Twitter Pitch #Xponorth

15 Jan

Scotland’s biggest Twitter Pitch is happening today between 9am and 9pm (GMT). Agents and publishers get to see the 280 character pitches for completed work and work in progress.

I have popped a couple of tweets on which you can see @colettecoen or have a browse using the #xponorth hashtag, remembering to like and retweet any that take your fancy.

Happy New Year

3 Jan

We made it to 2021. That’s worthy of a celebration: which is why it’s the 3rd and I am just getting around to my resolutions. Not that they took much contemplation as they have been the same for decades – read more, write more and stop wasting so much time. I’m not even going to say that I want to lose weight and exercise more, as it is a rare person who doesn’t. I did get an exercise bike for Christmas which arrived a few weeks ago. I was using it regularly, but today was the first time I had been on it since Christmas Day. My mantra is ‘everything in moderation’, so I’m not planning to beat any world records.

What I am planning to do though, is to use some of the helpful plans for reading and writing that have appeared over the last couple of weeks. The Guardian has put together ways to ‘Feed Your Soul‘ for the 31 days of January – which I plan to work through (although I might not stick to it religiously – did I watch Clueless yesterday – No)

There are a wide range of reading challenges at Girlxoxo – I have chosen to do the Alphabet Soup – Author Edition Challenge, which means a total of 26 books should be read in the year, although it may take me all year to get through ‘Promised Land’ by Barak Obama. I only managed 20 last year, but in my defence, books are a small proportion of the reading I do – what with my editing work, G2 Writers, newspapers and magazines. You’ll be able to follow the books I’ve read in the sidebar (Goodreads).

I’ve also been tearing out the middle of The Writers’ Forum magazine which has a calendar of Daily Kickstarters for each month. They are timed challenges which should take no more than 5 minutes – there is a variety in the type of challenge and I finally started using them today – I had to write about the setting for my next story and why I chose it. Interesting exercise as I have been reading a lot of short stories recently and have been struck by their variety (especially in ‘Days of Awe’ by A.M. Homes

Well, those are my brief resolutions. Onwards and upwards, well as much as restrictions will allow.

#AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge

Merry Christmas Everyone

21 Dec

Last year I managed a Christmas Countdown for every day of advent with lots of treats and this year – I forgot. My editing business has been going a storm and while I thought that December would be quiet, it has proved to be one of the busiest months of the year. That along with all the other stuff – you know what I mean – has meant that blogging has taken a bit of a back seat. Hopefully in the new year I will be back with a vengeance.

In the meantime, have a wonderful/weird/confused/drunk Christmas and New Year, take care of yourself and others.

All my love

Merry Christmas, Love Colette

You Tube Star

16 Oct

Well, maybe not quite yet, but you can see me read an extract of my story Time Moves Sideways here. The complete story is in the current issue of From Glasgow to Saturn.

I also took part in the launch event last night. I hadn’t intended to read live as I have been away for a couple of days in my island home and didn’t think I would have time to prepare. In the end, I went for it. Hopefully without making a fool of myself.

From Glasgow to Saturn – Launch Event

12 Oct

I am delighted to be reading at the launch event for the magazine From Glasgow to Saturn which is taking place at 7pm on Thursday evening as part of the Stay-a-Home Fringe run by Glasgow University MLit students.

The website looks great with lots of Creative Conversations and a range of other literary events to keep us all going.

My husband has decided he will be my art director for this afternoon’s video shoot, so wish us well.

Hope to see you all on Thursday.

Zealous Update

30 Sep

Well, I promised you an update with either a happy or a sad face, and I am afraid that this time it is sad. Never mind, I will revel in my shortlisting.

The story that won is absolutely beautiful and very worthy of the prize. If you haven’t checked out the stories yet, you can find the winner here.

My story WhatsAppening, along with the other shortlisted titles can be read here. Well done to my friend Frances, who spotted which one was mine.

In amongst virtual bundles of academic editing, I have also been enjoying the Wigtown Book Festival. I have mainly been sticking with non-fiction – Alastair Campbell, Anne Applebaum, Helena Kennedy (who went to the same school as me), Neil McGregor and Richard Holloway. There was a theme of dissent and the how to cope in an every changing world, which ran through a lot of the discussions.

I was very taken by Richard Holloway who said, ‘no one can be perfect, but we can all improve.’ He also told a story about a man on a beach, throwing stranded starfish back into the sea. When a passer-by ridiculed him by saying there were too many on the beach for him to make any difference, he picked up another starfish, threw it into the water and said, ‘I’ve made a difference to that one.’

Jane Goodall said something similar to Trevor Noah on the Daily Show. ‘If we clean the stream next to us, we have a clean stream to run into the river. If everyone cleans the stream next to them, we have a clean river.’ In other words, never give up hope, but act and do.

I did catch Maggie O’Farrell’s talk as well on her new novel Hamnet. I am twitching to buy lots of books from the festival bookshop, but will wait until the end of the festival and then splurge.

I have wanted to go to Wigtown during the festival for years (I have been a couple of times and been enchanted by it), so I was happy to spend some time and money (events are free, but donations encouraged) to see some of the brilliant authors who were ‘there’.

VLF (Virtual Literary Festival) just sent me an email with lots of other festivals being broadcast over the next few months. Check them out.

Zealous Shortlist

25 Sep

Delighted to have one of my stories shortlisted for a Zealous award. Exciting times – I do love a competition with short turn arounds. I submitted nine days ago and will know the outcome in three days time. You can read all the shortlisted stories here – they are anonymous just now, but you can always have a guess at which one is mine, and check back on Sunday for either a happy or a sad face from me.

Wigtown Book Festival

17 Sep

One of the good things about Covid – okay, the only good thing, is that so many Arts organisations have moved their content online.

The Wigtown Book Festival starts a week from today and has a great line-up. I have got tickets to see Alistair Campbell, Anne Applebaum, Neil McGregor, Helena Kennedy and Philip Hensher (he is discussing the Golden Age of the British Short Story). Tickets are all free, but as with anything in life, you value more what you pay for, so there is an option to donate to keep the festival healthy. (Have you seen you can buy me a virtual coffee to keep me fuelled?)

I am hoping to be inspired by the Book Festival, but at the moment all my time is being taken up with editing and dentistry – one paying for the other.

Reading Roulette @ SWC

19 Aug

Everyone is having to adapt to this strange new world and the lovely people at the Scottish Writers’ Centre have hit on a novel (pardon the pun) way to link writers with readers. So, on the 25th of August, they will be hosting a Roulette Speakeasy.

A week ago I submitted my 3 minute video and on the night, the roulette wheel will be spun and videos will be played from some of these lovelies. Can you spot me?

Speakeasy Line up
Roulette Speakeasy Line up for August 2020

Tickets are free but you must register in advance to gain access. You can do it here at the Scottish Writers’ Centre. If you are feeling a little to very generous, you can also leave a small donation to help the work of the centre.

There are another couple of G2 members in the line-up, but I will leave you to figure that out by yourself, but will give a hint – a full list of G2 members (and the groups that spawned it) are under the G2 Writers tab.

Hope some of you are able to make it. Spaces are limited, so get to it.

Kindle Countdown Continues

20 Jul

Just a reminder that the Kindle Countdown on All the Places I’ve Ever Been continues for the next couple of days.

Kindle Countdown Deal

All the Places I’ve Ever Been is a coming-of-age novel set in the late 1980s. It follows teenager Meg Burns on a round the world journey as she flees from a violent attack in Glasgow to travel with Australian rock band MindSet. Streetwise but emotionally immature, each new city brings opportunities and challenges. The band gives Meg the security she has never had, but when support turns to control and secrets re-emerge, she needs to decide who she can really trust.