Ewan McVicar His Website 



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Stuff Will Happen, Won't It?

Posted by [email protected] on 20 September, 2016 at 5:10 Comments comments (6770)

Funny. After a spring cum summer working on my RFM novel etc, now I'm firing out ideas, researching for projects, engaing with financial details.

Currently - there is a working group for a Black Isle Landscape Partnership, and they asked for project ideas. I have bounced five different ones off to them so far. 

Tay Landscape Parnership work is getting going in St Maloes, fascinating place, great Pictish stone, etc. Alyth Storybox songmaking in school with happen next spring, but before than Christine and I will be working in schools in Braemar, Ballater and Aboyne, and one theme will be water - the great spate they endured at the turn of the year. This links in with the Water project Robert Ekapu is working on for me in Kampala Old Primary school, and Cromarty Primary are interested to be part of this too. Plus other stuff is happening.

Pause for deep brerath.  

Keeping going on upwardly

Posted by [email protected] on 16 September, 2016 at 5:15 Comments comments (122)

Well, the Joass Brothers split themselves up. I have made a pamphlet for the Dingwall Book Festival about William the architect, and will show my spotty knowledge by leading an architectural walk up the High Street. Rev James Joass proves so interesting he needs several chapters in a book I may make, about geology and fossil enthusiast ministers, title to be God's Rockhounds.

I am astonished at the number of literary agents who say on their websites they will respond with in [4/6/8] weeks, but now 11 or more weeks later there is no show. When I say astonished, I mean quietly grawing the carpet.

Just as well that songmaking projects with schools led by Christine Kydd are gettting going now. One in St Madoes east of Perth, most interesting little church- based project. Also, three schools on Deeside linked by the terrible floods at the end of last year, making me develop a substantial approach to songs of and writing about water - my pet Kampala school is also taking part in this project, as is Cromarty Primary.

On the infuriating side of life, Education Scotland wish to divest themselves of my Scotland's Songs site, and hand it over to the Scots Language Centre in Perth. So many difficult issues inside this that I have not the tongue with which to express them here.

Another New Project!

Posted by [email protected] on 15 July, 2016 at 5:55 Comments comments (2)

Well, I find the Rambling memoir is not hitting the spot with agents - only two outstanding submissions. On rejector did say "which I read with interest".

One really nice rejection for Radio Free Mombasa, "While we enjoyed reading your submission, which stood out from the many we receive, we couldn't find a place for it on ##'s list".

 And the reworking I did on my novel for young people, Ghillie Goatskin & The Tunes Of Power, got "I was intrigued by the concept so I've been taking a look at this and I've enjoyed reading".

A case of clinging to crumbs? One can send one's bread floating out on the waters, so can one surf on crumbs? No, neither do I.

But I'm taking my mind off brooding about agents by creating a new writing project for the Dingwall Book Festival in October. I'm researching two 19th C brothers, William and James Joass, William was an architect and Rev James an amateur geologist and antiquarian. The Festival will publish a booklet about them, I keep finding more interesting material.   


Posted by [email protected] on 5 July, 2016 at 4:15 Comments comments (24)

One newer minor displeasure of life is that yiou can look up your site viewer stats and see that no-one whatever has looked in here in 4 days. Add to that - the five views the day before that were probably you yourself tinkering with pages. Hey ho. 

Cables Galore

Posted by [email protected] on 1 July, 2016 at 0:00 Comments comments (195)

Gathering in disandat to take north to Cromarty, one hard thing is how many charging and interconnecting cables to take. If I had sense I would have hung labels on each, now I ponder which will blow up what. Nice to know Boris is not to lead us off to Tir Nan Og, though the phrase 'the devil you know' rises to the lips.Nicola Sturgeon being impressive in our Parliament as usual. I worry about Salmond followed by Sturgeon, which fish comes next, has to be larger again. Recalls to mind when I was in a school, trying to get the class to remember the name of our then leader. 'Begins with S. Then A. A fish'. One child racked his memory, then burst forth. 'Sardine!' 

Is That Sound The Twiddling Of Thumbs?

Posted by [email protected] on 28 June, 2016 at 6:50 Comments comments (2)


I am now waiting to hear from one publisher and eight agents about my novel Radio Free Mombasa. One other publisher said no.

For my memoir Rambling With Melodious Intent I have had noes from two agents, and await noes or blanks from another six.

To pass the time I redded up my novel for young persons, renamed it Ghillie Goatskin and the Tunes of Power, and sent it off to a Scottish agency run by two ladies I used to know well, and to two ladies in US agencies that I plucked from the ether.  

So. eighteen submissions out there. How submissive can I get?

Next to hoisted back onto the blocks for remedial work is my guide to spotting bad drivers, 47 Reasons To Hate And Fear Other Drivers - And What Not To Do About It [or should that last word be Them?]

Six Weeks Today

Posted by [email protected] on 17 June, 2016 at 4:25 Comments comments (279)

It's six weeks today since I sent off the first draft material for my memoir to my preferred agent. The website says I'll get an answer within six weeks. Have I heard? Wait a minute, the website says elsewhere I'll get an answer within eight weeks. So, who's counting?

Just finished updating and adding in song recordings to the latest schools project website, at www.banchoryclustersangs.com. Lowsing time down on the farm - except that next week Christine Kydd and I will curate two days of ceilidhs when the classes in Durris PS and Drumoak PS hear what their oppos have made.

Chewing the carpet

Posted by [email protected] on 13 June, 2016 at 4:05 Comments comments (33)

The Vikings chewed the tops of their shields as they trembled waiting to start a fight. We chew the carpet. Waiting to hear from agents and publishers, I check for emails compulsively / obessively / impatiently / dreadfilled. I do not know which feeling is worse - no responses or getting a response and terrified of opening it. And I know that their websites say lumps of weeks will clagg up the carpet before they even look at what I've sent, still seven times every day [seven? seventeen surely?] I fire up the machines in fearful hope. Drat, time to play more games of Patience. Ewan   

Getting it done

Posted by [email protected] on 12 June, 2016 at 7:25 Comments comments (3)

Just put in the search terms that will mean this site can be found by Google. Plus, typed up a full page listing incidents and stories that should be in my memoir. I keep a couple of notebooklets in pockets, and when I've occasion to think about some place or period of my life, I scribble names and events down. I have a large box full of such little booklets filled over many years. I really should audit them for material and ideas.

Pushing on

Posted by [email protected] on 11 June, 2016 at 5:35 Comments comments (96)

Yeh, today I bit the bully and banged submissions off madly in all directions, as Stephen Leacock kind of said.

Now there are two early versions of my memoir out to agents - as usual I jump too soon, should have waited till my format was properly salted down. The title was Telling Travellers Tales, then Ill-Remembered Travellers Tales, and these versions focussed strongly on shows I have made and the people who were tp;d of - not told off.

Now it is a more sweeping general account that includes places I have made and sung songs and shows, my title now is Rambling With Melodious Intent. Much brighter. If I get any sniffs back I will push the latest and I feel final version. Synopsis lists 20 chapters, the first three are fully written, the rest in various forms of scrappiness. Scrappiness, scrappiness, the usual mess, I confess - refer Ken Dodds. 

Also, I yesterday gathered up my Radio Free Mombasa novel, written over the last few months, and sent it to four agents and two publishers. Some of them say they will never reply unless they want more, others will reply at least but in up to 12 weeks. This is my usual acidic test. If none of these six approaches is successful, stick the ms away in the filing cabinet with the others.  

We shall see.