Chroma Magazine

10 Nov

Very excited to be appearing in the first edition of Chroma Magazine 

I was asked to write creative non-fiction, and I thought it was the first time I’ve really done this, but then I remembered that the first thing I ever submitted was an essay in 1990 on the theme of imagining Glasgow 2000. I won the competition, and thought my writing life would be a breeze from there on in. Ha, Ha, Ha.

Nice to speckle the years with the odd publication and prize though, and haven’t given up hope of the big break.

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Chroma – The Red Issue

29 Oct

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had been approached to submit a creative non-fiction piece to a new magazine, well, I am very pleased to say that Shot to the Heart is going to appear in the first issue of Chroma.

Each issue is based on a colour, No.1 is Red. There is a launch event in a couple of weeks in Brighton, unfortunately too far for me to travel – but if you’re nearby you could pop in. Watch this space for how you can make a purchase.

The website for Chroma is gorgeous, so I can’t wait to see the printed edition. Properly chuffed about this one.

Bridge

10 Oct

I’m pretty sure I’m not a witch, though Mum tells me not to cross the bridge. Water runs fast below it; trees grow tall beyond it; birds fly overhead and nest there. We can find all we need here, Mum says, as she adds eye of newt to the cauldron.

 

This piece was inspired by the theme Bridge on the Scottish Book Trust’s 50 words section for September.

Write Well Anthology 2017

15 Sep

Delighted to be included in the Write Well Anthology  2017   Silver Pen Writers collect together previously published material and brings it together in one place – now available to buy (international author that I now am). My story All the Rest is Silence, which was first published in Structo Magazine along with the great story by my pal Paula Hunter 3 for 2, which was in the same magazine.

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Toro Bravo

28 Jul

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Flamenco comes from the heart ­ the blood pulsating around your body, twisting your arms, contorting your hands. Toro Bravo, the bull, the flashing red skirts of MariePaz, we dance our battle.

The rhythm makes its way unfiltered to my feet as they stamp the beat on the ground, and to my hands as they clap in syncopation. I can feel the veins in my neck, my forehead. I look at MariePaz ­ she is absorbed in the dance. The passion she once felt for me, and I for her, now expended solely in the performance.

The music stops, and we hold our final pose. Our all-inclusive audience clap as I mop my brow.

 

Inspired by the above photographic prompt at Creative Writing Ink

Kentucky Derby

28 Jul

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Kentucky Derby

She handed me a crisp pound note, fresh from her pension. ‘Get five shillings and the rest in smash.’

At nine, I am already taller than my wee Granny, so I go up to the booth and translate the request into new money.

Diane likes the tupenny falls. The exact timing of dropping the coppers in, watching them fall, pushing other coins forward. Some drop onto the next level to be raked, moving others tantalisingly close to the win.

Granny stands at the one-arm bandit. She anticipates three cherries while building up the muscles in her right arm. We’ll get an ice-cream push-up if she wins big.

Both games are too sedentary for me. I am drawn to the Kentucky Derby. I play it every day, building up my winning tokens to be exchanged for a prize on the last day of the holidays. There’s a teddy bear for a hundred tokens, though Granny says it would be cheaper to buy. I really like it though, even if I just have fifteen tokens with six days to go.

I put my money in the slot, wait for my ball to roll to the front of my game area. I like to sit on the third seat, three being my lucky number, the date of my birth. The ball is yellow, which I like too, as are the coloured border of the target holes. I don’t mind if someone else is already in my seat, it doesn’t put me off, but gives an added challenge.

When the man running the stall figures that no one else is coming, he puts us under starters orders. The horses are all ready, waiting for our commands. And they’re off.

You need to be quick. Rolling your ball up the slope. Aiming for the three-point hole, but satisfied with a two. My horse moves forward ­ one, two.

Commentary blares over the speakers, filling the whole arcade. ‘And Number Six is leading by a head.’

There’s a fat man who plays all day, or at least all the times I’m here. He’s my main rival. But what he has in speed, I make up in accuracy. I’m ahead. The race is on. I can see his sideways glance, but I am under strict instructions not to talk to him.

Diane comes up behind me, wants to show me her handful of winnings, but I blank her out for a few more seconds to secure my win.

I’m handed my token, and pop it in the sparkly purse, which I wear diagonally across my body. I take out another coin to start again.

When we run out of money it means it’s time to go back to the flat that Mum’s friend lets us have. When it’s raining, we run ahead of Granny, while she braves the elements in her summer coat and rain mate. But if it’s dry, which it sometimes is, we shorten our steps to walk beside her, as she limps along with her rickety legs and bad hip.

I tell her about my races, and ask if we’ll get ice cream from Nardini’s later. And she tells me again, not to talk to the fat man, who sits all day at the Kentucky Derby, trying to get enough tokens for a giant teddy bear.

 

This piece was inspired by the CHANGE prompt at Creative Writing Ink

 

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]

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