News: May 2018

Grab your sunglasses and pour a fruity drink because spring has definitely arrived here in Edinburgh. As I write this, there is a clear blue sky outside my window. I’m still a bit shocked by all this sunshine! I can’t believe it’s been sunny for days (DAYS). But while it’s making me a little confused (we are still in Scotland right?), I know better than to question it.

And the sunlight has made my month of intense novel editing a lot more fun. I’ve even spent a glorious afternoon or two editing in the Meadows, sprawled out on the grass, typing away as the scent of BBQ wafts by. I had a particularly stressful day yesterday and a walk through the sunshine while sipping a lemonade was a game changer for shifting my perspective and putting me in a much better frame of mind. So thank you, sun!

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Speaking of thank yous, I got an amazing piece of news this month. Glorious news that I’ve been waiting to hear about for months, relating to what I’m going to be doing after my PhD. I don’t want to share it until everything has been 100% finalized, but for now I will say that I’ve been filled with gratitude all month for all the people who helped make this great thing happen.

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Here’s what else I got up to in the month of May…

PhD

I passed my Annual Progress Review (!), so I’m heading onwards towards my final submission in the autumn. There’s still some editing work to be done this summer, but I’m so pleased to have a full draft of the entire submission now – novel and essays. And for the novel itself, which is the bulk of my final submission, I’m on my third draft. Wish me luck editing, my friends!

Performances

I did two poetry performance this month. The first took me down to London where I was invited to perform at the University of St Andrews Alumni Ball! As a proud St Andrews alumna, who has literally written a book about loving the town, how could I say no? 🙂 It was held in a swanky hotel in Mayfair and I loved read St Andrews themed poems for the crowd of alumni, which spanned many generations. Plus it was a great time reuniting with uni friends and catching up with where our lives have taken us since graduating.

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Partying with university pals Beth (right) and Rob (left) at the St Andrews Alumni Ball, London

I also performed at the University of Glasgow Zine Fair. This was a fair for magazines, zines, and books from Glasgow Uni Creative Writing students and professors, so it was really fun to see what my current and former classmates have been up to. Mairi Murphy was there with the poetry collection that I helped to edit, Glasgow Women Poets, and with her debut collection, Observance, which is full of wit and heart, just like her! I also sold some copies of my chapbook and did a short performance of a poem about Santa Claus.

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My debut poetry pamphlet, Grown Up Poetry Needs to Leave Me Alone (Knockingdoor Press, 2014)

I’m traveling to the USA soon to visit family and for a conference in Virginia, but until then I’m going to continue soaking up the lovely weather here in Edinburgh. I hope you’ve enjoying spring too, wherever you are. Until next time! x

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