It’s been ages since my last newsletter and I can only apologise. I am starting to identify a pattern to the way I write novels. It involves months of being all consumed by this fictitious world that I’m writing about and the characters within it, writing all the hours I can.
God I can talk. I don’t know how long I could talk for if I didn’t have to stop. I always have to stop. I am a woman. Most of the time I feel able for the days, but when I am possessed by my hormones the hard surface cracks and hot lava bubbles up and out of me, hissing and snapping all around.
My eldest son is petrified of rats. He has seen three in his eight years of existence, and each sighting is branded into his memory and painfully recollected; one in his friend's back garden, one underneath a crisp packet in the bin at his school, and one at the edge of a stream in a park in Dublin. He sleeps in an attic room in our house and he stays up for hours past his bedtime, imagining every little scratch or tap that he hears is a rat crawling up the wall.
In the lead up to Christmas, I was less busy than I’ve been in years. I found myself on social media more and more. It crept up on me. Five minutes turning into twenty minutes while waiting for the kettle to boil. A whole hour of Instagram posting over lunch. My phone, face up beside my plate at dinner. For a long time I had a rule with my husband T that we leave our phones downstairs at night but by mid December I was bringing mine to my bed to scroll myself to sleep. One night soon after this, T handed me a book while we lay in bed.