I’m writing this on Tuesday, but you’ll be reading it days from now because I’m going off-line for a bit. I’m taking myself on a much needed short writing retreat. I have half a poetry collection burning a hole in my computer and a notebook full of notes and research for the next novel. I absolutely must sit myself down and write! My life has been so full of admin and teaching and travel that there hasn’t been any clear space in my head to write for ages, and it’s starting to get me a bit loopy.

In the past I’ve gone to the wonderful Anam Cara retreat in Ireland when I’ve gotten this way. But this time I can only squeeze in four days and so I’m trying someplace new. One of of my most trusted writing friends, Vanessa Gebbie, suggested I try Gladstone’s Library outside of Chester, so that’s where I’m headed. Looks fantastic, doesn’t it? And it better be because, for the first time, I’m feeling quite anxious about sitting down in front of that blank page. Wish me luck.