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12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it

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Scotland

What’s In A Name

Last weekend I did some writing in a coffee shop, as is the style of Edinburgh based persons with an interest in penning fiction for children.

Story I am working on in blue.

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Great King Street

I was going through half finished word documents from last year (there are a fair few with beginnings of characters and ideas started then abandoned) and found this.  It’s a poem I wrote for my brother in December which I considered making into a picture book before I got into the falcon idea.  Maybe I’ll get it done this year, though.  In fact, maybe I’ll do a collection of story-poems based on Edinburgh streets and illustrate the whole thing… if you think that idea has legs, please leave a comment!

The background to this one is that my brother and I were crossing Great King Street in Edinburgh and both slipped on a wee patch of black ice.  However, the temperature was a balmy 6 or 7 degrees and there was no ice or snow or anything anywhere else – so naturally we got suspicious.  Why was that bit icy, when everywhere else was fine?  Clearly the answer was magic.

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Nice Weather For Ducks

I haven’t drawn for a few days because life has gotten in the way.  Things like catching up with friends and family, Chrismas shopping, and a whole lot of cleaning.  On which subject, here is my list of fun things I found in or under the couch today:

  • a pencil sharpener
  • a door wedge
  • a measuring tape
  • a handkerchief
  • a sock
  • a copy of The Skinny from August
  • a ticket from First Minister’s Questions
  • 6 pence
  • two party hats
  • a button badge bearing the slogan ‘ordinary man in the street’.

Hopefully you can tell from that it was less deliberate procrastination and more in desperate need of being done…

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Monday Story

© Ani_Pics (http://www.flickr.com/photos/anisha/)

This is one of the short stories I wrote last month for my horror compilation.  It is dedicated to Jim Connick, who has a fear of going round a corner quickly and being impaled on a pointy thing, which he blames on the film Dog Soldiers.

I’m running for the last bus, slipping and sliding on wet concrete in old cons wi nae grips, hurdling knocked ower bins and homeless folk and piles of vomit, breathing hard as my tired lungs gasp in cold night air.

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Monday Story: S-I-N-E

Hands down the best graffiti I've ever seen

Today I present for your consideration another short story from last month.  The inspiration came from a bit of graffiti I noticed one day on my walk home from work.  I am a fan of graffiti, but I’ve got no idea what the deal is with this particular tag.  You see it all the time around Edinburgh, though.

I can see the concentration in his shoulders as he marks the last letter of his tag on the door.  He’s using silver marker pen to painstakingly write each letter, S-I-N-E.

In broad daylight.  Near a busy train station.

Something tells me he’s not a seasoned pro.

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West Port Book Festival 2011

Everyone in Edinburgh loves a book festival.  There was one in Portobello at the weekend and there’s another just around the corner in the Old Town.  Peggy Hughes (who Twitter users might know better as the Scottish Poetry Library’s @ByLeavesWeLive) was kind enough to write me a guest post about it.

The West Port Book Festival has reached the merry maturity of its fourth year, with another programme of cracking collaborations, tall tales, award-winners, stars of the future, dead people, open mics, and of course cakes. This year we’re popping up in October  – Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th to be precise.  We have flirted with running in different months (August for starters and seconds and June for thirds) and find that variety is the spice of life.

We have lost a few of our sterling venues from previous years.  The Lot, the Roxy ArtHouse and the Illicit Still (scene of the cause of a monstrous festival-wide hangover in year 3) are all sorely missed, while the Owl & Lion Gallery has risen like a phoenix from the ashes and resurrected itself as the Owl & Lion Bindery, further up the hill in the West Port. We’ve got a new bookshop on the block in Pulp Fiction and are comforted by the never-changing Blue Blazer and its energy-restoring ham and cheese toasties. Some things change, but the ideas and vision behind the West Port Book Festival remain.

Continue reading “West Port Book Festival 2011”

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