Month: January 2016

Dear Competition Judges

I’m writing to explain why I did not submit my story for your esteemed competition. It’s because I suck.  And because I have a toddler.  And because the story has only one line. ‘Whose idea was this?’ Well, mine. And I was very excited about it.  Until the week I had to write the story was the one week my husband had to work in his city office.  Which meant he wasn’t here to ply me with White Russians until I fell asleep  wrote a complete story. And did I mention we’re moving?  Yeah, that’s next week.  I’m sharing the home office with empty bookshelves, full boxes and a bedframe. And we’re still waiting to hear about our mortgage.  Which is y’know, kinda important for the move.  I spent a bunch of time this week gathering proof of residence, because I’m still American.  Apparently.  I sent copies of my green card (I really have one.  It’s actually a stamp.)  And then there were copies of my tax returns. And I still needed more proof.  Two years of proof.  And so, I suggested we send them a picture of Isla. I unpacked some utility bills and copied about 40 pages of bank statements.  At the bank. Because who gets paper statements any more?  So I went to the bank and probably rambled on a bit too much, but thankfully the...

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Comedy Is Hard

And so, I just got my assignment for NYC Midnight’s Short Story Challenge.  And we have: Comedy. Cooking Show. Paramedic. Apparently. I’ve been waiting impatiently for these writing orders. Our internet connection is rather slow up here. And then there’s that annoying time-zone issue, so the assignments were out a bunch of hours before I made Neil read mine. I make him read my important stuff first, because husbands have all the power,  I really am a giant wuss.  About some things.  And writing makes me nervous these days. ‘I think you can do this,’ Neil says.  ‘Comedy.  You’re very funny.’ ‘I’m hysterical.’ ‘And you like cooking shows.’ ‘It’s raw because you didn’t facking cook it!’ I say, in my mediocre Gordon Ramsey voice. ‘And when you cook, we need to call the paramedics,’ Neil says. ‘You were so close,’ I say.  ‘Can I use that line?’ And so.  I was happy with my lot.  And then I got out of bed.  And thought about it.  Read up on the other assignments. I emailed my best writing friend.  ‘I want your assignment.  And everyone else’s.’ Because comedy is hard.  Because THIS IS FUNNY BECAUSE IT’S FUNNY, DAMN IT is annoying.  And not funny. ‘I’m not funny’, I say to Neil. ‘Is that a joke?’ ‘OK, I’m not funny anymore.’  ‘Motherhood has made me, I dunno, obvious.’ ‘What the hell...

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The Bookshelves Are Concerned

Before I moved in with Neil, I lived in six apartments over five years. Several of my landlords used my rent to pay for ski trips instead of their mortgages. Because that’s a thing. Anyway, there was legal stuff that had nothing to do with me. Except I had to move a lot, and with each new place I unpacked less and less. When Neil and I met, I was down to my cat and my bookshelves. He bought me a coffee machine, which rounded out the kitchen. But really, my last Christmas party in Glasgow was just us, some friends, the cat and some chicken wings. We moved in together and the bus-stop downstairs provided a weird kind of opera every Friday night. The boiler stopped working a bunch of times which meant there was a hole in our bedroom floor.  Which the plumber never got the chance to fix. The old place was interesting. And truthfully, I miss it. It was where I set out pebbles and asked Neil to marry me, and then he turned around and asked me. It was where we landed after the honeymoon. It was where my husband told me I was pregnant. It was Isla’s first home outside my body. But when the opportunity arose and we moved to Skye, we were ready. OK, Neil was a little more ready than...

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Goals For 2016

Part of the re-vamp of this blog will be me participating more regularly in memes, blog-hops and other social blogging projects that I like/make sense to me/want to share with others. One of those such things is Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish. Today’s list is Resolutions for 2016. I prefer the term goals. Let’s call them goals. See, they’re trees, um, goals. And here they are with nifty categories. Writing Start/continue the journal/letters to Isla and show her that life is mostly beautiful and always an adventure, with a lesson in there somewhere. I’ll also be mentioning that all her weirdness comes from her father. And me. OK, both of us. Sorry not sorry. Participate as far as I can in NYC Midnight’s Short Story Challenge. I thought about it last year. This year I’m in. Write more consistently/constantly, generally-speaking. I want to get back to that person who filled a notebook every night and wrote a story every week. That person was me. And I have writing to do. Reading Finish the books I start. This could be said for the ones I’ve started writing, as well. But for now let’s talk about books by other people. My husband calls me a flippant reader. To illustrate this point, up until a few days ago, I had 57 (!) books on Goodreads listed under currently...

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