Positive Thoughts – Part 2

31 Mar

Less than a week into the lockdown and patience is beginning to wear thin. Zoom, Skype, Messenger, WhatsApp, House Party – all great ways to keep in touch but all groaning a bit under the weight of use. WordPress is also being a bit of a pain – I have been trying to load this post for the last two days.

I tried to Skype my family yesterday (Skype has subtitles, so it meant my mum could take part), but I couldn’t get my sound to work. ‘It was working earlier,’ I said, as three members of the crew here started clicking on my screen, pulling out cables, and telling me that I should try all things I had already tried.

Later, when it was working (I had switched it off and back on again, which solved the problem), one of my sisters couldn’t get online. By the time we had all sorted out the IT problems and discussed what had gone wrong, we were all too fed up to have much of a chat.

None of that is very positive, is it? But, we were able to see each other, wave, have a chat, catch up with how everyone is coping (my siblings all work in the public sector, so no one has been furlough yet, but some of their kids haven’t been as fortunate). As I work freelance and remotely, I’m still not sure how I will be affected, but my husband and daughter are still in work (fingers crossed).

Spring honeysuckle

Hope springs eternal

Hope springs eternal

It’s been dry since the lockdown started too, which is a big bonus when you live in Scotland, so we’ve been able to walk, have lunch outside and enjoy the first days of spring.

Another big plus point here, is that we have the space not to be tripping over each other, and three of us are working from home without having to restrict Netflix watching for the two that have had their formal education paused. Although, the garden does need a bit of attention, so Netflix might have to wait.

But, no matter how much space we have, we all need to take the occasional deep breath. And then tell them to stop foottering with my computer, thank you VERY MUCH.

I have been moving my office/desk almost every week – with my son coming back from uni, and then having two Australians to stay. I am now in my new semi-permanent position in the dining room, which has the bonus of a door out to the back garden. I had set things up in one corner last month, but that wasn’t working, so have moved things again. One of today’s jobs is to set up properly here and take the opportunity to sort through my muddle and complete a few tasks. Happy days.


To Journal or not to Journal?

23 Mar

Now that we’ve got all this time on our hands (although I’m not sure I’ve quite reached that stage) there is a temptation to pick up that notebook which has been languishing in the bottom of your cupboard, and begin a journal.

I woke up at 4 am the other morning (very unlike me), and wondered if I should be documenting all my thoughts and feelings about Covid-19 and the Social Isolating/Distancing/Lockdown.

While I found writing a journal really useful, (in fact it was how I morphed into being a writer of fiction), I have decided against it. I’ll tell you why.

I have suffered from depression in the past and know that I can easily spiral into negative thoughts. Writing down your thoughts can be a useful way to get them out of your head (you might even want to write down all your negativity, then scrunch it into a ball and chuck it away). But it can also get you into a rut or feed paranoia. ‘Day 5 of the the Lockdown and my family members are ganging up on me…’

I do, however, find taking myself off into a wee world where I can control what is happening, to be supremely therapeutic and fun.

So think carefully about what you want to get out of writing a journal and be conscious that it might not be the type of writing that is best for you at this time.

That said, you can’t flush notebooks, so you might as well give writing of some kind a go. I am going to try to post more flash fiction here, but also some writing tips and inspirations.

Take care, be kind and if you’ve been told not to go out: don’t go out.

Write Away by Colette Coen
Write Away by Colette Coen

Positive Thoughts – Day 1

19 Mar

Well, these are strange times, not least because my lazy bones have been pinging awake at 6am.

As of today, we have three people working from home, one out of school and another out of university (who is trying to find work at the moment). My work space has been moving around the house as we have adapted to one kid coming home (and reclaiming their bedroom) and then having two Australian guests for 10 days. They got on their plane yesterday, so hopefully will be arriving home to 14 days isolation in a few hours.

You don’t need me to tell you how Covid-19 is affecting everyone’s life, but I thought that since I am feeling quite positive this morning (the sun is shining for the first time in weeks) that I would share some thoughts. I can’t guarantee that after 4 months of isolation/distancing I will feel the same way (I have mild asthma, so fall into the broad definition of vulnerable).

My task for this morning (other than do some paid work for Beech Editorial Services) is to write a to-do list. I’m sure everyone has a mental list of things they would like to do when they have more time – well, looks like we’re going to have time in abundance.

So now is the time to work my way through my rather large pile of newspaper Arts and Review sections and to make a bit of a dent in the library of books I have. Obviously there will be the garage and attic clear out, although I don’t know if anyone will be buying on Ebay etc in the next few months. Most of my stuff is probably for the dump anyway, and that will stay open, even if I have a good excuse to send someone else.

Another bright side is the number of great memes coming out of this catastrophe – although I did a little Facebook rant about all the mis-information and garbage that people are sharing too.

Anyway, take care everyone, and keep writing, reading and loving each other – it’s day one, I am sure the murderous feelings will be here soon.

Me and my man braving the weather

Me and my man braving the weather – we can get through this too.

Write Away – A New Project

6 Mar

What can I say, I’ve been busy, and here’s what I’ve been busy doing (or at least one of the things I’ve been busy doing). My new little book, filled with writing tips and available now on Amazon for the price of half an Americano (i.e. 99p).

Write Away: A Quick Guide to Get You Writing gives bite-sized pieces of wisdom (from Stephen King and Eeyore) with a a good dose of things I have learned in my years of writing and editing.

At the moment, there isn’t a cover showing on Amazon, but, since I did create one, it should magically appear soon.

As ever, it would be great if you could give me your support by buying a copy (or reading it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited) and leaving a wee review.


Christmas Countdown – Day 24

24 Dec

Merry Christmas Everyone – I hope Santa is good to you (with lots of lovely new books to read). I’m off to wrap more presents, the bottom of that tree is looking a bit pathetic.


Colette’s Christmas Countdown – Day 23

23 Dec

Nearly there – wow this decision to do 24 days of blogging in a row has been a bit of an undertaking (and I’ve only slipped up once).

I was lying in my bed the other night trying to think of what to write about next, and I thought, well, I could write about ideas, where they come from and how to catch them. Then I remembered a piece I wrote a few years ago for a pamphlet produced by the G2 Writers. The piece On Reading made it in, but I rather like the piece On Writing too. Here they are – have a read and let me know what you think.

On Writing & Reading

Colette’s Christmas Countdown – Day 22 – A Little Late

23 Dec

Apologies – Yesterday’s blog got lost somewhere between church and a party, so I’m going to recreate the spirit of the day. Basically, I had breakfast, then lunch, then ate all afternoon, before coming home for dinner, so this post is the first meal of the day, with another along shortly.

Only two more sleeps until Santa comes, but I started off the Christmas festivities proper with a family party at my brother’s house. The guests ranged from 1 to 86, with almost every decade represented in between (although no one in their 40s or 70s). We had young kids running about, teenagers getting slightly squiffy on fizz, twenty-somethings in the flush of romance, thirty-somethings dealing with their toddlers, those in their 50s and 60s pulling food out of the oven and into their mouths, and the 86 year old, sitting watching it all, and giving her tuppenny’s worth when required. All in all a lovely day – all human life is here.

I am well aware though that everyone doesn’t have a big family or the ability to hold parties, and while I thoroughly enjoyed myself yesterday, my mind was with a couple of people spending time in hospital beds, with their families around them. It can be rubbish to be in difficult situations when everyone else is out enjoying themselves, and my thoughts and prayers are with them.

Now I’ve caught up with yesterday, I better get on with today. See you later.

Colette’s Christmas Countdown – Day 21

21 Dec

Christmas Presents:

It’s traditional in some Scandinavian counties to give books on Christmas Eve. I might do that, yet, but as I am too tired to think of today’s blog- it’s been a busy, busy week for Beech Editorial Services – here’s a wee Christmas story for you today.

Empty Pillowcase

Colette’s Christmas Countdown – Day 20

20 Dec

Christmas Present not free today, but cut-price and still time to order the paperback of All the Places I’ve Ever Been from Amazon. My Kindle Countdown Deal will be running from today – only 99p – with the price going up to the still deliciously reasonable price of £2.99 in a few days time.

All the Places I’ve Ever Been – Meg is on the run, so where better to hide than on the tour bus of a rock band. Join her on her adventures to all the places she’s ever been. Click on the image for a preview.

Christmas Countdown – Day 19

19 Dec

I’ve not been sleeping particularly well for the past couple of weeks. I think the impending doom of the election; staying up all night to watch it; and the excitement that Santa is nearly here, have disturbed my sleep a bit. But not to worry, I lie in bed thinking up wee stories or serenading myself with the million-tune jukebox I hold in my head. So why can I not get Cliff Richard’s Mistletoe and Wine out of my head. This must be one of the worst Christmas songs ever – I think maybe even one of the worst songs ever – yet it is going round and round in my head while I try to get to sleep. Insomnia doesn’t get much worse than this.

Apologies if I’ve now given you an earworm too.

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