Saturday, 29 June 2013

Working With Other People


Today, I’m Celebrating The Small Things, very softly and quietly in fact, creeping in the side door, hoping if I can just sneak onto a pew at the back with the merest of small waves only to interested parties, the rest of the congregation won’t notice that it’s Saturday and I’m a day late.

But I just had to share the love, the love of working with other people. This is not an everyday occurrence when you’ve made the dubious career choice of writing cocooned in the empty study of an even emptier house while the rest of the world is either out playing or thinks you’re actually out playing.

Ok, I realise that the rest of the world isn’t playing, rather working, albeit in grinning teams of people all patting each other on the back – oh, there I go again – but it was better for my story to paint a desolate picture.

I love to write slightly more than I dislike not being with other people so any chance to work with others I snatch up. That’s probably why I love teaching and my editing work so much.

Recently I found out that I’d had my short story, A Life with Additives accepted for publication in the anthology, Stories for Homes which intends to raise money for Shelter, the charity for the homeless. This is a charity which is close to my heart as my parents worked tirelessly for Shelter when I was growing up. So I was double delighted.

The anthology is the brain child of Sally Swingewood and Debi Alper who also came up with the inspired strategy of pairing short story contributors together to help edit each other’s stories. It was a pleasure working with my writing team mate. Thus far, he's managed to stay away from all forms of social media (what IS his secret?) so to protect his privacy, we’ll call him Bob. His story is hysterical. I can’t divulge more at the moment but suffice it to say, after stifling giggles in my favourite writing place, a well-known coffee shop in Harrogate with my extra hot cappuccino on hand, one paragraph had me laughing out loud (my children would tell me I can’t use LOL and I tend to agree) like the archetypal deranged writer in the corner.

Aside from the joys of working in a team, the process reminded me how much I relish feedback. No, really, I do. Of course it would be wonderful if your partner came back with a gasp and a scratch of their head as to how they could possibly help you to make this ground-breaking story of exquisite excellent-ness any better and by the way, had you thought of entering it for the Bridport Prize? But that isn’t going to happen. No two people will ever see the same in a piece of writing. No two people would ever write a story in exactly the same way. And that’s a good thing. That fresh eye showing exactly how the words have bounced off the page on first viewing - let’s not forget that readers of books don’t actually have the time nor inclination to pore over our missives in the same way we do - always throws up howlers and confusions. I’m so happy that I’ve received feedback on my personal howlers and confusions, if a little embarrassed on occasion.

So, I’m celebrating lots of things this *Friday*:
- that my story is to be published
- that the anthology will raise money for a vital charity
- that I was assigned to Bob and his brilliant story and for him pointing out before any readers got to it that the repetition of the musical flute and the fluted of the bowl looked like the main character had a mixing bowl hanging from her lips
- that I’ve had the joy of working with real people this week
- that, although I must work this weekend, the sun is shining so I'm off to do some in the garden.

I hope you're celebrating large and small - please, come share the love...

18 comments:

  1. Firstly, I am much amused by your description of the captcha letters!

    And secondly congrats - what a great anthology to be part of and sounds great having a team mate edit you!

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    1. Thanks Vikki - glad you liked the Captcha description, it is true though, isn't it?? It was with some sadness that I put it back on as some of the less than scrupulous commenters produced absolute howlers. Most were caught in my spam folder but the odd one did get published. I didn't really mind, they were harmless enough, (Wow, your blog is so best in field, which is the software of which you are partaking? For my *insert bloglink - ah, now I see what you're doing - * is using *insert made-up name* and I'm liking it very much.)but I didn't like rushing to the post to see who'd commented and realising it wasn't anyone interested in the blog at all.
      Thanks for the congrats, too! Celebrate Small is doing really well isn't it - well done you.

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  2. Congratulations on the acceptance, and for helping such a worthy cause. A writer without social media is a rare breed indeed!

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    1. Isn't it, Annalisa! Thanks for reading. Hope you and writing are well?

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  3. Oh joy, a celebration! I need no second invitation to eat cake!

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    1. He he! Pass some over here, Jo :)

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  4. Hi Jackie, congrats on having your story published in the anthology-a wonderful charity to support too. And how nice to see people!

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  5. Thanks for popping over to my blog, Anita, and for the congrats :)

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  6. Lots of wonderful things to celebrate there :o)

    I love feedback too, I belong to a fantastic online writing group and as well as helping improve my stories, its helped me hone my editing skills too.

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    1. Thanks Karen :) Which writing group are you with? I'm at The Word Cloud and love it over there. I agree, feeding back on other people's writing definitely hones your own skills, too. Thanks for reading!

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  7. Well done Jackie. Congratulations and a really good cause. When's the anthology out?

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    1. Thanks Charlie! I think it's the end of the year, I'll keep you posted :)

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  8. It sounds like you have had an amazing week, good for you!
    FYI - if you want to get rid of CAPTCHA because it is kind of the devil, you can go with intense debate or disqus. They are both pretty easy to throw into blogger.

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    1. Thanks Mei! And I might have a look at those when I have a minute, I never thought of using a different security system.

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  9. Congrats on the story and the anthology! For some reason, I did the same thing and forgot about the hop post. I was literally in bed when I remembered it, jumped up, and then had a hard time thinking up anything to celebrate ... but at least I got a post up! We're fashionably late! :-)

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    1. Yay! Well done for posting! It's a friendly, positive blog hop, great to be a part of it, isn't it, but Friday does come around quickly :)

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  10. What a nice post - and yes, we're not all playing and grinning! But I do often. :) Congrats on your publication. How exciting, as well as that it's for charity! Kudos to you for the help you do for other writers as well. Writer’s Mark

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Nancy, and glad you get to smile at work sometimes ;)

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