These two little love birds were hiding out in my veggies and I didn't have the heart to separate them.
Well, hullo there strangers!
I've been a busy wee bee - more on why another time - but I was lucky enough to go to the launch of the latest issue of Sport a while ago (can't believe it's taken me this long to blog about it!) where the winners of the Unity Books competition, The Long And The Short Of It, read from their stories and launched the book of the same.
Cover art by Anastasia Doniants.
The competition was for stories under 1000 words or over 10,000 words. Emily Perkins introduced the winning pair and asked them lots of interesting questions about how they write and what they write, and why, before asking them to read.
First up was Kirsten McDougall who read with understated humour and perfect comic timing her story "Clean Hands Save Lives". It was a very deserved winner, a real stand out story, and ended, for me, just perfectly.
Emily asked some more questions and then Lawrence Patchett read from his long story "The Road to Tokomairiro" which made me wish I had entered with one of my historical fiction pieces. Lawrence paused for another chat with Emily before giving a second reading and afterwards I got the mic and asked a question of my own - whether the winners thought there was such a thing as a competition story. I mentioned how there seemed to be a rise in writers offering tutorials or courses in "how to write winning stories". Interestingly, all the writers said they didn't think a competition story should be any different from any other story - that your best work should be the aim of any writing, regardless of the venue or outcome.
I met Emily Perkins - again - afterwards and asked her lots of questions which she was lovely enough to answer even though I was gabbling my words terribly - nerves, I might add, not falling down water - and I had a chat with the very talented and similarly shy Anastasia Doniants who is responsible for the cover art on the book and who very kindly offered to give me advice on my latest project. Enough, enough!
And so, to show my love for my bloggy faithfuls - and a welcome hug to any newbies - I'm giving away my sole copy of "The Long And The Short Of It" - signed by both winners and Emily Perkins - and Anastasia Doniants - to the first person who can guess which of the following songs I won a gold medal for singing in my school talent competition, age12:
1) Like A Prayer (Madonna)
2) Walking in the Air (written by Howard Blake, popularly sung by Aled Jones)
3) Where'er You Walk (Handel)
4) I Think We're Alone Now (Tiffany)