Thursday 29 April 2010


I’m sorry, I’ve been a little absent of late.  I’ve been busy talking to myself.

I haven’t read out loud so much since Magdalene Lower Secondary School when I went kicking and screaming to my role as Lady Rowena in the play which for the life of me I cannot remember the title. I do remember my long, blue cotton dress, however, with its flouncy Edwardian sleeves and a crocheted head band calming my frizzy tresses. And I also recall talking a lot of rhubarb in hushed whispers as my fellow ‘ladies’ and I held court at the edge of the stage.

Destined for stardom I was not.

Yet there is something quite invigorating about speaking out loud.  My characters have taken on a new life again. I haven’t read my whole book in great chunks like this for months, so obsessed have I been with le mot juste, eradicating my abundance of semi-colons (where, pray, did they come from?), checking my indents and crucially extending the white space from two lines to three. 

But these past few weeks I’ve been re-acquainted with my old friends who make up the small society of Glass Houses.  I’ve been worrying about Main Character, Tori, again, crying for her predicament (yes, real tears) and have been reminded that if I wasn’t married to my wonderful man (who lets me write while he does proper work, you’ve got to love him, haven’t you?), Doug would be the one for me.

Submitting is a lonely business, tiresome, I find - all that waiting to hear something, anything.  I swear I’ve developed a nervous twitch in my forefinger, clicking on the mouse every two minutes to speed up Send/Receive in the hope that this time my in-box will display the wonderful words, ‘Yes!  Send the rest of your story now, goddamnit!’

But reading Glass Houses has been great therapy.  It’s reminded me that these characters have a story to tell and that they’d really like somebody to listen.  For their benefit, because I love them all, their foibles notwithstanding, I will keep plugging away.

Happy reading (out loud) everyone!

Thursday 15 April 2010

Fairy Dust in the Air

Fairy Dust in the Air

Picture the scene: my lovely writer friend, Jared, who has written a fantastic thriller, writes to say that he is a hair’s (he hasn’t got much to spare) breath away from hooking himself an agent.  I read the agent’s letter and a transcript of the phone call.  Trust me, it sounds like she will be paying HIM. 

Jared’s niece died last week, unexpectedly, aged only 29.  Jared has been holding the family together ever since. Yesterday he told me he was thankful the funeral was now over and everybody could think about moving forward again. 

I think his niece is smiling and sprinkling well-earned fairy dust over him.

Then I click on my emails to see that the Brit Writers’ Awards Unpublished 2010 people have very kindly written to me to say that I am through to the second round of the competition.  Unbelievably, Glass Houses gets to fight another day.  I have no idea how many other entries are still jostling for position with Glass Houses. I’d rather not know for now (which is good as it’s impossible to find out, believe me, I’ve tried). I am simply happy to be in this state of shock, happy shock, wondering if deep down, I still believe in fairies.