For almost two years now, we’ve had nothing but change in our lives and it will continue. Some changes are good and invigorating, others less so and difficult to get our heads round. But we persevere and take the good with the not so great. One result is that blog pieces and posts have diminished somewhat as time and energy have been taken up by other responsibilities.
Another result is that my writing has changed too. At the moment, I’m publishing short pieces, articles on the history which our new area is steeped in, and which are being published in a variety of magazines and online.
The American magazine, The Highlander, popped through my door and I was delighted to find I had two articles in it. One, Orkney’s Ancient Palaces, was the very first piece I sent several years ago and which gave me a fillip when it was accepted, and the other, on Christian Maclagan, was a more recent one that I wrote. Christian who? I hear you say. Scotland’s first female archaeologist, no less, and a redoubtable woman to boot. Like many other intelligent and learned Victorian women, she was ignored and her researches and findings were disregarded. She was also denied full membership of the Society of Antiquaries, a situation she was extremely angry about.
Recently, Scottish Field magazine published a piece about Susan Ferrier, another clever Victorian lady writer, now almost unheard of, and online, a piece on the Cadell family of Cockenzie House, a few miles away from where we now live.
The men of the family were an interesting lot, entrepreneurs, artists, publishers and actors, and of course the inevitable black sheep who made a name for himself in Australia and who came to a sticky end.
But what of the women of the family? More Victorian women who live on only in the photographs left behind and in a slim volume of writing penned by one of them? It is hoped that funding will be available to allow research into their hidden lives, through hopefully, diaries, household accounts and letters.
On another front, I have bought back my rights to my two ebooks and will republish them myself at a later date with revisions and new covers. Watch this space!
And a new tack – I have written a song! A singing group we attend is run by a very talented musician who has composed a piece just for our group and who asked if I would write the words. It will be premiered at the Gathering, a getting together of the many groups around East Lothian supporting those with dementia at which we will be singing. I hope they like Morning, Mrs Magpie!
Morning Mrs Magpie,
Here comes the day!
You bring a fresh start to life and living again
Good times are on their way.
Laughter and sunshine
Voices uniting in music,
Friendship and harmony.