Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Bottom Syndrome

I'm talking about this curious ailment over on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure this week.

Cheers, Joan.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Case of the Glasgow Ghoul

With the exception of some stray Latin translating, Slightly Foxed and the Case of the London Dragonfish is now done and has passed muster with agent and editors alike - huzzah! So, now, it's on with Slightly Foxed and the Case of the Glasgow Ghoul ... which of course meant the agony and sheer raw drudgery of another research trip. Glasgow was great. In spite of the three days of heavy rain which the BBC promised me, I only got drizzled on once, at the Necropolis, and a big cloudy grey sky is just right for a cemetery anyway. I got everything I think I'll need, and I'm writing as hard as I can - partly because it's what's on my mind just now, and partly because my South African and Papua New Guinean travellers are coming home in about a fortnight and I have a feeling that when that happens, I will be a LOT less focused ...

The Hunterian Museum

The Necropolis


More angels

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Blackford, Brownies and Book Aid

A few months ago I got an email from one of the leaders of the Blackford Brownies and Rainbows. It said:

"As part of Girlguiding UK's Centenary celebrations, all the girls are taking part in a "Changing the World" project. Our girls have chosen to raise some money for a charity called Book Aid International, who help to bring free books to people living in some of the poorest parts of the world.
They have decided to hold a book themed "Coffee Afternoon" in the village hall in Blackford on Saturday 16 May from 2:00-4:00. To add a bit more excitement for the girls, we decided to approach some local authors to see if they would be willing to come along and possibly read a bit from some of their books. You would also have the opportunity to sell some of your books and maybe speak to the girls and other people attending. The Brownies and Rainbows are aged 5-10, but the event would be open to all."

Since I love being thought of as adding excitement to anyone's day, I went along - well, Book Aid International is obviously also an excellent thing to support, and Brownies and Rainbows are of course right up there with motherhood and fruit scones - but, let's face it, the flattery helped.

It was a good afternoon - I got to meet another author, Alex Nye - I got to sell some books and do a bit of a reading to the kids - I got to stock up on some excellent home-baking, compare twin notes, chat to folk generally, and be well impressed with the facepainting abilities of one of the mothers (over the years I've seen a fair old wack of facepainting and this was certainly into another league) - and, just so we know that irony is alive and well and living in Perthshire, the man who wouldn't buy Seventh Tide because he didn't read books (though he did buy a book for his daughter, so I'm not really complaining) won a prize in the raffle which was ... a BUNDLE OF BOOKS. Excellent.

Then I came home, had two scones and some marble cake, and fell asleep for an hour and a half ... which is what happens when I add excitement to my day.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

Not surprisingly, the eponymous* heroine of The Slightly Foxed Mysteries is an avid reader of the Sherlock Holmes stories in the Strand Magazine. This is great for me because it has meant I've had to read them too. (That's "read" not "re-read" - I've seen lots of movies and TV series about the great man - my absolute favourite Holmes being Jeremy Brett - the man moves like a meerkat - but I have never before read the stories or books.) I started because I thought I should - and now I'm hooked! Sir Arthur Ignatius (no less) Conan Doyle is a really good writer, and Scottish, and prolific, so I'm well set. I've read all the Holmes stories we have in the house and have moved on to The Lost World - and then I'll hit the library, so if anybody who has known how good he is all along would like to recommend any favourites, now's your chance.

*"Eponymous" - what a lovely word!

P.S. I got the picture from Wikipedia. It's by Sidney Paget and was an illustration for one of the Sherlock Holmes stories in the Strand Magazine in 1891.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

See Me ...

... here!