Luath placement Day Five Its the final countdown…

Today felt rather odd, perhaps because I knew it was my final day at Luath, perhaps because I was going to meet Gavin for the first time and the controls of power would change from the girls working there to Gavin. I went for a coffee at the Castle Rooftop Diner again. I didn’t even need to ask for my order today, as they knew!  So I sat and relaxed before climbing the Luath’s tower. (Seriously, I think I will be fit after this!)

I met Gavin, and explained what I had been up to all week. I was then tasked with continuing with the Scottish Parliament: an oral history. This time not with proofreading, but with creating a blurb, a press release and other items on my list.

Later on, Carrie showed me the ONIX system and Maia explained how to create a barcode. These were useful things to see. I wrote a brief summary for  Gavin, and discussed this with him at the end of the day, prior to leaving.

I felt that perhaps he was perhaps surprised about my decision to leave teaching.  He did explain that it was difficult to get into publishing, and indeed to get published. I understand that fully, and stand by just teaching up to four days a month for money flow, but other than that I want to pursue my dreams.

As I travelled back  the Queensferry Crossing, I contemplated about my week. It was busy, eventful and I learnt a huge amount. I considered what Gavin had said about teaching etc.  However, I have come to the conclusion that I really do want to work with books and become an author, and I would also enjoy proofreading -on a freelance basis. I made my choice when I resigned my permanent post in September. I am totally convinced that it was the correct move for me.

Luath work placement day 4 … ‘I think I’m alone now …’

After running from my car, which was parked quite a distance from the Halbeath Park & Ride  building, to the bus this morning, I recovered on the bus. A leisurely stroll ensued past Princes Street Gardens then up to the Royal Mile, by a different route this time, I was in need of a drink. Underneath some scaffolding, I found Deacon Brodie’s cafe. It was perfect. With the age of the building and the cordiality of the staff, I could have whiled away many hours there; the coffee delicious.

I headed up to Luath for my fourth day. Then I continued proofreading the ‘The Scottish Parliament: an oral history’  manuscript for the remainder of my day, prior to heading to Main Point books in Bread Street.

For a couple of hours this afternoon, I was on my own in the office as Maia needed to go to give a presentation at the university; Madeleine, the other intern was already at the book shop. I took three telephone calls and had a long discussion with an elderly author during one of these calls.

When Maia returned, I left to see Jennie at her shop with the completed manuscript, that I had proofread. She agreed with most of the alterations, which I was delighted about. These will then be queried with Luath’s director on his return from London. Another busy but successful day.

Luath work placement day 3 – ‘I’m halfway there!’

Crazily busy day today proofreading a book about the Scottish Parliament from its establishment in 1999 until more recent times. It was mainly compiled as an ‘oral history’, which has since been transcribed. I have gone through more than fifty pages, over a hundred more to do still. However, I am getting faster. The oral transcripts do not need as much attention as the author introduction and other author written sections, as they require speaker authenticity. I certainly have learnt about a subject today, that I never thought I would read!

Jennie, an editor, was in today and gave me lots of tips. She wants to go through this task with me tomorrow in her bookshop, Mainpoint Books, towards the end of the day. So that will be a beneficial thing to do too.

In between all of this, I delivered a box of books to St. Augustine’s United Reformed Church, on George IV bridge, as they have an Old Edinburgh group meeting there tonight.

I will definitely sleep well tonight.


Luath work placement day 2 …’Beware the savage jaw of 1984!’

Interesting day and the time just flew by! I finished up my AI on  Sgaith, Amazon Queen of Skye.

I then went onto completing a Marketing Plan for Barnhill by Norman Bissell. I then prepared a calendar of events for a Fathers Day Promotion/Competition/Social Media items to do with the launch of Barnhill. Barnhill is a biography on George Orwell’s  latter years, which he spent at Barnhill on the Isle of Jura. During this time he wrote ‘1984’. This june marks the 70th anniversary since the publication of ‘1984’. This was all extremely interesting and useful to do.

The day ended with another post office visit, this time we got drenched but didn’t take the long route!

Looking forward to proofreading a novel tomorrow.



Luath work placement Day 1 ‘I took the bus to streets that I could walk down/ I walked the streets to find the one I’d looked for/ I climbed the stair that led me to your front door’


Nothing could prepare me for how different this day would  be, compared to ‘my previous working life’. Apart from having adults to speak to/not speak to (as appropriate at the time) and being able to go to the bathroom without waiting for break time and actually, most importantly, being able to do a task without being interrupted by 33 children at various points: it was as far removed from my normality of 24+ years as it could actually get!

So, as I had arrived in Princes Street nice and early, I sauntered up to the Royal Mile and found myself in the Castle coffee shop, where I waited with a lovely americano till  nearer 11AM. I then made my way to the little close off Castle Hill. Another girl, Madeleine, was looking too, then we eventually worked out which door we needed. All that education between us …

We were warmly met by Maia and were introduced to Carrie when we got to the attic. Yes, attic! The room is ‘cosy’ and had the most amazing views. It is piled high from corner to corner, not that you could see the corners, with.books and manuscripts galore! The walls and slanted roof adorned with book sleeves. What a treat! A book lovers delight …This week would certainly be an adventure!

We were shown the One Drive server and asked to just browse it. I was apprehensive as we could look at everything. I had to take the utmost care not to accidentally erase/alter anything! It was fascinating to see the AIs (Advanced Information sheets) and also the way they approach book sellers.

I have been given the task of sorting out social media for a novel coming out soon and to look at doing an AI this week too. I commenced an AI on Sgaith, Amazon Queen of Skye.

Madeleine and I then packaged books and AI letters to go to various booksellers for Tribes of Glasgow.  We then carried these sacks to the post office, via quite an interesting route,  then went our separate ways home. Next time I’ll do the navigation! 😂

Looking  forward to tomorrow.


Luath placement ..on my way!

Sitting here at my dressing table feeling a tad apprehensive about what is in store for me this week. I am looking forward to it but equally nervous about whether I will get things right, whether they will like me or not or whether I’ll talk too much! It will probably all be fine … though as I sit glancing at my nails,  I do wish that on the 1st March (St David’s Day) I had chosen a different colour of shellac nail varnish,  other than daffodil yellow … It might not give the ‘right’ impression…too late now …

As my bus approaches the Forth Road Bridge, I’m thinking about all the questions that  I could ask and those that I could be asked. I hope that I don’t clam up, as could equally happen to me as talking too much …no middle ground.


Hania Allen interview by Chris Hodghton

I interviewed the fabulous crime writing author Hania Allen at the DCA this morning. If you’ve not read her novels … I would certainly recommend them. Her latest ones, The Polish Detective and Clearing the Dark are gripping and layered with detail. They are set in Dundee. I now just need to get a map as a non-Dundonian and find the settings for the scenes… 😊

Chris Hodghton -Hello and no regrets!


Let me introduce myself … I’m Chris, a ** aged Welsh girl living in fabulous Fife. (After all a lady should never reveal her age!) I have lived in Scotland for over eighteen years and love it here.

I have always wanted to do my masters degree and also to write a novel. Despite these “forever dreams” of mine, and over **  years since first graduating with my BEd. (Hons), it was a rather impulsive decision to join the MLitt Writing Study & Practice  degree at Dundee in September. It was  extremely close to the start of the first semester, and I resigned my permanent teaching job a month later!

No regrets about my impulsiveness – loving it all !