Mary Irvine’s Blog: Booked! The Grand Finale
The Grand Finale to a successful festival and who better to ensure it finished on a high than Rhona Cameron, TV personality and comedienne who had her own popular sitcom ‘Rhona’. Another well attended event with over 40 people turning out on quite a dreich night. (Note how I slip into the local patter!)
The focus of her talk was her memoire – ‘1979, A Big Year in a Small Town’, the town of the title being Musselburgh. Musselburgh is described as an old-fashioned world with ‘a working class, small town ambience’ where ‘women were not allowed their own journey of discovery’.
Growing up in Musselburgh the book deals with one year in the life of a 14 year old girl, dealing with not only her sexual identity but also discovering she is adopted. Rhona did, however, state that the book was not necessarily about a young girl who thinks she’s gay as she believed every teenager searches for his/her identity, whatever it might be. The loss of her father when she was fourteen was a further trauma. She decided on one year and chose the year her father died. A year also follows the seasons so enabled her to give detail of the various social activities and games associated with specific times of the year.
In writing the book she was fortunate that she still had the comprehensive diaries written at the time. The diaries also reveal a fantasy world with herself as the hero, into which she withdrew.
An accomplished speaker her readings were not merely readings. They were performances not only reflecting her obvious talent but also her enjoyment. In particular the account of the Fisherman’s Walk… but I won’t give a spoiler here.
Rhona is only now writing the screen play, emphasising the problems for writers when adapting one medium for another. She expressed her hope that she would be able to direct it. The film will be on two levels, running parallel. The real world and the fantasy world. Should work well and certainly one to look out for.
A very honest talk and the audience were with her all the way. I too enjoyed the session with maybe one slight negative. Although Rhona said she wouldn’t ‘bang on’ about her sexuality she did seem to mention it quite often.
All in all though, a good event to complete an excellent ‘Booked! Festival’.
Rhona’s book is available in paperback on Amazon at £9.99
This piece is for Terry – a lovely bloke…
It had been a lovely day. The gardens were beautiful, as always. She felt pleased with the ‘photos she’d taken. Improving all the time. Wouldn’t be able to choose the one for the competition till she’d seen them on a bigger screen. Maybe there would be THE one this time.
She suddenly became aware of being watched. Looking up she saw a line of five scarecrows at the top of a grassy knoll. Most people had headed towards the gates – only thirty minutes to closing time. But there was time for one more shot or two.
She moved up the slope, stopping every few yards, changing position slightly to get different perspectives. All the scarecrows were unique, but the one she felt drawn to was the one on the extreme left – the portly, jolly one with the friendly smile. He was the one.
She moved in for a close-up.
The scarecrow saw her approach. He slowly lowered his arms. A frightening leer replaced the friendly smile. He began to stump towards her. She froze. Fetid breath smothered her.
Then she screamed…
Mary Irvine, 31 May, 2016
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