The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

A Place for Isle of Wight Authors, Writers and Artists

Members Musings November 2017


Fred CanavanWait for it…

by Fred Canavan’s

Have you ever noticed how much of a writer`s life is spent waiting?  Take this month,for example. I was lucky enough to have been short-listed three times in September. Once in Ireland for a short story, and twice in Spain for a short story and a piece of flash-fiction.  Now, the waiting begins. Will the phone ever ring – is it even plugged in? How many times a day does a sane person check their emails? And then the doubts creep in – like that black slimy sludge seeping under the door in one of those 1950`s American sci-fi films. So – and just to put your mind at rest – you read your entries for the ninetieth time. Then it hits you. Slap, bang wallop! Your stories? They`re a pile of poo! Badly written cliché-ridden predictable piles of poo.  So, that`s first prize – and a nice fat cheque – gone.

      Then you think – here come those doubts again – well, I`d settle for second prize. Yes, that would be acceptable wouldn`t it? Mustn`t be greedy after all. You check the prize list. Second prize would buy you a weekend in London for two, and a show. That would do nicely, thank you – but is the story good enough or does the pong of poo still permeate the air?  Yes, you decide, it`s still a bit aromatic – just look at all those adverbs for a start! Check the prize list, again. Third prize?  Mmm…should get self and wife a decent Sunday lunch  for two and a bottle of wine. Yes, that`s all right –  in fact I`d be pathetically  (whoops, more adverbs!) grateful. But what`s this in the small print? “Four further prizes of twenty pounds may be awarded at our discretion” What! Twenty measly quid? What does that get you these days? Fish and chips for two and a bottle of Chateau Collapso? Well, they can stick it straight up their – ah, wait a minute. Twenty quid, eh? Well, its recognition isn`t it? Of a kind…better than nothing, anyway. So, the wait goes on…

          October 13h

        And that`s what happened! Twenty quid, a `highly commended` and anthology publication in the Irish competition. Oh, well. I like fish and chips as it happens – though where to get them on the IOW is a bit of a problem, and Chateau Collapso`s not too bad – if you need a door stripping. The waiting goes on…and on…and on…

         October 17th

         Email from Spain; I have won…Nada! Also one from a competition in France that I had actually forgotten about.  Long-listed at first – but I did not make it to the short list.  Merde!

          So, what now? Switch on the coffee pot, open the Bourbon Creams…and wait.  But why don`t I have a swift game of internet chess first? Or solitaire – or checkers –or anything? Just to take my mind off the waiting. I will get back to work on my novel, honest I will. I won`t just fritter away the day…promise.

         October I8th

         There, told you! I didn`t waste the day. I wrote a poem entitled `Retirement` which you might find on Members` Shorts ( be warned, I`m currently in my John Betjeman phase) In the meantime, I stare out of the window.  East Cowes is grey, dull and damp – but you knew that, already. I slump in the chair. Is it too early for a gee-and-tee?  If only something would happen! It`s the waiting, you see, Carruthers. It`s the damned waiting that drives a fellow mad…


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