So, this has been an interesting week.

On Tuesday I went to the hospital and found that the might-be-skin-cancer was not (yet) the thing itself, and just the beginning, and is now sorted and treated.
Big phew. (Anyone, but I think especially those of us who have had cancer before, know exactly how very hard it is to be ill, to be ill and freelance, to be ill and survive, to be ill and …)

Well, that ought to be plenty for a nice week (because health IS everything, I do know that) … but, woop, I just won a prize too! Very nice do, and loads of lovely people, and brilliant new writers to check out here, (They’re clearly all lovely writers, but I talked to Emma Jane Unsworth, so I can vouch for her actual loveliness.)

So, I won one of The Society of Authors’ Travelling Scholarships (cool! voted by peers!).
It’s a prize to go visit & talk to writers elsewhere and I have a plan :

You know how we always say that the Short Story does better in other countries (USA, NZ etc?), that it’s loved but usually poorly-paid and less-published here, and that we all love writing them and care about them (I’ve written 45 myself) but they simply do not (usually) have the status in the UK that they have in the US and other parts of the world …

What if I use the money (£2k – thank you!) to go to NYC & all those other places in the USA (and elsewhere … Iowa? Kansas? Louisiana?) where they really care about the short story and sell it well and all of that … and at the very least try to meet the person who buys the short stories for the New Yorker (yes, I’m sure they’re your best friend but not – yet – mine!!) and maybe come back with some tips. Or an idea. Or something. Good use of the money, right?

Yes, I’m sure I could use the lovely money (thank you) to play, but I really like the idea of using it to do a thing. And I think this might be the thing I could do. Let your recommendations of places to visit (they don’t have to be only USA) begin …

(and THANK YOU Society of Authors – you all belong, right? Authors in the UK? It’s our union, it got us PLR, and ALCS, and takes care of us etc etc … Fine. Just checking …)

Meanwhile I’ll keep directing the lovely play I’m working on for Edinburgh this year. Philip Meeks’ Murder, Marple and Me (Gilded Balloon), with Janet Prince who is being gorgeous. Both in the thing and in the room. Lucky me.