What was I doing all these months? Just too busy to pay any attention to my blog, that’s what. I just realised how useful the blog is for my own reference. So I am determined to write even a few words every month from now on. Let’s see if I can remember what happened in June, July, August and September.
Started with lovely news of my poem ‘Home’ finding a home with the new issue of the prestigious Scottish Pen magazine ‘s new issue Dignity. This month flew by as I was also busy organising events for Milngavie Week. Yoga with Manjulika and two other events. There were book events Alan Martin at the Milngavie Library and David Manderson at Bearsden Writers Group. I also was judging the young writers competition. Pupils from Douglas Academy wrote some excellent Flash Fiction stories on ‘Climate Change’ and it was great to see the prize winners getting lovely books from Waterstones Byres Road for the Milngavie Week Award for them. Excellent coverage in the local paper too. see photo below. This month had more interesting events. I was invited by Scottish Pen, to write some poems as a homage to the 10thC poet Al Mutanabbi, and read them on 30th June at the Kelvingrove Museum afternoon. I also got into Issue 2 of micro poetry @blackboughpoems press. A bilingual one which was exciting. JLF Belfast, Jaipur Literary Festival was during the weekend of 21-23 . I had been to JLF in India and was happy to go again but in a city I had never been to Belfast. It was spectacular as I expected. I did manage to meet Indian authors like Pico Iyer & Namita Kokale, the organiser along with Sanjoy Roy. I even managed to write a short review of the festival for The Asian Writer. No wonder I had no time for a blog update this month.
July was busy too. I got another email about a poem ‘Time’ accepted for the sweetly named Streetcake magazine. The review of JLF, was published in the Asian Writer. I attended a wonderful workshop chaired by Leila Aboulela whose work I had admired for years, at the Scottish Poetry Library. It was good to see BAME network of young writers flourishing in Edinburgh and I’m so happy to see new fiction and poetry from these young writers gaining so much attention in the pres. Long overdue I might add. July was glorious weather and the garden was filled with flowers and day trips made it so full of warmth and joy.
I was so looking forward to my trip at the end of this month to USA. The month rolled by with other poetry acceptances and readings. I was at Govanhill Festival and met some new writers there. The anthology in which my poem was, is beautifully produced by SGHET. August, of course, is the Edinburgh Festival but for the first time I did not go through to the capital this year. Hay fever gripped me more this season so I had to take it easy. Poems in ‘Sea Glass hearts were wonderful to see and the editor Olivia had taken so much effort to make this a wonderful book, celebrating the oceans of the world despite being off to the hospital.I owe her a lot for such dedication to the magazine. It was thrilling to see my poem in Madras Courier established in 1785 publishing one of my poems. End of the month and we were off to D.C. A city I love and where my only child has made her home.
The first of September is my birthday and it was celebrated with family. Just perfect. August 31 we had been to the largest book festival in the world, in DC The library of Congress had a scoop getting Ruth Bader Ginsberg one of the Chief Justices at the Supreme Court in USA to the stage. Having had her chemo therapy the week before the 86-year old showed us what a strong woman can achieve if one is determined. She spoke with clarity and was just ‘awesome’ as the people say in the US of A. Listening next to poet Ilya Kamisky reading from his new prize wining collection The Deaf Republic was a joy as was meeting Amitav Ghosh and hearing abut his new book set in the possible dystopian future due to Climate change. Back home after a wonderful holiday September also was the time to visit the Wigtown Festival, courtesy of ‘Open Book ‘ at the Glasgow Woman’s Library group. It was the highlight of the month and reading my poem published in the Southlight magazine was a bonus. So at last I’ve caught up on the ‘missing’ months. Phew! just reading it made me tired. Not sure how you felt! And we have had an apple harvest that took us by surprise , so lots given away and I made some apple crumble and pies this month.