Difference between revisions of "Return to Cairo"

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===Inspiration===
 
===Inspiration===
'''Return to Cairo''' was originally written for Round Five of the 2009 ''[[Whittaker Prize]]''. The prompt used, believe it or not, was a video of Jon and Vangelis performing ''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Friends_of_Mr_Cairo The Friends of Mr Cairo]''. It was given a score of 81/100 by the judge, Geoff Nelder, putting it in 2nd equal place out of 21. The judge commented that "the voice is the strongest element in this story with teen angst and behaviour, along with underlying passion and care coming over very well. A mystery is set in the opening and  is resolved by the end. The end is weak -  I’d have liked the aunt at the funeral to reveal that Nan really meant Cairo to be a favourite café she used to visit in her youth on Kyle Row in Middleton but there’s me re-writing other people’s stories." He was spot on about the ending.
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'''Return to Cairo''' was originally written for Round Five of the 2009 ''[[Whittaker Prize]]''. The prompt used, believe it or not, was a video of Jon and Vangelis performing ''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Friends_of_Mr_Cairo The Friends of Mr Cairo]''. It was given a score of 81/100 by the judge, Geoff Nelder, putting it in second equal place out of 21. The judge commented that the end was weak, and he’d have liked the aunt at the funeral to reveal that Nan really meant Cairo to be a favourite café she used to visit in her youth on Kyle Row in Middleton. He was spot on there.
  
 
===Placings===
 
===Placings===

Revision as of 07:54, 20 June 2014

Inspiration

Return to Cairo was originally written for Round Five of the 2009 Whittaker Prize. The prompt used, believe it or not, was a video of Jon and Vangelis performing The Friends of Mr Cairo. It was given a score of 81/100 by the judge, Geoff Nelder, putting it in second equal place out of 21. The judge commented that the end was weak, and he’d have liked the aunt at the funeral to reveal that Nan really meant Cairo to be a favourite café she used to visit in her youth on Kyle Row in Middleton. He was spot on there.

Placings

After duly changing the ending along very similar lines to those suggested, Return to Cairo came 3rd in the 2009 City of Derby Writing Competition, judged by Sara Maitland.

Notes

I think the (unnamed) protagonist of this story is my favourite character out of all the ones I've created so far: feisty and foul-mouthed but caring. The film Good Bye, Lenin! was almost certainly an influence on the central idea of creating an artificial world for the benefit of someone, although in this case, it turns out that it's not a world that Nan's ever known at all. I think I might also have been thinking of the opening sequence of Billy Elliot where Billy has to track down and care for his errant nan.

Here's the terrible original version of the penultimate couple of paragraphs:

Afterwards, I get chatting to my Great Aunt Mabel, and I ask her about Nan going to Cairo. She laughs.

“Don’t be daft. She never left the country.” Then she pauses for a moment. “Mind you, she did like to read about Egypt. She loved that Agatha Christie one – what was it? – ‘Death on the Nile’. That sort of thing.”

And this is what they became:

Afterwards, I get chatting to my Great Aunt Mabel, and I ask her about Nan going to Cairo. She laughs.

“Don’t be daft. She never left England.” Then she pauses for a moment. “Nah, the nearest she ever got was a cup of tea in the Cairo Café in the old arcade. You’re probably too young to remember it, aren’t you? Nice little place. Pictures of the pyramids on the walls. Used to do lovely macaroons.”

I think I know which version I prefer.