11/02/2020

Something a little different for this month's blog ... Scotland's most vulnerable baby birds need your help!

In January 2020, France announced that it would be outlawing the practice of culling the egg industry’s day-old male chicks by 2021. Last year, the German Federal Administrative Court also ruled that this practice could continue only on a temporary basis, and in Switzerland the act of macerating male chicks has been banned since the beginning of 2020. In the US, the trade group United Egg...

21/01/2020

Koala

Black smoke chokes me,

grey fur singed.

Small paws smouldering;

wide eyes sting.

Our homes in cinders,

charred debris.

New infants clinging,

forced to flee. 

Each family raised here

now bereft,

With bush floors burning,

birth meets death.

So, instincts wary, 

wild yet brave,

we trust in your kind

our own to save.

 I wrote this poem and painted this watercolour after witnessing the devastation caused by the Australian bushfires. On its sale, the full cost of the painting was donated to the WWF's Australia B...

22/12/2019

Hello everyone and happy Book Week Scotland! This annual occasion celebrates all of our country's literary loveliness and I was honoured to have one of my poems shortlisted for this year's Bold Types prize at Glasgow Women's Library! Anyone who has browsed the poetry pages of my website (go on, you know you want to!) will know that my pieces The Clyde and Knowledge have previously won the contest, and I was so delighted to share my work once more. I didn't win the overall prize this time, but th...

17/11/2019

Hello everyone and happy autumn! A short and (literally) sweet blog this time ... Fortnum & Mason recently put out a call for short stories inspired by their new 'Library of Chocolate' bars and I thought I would share mine with you here! Writers were given the story title - 'Fire in the Hive' in my case! - and a short 'blurb' for inspiration - for this one, all about honey heiress Lottie Jermyn finding herself in a sticky situation! With only 500 words in which to concoct a chocolate lover's tal...

01/09/2019

Greetings, everyone, from Glasgow and Grasmere! I hope you enjoy my latest vlog, in which I travel for the first time to the beautiful Lake District village of Grasmere. This perfectly picturesque spot was once home to William Wordsworth and his family, including his beloved sister Dorothy who wrote The Grasmere Journal (the book that inspired my trip in the first place)! 

Dorothy's journal was never actually intended for publication: instead, her very first entry on 14th May 1800 recorded that '...

30/06/2019

Hi everyone! I hope the sun is shining wherever you are (but not too hard - if you’re anything like Miss Gypsy, you won’t want to walk when it’s too warm outside)! I'd like to start by thanking everyone who responded to my recent Instagram story - now that I’m approaching the end of the novel writing process, I wanted to film a video all about the inception, creation and (eventual) publication of Ellen and Arbor! I hope you enjoy this video - it’s a long 'un but a good 'un, and I’ve broken down...

01/06/2019

Hello there, my little Junebugs! Truth be told, I tried to begin this blog in May (and in April too!) I've been so busy polishing up the final draft of my own novel, Ellen and Arbor, that all other writing work has had to take a back seat. And yet when I've not been writing (or painting, of course!) then I have been reading, and I wanted to share a few of my favourite finds for the next time you're stuck without a page turner! 

The Freedom Artist by Ben Okri has received a great deal of press att...

08/05/2019

May the force be with you, Gallerina Gang! I'm starting this month with a vlog that technically doesn't have anything to do with my writing or artwork. Yet as anyone who's had the pleasure of watching The Greatest Showman will know, 'the noblest art is that of making others happy'! On the 7th May, I had the absolute privilege to be in the audience for the very first night of Hugh Jackman's World Tour: The Man. The Music. The Show. As far as I'm concerned, there's no greater showman (or greater g...

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