Funny how little things link together throughout your life.
At the weekend I had a day of ‘connections’.
I was lucky enough to attend a writing course run by David Gray on behalf of the SCBWI.
What a treat, to take part in a writing course and be surrounded by books! The course took place in the fantastic setting of Dunfermline Carnegie Library, which, linked with the new museum, galleries, reading room, cafe and much more, looks out over Dunfermline Abbey.
Afterwards we had a look at the super ‘Blooming Marvellous’ family friendly gardening exhibition and it even had knitted flowers!
I grew up hearing the story of Andrew Carnegie and love the way his gift has just kept on giving. Dunfermline was the world’s first library to be funded by Andrew Carnegie and it opened in 1883.
The library was busy, even on a rainy day, and I’ll definitely be back to spend more time in Dunfermline.
So many things I love all together in one place; writing, reading, gardening, art, museums, knitting (and a cup of tea!) – truly a day of connections.
Knitting: the weaving of wool together into an intricate pattern, just as a writer combines the threads of a story.
Both have been a part of my story for as long as I can remember. The thrill of beginning a knitting or writing project is a moment full of hope.
Although, to be honest, the final product is not often exactly as I imagined it would be!
On examination there are usually sections I’m really proud of but also holes I know need fixed.
I’m comforted by the fact that at least I’ve given it a go.
Recently I entered a wee competition to say how I’d prepare for going to the Aberdeen Yarn Fest. This was my entry and I won a lovely totebag – which needless to say – I’m sure I’ll be filling with wool at the next Yarn Fest!
It’s Aberdeen’s Yarn Fest!
I’ve my needles counted My patterns planned Ready to be inspired.
I’m looking to spin a yarn Weave a woollen tale Hook a bag of hope.
I left the show inspired, I must do more knitting!
Before anything else I’m hoping to visit the Gray’s School of Art Degree Show (16th-24th June) and see the work of Laura Ukstina who is combining blocks of colourful knitting to create outfits you can change about and wear as you like. Sounds very environmentally friendly and they look amazing!
Now, if you don’t feel like knitting, how about having a wee look at Rae Cowie’s story in the Scottish Book Trust’s ‘Rebel’ series all about a lovingly crafted jumper…
I wonder, is a gardener a secret optimist? I know gardening is supposed to be good for your mental health and I think it must be because it certainly gives us the gift of hope.
The very act of planting a seed, the mystery of opening the seed packet, tipping up the seeds – what will you find inside? Will they be fat beans, round nasturtiums, tiny poppy seeds or maybe the tiny shaving brushes of cornflower seeds?
Scatter, place or drop, cover with soil. Water these presents of Nature, give the gift of life, clear, splashing, tumbling down onto the dark soil, ready for the magic to begin.
Something will probably grow. Maybe not all the seeds you planted. Perhaps some will be eaten, some may wither if you forget to water them, but there is a chance. After all:
“Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow.”
(D. Everett, The Columbian Orator, 1797)
It’s a beginning, a start. What more could you ask for?
I wonder then, is a writer an optimist too? Seeds of ideas appear, you have to be brave enough to plant them, water them, feed them give them life. When you open up your mind to writing, what do the seeds look like? Will you allow them to open up to the world?