People going on about their dreams is usually as dull as people talking about their minor maladies but bear with me.
I had a strange dream last night (this morning) -
I was waiting in a room full of people for my 'turn'. It was a classroom/waiting room scenario with people all bunched together, sitting in rows and an electronic, enlarged screen at the front of the room with lines of names that moved up as they were 'seen'.
Who were we waiting to be seen by? It was not quite clear. An authority figure, perhaps a vet? I say this because I had a mouse with me. A dark brown, quite skinny one, quite feisty and lively. I kept it in my hands for ages, trying to contain it, but after a long time waiting it began to escape and run over the desk and other people waiting began to notice it. Some recoiled, most tolerated it, because it was not meant to be freed, or really seen. I was meant to contain it and not inflict its presence on others. Some people are scared of mice or find them disgusting. The people closest to me knew it was there,  that I had it in my hands, but they largely tolerated it.
Eventually I made a small space for it, a temporary cardboard house that was not big enough at all, and to my surprise and relief it stayed there for a while, becalmed. I peeped in and saw it was sleeping. it was tired, poor thing.
But soon enough it broke out and was over the desk again, a rippling brown streak, a live wire.
I looked in desperation and impatience at the scrolling screen and saw my name was still not up there yet. It scrolled on to a whole new page of people, lines of names, and I realised we had longer to wait than I'd hoped. I noticed Will Self's name was there, and then I woke.

Pretty obvious really but I have been worrying about not writing this past month or so. There's a little voice that says 'that was it'. Was that it? I can make it so by stopping and ignoring the urge to write. It's easier to go and run 15 or 20 miles than write 1,000 words.
I've been reading a lot. A Girl is a Half Formed Thing has left me battered and altered (sounds melodramatic, but read it..) And Jim Crace, and Barbara Kingsolver, and Patrick Ness and Les Murray and Louise Gluck. And then I think, it's all very well reading but what about writing yourself? I make false starts and then I stop, or I put it off, and off, and off, by doing other more useful, earthly, practical things like shopping and cooking and cleaning and earning money, but all the time I am carrying round this dis-satisfaction with me and I can't bring myself to begin.
Yes I know, indulgent, but there it is...


So I've been sending stuff out into the world as well as reading. I applied this year (for the first time) for the Aldeburgh Eight, which is a week away writing in the autumn. I hope I get a place. I feel I need it (as of course others do).  If not, I will try again as I need to let that mouse go where it wants to go, wherever that may be.


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