Amanda's Circus

Story and Poem Shortlisted for Paragram Paradox Prize

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Absolutely delighted to have a poem and a flash shortlisted for the Paragram Paradox Prize. Many thanks to them. Such great news! The list is here if you want to check it out.

I’ve been working really hard on a new set of music theory books over the summer holidays and I can’t tell you how difficult it has been. Perhaps it’s because of a lack of planning, but I don’t think so. I’ve come up with lots of good ideas because of that. Don’t get me wrong, it has been planned out but as I write, I’ve thought of other stuff that would make it more interesting and fun, and that’s fine. I can cope with adding pages and all the special tricks for blank page text v music page text. No, it’s the software that’s the bane of my life. Sibelius. Argh! I think I’ve practically finished, everything is set out – split bars, graphics, frames, text, headings, signs, symbols, music, all in the right places, and then I’m writing a few bars of music at 100% and I zoom out to 45% to check how it looks and what? I sit back in my chair. I pull my hair with both hands. Rub my eyes. I can’t believe what I’m seeing. Everything has shifted a couple of centimeters to the left. Is it because I’ve changed instrument? No.  Written rhythms on a percussion stave? Nope. Changed clef? Perhaps but who knows? What should I do? Should I drag the start of every stave over to the right. Massive job. And anyway some of the bars have disappeared into the darkness between pages and there’s no grabbing those. They’re lost unless I add extra bars and a temporary page and trick Sibelius into allowing me to click and drag. Then I’ve got the whole business to reverse and that in itself can delete page breaks and start off a series of overlapping bars and text lost in the ungrabable purple void. And that’s just one example of things that go wrong without you noticing until you’ve added a good wodge of material. So, it’s such a delight to submit work as a break from the trials of Sibelius. Who’d think? Submission procedures are a killer sometimes. Body of email? Attachment? Font? Word count? Line count?  That, believe me, is nothing compared to working with a long mixed text and music book in Sibelius.

Anyway here’s a picture of the prototype. Yes, it’s Book 1, there are two. Anyway, we’ve a good way to go but we’re on!

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And even if my poem and flash go no further, I’m thrilled with my long listing. Thank you to Paragram for giving me a big boost.

2 Comments to "Story and Poem Shortlisted for Paragram Paradox Prize"

  1. Valerie says:

    Congrats on your long listings and forthcoming music books – impressive output 🙂

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About writing, trickery and a little music