"An intriguing story that works, I think, because of the questions it raises - sometimes it's good to leave the reader guessing. A hint of the supernatural and a portrait of a strained family dynamic that allows us to empathize with Kelly."
If you haven't already, please visit the previous post to read all about the winners and other news.
It is our pleasure to share with you a guest post from Kalpanaa. As well as winning the critique prize from Chrys Fey, Kalpanaa writes a guest post for WEP and the IWSG newsletter which will be out soon.
Here's Kalpanaa's post:
Are you a writer first and a _______ second? With the blank representing whatever career or money earning occupation you fill your days with that keeps you from your writing but pays your bills?
Some of us don’t have the luxury to just write, others don’t want to be dictated to about what to write, which means that like me, you’re a writer/teacher or a writer/something else. It isn’t exactly an ideal solution because teaching is a job that needs horrible amounts of keeping of records. Since I wrote the story for the Red Wheelbarrow WEP prompt, I've written a couple of blog posts but the bulk of my writing has been lesson plans, lesson reflections, emails and WhatsApp messages.
I consoled myself with these lines from the book we are reading for the IWSG Book Club. It’s Betsy Lerner’s The Forest for the Trees: An editor’s advice to writers. Betsy writes, “I believe there is still enormous value in a piece of writing that goes no farther than the one person for whom it was intended, that no combination of written words is more eloquent than those exchanged between lovers and friends, or along the pale blue lines of private diaries, where people take communion with themselves.’
Those lines took the edge off my not-writing-anguish. I’m striving to change my circumstances so that I have more time to write things other than lesson plans. But my WIP weeps copious tears at this sop – that all writing (even lesson reflections) is writing. There is an urgency to my figuring out my life so that I can work remotely and not at a desk for eight hours. So that I can live, for most of the month, in my cottage in the Himalayas.
That cottage is not a distant dream but a five-and-a-half-hour train journey to a station called Kathgodam where butterflies are the size of small birds, fluttering from blossom to blossom with the bluest sky as a backdrop and the scent of fresh air wafting down the green hills.
After another hour up a winding around many disorienting hills, over bridges spanning exuberant aquamarine rivers hurtling over rocks, a couple of spring-fed lakes with forests on their shores we stop at a market town. I buy eggs, fruit, vegetables and wine before we drive up the last twenty minutes leaving behind the lakes, the hill houses and the paragliding stations.
The garden is asleep under the sun, a new rose has opened her petals. Ingredients are put into the bread-maker, a cup of tea is brewed and I plant myself on the porch with my laptop. Distractions are gentle, the song of a starling, a moonrise, an eventful sky, a bunch of visiting monkeys snacking on blossoms. They don’t count as distractions but as opportunities to stop and stare, to think about what I’ve written and to inspire me to get back to work so that I can reach my word count before wine o’clock. Can’t allow myself that glass of red otherwise.
Writing at the cottage is my plan for the future. In the meantime I sneak in a couple of paragraphs here and there like someone having an affair with writing. I can’t wait for the day when I’m married to my novel.
How do you write? Are you married to your writing or having an affair with it?
Check out ideas from the WEP 2019 Challenges Page for the next prompt. It doesn't have to be horror. October is always our most popular month and we'll have special prizes!!