Communal eating and California

Ten of us went to California in early summer. We stayed in Inverness, an hour north of San Francisco, nestled along Tomales Bay, half way up Mount Vision. In the day, the sun blared and we swum at Shell Beach. We drank beer by a lake up the mountain, found down a path of over-grown… Continue reading Communal eating and California

How to write a novel

I wrote the first draft of my novel in six months, in an obsessive haze. I remember sitting at my kitchen table in the summer and staring from the fruit bowl to my laptop, not moving out of my chair for eight hours. I'd go and have a coffee with a friend after a dose… Continue reading How to write a novel

London, life

London’s call comes like a thud. It starts with coconut milkshakes in Marylebone’s wet, grey station, and ends with rubbing lavender between your fingers on a Shoreditch side street, imagining you are somewhere else. You’re surprised, that such a natural thing exists here, just a corner’s turn from Brick Lane. A thing you thought would… Continue reading London, life

Cheese toasties and boredom

The ultimate insult this year might be that you are a stale ham sandwich sort of person. That damning character assasination is one I've heard before, evoking not just the recent processed meat scandal, but a limp pink slip between pale bread we all had as children, the ultimate in stultifying sandwiches. So what is… Continue reading Cheese toasties and boredom

Hidden figures

My mother named me Rebecca after the Du Maurier novel of the same name. I always thought this was a marvellous literary feat until primary school, when the Hitchcock film version was televised and my best friend watched it. She called me afterwards, traumatised by “those holes” in the boat – a plot point I… Continue reading Hidden figures

On criticism

"People say my writing is dreadful, pretentious, self-seeking shit – they say it a lot. Other people say my writing is brilliant, beautifully crafted and freighted with the most sublime meaning. The criticism, no matter how virulent, has long since ceased to bother me, but the price of this is that the praise is equally meaningless. The positive… Continue reading On criticism