Mary Irvine’s Blog: Catching Up with Writing, Re-Writing and Helensburgh Writers Group


A Year In Spetses

sunshine spetses

Have been having quite a busy time of late so will pass on a few of my activities and then I can concentrate on t’other things in my life. My regulars (Hi Linda, Hi sis!, Hi Evelyn) will no doubt be wondering if I’ve fallen out with Greece as I don’t appear to be writing anything about that delightful place recently. The truth is I’m writing (and re-writing) about it virtually every day – a fictionalised account of a year on Spetses, based round all the celebrations and the visit of a writer and, no the writer is male and certainly not me although there may be a wee bit… Anyway, am now up to 50,000 plus words so just need to find a publisher! Am very lucky that I have my own private proof–reader/editor! We have telephone conferences, often lasting up to three hours!

Apropos of this I have to thank the ‘Old Guard’ (and my friends – I do have one or two) of the Helensburgh Writers’ Workshop who are meeting in the Commodore on Mondays for the summer months, an informal arrangement of which I have been taking full advantage. Their in-depth critiques/ comments/discussions are proving invaluable. And, of course, my Feb/March sojourn in Greece and on Spetses allowed refreshment of memories, all very pleasant surprisingly! By the way, have just booked a flight to Athens for five weeks Feb/March 2017, only £70 RETURN from Edinburgh. Must remember to warn people I’m staying with them.


Leven Litts – Alzheimer Project

Remember I wrote about the Alzheimer project? Balquhidder House, Alexandria, who are using the material produced, was one year old recently so the Leven Litts all got invites. A purpose built care home the facilities are amazing and there was quite a party going on with musical entertainment, loads of food and a huge cake. All got a bit too raucous for me so found a ‘quiet’ room – an excellent idea for people who wish to be, well, quiet.

Have also been busy organising visits to groups to give talks on Alzheimer Awareness.

Had to make sure I could operate a projector through a computer. Last time I showed a film in public it was 16m and I had to feed it manually. I do have reading material and images freely available for anyone who wants to get in touch.

The Leven Litts Writers have been quite busy too, welcoming speakers to their meetings. I was calling in favours here! Catriona Malan was particularly informative when she spoke about her poetry and what it meant to her. An inspiring, enjoyable talk. We had Donny O’Rourke and the Dalmuir writers join us for a session which proved very successful. Mary Edward, as fluent and professional as ever with the occasional bits of humour, offered insight into her recently revised book ‘ Who Belongs to Glasgow’. We have Ian Miller and Ann McKinnon to come. That will bring us to the AGM when I will step down from the committee to concentrate more on my own work.


Scottish Writers Centre

I also managed to get up to the SWC/CAA 2/3 times and am writing about those visits at length. Tendai Huchu, Lea Taylor and Three lady poets. Have a couple more pencilled in. Am also looking forward to a day course with Alan McMunnigall (Narration and Perspective in Fiction’ and going to see Jim Webb next week so I’ll have lots to write about…

Am continuing with my Bowen treatment at Napiers the Herbalists (61 Cresswell St, G12 8AD). If you feel your muscles need a kick start check out this treatment. * I always come away with a spring in my step. I first encountered this treatment on my last visit to Greece and was fortunate to find one so close to home.



Car Boot Sales, Pop Up Market SWG3 and Adrian Wiszniewski Exhibition

Have done a couple of car boots recently to top up the donations Anne Marshall and I have received to produce the books on Dumbarton. The launch is provisionally set for October 18th in Dumbarton Library. Further details when confirmed. Anne’s own book for children about a hedgehog Community sold out on her launch and more have been printed. Details about that plus the merchandise to accompany it can be obtained from the Hub in Dumbarton or via me.

Latest visits were to a great pop-up market in SWG3 and to the Adrian Wiszniewski Exhibition at the By Distinction Gallery in the Byres road where I bumped into Pat and Jim. Had a coffee with afterwards so was good to catch up on a few ‘things’.

Must get down to writing up review of Tendai Huchu’s latest novel ‘The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician’. Have just finished reading it for the second time…

Back soon…


Wild Words Festival, Woodlands Community Garden, 2 October, 2016
Hugh McIlvanney In Conversation with Graham Spiers, OranMor, Thursday 29 September, 2016

This section: Books, Talks, Poetry and Creative Writing Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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