High over South London

Three bodies, white underwear, bare skin, in troubled sleep on a mattress on the floor. One on his back, corpse-straight, chest and shoulders broad and flat, a T-shirt round his head like a badly wrapped turban. A second tucked like an embryo, his shape too small for his man feet and legs: a crooked body,…

A few literary secrets

Fellow colleague and short story writer, Zoe Gilbert, and I are meeting this evening to plan content for our first course with London Lit Lab. A beginners’ evening course that starts on 2nd June and follows on every Thursday for six weeks at the wonderfully characterful Leila’s Cafe, on Calvert Avenue, Shoreditch. It demands to be said again,…

Words of wisdom

This week I’m returning to my novel. I’ve been away from it for almost three months. It was critiqued by my writers’ group, then came Christmas, then I got ill, then I wrote a proposal for a PhD. Now, we’re into January, the application has been submitted and I’m starting to crave my imagined world…

Mad head. Sore back

It was my daughter’s birthday this week, which coincided, as with any week, with a lot of homework, and her mother on a deadline. That last bit is not so usual, although I do spend much of my working time in a state of panic at how much I’ve got to do, and how little…

Why being a writer is bad for your health

1. Sit arse on chair and don’t get up. 2. Frown lots. 3. Drink too much coffee and eat too much cheese. 4. Go back to the kitchen and make another piece of toast. 5. Editing is more interesting with a glass of wine. 6. It takes years to finish a bloody book – I…