Tuesday October 10, 2006
I really dislike writing stories for competitions. Especially competitions requiring anonymous entries, and which consequently forbid prior publication. Come to think of it, I don’t much like competitions. Far too much emphasis on winning for me, and having to say that ‘A’ is better than ‘B’. I do it when friends twist my arm but I don’t like it, don’t enjoy it, and wouldn’t do it if I could find a convincing reason not to other than my abiding dislike of the whole business.
I’m happy to say that ‘A’ is good, and to say why I think so. Just so long as I can say the same thing about ‘B’. Providing the forum is constructive in nature, I’ll detail what I think is not so good about both ‘A’ and ‘B’, too. But selecting ‘A’ as a winner over ‘B’, that I do not like to do. Naming a winner means you’re identifying the losers, and I’m really, really disinclined to do that.
Even so, here I’ve been spending a little time here and there for days now, in secret, writing a story that might or might not have some good qualities, and gearing up to submit it to the winning and losing judgement process, in secret. I’m doing it in the name of participation, and I’m doing it in a miasma of reluctance. There’s no real enjoyment in it for me. When the votes are cast I shall join in the flurry of thanks, congratulations and commiserations, doing the best I can to conceal my reluctance. And then put the whole business behind me for another year.
Perhaps the truth of it is that I’m getting to be too old for this whole competition game, getting to the point where I honestly believe that winning is for losers. I’ll go along with it for a little while longer but I think I’m coming close to the point where I shall state, flatly, that “I don’t do competitions” and, scowling from beneath my beetling brows, defy anyone the right to question me.
So, I sit here muttering and moaning, doing the full old grumpy bit. Dolly the Mega-cat loves it when I do the grumpy bit. “Hah!” she seems to say. “You call that grumpy? I can out-grumpy you any day of the week.” And off she stomps, doing the full grumpy, and looking over her shoulder to be sure I’m watching. I find that look irresistible and am almost guaranteed to drop whatever it is I’m doing to chase her about the house. We seem always to end up in the kitchen, seeking a little treat to celebrate the accomplishment of another histrionic display.
Well, there’s no harm in it. And I’ll do almost anything to avoid writing competition stories.
Doing the full grumpy