Self-ing The Self

I feel really uncomfortable about selfies. I also feel really uncomfortable about how uncomfortable I feel about selfies. Continue reading

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On Japan, Magic & Pillow Breath

Japan has been high on my travel lust-list for well over a decade; I even had flights booked to go there on my way back from Australia (via Bali) three years ago, but ended up forgoing them both to stay longer in Oz. Ever since, I have considered it, with yearning, each spring and each autumn (do I want the cherry blossom or the autumn leaves?) and have repeatedly had to cast the country aside for other ventures. I know I’ll go sometime and it will be magical; I think I want it to be a trip in itself – not just a stop on the way to or from somewhere else.

In the meantime, two of Japan’s most unrelated outputs (though halfway through this blog post I promise you a tenuous link) have shown up in my life recently.

Firstly (and I don’t want this to turn into a book review, but…), I have been caught in the avalanche of magnetising media surrounding The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, a recent, clutter-toppling phenomenon written by Marie Kondo and published nearly two years ago. Continue reading

Two Things

1. Writing is always a game of tricking yourself into productivity via reverse psychology (luckily, my subconscious doesn’t ever get the joke); when I sit down and intend to write absolute nonsense, in a mockery of myself, that’s when I write the good stuff. When I sit down to write the world’s most innovative, surprising, heartfelt prose, that’s when I decide I need a walk, and another cup of pomegranate green tea. Continue reading

Reign Beau & The After Man – a poem on the novel (how meta!)

I find it very difficult to describe my current project. Last night was a prime example; it’s not easy to shout coherently to a new acquaintance across the noise of an East Oxford bar about philosophies, humanity, and a character who is ‘a bit unusual, metaphysically’ but ‘not really an angel’, or about how I think my novel is ‘sort of melancholic but also quite funny’. I need to equip myself with the classic elevator speech for such emergencies, instead of resorting to ‘themes’, buzzwords and the wonderful armour of a mysterious smile.

I hope I might be exquisitely talented at describing what I’m doing once it’s actually… you know… done.

In the meantime, I wrote a poem: Continue reading