Creative & academic essays, social commentary, a touch of memoir and poetry
More books than friends
To participate in the world have more books than friends. Days are sometimes hard, and I'm wary of a certain life goal.
I took for granted I was going to live. I have for about a decade or five, just able to summon the energy. But I don't really get it.
I have always missed the present moment, seeking, bumbling.
I repeat words, and not in an ironic way.
I think about the girl I was and wasn't.
A woman in 2017, I forget whole weekends.
Hair clippers help my emotional needs by blocking the year-on-year backstory.
This is me, literally a catalogue of fragments in this magazine.
I find ways to write – a little more, a little less. Simply repeating words.
I like proper pockets which give full access, not a con that's a flap.
All this a record of me. I use words in a connected confession:
occasional pleasure and a list of guilt become less embarrassing sliced out.
I live inside others and beside myself, on standby, curious, always the
spectrum alongside. It's OK, I carry on, the same me.
I write because there is no prescribed path.
To change course, to make changes, to manoeuvre an immensely long way.
I imagine feet hunkering down in the driving seat.
I always knew
I always knew I wanted to write When I was a child I wanted a book deal. I was 40 before I was ready to express enough with gusto. The age you manage, with the addition of chilli, to have the balls to advance. So, that's now.
There's me, the younger sibling
I can see that no one is managing. Something vital is just wrong, some of it genuinely might crumble.
Looking at our strands, I engage and involve. I need to stop the picture wobbling.
I cling to and brace you, so nothing goes wrong in the city of Lego.
There's a rebel in her
At five years old, just try, in the healthiest way, to talk. At 14, just be nice and kind, pretend to be perfect, just do things quietly. The curse of adolescence: to go over what went wrong.
She doesn't miss the sound of 80s tragedy. A teenager setting out crying, she tries to declare; nobody wants it discussed. She insists on a voice. There's a rebel in her.
When I was young
When I was young my mother was good at talking, my father was the smell of formaldehyde.
Schools can break you. I turned to relationships - that's how we learn in life. My way is to bottle it up.
Later in life I don't have children. Later in life I sit on my sofa. I'm anxious.
I sit on the sofa, gurgling. I have a conversation with me.
Somewhere in between
The 70s taught that forcing people to change led to depression.
I lived through 1981. Defiant. Somewhere in between sweet and subversive. Apparently, I played a questionable boy, and then I turned to politics.
I wanted to have the words to talk to a therapist.
Feels like it's just you
To a child everybody feels older. You're walking into a cold wind of grown women who love to be like everybody else. The memory makes you feel empty in the wrong places. Your true muse would be transgressive, with no doubt of themselves. Soon you will trouble a person, and then another. Soon it will become hard, all the time. Your life wriggling in a binbag of haunted depth.
Silent for so long
Silent for so long, what you don't know literally inside you. People expected me to play the cello, while other girls were lazy.
I enjoyed studying, talking about books. I put an unhealthy amount of pressure on myself. I was trying to relieve what is distracting me.
I think about my own existence. Lying there, obsessed about a satisfying death.
The teacher I adore is someone who explains it's about liking yourself. It's a quality warmth of friends. I am enamoured.
Other people make it more uncomfortable. Don't like that I'm impressed. I feel awkward; I'm in conflict.
I watch moments burst. It's hard to remember the pleasure above all that.
Mid-teens are layered with power. To be different looks like lack.
There's a defined style, surface markers that could make you feel better about yourself. The Other is a rough, scratchy noise.
This is the downside to a limited world. Price to pay for yielding to their way.
All is revealed
At the beginning of my teens I was into a boyfriend, oddly performing as one of the girls. Trying on their role in fantasies of youth.
At their end, the memory of a breast wobbles. It makes perfect sense that bras burned. There's more to female sexuality.
Parents are going to affect you
Stories taught me to read. Parents are going to affect you.
My father was his job - in daylight hours. The truth isn't always being gathered.
I'd watched my dad; you can learn from mistakes.
I can't stop watching. I try to plot a different route.
I find I'm not sure what I actually feel.
An open letter
I haven't a dress, I can't look like a girl. I find t-shirts to crush my breast. I want no part of manliness. I am allowed imagination, to have a broad view of my name. Inside, I appear like I mean.
My mother could have no money. Instead, like a child to my father. He was able to be because he was smart. Looking back, I was in a constant state of outrage. The work culture needs to change. Being a mother and not being paid: it's hard to feel passionate about their world.
Is there something wrong with you? Other children are happy!
My sister called me an animal. At 17, I was not young.
Having a sister was catastrophic. Don't try it!
I didn't really understand who suffered. The result was a workaholic.
If you don't have time to think it's difficult to find happiness.
Not quite enough
There's a serious intensity which is not quite enough in Hereford.
Not quite the real thing. Mostly, there is only me, bleating:
Hereford is a tiny, simple place.
The life writers put into context. She is shown conversations, how women are drawn to women. That's why I can tell that will be me.
I play a woman working out problems. There's a lot of feeling. It's part dialogue, but mainly many, many thoughts and characters.