Walk in Special

14 Jun

jon-tyson-1164942-unsplash

 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It had been a horrible day, the worst of a terrible week. Delayed train, torrential rain, broken umbrella. So, I get to work soaked, only to be told that my classroom has changed and that I need to get myself over to the other campus PDQ.

The taxi is on the college account, but I pay for it, having to listen to the driver’s flat earth beliefs. When I get to Woodbridge the students are all but rioting, and I see that the guy I thought I’d got rid of, is back.

Apparently, I am not allowed to comment on his objectionable t-shirt, as it might be the only one he has, and we can’t do anything to discourage him, can we? I’m fed up having the argument that the female students find it repellent, and no one cares what I feel about it.

I get through the lesson, though there’s little enthusiasm for my compulsory slot, and spend the rest of the morning trying not to give the students the marks they deserve, as that wouldn’t go down well with management.

At lunchtime I am back at the main campus, but I can’t face the staff room. Everyone hates their jobs; hates their students; hates their lives.

My doctor has told me to walk; that the fresh air, sunlight and exercise will help, but my feet drag, especially on the way back where steep hills lie between me and my afternoon.

Then a sign catches my eye: Walk in Special. Should there be a hyphen there? I wonder, but no, maybe it’s a command. So, I take a deep breath, pull my shoulders back and walk in: special.

This piece was inspired by the above photo prompt at Creative Writing Ink

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New Writer Awards

2 Jun

http://scottishbooktrust.com/writing/scottish-book-trust-training-awards/new-writer-awards-10-year-celebration

 

Thought I’d share this link, which includes a photo of three of the G2 Alumni (Gail Honeyman, Vicki Jarrett and Phil Murnin)

You can  find out all about applying for this year’s awards here.

Oh So Middle of the Road

23 May

morgan-sessions-6256-unsplash

Stay in the middle of the road, Mum said, that way no one can jump out at you, attack you from the edges, or the hedges.

Walk in the direction of on-coming traffic, Dad told me, so you can see what’s coming and take evasive action, if they don’t.

Don’t stray over the line, my instructor commanded, keep yourself safe.

The cop had asked me to walk the line.

Like Johnny Cash, I asked.

Like I’ve never heard that before.

I wasn’t drunk or high. I had not been using any illegal substances. There was nothing in my actions that would betray me.

If you don’t count the destruction I had wracked behind me. Still, at least I had kept myself safe.

 

This piece was inspired by a photo on 23rd of May 2019 @ Creative Writing Ink – Prompts 

If you liked this piece, maybe you would like to buy me a coffee.

 

 

Routines and Not Having Them

21 May

I’ve been talking to a couple of my creative friends about the value of having routines: that’s not strictly true, we’ve been moaning about not having them. One has had her routine disrupted by boomerang children; while the other has taken redundancy from a full-time job to pursue her passions. I should also say, now that I am officially self-employed/non-earning, that I am also looking for balance.

The life of a creative person is as varied as the number of creatives there are. Some crave routine, while others want to be free to see where the muse takes them. The routine folk are disciplined, but I also think, probably people who don’t have any other pressing commitments; while the free folk are in danger of the muse never taking them to their work table.

D said that she didn’t want to move out of the workplace only to be ruled by her own timetable of tasks. While M just wanted everyone to leave her in peace for long enough that she could get into the right mindset for writing.

A couple of weekends ago, or is it three, I was in Gatehouse of Fleet, and was really chuffed that I could spend time putting my novel in order and figuring out where the gaps were. So, I came home with great plans which up to the last couple of days have come to naught.

So, what happened a couple of days ago? Well, I spent quite a lot of time with my usual foottering, although I did have emails etc that I had to catch up with (as I’ve been visiting hospitals again). But then, I decided that I would write 1000 words, not of short stories, though there are a few half-written, but of my novel. I wrote 1000, or there abouts, but came to a natural stop at 19,000 words exactly. It was almost as though my writing genie was making a point. And so, 1000 words today have also been written (again of the novel). I know it takes a few weeks for things to become habits, but maybe if I really stick at the routine, then I will make headway, and stop wasting so much time figuring out what was happening when I last wrote the damn thing.

On a side note, I’ve also put a pedometer back on my phone, so am trying to make walking part of my routine again (take steps while the sun shines).

And another side note, is about my side bar: while I was foottering around the internet I came upon Ko-fi which allows you to buy virtual coffee. If you would like to support what I do, then you can click on the link. Ta.

Ko-fi.com/colettecoen

 

Postbox Launch

10 May

Postbox LaunchPostbox Editor, Colin Will writes:

A photo from today’s launch of Postbox magazine at the Scottish Poetry Library. L-R Reaghan ReillyTom MurrayTom KellyLaura FyfeColette Coen DugganMaggie Graham. They’re all in the magazine. Included authors also present at the launch but not in the photo were Kirsti Wishart andJenne Gray. The readers were outstanding and hugely entertaining, and I am so thrilled to be part of this adventure. Thanks to Sheila Wakefield andGerry Cambridge for making it all happen. — withReaghan ReillyTom MurrayTom Kelly and Laura Fyfe.

Postbox Magazine Launch

2 May

Very excited to be reading at the launch of the first ever edition of Postbox Magazine. What’s more, it’s at the Scottish Poetry Library (don’t worry, I will be reading prose.) at 1pm on Saturday the 4th of May. Can’t wait to get my mitts on a copy, and delighted to be in the company of two other G2 Writers (Alan Macfarlane and Charlie Gracie), along with other great talents.

I am also just back from my annual writers’ retreat – this year we went south, to The Bakehouse in Gatehouse of Fleet – 8 of us read, wrote, slept, walked, ate and laughed. It gave me time to get some submissions off (still looking for a publisher for my short story collection) and to get my head back in gear for my novel. Putting what I’ve written into the right order, was a good start.

Big hooray also that one of my kids has now been discharged from their consultant’s care, while another has been well and at school for the longest period in 2 years. Phew.

Gatehouse of Fleet - Wickerman

Featured in the Wickerman – Gatehouse of Fleet

G2 Writers

G2 Writers (plus guest) enjoying the banter in Gatehouse of Fleet

Beautiful cherry blossom

Gatehouse of Fleet

Pushing out the Boat – Issue 15

16 Apr

Vain thing that I am, I had to wait until I had had my haircut before I could show off my latest publication. Here I am with Pushing out the Boat, which features a story of mine called Brightly Coloured Jewels about a woman whose Candy Crushesque addiction gets in the way of her responsibilities.

Colette Coen holding Pushing out the Boat

Colette Coen holding Pushing out the Boat

Quote

A New Outlet for Flash Submissions

26 Mar

via Submissions

Recommendation for Writers and Editors

21 Mar

Thought some of you here might be interested in this really great podcast about the editing process The Editing Podcast – useful for writers and editors alike.

 

Short short list

6 Mar

I’ve been trying to submit more regularly to the Writing Magazine‘s monthly competitions and have made it onto the shortlist again. Big up to Michael Callaghan and Dominic Bell whose names are on almost every list. And of course to the winner and runner-up whose work will appear here very soon, or now in the April edition of The Writing Magazine, which comes with a competition supplement and an advert for Beech Editorial Services (plug plug).

 

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makemeafrock

I make nice frocks and write average poetry. And there's a bit of embroidery and the occasional rant.