Free Kindle Book

15 Jul

Quick – get over to Amazon between the 15th and 19th of July, and download a copy of one of my books of short stories St Antony’s Tongue. I hope you like it, and if you do, it would be great if you could add an Amazon review. Ta.

St Antony's Tongue: Short Stories and Flash Fiction by [Coen, Colette]

Summer Holiday Reading

14 Jul

I absolutely HATE packing. I know that deciding what to wear on holiday should be fun. but it’s the run-up to actually putting things in the case that I hate. Do I have enough? Does that still fit? Can I actually go to the shops and not just buy clothes for the kids? Our baggage allowance is what?

It is getting easier though – for a start there’s only 4 of us going away instead of the usual 5. (Will be weird, but cheaper without No1 son, who has already been away with his pals, but my mum is trying to make me feel guilty that I’m not taking him.)  Kids 2&3 are old enough to pack themselves, but need to keep a wee eye on them after No3 turned up in Brussels in October with no jacket – it was -2 degrees. To be fair to him, we’d never been abroad except in the summer, so he didn’t really compute that it might be cold.

But what I do love about packing, is choosing what I’m going to read on holiday. Because we’re not going with ElCheapo Airlines, like we usually do, I’m going to sneak in a few paperbacks as well as a Kindle (I’ve finally realised that the Nook, while a nice ereader, getting almost impossible to buy books for. And my sister-in-law was upgrading her Kindle, so I got the old one.)

Lovely man in the local Waterstones gave my kids great recommendations, although we realised that we already had quite a few of the books they were suggesting. I bought the lovely Maggie Ritchie’s new novel Looking for Evelyn (Maggie is a G2 Writer, but I missed her book launch. Did make the launches of two compadres’ launches – Kevin Scott’s Dead Cat Bounce, and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine). Rest of the holiday reading is coming from the book shelves, and looks like this.

DSC_0190

And from the Kindle: Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry; Holding by Graham Norton; and CJ Sansom’s Revelation. A bit of a mixed bag, I know, but that’s the great thing about uninterrupted reading time – you get to put the mind to Umberto Eco and chill with Graham Norton.

And if you are still looking for books to take away, check back in between tomorrow 15th and the 19th of July, and you’ll be rewarded by a Free Book. Subscribe or Follow me so you don’t need to remember.

 

Crannog 45

29 Jun

A little story of mine White Dreams has just been published in Crannog 45 can’t wait to get my hands on it. Launch is tomorrow night, but unfortunately I’ll not be able to go across the Irish Sea this time.

Catching up on my reading, and getting rewarded

28 Mar

I restarted a new subscription to Writing Magazine about a year ago and got second place in one of the first competitions I entered with them. Read it HERE So far so good, but my reading had slipped a bit, as the magazines are crammed full of articles, stories and various other info about outlets etc.

Anyway, I was sitting at my desk today reading January’s edition, and look:

Writing Magazine Jan2017

Bizarrely I was just working on that very story this afternoon to make it fit the word count of another competition. The Scottish Art Club’s short story competition has a hefty entrance fee, but feeling more confident after seeing this.

Mothers’ Day

21 Mar

Okay, so maybe you can’t afford to send your mum on a round-the-world trip, but you could buy her a book that sends the heroine on such a journey. Even better if your mum remembers the 80s. What book would that be? I hear you say. Oh, you know, don’t you? And don’t worry, one of these days I’ll finish the next book, and give you something different to look at.

Just to guilt trip you – got my Amazon payments for last month – 3p. Really must get on with writing something new.

The Wedding Party

4 Mar

The Wedding Party

She’d been to these parties before, when a bride wants another wear out of her wedding dress. ‘It’ll be fun,’ Stacy said. ‘All the girls from the office are coming. Another chance to feel really special, eh Christine?’

It was also a chance to have a snide look at your friends’ weight gain; the not- yet-revealed pregnancies; the workmates who would have to make excuses because their dress came out of the hire shop, or the man they called their husband wasn’t really.

Christine had no such worries: at forty she had accumulated three traditional white frocks and two less formal ones – one from the beach wedding with Javier, (who turned out to be gay); and a grey suit from the Registry Office with James, who believed that everything should be functional (he was a bag of laughs).

Stacy’s party definitely called for white, but no amount of SlimFasting would get her into the dress she wore when she married Andy. She was so tiny then, withered away to almost nothing. Three kids later, and a hell of a lot of comfort eating and she was in a plus size for Ali. He said he liked something to hold onto, but it turned out he wasn’t great at holding onto anything.

So those two were out. All that was left was her first dress. The one that made her mum cry when she tried it on. The one that made the girls in the bridal shop rush with a veil and shoes to pop on, and even an artificial bouquet that she could hold in front of her, so she could get the full impression in the mirror.

She lifted it off the hanger, and slipped it on again. After the years of a yo-yoing waistline, it just about fitted. She circled the gold band on her finger; the one Euan had given her twenty years before. The one she had refused to remove for Javier and Ali and Andy and James. The one she had kept faithful with throughout all the subsequent failures.

Maybe if she wore this dress to Stacy’s party she would stand out among the other brides. Maybe Euan would realise what a mistake he had made. And Stacy would regret inviting her new husband’s ex-wife to her stupid wedding party.

This piece was inspired by a prompt at Creative Writing Ink

Round in Circles

5 Jan

The Christmas jigsaw has been completed, and while the decorations are still up, the kids are back at school, so it must be time to get down to work (although it should be noted that paid employment continued/increased over the holidays!).

It must surely be time for New Year Resolutions, but since I started a 90 day plan about 6 weeks ago, I really should just keep on with that. It broadly broke down into three areas: New Book; New Job; New Bod. We’ll totally ignore the last one, as I’m definitely still in the ‘Before’ stage. New Book? Well, the word count is moving up, but not nearly as quickly as I had liked. New Job? Well, there is a bit of a long-term plan there, and I’ve almost completed my Level 1 qualification in British Sign Language, which I am really enjoying and may eventually lead to a little bit of sessional work to supplement the supermarket wages.

So no new resolutions, but I have been thinking about the whole circle of life thing – most of us don’t need to watch the seasons to make our crops flourish, but the way that life is split into days, weeks, months, seasons and years does give us all the opportunity to start again, not just keep going on an unchanging continuum until we write our last word and breathe our last breath. Just think how glad people were to get the Bumper Celeb Death year of 2016 out of the way. There was an almost audible sigh of relief when the bells struck midnight (and Mons Meg was fired), and the internet was filled with memes of Brucie, saying ‘phew, made it.’

And I have to say I was mightily glad to get 2016 behind me as well. It’s been an absolute stinker in many ways, but things are looking much brighter with a welcome decline in hospital trips. The spreadsheet for 2017 is being populated with deadlines for competitions and submissions, and I’m trying not to think too hard about when I’ll receive my annual rejection from New Writing Scotland. So I’ll keep calm and carry on, and I’ll just f*@%ing do it and I hope you’ll keep on keeping me company for the year ahead.

 

Christmas Jigsaw

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