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12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it

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Edinburgh

When Writers Move House

A few months ago our letting agency hiked up the rent on our Edinburgh flat, using some flimsy pretext of ‘current market conditions’ to justify themselves. Heartbroken, Mildly irritated, my poet husband and I set about looking for a cheaper garret to hang our moleskines. Continue reading “When Writers Move House”

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”

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”

This One Goes Out To The One I Love

As a person with aspirations of one day publishing a book rather than just drafting them, I spend about 60% of my time devising witty* dedications for the title pages of projects I have yet to finish.

Dedications are often slightly boring – ‘for [insert relative here]’ type messages, but occasionally they’re revealing, or hilarious, or heartbreaking.  An internet (and personal) favourite is from Jenny Lawson‘s excellent book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened:

JennyLawson

Alas, even with the drafts of 12 books on my hard drive and a further two in progress it’s unlikely I am ever going to have enough stuff published to warrant the number of dedications I’ve come up with, particularly given that many of them are for total strangers.  So I thought I’d post some here. Continue reading “This One Goes Out To The One I Love”

Open Mic Opportunity in Edinburgh

Doctor Who Open Mic Night Edinburgh 2013Are you a poet or penner of short fiction?  Have any of your poems or prose ever included aliens, time travel, jelly babies, or copious amounts of running?  Then have I got the Open Mic Night for you!

Organised by my good friend Andrew Blair and the chaps behind Blind Poetics*, the truthfully titled ‘The Doctor Who Open Mic Night’ is coming to Edinburgh pub The Blind Poet on November 25th.  Join performers Kevin Cadwallender, Tracey S. Rosenberg and Russell Jones as they celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of Doctor Who through spoken word.  And as you do it, you can help raise money for The Lullaby Trust, an amazing charity that supports bereaved families.

Open mic slots are available if you want to perform – email drwhoopenmic@hotmail.com for further info – but the organisers would like to make it clear that you don’t have to perform 100% Doctor material:  ‘anything even tangentially related, be it sci-fi, time travel, weeping angels, things-being-bigger-on-the-inside or Jon Pertwee, is totally cool.’

Meanwhile, if you just want to go and have a listen, that’s likely what I’m going to do.  Unless I spend the next week finally committing that Ode to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart I’ve been composing to paper… But I fear I’ve said too much.  Anyway entry is free, although as discussed there is the option to donate to the Lullaby Trust (they are suggesting a very reasonable £2).

If you fancy coming along or know someone else whose cup of tea it is, please help spread the word – join the Facebook event, share this blog post, and generally make a lot of noise.  Like Kevin Cadwallender might do:

Hope to see you there!

When: Monday 25th November, 7.30pm
Where: The Blind Poet, 32 West Nicholson Street, Edinburgh

*Those chaps are Roddy Shippin and Alec Beattie, and you can keep up with Blind Poetics, a monthly night of spoken word, on Facebook and Twitter.

Review – Edinburgh Bookshop Trail

In the second of my book app reviews, I took a look at the Edinburgh City of Literature Bookshop Trail.

bookshoptrailWhat is it?

A comprehensive list of where to find literature in Edinburgh – be it a bookshop or a literary event.

What can you do with it?

Read up on Edinburgh’s 52 bookshops, then creep out the proprietors by going in and knowing everything about them!  The A-Z list tells you exactly how far you are from any of these book shops at any given time, and gives you directions on how to get there as well as contact details, opening times and specialisms.  There is also a menu telling you about upcoming literary events, which is very handy if, like me you have recently found yourself thwarted by gmail’s new inbox and keep forgetting to look at the tab it puts City of Lit’s weekly e-newsletter in.

Who is it for?

Lovers of all things bookish, however niche.  Edinburgh, lest we forget, is home to Scotland’s largest independent specialist legal bookshop (Avizandum, on Candlemaker Row) and loads of second hand, antiquarian, comic and other types of bookshop to boot.  This app would be good for visitors to the city who want to explore a bit, as well as for those who have lived here for years who may not be aware just how much there is on offer.

Where did it come from?

The Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, whose MO since 2004 has been to build on Edinburgh’s reputation as a city built on books through engagement, creativity and learning.  These guys know their Edinburgh Bookshops.

Where can I get it?

The Apple Store, for the very reasonable price of FREE.

Anything else?

It’s simple to use and has all the information you’ll need to start your own journey around Edinburgh’s bookshop trail.  It’s also a must-download if you want definitive answers to the questions, ‘which Edinburgh bookshop has the best mascot (alive or stuffed)?’ and ‘which Edinburgh bookshop has the most cuddly toys?’  Be honest, now I’ve put those questions in your head, you won’t be able to rest until you know the answers…

To find out more about this and what the Edinburgh City of Literature Trust are up to when they’re not designing handy book apps, follow them on twitter @EdinCityofLit.

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