Saturday, May 30, 2015

Birlinn Polygon Launches Their New Imprint - BC!

Wednesday 3rd June marks the official launch of BC, Birlinn Polygon's new children's imprint - where early copies of Silver Skin in its final fabulousness will be available!  It's going to be at Waterstones West End, 128 Princes St., Edinburgh, starting at 6 pm.  Come if you can - it's going to be fun!

And in the rest of the news - this month I've been blogging about the place - 

 at The History Girls about still life painting and especially Juan Sanchez Cotan -

at Girls Heart Books about surreal library rules from 1930 -

at An Awfully Big Blog Adventure about the whole issue of issues in books in general and Silver Skin in particular.

26 Updates:

The 26 Pairs of Eyes is opening at The Foundling Museum on 4th June and will be running until 6th September AND there will be a pamphlet for sale of all of the pieces including work by former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion and an overarching response by Jacob Sam-La Rose and Toni Stuart -

Recordings for 26 Under a Northern Sky are being collected as we speak -

And I've been selected to take part in 26 Children's Winters in conjunction with Edinburgh's Museum of Childhood and should be finding out what my object is any day now!

And that's more than enough for one post ...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Not Today ...

I said I'd report on writing-related stuff today but it turned out to be a headache day (sigh) and a tick-discovery day (Yuck.  Yuckyuckyuckbleurchh.) - BEAUTIFUL WOODS SHOULD NOT HARBOUR TICKS.  FULL STOP.  So I'll be back some other day to talk about writing.  Though I will mention that sitting at a computer I have never never never picked up a tick.  Just saying.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


There's a bunch of writing stuff to report on, but I'll post about that tomorrow - today, inspired by Susan Price and Kim Ayres, I just wanted to dust off the camera and head for the woods.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

3 of the Things I Did Not Know

A term, a source and a skill - 3 things I didn't know last week and now do!

a) toxophilite - a student or lover of archery

b) "comet" comes from the Greek, meaning "long-haired star"

c) Fred Astaire was self-conscious about his enormous hands and often danced with them half-folded to make them look smaller - that's what I did know - but what I didn't know was just what he could DO with those hands ...

Gotta love learning stuff!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

In Search of Cheer

Things to be cheerful about, in spite of the election:

1.  I finished Treasure of the Black Cow and sent it to my agent.  (Now we wait and see!)

2.  I posted a blog on a genre and artists that I'd never paid attention to before and now am really, really excited about.  (History Girls)

3.  I'm going to visit my Patron of Reading school, the really, really, really wonderful Queensferry Primary, again next week - creative writing workshops with P6s and P7s, a lightning visit to P3s and a meeting with the local librarian to set up the Summer Reading Challenge.  (I love Queensferry Primary!)

4.  Piano Guys videos.  (Mission Impossible, 8 Cellos, I Want You Bach, Pachelbel's Canon ... I could go on.)

And, so, onwards, right?  Next book, here I come -

(Oh and here's a photo from Happy Valley in Orkney.  That might help too.)

Saturday, May 02, 2015

26 Under a Northern Sky

Is Nick Drake a part of your past? Do you remember Poor Boy with fondness? Then this blog is for you.  Actually, it's for anybody - I mean, I'd never heard of Nick Drake or Riding Mill Station before this project - but it's been great finding out and having a go!

Yes, it's another 26 project - and this time the challenge was as follows:

We gave 26 writers from 26 the name of a station on the long route between Newcastle and Glasgow and the title of a Nick Drake song. These two elements became the inspiration for a creative piece. We didn’t set a form but asked that each piece should be able to be read aloud in under 3 minutes and 44 seconds – the duration of Nick Drake’s ‘Northern Sky’ – which gave us the project title.

My station was Riding Mill and my Nick Drake song was Poor Boy, and my piece is here

MY station, MY song - writing as possession - discuss.