The long list of 46 entries out of 1149 original ones has been released today. Sadly I’m not on the long list, but I enjoyed the challenge, here is my entry, I wrote about my mad weekend when I had “One of those good ideas!” which has friends rolling their eyes and heading for cover! Find out which stories did make the long list here; The Bath Short Story Award’s long listed titles may be viewed at: www.bathshortstoryaward.co.uk
The Very British Authors Tour 2013
“AUTHOR’S WANTED” the Tweet, caught my eye, I click on the link and it takes me to Clive’s blog page. Just one of the founders of the tour, Clive and his fellow author have created a plan to spend a year celebrating British authors through a sophisticated type of chain letter. I usually shudder at the thought of chain mail, it gives me bad vibes, but this one intrigued me. Each author will be a “Host” to ten other authors and each will have a link between them to promote each other, my intuition gave me a nudge. I read the article through again, my inner voice shouts at me to join the tour. So I follow the instructions, take up the invite to join and press “Submit”. The prospect excites me, it feels right to be a part of this homage to British writers. The “Spirit of Britain”, which engulfed the country last year with the Queen’s Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics, rolls over my shoulders and tickles the hairs on the back of my neck. We were so proud to be British and I want to feel that again.
Within hours my request is accepted, advice given, downloads sent and contact with my “Host” author made. We’d been around the world and back in just a few clicks; my “Host” is British, but now lives in Australia!
Now I need to create an “Imaginative unique post”, to promote myself and the tour. The world is limitless, my brain explodes with ideas which all need considering. In the last seven months my learning curve in social media has been steep; from zero to blog and Twitter with major lessons in the technology. Turning the lessons into success on the internet gives me an ultimate thrill of satisfaction for someone who grew up without computers. It’s contagious, the more that I can achieve, then the more I want to learn.
I have a great friend and advisor who helps me with the technical side. She is now on holiday and her parting words to me were;
“Don’t get into any trouble while I’m away!”
I really want to write a great post with pictures and links, it drives me on and is my only desire, but I need a little assistance;
“Trouble, trouble, trouble” I title the cheeky e-mail that I eventually write to her, praying that she will at least read it out of curiosity and hoping that she will reply. Hyped by my excitement to get on the tour, I have asked if they can take some “Very British” photographs for me and send them on.
Time ticks slowly by and I itch to publish my post, to jump on the band wagon as early as possible. Five hours later, e-mails arrive full of photos and downloads from their phones, plus laughter at my manic enthusiasm and stories of their own about a broken boiler and a smashed fence. Crazy times! I am guilty of taking up their time whilst being psyched by the photos which I upload to my post.
Nearly completed, just a form to add as a “Contact me” to the post. Not to be flawed I search Google for help, but the best answer appears to be a “Plug- in”. What’s that? Dare I e-mail my friend once more? It’s Sunday evening at 10pm. This is a test of friendship surely?
Another twenty-four hours passes by in trial and tribulation, e-mails and tests, learning curves rising again, problems occurring. This is consuming my life and all of my thoughts, I am determined to succeed.
Tuesday; my friend telephones our first verbal conversation. It’s easy not to “Talk” anymore with modern social media. We agree to try a test run where I will add a form which we think will work, I will then publish the article and she will take a look. We have the option to delete it if the form is wrong. But it is a mad twist because I need to leave for work immediately and she has a new fence to build. So we agree to rendezvous on the internet later. I drive to work too fast, deal with paperwork that I can’t recall and exceed the speed limits on the return journey. I can not remember the morning my thoughts are consumed with the blog.
“R U free yet?” I send a text message to my friend.
“10 mins? Holding a fence panel can’t let go!” She replies.
I decide to start making the lunch; the fridge door is open and my arms are full of salad and cold meat when her next text message comes.
“Go, go, go! I’m free now!”
“2 mins” I reply.
I hit the “Publish” button and send a text message which says “Done” and I wait.
“Form ok, have sent it back, don’t know where the h*** it’s gone to though!”
Rushing now, I open new tabs and accounts, this is ridiculous! But I’m laughing and can picture my friend laughing too! I find her reply sat in my e-mail “Inbox”, it all worked, what a relief! I phone to thank her but have no mobile phone signal Grrr! I wave my phone around and the signal gains strength, I can make my call. We laugh at the chaos and realise that we could have used the land-line telephones to make the calls, and then I tell her that I could have used my lap-top computer for the test if I’d really thought it through. We laugh some more at ourselves but we’d done it and I felt like I’d won Olympic gold, it meant so much to make it all happen.
Now all that is needed is one finishing touch…..
“AUTHORS WANTED” I tweet!