The more astute among you will have noticed that the little boxy bit at the side of the page now contains a bunch of Shetland-related events. Well, Shetland-related in the sense that they actually take place on Shetland. Which is always the best place to do Shetland-related things, as it requires a lot less suspension of disbelief. It’d be pretty damn difficult to do a convincing amount of Shetland-related stuff in Barbados, for example. Unless you found a way to make the local seagulls fly sideways, followed by small children, dogs, and assorted sheep.
Yeah, I know it’s a terrible cliché, but “Holy Weather Forecasts, Batman!” they know how to do wind up here. And I should know, because here is where I am*. In a fit of … something — I’m not quite sure what, possibly dyspepsia or inebriation — I decided a while ago that what I’d really like to do is hole up somewhere wild and remote, in the middle of winter, to start work on the new book. And so Shetland beckoned**! Better yet: those hip dude groovmeisters at Shetland Arts managed to parley it into a writer in residence gig, so I’ve got four weeks up here to explore, annoy new people, get cracking on the new book, and do some writing workshops and exclusive events.
And when I say, ‘exclusive’, I mean it, baby. Really exclusive. Really, really exclusive. So far we’ve done events on Yell and Whalsey, and we’ve still to break single figures. Nothing quite like it for keeping ones usually tumescent ego in check. But it’s quality that counts, not quantity. That’s what I keep telling myself.
It still beats my record for attendance at a STUART MACBRIDE event, by a factor of … well, infinity. Because my record low for attendance was bugger all. That’s right: not one person. Not even a smelly Labrador with a dodgy eye and flatulence. No-bloody-body. Ah, that was a night to be proud of. And it was in Aberdeen too, just to rub sharny grit into the wound. In the end, the bookshops staff and I mumbled something about the weather, shook hands (avoiding eye contact), and sloped off into the night, vowing never to speak about it again.
Writing superstar, that’s me ;}#
* Although, technically, I’m always ‘here’. It’s everywhere else that changes, depending on where my here is. Right now, in case you’re wondering, you’re ‘there’, and you’re going to be stuck ‘there’ for most of your days. Unless we happen to both be in the same place at the same time, in which case you’ll finally have made it to ‘here’. Mind you, it would be difficult to both be in the same place at different times. So ignore that bit.
** Wouldn’t it be cool if it baconed? That would have altogether more savoury connotations.