Thursday, 10 February 2011

WAYB11 Competition

Well, I've entered the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook Competition. Really pleased I've finished it. It's the first piece of writing I've finished properly in over 18 months and, all things considered, I'm proud of the fact I've done it. The piece is only 1800 words long and probably won't get very far but nevermind, I hope this is the first of several entries this year.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Writing Group Warm Up

I went to the Chester Writers' Group last Thursday. It was a first, one of two this week - the other being zumba, and I have to admit I was shaking as I read out my piece. I think it went down OK. I'm afraid I'm not going to publish that one here as I think it might be the start of a book one day. The warm up for the group was to look at a newspaper article and summarise the plot. My plot plus the previous person's plot came to:

The proposed new student village, to be built on the outskirts of Chester, would accommodate the visiting Italian summer students who have, in previous years, conducted rather unusual practices in the old halls. It is believed that by providing them with discrete accommodation, it may be possible to prevent damage to university property through their satanic rituals. The presence of such worshippers of the dark one has caused much consternation, particularly to the chancellor of the college but poor management of funds has led to continued need for income from this source. Any experimentation in the dark arts will be severely discouraged, but the governing body understands that its hand are tied.

I know it's a bit random but it did tickle me. Although it was scary, I have to admit I got a real buzz out of reading my stuff out loud. I've never done it before and had to really control my nerves in order to read it out at a pace which could be followed by human ears. The adrenaline rush was amazing and I can't wait to go again. The only thing that concerns me is that my next piece will be rubbish (it was a piece that had been through several layers of editorial control - my mum and other half). What if I can't do it again? But then again, I want to write a book so I guess I'll have to just work at it.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Just a quick something to get the ball rolling...

I wrote this a little while ago for a writing partner I once had:


A tiny hand curled around my finger. Every minute feature of my new great grand child was perfect. I knew it because I had checked with my own eyes, searching her body for flaws, of which I had found none. Ten fingers, ten toes – that was all I needed to know. My grandson, Ben, had laughed at my old fashioned ways. He indulged me in my antiquated check but knew it was unnecessary. He and his wife had known she would be perfect even before their first scan. Like most modern, young couples, they had paid well for the luxury of this assurance.

Genetic manipulation was commonplace. Clinics in every town provided those that could afford with artificial gene selection, working round the clock to expunge every hereditary contaminant from the members of the next generation. Of course there was no altruism involved in the process - just a tidy profit.

My great grand daughter's genome had been skillfully crafted in one of these places. Each chromosome was flawless and would provide the instructions to create every facet of her physical existence from her hair and eye colour, to her IQ. Ben and his wife Tanya, had chosen the very best of themselves for their daughter.

And yet later, as I sat in the stark hospital ward watching the new parents awkwardly change their daughter's nappy, I couldn't help but wonder how they would maintain the perfection they had strived for. At what point would they be satisfied and to what lengths would they go? The scar above Ben's eye told the story of how he learnt to ride a bike. Would it be wrong to prevent such embellishments? Even if such marks could be prevented, others could not. Unseen damage to body tissue, causing illness and decay, was unstoppable.

I looked at my own hands, gnarled and fragile – no longer perfect. They represented the story of a life: the indent from a wedding ring; the slight misalignment of a finger once broken in an accident. It made me smile at the couple's naivety and I wondered what scars they would allow Eva to gather.

“Look at her,” my grandson beamed. “She's perfect.”

“Yes,” I agreed uncomfortably. “She is.”

My name is Heather Lewis and I am a writer.

Ok, so this is my first posting on my blog. I have absolutely no idea if anyone will ever read it but that's a different issue. I suppose this, like every other writer's blog, is intended to declare my online presence which, I have been told, I need. Personally speaking, I'd rather not. The idea of baring one's soul to all and sundry is quite hideous in my opinion but here goes.

My name is Heather Lewis. I'd like to be a writer. I feel I should announce this in front of a group of people as an admittance of some dirty addiction. For a long time I have been very secretive about it, only divulging this most private desire to my closest friends. My face has always blushed red whenever I have mentioned it in fear of being laughed at. I'm only too aware of the fact that there are thousands of people out there who harbour a similar wish, many of whom have struggled for years on their magnum opus; many of whom will have got lost along the way with other pressures taking over. Why should I be any different? At this moment in time, I can't answer that and I may never be able to. There is a very strong possibility that I will also lose my way and that friends, in years to come, will ask "weren't you writing a book?". My greatest fear is that my answer will be "No, I couldn't finish it - I didn't have time".

So, I've got to try. Step by step, little by little, I need to drag myself to completion. Stuff the journey - I want the end; the finished article. Please excuse the grammatical errors and poor punctuation. Forgive any over indulgent descriptions and melodrama. I'm still learning.