Monday, 23 January 2017

Notebooks, Newsletter and Robert Burns

I saw a strange idea on a little video on FB the other day about a new type of notebook that seemingly can be re-used by putting the notebook in the microwave to erase the words. If you’re anything like me and all other writers I know, that is NOT a good idea!

I love my notebooks. Even when I have too many, it’s reassuring to know they’re ready and waiting in my drawer when I find the right use for each one. All those blank pages and beautiful covers – lovely to look at but practical too. So, no, I don’t know any writer who will be rushing to try a reusable one!

Before January is over (gulp!), I’ve sent out my latest newsletter. As always, if you wish to receive a copy, you can pop your email address in the box on the right hand side of the blog. There’s the chance for subscribers to win a copy of a wee book of Robert Burns poems to mark Burns Night on January 25th.

I’ve written a few articles about Burns over the past few years that were published in the American magazine The Highlander and a long-time fascination was with Highland Mary, one of the many females associated with him - and he had many! But several of his poems were dedicated to Mary Campbell, seemingly with a sense of remorse at how things ended.

That was the main reason I wrote The Highland Lass, so I could tell their story from 1785-6 in Mary’s fictionalised voice. She is buried in the cemetery of my hometown and I had passed her grave since childhood. Obviously, she got under my skin until the day I finally wrote her story!

However, the contemporary part of the novel is as much homage to Inverclyde with its beautiful scenery beside the river. And of course their story takes my modern couple on a journey of their own to other parts of the west coast. This was truly the book of my heart.

Happy Burns Night on Wednesday!



Carolb said...

A writer can never have too many notebooks I say, Rosemary. The idea of one you can put in the microwave to clear the pages is horrible.

Some stories are just meant to be told, and Mary's clearly made a strong impression on you, so pleased you were able to write it.

Newsletter arrived okay too. :-)

Happy Burns Night.

Teresa Ashby said...

Ooh I shuddered when I read about the erasing notebooks!!

I love the way you came to write Mary's story - I think she would approve.

Joanna said...

Wishing you a very happy Burns Night, Rosemary! What a strange idea - erasing notebooks! I think I have all my notes since I started writing, just in case, and I'm sure most writers keep them. All notebooks are so beautiful with their different covers and pure, new pages - all those possibilities just waiting! xxx

Patsy said...

Although I tend to cross through entries in my notebooks and never refer to them again, I don't fancy an eraseable one. I like the feeling of having used one up.

Julia Thorley said...

An erasable notebook? That's just wrong.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks, Carol - every writer I know has loads of notebooks!

That's kind of you, thanks Teresa!

Yes, it's the idea of all those possibilities, Joanna, and finding little nuggets previously written!

I'm a bit like that too, Patsy. I sometimes get rid of pages once rewritten somewhere else (from cheaper type jotters etc) but it's very satisfying going through lots of notebooks looking for those ideas and I keep my pretty books!

Absolutely, Julia - on so many levels!

Maria said...

I love notebooks and the thought of erasing them makes me shudder. Sometimes I look back in an old notebook and take an idea and turn it into a piece of flash fiction or a short story.

Anita Chapman said...

I love notebooks, and have a huge collection, many of which seem too nice to use....! I couldn't imagine removing the words I've written, I have notebooks in all shapes and sizes going back at least 14 years with all sorts of writing ideas and random thoughts in them. Hope you enjoyed Burns Night, Rosemary! :) x