The writing process

Robert Sharp has tagged me in the Writing Process Tour, for which I feel most honoured. Robert writes fiction, as well as blogging prolifically, working as Head of Communications at English PEN, and looking after his three very small children. Read his writing process blog on his site, and click back, sideways and forwards (see my…

Nightmare on Twitter

I dreamt about a literary agent whom I’ve never met, but who I follow on Twitter. The setting was a very highbrow conference in a posh hotel. My dream the agent was all suave and witty, with an Australian accent, like Clive James, but he looked more like Keith Richards, and he was smoking, with…

Warts and all yogi

This is my first yoga post. Not sure how it’s going to turn out. It’s one thing, being a warts-and-all writer, but a warts-and-all yoga teacher??? How does that work? Then I was totally inspired by Chris’s incredible blog post, about the depression she was now emerging from. Chris is a yoga teacher – we…

Fear of Blind Light

I went to D’s yoga class. Chatting afterwards, I told him how I’d been venturing out on the World Wide Web, blogging and tweeting and facebooking and so on. “It’s weird,” I said, “Because it’s like you’re in the dark, reaching out to total strangers. And you make contact with one, and then it’s like you’re…

Soft Play

“I think it’s too hard.” S rolled to face me. It was odd to be lying down in public. I propped myself up and looked around. We were in John Lewis, in the soft hubbub of the mattress department. People shedding their coats and shoes and clambering about, watched with twinkling tolerance by the John…

In The Beginning

On a Sunday in May 2012, I had some people round for lunch, among them my friend, the author Lisa Jewell. As we all sat down she told us that she’d just given up on her psychological thriller. She’d written the first chapter, but hadn’t been able to go on from there. “What happens in…

The Three Rejections

The Three Rejections. Christmassy, like the Shepherds, and the Kings. They came in a flurry, in mid-December. I was surprised, because I’d assumed that literary agents took ages to read and reply. Amidst my frantic seasonal preparations, I found a lot to take comfort in (“shows a great deal of promise“. ” You are certainly a…

Nick Wollaston

So, two days after A’s story of his grandfather Charles Morgan, J comes to collect his kids, and tells me about his father, the writer Nicolas Wollaston.   I hadn’t heard of him. “Was he successful?” I asked.”I mean, did he make a living from it… or did he have a day job?”

She’s Not There

Felt better. Then up and down. J’s eyes on me, so anxious. I tried. Took them to the lido, it was so HOT. Their wet, slippery bodies. My treasures. On the way home I saw that the passionflowers had opened. Hundreds of them, all over the Broken House fence, staring silently, with their purple spiky…