12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it



Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

My interpretation of this week’s photo prompt (from above) involved standing on the bed for an aerial view of some of my book collection – something I now regret, because it means having to put the books away again and in my enthusiasm for creating ART I forgot where I picked some of them up.  Also I am staggeringly lazy about tidying.


If you’re interested, the books are (starting at the top right and going clockwise, as per Sarah Rosso’s original cheese post) : Moranthology by Caitlin Moran, The Luminous Life of Lily Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin*, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, Return of the Last Gang in Town (a biography of The Clash) by Marcus Gray, Supergods by Grant Morrison*, Dawn of the Dumb by Charlie Brooker, The Digested Read by John Crace, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers*, The Infinite Plan by Isabel Allende, The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson*, The House on Falling Star Hill by Michael Molloy*, Labyrinth by Kate Mosse*, Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond by Jon Agar*, The Complete Novels of Jane Austen, In Your Dreams by Tom Holt, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon*, The Blue Book by AL Kennedy, Game of Thrones by George R R Martin, Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce*, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Collected Folk Tales by Alan Garner*, Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murukami, The Penguin Edgar Allan Poe, and The Children’s Book by AS Byatt.  In the middle are Forest of the Pygmies by Isabel Allende, Postsecret by Frank Warren, and a box of Puffin postcards of children’s book covers I bought to decorate my spare room (which also occasionally masquerades as an office/home studio for the recordings of DanDanDan).

Titles with asterisks, by the way, are ones I haven’t read yet.  One of the many reasons I could do with an eccentric millionaire patron is so I can take a year or two off to catch up with all the books on my to read list – these are but the tiniest fraction of the collection.  I buy books like that Sex And The City woman bought shoes, if you need an outdated pop culture analogy.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Colour

The weekly photo challenge is ‘colour’, and as you can see I chose blue.  Initially I was going to write lots of different pages of a story I am working on longhand in different colours and make a gallery of those – but I appear to have misplaced most of my more interesting pen colours.  SEND PENS NOW.  Or, look at the blue things instead whilst I think of further ridiculous ways to procrastinate.

In other news, The Life and Times of a Working Barbarian is now live – why not go forth and vote on who you want the hero to be?

Weekly Photo Challenge – A Day in My Life

This week’s photo challenge is to take you through a day in my life, so what follows is my Easter Sunday.  I have tried to allude to the fact that even though I didn’t write much yesterday, I though about stories and storytelling a lot – that is pretty much how I exist from day to day.  There are explanatory captions attached to these, and if you click on the first one you’ll get the pictures in an exciting slideshow.

Phoneography Challenge: My Neighbourhood

The title of the post may have alerted you to the fact that this week’s photo challenge involves taking your phone and going out to take pictures of your neighbourhood.  The camera on my phone is a little bit rickety, and can only really cope with daylight (bright daylight at that) – so thank goodness it snowed this week.  It could have been a very grey-green old time without nature’s lightbox to help me out.

For an extra challenge I was told to tell you a mini story with my pictures, so without much further ado I give you the story of… me walking around a park in the snow.  I wanted to get a book in somewhere, possibly alongside a cheesy comment along the lines of ‘my favourite place in my local area is inside a story’ – but alas!  I only had a borrowed paperback on me when I went out, and I didn’t want it to get soggy.  So I didn’t.

P.S. When I say this is my ‘local neighbourhood’, what I mean is I actually live in the park.  I have a secret hole in the ground, sort of like the Psammead.  Do say hello if you’re passing – although like the Psammead I may respond with insults if I haven’t had my coffee yet.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

This week’s photo prompt is ‘lost in the details’, so here’s a close up of some details in one of my notebooks.  I have been working on this story since last summer and tweaked the first few chapters (including the paragraphs in the photo) approximately a bajillion times – because I get lost in the details every time I re-read it.  That’s right, this picture is some sort of amazing two for one – aren’t you pleased you came?  Course you are.  Now go look at the other entries.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

I found it hard to come up with something for this week’s prompt – hence the lateness (it’s technically last week’s prompt at this point).  The prompt, as you may have gathered from the title of the post, was home.  I’ll stop saying prompt now.

I mused on this for a while, looking at other people’s submissions (houses, family, pets) and felt thoroughly uninspired.  Then my other half put on a CD, and a thought occurred.  Home is somewhere familiar and comforting – somewhere my brain recognises as safe.   I feel this in a number of places, but I can actually create that sense of well being artificially wherever I am – through the power of love music.  Certain songs make me feel at ease, because I associate them with places I feel at home.

And that’s why I photographed a bunch of CDs that have travelled with me from home with my parents to university and three different flats in Edinburgh.  Why on the radiator?  Just because.


And the best thing about this is, now we can play the super fun game of name all those CDs!

Or not.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

When I saw this week’s photo prompt was love, I thought of three things – my boyfriend and words were two, and the third was my family.  They are always there for me, with encouragement and support that manifests itself in all sorts of ways, and one of them is this funny little box.

I’ve had it since I was quite young – probably about eight or so.  My Grandma gave it to me at some point after I sent her a letter detailing the many ways in which I was feeling unloved (I can’t remember what these were, exactly, but there’s a 99% chance it related to my sister getting a biscuit and me not getting an equal number of biscuits.  That sort of stuff sent me into the depths of despair until I was about 23). If I saw the attached poem out of context now, I’m sure I’d probably pour scorn on it for being so twee…  But it’s not twee.  It’s something to remember my grandmother by, and a visual reminder that she – and the rest of my family are completely, unconditionally excellent.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

This week’s photo prompt is ‘beyond‘ – here are mine.  I got some strange looks from joggers this evening, tromping about taking pictures of the darkness like a goth who’s taking things a bit too seriously…
IMG_0079Beyond the trees above you can see the heart of Edinburgh… But beyond these trees lies something else entirely:


Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

I had a few ideas for this, but then I forgot to do them sooo… Here is what I came up with for ‘illumination’ in my flat this evening!  Click here to see posts from other persons.


‘There is nothing,’ she said, ‘as wondrous to me

As sitting with you, and a nice cup of tea!’

But when they broke up, a year or so after

Her booby trapped cup gave him hours of laughter.

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