It has come to my attention that my house is fairly filthy. Blogging has given way to washing the sofa covers, wiping cupboards and brushing up behind and under things. I’ve been asked at festivals and events how I find the time to do everything that I do, and my answer is always something blithe and self-deprecating and to do with neglecting the housework / failing to hoover / having a very understanding and low maintenance Mr.

Domestic neglect has been the game plan for about three or four years now, and because there’s more cat-hair, biscuit crumbs and dust than carpet The Progeny have mighty immune systems. Still, the rot has got to stop somewhere.

Which is a roundabout way of saying sorry, this blog has been quiet, and trust me, there are cobwebs gathering here but my house is almost sparkling.

And isn’t washing sofa covers the most boring job in the world?

In other news, my friends Valerie, Kim and Daisy have all recently completed their MAs in Creative Writing. Hooray and Congratulations! I’m feeling a bit jealous of all this end of term gadding about while at Ashworth Towers I’ve been learning how the hoover works again (there’s a bit you can pull out and empty… who knew?)

Lest you think I’ve gone all 1950s housewife (pfft!) I’ve got a new job teaching Creative Writing at UCLAN (students, pupils, fellow writers – I promise your experience during my workshops won’t be (much) like this) and I am brewing interviews with and reviews of Nik Perring’s Not So Perfect, Sarah Hymas’ poetry collection Host and my new birthday present Amazon Kindle. (I am not going to interview my Kindle. Hoovering has not driven me over the edge just yet).

In Cold Light news, I’m nearing the end of my final round of edits and helping, in very small ways, to devise jacket-blurb. I’m kind of shy about talking about it (editing) too much here – partly because my vanity would like to maintain the illusion that there was very little editing to do and indulge myself in the polite fiction that the manuscript was sold to my publisher perfectly complete and finished.

Still, if you want to know about the Writing Life know this: even writers who pontificate in their classes and workshops about how necessary humility and flexibility and a willingness to listen to feedback, to murder darlings etc are to creating a piece of good writing, and writers who internally and secretly can’t quite believe that being a Good Writer does not always equal being a Good Person (we’ll unknot that in another blog post) can throw epic three day long strops / silences / broods /sulks over suggested cuts (one mug broken) do them anyway and realise wise editor was correct.

In order to calm my frazzled self and do something other than typing or talking about typing or looking at other people’s typing, I am going back to my pottery class. Who wants a limited edition, ugly, lopsided Thing. Is it a mug? Is it an ashtray? You Decide! 

5 responses to “Filth”

  1. kim mcgowan says:

    Thanks for the congratulations for the completion of the MA, Jenn. My end of term gadding should be re-acquainting myself with the various items of brushing-up tackle ranged about the house. Thanks for the bityoucanpulloutandempty-tip – marvelous!(you are a little bit like Anthea Turner on the quiet, aren’t you?)

    Woooooooo! Congratulations on the UCLAN job. I think you are allowed/expected to get a cleaner now.

    kim x

  2. Max Wallis says:

    Congratulations on the job, Jenn! x

  3. Megan says:

    And enjoy the pottery. I’ve been life drawing, shading cheeks in all the wrong places, as an escape from worrying the writing.
    (but maybe you should stop cleaning now)

  4. thank you friends.

    Kim – I don’t want to get a cleaner, I want to be a cleaner. I cleaned my way through my undergrad degree and I’ve never done any work more satisfying. Applying it to my own home is a work in progress. We’ve now given up on the hoovering and we just throw the hair balls in the bin when we find them.

  5. […] edits, copy edits, cuts etc to Cold Light – all of which has taken place in the tiny, quiet (although fairly clean…) world of my own house, it has been lovely and strange and scary to get out into the world again. I […]

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