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  • Writer's picturergharis

We're nearly there...

I can't believe it's been SO long since I posted on my blog. Lockdown lethargy perhaps? Hey, we're nearly there... nearly able to live a normal life...I'm so thankful I'll get to hug my family and friends, eat meals and laugh together, perhaps shed a few tears for those no longer with us, or affected by this ghastly virus.

I completed my MA in Creative Writing, with distinction. I shed a tear at that, as a lot of the material I submitted was deeply personal-experiences of autism and challenging situations- and I felt it redeemed those struggles. One of the stories I submitted for my MA was 'Doctor's Appointment,' a piece of creative non-fiction, about how kindness shown by our GP ( family doctor for my American friends) to my autistic daughter made such a difference to her and me. 'Doctor's Apppointment' is part of Sarah Sasson's Signs of Life Anthology. It was published yesterday. Here's the blurb:

'How do experiences of sickness and incapacitation change our bodies, who we are, and how we see the world? An international anthology shown from the point of view of patients, caregivers and family members'.

The cover, created by Melanie Van Kessel is evocative and quite moving. You can see more of her work here I hope you enjoy reading these stories. They are timely for our collective experience of life at the moment, I think.

Just a few thoughts on my novel. I've written 60 thousand words, about another 30 to go. I've put it away in the drawer for April, as per Anne Rainbow's suggestion-we write together on Zoom most mornings- fresh eyes in May! I'll then start editing as I think I may use a different POV, add in a modern twist, structural editing really needed!!

Here is my beloved Choo Choo checking my blog post for errors..

As always, reading goes alongside writing. Books on asylums/institutions are useful for research, so The Other Girl by Cesca Major-that cover *swoons*, The Girl Behind the Gates by Brenda Davies, Feigned Madness by Tonya Mitchell and After Alice Fell by Kim Taylor Blackmorehave been a joy to peruse. Books I've been reading for pleasure are After the Party by Cressida Connelly. Written about 1920s Phyllis' voice was so in tune with the era, class and times. Very understated, but I couldn't put it down! Of course there was Liane Moriarty the Husband's Secret and The Lying Room by Nicci French. Say no more. Such brilliant authors.

When I hit the send button, on the last day, I imagined Sarah giggling into her morning coffee and shaking her head. But, I just felt to send it and hope for the best. Self-belief is key to this writing life. Till next time x

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