It’s been a fabulous start to my writing year. I started with a productive spurt of short story writing – fuelled by headspace over an extended Christmas break and mince pies.
My first reading of the year was at Let Me Tell You A Story, Jack in Stokes Croft, Bristol. ‘Status and reputation’ was the theme so I shared a piece about belief and the lack of it. 'Not worth the paper I am written on' was written in my 40s when I forgot I had ever felt epic - even for a moment in the 1980s. It's for all of us that doubt ourselves - a recognition that we do. But we come back stronger - always. A great night, as ever, and I was humbled by the warmth in the room – a special mention to Shonette, who has a big heart and said some nice words. Congratulations too to the epic Ollie Biggs, my fellow medal winner.
(Photo by Tom Woolf)
Towards the end of the month, I was back at Story Friday – 5 years from my first appearance there, my first ever performance. The theme for submissions was ‘2018’ and I wondered about that until I remembered ‘It’s coming home’. The amazing Stephanie Weston wrote a story that originally had the same title – her story was brilliantly funny, mine more poignant. I wore a flag, Steph (or her character at least), wore a chip costume. Same theme, same title – such different takes…isn’t imagination brilliant. Listen again here.
There was a challenge too – write a story inspired by the previous week’s news. I was lucky enough to be a winner and had the privilege to have my Patisserie Valerie inspired story ‘Having your cake and eating it’ read by Caroline Garland of Kilter Theatre. It was like being pleased with your crayon drawing, only to find that Michelangelo was in the house. Brilliantly read to the extent I need to get an ‘I’m not worthy’ icon on this site.
To end the month, there was more delight. With National Storytelling week underway, I was thrilled to be invited to chat with Simon Parkin on his BBC Somerset radio show. How daunting? Not at all. I had a warm welcome and Simon’s such a nice bloke, it was huge fun from start to finish. I got to tell a short Alien story too about telling stories and the beauty of doing so. You can hear the show here during February – (I’m on after 1:09:40 – with ‘This is me’ between segments).
February – as good a month, I hope. Valentine’s Day – love it. Started with snow – love that too!
Believe in yourself this month. You’re epic.