Iâ€™ll skip the day crap and go straight to the good stuff.
I finished Toothpicks, a short-short story at 790 words. Iâ€™ve got a couple of markets in mind, on of which is a local booklet being put together by another writing group in Edinburgh. They asked if I fancied contributing, and I think it may be suitable.
I ran through the Full Circle manuscript once more â€“ just to quad-triple-double-boogle check it! You canâ€™t be too sure. I made a few changes again â€“ as is always the case and slowly it becomes a reality.
In the evening Gail and I attended our first art exhibition opening. At the start of the week I wrote a short article about the exhibition in aid of the Sick Kids Hospital in my weekly Dog Blog post, and was subsequently invited as a guest by the artist, Trevor Jones.
The venue, Pizza Express on Holyrood Road, had never looked so smart and cool. The staff, who were all working for free, attended to us very professionally with our free drinks and food, which I have to say was delicious. Mini pizza combinations, filled dough balls, salads and deli-chicken platters were handed out on the balcony, or as sit-down meals on the ground floor, where you could also listen to Bill Kyleâ€™s jazz band playing some fantastic jazz.
Adorning the walls on each level were the results of Trevorâ€™s talent; a number of creations that are all up for sale, and all the proceeds going to the Sick Kids hospital. I spoke to a lady – a representative from the hospital who thought I was from the Evening News â€“ and she revealed that Trevor had been donating his time weekly for a while now, and she seemed very moved by the whole thing.
I caught up with Trevor very briefly â€“ everyone, it seemed, wanted a piece of him â€“ and thanked him for allowing us to come, but had to admit to not knowing a great deal about modern abstract art. As he talked about the source and process to create the paintings, the ferocity of his passion not just for his art, but for helping the kids, became fully apparent.
It wasn’t as easy to network as I had imagined it might be. Some people were easy enough to talk to but I think most of those that were there personally knew the artist or had a sponsorship connection. At times I felt a real sense of being somewhere I didn’t quite fit, but that disappeared after my third bottle of beer. It wasn’t art-snooty or anything like that, just being in a totally new crowd concerned with something I know nothing about was a little daunting at times. But then I reminded myself that good writers don’t say no to opportunities like that, and I wouldÂ happily go again. I’ll stick it down as a personal challenge in this month’s GDR.
Gail and I had to leave after a couple of hours but it was a most enjoyable start to the evening. As Gail drove off, I made my way round to the Canons Gait Pub on the Royal Mile to my monthly writerâ€™s meet-up. Two regulars were already there when I arrived, and two brand new faces. I donâ€™t think weâ€™ve ever made it past six attendees despite their being around 20 or so registered on the site.
Obviously, being a gathering of scribes, more drinks were consumed and with me having already consumed several free and a few on top, I suspect that I may have gotten quite loud with some of my tales. It was a good laugh though, and the new bods seem keen to meet up again. Thereâ€™s talk of doing work together and getting a forum going, which needs to happen, otherwise if we only meet up once a month it will just be a catch-up event. Some of the discussions got very deep, ranging from the meaning of life to the ultimate question, is there a God?. All great stuff though. Iâ€™ve never heard The Satanic Verses summed up so eloquently as Terry managed to do, though. Quite something if you could have heard it.
Here are the pick of the bunch from day 3 – our trip to Flamngo Land. This park is a safary park cum fairground park, and we got one of the hottest days of our holiday for it. We saw all the animals, and I watched the girls on most of the rides – I haven’t the stomach for it – and then we finished the day off with a BBQ back at the caravan while watching the sun go down. This was the first day of my head burning and so I bought a lovely hat which I figured would not only keep the sun off me, but it would also act as camouflage if any lions escaped.Â
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I’ve always found the staff at Fruitmarket Gallery very helpful in answering art questions. Plus, I love their cafe.
Stay in touch with Trevor — you could do some great articles for local and even international/parent mags.