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paulrtbarnett

The Transformative Power of Stories

The Teller of Stories

 

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I believe in stories. I believe we’re constantly bombarded by nothing but stories; the stories we tell ourselves, the ones we tell others, the ones others tell us, political stories, religious stories, ethical and morality stories, stories about how much our lives could be enhanced if only we bought into this concept or that concept, product, or latest craze, trend or fashion. I also believe stories to have transformative powers not necessarily always for the good but as the story unfolds circumstances and lives can be changed as a consequence of them.

 

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White Poppies

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My story, Where the White Poppies Grow, was shortlisted for the Bedford prize which was announced on Friday 22nd January. Unfortunately, the same story has now been listed for several prizes never quite making it into the top three, but of course this in itself is still very encouraging. Equally I appreciate the subject matter of the story will, for some I’m sure, be considered a little controversial as it attempts to give a voice to a conscientious objector of the First World War. In the story I try and show that the conviction of the main character was on a par with those who were swept up with the flag waving jingoism and fierce patriotism of the times; and what courage it took to go against that tide.

 

Table crumbs

 

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Just recently two of my stories have been, ‘highly regarded’ and ‘highly credited’ respectively, which of course is encouraging.

Not quite…

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The results of the 2015 Yeovil competition are in which is where I started with competition writing, this time last year. I was placed second in 2014 but unfortunately this time round I wasn’t quite so fortunate having been ‘highly credited’. Even so I feel I can take some encouragement from this, given the high level of entries…Keep writing on!

Murder in the Sun

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This is a crime fiction magazine containing 23 “great” stories including, modesty aside, one of my own; a 800 word piece of flash fiction entitled, Bad Day at the Office. Just published, this magazine is in most good newsagents now and for the summer. It is apparently perfect for the beach; especially if you like to unwind whilst reading about murder and other macabre and illicit acts. If you manage to detect a copy then I hope you enjoy my story

 

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I can accept failure, simply not trying is another matter altogether. -Who said that?

Still not making it…

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Another story bombed today. A Love of Billie, failed to make the long list of the West Sussex writer’s competition.  This situation is of course covered by the saying, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. But what if you do succeed, then what? Where do you go from there? Hopefully I’ll  find out what that feels like one day…Back to the keys 2Type 77

Not making the cut.

imagesQLNH545J  When running out of things to say I could of course start pasting my blog with the rejection slips. Today it came in the Bristol Prize. In spite of best efforts I failed to make the long list, and I have to say that was quite a long list. Still if you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain. I think that was Dolly Parton.

Can’t keep a good story down…

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William Trevor once wrote, “You don’t so much write a short story as attack it with a pair of scissors.”

I wish he’d tell that to the story I’m working on at the moment as it refuses to limbo under the bar of 3000 words required for a competition.

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