Monday, 18 October 2010

The Ninth Step

Apologies for the lateness of the blog. Having been woken up at 2 a.m. by the usual drunken morons yelling in the street, I got up at 4 a.m. on Saturday morning with one of those 'sleep-deprivation headaches'. After spending over an hour attempting (and failing) to send a press releases about the Tenbury talk to the Tenbury Wells Advertiser, I did what any reasonable human being would do. I threw the computer onto the floor.

Accordingly I was unable to write this Blog on Sunday because the computer screen was cracked. They should make the bloody contraptions stronger so we can regularly throw them across the room with out necessitating expensive repairs. I am now £100 poorer - but I have a computer with a new screen and enhanced memory that allows me to send emails with press releases attached.

The Severn Valley Authors have found a new home, 'the snug' in The Black Boy pub on Kidderminster Road. We reunited on 5 October to trade the usual insults and discuss Annie's short story entitled 'The Sign'.

News: Annie has enrolled on a ten-week novel-writing course at Evesham College and is thinking about setting her first novel on the island of St Kilda. Tony announced that his article on the therapeutic value of writing has been published in the British Journal of Wellbeing, so I'm thinking of submitting an article on the therapeutic value of throwing a computer across the room. Rob's entry for the Bridport Prize, an annual competition that attracts some of the best writers in the country, was shortlisted in the top 100 out of 6,000 (see the entry on Rob's blog entitled 'Close but no Cigar' ( So congratulations to Annie, Tony and Rob.

Annie deserves congratulations too for her short story, an insightful, perfectly structured and thoroughly researched tale of a woman's escape from the brutality of a drunken and violent partner that was inspirational rather than bleak. Rob drew our attention to the expert build-up of tension as the narrator makes preparations for her escape while her partner snores upstairs. Linda's suggestion that the title should be changed from 'The Sign' to 'The Ninth Step' met with universal agreement. Tony's concern about the authenticity of the narrator's voice led to a general discussion point. How, for example, does one write a narrative from the point of view of a child? And if we wrote dialogue as we truly speak to each other, it would be unreadable. The art of writing lies in the author's ordering and interpretation of events and of the interaction of protagonists rather than an exact reproduction of them.

Annie has entered 'The Ninth Step' for a competition. I have little doubt that it would be accepted (and paid for) by a women's magazine.

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