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number 13

Week 13 gave me a mentor (and the chance at literary Boggle)

A few months ago I sent in a pitch to the Irish Writers Centre to be part of their new e-mentoring programme. Last week I got an e-mail from them with a nod. I had been successful and did I want a place? After a few celebratory shakes and wriggles similar to the Haka I sped back and e-mailed with a “Hell, yes please!”

So it begins this week. My mentoring for a particular short story that has driven me and my laptop mad on many occasions. I know there is something wrong with how I am telling it, but can’t quite figure out what. It is 2,000 words on two characters dealing with a forced abortion and explores the experience itself, along with the growing distance between them as they deal with the grief differently. I have given up on many stories before, relegated them to my drafts folder or ‘it has potential, but it’s a thumbs down’ file in my brain. But this one has stuck, is refusing to be filed away or ignored and keeps rising to the surface like a hungry shark.

The story in question is submitted and has been read. The red marks have been made and the critique is in. On Friday my mentor and I are going to discuss it online. I am both nervous and excited. Mostly though, I am intrigued. There is more at stake here then this story. The process is to shake up and improve my writing style. It is to dissect and review my short story writing. This five-session process is a self-exploration of the Boggle kind; press, rattle and see where the letters fall.

This opportunity feels like a life-raft. A chance to step out of my writing bubble and shine a light on all I have been doing. So with gusto I take to the diving board and am gearing up, the plunge is what it’s all for!

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