Scotland Scrapbook

I really did have a good time in Scotland as these pictures sent to me by Belizean author and co-panelist Ivory Kelly attest:

Ivory and me - or if you're reading left to right, I guess that would be me and Ivory.

Ivory and me – or if you’re reading left to right, I guess that would be me and Ivory.

Getting all posey cozying up to this statue at the Mitchell Library.

Getting all posey cozying up to this statue at the Mitchell Library.

Of course, he had nothing on this living statue seen in the streets of Glasgow. Wonder what he does if he gets an itch.

Of course, he had nothing on this living statue seen in the streets of Glasgow. Wonder what he does if he gets an itch.

He wasn't the only diversion on the streets of the city. A riot of sound, bag pipes and all.

He wasn’t the only diversion on the streets of the city. A riot of sound, bag pipes and all.

And we found other ways to entertain ourselves. Can't go to the UK and not have a pub lime. That's me and Ivory with Glasgow-based Jamaican writer Kei Miller.

And we found other ways to entertain ourselves. Can’t go to the UK and not have a pub lime. That’s me and Ivory with Glasgow-based Jamaican writer Kei Miller.

...a relaxed moment with Emma, from the Commonwealth which brought Ivory and me up for the panel.

…a relaxed moment with Emma, from the Commonwealth which brought Ivory and me up for the panel. We’re in the lobby of the lovely Malmaison https://www.malmaison.com/locations/glasgow/

The thank God it's over and hey that didn't go half bad after panel smiles - from left Gemma Robinson, me, Ivory, and Scottish writer Martin McIntyre.

The thank God it’s over and hey that didn’t go half bad after panel smiles – from left Gemma Robinson, me, Ivory, and Scottish writer Martin McIntyre.

Thanks for sharing, Ivory.

Read my blog on my time at Aye Write! and after.

And pre event interviews with me and Ivory.

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The Adventure Begins

It could be hormones but I felt sort of emotional bumping into this interview posted to the British Council Website. I wasn’t aware it had been posted. And it makes everything all too real. That my writing life is taking certain unexpected turns…and yet it’s what I’ve worked for all these years so I’m doing my best to embrace it with open arms, to just fall in to the experience…grateful that in spite of all the challenges, I get to do this, to be a writer, and to go to the places real and imagined that it takes me. Never mind that today, as I prepare to fly off to Scotland, I’ve so far busied my self with household tasks, working out, and working (primarily using the time in limbo to declutter)… the rhythm of doing is keeping me from overthinking. Through the jitters, I’m looking forward to it, to being in Scotland (me, gyal from Ottos, Antigua) and to hopefully representing myself and my people well on what is a very esteemed panel with Belize’s Ivory Kelly and Scotland’s Martin MacIntyre – note: do click on the links…the interviews make for interesting reading…I’m particularly struck by this commonality between Scottish writing as described by MacIntyre and writing from the Caribbean:

“Subjects such as family ties and allegiance; belonging/non-belonging to a small community; rurality vs urban existence and values; the legacy of a brutal history -‘The Highland Clearances’ etc on the contemporary psyche and one’s relationship to land and the fate of the language itself were perennial themes. Of late writers have been moving away from these topics and embracing the concerns of the modern ‘mainstream’ both in Scotland and abroad.”

It’ll be interesting to discuss these intersections in our panel, Friday 11th April, during our panel ‘The Untold Story: By Our Own Tongues’ at the Aye Write! Festival.

As for these nerves and this persistent bug, let’s hope they behave themselves…no youtube videos of me wet with cold sweat and coughing up a lung.