Folklore Sunday

As part of my Creative Scotland residency as Barry Mill, I’m keen to carry out some research into the folklore, ballads and poetry associated with the mill and milling in general. My second novel, The Bone Harp, takes as its starting point a Border Ballad about two sisters who quarrel down by the mill pond, with disastrous consequences!

The best place to begin research is often with the recent past and work back. People always assume their memories and stories are of little interest to anyone, but it helps us to form a bigger picture of life in and around the mill. For a writer, too, these stories are a valuable resource, and the oddest things tweak our imagination- or is that just me?!Good writing is the ability to turn the smallest molehill into a mountain you might want to climb…

You can read some of the stories and poems from my workshops at Barry Mill

folklore 1

From left to ‘write’…Sheena, Elizabeth Frattaroli (awesome author and willing assistant!), June and myself, at Sunday’s event

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