During these early months when my enthusiasm was roaring like a lion, I wrote several stories but nothing for my assignment F2.
My husband set me a challenge of writing a story entitled 8 hours as in 8 hours to live! The result is, in my humble opinion, the best thing I have written and has since spawned my first novel idea.
A visit to Norway to see my 3 beautiful grandchildren and a 5 hour connection waiting time in Copenhagen airport brought about the start of a childrens story about the magical land of Enshia – where all little girls and boys start out as animals before progressing to the 2 legged species we all know and love. This was finished in early May complete with clip art pics, self printed and delivered by post as my first home published limited edition book! Just 2 copies, 1 for my grandchildren and 1 for the unborn child of very best friend Anita.
But F2 lay empty on my desktop. My collection of magazines had grown in direct proportion to my frustration. I just could not write anything less than 3,500 words and I could not understand the strictures of the magazines guidelines. I felt stifled.
On a Sunday in mid May I awoke determined. I would complete F2 today. No arguments or discussions, today. If it came back as unsuitable for the chosen magazine so be it, hopefully I would learn from the feedback and catapult myself out of the rut!
Instead of deciding which magazine, I took my old route, good old intuitive put pen to paper and write. The royal wedding was in everyones hearts and so that was my story’s subject.
I wrote the story, edited it and sent it off in the one day. I chose Yours magazine after writing the story and submitted my research on the magazine along with Cassie’s Royal Wedding.
I felt a tremendous sense of relief once this was done, I had been floundering, doing nothing since February. In my heart of hearts I knew a royal wedding theme would mean almost certain rejection because of lead times but that wasn’t the point, I had moved forward and written a story for the womag market.
My assignment came back with kind words and the sort of constructive criticism I needed.
No, I had not realised that womag writing should be heavy on dialogue, I hadn’t picked up on the use of short sentences and paragraphs. I could go on.
Finally, I started to understand and herein lies my, and I suspect others, problem. When I read I do not study. I immerse myself in the story. I have to re read everything now. Once to enjoy and once more to study. I can read a story and immediately afterwards not be able to say with any clarity what tense it was written in.
At last, I could go back and re read the magazines stories with more insight, now I knew I needed to study – not read!
It took me a long time and I wasted an appraisal opportunity, but I still like my Cassie story and one day I will re write it and present it to Yours magazine!
After 3 months in the fallow I was starting to develop.