When I first had the idea for 30@Thirty, I knew that I was going to struggle with the whole blog publicity element. I've never been one for too much self promotion, and find it awkward asking my friends to do me favours. I knew that I had the potential to become quite boring with the blog, repeatedly asking people to like, comment, follow, retweet etc, and I didn't fancy the idea of becoming that irritating person that you have to block on facebook. Nonetheless, I was hooked on the plan, so knew I would have to get over it. I figured that my true friends would know me well enough not to mind, and to be as supportive as they could.
Still, I thought a bit of practice was in order, so I set myself a (supposedly) mini challenge. Every day, for one week, I would write and share a 'Teeny Twitter Tale'. i.e. A short story told in 140 characters or less. Three days in several of my friends were clamouring for more and, mightily encouraged, I decided to sign up for a full month. Thirty tales, thirty days in a row, no exceptions.
I had a blast doing the challenge, though my lovely and long-suffering boyfriend Justin definitely suffered my many nights of anguish on the sofa, ipad in hand, words just not coming. And once I'd had the idea for each story, getting it down to 140 characters could prove an agonising exercise in killing your darlings. Don't even get me started on the punctuation sacrifices that had to be made.
The whole thing was a great exercise in discipline, creativity and - as intended - self-promotion on social networking sites. The problem is that I'm kicking myself for not doing this after my birthday, thus actually making it one of my 30@Thirty. 'Dislike'. For posterity though I thought I'd share the teeny tweety tales here. Below you have the first ten, in the order they were written. Please like, share, RT, comment... Just kidding!
1. I met the spider en route to the bathroom. "You were very drunk last night" he said with a grin. "Shut up" I replied. "Spiders can't talk."
2. 30 years later we bumped into each other outside Mo's. My face burned when I recalled how we'd parted. He raised his hand. "Shall we dance?"
3. I let the fabric fall and they blinked at the gap where my leg had been. I held my breath. Finally, charcoal in hand, they started to draw.
4. I drove through the night, only to arrive moments too late. I wept, inconsolable. "She'd never forgive me for this." "Nonsense," she said.
5. Gathering seashells, I lost my way. Hours later I saw your car crawling by the beach. "I'm so sorry" I wept. "I like your shells" you said.
6. We moved in. That night the rain poured through cracks in the roof and we ate Chinese under a tarp in the bedroom. It was home, even then.
7. I slammed on the brakes. The fox's eyes gleamed in the headlights. Recognition dawned. "Hey, aren't you..." But, in a flash, he was gone.
8. Owl was having a crisis. The red fedora didn't work with the shoes he'd won on eBay. "I warned you" said Moon. "Piss off" said Owl.
9. I keep tripping over your damn things. Your shoes, your books, your phone charger. It's only after I curse you that I remember you're gone.
10. You wanted to build a fort. We built a fort and spent all day in it, playing 21 and eating fig rolls. I remember. That was a good day.