit A Baby Down The Toilet?' which sounds really crass but it does fit the story which you will have to take my word on until I can post it on here.

So, with another work related writing project and four competition entries completed this month, 3 in the last 2 weeks I haven't had a chance to do any creative writing exercises but I plan on setting aside regular time each week to continue with them which should be doable now that work has settled down again. Also those damn addictive cooking programmes are all finishing this week freeing up my evenings - I swear I won't start watching long winded competition TV again although I think I promised that last year and I was weak, succumbing to their guilty pleasures yet again. 

Anyway, the competition rush has finished although there is a regional competition I want to get an entry ready for but the deadline isn't until the end of September so I will be using the long winter nights to get something half decent written. I have to be very careful with this new entry - it has to be longer - not flash fiction but regular short story length which I haven't written for years and the entries cost money so I can't just enter loads willy-nilly as I did for the BNZ competition. I have to work on one story and make it the best I can, I have never liked putting all my eggs in one basket but I will have to on this occasion.

I would like to enter as many competitions as I can this year - I am not expecting to win any of them but I like the challenge of the deadline, as a well practised procrastinator I need a deadline. I normally play to win with everything I do (whether it appears that way or not) but I can't think that way with the writing competitions as fiction, especially, is way too subjective. It all depends on the judge and who knows what they are looking for. It is actually very liberating for me to enter a competition and then forget about it rather than waiting for the outcome and being crushed if I don't win (that damn competitive nature again). I learnt a long time ago that you just can't please everyone so I am working on pleasing myself. I can now focus on the exercises and the next entry which will be a long time in the making, I will let you know how it goes.