Saturday, 17 October 2020

From My Lockdown Notebook: Outsiderness,


I often say to writers that the only place for a writer is on the outside of everything. These days more than ever we are on the outside – of any aspiration to normal life. So it is no wonder that the following has emerged from a starting point in my notebook.

In this prolonged period of isolation my notebook is my best friend. In it I have scrawled impressions, thoughts, and feelings which turn up in an almost random fashion. Occasionally I turn the pages, pick up an idea and work on it in a more focused fashion. Working and moulding this into something more distinct and possibly distinctive is a writer’s active pleasure.




Being the third child of four

I was bred to be an outsider.

Being the new child from a far town

I was labelled outsider.


Talking with the wrong tone

I was seen as a verbal outsider.

Being the cleverest child in class

made me an outsider.


Working alongside men

I was the female outsider.

Telling stories made me

a mendacious outsider.


Living with a man who doesn’t see

I have become an invisible outsider. –

Learning to make myself comfortable

In this ultimate containment.


Now, living through to old age

I am an intimate outsider, even

the ultimate outsider,

to others on the planet..

So anyway  now I relish 

my role as outsider 

at the centre of my own world.



Also see my novel  The Bad Child 

which emerged from these same feelings of Outsiderness some years ago.

  I find I am nothing if not consistent.


'As her life begins to unravel Dee tells us her own story - how she begins to rescue herself  from her own life. But she’s not alone on her journey. Travelling with her is a woman who throws pots and a dog called Rufus. Then there are Dee's drawing books and the characters she's met in the stories she has read…'

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