In this blog and at events, I’ve often referred to my pride in being a bairn, meaning someone who was born in Falkirk. Identity is a key theme in my writing, and I was chuffed to be asked to take part in Bairns Night.
Last Friday’s spoken word online event was organised by Great Place Falkirk whose aim was to celebrate what it means to be a Falkirk bairn and discover different aspects of life in Falkirk, through anecdotes, poems, songs and stories.
It also featured winners of the short story competition ‘500 Words for Falkirk‘ reading their stories and it was a pleasure to be one of the judges.
For the event, I read out an extract from a short story called, ‘Today’s Special at the York Café’ which was featured in ‘Alight Here – An Anthology of Falkirk Writing’ and an extract from my debut novel – ‘Talk of the Toun’ which is set in the Falkirk area.
As I’ve not been able to find a publisher for the last novel I wrote, it’s been a while since I’ve had writing to promote or performed at a book event. It was great to be able to share my writing with readers again and I realised how much I’ve missed it.
Another reminder of my love of engaging with readers came from an out-of-the-blue tweet from @Debbbala. She tweeted about Talk of the Toun,
“Read this book!!
If you’re from Falkirk, you’ll love it.
If you’re Scottish, you’ll love it.
If you grew up in the 80’s you’ll love it. If you’re from anywhere ever and remember being a teenager ever, you’ll love it.
I tweeted back that she’d made my day, week and month and she added, “It is a fantastic read, had me laughing and crying equally! I’ll definitely be reading more of your books”.
If ever I needed a boost and encouragement to not completely give up on writing, Debbie’s tweet did the trick. Virtual events and social media are here to stay. I’ve never underestimated their impact but this week I’ve felt their power more than ever.
It might just be time to dust off that last manuscript…