WITH NEW YEAR’S celebration long over, and Monday 15th January being designated ‘Blue Monday’, the most depressing day of the year, the Signet Library contrasts this seasonal gloom as part of the month long ‘Message from the Skies’ event. Told through projections on 12 Edinburgh landmarks, leading writer Val McDermid created the story ‘New Year’s Resurrection’, inspired by her admiration for nineteenth century Scottish novelist Susan Ferrier. In her lifetime Ferrier was more popular than her contemporary Jane Austen, and this year Virago reprint her most celebrated work Marriage, with a new foreword by McDermid.
RUNNING FROM New Year’s Day until Burns Night on 25 January, McDermid’s short story is the basis for the free event. Audiences move from location to location in the heart of the city, with each building or landmark telling one chapter. The opening chapter is projected onto the front of the Signet Library, and all the projections run daily from dusk at 5pm until 10pm. The project can be enjoyed either as a whole story in one evening or over a longer period of time and was inspired by the nineteenth century convention of publishing novels chapter by chapter in fortnightly or monthly instalments.
BEFORE the snowfalls on Wednesday the Court of Session car park in parliament Square was as efficiently and comprehensively gritted as ever. Elsewhere in Scotland, those concerned about the state of local roads checked online with the Transport Scotland ‘Gritter Tracker’ app and, as social media posts soon attested, were greatly cheered to discover all the vehicles have been given names. From the force being strong with the people of Ayrshire thanks to ‘Luke Snowalker’ and the excellent work of ‘Gritty Gritty Bang Bang’ near Perth, not forgetting ‘Ready Spready Go’ or the ‘Golden Great Gritter’ in Fife, the fleet was out in force. Some had apparently even been knighted for their service, including ‘Sir Andy Flurry’ on the A9, and there could be no question which vehicle would be the WS Society’s preferred choice – ‘Sir Salter Scott’ of course.
MEANWHILE the dates for the WS Society’s comprehensive CPD programme for the year are available, beginning with the Charities Conference on 1st March, this year built around the theme of modern and responsible business practices for charities and social enterprises. Details and booking are available here. As an example of the varied events the library hosts, the same day also sees the return of last year’s sell-out event in collaboration with The Cycling Podcast and with the recent popularity of both events, early booking is definitely recommended.
Writer's Week is not intended to represent the views of the WS Society or its members.