For the last few months, I’ve been a busy bod. Not only have I been looking after my tiny son, designing gardens and trying to keep myself sane and fed, but I’ve also had two writing works in progress.
One of them is my short story collection, which I have mentioned fleetingly on this blog, and which is well underway. Like my novel, ‘The Artemis Effect’, it is loosely defined as science fiction, but with more stories leaning perhaps more towards the quirky than traditional scifi. No doubt I’ll blog about it more as it develops and grows.
The other is a project which doesn’t really fit into the loose themes I’ve established in this blog, which is why I haven’t chatted about it before. However, it is really stretching me as a writer and so that journey could be worth discussing.
The new work is an anthology, bringing together many talented writers and artists. In a complete departure from my other work, all the pieces will be discussing motherhood, in its glorious complexity and with frightening honesty. The journey started when I became a mum, and found that it’s a relationship that is dealt with very shallowly in popular media. Now that I have a baby, apparently I am only now interested in nappies, shopping and my post baby body. Other women I have discussed this with tell me that the conversation doesn’t really improve as our children grow.
The more I started to look into it, the angrier I became. The density of information which descends, most of it unsubstantiated, seems calculated to bewilder and pressure mothers. That the best role model we can aspire to is apparently a ‘yummy mummy’ I find patronising and frankly rather offensive. The genuinely complex feelings we have around raising children are sometimes blanketed by a sentimentality which stifles a real discussion.
So – we’re trying to put together an alternative viewpoint. I’m gathering work from women with a whole range of different experiences, from all stages of the motherhood. There will the essays, artwork, poetry and interviews.
I’m learning lots of new skills, and it looks like it will be a hell of a ride, rather like motherhood itself, but both will no doubt be eventful journeys!