Saturday, 5 September 2009

Back from Edinburgh

‘The Athens of the North’ was great.
Three bus tours of the city. Yes, three, but different double Decker tours – we wanted to make the most of our 24-hour ticket!
Edinburgh Castle.
Walking and walking and walking around the city.
Tour around underground Edinburgh.
Lots of eating in restaurants.
Lots of writing – I finished one chapter, started a new one and finished it today.
More work on short story.
Book festival.
Buying prints from street artists.
And I came home with a souvenir cold too. Two boxes of tissues in two days.

Observations of the Book Festival

Margaret Atwood
Write about things that humans are already working towards could really achieve in the real world – read science and technology news and journals.
Talked about her concern about Bees.
Atwood has started blogging too and Twittering. Something I think all writers should do. Not just for reaching out to audiences but for the actual process of writing.

Douglas Coupland
This was a very special event as it was the first event he was doing for ‘Generation A.’
The audience were asked to perform the ‘The Mobile Sonata’ where you would ring the phone number of the person next to you. Apparently Police said that phones ringing in school bags after the Columbine High school massacre, sounded like tropical birds. It sounded quite like a mob of people playing with their ringtones in a big tent.
Then came the reading from his new novel. I wished I had come with my copy as he did a signing afterwards.
Coupland’s book is about the declining Bee population and Atwood also touched on this. Both were affected by the news from a couple of years ago.


kerryswindow said...

Hey Jess,

Sounds like you had a lovely time! Did you find the Coupland reading a little strained? I saw him a few years ago in London (Gum Thief promo) and at the end of the reading he just said,

'I don't think I'm going to do another one of these again.'

Dropped his book and walked off the stage!! I love his books and writing but I could have done without paying 8 quid to see him look cross and/or slightly put upon ;)

Looking forward to reading Gen A once I'm in a city with proper bookstores again! xx

Jessica said...

Hi Kerry

God, the event I went too sounds like a quiet 'do' rather than your rock and roll talk!

There were a lot of pregnant pauses (I was not sure if he was waiting for an audience reaction or was thinking of the next thing to say)and he kept asking for the time too.