Elena has seven months, that’s how the French say it. Elena a sept mois. And with this milestone she has become delightfully content playing on the floor. She is strong enough now to hold herself up easily, easily enough to enjoy playing with things. She doesn’t tire so fast. She is starting to get around. The whole ordeal is less frustrating, I suppose.

I feel like I’ve come to a similar place in my writing. I’ve been working at it hard enough and for long enough that I feel I’ve earned some rewards. Those rewards are nothing concrete but I’d say are more important than publishing or representation. I feel a freedom and enjoyment from writing. I’m not hounded by worrying whether its good enough because I know it could be worse, it could be better, and if I keep at it then it WILL be better.

I’m also playing with others, which gets me out of my own head and helps with perspective. I went along to writers group last night – first time since before Christmas. It was great. Loads of people and everyone (nearly) had stuff to share, so I didn’t read my chapter, but even still – being a part of a creative community is just fab.

Which is oversimplifying a bit, of course. Because it is fab, but not JUST fab. People occasionally do and say silly things and mess each other around just like in any other community, and as we are artists, sharing our babies, we tend to being a bit sensitive. Or insensitive. Which is worse, perhaps.

But being there is important.

And the train ride, there and back, half an hour each way, is my alone time for the week. I read, or stare into space, or at strangers, or at Paris, and realise just how much I need a little time on my own.

Yesterday’s ‘small stone’ was concocted in my head during this alone time. (And then written while I waited for writers group to begin. And then edited just now.)

silver flecks
in the metro steps
shiny metal bars mark the edge
of each stair, fading
into filthy at the edges
but glowing in the centre
where our grubby shoes grip
as we trip up towards the city
of light. 

That’s my first paris stone. Not too tourist post-cardy, I hope.

I’ve sent my submissions off this week – to paris lit magazines, and to one other, and there a probably two other things I’m thinking of submitting to in the near future. Here’s hoping I’m strong enough to ‘play’ in that league!