Got a bit draughty…

Next draft of the novel.

I’ve had a nice window to read after completing the last draft of Return to Me. Having a very last pass (she says) where I’m trying to really sort the voice. Reading helps. Anyone else seriously struggle to read when actually writing?!

Return to Me

Sarah Dobbs

Abduct: to carry off or lead away (a person) illegally and in secret or by force, especially to kidnap.

Let’s talk about beginnings. Let’s put on this memory as an old, adored record. Sit within this envelope of time, hear the static prickle and that bubble of sound widen. It incorporates you. You feel the breath of this memory whiskering over all your insides, a lover’s playful, trailing finger. And your skin? It will tickle, from the inside out. You hear the distant tractor, like an afterthought, the wash of further traffic that leads back to the arteries of north east road networks, that huge Sainsburys and to do lists, ‘I shoulds’ and Monday mornings.

But for now you are here, where we were, before it all began.You see a brilliant autumn sun soak and star the dark behind our closed lids. Its light feather of warmth on waiting skin.

Here is the place we will always choose to rereat to, squeeze out all our guilt, expect the memory to be as pure, as anticipatory.

We are banked within a sloping farmer’s field, dense with the scent of grass that is almost hay. We’ve taken pictures of ourselves lolling in the sun. Neither of us looks our best – we are scratchy-eyed and dehydrated, there are tightening sore throats and yet we are jubilant; there has been too much sex. Our limbs are plaited, the bones jelly within, our eyelids will struggle to raise. You could bake us like this. We’ve attempted a crossword and laughed at our competitiveness, the paper rustles, a restless flicker.

‘Newton’s God,’ one of us murmurs.

At the time, though you can spot it, it does not occur to us to imagine that we will never get time like this again.

The day is blue and gold. Let’s say this is where we begin.


Hold onto that, the thought of a child so straightforward and kind. She scared me sometimes, with that dark-eyed observation. But you’re not supposed to think that, and this wasn’t one of those days.

That cookies not gonna eat itself, Muna says. Sunflowers are heel-ee-oh-trop-ic. Cornstarch is a polly-mer. That’s cornflour in English, mummy. Not flower like the rose. Remember who toad ya. Are you eating your cookie, mummy. I want some pop. Can I have a mermaid when I’m six?

Iain Rowan, author of ‘One of Us’, Free Culture Research Seminar

New Approaches To Storytelling In The Digital Age

From poetry on Instagram to Twitter short stories, moving graphic novels on Vine and seeing who reads your guerilla stories…social media offers new opportunities to get your prose, poetry and other work in front of new readers. This workshop will explore the possibilities and get you creating.

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Free event but please email to register interest.

Iain Rowan is the author of One of Us and the director of the creative writing strand of the Sunderland Literature and Creative Writing Festival.

When: February 10th, 2017, 12pm-1pm

Where: Priestman Building, 115