I have this piece of writing which seems finished but won’t really fit anywhere, I was going to have this blog post just feature that but them I remembered it was the Insecure Writer’s Group posting day:
I have been feeling insecure as usual about my short stories. After my CampNaNoWriMo win I should be feeling good but I planned to send a short story out and with the deadline approaching I read over it and realised it’s not up to scratch. I always struggle with rewriting and polishing a story to make it good. I am gutted that I won’t be entering this competition, both stories I have written are not ready but I know I haven’t been giving my short story writing my full attention. So what do I expect?
I’m taking a short break from writing my novel, I’m working on another story I wrote recently. It will fit a competition which is running in November so there’s plenty of time; I’d already written it when I seen the competition advertised and it will fit perfectly with the theme. I did once tell myself to stop aiming to send out my stories and just finish a bunch, but I never learn, I always find competitions to enter and feel bad when I have nothing to send. I am determined to enter one this year though.
Some writers love rewriting but I just don’t seem to have the knack of it. And when my brain gets tired…. I can’t seem to get it to work.
I know I have some talent because of that one short story win but sometimes my critical brain says: what if it was just luck? Well, shush critical brain we got this. We just need to write a good story.
Am I trying to do too much?
Here’s the fragment/story I was intending to share today, I wrote this sometime ago as part of a writing exercise. I can’t find it a home as it’s not finished. I might add to it one day.
There was only silence. Isabel opened her eyes and watched the dancing candle flame in front of her. She blinked, the light still in her eyes as she opened them again; seared there like a unwanted memory.
She wasn’t used to silence, there was always something. A whisper, a sentence, usually something. Sometimes it was like listening to static on the radio between the channels, a mixture of voices fighting to be heard.
“Well?” The woman asked, her voice shaking. Her lips were working to keep straight, her hands jittering on the tabletop.
Isabel reached over and put her hand on top of the woman’s shaking ones. “I’ll try again, Mrs. Jacobs, I promise.”
“Don’t you usually find them and.. talk to them.. and .. I just need to know.” Tears slid down her cheeks and Isabel wished not for the first time that she could heal the pain of this women’s grief, heal the grief of all those who came to her anxious for her to call out to the other side and talk to their loved ones.
A guttural voice from the other side of the room spoke out. “Maybe she’s a fake!”
The words stung, Isabel felt the familiar tension in the pit of her stomach, she took a deep breath and let it go. “I am sorry I couldn’t help this time. I will try again next time.” She turned to the man, just a shadowy form in the dark, short and rounded. “I didn’t ask you to come here. I didn’t ask for any money, remember?”
The man grunted and Isabel felt the woman squeeze her hands. “Thank you for trying,” she said her voice straining with tears.
Isabel nodded. She got up and turned on the light. The woman let her husband lead her out of the room, at the open door she turned back. “Maybe this means he’s not dead. If you can’t hear him. Maybe my son is still alive.”