On Being Unable to Settle

Today is the first day I’ve had free to write, for AGES. There’s been a health scare, Christmas and family times, A Christmas Quiz and family New Year party – Hogmanay up here in Scotland –  both of which I helped organise. It’s been busy, fun, chaotic.

There’s a ton of housework and washing to be done, but I’m really good at ignoring that and sitting down to write. But instead, I find myself obsessively checking the NYC Midnight site – for today is the day the results of the Flash Fiction Challenge 2016 are announced… Getting from 2100 to 48 people is fantastic and I’m very happy. But the boost in visibilty and financial terms that winning would be…. well, it would be amazing. I can but dream. The money is most definitely secondary (except that at the moment we’re living beyond our means in many ways so it would most definitely be helpful) but the boost for my writing CV would be incredible. Wonderful! America is only just waking up. Nevertheless I’ve been checking my e mail and the NYC site since I woke up, when America still slumbered. From  now on though, I’m on tenterhooks….

Another reason I can’t write much is that my writing muscles are slack. The less I write, the more ideas I have, yet the harder they are to get down. The advice about writing every day is spot on – if you don’t, the writing muscles slacken. Mine are slack. They’ll be back; by the end of tomorrow I’ll have plenty of words on pages and I’ll have my voice back. I love Christmas and the holidays but writing gets shoved to the side, as Mummy takes over, just as it should be. The kids will always come first, but once they’re at school, writing comes first.

And if I’m nowhere near the top ten, that’s fine too. I’m chuffed to bits to have made it to the final round of 48 people. I imagine they are all, like me, waiting, waiting for that announcement.

Back to the housework. It takes my mind off it, but doesn’t deter the butterflies that are flapping away inside me…Fortunately, I can work with them present, even if they make me flit from job to job, here and there, settling on cleaning the sink one minute and then folding clothes and then thinking about dinner, tidying the endless piles of STUFF dumped all aroudn the house by me or my man or the kids… it’ll all get done, but in crazy little fits and starts.

And I bet I won’t be able to find a damn thing when I’ve tidied up, as my mind is all over the place and I’ll put things in funny places…

Ooh! Spark for a story. Bye bye housework, see you later…

NYC in a Second…

I did it! I came second in my heat of round three of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction challenge. This means I’ve gone from one of 2100 writers to a field of 48 for the last round, which is this weekend. This weekend also happens to be one of the busiest of this entire year, but where there’s a will, and all that. Even if I go no further, I’m overjoyed to have got this far.



I put up a couple of tweets last week about my collection of short stories and as a result somebody from Cornerstones got in touch and asked for a synopsis and 10 pages of work. The trouble is, 10 pages is only a fraction of a longer story, so I ended up sending in five really short pieces becasue I wanted to show the different sort of stuff I write about. To be honest I don’t hold out masses of hope, but any kind of feedback will be great and Cornerstones comes with a fantastic reputation…


I suffer from this. I’m just not photogenic AT ALL. Especially not in this picture:

Aberdeen resident shines in National Writing Competition

In the print copy is a photo I supplied which is wayyyyy better – this one was taken at the book launch. It features my chin. I’m not that vain but gads…

However, I’m completely ecstatic to be in the paper, chins and all.

I’ll tell you a secret…

My biggest publishing success so far is just about to happen! I’m very happy this year to be included in the Scottish Book Trust’s free book that gets distributed all over Scotland for Book Week 2016, 21st – 27th November. I’ve wanted to be a part of the book week projects for the past couple of years – last year I missed the deadline and the year before I wasn’t chosen. I’m really proud to be in it this year. See the link below for more details on Book Week.


Last week Hamish and I went to Edinburgh for an event to launch the book and meet the other authors. Lovely evening, but I completely forgot to take any photos. I’ll put a link on here when the press release is up.

The piece of mine that’s been included, ‘After the Dark Night comes the Morning’ was a very personal piece; a bit of a personal journey I’ve been on and I was happy with it, but it’s a big deal to let things like this go public. There is a print run of 150,000 of these books so I am a) very proud and b) a little terrified! However, I’ve been very open about some important stuff and if it helps someone else open up about similar things, then that’s all good. Here it is: