Monday, 25 January 2010

A short story for Women's Forum

Tonight, Husband is watching a Jason Statham movie. He actually watched it last night already, but tonight, my visiting father in law wanted to see what happens in the end.

I was at a coffee morning today. With my mummy friends and
(a lot of) children.

Amid the usual talk about second and third children plans, cinema news and birthday parties, I mentioned that I wrote a little short story, which was going to come out in an online magazine back home. In three parts. With my sketches, which I actually got paid for!

And nobody asked me any questions. There were a couple of polite smiles from two people and no reaction at all from one.

Nobody asked me what the story was about, if it was any good, or in fact, anything at all. I am not saying it is a huge deal. But still... Out of politeness, would you not fake a little interest? Like, "Oh, that's great!" Or, at least, just the "Oh...?" would do.

I am not saying they all have to read it, or love it. People have their own lives and interests. And some of my friends dont even know what a blog is, let alone online magazines. And yet...I felt a little frustrated.

Oh, never mind.

I just wanted to say. The women's forum is going to publish this story of mine in three parts.

Let me explain. Not that I am making excuses in case you decide it is crap...

I just wanted to give you some background info.

I have not- except for in my (much!) younger days (back home, and in a different language)- written short stories before. And then I came across a short story competition in a UK magazine. So I thought I would try.
There was a theme- Uncertainty.
And a word limit. So the story is somewhat structured around those parameters.

Needless to say, it did not win. I did not really expect it to. However, it was done, and just sitting there. And it is based on a real story. So I thought I would offer it to Women's Forum. I thought they would like the topic. And they said: "Yes, please!"

They also said: "We like it"

And if someone likes it, and wants to pay me for it, why would I complain?

Yes, it is a bit embarrassing. And scary. So, as I say- be kind!
It is the first try. Here.


  1. I've read it. I'm eager to know what's next.

  2. Scary! So here you are, they’ve already made accommodations for someone “different” in their circle and then you decide to write some fiction? Scary! For so many reasons: It might be about something they don’t understand, something exotic, like Azerbaijan, and then they’d feel stupid and inadequate. It might be about something they DO understand, and either they might disagree with it or it would ring uncomfortably true--perhaps it might even remind them of themselves or someone they know. But the scariest thing is that you have done something unusual, which means you are not perfectly content with your life--worrying, because it causes them to wonder if they themselves are content, if they should be doing something unusual as well. So, best not notice or discuss it, or else the equilibrium will be destroyed. If you are not encouraged, perhaps your “hobby” will run its course, like an illness.

    I like your story and look forward to reading the rest of it. I do think though, perhaps, that in this blog post there is a very intriguing, dangerous, and scary one lurking. But best not to discuss it with your friends... ;)

  3. How come women offer so little support to each other? Maybe our stories do not win competitions because they are not weird enough (people have such sophisticated taste these days that you can't even read half the stuff they publish). But I'd like to think that our stories can help someone somewhere make the right decision. I think the characters you created, Scary, are very real. These are people I've definitely met before. Lots of positive feedback from other readers in Baku.

  4. Thanks, guys....

    Ani...You might be right. But on the other hand, it helps to have friends like that. Makes you realize just how insignificant anything you do actually is, in the big wild world of shopping and tv series.

  5. Scary, if you start saying your writing's 'insignificant', I'll get cross with you - and you wouldn't want that, would you? It's a good story and I want to read the rest of it.

  6. Oof! the scariest person said OK, thank goodness for that! :)))

  7. I just read the first part, Scary. It was good and I am looking forward to the second part and the ending.

  8. It looks like life story,exactly for me.Looking at expats wives life style,I try to stop my envious fillings,but it doesn't work.I understand that it isn't documentary story,but I want to learn and use it for myself.I really want to know about reality of such kind life with foreigner.Thanks a lot,Scary.I'm looking forward to read the end of your story.

  9. Keep writing, that story and can't wait to find out what happens next!

  10. You can interpret their silence in two ways: one they have no idea what you are saying, therefore cannot relate to it.
    Or, you lit up a twinge of jealousy and they prefer to keep silent rather than claw your (pretty) face with their broken nails

  11. Reaction from your mummy friends proves what I always suspected: when women talk, they don't really listen to one another :-) Or maybe it was all the noise children were making?

    I liked the beginning of the story. BTW, why is the husband always the villain? It's not his fault he has hairy toes...

  12. :)
    Why did everyone assume he is so evil, I wonder? He just has his views on things, everybody does. :)

    The hairy toes is something everyone seems to have remembered. Haha

  13. Your story sounds a lot like mine. I also used to write short stories a long time ago when I was, well, quite young :) People liked them, my girlfriends actually cried (well, of course my humble creations were touching romantic love stories) but my late grandfather, who was a reknown literary critic, had a terrible mistake of taking my stories to a friend of his, who, naturally, was another reknown literary critic, and that encounter and the subsequent review of the 17-year old's fantasies put on paper brought an end to my further literary efforts. Now my question is: where can I read YOUR story? The link seems to be broken!

    1. How do you know it sounds a lot like yours if you could not read it, I am confused? :) You know…I think it is a dangerously damaging thing when you are 17 and are just starting to express yourself to be critisised by a proper critic! Who knows, perhaps if you had a chance to continue and work and improve and practice…you could be pretty damn fantastic right now! Or, failing that, you could be crap yet still famous- look at some books that people read right now, like the 50 shades of gray! Anyway, sadly, the online magazine no longer exists and they must have removed their webpages…alas. I don't know where my copies are…Must dig them out one day. Thanks for your comment!