Archibald Smith, who is also part of Forth Valley Magic Circle, chose to make the most of the nationwide lockdown and merge the series of short stories he penned into a book.
Mr Smith went by the pen name of Kennedy Smith when producing his work – titled A Cantraip of Tales – with the aim of keeping himself motivated while shielding and providing others with some light relief amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The book centres on what he describes as the “borders of my experiences”.
As a past member of Falkirk Tryst Orchestra, he is well accustomed to entertaining others.
His passion for writing is one Mr Smith has held for several years, having written technical publications through his roles as a physical chemistry lecturer at the University of Teesside and head of chemistry at Falkirk College.
He said: “I could spend my days playing music, but this lacks satisfaction on your own with no-one to listen and no group to play with.
“Then there is my interest in magic, the conjuring kind; yet there is no point in performing tricks if there is no-one to trick.
“I have dabbled in the fictional domain and, over the years, have accumulated short stories of various sorts. This came to a head about a year ago when I joined the Falkirk Writers Circle.
“Their meetings stimulated ideas and my output of short stories grew. Needless to say, we can no longer meet but have been able to continue the thread through the internet.
“With no foreseeable end to these lockdowns, I decided to formalise my collection of short stories into a book. Consequently, after some enquiries, I was able to publish my opus through Lumphanan Press.
“This gathering of trifles explores the borders of my experiences, or perhaps my imagination, and there are times when my narrative escapes in the realms of fantasy.
“There is no set theme other than that of the ‘unexplained’ or the ‘inexplicable’ or the ‘unusual’.
“Cantraip is an ancient Scottish word for spells; I can think of no alternative word for such fables.”
The book can be bought online.