Like most parents of small-ish children, I spend a lot of time reading fairy tales. I was reading my four year old a very short, slightly boring version of Cinderella, and my 9 year old snuggled in. He was quite aggrieved at the details being "wrong". In the version he reads, the coachman is crafted... Continue Reading →
The shame of Pachinko
When I was reading Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee, it was such a totally absorbing book that as I went about my own domestic tasks every day, I could picture these poor women in 1920s Korea, running their households with nothing, and trying to make every little grain of barley matter. In the later parts... Continue Reading →
Not immortal, after all
My father died on the 17th June, 2017. He probably would have quite liked that, a palindromic date. He died in Berlin, on the commemoration day of a riot against communist rule in 1953. It's the sort of date people like to choose for weddings. He will be buried on the 7th July, which also... Continue Reading →
I don't really write much any more. This is partly due to not seeing the point in publishing stuff that no one will read, and partly because two small children remove most of my brain. I'm sure they get up in the night and suck all my ideas out with a straw. Anyway, my husband seems to... Continue Reading →
It is hard to believe in anything, particularly oneself, at the best of times. The more life progresses, the more it seems a succession of minor disappointments, which are a natural part of growing up and realising that I won't get to go on a bouncy castle every afternoon. Sometimes, it seems as if that... Continue Reading →
I am currently reading a novel about a dystopian future in which the world has been destroyed in some sort of holocaust, and all the survivors live in a collection of huge underground bunkers near Atlanta. As with all science fiction, it is about the dynamics of human interaction in a hostile environment. I was... Continue Reading →
How does one write something nice?
My husband wants me to write a "nice" short story. I suppose I can see why he wants this. He's so far volunteered to read the short stories I have produced; the first one was about a prostitute who dies while showing off her jewellery to her children, in an accident involving a pet goat.... Continue Reading →
I wrote a rather strange story for a writing course back in 2009. Any comments most welcome. The rosemary was looking a bit peaky. It usually survived the frequent episodes of drought quite well, but recently the spiny leaves had turned quite brown. Delilah took the small white watering can off the round iron... Continue Reading →
What should my novel be about?
My husband has been badgering me to write something more comprehensive, and fictional, than my blog. Of course, being an arts graduate, I would very much like to write a book. In 2010, I enrolled in a creative writing course, to see whether maybe there was some sort of golden rule of writing I could... Continue Reading →
On the mild disappointment of getting older
In November, I read an article in the Times written by Walter James, who turned 100 last year. It was entitled, "I remember love, just not how it feels". It was a beautifully written and poignant article, about both the practical hazards of a frail body, and the decline of sensibility that old age brings with... Continue Reading →