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Category Archives: newsletter

what I know about getting books published

This is a post from my newsletter, No Complaints. Sign up to get it in your inbox here. I got to feel the most like an author I ever feel this week, when I went to London for a meeting with my UK publishers and agents to begin the publicity process for A Body Made of… Continue reading

this is me trying

This is a post from my newsletter, No Complaints. Sign up to get it in your inbox here. There is a story about Oscar Wilde that I was told in my first week as an undergraduate that I am thinking about a lot at the moment. While he was a student at Oxford, Wilde became well… Continue reading

things I am doing and things I am not doing

I am not writing a novel. I feel like the wave of “lockdown is the perfect time to realise your grand creative vision!!” takes has crested now, but for the avoidance of doubt: I am barely able to concentrate for long enough spans to do the writing I’m already contracted to do. Taking on extra,… Continue reading

a brain fizzing combination of accomplishment and virtue

In the twelve days between 26 December 2019 and 6 January 2020, I went to the tip four times. The tip is what I call it because that’s the phrase my mother uses, although the sign by the gate reads “Household Recycling Centre”. Once inside, you drive around a horseshoe-shaped road configuration before ending up… Continue reading

working from home is great until it isn’t

When I first moved out of London — and don’t worry, this isn’t one of those “why I left London” diatribes, although I might write one of those one day, who knows — I was absolutely convinced that I didn’t want to work from home. I was excited to be freelance, yes, but I was… Continue reading

rummaging through all the paper

I feel like I have been taking notes on what I read since I was about 14, and that for all of that time I have been doing so very badly. For me, there has always been two reasons to take a note. Firstly, to pick one idea out of the many on the page… Continue reading

I feel a warm little glow of satisfaction

I read that piece in the Observer last weekend about how fear of a miserable, long, dark winter is mostly in the mind — I’m paraphrasing, but that was roughly it — so of course I have started watching Borgen again from the beginning. I saw this Danish political drama when it first started airing on the… Continue reading

when will we cry in public again?

I haven’t been on a train since early March, so naturally I’ve been daydreaming about public transport a lot recently. I’m lucky not to need to use it at the moment, of course, and I’m well aware that for every time I’ve spent a journey staring out of the window at a gorgeous view, there’s… Continue reading

the five podcasts I actually listen to

If you had told me back in 2007, when approximately 30 per cent of all my waking hours were spent trying to sync new episodes of The Bugle to my iPod Classic, that listening to podcasts would be a substantial part of my job I would not have believed you. Making a podcast was barely… Continue reading

how do you have a minor illness during a pandemic?

I didn’t write to you last Friday as I had planned. I was busy reenacting this scene: I had my first really bad migraine in several years. For me, it starts with sparkles at the edge of my vision, like a column of dancing dust motes is hovering just out of sight. Gradually, the sparkles… Continue reading