Tag Archives: Colette Coen

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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Another Day, Another 30 Dollars

28 Feb

The Writing Quarter has once again chosen a story of mine as their monthly winner. The exchange rate between here and Australia means that I get £1 less than last time, but enough to cover the competitions I am busy entering today.

The story Pot Luck is one I wrote a few years ago, though the theme has become even more pertinent (and personal) over time, to the point that I almost consigned it to the bin, but didn’t, as it is always useful (if painful) to raise awareness.

I sometimes think that I spend an inordinate amount of time entering writing competitions and submitting to magazines – tweaking the text so that it is within word limits; making sure the headers and footers abide by the rules; removing or adding my name – but the reason I carry on is because I want people to read my work, and if I don’t send it out, then it won’t be read.

I checked the proofs yesterday of one of my stories that will appear in the next edition of Pushing out the Boat, and Postbox Magazine, with another wee tale, is coming soon. So, it’s the last day of February and that’s three ‘yeses’ since the new year. I’m happy with that but I need to carry on with the submissions if I want to carry on in the same vein.

 

Winning Story – The Writing Quarter

3 Dec

I do like a competition, especially ones that have no entry fee and still give a prize. So I am now AU$30 better off, and have now been published by magazines in Scotland, England, Ireland, America and Australia.

You can read my winning story Crooked  at The Writing Quarter.

Two Kindle Countdown Deals

29 Oct

Yes, it’s true, you can buy the short story collection Five a Day and my first novel All the Places I’ve Ever Been 

at a reduced price. 99p for Five a Day until the 2nd of November, or you’ve a few more days to snap up All the Places for $3.92.

Kindle Countdown Deal

24 Oct

Time for my next Kindle Countdown Deal – St Antony’s Tongue – a collection of short stories and flash fiction, is available for a short time at 99p (usual price £1.99). Get it now before it’s too late.

Oh Look, it’s me

28 Sep

Delighted to have won this month’s Writing District Short Story competition. Even better that there is a prize but no entry fee – result. If only the exchange rate was better!

You can read my story It here. Don’t worry, it’s not got anything to do with the Stephen King story.

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.

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.

Postcards in the Attic

1 Dec

When I was younger I collected postcards, and as a result when people were having a clear-out (usually after a death), they would pass me any postcards they found. I knew I had them, I knew there were treasures there, I just kept putting off looking through them. Today, as a precursor to doing some writing, I pulled them out, and they didn’t disappoint. I haven’t reached the Majorca of the early 80s – flamenco dancers with real skirts, but I have, rather handily, found a bundle from Switzerland, Germany and Austria from the 1950s – the era of my current writing project.

Selection of the Collection

Selection of the Collection

Bizarre postcard of Ronnie and Nancy Reagan with their heads swapped, and a cheery one of a V2 flying bomb – wish you were here?

One of the photos has inspired a chain of thought already, and others are helping with the general vibe. Glad I finally opened the box.

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