Tonight is Bonfire Night in England, the fireworks are whizzing and popping to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. But here in rural Ireland all is deathly silent (which makes me feel a little sad and nostalgic for the Bonfire Nights of my youth). Silent, that is, except for the whizzing and popping inside my head: the fires of my mind are burning brightly. I’m bursting with stuff I want to write… a poem, two short fillers and at least three long feature articles are spinning round my head, to say nothing of the book idea…or two!

Fuelled by MSG from tonight’s Chinese takeaway, sugar from this afternoon’s kiddies birthday party, the joy that the weekend is here, the energy I’m getting from having a clean-ish, clear-ish (for us) house – thank you me – the joy of having the new copy of JUNO in my hands, the knowledge that the kids are in bed, the need to shout out about new ideas, wrongs to be put right… I am here, I am ready to write and write till the small hours and beyond! And would, except for my multiple times a night waking baby who makes me feel like an extra from The Night of the Living Dead.

Oh how I love to write. I make no grand claims for my style, or my originality, and few for my grammar, but oh to put fingers to keyboard, pen to paper, and blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, how wonderful, to read and research, and dream, and rant, and share and just be me on a page, to get my brain in gear again after a day of wiping bottoms, making sandwiches – cut just so, or else – reading stories galore and taxiing everyone here and there, suddenly I get to come fully alive and flyyyyyyyyyyyy, like free-wheeling down a hill on a bike, freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

But then of course there’s the editing and the crafting, and the researching statistics and getting quotes from “the experts” to back up my rant, and then crafting hard-selling emails to editors who don’t know me and couldn’t care less about my current passion – this week colouring in, last week fish oils, the one before home birth and female masturbation. And then the wait and wait and wait – did they get it, do they want it, will they pay, how much, when?

But oh how I love to write. My husband is dreaming of what our life might have been had we not had three kids in our twenties, where we might have ended up, what we might be doing. He is envious of a friend teaching out in China right now. I feel I’ve been there (well, Japan in our case) and done that. I don’t need to be anywhere else in the world, doing anything else, most of the time, but I would like a little shed in the garden, a writing shed, just me, my laptop, bookcase and silence, except for the gentle clucking of our hens. But that is still a couple of years down the road.

And so I desperately try not to wish away my time with our precious (needy and noisy) little children, who have given me this opportunity to be at home, to start out on my writing career gently and who provide most of my writing material. Our compromise is that Patrick is going down to four days a week so that I can take one day of breadwinning writing, and our children have the best (well in their eyes, the second best – he has no boobs!) childminder in the world, and I get to spread my writing wings a little further. For now there is no shed, just our shared office, though my desk is currently blocked off by an oversized telescope on loan from a friend. So here I am, curled up in an armchair. And I am writing. And it is wonderful! 
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