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Summer’s over and I’m back at the computer most mornings getting into writing gear again. With my Open University Creative Writing modules behind me, it’s been more challenging as I have to set my own goals and targets and decide my future directions.

My last project in July was to work with Gabriele Haefs and Karin Braun of Edition Narrenflug on a translation into German of my Mslexia prizewinning story Shifting Sands. I’m pleased to say the bulk of the work has been done. It was enjoyable to debate the translation of some tricky words (blackhouse, machair and shinty took the prizes) and see how the story began to take shape in its German version.  ‘Treibsand’ will appear in an anthology ‘Weibsbilder’ compiled by Gabriele and published by Karin at Edition Narrenflug in April 2015. http://edition-narrenflug.com/

After that there was a bit of a lull. And then Write-Track came along, a new website for writers with the motto ‘finish what you start’. The idea is that setting goals and tracking how often you write will help you achieve your aims.  The website also promotes a sense of community, as writers share their thoughts and their progress. So far it seems to have worked for me, pushing me from ‘I might write today’ into ‘I will write today’.  It’s created quite an energy, and I got round to submitting some poems to competitions and anthologies. It also made me review my radio play ‘Ships That Pass’, which was my final assignment for my Open University course. Based on some family diary fragments, it is about a young widow in Edwardian Glasgow and the lure of a trip to America. To qualify for submission to the BBC Writers’ Room I had to extend it from 30 minutes to 45. It was quite difficult to go back and change something that I had regarded as finished, but the ‘extensions’ grew organically over time and I reached the required length. I quite like its new look.  My dream is to develop this story into a novel, but it will take a bit more thought!  In the meantime I’m continuing with some more short fiction and poetry projects. Thank you to Bec at Write-Track for setting up the website at https://www.write-track.co.uk!