Story Starter: Party Dresses

Little black dresses

I just had to choose party dresses as my story starter in the week when Illustrations Editor Sarah and I got ourselves all spiffed up for the Scottish PPA Awards gala dinner in Edinburgh. We had a wonderful time, celebrating our industry along with a broad spectrum of colleagues from DC Thomson and the wider Scottish journalism scene.

Sarah was short-listed in the Rising Star category and I bagged a seat to cheer her on. As it happens she didn’t win, but being short-listed is a big deal and she should be proud of that achievement.

Each award winner is traditionally asked to make a four-word speech, and Sarah had been practising a few just in case. “I’m glad Jim retired.” (Remember Jim Dewar, our previous Illustrations Editor? He retired but you’ll have noticed he’s still illustrating freelance for us. And Sarah took his place, of course.) “Making my gran proud.” A simple but effective “Thank you so much.”

But sadly she didn’t need it. It was interesting listening to the way other winners rose to the challenge. “Thank you so much” came up a few times. “That’s an excellent choice.” I liked that one! “It’s about the team” and “No I in team” were generous gestures.

And one chap ignored the request and gave a two-minute speech, with the organisers gradually turning up the background music to shoo him off, just like the Oscars!

Anyway, it was a smashing celebratory night with no losers, if you ask me.

And there you have your story starting food for thought. Celebrations. Parties. Awards. Formal occasions. Kilts and dinner suits. Party dresses and high heels. Split seams? Selfies…

I could tell you about another colleague and I getting the wrong train back to Dundee and going via Stirling….but that’s a whole other adventure!

Over to you for the usual 2000 or 3000 words.

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.