Monday, August 22, 2011

In Edinburgh winding down

My Edinburgh Diary has been hectic and mostly fun. Not seen as many shows in the last few weeks as I'd hoped, but I've got more writing done than I expected to, and signed a lot more books than I'd realised I was going to, which made people happy, so it works out.

This evening is Amanda's gig at HMV Picturehouse, where her new band make their proper debut (along with her cousin Hugh the bagpipes player and a Horn Section) and I'm trying to decide what to read in my Guest Spot. I think it'll be a new piece called "The Rhyme Maidens" which I haven't read in public yet.

A day later - I didn't post this in time: Actually, at soundcheck Amanda asked if I'd like to sing "The Problem With Saints", our 8in8 song. I'd performed it twice out here - once at our little late night reading with the Belt Up Theatre people - although that time with the lyrics in front of me - and once when Jason Webley asked me up onstage at his Forest Cafe concert (, so it seemed less intimidating doing it up onstage than otherwise...

The gig last night was fascinating. Amanda's built a new band "Grand Theft Orchestra", and is trying something very glam and glittery and dancey. My friend Chris Cunningham said, "It's like when David Bowie went from Hunky Dory to Ziggy Stardust." He also said that it was his favourite of the many Amanda gigs he'd seen, and it was one of the best gigs he'd ever seen. I don't think it was my favourite (I think I like the wistful and weird songs too much), but I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens as the band gets tighter, as the new songs get worked out and performed more. And I loved the glitter and the make-up and the show - including Amanda's cousin Hugh MacInnes on bagpipes.

Tonight, Amanda's playing in Glasgow, and I'm staying home and having a few authors over for drinks. It's a good world...


Back when I did WITS for Minneapolis Public Radio I also recorded a show for The Current, the MPR music channel. I was a guest DJ. It was meant to have been a half-hour radio show, but we talked for about an hour, and I walked out of the show feeling very sorry that they were going to have to edit out so much of what we'd talked about.

They didn't edit it. They just extended the show.

You can find the page at

and listen to the show there (and watch some videos of the songs I picked).

Or just click here:


According to
this carpet is in the new Gungahlin Public Library in Canberra, Australia:

Which is wonderful.


Last week I finished, in handwriting, and then read to a small late-night audience a few hours later, a story I wrote for Ray Bradbury.

On Ray's 91st birthday, which was Monday, I sent it to him, all typed and in second draft. I am now even more nervous than I was when I read it to the late-night audience, and I was amazingly nervous then.

I just heard that he liked it, and was happier than words can express.


Over at you can hear the talk I gave at the Edinburgh BookFestival on American Gods, with John Mullen, for the Guardian Book Club.

And finally, here's an interview done with me, also for the Guardian by a really smart young interviewer:

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