Guest Blogger # 2 – Fiona Ritchie Walker

Lit & Phil member, Fiona Ritchie Walker, has very kindly agreed to be our first guest blogger of  2013. Here’s what she has to say:

My 2012 writing year began and ended with links to the Lit and Phil. I was one of the writers featured in the Creative Passions photographic exhibition and I’d also agreed to lend some of my writing notebooks to be displayed. It felt very strange at the opening to see people trying to decipher my writing as they peered in the glass case!

A lot of the notebook content had been written in the library, either in Kathleen Kenny’s brilliant writing workshops (starting on 16th January if want to join us) or sitting at one of the tables. Yes, I use the internet but there’s something so much more satisfying when I take a book off the shelf and find a corner to do some reading from proper paper pages and write in a book, not on a screen.

Sometimes I just pick a random title for inspiration, other days I’m on a mission, as when I wanted to find out harvesting times for my entry in the BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine poetry competition. From those hand-written lists came Mrs Thorpe’s Arithmetic, which won the competition and led to me making my Radio 4 Poetry Please debut in December, so thanks Lit and Phil! ( If you’re quick, you might be able to listen to it online http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01ph7fh )

I love that the Lit and Phil has such a wide range of things going on and is not afraid to embrace quirky ideas from members – like my recent fundraiser. We had a great evening of poetry and sold wrapbags (re-useable knitted gift bags with poems inside) which have now raised over £550, divided between the library’s development fund and a solar oven project in Tanzania. A big thanks to all who supported it, especially Red Squirrel Press, local poets and knitters – plus of course Kay, who found a date in the packed diary.

Already the Lit and Phil is featuring in my new diary and in my New Year resolutions, which are to:

Introduce more friends to the library (and enjoy seeing their faces when they walk in for the first time)

Make the most of my membership by borrowing more books, especially as it’s so easy to reserve them online from home

Click my knitting needles with members of the Knit and Phil group

And of course, find a corner and write!

Maybe see you by the new drinks machine sometime soon – or at my book launch on 25th February?

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