Night of the Dead

Th older I get the more seasonal my life becomes. The perfect Florida orange in January, the first frosty morning requiring wool socks — it’s these transitions and moments that measure out my years. Witnessing the changing patterns of the planet and the movement of the light mark time in ways more profound than clocks … Continue reading

Love in a Library

Lots of people aren’t into Opera. I get it. I do. The endlessly long running times. The ridiculous daytime-tv-worthy plots. The repetitive subtitles. There is a lot to put a gal off. BUT, hear me out.   Imagine you are sitting in a sunny library. A quiet space full of potential. A kind-eyed librarian gently … Continue reading

Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Yesterday over breakfast canapes and clinking glasses the Edinburgh International Book Festival launched the 2012 programme. One of the highlights of the city’s summer festivals, a gamut of writers, thinkers and philosophers descend on Charlotte Square for almost three weeks of creativity and debate. This year’s line-up echoes the now-standard festival motifs: best-selling writers, big … Continue reading

A busy week in Edinburgh

I won’t be writing much this week. Summer’s cultural season is at full tilt (despite the inclement weather), so I’ll mostly be on the road. In case you’d like to get on board with some of Edinburgh’s exciting offering, here’s a selection of activities to try: <br> Leith Festival This gem runs all week, with … Continue reading

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012

Edinburgh has many festivals of all shapes and sizes. After a rocky few years the Edinburgh International Film Festival is often the one with the most gossip and speculation attached, but it’s also easily one of the most glamorous. This year a new structure and a new director seem to be taking it back to … Continue reading

Sharjah: Comics & Graphic Novels

Britain is notoriously squeamish when it comes to illustrated work. Despite delivering excellent artists and writers like Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and a bevy of other superstars – they still lack a mainstream following or any significant literary respect. Whether that’s the cause of or effect behind the cagey, insular and incredibly risk-averse market is … Continue reading

SHJIBF Opening Ceremony

This morning, the Sharjah International Book Fair was opened to the public. The first event was a conglomeration of several special celebrations: An opening brunch of incredible decadence, attended by Culture Ministers, Ambassadors, literary professionals and government agencies, hosted by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of … Continue reading

Sharjah : a crash course

Next week, I head to foreign shores. I’ll fly to Dubai and then be escorted to the Emirate next door: Sharjah, for the Sharjah International Book Fair. While Abu Dhabi and Dubai are well known names even in Scotland, usually conjuring images of the exotic Arabia and glitzy high rises, the UAE as a whole … Continue reading

Edinburgh’s Festivals

My town in pretty famous. It has this thing in the summer where hundreds of people, some of them famous, come and put on shows. We are awash with talent (and, admittedly, a lot of un-talented deluded people). It’s crazy, messy, chaotic, art-tastic fun. It is also really hard to live your normal life through. … Continue reading