Friday, March 21, 2008

At Home to Mr Shingles

My mother Esme looks old and ailing. I am pained by the stories in her face. 'Shingles' ought to be a playground game, or the name of a children's entertainer.

She hands me the tiny volume as I busy to leave:
Shakespeare's Merry Wives soft-leathered in miniature.

We both know why
, she says.

The job that saved her, all those years ago.

On the cover, four tiny words: The Play's the Thing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


It's glossy. There are stars! It looks far better than I thought it would.
I knew what it was by the postmark, but it was still thrilling.
It's slim but undeniably book-like: the paper smells new-made.
First timer, that's me!
It's probably my best, sweetest and quietest triumph.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Five Lines

What shall I do? I asked dearest Dee over drunken dinner (you can tell it was tonight, that's quite a bad sentence, alliteratively speaking). I love my blog; I love my blog readers. My blog is what taught me to take my writing seriously, it's the best thing I've done in years - and I am stretched so thin I don't know how to keep writing. What shall I do?

Write five lines, she said. Regularly. Commit to that. If you just write five lines...

Dee's good on ideas.

So here they are. Tonight's Five:

I have become one of those juggling people you read about in the papers.
Our lives have turned themselves upside down.
I feel as though I have grown limbs, each one pulled for a piece of my time.
I weep for the moments I no longer have with Anna-mouse.
And I .. ( go on, Liv, say it)... I love my new job.