Monday, 12 August 2013

In Praise of #fridayshorts

I like to keep up with social media goings-ons so when I saw, “#fridayshorts The hotly contested New Zealand Book Council’s weekly short short-story competition. Kudos beats a mere cash prize” in the going up column of the Sunday mag a couple of weeks back, I thought I’d give it a try. 

Experts say you need to try new things to keep your brain from disintegrating as you age. Like washing your teeth with your left hand if you happen to be right handed for example. I do grapple daily with words. But not in the form of the short 140 character short.  

When last week’s words: bucolic, fun, end, hedge, fib, honey were tweeted. I took one look and thought I’d pass. I had to look bucolic up in the dictionary. I was already picturing James Herriot hedgerows, but I had to be sure. I was going out in public. 

 At the same time I was actually working on a frivolous children’s story, A Quest for No Chocolate by A Girl Named Cocoa. I wasn’t in the mood to be distracted, a strange phenomenon that sometimes occurs in my cerebral cortex and one, in this world of self-doubt and writing only for writer friends, I need to slap the reins and run with.
But at 3.05pm when the wordy river in my head ebbed into a stagnant siding, I had my first attempt it went:

 Miss Honey zipped along the bucolic hedge row, looking for Henry

– nah too long already. I rechecked the required words. Then dashed out:

You’re fibbing Henry. You can’t end it now? Not after we just… you know… roamed in the bucolic hedgerow? Henry?

I double checked I had the correct words and 140 character length. Tweeted it and went and got the kids off the bus. Mildly excited at the prospect of checking the impending outcome. Definitely not expecting to win or anything. #fridayshorts closes at 5pm, the grand announcement made soon after.

The Book Council choose: one winner and two honourable mentions.

Later driving home I checked my emails (it was dark and I live down quiet road: shingle/rural aspect). Blow me down with a feather quill, was that my tweet insignia I just saw? From @nzbookcouncil?

I slowed down to a virtual halt and refreshed the screen.

And our #rāmereshorts #fridayshorts winner of much kudos is @radiomum Great stuff! And honourable mention @janeebloom & @UpsideBackwards

Yee ha. Talk about happy. A night at home, eating tomatoe soup and chicken chips on the sofa watching, ‘Kath & Kimdrella’, with my lovely almost 15 daughter lay before me. Annabel Langbein’s, Ultimate chocolate cake, fit to satisfy a dinner party of 12 was happily expanding and cooking. The house would have sold in seconds.

After a speedy round of thank-yous to @nzbookcouncil and congrats to the winner: @radiomum and fellow place getter: @UpsideBackwards a giddy night of giggly girl-dom followed.

To be fair I didn’t go too crazy. I’m having a dry August. Well to be scrupulously honest the days of 2nd & 3rd August were not dry but every other day up until now has been. Don’t fret I’m not asking to be sponsored. Things could change any day. Nor am I standing on my sober pedestal acting all pious. I am however wondering when the whites of my eyes will shine with a Macleans zing of confidence and when I’ll wake up feeling refreshed? The Panadol I chuffed through last week as my drug of choice and necessity to get me through a stinky flu virus, must have left my liver by now? I’m four days clean. Where are you God-of-bounce?

Anyway post happy news, I didn’t cartwheel nude across the lawn either. A display I foolishly promised my children years ago I’d do, if I ever got/get a book published. Magazines don’t count so I haven’t fulfilled that reckless display of naturalist gymnastics yet. But as the sand in the hourglass rapidly slips through, with those grains goes my dream of ever getting into ethically sourced hardback and so too does the appeal of disrobing in public.

Later I received my first ever RETWEET: 

Description: Jane Bloomfield

Henry you’re fibbing. You can’t end it now honey? After we just…you know…roamed in this bucolic hedgerow? Henry? #fridayshorts

Retweeted by

Description: NZ Book Council

To 2334 followers.

As author friend Melinda Szymanik says; you have to take the pats on the back when you get them. 

Good times were had on Friday night at Club Kudos. And if nothing else happens for the rest of the year I may need to remind myself of that. sands through the hourglass, so (slip) the days of our lives. 

Happy writing…

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