Archive for the ‘guilt’ Category

Second Thoughts

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Maybe I shouldn’t be taking pictures every day. Maybe I should be practising my writing instead. I need to get better than I am for me to be happy with my work, and sitting reading and doing other kinds of work might not be as good a way to get better at writing as writing would be.

Oh, but I do need a rest. I know what I want to write for the next one, but I don’t want to be sitting on my own and typing all the time just now.

I think I’m feeling a little worried because my friends are being very prolific all of a sudden. I’ve got word-count envy. Here’s a new magazine called Other by the novelist and blogger Socrates Adams. I think it’s going to be good. Bookmark it now.

Here’s an interview my friend Kim did with my other friend Tom about his new novel, The Leaping. It’s good too.

I’ve also been sorting through old interviews, short stories published on-line, guest blogs etc and deciding what I’m going to feature on my new website and what I’m going to let disappear. Reading through some of the stories linked to in the side-bar I am not so happy. I could do better now. I think I could have done better then if I’d have rested more and not been in such a rush to be a real writer.

The new website is going to be good. I’ve seen some ‘mock-ups’ so far and it looks very exciting. I will be blogging at the new website too, so soon people who read this blog will have to change their bookmarks or point their feed-readers somewhere else. Don’t worry. I will give ample and frequent warning.

I should be doing some magazines or new stories or the first draft of book three. I should be typing furiously. I feel racked with guilt.

On My Travels

Monday, August 24th, 2009

A little post before I’m off on the train tomorrow to Edinburgh to read at the Writers’ Retreat tomorrow evening, alongside Ray Robinson. I’ll be reading from and talking about A Kind of Intimacy and Ray will be reading from his second novel The Man Without. Apparently, the two of us write ‘superb and unsettling fiction about damaged individuals and their effect on others.’ So now you know.

I’m kind of excited about this one. Would you believe I’ve never been to Edinburgh before? I’m not going to have time to stay for more than a night because we’re in the getting ready for new school and uni terms frenzy here at chez Jenn, but I did manage to bob into the Debenham’s sale to get a new dress.

It is spectacular (as was the fact it cost me only 9, yes NINE of your English pounds) and will also be the outfit of choice for Word Soup #5 – not until the 22nd September but already shaping up to be a top night with another great line-up. Ace!

Something else that is exciting is the 2009 Manchester Blog Awards. Can’t believe it is that time of year already. I remember last time, short-listed for the Best Writing on a Blog Category and reading a draft extract from Cold Light that had just appeared on my blog. A Kind of Intimacy hadn’t even been published yet.

This time, I’m going back as part of the entertainment (which makes it sound like I’m dancing, or telling jokes. Neither of which I’ve been asked / am able to do.) I could read a bit of A Kind of Intimacy, but I know that lots of people in Manchester have already heard me read it, so I might opt for something different this time. I’m quite excited about Cold Light, so it might be time to give that its first proper outing.

Hmm. Thinks thinks.

Nominations for your favourite blogs can be made via this link. There are several categories, and you can nominate blogs in more than one of them. It isn’t a vote, so if your blog has already been nominated (or you’ve nominated it yourself – it is allowed) then there’s no need to get all your friends to do the same. Can’t wait to see you all there.

And no, don’t ask me about how my shiny new writing schedule is going. When my mentor comes back from her holiday, I am going to be For It. I’m sure she’ll have some crazy punishments up her sleeve, but nothing is as bad as the guilt.

Blog Free

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

I’ve had a whole week on annual leave from my library job, and I’ve been able to spend lots of extra time with the small-fry.

Who told me yesterday she liked playing with me and me NOT being on the computer like I was ALWAYS not having my eyes on her but TYPING a story and she would not wait one more minute but play with me NOW.

She’s got blue eyes, and her iris goes violet when she’s pissed off. It’s a stop-typing-put-your-eyes-on-my-eyes warning. Scary. Apparently, I’ve got a look like that too.

Guilt comes with motherhood and it’s there no matter what you do, but if you’re owed email, blame her, not me. I’m off to do some dressing up for a fairy-castle tea-party with my very own enemy of promise right now.

Manchester Blog Awards Headlines

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Manchester University’s Centre for New Writing graduate Jenn Ashworth went home with the coveted Best Writing on a Blog award for her collection of short fiction and literary musings on Every Day I Lie a Little. Ashworth’s novel, A Kind of Intimacy, will be published with Arcadia in May 2009


Beautifully written and a pleasure on the eyes. I really like Jenn’s style, sense of perspective and humour


I had hoped to blog about my shopping trip with Jenn but haven’t felt up to it. A reluctant shopper, Jenn enlisted my help to replenish her meagre wardrobe in preparation for the Manchester Blog Awards later that evening.
Stop Press – she won.
But more importantly she wore the dress (Oasis) and boots (Primark) I made her try on.


you are dead. I will kill you. This is a travesty. An effing outrage. Not On.


shit shoes, Jenn.


the readings, in my humble opinion, were flat, ill-chosen and uninteresting. Other adjectives loaned to me were ‘whimsical’, ‘trite’ and ‘woefully middle-class’. They didn’t hold the attention of the audience who got increasingly rowdy, impatient and talkative while the readers mumbled

I think there are pictures of said person and said outfit reading (mumbling woefully) said blog here. A couple of videos here.


Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Chris has got new business cards. I like them. I want some too. Mine would say:

I am just not feeling like reading or writing blogs or emails or books at the moment. I don’t feel like chatting or going out for drinks or doing the washing up. The laundry and hoovering hold no appeal for me either. I don’t like listening to the radio and I don’t feel like looking at a magazine. I am not tempted by ebay, Amazon, web forums, the Observer, my fountain pen or the bag of walnuts in my kitchen cupboard. I usually enjoy planning the death of my Landlord, driving very slowly in front of people who beep me at traffic lights, and bouncing on my bed with shoes on. I’m going to give these things a rest for a while. I am trying not to neglect the cacti family, but they are used to me and don’t need much. I am mainly indifferent to most of the people and things that I know.

I am not bored and I am not miserable. I am hibernating. My chatting and writing brains are tired. They are lying down under a brown cardigan with their feet pressed against a pillow. They are sighing and chomping and making sleeping noises. The light is hurting their eyes. The chatting and writing brains want a ‘do not disturb sign’, but they can’t be bothered to make it.

Sorry. I will be back soon.

I Am A Bad Person

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Today I was having a frank exchange of opinion with my friend, during which the words ‘absurd’ and ‘neurotic’ and ‘out of proportion’ and ‘unreliable’ and ‘people skills’ were mentioned. I sort of wished I had a tape-recorder so I could write it up because it was just the scene I needed for a bit in the Fish Book I have been struggling with. It would have been ‘authentic’ and not ‘wooden’.

That made me think about when I fell down the stairs holding the Small Fry when she was very little, and she was quite hurt, and I thought for a few minutes she was Brown Bread. That was upsetting, but the nasty bit of me wished for the tape recorder then too.

Then it made me think I have never seen a dead body and I have only been to four funerals in my life and I didn’t cry at any of them because I was too busy looking about for details that I could transfer to my special notebook when I got home.

Litany of Excuses

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Karissa asked for the doomed lovers. Not Amber.

Karissa blogs here, and it is good. You should go there.

Amber blogs here. She is doing essentials for life, but with dignity and a beautiful typerwriter. She didn’t ask for doomed lovers.

I made a mistake.

I am very sorry. If you would like me to do a punishment then I will gladly do one. You can post the punishment in the comments and I will write a full and frank account of me doing it. And I may even actually do it. Anyone can post a punishment. In fact, I think everyone should. I need some punishment. I have been very bad.

I’m a bit worried that I am still mixed up and making a mistake. If I am, I will eat glass or eels or throw away my best socks or something.

Crab Related Injuries

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Today I was catching crabs in rock pools and putting them in a little pink bucket. They were tiny crabs, shells as transparent as wet fingernails. I attracted the interest of a little girl, six years old maybe, who warned me against trying to catch the big ones, because sometimes they bite.

‘I got bit by one once,’ she says, ‘right on my finger, and the pain, the blood up my arm, made the pain, go all the way up my arm, and I have a little red lump even now and sometimes the blood goes in there where the crab bit it and makes it sore. I have to go to the doctor’s every day.’

‘Every day?’ I say, doubtful and annoyed that she is scaring away my crabs.

‘Yes, and it is still really sore!’ she says, pulling down the front of her swimming costume and showing me her nipple. I avert my eyes, in case I am doing something that is an arrestable offence.

Totally unrelated, but my friend Chris Killen has just announced that his novel The Bird Room will be published. Not for a wee while yet, but it will be worth waiting for. When the crushing envy has evaporated, I’ll be congratulating him.

I am Very Sorry

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

Basically what has happened is this: I have hurt your car. I don’t know if it is badly hurt or not. It still works, which must count for something.

Let me explain. The story goes like this…

I don’t know how it happened.

I found it in the car-park like that.

That little scrape on the side? That was there when you gave it to me.

It wasn’t me, you’d better ask the boy.

I can’t see anything, what are you talking about? Don’t be daft.

I am very sorry. I had to swerve to avoid a child who stepped into the road. I thought you would rather I hit the post-box than the little girl.

I am very sorry – it must have been an inconsiderate bus-driver, who scraped me in the night and drove away. I would never do anything like that, would you?

I am very sorry. I was going into a car-park with a little wall around it and I was listening to the radio and chewing gum and making sure I didn’t hit the car sticking out from the front of the car-park and I hit the wall instead. The crunch along the side was very frightening. No-one was hurt, and in fact, someone laughed.

I am very sorry. I will pay to get it fixed. I hope they will be able to make it as good as new. Thank you for lending it to me.

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