Saturday, December 28, 2013

Away to This. Or This? Or Maybe This!

When you read this, we'll be off away to a cottage in between Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch.  There will be weather.  And I will be taking photos of it.  Here are some from other years, to be going on with - and see you in 2014!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

21st December is my day!

Today's my day!  

26 Stories of Christmas 2013 - it started when 26, the writers' collective, asked for 26 pictures from sick kids and young people, handed us each an image (I love mine!), and then invited us to write 26 Advent sestudes.*  The results have been inspired and inspiring! The project is linked to two charities - Teenage Cancer Trust and Its Good 2 Give.   

So please visit my poem Christmas Countdown, and if you can, give a little. 

Happy Christmas, and may the purple bumblebee be kind to you always!

*A sestude is a piece of writing exactly 62 words long.  (62 being 26 backwards, and 26 being the number of letters in the alphabet.  Obvious, really, and we won't mention the fact I had to have it explained to me ...)

Friday, December 20, 2013

There, and Then Here

Join me over on Girls Heart Books, and An Awfully Big Blog Adventure!  Cheers, Joan.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

And in the news this week ...

In The Courier, there's me, talking to myself!  Well chuffed with this - and if you want to read the words, click to make it bigger, and then click again to make it practically legible! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

As Promised, a Soprano Surprise ... and an All-Women Gloria

How to distract with aplomb (see last week and, I guess, the week before that ...)

And, below, is one of the reasons I needed to show the soprano - my choir (sadly not the Women of the Pieta) is singing Vivaldi's Gloria on Sunday, along with a Mendelssohn Cantata and the first half of The Messiah.  Bliss on a stick.

(BBC4 programme of Vivaldi's Gloria 
performed by an all-female orchestra and choir in the Pieta in Venice. 
Complementary to the BBC4 programme "Vivaldi and the Women of the Pieta".)

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Word Count? Well ... Hey Look! An Eagle!

Okay I got my nest wrong (see last week) as far as words written goes - you'd think I'd learn to stop doing that thing of saying "Oh well, rubbish this week but you will be AMAZED at me next week, you really will ..."  Instead of a concentrated chunk of head down, elbow to the grindstone literature, it has all been a little bit of this, and a little bit of that and probably, as Victor Borge would say, a bit more of this than that.  So I've decided to distract you with this:  

If you're smiling you can't scold me - that's the theory - and next week, well ... (I've got a cartwheeling soprano up my sleeve, just in case.)

Sunday, December 01, 2013

This time last year

On Saturday, I did a reading from Slightly Jones and the Case of the Hidden City at the Dundee Book Reading Marathon - Loud and Clear - part of Book Week Scotland 2013.

This time last year I had three more weeks of frenzied writing ahead, to get the Hidden City manuscript finished.  (Christmas deadline - who thought THAT was a good idea?!)  There were bits - major bits - of the story where I still didn't really know what was supposed to happen.  And now ... now it's a book.  It is what it is and it's impossible to imagine it being anything else.  Isn't that weird?  It wandered into my mind while I was reading, how weird it was.  Weird, and a little sad.

But hey, what's fledged is fledged, and it's on with the new book.  Right?

Ah.  Well, what with the Marathon, domestic proof-reading (it's essay time, as anyone with students under their wings will know), a fantastic evening of readings by the Dundee Creative Writing MLitt students (including an impressive performance by Callum Heitler), trotting over Glasgow-wards to run some creative writing workshops for the Crookfur Primary/Eastwood Secondary Joint Reading Festival and a Tales from the Turrets event with a lively P3 class at Braidbarr Primary, a bit of mucking out before the arrival of house guests, and a much needed haircut, this hasn't exactly been a week of moving forward on the new book.  But next week ... next week is going to be as full of words as the penultimate nest in the picture.  

Onwards, as they say!

P.S.  Earlier this week I was posting on The History Girls blog about subversive hats.