A short and sweet post this time - perfect (I hope!) for the festive season! I'd like to start by saying a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Glasgow Gallerina community this year. Whether you've browsed and even bought some of my paintings, or read and written to join in with my literary work (here's looking at you, Sara McQueen and the contributors to the Pentimenti Project!) it has truly made such a difference to me and my hope of building a life in which I can combine creativity with compassion.
As many of you know, I donate 10% of the profits from the sale of my paintings and illustrations to the Scottish SPCA: a charity that protects and rehomes vulnerable animals in Scotland. I'm delighted that during December I've been able to increase the contribution to 15%, which means that Glasgow Gallerina's first Christmas can become a greater season for giving. It's not too late to pick a present that gives something back, so do check out my Paintings page to find the right artwork for you to ring in 2018!
I'm also very excited to announce that I've written a short story especially for this time of year, all about the value of kindness at Christmas and the idea that nobody should be forgotten. I've decided to hide it in various locations around Glasgow (and you're the only ones who know!) Keep an eye on my Instagram - and this website - for sneak previews of where 'Christmas Eve' is hiding. If you come across it, I really hope you enjoy it! The story is a call for empathy and focuses on the idea that everyone counts - whoever you are, that includes you too! If and how you choose to celebrate, let your heart be your own guiding star.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas - and I'll see you next year!
Line of the Week (my favourite line I've written this week - although whether it makes the final cut is a different story!)
The stolen coins in her pocket sit awkwardly against her hipbone. This is the first line of 'Christmas Eve' - I hope it's got enough of a hook to make you want to read on!
Bookmark (what I'm reading when I need a break from writing - otherwise known as often!)
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool by Peter Turner. This book was actually one of a (very generous) collection that came with the Glasgow Women's Library poetry prize last year - it really was the biggest bundle of books I've ever received and it's been ideal for picking and choosing novels I might not have selected myself. Film Stars is written simply yet vividly, and follows a young actor as he recalls his love affair with Gloria Grahame. I've always fallen for an age-gap romance - although if my own Mr Right doesn't turn up soon, I'll be finding myself at the older end of the spring-autumn dynamic!
Update (12/12)! I've dropped off my first copies of the short story 'Christmas Eve' - one in the library of the Gallery of Modern Art and another in the Argyle Street branch of Waterstones bookshop!
Update number two (21/12)! Secret short stories are now also in the grounds of Pollok House and Kelvingrove Art Gallery. Happy reading folks - and to all, a good night!