Well, I spent last weekend in the snowy Worcestershire countryside for my niece's first birthday. And very sweet it was too - particularly watching how she and the other children (one 9 months, one 15 months) interacted with each other. They reminded me of cats. When they spotted another child they'd stop whatever they were doing and stare. Then they'd sneak forward on hands and knees and halt suddenly when the other child moved. Then they'd sneak forward some more, reach out a hand and then BAT, hit the child on the head. Remarkably there were very few tears and lots of laughter (mostly from the assembled adults).
I've been working with the editor of Etchings to tweak a few things that needed tweaking in my story before it goes to press (and a very nice man Patrick is too. I thoroughly recommend you all send your best literary short stories off to him asap - http://www.illurapress.com/).
Oh, and the scores are rolling in for the Children in Need flashes (they're all being critiqued anonymously so no one has any idea who wrote each flash) and, after my ever so slightly miserable previous post, I'm pleased to say my flashes have scored quite well.
Each flash needs four separate critiques and each critique gives the flash an overall score.
80-90 means disappointing, needs work
91-99 means reasonable to good
100-109 means good to very good
110+ means excellent
So far, out of the 150 flashes that were written none have scored an average of 110+, about 25 have scored 100-109, 85 have scored 90-99 and 10 have scored 80-89 (for those of you doing the maths some of the flashes haven't received their four crits yet so don't have an average yet).
Of my flashes 3 scored 100-109 and 5 scored 90-99. NONE scored 80-89 so - yay - I didn't write a complete stinker!
What else? Oh, I'm trying to think up a story for the 2nd round of Eurofiction (I have to get my story in a week on Thursday). The prompts this week are:
1) Write a story which includes the following phrase: She touched the envelope and smiled.
2) Write a story about trust.
3) Write a story which includes a dog, a teacup and highlighter pen.
At the moment I'm favouring option 1 but I've got no idea what the story's going to involve yet!
Other than that (and getting over some evil headache/aching bones/exhaustion virus that I've been battling for the last few days) I'm preparing for my flat to descend into chaos over the next two days. My old back boiler is FINALLY being replaced with a nice new combi-boiler (after 2 years of getting quotes, crying at the cost of the quotes and being ignored by central heating firms who came round to give me quotes and then never got back to me) . Wish me luck!