I haven’t been keeping the blog up to date recently – too many other pressing things on my mind. To be honest, I have thought of just stopping it. But in the hopes that I might have some more time to myself next year, I’ve decided to keep it going for the moment.
So what’s been happening? Quite a lot really. Most immediately, I’ve been putting together a funding application for CoastWord 2018; Dunbar’s Festival of Words. We have an excellent draft programme, thanks to Hannah Lavery; we now just need the funding to make it happen. I can’t say any more about it just now.
The other biggie is that I’ve been working on my short stories, putting together a manuscript for a full-length collection, to be published by Postbox Press in 2018. Now, as some of you will know, I am the Editor at Postbox Press, but Sheila Wakefield, who runs it and Red Squirrel Press, said some time ago that she wanted to publish my stories.
I like to think that I’m an impartial and objective editor when it comes to dealing with fiction submissions, but I know I couldn’t be objective about my own work, so I sent it out to The Literary Consultancy for an unbiased assessment. I’m so glad I did. I got a six-page report back, and I agreed with almost all of the points made, so I embarked on a huge editing job, substantially rewriting most of the stories, taking some out, and putting others in. It’s finished, and I’m due to hand the MS over to Sheila next Friday, with some trepidation and anxiety. I hope she likes them. This time, I am confident about them. Again, I won’t say any more at this point.
So, I’ve written a blog post. Also, I’ve changed the header image. It’s Fast Castle, in Berwickshire, or what’s left of the castle. The original is the one Sir Walter Scott wrote about in Bride of Lammermuir.