Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's amazing how easy it is for a 28 year old woman to hide behind a 5 month old baby

So here it is, I've been a mother for 5 months now and I'm already using the baby as an excuse. Who am I kidding, I've been using this baby as an excuse even before he was born. Even before he was conceived. My son is the reason I'm always tired. Though of course my mother (who returns home next week) is at the moment his primary care giver with me filling in the evening entertainment slot. My son is the reason I feel irritable and happy at the same time. He's the reason why I reach for that second hobnob. And the third. And the fourth. And then finish the entire pack. He's the reason, I tell myself I haven't written anything in the last six months (and let's be honest, posts on the state of post breastfeeding nipples and my own version of rock-a-bye baby don't count).

I tell myself that I will write when the writing comes. As though the writing will arrive unannounced in a snazzy suit one evening carrying my favourite flowers with a smiley greeting of "So shall we begin?"

I tell myself that I've been through a lot I deserve this time to do nothing, watch Oprah and read new age novels about American women who spend a year discovering themselves through meditation and tagliatelle.

I tell myself a lot of other crazy things too - like I'll write again when I've lost my baby weight... let's be really, really honest, that could take a lot lot longer.

So why I am not writing? I'm afraid to... a possible interest in my half finished manuscript was later rejected by a publisher. Of course, rejection is to be expected and it would have been very presumptuous of me to presume that I would never have to face that. But it's hard to get over... and it's hard to want to get over it. It's easier to stay scared. It's easier to not write anything. It's easier to not have to think about writing.

I'm not writing because I tell myself I don't know where to start. All my characters seem distant. All my stories seem limp and insipid. My old writing seems stilted.

I'm not writing because it's easier to just load another round of laundry, do another round of dishes or take the garbage out.
I'm not writing because it's just easier to blame the baby.

Monday, October 27, 2008

a song for deepavali

not really...but here goes anyway...

rock-a-bye baby drooling on my shoulder
when did you get to weigh as much as a boulder?
when your drool breaks my shoulder will too
rock-a-bye baby i'd like a new pair of shoes.

Happy Deepavali every one!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Belongs to a decade that no longer allows you the privilege of individual candles, each representing a year. Unless she gets a really large cake. One that she will have to bake herself. And that just means more birthday cake for breakfast, late afternoon and midnight snacks for a week. 28 is also not a 'special' year like 18, 30 or 60, so no joint numeral candles. Instead she has to pick out the numbers separately. There is a 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 7 and a 9. But no 8. She stands before the rack of wax numbers, conflicted. A year up or a year down? Or just a 2? Or no candles at all? Or should she get the lotus that blooms and blares out Happy Birthday on the banjo? Perhaps the universe is telling her not to expect much from this year. That it's going to be another hazy 365 days that she will look back on a few years from now and not be able to remember much from. Why celebrate it at all then? Why bother bringing in another 12 months of bland work days, weekends cleaning the fridge and restocking it, taking bags of plastic bottles and newspapers to the recycling plant and looking for strands of white hair? She would skip 28 she decided. Yes, that was it. 28 was not going to exist. She slips the red candle in to her shopping basket and heads to the till. Her melting birthday gift to herself would be another heady year of 21.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Maybe this will get me writing again

Mslexia Women's Short Story Competition 2009

Judge: Helen Simpson

1st Prize £2,000
plus a one-week writing retreat* at Chawton House Library (accommodation only) and a day with a Virago editor**
2nd prize £500
3rd prize £250
3 other finalists will win £100 each
All winning stories will be published in Mslexia magazine and they will also be read by Carole Blake from Blake Friedmann Literary Agency.
Closing date: 23 JANUARY 2009

For more details, go here

Friday, October 10, 2008

Garden shed here I come...

So our home has been taken over by the boot and his things. Any more additions (and by that I mean the boot's things, not another boot) and the sherpa and I will have to move in to the garden.

Interior design forecast for 08-09 is bright, quirky accessories....

the baby is optional...