Assimilation into Scottish life and culture has been hampered by the obviousness of my American accent. It’s not obnoxiously regional (sorry, fellow countrymen), more News Anchor American. Still. American. I hope it’s my imagination all noise around me stops when I open my mouth, like a space alien has just spoken, causing jaws… Read More Daily Scotland: Accent(uate) the positive.
Lest you forget this is, at heart, a book blog, I’d like to interrupt the lovely Scotland talk to briefly address my annual love-hate rant about the Man Bookers. The shortlist’s just come out, tripping the switch for my traditional snarky comments outlining all the reasons it’s utterly ridiculous. I bitch and moan first, puffing… Read More That time again: The Man Booker Shortlist.
The familiarity gained from last year’s three-month stay in Scotland’s shortened the re-acquaintance process with life here. It already feels familiar walking to the market to pick up simple things like milk and bread. There’s a small shop, a mini-mart we’d call it in the States, five minutes away. The nearest supermarket’s further than… Read More Daily Scotland: Settling In
From January through March or April-ish, Bluestalking exploded with activity like it hadn’t for ages. Then a Big Life Decision came knocking, consuming all my attention. The issue? Should I, or should I not, return to Scotland. The answer, after weeks of torturous back and forth: Yes. Pulling up stakes once again, selling or storing… Read More Och, aye.
Thanks to all who’ve sent notes asking if I’m still alive. Sorry I wasn’t able to reply to all, but I’m popping in to reassure you I haven’t yet left this earthly plane. For some of you, hopefully that’s what you’d hoped to hear. For the rest of you, I know lots of… Read More Yup, still breathing.
I had faith March wouldn’t let me down, unlike my crappy January and February. Lie: I had no such faith, but told myself things could hardly go further south. And there were no Olympics, no television distracting me. The TV reverted to its usual function: background noise for napping and covering the surface of my… Read More March in Review: Much more reading, many more books. That’s more like it.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, y’all! I do have a bit of genuine Irish in me, but the bulk of my heritage is English, Scottish and Dutch. What Irish I do have I magnify on March 17th, as one does. My daughter and I toured Ireland together back in 2014. She was finishing up a… Read More St Patrick’s Day Gift: interviews with three great Irish writers
I’m still pretty amazed finding six of the longlisted novels for the Women’s Prize for Fiction are debuts. Six of sixteen. That’s a big chunk, nearly half. I can do math! These women are incredible, each one. I may normally quibble and grumble about first-time novelists snagging such a prestigious longlist nomination, but after reading… Read More Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2018: the Debut Novelists
“What are you, Daniel?’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘What are your father and sister?’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘Well, if you don’t, then how can I? But I do know they’re fanatics. When they care about something, whatever it is, they care about it to the full. They care about it as much as anyone… Read More Elmet by Fiona Mozley
Two posts from me in one day. Ah, but they’re very different. Some of you know about my Scotland 2017 story, the uber exciting chance to move there and live with a man I considered a close friend, to marry and work side by side. It didn’t come off as planned, and I’ve… Read More Daily: What forgiveness means