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12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it

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comedy

Notes on Note Taking

I don’t always take notes when I’m reading. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s pretty rare these days. I’m more likely to take a photo of a passage I like and put it on Instagram with a linear tilt shift filter over the salient point (hashtag ‘relatable’).

Continue reading “Notes on Note Taking”

Stories Worth Telling? Reflections on the Edinburgh Festival 2017

The festival has finished, the nights are drawing in, and it is time to reflect upon the sensory overload that has become my go-to excuse for not writing as much as I ought to in August.

Continue reading “Stories Worth Telling? Reflections on the Edinburgh Festival 2017”

That Festival Feeling

In Edinburgh it is festival time.

Well, actually, it’s almost always festival time here. We can’t move for the things. We’ve got an art one, a film one, an international one, a fringe one, a book one, a jazz one, a magic one, a science one, a Mela one, and a Hogmanay one. But August is when we have the International, Fringe, Book and Mela festivals all at once, so I’m going to go ahead and refer to this month in particular as ‘festival time’.

Continue reading “That Festival Feeling”

Is This Poetry? – A completely unbiased review*

Ross McCleary and Andrew Blair are becoming fairly familiar faces on the Edinburgh spoken word circuit. Between them they’ve been published in Gutter, Valve, Dactyl and The Grind; they’ve headlined Blind Poetics and Inky Fingers, and appeared at Story Shop and Illicit Ink. They are also the driving force behind the increasingly popular Poets Against Humanity, and the main reason I have any knowledge or understanding of poetry outwith Dorothy Parker, Edward Lear and John Hegley. Continue reading “Is This Poetry? – A completely unbiased review*”

I Wish To Go To The Festival

It’s August in Edinburgh, and that means Festival time. So far I have – perhaps not surprisingly – mostly been to storytelling and poetry events. Here are a couple of listicles – although not with gifs in the way that Buzzfeed would do it, I don’t want to get too populist – of what I’ve seen and what i have yet to see. Just in case my opinions are likely to sway you. Continue reading “I Wish To Go To The Festival”

Review: The List, by Joanna Bolouri

Hello, and a happy Tuesday to you!  I’m reaching out from the pit of NaNoWriMo today to host the second leg of a blog tour, how exciting.
The book on tour is The List by Joanna Bolouri.  It has nothing to do with the popular Scottish cultural magazine, and everything to do with a debut novel about a woman who makes a list of risqué New Year’s Resolutions.  *WHISPER* the list is all sex things.

Continue reading “Review: The List, by Joanna Bolouri”

Five free literary events for the fringe

Those of us who live in Edinburgh (i.e. me) are two weeks into the Edinburgh Fringe, a rather massive arts festival that annually bankrupts countless comedians, actors and spoken word artists. Continue reading “Five free literary events for the fringe”

Alternative Walking Tour at Edinburgh Fringe 2014

Things are about to get seriously busy in Edinburgh, as the 2014 Fringe Festival is nearly upon us. This year my partner, who is variously a freelance writer, poet, stand up and poor person, has taken it upon himself to write and perform two shows as part of the free Fringe. One is a spoken word show called Knife Whimsy, taking place at George Next Door. Continue reading “Alternative Walking Tour at Edinburgh Fringe 2014”

Book Recommendations

Lately I have been trying to read ALL THE BOOKS.  This is impossible, but I am making a better fist of it that I did when I was doing the writing of the 12 books in 12 months.  Here are some brief highlights of what I’ve read since the start of October.  You should read all of these and tell me what you think.

  • The Pirates in an Adventure with WhalingGideon Defoe
    Made me laugh out loud several times, even better than the first in the series; ham.
  • SparksDavid Quantick
    Tonally a lot like Douglas Adams.  Parallel universes.  Jolly good fun.
  • Let’s Pretend This Never HappenedJenny Lawson
    Likely to make you snort-laugh in a most unladylike fashion. A memoir of a perplexing childhood and an account of an interesting adulthood by one of the internet’s best bloggers.  Worth a look if you enjoy Caitlin Moran, or if you want to laugh a lot.
  • MausArt Spiegelman
    I’m late to the party with Maus, obviously – it’s been on my to-read list for years, but I finally got around to it last month.  I can’t add much to what you probably already know – it’s fascinating and horrible and heartbreaking.  Read it please.  The end.
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar ChildrenRansom Riggs
    A magical tale built around old sepia photos of freak shows.  I worried this might be a little bit cheesy, especially when the American kid went to visit Wales… but it’s actually not.  I’m very curious to know what happens next.
  • The Sisters BrothersPatrick De Witt
    If you’re a horse lover you may wish to look away.  An absorbing tale of the Wild West, but not the Will Smith kind.  It is a little slow to get started, but once it gets going it is very good.

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