I work and write in the one room in our house with no name — it’s an office / playroom / storage space. Originally it was the back of the house, but a large extension by the previous owner means it’s one of those funny sandwiched rooms, in-between the two where most of family life happens — the living room and the open plan kitchen dining area.
It lacks natural daylight. But at the start of lockdown, when I realised I would be spending a lot of time working from home in it, I re-arranged the furniture. Now when I sit at my desk, I have a clear view of the garden to my left and all my children’s clutter (including a table tennis lockdown purchase) behind me.
Above my desk is Lowry’s ‘At the seaside’ painting; I find periodically looking up from the screen and picturing myself paddling in the cold sea waters calming. I missed the waves of the sea during the pandemic.
On my desk, I have a notebook for jotting down random thoughts and ideas for stories, headings or characters. The notebook’s tactile cover is a picture of Van Gogh’s ‘Almond Blossom’, which I think is a bit like me when it comes to writing fiction — awakening and starting to bud. These scribblings are usually accompanied by a frothy cappuccino from our coffee machine in the kitchen (another lockdown purchase).
At weekends, I pack away my work laptop and write for pleasure on my iPad; which I love, because I can get up and write on the move around the house if the noise levels coming from the kitchen dictate it. On those rare occasions in this country when it’s not raining, too hold or too cold, I write in my ideal space — the garden.
I write creatively in bursts around work and family life, mainly short stories and I have several in flow at different stages. I write about different types of everyday relationships; I’m really interested in human connections and joining up the dots between us. I love the brief escapism short stories provide readers in our time-pressured frenetic lives. And I love the narrow windows of escapism I get from writing them.
I recently had my first short story published by Fairlight Books. Now I’ve dipped my toes in the water, I’m ready to wade further into the waves of writing!