About Christine Cochrane
In 2010 I decided it was time for change and retired after thirty years of teaching languages. The first thing I did was learn to play the harp, which was a bit of a surprise. The second was to start writing. This was less of a surprise, as I’ve always loved words and language. I was, however, unsure about what sort of writer I was going to be.
The Open University Course A215 in Creative Writing showed me that I enjoyed everything – poetry, life writing and short fiction. I passed with distinction and had two pieces selected for publication in Ink Pantry Press’s anthology of Open University students’ work, Fields of Words. In 2014 I obtained a pass with distinction for the Open University Course A363, Advanced Creative Writing; this hugely enjoyable course enabled me to explore stage and radio drama and also helped me fine-tune my fiction writing.
I was delighted to win third prize in the Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition 2014 with my story ‘Shifting sands’, which was originally one of my A363 assignments.
This story, set in South Uist and Benbecula, is the lead story in my first short story collection, Shifting Sands: Tales of Transience and Transformation, published in November 2015. The German version of ‘Shifting sands’ has been published in the anthology Weibsbilder, published by Edition Narrenflug in Kiel. The German version of ‘Ships that pass’, a further story from my collection, is available in the German anthology Vierertreffen and also comes from Edition Narrenflug. Details of how to buy these books are on my publications page.
I am currently completing an MA in Creative Writing with the Open University, specialising in poetry.
Many of you who followed Christine’s Blog will know that she died quite suddenly in March this year. She had been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in the autumn of 2015, and, over the following three and half years, was treated with several lines of chemotherapy both in Lancaster and at The Christie in Manchester. But, for much of that time, we tried to live as normally as possible, continuing with holidays, walking, skiing, exploring, and with humour and laughter.
In March, I sent out a circular announcement by e-mail and via Facebook, but there will very likely be some of you for whom I do not have contact details; hence this post. I apologise for the delay in this updating of Christine’s website, but I have only recently discovered how to access and edit the content of HarpingOn.
Christine did finish her MA in Creative Writing, and she did so with a Distinction. Which pleased her greatly. She also completed the editing of her Poetry Collection, Room – a selection of personal memories, coupled with reflections on her experience of living with cancer. She checked and finalised the e-copy of Room earlier this year, but the Proof Copy was delivered only on the day that she died, so that she never got to handle the paper version. Which makes me feel almost unbearably sad. However, it was published in April, and details of how to buy a copy are on the publications page, along with Shifting Sands.
This photo of Chrissy was taken last October on the White Caterthun – a large Iron Age Hill Fort above Strathmore near Edzell in Angus. It was one of her go-to places whenever we had a holiday in that area of Scotland.