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TITLE
'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' (1)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_SHARON_BLACKIE_01
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Sharon Blackie
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1441
KEYWORDS
audio
literary landscapes

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This audio extract is from 'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' by Sharon Blackie, published in 2008. It is read here by the author.

'The wind is strong this morning; another raw gust bites at her face and tears seep from the corner of her eyes. Tears that seem to be wrung out only by the weather, these days. She's become far too desiccated for the real kind.

She stops for a moment; watches as the heron down by the lochside struggles to take off, the unpredictable flurries confounding his usual flight path. The wind is in her face as she makes her way down the steep sloping field, but she tries to focus on the welcome momentum that it will lend to her return journey. Her limbs are beginning to lose the mobility of youth. And the pain in her chest is a little sharper today. She wonders whether perhaps she should of stayed indoors, but it would be all too easy to just clothe herself in darkness and never come out again. She knows how easy it is to lose yourself. To let yourself slip away. And in an odd sort of way, she's come to depend on these early morning excursions to the water's edge. The wind helps to sweep away the residues of each night's increasingly bizarre dreams.

Meg's cat makes her way through the fence from the croft next door and joins her, a black shadow dancing among the stones that litter the grass, chasing ellusive phantoms that threaten and taunt. Mab: the fairy queen. Such a fitting name for so regal and dainty a creature.

Laura passes through the creaky metal gate that leads to the shore; it closes behind her with a clang. Right there ahead of her is a small rowan tree. In that place of transition, where land meets sea, it clings tenaciously to the rocks that populate the shore. As you look on it from the house you see only how solitary it stands, steadfast and unyeilding: proud sentinal. And yet, as you approach it, you can see how the south-westerly winds have battered and bent it through the years. This is no Canute, holding back the tide. Tight though it holds there to the earth, its roots disappearing into small clefts in the stone, refusing to let go, still it bends and it reaches towards the sea. Firmly rooted to one element, still it yearns towards another. Always wanting what can't be had.'

Sharon Blackie's roots are in the north-east of England and in Edinburgh, though she has travelled all over the world and lived in France, Ireland and America. She is now firmly attached to a lochside croft in the north-west Highlands of Scotland, where she lives with her husband, David - until very recently an RAF Tornado pilot - a golden retriever, a black cat, and a growing collection of livestock (including ten Hebridean sheep, three Roman geese, and thirty rare-breed hens).

Originally trained as a neuroscientist, Sharon has worked in a variety of corporate consultancy roles, practiced as a therapist, and is now a publisher, having established Two Ravens Press in November 2006. She has a degree in psychology, a PhD in neuroscience, and more recently she completed an MA in Creative Writing (awarded with distinction) from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Once upon a time in the American south-west Sharon struggled to obtain a pilot's licence to overcome a fear of flying. This experience became the foundation for her first novel, 'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' (2007).

Sharon is co-editor of 'Riptide: New Writing from the Highlands and Islands' (2007) and editor of 'Cleave: New Writing by Women in Scotland' (2008). She is also translator from the French of renowned Franco-American author Raymond Federman's memoir of and tribute to his friend, Samuel Beckett: 'The Sam Book' (2008).

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'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' (1)

2000s

audio; literary landscapes

Am Baile

Literary Landscapes: Sharon Blackie

This audio extract is from 'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' by Sharon Blackie, published in 2008. It is read here by the author.<br /> <br /> 'The wind is strong this morning; another raw gust bites at her face and tears seep from the corner of her eyes. Tears that seem to be wrung out only by the weather, these days. She's become far too desiccated for the real kind. <br /> <br /> She stops for a moment; watches as the heron down by the lochside struggles to take off, the unpredictable flurries confounding his usual flight path. The wind is in her face as she makes her way down the steep sloping field, but she tries to focus on the welcome momentum that it will lend to her return journey. Her limbs are beginning to lose the mobility of youth. And the pain in her chest is a little sharper today. She wonders whether perhaps she should of stayed indoors, but it would be all too easy to just clothe herself in darkness and never come out again. She knows how easy it is to lose yourself. To let yourself slip away. And in an odd sort of way, she's come to depend on these early morning excursions to the water's edge. The wind helps to sweep away the residues of each night's increasingly bizarre dreams. <br /> <br /> Meg's cat makes her way through the fence from the croft next door and joins her, a black shadow dancing among the stones that litter the grass, chasing ellusive phantoms that threaten and taunt. Mab: the fairy queen. Such a fitting name for so regal and dainty a creature. <br /> <br /> Laura passes through the creaky metal gate that leads to the shore; it closes behind her with a clang. Right there ahead of her is a small rowan tree. In that place of transition, where land meets sea, it clings tenaciously to the rocks that populate the shore. As you look on it from the house you see only how solitary it stands, steadfast and unyeilding: proud sentinal. And yet, as you approach it, you can see how the south-westerly winds have battered and bent it through the years. This is no Canute, holding back the tide. Tight though it holds there to the earth, its roots disappearing into small clefts in the stone, refusing to let go, still it bends and it reaches towards the sea. Firmly rooted to one element, still it yearns towards another. Always wanting what can't be had.'<br /> <br /> Sharon Blackie's roots are in the north-east of England and in Edinburgh, though she has travelled all over the world and lived in France, Ireland and America. She is now firmly attached to a lochside croft in the north-west Highlands of Scotland, where she lives with her husband, David - until very recently an RAF Tornado pilot - a golden retriever, a black cat, and a growing collection of livestock (including ten Hebridean sheep, three Roman geese, and thirty rare-breed hens).<br /> <br /> Originally trained as a neuroscientist, Sharon has worked in a variety of corporate consultancy roles, practiced as a therapist, and is now a publisher, having established Two Ravens Press in November 2006. She has a degree in psychology, a PhD in neuroscience, and more recently she completed an MA in Creative Writing (awarded with distinction) from Manchester Metropolitan University.<br /> <br /> Once upon a time in the American south-west Sharon struggled to obtain a pilot's licence to overcome a fear of flying. This experience became the foundation for her first novel, 'The Long Delirious Burning Blue' (2007).<br /> <br /> Sharon is co-editor of 'Riptide: New Writing from the Highlands and Islands' (2007) and editor of 'Cleave: New Writing by Women in Scotland' (2008). She is also translator from the French of renowned Franco-American author Raymond Federman's memoir of and tribute to his friend, Samuel Beckett: 'The Sam Book' (2008).