21 April 2010

The Gallery: Pride

I struggled with the seven deadly sins theme for the Sticky Fingers gallery this week.

Unfortunately I didn't have time to think about, or take a photograph of, all seven deadly sins.

One 'sin' that I've been thinking about a lot is pride. Is it really sinful to be proud? The British don't like to brag about their successes (clearly this is a sweeping generalisation). 

You see, something wonderful has happened and I want to take pride in it, but I'm worried that it will look like I'm bragging or being big-headed about it. Is anyone else interested? Does anyone else care? It's important to me though and I am proud, so I will share.

Earlier this year I received an email. This email was sent to anyone that had read at Word Soup, either as an invited performer or at one of the open mic slots. Word Soup is Preston's live literature night. I have been in the audience for almost all of the monthly performances and thoroughly enjoyed them. I even plucked up the courage to read in an open mic slot a couple of months ago. I read a 93 word piece of flash fiction in one breath. As I walked off stage I felt rather unwell!

We were asked to submit a piece of writing to be read at the first anniversary of Word Soup. This piece would also be included in a 'best of' book. I submitted the piece I wrote about my Dad, 'My Old Man'.

To my utter amazement and delight my piece was chosen. Last night I was on the bill for Word Soup. Here I am on the poster. Yes, I know it's not strictly a photograph, but it is a picture of sorts.

Initially I felt like a fraud, a chancer. I felt like I shouldn't be up there. People were going to pay to hear me (and others) speak. Holy Moly. 

After some soul-searching I decided that I had every right to be there. I had been invited. I rehearsed my reading so that I wouldn't cry as I read it. I practised reading slowly and breathing.

It paid off. I read last night, on a stage, into a microphone. People laughed in the appropriate places. At the end they applauded and wiped away tears. I was lucky to have Andy and my lovely writing group and writing course friends there to support me.

I was asked if I would like to read at another literature event. Next month the book will be launched - how exciting! 

I'm under no illusions that I am now a writer, or that I am special.


Yes, I am proud.




  1. Oh wow, good for you Sandy, that is brilliant.
    You are so special Sandy. Don't ever forget that x

  2. That's amazing Sandy! You should be proud. And you clearly aren't a chancer. Well done.

  3. It was a brilliant reading - you were so calm and poised throughout the whole piece. I was really impressed!

    Are you going to be at the one in May, where the full book (not just the extracts) will be launched?

    x J

  4. Hey Sandy!
    You were BRILL!! I would never have known you were as nervous as that - you looked as cool as a cucumber and delivered your piece with perfect pace, allowing the audience to savour the mood of your writing - fab stuff!
    Well done Sandy Calico, Writer...!

  5. Sandy woohooo, I am so pleased for you. And I'm not surprised they picked that piece. It's a beautiful and moving piece of writing. x

  6. Well done you! You have every right to be proud!

  7. That's brilliant news Sandy, well done!

  8. Wow, that's brilliant. Go you!!

  9. Tara, aw, thank you :-) x

    Heather D, thank you, that's very find of you to say x

    Jenn, thank you. That means a lot. Of course I'll be there for the launch, wild horses etc. x

    "Lancashire Writing Hub", thank you. I loved your reading too. 'Writer' Ha! x

    Heather (NFL), thank you :-) x

  10. Jo, aw, thank you :-) x

    Livi, thank you, I am proud! x

    Bronagh, thank you :-) x

    Caroline, aw, thanks :-) x

  11. That's amazing! You have every right to feel proud about that. I've been a writer for more than 20 years, and I wouldn't have the balls to do a reading in front of an audience. xx

  12. Well done! *Clap clap clappety clap* You should be proud, it is very nerve racking standing up and offering your work to others, I am impressed!

  13. Amazing and brilliant. You should be proud.

  14. That's ace Sandy, well done! You SHOULD call yourself a writer too.

  15. Wow! You ARE a writer and you ARE special. That piece about your Dad is absolutely beautiful and you have every right to be proud. Well done x

  16. You are quite right to be proud, that's amazing! Well done. The piece you wrote about your father was wonderful. Congratulations x

  17. and so you should be proud. Well done. :0) x

  18. thats brill Sandy you should be proud. but you are right of course most of us dont shout out about our achievements through fear of looking like a show off. i shall have to look out for and get to the new continental to hear you next time!!!!

  19. "But yes I am proud"...

    You bloody should be! Well done you!

  20. wow well done, that is amazing and you definitely have the right to be proud! xxx

  21. You should be proud, and when you tell us all about it it means we can be proud of you too.

  22. Mummy's Little Monkey, thank you. I also sing so speaking on stage wasn't a million miles away from that.

    Christine, thank you, it couldn't have gone any better :-)

    If I could escape, thank you :-)

    Sian, thank you and I am :-) x

    Kath, thank you, I'll try and say it without laughing one day! x

  23. Victoria, how lovely of you to say. thank you :-) x

    Baking Mad Mama, aw, thank you, you're very kind x

    Nova, thank you :-) x

    Jane, thank you. It's a wonderful night even when I'm not speaking! ;-) x

    Plan B, thank you :-) x

  24. Carly, thank you :-) x

    Kelly, thank you so much. You've no idea how much your comment made me smile x

  25. Flippin heck, you are a writer, and you are special, I can see that from all the way over here in San francisco. Congratulations.

  26. Geeky Mummy, and I can see how lovely you are all the way from over here. Thank you x

  27. Wow that's fantastic congratulations, I feel really proud for you! x

  28. Baby Genie, aw thank you :-) x


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