Fairy Tales

Just about to start a new short story. The brief’s to write an adult fairy story & it’s due in 3 weeks. We have no idea what we’re gonna write about, but we’ll just see where our fingers take us. We’ll try to fit it in between sunbathing out the garden with our ducks and cleaning out our African snails. Trust us to pick a heatwave weekend to clean them out. Luckily we have an 8ft high hedge around our house so nobody will be able to see us in our bikinis. A lot of our neighbours are 60+ & we’d feel terrible if they died of fright. You wouldn’t beleive the trouble we had trying to find bikinis that are gothic. We know Goths don’t sunbathe, but still, it wouldn’t hurt designers to stick one small skull on something. We went for ones with hollow studs that we might attach chains to.

Last night we had another poem rejected ūüė¶ It’s one of our favourite ones as well, the one we performed at the reading. We’ll just have to find somewhere else to send it. Someone’s got to publish it one day.

Anthony – thanks for your comments and it’s been taken care of ūüėČ Once we’ve approved a comment the 1st time they then automatically get posted without us needing to approve them, so sorry about that. It’s great to hear from you again.

Magazine Maestros

We just got the star letter in Writers’ News and our prize was a hefty copy of Writer’s Market, so we’ve been through the magazine section, marking every magazine we think we can persuade to take our work. We’re now gonna check them out, maybe buy some copies to see if our stuff’s suitable, or try to adapt to the writing they usually publish. We figured that 5 months into the year & 1 piece accepted for publication, despite sending off 38, isn’t a great percentage. We really need to give our work a kick up the semi colon. By increasing our submission rate, we’ll hopefully increase our publication success.

On a separate note, we’re one stage closer to our paranormal road trip – we’re buying a video camera tomorrow. Does it seem strange driving nearly 4 hours just to take some footage of an abandoned asylum when there’s footage of it on You Tube? Maybe, but that’s not OUR footage. Ours will be different. We want to get a feel for the place, which you can’t get from watching someone else’s videos. We can spot details that weren’t captured on film – plot where parts of the novel take place and walk in the footsteps of our ghosts.

Keep the Faith

We got rejected by Pill Hill Press this evening. What’s it gonna take? In the minute it took us to sigh and delete the email we were over it. A little disappointed, but it doesn’t bother us. Rejections are just a way of writing life & they’re not gonna stop us from sending stuff out. Plus the feeling of euphoria of getting something published far outweighs the disappointment of rejection. That’s why we keep trying. Plus we REALLY want to be published writers so we have to take the hits in order to get the glory. No pain, no gain, right? So later this evening, we emailed¬†another story¬†to the British Fantasy Society for their short story competition.¬† Hopefully we’ll have better luck with them. We won’t know ’til September but we’re keeping our talons crossed.

We’re planning¬†a paranormal road trip to visit Denbigh asylum. We were Googling asylums to use for Ravens Retreat in Soul Asylum & the minute we saw Denbigh asylum, we knew we had to adopt it as ours. It was in use the same time as Ravens Retreat was, which is nice and is in North Wales, where we set the book. We’ve got the route planner & that’s about as far as we’ve got in our planning, but the intention’s there. We figured if we left at some ungodly hour in the morning, we’d be back by lunchtime – in plenty of time to give our iguana his afternoon bath.

Right, we’ve now figured out how to get a Facebook address. It’s only taken us a few weeks. We’re at www.facebook.com/clraven so look us up & if you want to befriend us, just add a message – tell us we sent you ūüôā

Trophy Hunters

We’ve made it through to the third round of Brit Writers’ Awards! We were so shocked when we got the email. We never thought we make it through the first round, let alone make it to the third. We’ll find out beginning of June whether¬†we’ve made it to the final. If so, they’ll send a film crew round and the film will be shown before the nominations are read out at the awards. To quote Fall Out Boy “make us poster [girls] for your scene¬†but we are not making an acceptance speech.” Can you imagine if we win and have to make an acceptance speech? No-one will understand a WORD we say and the bits that can be understood will probably be bleeped out. Who wrote Obama’s speech? Does anyone have their phone number? We could be off to London. Never been to London before. We thought the only things that could tempt us there was the Jack the Ripper exhibitions or the Chamber of Horrors. If we go in there they might not let us back out again.

Update on the Brit Writers Award – the 3rd round has 1500 entries in it. Not bad considering they received over 21,000 entries to begin with. We’re keeping our talons crossed.

We wrote a short story today whilst sitting in Starbucks. We took our laptop and got the 1700 word story written in an hour. Not bad. The brief is to write about a 14 year old girl called Molly. We set our story around the darker side of Facebook but can’t take credit for the idea – it was our mum’s. Let’s hope we can do it justice.

Twice Bitten

Just got hit with a double rejection from Bridgehouse. We’d sent them 2 stories – Deadly Reflection & Daughters of Annwn – for their young adult anthology. We already have a plan where they can go to next, so might see if they need tweaking before sending them out again. We have just emailed our werewolf story, Of Wolf and Man to Pill Hill Press for their werewolf anthology. We’ve had 3 stories rejected by them so far since Oct, so talons crossed it’ll be 4th time lucky.

We’ve just finished redrafting our novel Soul Asylum. Just as well really ‘cos on Tues we’ll find out whether we made it through to the next round of Brit Writers’ Award. We don’t know which of our pieces of work made it through this far, so we’d aimed to have SA fully polished by the final, which is in July. To celebrate we went to watch Cardiff Blues beat Munster in the Magners league. Unfortunately they didn’t get the bonus point win they needed to make it into the playoffs, but considering they’ve spent most of the season near the bottom of the league, it’s pretty damn good going.

Read ‘Em and Weep

The poetry reading went a lot better than expected. The 2 professional poets that were there, Merion¬†Jordan & Catherine Fisher were much better than the last 2. We particularly enjoyed Catherine’s poetry as it was more to our taste. Before we went we kept saying ‘we don’t want to go 1st’ but we were ones of the first to arrive so we were top of the open mic list. Arse. After watching professional poets, for us to go up & perform our simple rhyming couplets, we thought would be a huge shock to the audience, but now we’re glad we went first. The majority of the other open mic readers did non-rhyming, deep poetry, which wouldn’t have fitted with ours, so it was good to get ours out the way. The best bit is, we didn’t much up at all! All day yesterday & Wednesday we were getting our ‘mirror moves’ wrong for Deadly Reflection, which we haven’t done throughout our practise, but fortunately we got it right.¬†The audience actually laughed, which they didn’t much do at the Square event. They even laughed at our intros. Our family tells us we got the biggest applause & one guy shouted ‘more’. The poetry editor of Seren, Amy, gave us the thumbs up afterwards & suggested other events we can go to. She also suggested we look up Mab Jones, a comic poet, ‘cos to quote Amy “she would love you.” High praise! We were going to attach the video but can’t. Think we need a video upgrade, so sorry about that. It’s on Facebook though. We’re under the name Cat Lynx Raven.

More good news – we found out yesterday that 1 of our poems was shortlisted in Writing Magazine’s Life Experiences poetry competition. We wrote 1 called I Am, I Feel about our experiences of being bullied & it made the top 10! Woo hoo!

Bad Poets Society

With 12 days ’til the deadline for our werewolf story, we’ve decided it’s crap. We removed a scene, replaced it & redrafted the rest. We’ll probably tear it all apart again in a week. Thank god for email, it lets us send stuff off the day before a deadline or we’d be screwed. We called it Of Wolf & Man, after the Metallica song.

We have a poetry reading on Thurs in the Chapter Arts Centre in Canton. We’re doing 2 poems, Dating by Numbers, a comic poem about speed dating & Deadly Reflection, about a man talking to his future ghost in the mirror. We’re a bit worried ‘cos the event’s run by Seren, who are traditional poetry publishers & our poetry’s like the anti christ of tradition. Last month, the 2 published poets & most of the open mic readers did non-rhyming poems. Ours are written in rhyming couplets. We love rhyming poems & we’re not gonna apologise for it. But people do tend to view them as lesser poems. Another thing we’re worried about is our performance. For Dating by Numbers we’ll just read our poem, but for Deadly Reflection we’re gonna stand facing each other, pretending there’s a mirror between us & doing some actions, mirroring each other. We think poetry shouldn’t be boring & this is our way of making it interesting for everyone watching. It might go well or we might be met with stony silence and ‘security, could you please escort these, these…enemies of traditional poetry out of the building.’ Hoping for the 1st response, though being thrown out of a poetry reading would make a great anecdote. We’ll let you know how it goes. We might even film it, but at the moment, we’re swaying towards not filming it. We keep laughing & the camera hates us. But if we do film it, we’ll see if we can upload here. It’ll be a test of our non-existent technical skills. We promised our Facebook friends we put it on there. That was before we saw ourselves on camera. We’ve since retracted that promise.

Speaking of poetry, does anyone have a favourite poem? At the moment ours is ‘The Ballard of Reading Gaol’ by Oscar Wilde. One, it rhymes. Two, it’s wonderfully dark and heart rendering – two things you don’t see in most poetry. If you haven’t read it, Google it & you should be able to find it. We first heard it quoted in an episode of Perry Mason several years ago. Not sure how many years, but we might’ve been in 6th form. Soon as we heard it, we looked it up on the Internet. It’s a long poem, but well worth a read.

We’ve just sent off 3 poems for competitions. 1 to Writers’ News, called Hang ‘Em High. We were given the 1st line of ‘the silver birch, the oak, the lime’. At 1st we thought, ‘can’t do anything dark with that’ but we surprised ourselves by coming up with a poem about a man taking revenge on colleagues who stole his last Red Bull – he strung them up in the trees and they unfortunately, hanged. It’s in rhyming couplets – we don’t just write rhyming couplets. The other 2, Fade to Black & I Hear Voices Weeping, which are both about madness,¬†are going to Welsh poetry. The deadline’s not ’til 30’th May, so if anyone wants to send a poem, there’s plenty of time. The website is www.welshpoetry.co.uk Though don’t make your poems too good – we want to win!