I am vomit-inducingly evangelical about the capacity of art (all arts) to strengthen. It’s protein for the mind.
As a philosophy undergraduate I remember being told that seventy plus percent of those who survived the siege of Leningrad had been actively involved in some sort of art. Whether they were concert worthy violinists, or concert goers; writers, or readers; sculptors, or gallery regulars, their involvement with art somehow gave them the wherewithal to survive freezing temperatures and near starvation.
Since then I’ve read zillions of articles on the healing power of art, seen art-therapy emerge as a serious medical intervention, and experienced art’s capacity to turn bullets to rubber both first and secondhand.
So I’m incredibly grateful to Wigtown Festival Company for making me one of their three Literature Ambassadors, and supporting me as I try to contribute to the creation of the conditions to help local writers and readers engage as fully as possible with literature.
This website is my front door, always open onto a cosy library where tea and cake, as well as notepads, pencils, and books, are always available to anyone who writes, would like to write, and/or has an interest in literature. I love to talk about books!
There’s a page dedicated to writer resources, another to opportunities for writers, two blogs (one personal mutterings, the other of a more artistic bent), and a homepage I try to keep updated with information of a showcase type nature.
So, please, do wander in, and excuse the cobwebs.
I am a writer, tutor, and (as I’ve said above) Literature Ambassador. I divide my time between writing (mornings 6:30-noon) and trying to help develop those conditions I mention above. Sometimes I have to take paid work that has little to do with art, but I try and keep that to a minimum.
I’ve written two novels (both remain locked away), hundreds of short stories (some of which you may stumble upon in dusty lit mags at the back of a secondhand book or charity shop), and a number of shady poems (ditto), and am currently writing a novel about a woman who becomes obsessed with Cézanne. I’ve used National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) as the launchpad, and you can track my progress here. Or join me on my FaceBook page where I’ll no doubt share my highs, lows, and not-too-bads.
It would be lovely to see you in any of these places,