Monthly Archives: April 2014


I really must get better at this whole blogging thing. It has been almost a month since I started and I barely have two posts to show for it. I have lots of plans for posts mind you, but actually sitting down and writing them is unexpectedly proving something of a challenge.

This is partly because I am working on a lot of other things at the moment, including Vestigial Tales (about which I briefly blogged here and here) and a science fiction novella (about which I have planned to blog for some time), in addition to my various non-fiction work. Yet my lack of blog-worthy activity might also have something to do with the fact that we have been kind of all over the place lately, zipping across the Midwest for a mixture of pleasure and work.

Last week we were in Chicago and then Madison and Milwaukee*, we’re in Boston this weekend and then off to Toronto the weekend after before heading to California for an as-of-yet undetermined period of time shortly after that.

Don’t get me wrong – all this travel is rather exciting and being relatively new to the US, (we moved here from Edinburgh, Scotland last year) I am rather enjoying getting to see new people and places. However, I am finding that even as these adventures fill my notebooks with stories, observations, insights and anecdotes they leave me little time to sit down and sort through the harvest and I am longing for some quiet in which to write them all out properly.

This will come, I know, and it’s unseemly to complain of too much inspiration, but I wanted you to know that my neglect is not intentional. I have written ‘MUST DO BETTER’ on a post-it and stuck it to my keyboard and this is a promise I intend to keep.

In the meantime, I will leave you with a photo of an unexpected find on an unassuming Milwaukee street: a statue in honor of Robert Burns (the semi official national poet of Scotland) gifted to the city by the Milwaukee Burns Association.

Robert Burns Milwaukee

His heart may be in the Highlands, but there is plenty of love for The Bard in Brew Town it would seem.

* I know what you’re going to say – East Lansing Michigan to Chicago and then up to Wisconsin hardly constitutes zipping ‘across the Midwest’, but remember that I am from a small island and driving for eight hours straight still feels like going a long way to me. I will get to see more of the Midwest one day but right now, we’re Boston bound!


Found an illustrator

Huzzah! Following my last post in which I was desperately looking for an illustrator, I am incredibly pleased to announce that I have now found one.

*Drumroll, please*

Ladies, gentlemen, and those free from such limited binary concepts, please say a big hello to the incredibly talented Maria Astakhova.

Maria will be providing illustrations for a dozen of the 106 stories (not 120 as I previously mistakenly stated) that will appear in my flash fiction collection Vestigial Tales when it is published later this year. Kind, highly experienced and really rather good, you can see more of Maria’s work on her blog duckandwhite.

I am so excited to have Maria on board and I cannot wait to see her finished work next to the stories. Give her blog a follow and check back here for more updates soon.