Friday, April 27, 2012


One of 5 songs featuring music I created for original poems (written by survivors of sex trafficking in Kolkata), recited in Bengali or English translation. The traffic sounds layered under the music are the real sounds of Kolkata—constant blowing of horns recorded one night while walking through the streets.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"...not girly shit"

I love the latest Daisy Chain review—one of just two from male readers:

"I have not finished the book yet but it reminds me of a time in my life when I had more fun. You definitely can reach a wide audience if I enjoyed it. I normally hate girly shit, but surprisingly your book is not girly shit. I give it a nine and a half out of ten. You lose the half point for using what I assume is fictitious names for what seems to be real stories. If they are not real stories you will get a full ten but I would recommend that you check yourself in to St. Anns. LOL. Thanks for bringing some soothing peace to my aching soul. Your world has re-tuned my eyes to see a universe I used to belong to where beauty lived in simple things. I knew there was a reason I love you. Thanks again."


Daisy Chain is available in print and ebook formats at:
Barnes & Noble

Friday, April 13, 2012

Like a poem ...

Vahni Capildeo's live reporting (via ipad) of Wednesday's Daisy Chain reading (posting live commentary to Daisy Chain's Facebook page) was a poetic tribute to an evening well spent. Worth laying it out here so you can read all as one stream.

1. Elspeth puts out fire in Renee's hair! Wow was that spontaneous combustion or candles?

2. Doraly Rosa, Silvana Montana, Catherine Hammond and Renee Castle introduced by Elspeth... Full house and we're off... Give thanks

3. Livestreaming NOW Renee voices us butterflies

4. Face half in light half in dark, musings on how easily a daisy is broken...

5. Doraly Rosa speaking Andrea's dreams

6. Silvana Montana is Fiona, enticing us to follow her into old maps and creative truancy...

7. And bubbling into full laughter. All into the story now, self consciousness put aside.

8. Film intro to Catherine Hammond's reading. Thanks to tech support Liam Rezende we take a car journey between wild greenery.

9. Catherine/Mona returns to perch quietly on windowsill as the next woman, next story, comes forward. The movement of the bodies is like fugal music.

10. Film maker Karen Martinez in front row making good use of her camera. Another recorder of dreams. Wonder what is happening in the heads of all these listeners...each hearing a subtly inflected version of the stories, conjuring personal images.

11. Renee is the librarian finding the love that is fed by kindness...and select baked goods!

12. A rusty red lawnmower mows a juicy green lawn...

13. Story of teenage girl who mows lawn to earn money to go away...resonates with the other purpose of the evening, the collection to help a girl in India realize her goals of training in dance therapy...

14. Elspeth writes of women's appreciation of other women's beauty with refreshing lucidity...if you are reading this switch into watching the livestreaming...

15. Slow blue of late spring London evening outside. Paint and pain blue and red on the filmed clowns face. Doraly is Philippine...

16. Candle reflections a little Christmas in the red laptop case. Elspeth thrones beneath the dartboard flowers.

17. Audience hands crimps and lips part or clench at the story of the wife who lives her marriage in clown makeup...

18. Catherine perched on the windowsill was preparing Isadora from fluttering A4 sheets. Now she has made the text dance forth. And the daisy chain closes.

19. Drawing for doorprize! Excitement

20. Lucky winner gets a Daisy Chain book autographed by cast and author.

21. And we get coloured cards with fragments of text to fill in our own stories.

22. Putul Fund collection continues to help Putul fulfil her dreams in India.

23. People filter downstairs to the pub. Many stay upstairs, abuzz with new conversations.

24. The actresses pick a closing quote to post: 'All in the name of love'. Thanks for being here.

25. Thank you to Vahni for her live reporting of the event! Xo Elspeth

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Last night was lovely

Renée brought daisies for each of us (readers) to wear.
(More photos below)

Last night's magical Daisy Chain reading at Old China Hand was enjoyed by all. If you missed the live stream of the event, you can click here to view the archived recording. It's about 57 minutes long. 

First time live streaming an event. There are a few ways in which it can be improved for next time. Main thing would be to get the external camera to work (not sure why it didn't this time) ... as the laptop camera isn't optimum choice. But, it got the job done well enough to enable you to see and hear the reading.

Thank you to the actresses who did a great job of reading:
Renée Castle
Catherine Hammond
Silvana Montaya
Doraly Rosa

And thank you to Rowena, owner of Old China Hand, for the intimate venue.

Looking forward to what & where the next Daisy Chain event will be ...

Daisy Chain is available in print and ebook formats at:
Barnes & Noble
 Reading an excerpt from MRS. C.: Doraly (l) - Narrator, Catherine (mid) - Mrs. C, Elspeth (r): Mr. C.
 Bullseye Bouquet -- flowers from Liam, idea of pinning it onto the dart board, Renée
 Doraly (l) and Catherine (r) ... and my laptop, used for recording & streaming the event
 Excerpt from BRENDA: Silvana (l) as Brenda, Elspeth (r) as Interviewer.
Renée reads an excerpt from CLARA. This is how it looked to me as the livestream moderator

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Daisy Chain Live from London: Tune in Wed 11, 2012

Dear All,

Watch live streaming video from daisychain at

Tune in via this embedded channel tomorrow—Wed 11 April—for the live stream of four London actresses (Renée Castle, Catherine Hammond, Silvana Montana, Doraly Rosa) reading excerpts from my novel Daisy Chain @ 6:30 p.m. UK time = 1:30 p.m. TT time. (Not sure about other time zones, but you can work it out with a Time Zone Converter Even if you miss the live reading, you will be able to catch it as a recorded event in the archives under the screen at the link above.

Once we come online tomorrow, you will see the video instead of the coloured bars which show when the channel is offline. 

First time streaming a reading as a live event. Stay tuned!

Thank you to Rowena (owner of the venue) for so kindly hosting the event at Old China Hand, 8 Tysoe Street, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 4RQ

Daisy Chain is available in print and ebook formats
*** Your Kindle would love to have Daisy Chain on it *** (
***Your Kobo will love Daisy Chain*** (
***Your Nook will love Daisy Chain*** (Barnes & Noble)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wow! So beautiful!

... oh, and those roses look okay too.

Spaces Between Words

Some time ago I was interviewed at UWI about Daisy Chain, as part of a podcast series on Caribbean writers. Many of the podcasts have been featured and shared via the internet ... and there are more to come, mine included.

Now the Spaces Between Words project has its own website:
 (From the website): "The Spaces between Words: Conversations with Writers is a podcast series featuring interviews with writers, many of whom have Caribbean connections. Most of the interviews were done at the Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago’s first literary festival. The series is also affiliated with the Literatures in English section at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus and The Caribbean Review of Books."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Soon: Daisy Chain reading with London actresses

Click to enlarge image and see details

On Wednesday 11 April from 6:30 p.m. there will be another Daisy Chain reading ... this time at Old China Hand, 8 Typsoe Street, Clerkenwell, London. 4 actresses will be reading with me and we will be streaming the event via livestream, so those of you who are not there in person can tune in live (via this link I'm excited to see how the actresses interpret the excerpts.

See here for Daisy Chain blurb, reader reviews and to purchase the novel in print or Kindle format.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Special Sunday Session

Yesterday, I taught a yoga class at a lovely studio in Islington. It is an upper room theatre studio which is also used for yoga classes, dance classes, etc. The yoga teacher, Ash, who normally has a class in the 10 - midday slot, offered me the studio to give a Kundalini class. It was the first Kundalini session for most of the nine who attended.

It was a lovely session... and afterwards, courtesy Ash, we stayed on for Indian vegetarian eats, tea and a little chatting.

Yet another occasion (is there not one?) when I felt really glad that I practise and teach yoga.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The recent Daisy Chain reading

The recent Daisy Chain reading at the Bookstock event in London went well. I was one of four authors who read from novels or (as one author did) works in progress. As always, I like to have the audience participate in some way, so I used the interactive approach I had used at my last reading in Tobago (Nov 2011).

Names of different characters were on coloured pieces of paper in these little bags. Prior to reading I passed them around and members of the audience chose at random. For each name chosen, I would read an excerpt from that character's chapter (20 minutes worth of reading in total).
On coloured pieces of paper, I wrote selected quotes from the book. I chose sentences/phrases that were either provocative or had a predictive type quality to them, so the person reading would relate to it on a personal level. On the back of each was the link to the e-book.

Other readings coming up in London. Stay tuned.