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Wednesday 18th June 2003


I’ve just had a week away again, writing and not doing much else…well, listening to the wireless, thinking, eating little snacks, the odd stroll…It’s quite hard coming back from these weeks. I need to decompress or something. It’s like walking into a gale of demands. Ordinary life is so complicated, with shopping and phones and trying to be a good mother, and appointments and so on. So many female writers with children are pulled in two directions. A voice inside you tells you off for wanting to go and live in an imaginary world, when one should be dealing with real issues. And one’s children are so fascinating and interesting and all consuming! Jane Austen, George Elliot, the Brontes, Jean Rhys were all childless.

I’m reading a book called the Wind Up Bird Chronicle now by a Japanese writer (I haven’t got the book with me now, and I’m afraid to make a spelling attempt). It’s completely compelling, yet very strange. It’s the kind of writing that gathers force as a the reader gets deeper into the book. I really love it, although at the beginning I kept falling asleep after one page. I am also reading Alan Hollinghurst’s The Folding Star which is a fascinating book. I’m interviewing him at Proud Words lesbian/gay/bisexual literary festival this Saturday in the Copthorne Hotel in Newcastle. Proud Words has got loads of events coming up (Sarah Waters, song writing workshops) and they’re all free. If you live in the North East and feel a bit bisexual you’d be mad to miss it!

Cold Calling (which used to be Attachments) gets filmed for tv in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing the set and the recording in front of a live audience. Otherwise I’m just writing the novel and getting ready to go to Brazil. It should be lovely and simple and uncomplicated, but of course it isn’t!!