As a writer I’m a jack-of-all trades. I’ve written for adults, for children, prose, poetry, drama, long works, short works, fiction and fact. As a political activist (and a committee member of PEN) I try to further all aspects of Scottish culture. I collect songs and sing them wherever I can find an audience; I keep fit by hill-walking in the country and country dancing in the town.
About writer's work
My grandmother came from Banffshire, I grew up in Glasgow, my partner is German and I took Higher Gaelic at night school. It is important to me to keep all our languages and dialects alive and so I have published work in Doric, Glaswegian, English and Gaelic as well as in translation in German. My themes vary but tend to concern ideas more than romantic love. Current themes are time, genealogy and evolution (after researching my own family tree) and politics (in the wake of the recent change of Scottish Government.
Current events and projects
Experienced in doing readings of my own work in English, Scots and Gaelic and in giving talks and holding workshops about writing in various forms of Scots and about problems faced particularly by women when writing. Have in the past led workshops on writing for children but not an expert in this field. Experienced also in setting and judging creative writing competitions. Will consider working anywhere within a day or even one overnight’s journey of Glasgow.
As a former member of the Executive Committee of the Scottish Branch of PEN International I produce their monthly newsletter.
Donald and the Elemental (short story), Chapman No 31, Winter 1981 /2
The Wind’s Teeth and Uggie (short story), Cencrastus, Spring 1982
High Risk Tenement (short story) Chapman No 64, 1991, ISBN 0-906772-38-9
Moonrunning (short werewolf story) Original Prints (1) (Polygon), ISBN 1985 0904919986
Black Night’s Bargain, (Gothic short story) Understanding, 1990, ISSN=0956-430
What to Do About the Crisis (short story – political allegory set in Glasgow) Paper Clips, 1993, ISBN 1-874304-64-5
Blasted by Sands (short ghost story), HarperCollins Flamingo Book of New Scottish Writing, 1998, ISBN 0-00-655118-1
Harbinger (short story – psychic), Edinburgh Review No 107, 2001, ISBN 1-85933-201-3
Theory of Relativity (poem - Time), Poetry postcard/ National Poetry Day, 2001
Gathering Winter Fuel (short story – alternative futures) Chapman No 100/101, 2002, ISBN 1-903700-05-1
Eorpa (Gaelic poem: Scotland in Europe) Chapman No 100/101, 2002, ISBN 1-903700-05-1
Sperr Chinge Please (poem: beggars) Chapman No 100/101, 2002, ISBN 1-903700-05-1
Luck o the Leid (Scots poem: the development of language through time; relationship between humans and animals) Lallans No 62, 2003, ISSN 1359-3587
6 Ogham Haikus (Gaelic haikus), An Guth 2, 2004, ISSN 1649-4059
5 Scots poems- themes of time, travel and identity: Sicht an Soon, Double Helix, Voyagers, Up and doon an roon, Nae Quarter, Lallans No 65 (Sicht an Soon was also published on the SAC website as Scots poem of the month for Feb. 2005. Then US publisher WW Norton used it in their anthology
Rotten English – see below), 2004, ISSN 1359-3587
Eaglais an Ulbha (Gaelic poem: depopulation) An Guth 3, 2005, ISSN 1649-4059
Hunting Hypnos (an epic poem - 138 lines) about insomnia still appearing on the refugee week website, 2005
Missin Link, High Kirk on Ulva, Negotiation (3 Scots poems – themes of time, evolution, suicide), Lallans 69, 2006, ISSN 1359-3587
Comin back Ower the Border (previous title: Sicht an Soon) Scots poem Rotten English (anthology ed. Dohra Achmed, publisher W.W. Norton), 2007, ISBN 978-0-393-32960-5
Blue Genes Back When (short story – theme: evolution, genes, Glasgow) Markings 24, 2007, ISBN 978-1901913-01-9
Soon Shift, Tap Table (Scots poems about political change) Lallans No 73, 2008 I wrote the lyrics of a Christmas song Mungo Carol which the Sirens of Titan choir performed at their concert in the Oran Mor theatre (Glasgow) on Christmas Eve 2008
I wrote and read a story Bag Baby broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland on 4/2/2009.
Poems published for Refugee Week on the websites of Scottish PEN and of the Scottish Refugee Council: Tightrope Walker – Scottish PEN online magazine “New Writing” - 2010
Longer Work published in German in translation The Crop, Ein fatales Erbe/A fatal inheritance, Auf der Schulweg/Late for School Three radio plays broadcast by South German Radio, Bavarian Radio, Swiss Radio, in 1981, and repeated various other dates (most recently in 2009) Die zauberhafte Reise, (Children’s book published in German: fairies; odyssey; Scotland) Schneider, 1985, ISBN 3-505-08412-3