Story Starter: Room With Sea View

Tis the season of sunny, balmy days and nights, and my inspirational picture this week sets the mood. This is a hilltop village in Greece with a spectacular view, as you can see. But just look at that balcony! Would you ever have the nerve to sit there? Next pic proves that some do. Yes, that’s that same balcony, with sun umbrella shading a man sitting reading his paper or having his breakfast, quite the thing….

Pic: Shirley Blair

Anyway, what story does it tell you? What tangent does your imagination take as you gaze at the view or the brolly or him, or the hire cars parked outside or the apartments themselves, or the villa down there amidst the olive groves. Let your thoughts wander to sunny days in Greece or wherever…

To put it in the context of my schedule, next Wednesday, May 11, I’ll be selecting the stories for our July 2 issue. So I’m scheduling summer stories already, but summer lasts through to September (or so we hope!) so there’s still time to be inspired, write and submit nice sunshiny stories.

It’s helpful if you mark on your envelope that it’s a summer story, though, and as usual I’m hoping to see 2000 words or 3000 words. Still plenty of 1200-worders on hand, I’m afraid.

I’m asked from time to time if I mean dead on 2000 words, by the way. The answer’s no. Odd thing: three different 2000-word stories can measure completely differently from each other once the lay-out’s done, depending on how much dialogue there is, how long the words are, the pic we use, length of title … And Judey, Jacki and Margaret in our production team would always rather have too many words to play with than too few, so allowing a margin for error of 10% above that figure of 2000 (or 3000) is the norm.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.