Wednesday, 21 November 2007

What's new?

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).

What else?

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 -

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!


HelenMH said...

Well done on the Children In Need thing. We await further good news on that front! And good luck with the boiler! Hope it's worth the wait!

Lane said...

Well done on your Flash scores. That's great:-)

Good luck with the new boiler:-)what luxury!

Leigh said...

Oh, Cally. I loved the bit about the children. It sounds just like two eight-month-olds here (mine, and my pal Jane's). The head pat is the favourite pastime at the moment!

Well done for your flash feedback; that's brilliant!

Good luck with the boiler. I hope you'll be all snuggly again soon.


Best of luck with the boiler - ours is on its last legs, so I'm preparing for future misery!

Well done on the Flash scores:)

Sarah Dunnakey said...

Hi Cally
Just read your hedghog story in Tall Tales and wanted to let you know how much I liked it. Found myself having to quote the 'hairy arse' bit to my assemlebd family after I suddenly remembered it at teatime and had a fit of giggles.

Like the magazine too. Has inspired me to try and find out if we have anything similar up this way.

CTaylor said...

Helenmh - I really hope it's worth the wait. If nothing else it'll make my shower more powerful and the ugly, UGLY gas fire in my living room will be gone!

Lane - thanks. It's a very expensive 'luxury'! ;o)

Leigh - I absolutely loved watching the children. They were fascinating.

Karen - thanks for the good luck. I've had 2 years of not being able to control the temperature or having hot water without the central heating on. That made for an interesting summer I can tell you. Can't WAIT for it to be replaced.

Sarah - glad you liked it! :o) I don't write 'funny' very often so I'm particularly proud of that one. I hope you can find (or even start?) a similar magazine where you are. Every city should have one.

Jude said...

Hi Cally

Long time no nothing! I've been lazy about commenting on everyone's blogs these days, but I still read them every day! Well done on your Children in Need effort - great news!
I share your joy at having a new boiler. We've got one of those ugly fires in our house and we're thinking of moving rather than splashing out on a boiler! It's so expensive!

Jude x

CTaylor said...

Jude - funny you should say that! I was getting SO stressed by the boiler situation and the size of the quotes (when British Gas quote me over £5,000 I had to blink back the tears!) that I seriously considered selling up and moving somewhere else with a brand new boiler. Honestly, the plumbers I saw before this lot kept telling me how they couldn't fit a new boiler without digging up half my kitchen, having random pipes sticking out the ceiling, without putting scaffolding up on the side of the house - all kinds of stuff. These guys are a dream so far *crosses fingers* They're called *whispers* Iguana (you've probably seen them advertised on TV). I really recommend them.