March started well for me with news that I had won the Dundalk branch of Curves 30 day challenge. Apart from a not too dodgy prize of a €55 token for Boots chemist, I lost 10lbs and 18 inches, which is the real prize. Unfortunately things took a turn for the worse after that high point and I suffered about three weeks of ill health which meant little to no writing, cancelled teaching days (hence loss of money) and exercising falling off the radar. I got two weeks holiday at Easter but was still picking myself up so I didn't get all the writing done that I had planned. My goal for March was to read 9 books. I completed five, which is up from last month but only half as many as January. Word wise, I wrote fractionally more than February with 11,400 compared to last month's 11,100. My aim was to enter 2 short story competitions this month and I exceeded it by two. I entered short stories into the Fish One Page Prize 2008, Tom Howard/John H Reid Short Story Contest, Aeon Award 2008 and the Invisible Ink Story Competition. I had also planned to enter a story to the Permuted Press Giant Creatures Anthology but failed to finish my story 'The Shark that ate Dublin' in time. Likewise, my entry to the Bristol Prize Short Story Competition 2008 was a non runner as I missed the post (imagine running a competition in this day and age without online entry as an option?). I had plans to submit my flash fiction 'Does Love Dogs' to AlienSkin but failed to edit it in time to submit it before March ended. There is always next month. Exercise was practically non existent this month, with no attendances to curves and only a few salsa slims and days where I played wii (highest fitness age 41, lowest 24). I did complete my achievement goal for the month in trying new things, which was climbing the Greater Sugar Loaf in Wicklow. I just scraped in at the last minute but I managed to get there in the end and it was a challenging but rewarding day. With my four submissions this month I have beaten my January curse - which is, I submit in January and then don't submit anything else all year until the January of the following year. I hope this trend keeps up. I promised to keep you updated on my stories from past months, so this is how my January entries are doing. My entry to Glimmer Train's Family Matters Competition, 'The Shadow Room' failed to be short listed and I am guessing that 'The Memory of Fat', my entry to the Maria Edgeworth Competition didn't get to the finish line either as the festival took place on Saturday and I was not invited to attend. I am still waiting to hear back on how my brave little stories are doing.
My hopes for April? To keep up submitting to competitions and publications. To increase my word count. To read more books. To think up and complete another new achievement. To have a successful Belly Dance workshop on the 19th and to have fun in Donegal with my sis's and dogs at the end of the month.