Friday, 18 June 2010

If You Go Down To The Beach Today

Prepare for a big surprise.

That's what I got when Naomi Johnson got in touch with me to tell me that my story had won the 'Watery Grave Invitational Contest' over at the Drowning Machine.

I'd looked at the pedigree of last year's winners and the names on the list for this year and wasn't too hopeful.

I was pleased as punch just to be invited.

I'd like to thank Naomi and all her expert judges for all their time and effort.

What winning means to me is difficult to express. In writing as well as in life I go through great highs and lows. Sometimes everything's groovy and others it's dark as an oil-spill out there.

That especially applies to my stories as, to me, I think they distill my essence into a few thousand words or so. There are times when my writing flows like maple syrup and others when it's more like cement. I vacillate between thinking I'm hot stuff to believing I'm a crazed lune. The truth is most likely right between the two, but I've never been a half-measures kind of guy.

Winning, then, means that for now I know that for 'Beat On The Brat' I hit something just right, that there are people in the world who agree with my positive self. It validates what I do and, in some ways, who I am. That's really important.

When I was putting together the Rue Bella with brother Geoff, we had a letter from John Martin, the legend from Black Sparrow Press. 'Literature needs more people like you' he told us. We were made up.

Literature needs more people like Naomi and her team. Those who encourage, put out the word, make the effort and offer incentives are the life blood for the writer at my level and, without a 'my level', there's less likely to be the levels above.

Heartfelt thanks to all who took part and who helped out in any way. Thanks also to the clown who made balloon animals for my girls a short while ago for putting pictures into my head.

You can see the story at:

I think it's pretty good now I look at it again.

Literature also needs more people like Jason Duke and Paul D Brazill. Jason put out a bounty on us all, $100 dollars if he reeled in any class, $50 for next best. Great of him to share - like he says, when he has it, it's there to be used, when he doesn't I hope we can repay him in a small way.

Paul put up the stories on his blog and we can all enjoy the finalists there at:

I didn't win this one. Hell, I didn't even get into the final 8. Of course I'm gutted, but I'm pleased for all those that made it and wish them luck at the next stage. Check them out. I'm certainly going to.

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