Saturday, November 10, 2018

100 Armistice Days - Day 98

I've been part of the 100 Armistice Days project - 100 writers writing 100 words* about someone who experienced World War I.  The result is a poignant, heart-warming, heart-breaking collection of photos, paintings, artefacts, writing and research which you can browse here.

My centena is inspired by my grandfather Dr James Mortimer Clark who was a doctor with the Canadian Army Medical Corps, before going as a medical missionary to China, where he died in 1925.  My piece is called Except ... and you can see it here.

James Mortimer Clark 
Canadian Army Medical Corps (photo taken 1918 or 1919) 

Vera, Mort, my mum and Miss Dale in China 
(photo taken probably 1923)

*A centena - a piece of 100 words where the first and last three words are the same.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Second Place Rosette - Poems About Britain

Coming out on Thursday 8 November is Emma Press' anthology of poems about "the customs, rituals and practices that make up life in modern Britain."  My Hogmanay in the Hills is the last poem in the book - one of the advantages of writing about the last day of the year!  I'm looking forward to seeing it in the flesh, and if you'd like to get hold of a copy for yourself, you can pre-order Second Place Rosette here.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

On Track ... Almost

Am I going to make the new revised deadline of end of October?  Well, the move from British Summer Time back to good old Greenwich Mean Time has fallen fortuitously, and I have one whole extra hour ...  

detail from Abrogio Lorenzetti's 
Allegory of Good Government (1338)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

A Softness of Deadlines

I can't remember exactly when I first heard the term "soft deadline" but, irritating as it is when unilaterally applied from without to something YOU thought was absolutely and irrevocably a HARD deadline, it does have its uses.  For example, when you set yourself a deadline in a spirit of enthusiasm and optimism and mild stupidity.  For example, my deadline for this rewriting of the work-in-progress being completed by tomorrow.  

Did I say tomorrow?  What I MEANT was the end of the month.*  Softly does it.

*This is not as generous as it sounds.  I'm out of the house every day next week, RLF Fellowing at Dundee, a Walking Mountain event in Forfar, a workshop on YA fiction for Creative Writing students, an RLF event in Edinburgh.  So when I say the end of the month, I'm sure I mean every word ... 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Whole New Worlds

Anything to do with space is big at my house, but I would I love this video of Aladdin History of Exoplanets by A Capella Science any way, just because.  Have a listen and you'll see what I mean!  

(Other favourite musical science nerd videos include Science Wars, All About the Bass (No Acid), and a Christmas one that it's too early in the year to link to just yet.)

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Perthshire in October 2

Perthshire in October 1

Saturday, September 29, 2018


I've been inching (somewhat painfully) forward on rewrites for Sky Girl, which made me think of this - dear Danny Kaye singing to an inchworm in that rather odd movie Hans Christian Andersen -

Next week, however, it's goodbye to inching and hello to leaping like a gazelle or mountain goat, as I am having another wonderfully solitary writing week at Lesser Wearie studio.  Words will fly.