On Friday morning I had some amazing news that left me crying a little bit in Morrisons.
I had an email announcing the Searchlight Awards ‘Best bedtime story’ longlist…and saw my story on there.
I am beyond thrilled!
Of course, I can’t say which story is mine as judging is still taking place. But I will tell you a little bit about its conception.
I was having a terrible morning. I was sat in my children’s bedroom in the summer holidays while they played and generally went wild. I had my laptop and was desperately trying to work out something hideous to do with a project budget for work while dealing with complete chaos and sensory overload.
Weirdly, this is when the story popped into my head. Normally I spend days with a story swirling around my head before attempting to put it on paper. This time, I sat there quite serenely for about an hour while my offspring ran feral around me, the story forming itself in my mind.
As soon as I had the opportunity, I sat with my laptop and it poured out on to the page in one go.
I did a round of editing (normally I would do several, and mull it over for ages) then submitted it to the competition.
It felt *right* and I felt good about it. It felt like a story I could see in print that I had no doubts about whatsoever.
Of course I am hoping to make the shortlist, but for now I’m enjoying the moment.
Huge congratulations to my fellow longlistees!