Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bannockburn (Poetry) Battle

Here are the results for the OFF THE STANZA POETRY COMPETITION, announced during An Evening of Poetry with Magi Gibson at Bannockburn Library:

1st - Kate Blackadder (Edinburgh)
2nd - Jean Taylor (Edinburgh)
3rd - Nick Boreham (Stirling)

Highly commended were Freny Olbrich (Dollar), Lesley Harrison (Orkney), Robert Richie (Stirling), Catherine Graham (Newcastle on Tyne) ... and me. But in spite of not achieving absolute glory, I had a really good evening. We were a very interesting bunch of poets - I think we did the Bannockburn librarians, the Bannockburn Study Group and our very respectably sized audience proud. I love reading aloud, even though I invariably turn beetroot when I do it. Though, in retrospect, I wonder if the chain mail and the horse was a mistake ...

Congratulations to the winners! To see a photo of those of us who were able to come to read on the night, click here.

Cheers, Joan.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New October Challenge Unveiled

That's right. The closing date for the Slightly Jones Art-y-fact Drawing Competition (aka the September Challenge) has come and gone and, without pausing to draw breath, the October Challenge is up and running. To find out what mystery Slightly has set this time, go to

and click on the bookmark Challenges. Good luck!

We've had some lovely entries for the Art-y-fact competition, and some helpful hints on how to clean wallpaper with stale bread on Slightly's Notebook, so many thanks to everyone who's dropped by and taken part.

Oh, and for those kind souls who thought of me and my root canal last week ... please, please, could you do it again? I rolled up for my appointment only to discover that their xray machine was broken and could I come back next week? So it's ten past High Noon next Thursday for me.

Sigh. Joan.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


There are two reasons I've been thinking about steampunk this week. One is Slightly Jones. I've been spending so much time in her world it's starting to bleed over into every new story idea I get. That's the good reason. The not-so-good-reason that my dreams - and my waking thoughts - seem to be unnecessarily full of boiling steam and clanky crushy giant gears is ... IRC.

Impending Root Canal.

My ancient mother had one last year and when I asked her in fear and trembling what it was like she said, "Well, I remember wondering what the fuss was all about." Us steampunk types KNOW what the fuss is all about. Infernal engines. In our mouths. Fussing has nothing to do with it.

Think of me on Tuesday.


P.S. Think of me on Thursday evening as well. I've been short-listed for the Off the Stanza Poetry Competition and I and my mutilated mouth would really love to do well!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Slightly Out There

Slightly Jones' social life is hotting up. In August she was at the Edinburgh Book Festival, in September she's going to be in New Lanark and Wigtown, in October at the North Lanarkshire "Works" Book Festival and then in November it's the Northern Children's Book Festival. With any luck there'll be other visits too, to schools and libraries and who knows where - she's a friendly soul. The first entry in her Notebook will be posted this weekend. If you want to find out how the Victorians managed their own version of CGI, have a look!

Let us know what you think of the new site and don't forget there's still time to enter the September competition. One of the prizes is having your imagined stealable artefact included in the next Slightly Jones Mystery - The Case of the Glasgow Ghoul. Why not give it a go? Details here.

Cheers, Joan.