Can I fall any lower? I have been stood up by a Buddhist monk. Finally I found The Priory, which was a humble detached house with only a small statue of Buddha outside to signal its purpose. For some ridiculous reason I was expecting something exotic…with gold leaf…which flies in the face of Buddhist humility. Then I rang the bell, while staring at a grasshopper that sat with its feet splayed on the window. I had been trying not to think grasshopper, as it is a cruel cliché from the old Kung Fu films, where the monk with the opaque eyes calls the seeker of truth ‘Grasshopper.’ Tried not to giggle and rang the bell again. Again. Rapped the door. It was hot and I was getting cross. Goddammit, where was this man who was to help me with my anger? Bloody hell, has he forgotten? Why can’t he hear me!
I went home very angry and it then only dawned on me the irony of being furious that a man who was to help me meditate and control my anger, had made me angrier. I also put a note through his door and my other half was frightened about what I might have said. He knows that I have a feisty soul, flashes of my mother’s shrewish temper. How could he think that I would be rude, whatever the provocation, to a gentle monk?
It transpires (by email) that the monk was in the back garden and had not heard me (what was he doing – nude sunbathing, painting his gnomes?) Oh well, universe – life was buggered up again.
Onward. Mary Stott prize to enter. Book review and interview for Wolfprint. 5,000 words left for my 10,000 novel pledge. Bought a new copy of the Writers’ and Artists’ yearbook. After all, my other one is 2006 – editors have moved/died/gone insane. I once picked up an American equivalent and sat laughing at the extent of specialist magazines. Lesbian Biker Chicks on Acid who Knit – that sort of thing. Ours, with its Horse and Hound and Dogs Today, is so much more tame.
It’s a shame really.
- Julia Bohanna
- Shortlisted Bath Short Story Award 2013 Runner-up Cinnamon Press Competition 2013 WNNER: Don Louth Writer of the Year (run by Reading Writers) WINNER: Bradt/Independent on Sunday Travel Writing Competition 2012. SHORTLISTED: Scott Prize (Salt Publishing) 2012 for a short story collection. Writer/ Journalist - assistant editor and writer for the art and books pages of Wolfprint. Most recently published in Independent on Sunday and short story anthologies: Sentinel Champions No 9, 100 Stories for Queensland, 50 Stories for Pakistan, 100 Stories for Haiti and From Hell to Eternity. In a recent writing competition, Joanne Harris described my writing as '...compelling (but quite creepy)'
- ► 2009 (13)
Prizes and Writing Awards
- Winner Bradt/Independent on Sunday Travel Writing Competition 2012
- Shortlisted for Salt Publishing's Scott Prize for short story collections 2012
- Finalist in Brit Writers' Award 2011
- 2nd in Sentinel Literary Competition 2011
- Whitechapel Society Anthology to be published 2010
- Shortlisted for the Mslexia Short Story Competition 2009
- Shortlisted for The Asham Award 2009
- Joint winner of the Penguin/Decibel Prize 2008 - Asian Invisible. Published as The Map of Me
- Highly Commended in The National Galleries of Scotland Short Story Competition 2008
- Runner-up in Segora Short Story Prize 2008
- Joint Winner of The Lancet Short Story Competition 2007: The Resurrection Girl.
- Runner-up in Virgin Trains/The Guardian Short Story Competition 2007: A Small Revolution
- Winner of the Woman and Home Short Story Competition 2006: Ghosts of Jamaica.
- Shortlisted for The Asham Award 2005
- Runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Short Story Competition 2003
- Winner of The Sunday Telegraph Tourism for Tomorrow Travel Writing Competition 2002: Wolves of Rumania. Winner
- Winner and also Winner of Most Original Short Story in the Competition in Trowell and District Writers' Competition 2006