Carving by Alan Lees
For all kinds of reasons, August was such a busy month for me that I've been neglecting my blog. I found myself blogging about being a mid-list writer for the astonishingly varied and informative Edinburgh eBook Festival, attending the excellent and entertaining Inverness Book Festival with Lin Anderson and Sara Sheridan, to speak about indie publishing and promotion, while a week later, I was on a Society of Authors panel at the Edinburgh International Book Festival talking about 'Being a Writer in the Digital Age.' This was a bit contentious, but only insofar as one of the speakers found himself playing devil's advocate - and to be honest, I'm glad he did. Nothing like a little grit in the oyster to produce a few pearls of wisdom, and as one member of the audience commented afterwards 'It wasn't totally one sided, which proved to be a very good thing.' I agree. There is a debate to be had, and we should be having it - courteously and productively.

 I heard later that one of the panel had to put up with a certain amount of online abuse and I'm sorry about that. We need to be able to talk frankly about writing and publishing. We need to be able to talk about the challenges facing all of us. If we can talk about collaboration and making the best of things for all of us, so much the better.

Edinburgh is a blast at Festival time. We managed to see The Tobacco Merchant's Lawyer, by Iain Heggie, with John Bett as the redoubtable Enoch Dalmellington. This is a marvellous piece of theatre - funny and satirical and wholly entertaining and I'm so glad to have seen it at last. Every time I see a play as good as this one, I have a terrible longing to get back to writing for the stage - and yet taking anything at all from page to production these days is fraught with so many problems that - after all these years and with a good track record - I do, kind of, find myself running out of steam with that particular aspect of my creativity! I had this conversation with somebody only a few weeks ago who told me that the only way was to 'get a group of people together and do it yourself' and I thought - yes. You're right. It's the only way. But do I have that kind of energy now? All these years after my first play was staged?  I don't think so. Besides, I have so many other fish to fry, you wouldn't believe.

Meanwhile, enough of the excitement. (And believe me, there has been a LOT of excitement of which more in due course) I really need to quit monkeying around and get some writing done - fiction, that is.

PS We also spent an hour in the company of the Amazing Bubble Man. You can watch him on YouTube here. Wonderful stuff.