Walking and writing on small scales

This morning I went walking in the forest near Dilsberg (in southern Germany, where I’m staying on a three-month writers residency). Most of the trees in this forest are oak and beech trees, which makes it feel very different to those at home in Scotland. And walking through this forest I’m noticing very small scale […]

Shackleton’s great dérive

Over the past couple of months I’ve been doing lots of research for my next novel, and as part of this I’ve been reading about the British explorers of the Antarctic during the so-called ‘heroic’ age of polar exploration (in the early 20th century). I’ve just finished reading Shackleton’s account of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition, […]

What have apples got to do with it?

I seem to be a bit obsessed with apples, they’ve appeared in my writing in all sorts of different ways. The first apple was fairly obvious. I was writing a short story about Alan Turing and it’s known that he died as a result of cyanide poisoning. Andrew Hodge’s biography suggests that this was suicide, […]

Why study English literature?

Michael Gove has been in the news a lot lately. For those of you readers lucky enough not to know who Michael Gove is, he’s the UK Government Minister responsible for education in England (fortunately not here in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK). He’s been in the news a lot lately for a variety […]

Process schmocess

Vicki Jarrett, fabulous short story writer and author of ‘Nothing is Heavy’ (published by Linen press and short-listed for the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award 2013) suggested I take part in this latest blog-tour-interview-yourself arrangement. This one is all about the ‘writing process’ which made me nervous because I’m not sure […]

Quantum fiction

Recently I’ve been reading about quantum physics in another (futile) attempt to understand it. I studied it years ago as part of my degree, and I’ve read umpteen books about it. The first book I ever read about it – when I was a teenager – was ‘The Dancing Wu Li Masters’. Before that I’d […]

Round-up of past, present and future happenings

Thought I’d take a breather from my usual level of pontificating and write about some more practical stuff, such as some interesting things/events that I have/will be part of: Nice events  in the future: I’m reading at the Dunbar Literary Festival on 18th June, with fellow New Writer Awardees Andrew Sclater, Katy McAulay, and Erika […]

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