I have moved the whole blog to a new address. Please join me over there as no new posts are being added here and I have removed key info from this old version ...


When you get there, PLEASE rejoin as a "follower" - changing addresses means I lose my 230 lovely friends!

NB also - all comments are intact on the new version.

Thursday, 16 April 2009


Well, well, my husband surprised me. He went for the literary novelist. Hmm, note to self: the pen is mightier than the sword.

Here's Harry's verdict on your pigeon post pieces.
(By the way, he is a man of few words so don't expect any gushing):

"I congratulate the bloggers and their creativity. Every entry brought a smile or a shiver. All should win prizes. (Steady on there. You're not that nice to me.)

I especially commend:
For wacky, original, left fieldness - bshanks (the Geisha girl)
For cool language - Jan
For wit - Rebecca (the troll) (don't make personal remarks about my blog-readers, please)
For nice try but too many words - Ebony (yeah, Ebony, read the submission guidelines, why dontcha? He liked that one a lot but he's a rule-follower so you had to go)
For management training advice - Phoenix (heh? He doesn't normally like management training advice.)

But, the winner for me - and this is because I find the evocation of war zones heartbreaking and scary - is Sally Zigmond - "when her window shattered she knew he had lied."

Well done everyone. A humble capitalist salutes your skill - all of you.
Best wishes, Harry Morgan

Aww. Thank you, Harry. (Edited to include the words, for Sally's benefit: A very good choice - you are, after all, a man of taste.)

I should add (because it's my blog and I can interfere if I want to) that, because he hasn't been following this blog properly, he missed the cleverness of Sandra and Sarah, who both did pigeon-related spoof query letters (and one in rhyme and mentioning Werther's toffees, no less). I also loved Emma's disappearing garden idea, and Elen's detective-themed one. Really, there were loads of others he or I could have mentioned but life's a bitch. We laughed, a lot, and then we laughed again. And then we realised that a decision had to be made so I went and had another glass of wine and he made his decision. Which is as it should be.

I thought the whole thing was fascinating. So many different writers, so many different personalities, so many different takes on the same subject. Every genre was there, and every mood, from urban to surreal, from literary to chick-lit, from dark to light and from sensual to prosaic. There were the ones who'd done their research, the ones who'd used local knowledge and political topicality (comparing us to our fairly near neighbour, Fred G, are you??) and the ones who led others in new directions.

It was the world of books in microcosm.

Then too, there's the reader. Oh, the reader. The unpredictability of another person's response; the need for a writer to understand that not everyone will "get" what you were trying to do; the knowledge that your reader will judge you while not knowing what was in your mind, or without appreciating your talent or wit. Every reader comes from somewhere different, brings different desires and meanings and pleasures to the words he/she reads. And likes it differently. You don't know the reader but the reader will judge you as though you were writing especially for him.

So, when you write, and then you send it out, you take a leap into the unknown. You can't know how it will be received.

Which is so the scary bit. Trouble is, readers just don't know how hard it is. Damn them.

And then, of course, there's trying to sell books, which I've just realised I have spectacularly failed to do: my husband just picked as the winner the one person who'd already said she was going to buy Deathwatch anyway. So, that's one lost sale and we don't get to eat today. Thanks, mate. Back to my garret.

Meanwhile, thanks to everyone, congratulations to all the named writers and especially to Sally.