On Monday, 29th of September, Hour of Writes announced that the prompt for that week was ‘life plus 2m’. At the time I read their email, I was in the car on the way to a weeks holiday in Warwickshire and Herefordshire, and didn’t think I’d get the time to enter.
On the Wednesday, another email arrived announcing the guest judge: David Zetland of the Life Plus 2 Meters Project. He wasn’t just looking for winners, he was looking for stories of about 1,000 words to use in his project to “help people think about climate change impacts and adaptation“. Successful articles would be published on his website and in an anthology due for publication in 2017.
I wistfully told my husband how I’d love to enter this week but we had no wifi where we were staying. He immediately suggested dropping me at the library in nearby Ross on Wye, so I could have some relative piece. So, I gave the idea some serious thought. I knew I wanted to tell a personal story, not a grand vision just how the impact was for one person. I wanted something dramatic to happen, not just a rise of water but a dramatic swell; that’s when I remembered walking alongside the River Severn many years before to watch the bore at the Spring Equinox. I got the opening line and that sense that it was ready to write, and headed for the library.
One hour later, it was done. Now, unfortunately Ross Library doesn’t have public wifi access, but I was able to use my husbands phone as a tether and submit my entry that way. It felt good, I liked it a lot, but that’s usually a sign it isn’t going to do well.
That idea was reinforced when I checked the marking later in the week; markers felt that I’d misjudged the ending, and emotional impact. Argh! Then, on Thursday, a friend messaged me to tell me that I’d won. I was both delighted and surprised; I had really wanted to nail this entry as the cause is important to me, and was glad that the judge, at least, felt I had.
So, my entry is now going to be part of a larger project (and included in another anthology), and that feels good. It feels like more than just storytelling, more than just entertainment, it feels like those words might be part of a wider change of consciousness. I don’t usually write stories with an agenda, but maybe I should do it more often.
If you’d like to be part of the Life Plus 2 Meters project, David is looking for more submissions. You can find out more by visiting the Life Plus 2 Meters website.