This week, I’m back.

I’m back from Vietnam! It was wonderful. And I barely did any writing while I was there.

Nevertheless, here is the news.

  1. Christmas was brilliant! Our tree was splendidly crappy, a few presents were wrapped in scarves and I met several of the guests for the first time. It just wouldn’t be Christmas otherwise. The food was delicious. I went jumping off the pier with my teenage cousins. Nothing caught fire. It was the best.
  2. While I was away, my guest post for my Irish keypal, playwright Neil Sharpson, appeared on his review blog Unshaved Mouse. It’s about the 2012 film of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax. Due to a long-running gag about Australian wildlife, my reviewer persona is an anthropomorphic huntsman spider. Have a read if you’re interested in my thoughts on uncomfortable conclusions in fiction, and why giving a story a happy ending can be the worst thing you do to it. And browse Neil’s reviews while you’re there; he’s pretty hilarious.
  3. We were so busy in Vietnam that I only wrote four not-quite-poems and a couple of ideas for my novels.

I did read about six books, though, one of which was Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood. There’s a concept in there which I found pretty interesting: that of a person being in a ‘fallow state’, like a field out of season. In the book, it’s a negative thing. There’s this cult who call depression ‘lying Fallow… the soul refertilising itself’, and they just let a patient with serious depression sit around stoned out of her mind all day.

But as applied to the imagination, I found the idea intriguing. That’s pretty much what I did the whole time we were on holiday. After a year of writing nearly every day, I scarcely wrote at all for three weeks. Instead, I lived in the world around me. I clambered through caves. I tasted weird and delicious specialties. I fell off a bike headfirst into the Mekong River. And all that time my imagination was refertilising itself, the narratograph cooling off. Now I’m back, refreshed and hungry to write again. Bring on 2017.


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