12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it


Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Edinburgh Blogger Meetup

Are you a blogger?  Do you read books?  Do you like to sometimes talk about those books online or even in person, with other humans?  Then golly goodness have I got a treat for you.

Tonight is the night of the first ever Edinburgh Book Festival blogger meet up, as detailed in a guest post from Bethany at Subtle Melodrama on Monday morning. I’m going along, although I don’t know if I really count as a book blogger.  I sometimes post photographs of books I’ve recently bought or read, but don’t generally review them – I’m too busy writing my own.  To be honest I think anyone who blogs is more than welcome to come, as long as they have a passing interest in reading.

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When I Met Amanda Palmer

As some readers may know, in another life I am a bit of a freelance journalist.  Not enough of one to be able to give up administrative temping (unless I wanted to live in a shoe somewhere, but that would be ridiculous – where would I plug in my laptop?); but enough that occasionally I get to do interviews.

This being festival time, I managed to secure a couple of pretty cool ones.

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Forest Fringe Prepares to Leave Bristo

If you’ve been reading religiously, you will have heard a lot about Edinburgh’s Forest Cafe on the blog over the past couple of weeks.  Apologies to readers who aren’t based here but there is a reason for it; namely that this is likely to be the last time the building is used in the Fringe Festival.  They’re obviously hoping to leave Bristo Place with a bang, so that when they find a new venue it’ll have something amazing to live up to.  Forest volunteer Harry Giles somehow found the time in amongst poetry marathons and readings to write this guest post on what to expect from the Forest’s swansong.

This August is (probably) the Forest Café’s last Festival season in 3 Bristo Place. That makes us sad.

But it hasn’t stopped us programming an amazing month. Forest is a year-round multi-arts centre, with a gallery, gig rooms, spoken word events, library, workshop space, and much else besides. We’re also a free venue: it’s free to put work on here, and free to see it. So when August comes around, with eager, bigger audiences, we use it as a chance to champion what we do the rest of the year – or show off a wee bit – showcasing the fringes of the arts world.  With free and liberated events providing space to the marginalised (or just plain awesome), Forest is a venue  that programmes what commercial venues won’t. Plus we throw some pretty awesome parties.
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What I Know About Creating Fringe Shows So Far

Today I have a guest post from blogger and Fest Magazine kids editor Ruth Dawkins on how husband Young Dawkins’ 2011 PBH Free Fringe show, What I Know About Women So Far, has been a definite team effort.

It’s not always easy being married to a poet. Young and I use up a significant number of babysitting credits not on romantic dinners, but on evenings in dingy pubs, where I sit and watch him reading to half a dozen people. He is always shouting ‘that’s a poem’ in the middle of our conversations, and rushing off to scribble down a phrase or idea. And we spend hours trekking around stationery shops looking for just the right notebooks, because no others will do (yellow Levenger – A4 – lined).

I have always consoled myself with the thought that maybe, one day, Young would write a lovely poem about what a wonderful and supportive wife I am.

In some moment of madness, earlier this year, Young agreed to do a solo show as part of the PBH Free Fringe. He may have still been on some crazy, slam-induced adrenaline high after his time at the Poetry World Cup in Paris, or he may have genuinely thought it was a good idea… I will never know.

All I know is that it has taken over our lives for the last couple of months. We had no idea what was involved (and I use ‘we’ intentionally – this has certainly been a joint venture). Doing a ten minutes slot at someone else’s show is one thing; doing a whole hour by yourself is quite another.

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36 Hours of Poetry and Literature

It’s all go in the Forest Cafe over the next 36 hours as 3 Bristo Place hosts a pair of epic marathons in performance and writing.

I had hoped to join in with the latter, ominously titled They Shoot Writers, Don’t They? But unfortunately prior engagements (work today and a mega exciting interview on Friday, more on which after it happens) got in the way and I can’t make it.  Still, I’m planning to pop in and out of the forest for the latter part of the event, and hopefully I will be blogging about it in a live stylee.

Here’s the background, courtesy of Rachel from Inky Fingers:

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Seen Any Good Fringe Lately?

Today I went to the first of Inky Fingers’ minifest readings, featuring The Life and Times of an Edinburgh Monster (an historical presentation of sorts) and a poetry reading.  You may remember last week I had a guest post about the first of these, prompting a shout out for other people with interesting events to come forth with more promotional posts.  I’ve had a few responses (four in total, since you asked) but there’s room for more if you’re interested.  In the meantime, a couple of photos from today:

An Historian interviewing Beverly Horndom on why the Edinburgh Monster should not be allowed to work in a bank.

Historian speaks to Pastel Maybe III about the catastrophic climbing trip which saw 16 men killed on Arthur’s Seat.

Mairi Campbell-Jack (who tweets as @lumpinthethroat) reading some of her poetry.

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