That’s how I think of my life now, and I’ve always loved patchwork. Since leaving Radio 4 in February and embarking on the latest strand of my accidental career, I’ve been making a living in a variety of ways: the retreats; talks to various groups around and about; one day writing courses (the second, on memoir and family history is tomorrow); the odd voice-over job…a residue of my old life that’s trailing along behind me.

I’ve just started pushing out my latest novel. This book fills me with unguarded and dangerous joy. I know it’s good…I’ve just got to get it to the right person. I’ve embarked on the weird dating game that is finding the ideal agent. I feel sure …most of the time, one of the three agents I’ve chosen, will fall in love with “An Understanding.”

So, I’ve sent it out to them, this love letter, this cry from the heart, and now I’m checking my phone every few minutes for an invitation for a first date.

Exciting. The trouble is, you can’t make somebody fall in love with you, however much you’re convinced you’ve identified your soul-mate. Along with all my delirious optimism, I’m prepared …if you can really be fully prepared, for rejection.


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