Although my effort did not reach the vaunted heights of an actual cash prize (£50 for each of the chosen top four!), it was a delight this morning to see my little poem shortlisted among the top twenty submissions for this month’s Visual Verse challenge.
As I mentioned in a previous joyful entry, I had more fun than I had thought possible, trying to respond to the very strange image. Granted, it took a while, but I eventually thought, wait a moment, why don’t I just jumble up some favourite, iconic lines from beloved poets, and see where the poem eventually ends up? So I did.
Except that I also mangled the lines, re-arranging the words so that the familiar is less so, so that as I hoped anyway, the thoughts might feel new. That was fun too, but I felt I was taking gratuitous liberties, rather, traducing hallowed text. In a way not dissimilar, I thought, to the gambit of turning ET’s head sideways in the construction of the image. Never mind, the exercise was a delight, and even more of a delight to see it land in with a group of work that’s been especially appreciated by the editors at Visual Verse.
Just now I’m trying to put the finishing touches to a longer-than-usual short story in response to a challenge from GlobeSoup.net — their Historical Fiction randomiser that asks for a short story set in a particular time. My ticket, purchased early for a very reasonable entry fee, turned out to be Vikings. I chatted about this effort yesterday morning, but having chatted, I surprised myself by winging my way through the succeeding 2500 words and laying down the complete story. There’s something strange about the narration in the dénouement, however, and I don’t quite know how to fix that. Never mind — it’s creativity Jim, but perhaps not as we know it! There’s still time to think and reflect, to finesse and fine-tune, before submission by the 28th of this month.
I guess I’m realising that, as the old maxim has it, it’s the taking part, not the actual winning, that’s important, that’s the real joy. But I wouldn’t refuse the £1000 cash prize on offer either! Winning would be an entirely different sort of joy!