I started 2015 determined to honour my resolutions (MAKE THE DAY COUNT) and jumped out of bed as soon as the dulcet tones of my S5 alarm tune sounded. But in no time at all I was engaged in a typical wild goose chase/tangent. This time wasting hours studying the anatomy of a Glasgow accent on Youtube; a tangent which in itself contained another of me just watching Glasgow comedy and short films. (I liked ‘Voices’, with Sean Biggerstaff. ) I won’t be needing an accent for the filming I’m doing in Glasgow, which is standing in for Hohhot, anyway. I just thought it would be nice to impress my Canadian friend with wry observations in the local brogue, like:
“It’s nae Shakespeare country 'round here, it’s Robert Burns all the waaaay.” (I’m not sure if Robert has any connection with Glasgow).
A Canadian friend who, incidentally, has been to a little city called Hailar. And that brings me on to some news, which I actually started the day with. My story ’Tears in Hailar' has been shortlisted for the Oxygen short story prize. My first thought was mild disappointment because that incarnation of it is already ancient history; it has some niggling flaws in it that I’ve since fixed. But that’s showbiz folks. Overall it will be good- I think?- because after a few months of entering competitions it seems I’ve hit my stride and the plan to get into writing first through winning or being short listed in a competition is now on track. I just to have keep laying more track, with the help of competitions like this. I’m quite sincere when I say I think it will be placed 10th because I’m sure the judges are awarding the overall merit of the story but will have spotted it lacks finesse. A cliché here, an inconsistency there, lacking in description. I know, I know. What I’m saying is, I’m already getting my coat…
I should mention this blog whole entry is really written-not because of a desire to gloat about modest success with a story but out of acknowledgment that self-promotion is a side of the game that I may need to play. I’ve been asked for photograph, biography and my website address and confirmation that my mum’s Chihuahua didn’t help me with a few lines of the story. And there I have a problem. I don’t have a website. I don't have a properly managed blog. I have 4 half awake ones that I occasionally post to- the main one being my China blog, which is now gathering dust- and this is one of them.
And that reminded me that if I'm serious about this writing malarkey I've got to write to promote my writing. It's now one of my New Year’s resolutions is to post every day. I’m going to write a Margate blog about stuff I overhear or have something to say about going on there and I’m going to talk to myself on here. Thanks so much to Tracey and Simon West.