Cyril Connolly said there is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall. In my case, the size 10 trainers, the deflated football, and the roaring of the Nintendo Wii. I know I've said before that I find inspiration for my erotica from what I see and hear around me, conjuring up romantic scenes on railway stations, abandoned shoes outside hotel rooms, gorgeous underwear trailing out of shopping bags... but it's half term and what I see and hear around me is a pile of ironing, my sons squabbling over the logistics of a Hobbit Lego figure playing Quidditch with a Harry Potter figure, and an onion half chopped. How to recapture my mojo, on the page at least? I leave the iron steaming gently on the board and go to the bookshelf, run my fingers lovingly across the smooth spines of books that I have written or contributed to. And wonder how I got the energy to write those short stories about a student and her lecturer, the a Sassenach wedding guest in the Scottish Highlands seduced in the heather by a real Scotsman, that novel about the naughty nuns' cavorting in their convent. Scotland, Venice, Oxford. They all seem so far away. And yet any day now I will get my editor's 'suggestions' for improving the draft of my second book of the Trilogy, and a deadline will loom. What to do?
For now, there is nothing for it but fill the empty casserole dish in front of me so that my family can eat while I nip out for a well needed prosecco with an old mate. Perhaps between us she and I, in the short hour or two we have to natter, can come up with some fresh ideas, or old, decadent memories,