Fleeting Moments of Genuine Connection

When you’re introverted, it’s easy to assume you don’t have much to offer in busier social settings. These assumptions are often unhelpful and untrue. Mum and I went to Tesco one day and I had two little exchanges that made me think.

An old woman fussed along the dairy aisle, wet grey trench coat swishing. She looked at me, head shaking, smiling. ‘I’ve lost the thing I cannot find.’

The scenario and sentence seemed ridiculous, to her even more than me.

‘Oh,’ I said, with a laugh. ‘That’s Continue reading

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I Can’t Read Late at Night Anymore

One of my favourite hobbies as a child has been spoilt by becoming a writer: I can no longer read in bed before I fall asleep.

I doubt I’m the only one who used to snuggle up in their duvet, say goodnight to their parents, and have an illegal date with a torch and one of Enid Blyton’s creations. I read obsessively. I admit, my range was limited, because I loved to reread my favourite books. Still, it was wonderful.

I almost feel guilty that I can’t do it anymore. Have I broken some writerly rule by admitting this? What has changed? Continue reading

War on Fireworks

My family and I used to watch the local firework display from afar. It was an adventure, wrapping up in big coats, and seeing the glowing bonfire and the sky light up. I liked the quiet fizzy ones, but more often I had to wince and shield my ears.

I understand lots of people enjoy fireworks, but environmentally speaking, there must be better forms of entertainment.

The noise alone is horrible. A scroll through Continue reading

Being Andrea Bocelli

I had several dreams the other night. One stayed with me.

I walk into a huge hall. It is empty, but your voice fills the room. I can’t believe it – first I meet Aiden Turner and now you! You don’t see me, of course. You never will.

‘Mum,’ I say. ‘Look!’

Andrea Bocelli.

Mum follows me in. Her face falls into a frown, and she Continue reading

Unexpected Homecoming

I arrived back in North Wales last night. The decision was only made on Sunday, so it’s all been a bit of a whirlwind. I will be here for a few weeks.

As I stepped through the door, I thought everything seemed different at home. I couldn’t work out why. Had things been moved around? No, I don’t think so. I was just looking at everything in a new light, more objectively. I’ve got used to things in the other house.

I walked into the Continue reading

Life Crueller Than Fiction?

Tuesday 4.9.18

It took me ages to get to sleep because my mind was flooded with ideas for a new writing project. When I did, I dreamed about being a runner-up in the Brighton Short Story Prize; I woke to an email from another competition, saying my story hasn’t been chosen for their shortlist. How strange!

I suppose the only thing I can take from this is that I think about writing far too much, causing even my subconscious to reshape reality to suit me! It’s funny how I didn’t win in the dream but was completely ecstatic about being a runner-up…Clearly my confidence hasn’t run away with itself.

Each rejection is Continue reading

I Just Did Something Entirely Pointless

Tuesday 4.9.18

I wrote out my favourite short story by hand. ‘That Colour’ by Jon McGregor, from his collection This Isn’t The Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You.

Yellow, lined paper. Feeling the beautiful words come out of my biro.

I used to do this all the time, writing out parts of my favourite books in perfect handwriting, imagining creating their stories, imagining if I copied them down I would be Enid Blyton.

And then I Continue reading