Having been caught up in all this writing-a-book malarkey, I've neglected to mention that my lovely band, Air Cav, is releasing our debut album, Don't Look Indoors. We're taking pre-orders now, which come with a nifty set of free gifts, with digital release set for December 5th 2011 - and physical CDs emerging not long after.

Want to try before you buy? Well... you probably can't. But a little interview with me here divulges a few thoughts and opinions about it all, and our single, 'A Call To Arms', has a simple-but-effective video here, produced by very talented colleague, Claire Bend.

Ploughing on...

Well, I'm past the 50,000 words mark now. Which is good, considering the deadline is a-looming! Now I've got the fun of stringing together all the many little sections I've written... wish me luck!

But I've tried to keep writing other little bits and pieces, too, ensuring my writing is kept fresh. So recently I've recently had the pleasure of interviewing big-name Northumbrian fiddler, Nancy Kerr, as well as new vocal group, Lady Maisery, and Cambridge-based Cumbrian singer, Maz O'Connor, who I first clapped eyes on at the Young Folk Award a few years ago.

The Nancy Kerr piece will be appearing in a future issue of FiddleOn; the latter two in fRoots. I'll let you know when!

I'm back!

Yes, my residency at Mslexia has come to an end. But what a valuable experience: blogging for others means raising interesting points and asking questions, and that's really helped me work through my project, thinking aloud. And Mslexia readers were so helpful, answering my posts with all sorts of useful insights. Thanks!

So I'll endeavour to continue the same here, keeping you abreast of developments with the book. In the mean time, you might like a sneak preview of the latest development, right here on my last post for Mslexia...

It's not all work... play, and blogging for Mslexia. I've just been to the lovely Moseley Folk Festival, now in its sixth glorious year. And I even wrote a review about it.

Actually, I've been writing a fair bit, outside of the big looming project. Some CD reviews for EDS (as ever), a couple of competition entries that I'll only tell you about if I win (which they won't do, so you'll never know). It's always good to keep up writing in other areas.

This is actually my last month as Guest Blogger for Mslexia, and I'm really going to miss it. It's really helped me think through my Eliza project, and there's been some lovely readers out there sharing their tips.

But then you can have me back here, so all will be well again :-)

Blogging for others

I'm finding this easier than blogging on my own pages. It makes my posts more interesting, I choose my words more carefully. Strange! Anyhoo, you might disagree entirely

My first Mslexia blog post

can be found here

And here's my second

New project

You may have noticed things have been a little quiet round here of late. Well, it may seem like that from the outside, but actually, I'm a whirling dervish of activity! The FFS gigs will be taking a little break over the next year or so whilst my ultimate dream gets underway... curious? Well, head on over to Mslexia where I'll be guest blogging between April and June this year and find out!

FFS at the Friends of Manchester Festival!

The Friends of Manchester festival, designed to allay the boredom and dreariness of January, is brought to you by the guys at Friends of Mine. And luckily for us, we've been invited to host our own stage upstairs at Kro bar as usual.

So come on down and give your ears a rest from all the other bands in Jabez Clegg and Kro, and have a listen to:

2.30pm - 3pm - Alex Hulme

4.30 - 5 - A Rookery

5.30 - 6 - Marry Another

6.30 - 7 - Glass Ankle

7.30 - 8 - Ottersgear

8.30 - 9 - Esther Swift

This all-dayer or here. They're also available in Jabez Clegg if you're not much of an internet dweeb.

Still not sure? Read what Manchester Music has to say about the event and check out the official facebook event to see who else is playing...