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Uncategorized Writing

It’s all so subjective…hold tight…

So, today I’m going to tell you a story about how surprisingly subjective opinions about your creative work really are. Now, I have known this about my artwork for a long time. I absolutely accept that a painting can appeal to one person and not another. However, I always felt that writing was somehow different. That because of rules of grammar and structure and character and plot, etc. that judging was more easily quantified, either it was good writing or not.

Recently, I entered a children’s writer’s competition. (I know,”Children’s?’. Yes, I forgot to tell you, I’ve gone off on another tangent though I prefer to think that I”ve simply added another string to my bow.) Anyhow, I’ve written some children’s stories and decided to send one off. This competition is one of the few where they actually give you the judges feedback. I love that! It is so helpful, usually.

The first part of the judging sheet consists of the usual – compliance with conditions, spelling, grammar, suitability for target age group, etc. The good news is my spelling and grammar are right up there. (I hope I don’t blot my copybook in this post.) Then, there is a whole slew of questions, each marked out of 10, on plot, characterisation, writing technique, reader enjoyability, readiness for submission and last but not least the X Factor (An overall mark out of 10) and finally the judges comments.

My story’s title is ‘Earth to Jess’. Obviously I thought it was ok, otherwise I wouldn’t have sent it.

Judge 1 gave me 10’s all the way, apart from one 9 (Even the X Factor was 10). Whoo hoo! And, of course, they made some nice remarks at the end. Giving me a score of 97.66%.

Believe me I was grinning from ear to ear after reading that one! I puffed my chest out and eagerly read the next scoresheet for more kudos….

3,3,4,4,3,3,3,6,4,3,4,2 and on and on it went. 6 was as high as it got and that only twice. X Factor 4…The comments were kind and tried to be encouraging. Giving me an overall of 42.99%.

Gutted! Ah misery! My world collapsed. How would I ever show my face to the world again? Hang on, the other Judge gave me 97%. What’s going on here? (I used stronger language than that, but I’m trying to be a children’s author after all.) I have since re-read both papers over and over. I still don’t get it. What can I say,,,different strokes, different folks.

When I feel stronger, I will go back over it an edit/re-write. Lol. I’m not really all that upset but I am bemused and confused.

All of the above is written to reassure myself that it is all a matter of opinion after all and ALSO to let any other writer out there who happens to read this that they shouldn’t take a bad review too much to heart. Yes, use it to push you to make improvements, but don’t let the bastards win. No, no I didn’t mean that! I mean, don’t give up, your next submission may fall into the hands of someone who loves it and you’ll win and/or be published in no time.  Good luck my friends…Ciao for now Rosa.

Categories
Art Poetry Uncategorized Writing

It’s almost done

2019 is in its last quarter. It started with drama and tragedy and marched forward to more of the same, though through different agencies.

On the personal front, 2019 has presented its difficulties. The good news is that my house is now back in order, in fact, I think its better than before.

Enough of that, except to apologise that I have been largely absent from my social media platforms.

I have continued to write and edit and submit. I have only had one small success in all this time but its enough to buoy me up and encourage me to continue my efforts. I was not a winner or place getter but was chosen as 1 of 10 entrants to have my poem and painting (see above) that inspired it (this type of poem is called ekphrastic, just incase you wanted to know) published in a very smart looking coffee table book put out by the Mudgee Writers’ Group. The subject matter is grimly appropriate at the moment

The subject matter is grimly appropriate here in Australia at the moment. This particular fire raced through the bushland at the back of my house a couple of years ago. Fire is awesome and terrifying.


FIRE THIS WAY COMES

The pearlescent dawn brings a ghost
slow and silent, drifting through the tall gums
gnarled undergrowth, the jumble of storm debris.
A squabble of kookaburras scoff at my lazy contentment.

The smoky phantom enters my senses
seeps into my skin, its presence clouds the sky
off to the east a glaucomatous red eye
peers over silhouetted canopy
indifference visible.

Under the heavy hem of forest a red-orange
petticoat ruffle flickers into view, becomes
a can-can, kicking frantically accompanied
by rolling drums segues into a flamenco
dance skirts a-skirling, castanets clack clacking
over a loud strumming, its passion advances
morphs into a ravening crowd looting the terrain.
Animus roaring anger into my face on the wind
of its own gusto, its hot breath consumes
a stand of pandanus.
Dancing, brilliant cloaks mount prancing horses
gallop through the brush. I stand quailing before
the rush of its awful majesty, feel it suck me dry.
Hidden fingers reach out, choke me
sting and blind my eye, fill my lungs with
poisonous sound that scrapes delicate lining
consumptive cough shakes burning branches.

Matchbox cars and trucks flashing defiance
appear and disappear in and out of the drapery
tiny bright yellow men dare make a stand
they fight fire with fire and win…this time.

Cracks and pops rattle the night, reminders of
distant skirmishes, red eyes blink painfully
as smoking wraiths wander amongst the fallen
remnants of life flicker spermatic suns
scattered carelessly on naked, quivering flesh
dot paint the landscape reflecting Apollo
who having overseen the battle, with a bored sigh
sinks into a black depression.

Mother Gaia heals
forest and field
with dewdrops and rainfall
a gentle caress, she
weaves a new dress
of leafy green
to hide the scars and
stretch marks of hellish
savage rebirth.                                             (c) Rosa Christian

What do you think? Hope you enjoyed it. See you soon….ish.

Ciao for now,  Rosa