On that strange afternoon when I heard my novel had been accepted I sat in my study, Linda’s photograph looking down. When I thought of those who’d hurt me I felt vindicated; when I thought of those I’d hurt, I felt sad. The two cancelled each other out: I just felt numb.
They might not believe me but I never set out to hurt anybody – except, sometimes, myself. Nevertheless, sometimes people got hurt. All the pain, selfishness, friendships forsaken and lovers forced out by my obsession; was it really worth it? As I sat there, I had to remind myself I had no choice. There was nothing else I’d ever wanted to do. So: now what?
-From "This is the fierce last stand of all I am", first published in “The View From Here” magazine (2009), now published in Mark Piggott's fiction/non-fiction collection "Militant Factions" - available in paperback or Kindle from Amazon.