The Girl Who Went Up…

… Is the title of one of the short stories I’m playing around with at the moment.

For some, utterly bizarre reason I haven’t yet identified and for years didn’t even particularly notice, I have traditionally oscillated between writing poetry and writing novels. (No mid-way; mid-way has been for losers; I’m all about the full-way. Or something.) Many authors, probably quite reasonably and intelligently, recommend building up to writing novels via short stories, as though they are mainly instrumental spurts of intent and skill (maybe pain-staked, maybe accidental), a bit like lifting weights before lifting a car (terrible analogy, sorry; and people don’t generally lift cars*). But I never really bothered.** Continue reading

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In Praise of The U-Turn

Like all sane people, I have occasionally had quite in depth conversations with my sat nav. When she throws her hands in the air, from her austere, square dashboard-universe, and commands her last resort (‘When possible, make a U-turn’) in her cut-glass, authoritative melody, she is giving up, or at least making a medium-sized sulky (not-angry-just-disappointed) show of it.

But this splendid brilliance called life would be deeply dull if we weren’t allowed to change our minds. How liberating it might be, I sometimes imagine in my most indecisive moments, to have to stick to your historical choices (even those you don’t particularly realise you once made), never to doubt yourself, never to wonder about the alternative possibilities you’ve shunned (or repressed or not had the guts to explore) along the way, knowing you need only power on through your once-made decisions to linear infinity, arriving, at the end, and with confidence, at some pre-determined place where outcomes are predictable, productive and planned.

But that’s a lot of P.

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Another thing*

I never had an imaginary friend growing up (two brothers; too busy beating each other up**), but I imagine that chuckling quietly to oneself at one’s character’s remarks isn’t too dissimilar to laughing at one’s own jokes, and that constructing entire conversations as a way of recording the voices in one’s head (each with their surprising insights) has got to represent at least a mild foray into a dance with psychosis***. Continue reading