February 11, 2011 by Tracey S. Rosenberg
Last night I finally met most of my cohort of New Writers, as it was the Scottish Book Trust showcase for last year’s crowd. That meant that my group basically got to relax, as we weren’t on show but other people kept congratulating us, which is always lovely, and I finally got to meet some of the SBT people who had only existed in electronic form.
We gabbed, were papped by the ever-present Chris Scott (who took a pretty good author photo of me! – and also a rather funny one of me + boyfriend + large stuffed cow [really, don’t ask]), ate potato chips (before the readings), listened to last year’s bunch demonstrate what they’ve been up to over the past year while working with their mentors, ate good canapes [+1 for the multiple vegetarian options] and wasabi peas (after the readings), and talked some more.
I suppose there was some networking involved, but I prefer to think of that as ‘saying hi to people I haven’t seen in a while’ – or, in more than one case, ‘saying hi to people I haven’t seen since StAnza‘s programme launch two nights earlier’. Edinburgh is that kind of city, or shall I say village, because everyone says that, and it is true.
I have to say, writing memoir has never been my thing. I mean, plenty of things I write are derived in some way from personal experience (these days, probably far too many), and we can argue ‘write about what you know’ till the (stuffed) cows come home, and just because my novel is populated almost entirely by fanatical Nazis doesn’t mean it’s not autobiographical in some sense of character building. I was, after all, a twelve-year-old girl once. (And given that I still shop at Claire’s, one could argue that I still am.)
This small piece is about a bit of my life I have mentioned to a few close friends, mostly in passing, but otherwise have never spoken about, and suddenly people are talking to me about fairy lights and the Indigo Girls. Odd to make one’s (my) life public like that, and does the writing now replace the memory?
Think I may stick to pantoums about human cloning, which seems to be my next project…and the word ‘cohort’ could well come in there, too.