#reasonstobecheerful – and grateful too

Beautiful, useful and grateful?Being grateful is a rather fine feeling, and one I’m glad to be experiencing. So this is a post of thank yous –

– to Birkbeck for the experience of being a MA student (and I’m trying not to think about the final result at all until it happens – I’m not a student now, I’m a writer, so buckle down …), and of developing me not just as a writer but as a self-critic, a reader and possibly even a human being (better late than never, eh?)

– to Victoria and Deena for reading all those drafts and keeping me going, and especially to Dave for believing in me more than I did to start with

– to Arts Gateway Milton Keynes for inviting to read at their Arts Mingle event. I probably wasn’t expecting a cinema full of people listening in rapt silence, but I certainly wasn’t expecting so many fascinating conversations with some of them afterwards (nor to be tipped off about BooQfest this weekend and the chance to hear Neil Bartlett read)

– to the editors and production team of Mechanics Institute Review 11. Kieran Falconer has written a fine blog post about everything that goes into producing an anthology of original literary fiction – a much harder and more involved process than most might imagine. Especial thank yous to Heidi Midtun Larsen for editing my story so painlessly and sensitively, and to Sue Tyley for the scrupulous and diligant copy-editing – and to Luke Terry for one of the only photos of me I can bear to look at (it’s that one above)

… and to Rebecca Rouillard and the rest of the Hubbub Team, as I’ll be reading an extract from Switzerland (the story included in MIR 11) at the Hubbub event on Monday 13 October, along with Antonia Reed, Jacquelyn Shreeves-Lee, Walter Jones, Jennifer Whitehead and Rebecca herself – wonderful writers all, an a truly diverse evening of talent. Come along and hear me say thank you in person – it’d be great to have the opportunity.

I promise to keep writing. Hold me to it: some of you’ve seen what I’m like with the washing up …

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