Looking back over the writing year there have been some high spots and some low spots.
Highs would include working with Douglas on the Kafka’s Aunt letters. I have loved that. And the publication of Words from a Glass Bubble, and subsequent nice happenings and some lovely reviews. And focussing on poetry, getting a few small hits with that. And spending time at West Cork Lit Fest, and being invited to Frank O Connor Fest and meeting Jhumpa Lahiri. And my week at Anam Cara. And of course, hearing the brilliant successes of the Workhouse inmates. Fab! And last but not least, my teaching. Especially the residency at Felpham with year 10 students. A real high.
But for the first time, lows have overtaken the highs.
I am severely out of pocket, having lost £600 to the MPhil disaster, plus whatever bed and breakfasts and travel up to Cardiff costs. I have done as many readings as I can possibly do, each one costing train fares and so on.
I and several other writers have been treated appallingly by a local writing association, who commissioned workshops then have not paid us. I am owed a lot of dosh from them, and will not see it.
I have seen my book photocopied instead of being bought, for reading groups.
All this leaves me on a real low, which I can do nothing about, just acknowledge it, and move on. This blog was always about telling the truth and not hiding the bad bits to make myself look shiny when things are not always so.
I am looking forward to Christmas with my family, here. And then a six week break to Antarctica with Chris.
Happy Christmas, Happy New Year. Lots of Good Writing to everyone, and do treat each other well. It's a cold enough world out there.