A Tribute to CaféLit

Story rejection is getting easier. It doesn’t stop me submitting my writing and it doesn’t stop me improving. However, if rejection catches me on a bad day, I find Writers’ Insecurity lingering in the wings. I can’t help but wonder, ‘Is there anyone, aside from close friends and family, who wants to read my work?’

Enter CaféLit. It posts a short story online every day, and at the end of the year, some are chosen to be published in an anthology.

I was directed to the site by Continue reading

Ring Ring: Don’t Phone Me Ever

If you need me, call me.

No, wait, don’t! Please never call me. Ever.

The only thing worse than an awkward face-to-face conversation is having an awkward phone conversation…especially when you’re the one who has to make the phone call.

What do you mean you prefer to phone rather than email? Are you crazy? No, I guess not – you ‘just like to talk to a real person’. Well, I don’t, okay?

As a child, I would do anything I could to avoid making Continue reading

Fleeting Moments of Genuine Connection

When you’re introverted, it’s easy to assume you don’t have much to offer in busier social settings. These assumptions are often unhelpful and untrue. Mum and I went to Tesco one day and I had two little exchanges that made me think.

An old woman fussed along the dairy aisle, wet grey trench coat swishing. She looked at me, head shaking, smiling. ‘I’ve lost the thing I cannot find.’

The scenario and sentence seemed ridiculous, to her even more than me.

‘Oh,’ I said, with a laugh. ‘That’s Continue reading

I Can’t Read Late at Night Anymore

One of my favourite hobbies as a child has been spoilt by becoming a writer: I can no longer read in bed before I fall asleep.

I doubt I’m the only one who used to snuggle up in their duvet, say goodnight to their parents, and have an illegal date with a torch and one of Enid Blyton’s creations. I read obsessively. I admit, my range was limited, because I loved to reread my favourite books. Still, it was wonderful.

I almost feel guilty that I can’t do it anymore. Have I broken some writerly rule by admitting this? What has changed? Continue reading

War on Fireworks

My family and I used to watch the local firework display from afar. It was an adventure, wrapping up in big coats, and seeing the glowing bonfire and the sky light up. I liked the quiet fizzy ones, but more often I had to wince and shield my ears.

I understand lots of people enjoy fireworks, but environmentally speaking, there must be better forms of entertainment.

The noise alone is horrible. A scroll through Continue reading

Being Andrea Bocelli

I had several dreams the other night. One stayed with me.

I walk into a huge hall. It is empty, but your voice fills the room. I can’t believe it – first I meet Aiden Turner and now you! You don’t see me, of course. You never will.

‘Mum,’ I say. ‘Look!’

Andrea Bocelli.

Mum follows me in. Her face falls into a frown, and she Continue reading