Archive for June, 2009

Live Literature Funding (Scottish Book Trust)

June 23, 2009

I’ve recently been added to The Scottish Book Trust’s author database. This means that if you are a school group, a writing group, or another community group, you now can have me come to visit you at a reduced rate. I can do a range of things, like writing workshops, and talking about books, or Travellers… or I can do a little dance… or I can make very delicious teabread.

Click here for details of the scheme.

Click here for my page on the database.

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Reading Around

June 18, 2009

I’ve decided I will occasionally post about whatever I’m reading, if it’s good, and I’m beginning by recommending books about Scottish Travellers. If you find yourself on my website, or here on the blog, it might be because you’ve met me somewhere or read The Tin-Kin, and perhaps you want to know more about the culture of Scottish Travelling people. These are just a few suggestions of where to begin:

Jess Smith is a prolific writer and a wonderful, passionate storyteller. She appears at events all over Britain, and has experienced the Travelling way of life first hand. Her incredible autobiographical trilogy is published by Birlinn. See below and click the photo for an Amazon link to the first in the series.

Sookin Berries is Jess’s collection of Travellers’ tales, suitable for younger readers, and she is also the author of, Bruar’s Rest, a novel (I think it was the first ever) with a Scottish Traveller as the central character.

So if The Tin-Kin was your first foray into the Scottish Travelling culture and you want to know more, please look up Jess’s books. They are rich with experience, and you won’t be disappointed. You can also visit her website.

If photographs are your kind of thing, The Summer Walkers by Timothy Neat also has a prominent place on my bookshelf.

Other wonderful books written by Travellers include those by Betsy WhyteSheila Stewart, and Duncan Williamson.

Steyning

June 5, 2009

I am currently in England with artist, Chris Dooks. We’re staying in sunny Steyning where we’ve been part of the village’s festival. It’s been a great few days.

Below are some residents enjoying the specially commissioned art tour Surreal Steyning, designed by Chris.

If you missed the live performance, I would highly recommend visiting Steyning with the downloadable map and tour on your mp3 player. If you are too far away, enjoy a virtual stroll around the website.  Click here.

Last night I was invited by the Friends of Steyning Festival to talk about The Tin-Kin and answer audience questions. The questions were mainly about Travellers (history and current issues). It was a real pleasure to take part in such a great festival, and the venue was a beautiful house with a very sunny garden. Lovely audience too. Thank you to Martin, Jenny and Jaqui.

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While in Steyning I also caught up with my parents, and good friends, Blue and Jo.