This week I started my new (part-time) job at the University of Sheffield. We still live in Glasgow, so at the moment the commute is kind of long, especially when it’s snowing. But soon we’ll be moving house: TM’s eighth move since we met, and my seventh. (The first was his traumatic move across the East River, still referred to as “when you made me live in Brooklyn.”)
We’ve found a flat to rent in Sheffield in a Victorian factory, overlooking a very small branch of Porter Brook – where it whooshes over a culvert – and the derelict buildings on its far bank. The flat may or may not be big enough for us, but the ceilings are high, and I can walk to my office. TM has grand plans for the space that I fear means a return of the shelf-building sickness.
My story-reading project – one a day – is ongoing. More men in this batch, I see.
25: ‘Solitude’ by William Trevor (2004)
26: 'A Short Trip Home’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1927)
27: ‘A Christmas in Wyoming’ by Ellen Gilchrist (2002)
28: ‘The Lover’ by Andre Dubus (1991)
29: ‘De Daumier Smith’s Blue Period’ by J.D. Salinger (1948)
30: ‘Worlds Apart’ by Penelope Fitzgerald (1983)
31: ‘The Umbrella’ by Hanif Kureishi (1999)
32: ‘The Dog of the Marriage’ by Amy Hempel (2005)
33: ‘Cheers’ by Helen Simpson (2001)
34: ‘An Unfinished Story’ by O. Henry (1906)
35: ‘This Nib for Hire’ by Woody Allen (2007)
36: ‘Blood Soup’ by Stuart Dybek (1980)
37: ‘A Final Report’ by William Maxwell (1963)
38: ‘Miss Lora’ by Junot Diaz (2012)
Hopefully securing the flat in Sheffield and getting settled at the university will put an end to my anxiety dreams, which are ridiculous right now. This morning I woke up convinced I’d a) stood up two friends for dinner and the theatre in Harrogate, just because I couldn’t finish putting on my make-up; and b) missed a crucial deadline for a Listener feature about a graphic novel by Russell Brand.
In other news, my latest YA novel, UNBROKEN, has been published in the US by Scholastic. It’s a sequel to RUINED, and it just got a nice review from Kirkus.
If there’s anyone under eighteen reading this blog, please note that my second YA novel, DARK SOULS, is not a sequel to anything. It’s set in (old) York, not New Orleans. Will it get its own sequel? Maybe. First I have to move house.