Hello!  Here are the happenings from my desk and beyond.
View this email in your browser

Cairngorm Capers

A warm hello to you from a very snowy highlands of Scotland! After weeks of dull cloud and muddy brown earth over Christmas and New Year, we have been blessed with a sparkling coat of snow, blue skies and still, clear days.  It has been the perfect start for a whole new project for me this year: in 2019 I am the first ever Writer-in-Residence for The Cairngorms National Park! I’ve lived in the Cairngorms for over twelve years and it’s a role I dreamed up and proposed to the Park last summer which, to my delight, they have welcomed with open arms. Over the following months we mapped out a project plan together and applied for funding and were delighted to secure sizeable grants from both Creative Scotland and The Woodland Trust. The project is called Shared Stories: A Year in the Cairngorms and is all about how people and nature thrive together. It has two strands: 70 days of my time will be spent in outreach, delivering creative writing workshops for a range of people from school groups to land-based workers to the general public in a series of open workshops. Another 30 days is funded time for me to develop my own writing around the project themes, which is exciting and a bit scary. To find out why, have a look at the first post of my brand new blog about the project called Writing the Way. Sign up and follow the journey!
With walking pal, Sileas, the Golden Retriever

Love You and Leave You

The only down side to taking on this project was the necessity of giving up my post in the library at Kingussie High School (no time to do both!) I had been there for nearly five years and was quite gutted to leave, especially when they gave me such a lovely send-off at our Library Christmas Party and said things that almost made me cry. The consolation, however, is that I will be back in the school to deliver workshops for the Shared Stories project, and I do see staff and kids daily in our connected rural community.
You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps.

When I Look to the West

Apart from all this transition and new trajectory, I wanted to tell you about the traversing I did last November/December. (Can’t resist a bit of alliteration!) It kicked off with an invitation from the North Argyll Carers Trust to lead a creative writing workshop out on the Hebridean island of Tiree during Book Week Scotland. Having fallen in love with Tiree on a family holiday in 2015, I leapt at the chance, and then set about organising other events while over on the west. Happily, I ended up with a series of talks called The Ingredients of a Novel all about the story behind the story of A House Called Askival, and delivered this at Tiree Library, Oban Library, Inverness Library and The Highland Bookshop in Fort William. I had such a brilliant time meeting so many interesting people, which is always a huge antidote to the solitary nature of writing. Here’s a 20 second video of that trip.
With the good women of Tiree

The Granite City

Then in early December I was over on the opposite coast making my first visit to the legendary city of Aberdeen to run a writing workshop in the main library there. It was called Footprints and Fingerprints and was part of a project on Multiculturalism across the city. There was a hearteningly diverse mix of folk there and some quite stunning pieces of writing that emerged.
A collage of images from the Aberdeen workshop

Coffee and Company

I started the Aberdeen trip by organising a drop-in Meet the Author event at a cool little coffee shop called Cult of Coffee, and had one of those all-too-familiar Un-famous Author experiences where it turns out that no-one is actually interested in meeting you. Fair enough. I wouldn’t have been interested in meeting me either. However, I was spared the embarrassment of sitting alone next to my sign and stack of books by the company of the one person in Aberdeen who did want to hang out: the very lovely fellow writer, Rae Cowie. And, actually, it was the best thing. We chatted about so much together and I am really hopeful and excited about the books she is working on that will find a hugely enthusiastic readership as soon as she can find a publisher. And we all know how hard that is.
With Rae at Cult of Coffee

Publisher Shublisher

So, on the tetchy topic of publishers, what news for my second novel, you ask? (For those new to this letter or struggling to remember: Colvin’s Walk – set in the Cairngorms – was taken on by my agent in May 2018 and though she is an influential London agent, even her powers have proved no match for this novel. So far.) There might be a turn of fortunes, however, as there is now a publisher nibbling round the edges and we should know soon if there’s a yay or nay. Don’t worry – if they bite, you’ll hear the screaming from the other side of the planet!
Right, that’s all from me just now. Do keep up to date with the Cairngorms project on the blog, and if you’ve ever been in this area, there are opportunities to submit your own writing. Looking forward to hearing from you.
On a Cairngorms journey
Thanks again for being alongside.  It is an honour to have your interest and support.


Copyright © 2019 Merryn Glover, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp