Lost Solace: Tourism, Social Media and Our Shifting Sense of Place in the North Highlands

Earlier this summer, my husband and I made an evening visit to the harbour at Dunbeath on our way back to Caithness after a day of appointments. In the preceding days, I had been reading Neil M. Gunn’s Highland River and wanted to reacquaint myself with the information boards on Gunn – who was born…

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In the (Fieldfare) Press

Implicit in my writing plan for the year (which I wrote about in this post back in January), was a desire to focus less on social media and more on the other writing I could send out into the world. As engaging as social media is, events towards the end of last year made me…

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Finn and Friends at John O’Groats

Back in January, when I wrote about my writing plans for 2022, I mentioned a project that I hoped would come to fruition before the summer. Well, here we are in May – and apart from wondering how on earth time passed so quickly – I’m delighted to say I have some new book news…

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Scotland’s Year of Stories, Wick Voices, and Our Cultural Landscape

I’ve written a lot about stories, how they shape and define places. Here in the north Highlands, it can sometimes feel that our stories are being written (or perhaps, rewritten) for us – a landscape of wilderness in which we not appear. I was comforted recently reading The Shepherd’s Life, James Rebanks’ beautiful account of…

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Falling in Love With Place Through Stories – Landscape to Light by Neil M. Gunn

Recently, I’ve been reading Landscape to Light, a collection of essays by the late Neil M. Gunn – who, in addition to being one of the 20th century’s foremost novelists, also hailed from Caithness. I’ve loved reading Gunn’s views on all sorts of things, and as well as finding his essays interesting in their own right, they’ve also helped…

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Goodbye 2021 – The Highs and Lows of Another Year Behind the Blog

At the end of each December, I’ve fallen into the habit of writing a reflective post on the year that’s about to leave us. The format has varied slightly during my time in the blogosphere, but sharing the highs and lows of another twelve months has become a ritual I enjoy. It also eases me…

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Pieces of Sky and Stone eBook Launch

I’m delighted to announce that after a year of writing, editing, design-approving and proof reading my second novel, Pieces of Sky and Stone launches officially today as an eBook. The book is the sequel to my first novel Castles of Steel and Thunder, and concludes the story of Sysa Steel, who left Caithness for a…

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Coming Soon…

In 2020, I published my first novel, Castles of Steel and Thunder, a tale of faeries and folklore inspired by the legends of Caithness. The book went on to become a bestseller across several Amazon categories, and following a successful paperback release, proved popular with readers from Caithness and further afield. But the story didn’t…

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Stories and Solastalgia – The Aftermath of Writing About The North Coast 500, Park-Ups, Potholes and Poo

This summer, I wrote a piece about living on the popular ‘North Coast 500’ route through the lens of my own experience as a resident of Caithness. Entitled ‘Poo, Potholes and Park-Ups – Why Highlanders are Tired of Scotland’s North Coast 500 Route,’ the article was probably more even-handed than the alliterated headline might suggest.…

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Poo, Potholes and Park-Ups – Why Highlanders Are Tired of Scotland’s North Coast 500 Route

Last year, I wrote an article on the ‘summer of discontent’ on Scotland’s ‘North Coast 500’ road trip. As a resident on the route here in Caithness, I spent a lot of time writing about responsible travel and repeating the phrase ‘let’s hope things improve.’ A summer of littering, outdoor toileting and inconsiderate ‘wild camping’…

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