Our wonderful creative writing tutor, Zoë Strachan, tells us a bit about what home means to her. As well as teaching at the University of Glasgow, Zoë is the author of a number of novels, including Spin Cycle and Ever Fallen in Love.
Home is mixture of things. Of course it’s where I live now, my flat in Glasgow, but increasingly it’s also where I come from, Ayrshire. Whenever I’m there, I recognise that the landscape, and the coastline, their familiarity and all the memories they hold, have made me and remain part of me.
But home can move with me quite easily too. When I’m in another place for a length of time I don’t tend to feel homesick. I miss the people I love if I’m away from them, but where I live sometimes seems pleasantly hazy. I can’t imagine staying away from Scotland forever though. The culture feels like home, in good and bad ways. I miss the sense of humour when I’m away, and I miss the particular kind of light that we get when the sun finally struggles through the clouds.
That sense of a shared Scottish experience and demeanour is quite a big influence in my work. At the moment I’m preoccupied with Ayrshire and its past, in terms of industry, society, landscape, towns. I don’t feel confined when I write about Scotland, because really I’m writing about people who happen to be in Scotland.
My website is www.zoestrachan.com and I’m @zoestrachan on twitter.
Shetland Create celebrates creativity in Shetland through its bi-annual literary magazine and literary readings. The next reading will take place on 9 July. Issue #1 of the magazine is available for free online at http://www.shetlandcreate.com. Hosted by University of Glasgow students Kirsten Boswell and Angie Spoto. Follow us on Twitter @ShetlandCreate. Come celebrate with us!