Saturday, June 02, 2012

'Used to Be' review

I've recently been moaning about the lottery of competitions, but of course I'm thrilled whenever I get anywhere in one. Mind you, when I do I tend to find it's with stories I feel less satisfied with: stories in which the 'message' is too obvious, or simple, or the form too conventional, for my own purposes. It's no surprise, I suppose: there's always going to be a danger that when you're trawling through hundreds or thousands of stories, the more obvious things are going to rise to the surface. So I was staggered and delighted when 'Used to Be', which I consider one of my more ambitious stories, won third prize in the 2008 Raymond Carver competition, and I'm now pretty chuffed to have found this review of it by Rio Liang in the Carve blog's Spotlight series.

4 comments:

Mathurine said...

Bravo! After reading "Too Many Magpies" (The only book of yours that I've read I'll admit) I'd say you were worthy of all the praise you can get. I often dismiss my own writings in case they're obvious or rehashed old stories so I know how that feels but it must be wonderful to have recognition for a piece that you feel is worthy of a good review.

Bob Jacobs said...

Congratulations on the 3rd prize and on the review, Elizabeth. I've bookmarked the story for reading tomorrow. Having read your short story collection Balancing on the Edge of the World, I second Mathurine's comment above about you being worthy of all the praise you get.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Thanks so much to both of you! Mathurine, I don't think it's so much a case of having no confidence in work of my own and maybe not be judging it correctly, but of actually KNOWING that certain of my stories are less ambitious than others, yet finding that it's easier to win competitions with them...

Elizabeth Baines said...

Thanks so much to both of you! Mathurine, I don't think it's so much a case of having no confidence in work of my own and maybe not be judging it correctly, but of actually KNOWING that certain of my stories are less ambitious than others, yet finding that it's easier to win competitions with them...