Ever since she discovered that the name of her home, Huamstane, meant stone of the moaning summer owl, Darroch fell in love with words.Read More
September always brings a flurry of creative inspiration and motivation. There’s something about the crisping leaves, sharp air that fills me with productive zeal. I get those ‘back to school’ feelings even though I’ve been out of ‘education’ for eight years.Read More
Here’s a quick summer Simple Magic before I transfigure into full-on autumn mode! The following photos are from my phone camera roll. They don’t quite fit the theme of my blog or Instagram, but capture enchanting, everyday moments I want to remember.Read More
All writers struggle with lack of motivation at some point. For me, it’s always caused by self-doubt, which prompts an attack of imposter syndrome or comparison-itis – suddenly everyone’s writing is better than my own.Read More
This is a story about an old leather jacket.
Black, butter-soft and scuffed at the elbows. The lining inside frayed as a Dementor’s cloak. A stud is missing so the right lapel flaps in the wind like the broken wing of a giant bat.
This jacket hails from 1970-something. Another soul inhabited it before me, and perhaps there were others in between.Read More
Last week I handed The Children of the Mist (my fantasy novel) to an Editor for the first time. I thought I’d share the emotions I felt a provide a wee update on my next steps.Read More
Welcome to a new blog feature – Simple Magic.
Recently, I noticed I only take photos that fit my blog or Instagram theme. While we’ve all levelled up from daily snaps of our breakfast - and sometimes it’s nice to experience things in the moment without the pressure to record - there’s still a part of me that misses capturing daily details.Read More
I’ve been longing to share this post with you all! Since returning from holiday three weeks ago a barrage of birthdays, weddings and novel edits have kept me from collecting my thoughts on my recent island adventure. I planned to write a post for each island but decided to compile everything into one, long post instead. A hectic summer does not a regular blogger make.
Grab a cup of tea (it’s a long one) and let me tell you a tale of three Scottish islands…Read More
What better way to end April than with a round-up of what’s inspired me lately?
As you read this, I’m driving north-west to the Isle of Rum. After a few nights on Rum we’re heading to Skye and Raasay. The car is full of food, my phone is stocked up on podcasts and questionable CDs have been found in the glove compartment. I love the nostalgia of road trips and how an old song I’ve heard a thousand times becomes imbued with sudden meaning when traveling someplace new. It’s as though a change of scene unlocks a new layer to whatever I’m listening to or reading.Read More
Why is finding time to write so hard?
Online advice mostly arrives at the same conclusions: schedule your writing sessions, work in short bursts and above all – cut out distractions. In other words: make time. Deep down, we know what to do. Yet we resist. Why? Since no one asked, here’s my two pence on the subject…Read More
Hi folks – due to laptop issues I’ve shared less of my Artist’s Way journey than I wanted to. I’m currently on Week 7 of 12 – over half way! – so feel it’s time for an update. Today I want to take you back to Week Four, the most difficult yet game-changing week so far.Read More
I’d like to start a regular update here where I share books, music, podcasts and anything that inspires me month to month. I enjoy reading these kinds of updates on others’ blogs – it often leads me to discover a new favourite author, blog or band. And I’m always curious to see where folk get their inspiration from!
So, without further ado, here’s what’s been inspiring me this month.Read More
Last year I wrote a novelette called The Bone-Men. It’s dark fantasy, set in primeval Scotland with a few twists and turns along the way.
Novelettes are traditionally stories between 8,000 and 50,000 words. They’re uncommon and hard to sell (to traditional publishers, at least). So why did I write one?Read More
Last week I took a deep breath and started The Artist’s Way.
It’s a 12-week programme by Julia Cameron (herself a prolific artist), designed to help ‘discover and recover your creative self.’ I’ve been curious about the process for years after hearing many artists describe it as life-changing. A discovery of true purpose, sustained creativity and sense of control over one’s life and art are the most commonly reported benefits.Read More
Reading is my love, but writing is my obsession. I’ve devoured the advice of famous authors, consumed countless writing blogs and podcasts, and recently discovered the world of ‘authortube’. This year I’m giving myself permission to delve even deeper into my obsession and spend on some author memoirs I’ve always wanted to read. On Writing by Stephen King and Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott are two I’ve had my eye on for a while.Read More
As the 10 year challenge swept Instagram I, at first, refused to look back. My 19 year-old self was someone I would rather forget. But last week, when the challenge showed no signs of abating, curiosity got the better of me and I hunted out my old diaries. Maybe I was doing a disservice to the young woman I used to be, underestimating her now as she underestimated herself then? If I could write a letter to her, I wondered what I would say...Read More
More selkies, kelpies and goblins. Less cynics, naysayers and growing up.
So read one of my recent Instagram captions, a mission statement for wild, imaginative souls and one which encapsulates the spirit of my word for 2019: abundance.Read More
I love the light, the silliness and celebration; I love the dark, the deepness and profound thoughts winter inspires in me. At its height, winter is a world of stillness, otherness and dying beauty.
Tacky ornaments from the fifties on the tree, a reminder of Grandad. Decorating with my sister. Rereading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as the sky grows thin. A walk over the hill after the first snowfall. Annual trip to community cinema with friends.Read More
First ideas are easy. They are flowers blooming above ground. Pretty, comforting, familiar. First ideas are flowers plucked too soon, liable to wither.
I want to dig beneath the soil. Seek roots, ideas that germinate in the dark. I want dirt beneath my nails. I want the secret things, untouched by starlight. Gristle and bone. But also blood, beauty.
I tire of blooms. I want the mandrake, screaming and fatal.Read More
It’s time. The snow is falling. Stars twinkle cold in the icy sky. I am frozen to the bone from trudging in the drifts. Frozen but content, shaking meltwater from my hair. Getting home, pulling boots off. It’s time. The arrival of a quiet, December moment. I brew a cup of tea, balance some biscuits on the arm of the chair and settle into a wintry read…Read More