Taking LeavesSeptember 1st, 2011 at 20:26
Some extra lovely news today – that I can finally reveal, in any case! I was selected as one of the winners of the “Never Too Late… To Learn To Read” competition which is kicking off Adult Learning Week, and launching 2012 as the National Year of Reading.
If you follow the link, you can see the whole list of winners (twelve previously published writers and eight previously unpublished), and download the winning stories. They will also be available as podcasts at a later date. There’s a write up about the three Tasmanians who won prizes here.
In a moment of rare Being A Writer In Public this evening, I ditched the kids at my honey’s office and zoomed down to the office of the Hobart Mercury, to meet the other Tassie winners, Philomena and Mark, and have some pics taken for (I think) tomorrow’s paper. It was faintly surreal, as I had to negotiate a mostly locked and security sealed building, only to be thrust physically against two complete strangers, and hold each other in a disturbingly intimate embrace for several minutes, before going our separate ways. We feel a little bonded now, like those people who get trapped together during earthquakes and have an emotional connection for the rest of our life.
By the end of it we were all giggling hysterically, as the photographer lined us up at stranger and stranger angles. The funniest part was his bemusement when he asked for the book and we told him there wasn’t one (knew I should have taken some books in!) because it was a short story competition. He racked his brain for about five seconds to consider whether there was some other possible visual representation of a short story competition, then handed us a book about football, which we had to contemplate with great attention.
Only to realise as we finally broke free of our mutual artificial and ever-so-slightly-diagonal embrace to discover that the cover of said book was upside down. Really hope that doesn’t come up in the pictures!
My story, in any case, is called “Taking Leaves,” and as Tehani pointed out on Twitter, it’s totally a speculative fiction story. Literature, schmiterature! You can download it here.
[and just in case you thought I was going to write a whole blog entry without mentioning Doctor Who, this is the story which I was so busy trying to finish before the 5pm contest deadline that I let my six-year-old watch the episode "Doomsday" unsupervised, only to discover with ten minutes left to go before the deadline that she was in ABSOLUTE FLOODS OF TEARS because of the separation between Rose and the Doctor. One of those moments in life where being a good writer entails being a bad mummy. When I discovered I had won the competition, I must admit I felt at least partly relieved that, you know, it was worth it. I probably won't mention to her yet that my current intentions for the money are to fund a solo trip to World Fantasy Convention next year...]