Over to Louise...
My Writing Room by Louise Candlish
I’ve seen friends exchange gasps at the sight of my writing room, rather as they do when I pull my purse out of my bag and money, receipts, jottings of phone numbers and even edible matter spray all over the place. I’m very disorderly and this is just the way it is. I don’t think I can change my ways now.
My desk was recently seized from my nine-year-old daughter’s bedroom. She was supposed to be doing her homework on it but was discovered to be displaying her Moshling collection on it instead. So I ditched the sawn-off dining table I was using and took her furniture for myself.
I don’t know if you can make out the small round hole in the right-hand window pane behind my PC. A friend asked me if it was a bullet hole, but he was visiting from North London and had preconceived ideas about my semi-vicious neighbourhood south of the river. In fact, we don’t know what caused it, we inherited it and have never had the glass replaced (are you sensing a theme here?). Sometimes the cat sits on the other side and looks through the bullet hole at me, which is the closest I get to social interaction for much of the day.
Unfortunately, I find writing in this chaotic environment quite difficult – I know I would get on better if it were serene and ordered like my writer friends’. But believe it or not, my desk is actually deliberately stripped of distractions – there are no photos of family or friends, no phone. It hardly matters, though; even when writing is going well I manage to sabotage it by breaking off to congratulate myself. I’ll go and make a cappuccino or play some music as a nice reward for finally getting on with it. It’s all too reminiscent of my routines as a student over twenty years ago.
The PC is old and about to be chucked out. Sometimes, without warning, a dark shadow encroaches across the screen on the left, which, if it catches me in the wrong mood, feels horribly symbolic, maybe even defining.
The Day You Saved My Life is published in paperback on 19 July (Sphere, £6.99).