Well, it's official, I am definitely going back to Alaska in May - yippee! I have a guarantee that I am going to get to spend time with my lovely friend Mary, plus I am going to get to visit Stony River (population 65), a village that I haven't yet been to, where they want me to attend a Fine Arts Festival they are putting on, flying in the students from all the Upriver Schools. The students will take part in a number of activities and one of them this year will be writing something, with a view to publishing or performing it. I can't wait. As long as they don't expect me to paint or dance, we should be OK...
Talking of festivals, Ian Rankin is currently in India. You can follow him at the Lit Sutra Blog. Or you could follow Ian himself on Twitter. In which case you will be treated to such wonderful comments as "Postcard 2. Now in Kolkata. 26 degrees but not humid and no midges. Curries eaten: 11. Kingfishers drunk: 28. Meeting readers: priceless." Marvellous stuff. And BooksPlease has an excellent write-up of Ian's recent award from West Lothian Libraries.
Marcel Berlins in the Times rather likes Scottish crime writers Catriona MacPherson and Tony Black, and calls Tony Black "a compelling and convincing portrayer of raw emotions in a vicious milieu." Excellent. And a good review of Russel McLean's THE GOOD SON at nightsandweekends.com.
Charles Cumming talks about spying and books on YouTube.
Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy on Glasgow's Aye Write festival.
And, finally, Douglas Lindsay is good to his readers. This isn't the first time he's posted short stories online and, apparently, it won't be the last.