live with mermaids

March 2, 2019

The curious are always in some danger. If you are curious you might never come home, like all the men who now live with mermaids at the bottom of the sea.

Or the people who found Atlantis.

Jeanette Winterson
Oranges are Not the Only Fruit

trees turning into women

February 5, 2019

There are plenty of legends about women turning into trees but are there any about trees turning into women? Is it odd to say that your lover reminds you of a tree? Well she does, it’s the way her hair fills with wind and sweeps out around her head. Very often I expect her to rustle. She doesn’t rustle but her flesh has the moonlit shade of a silver birch. Would I had a hedge of such saplings naked and unadorned.

Jeanette Winterson
Written on the Body

to kiss and stroke

January 31, 2019

Making love in the afternoon is completely different in summer and winter. To begin as the afternoon light is fading, to wake up, warm and heavy, when it is completely dark, to kiss and stroke the shared invisible body, to leave the person you love half asleep while
you go and open wine…

Jeanette Winterson
Why I Adore the Night

Ten Rules For Writing Fiction

December 14, 2018

1. Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom.

2. Never stop when you are stuck. You may not be able to solve the problem, but turn aside and write something else. Do not stop altogether.

3. Love what you do.

4. Be honest with yourself. If you are no good, accept it. If the work you are doing is no good, accept it.

5. Don’t hold on to poor work. If it was bad when it went in the drawer it will be just as bad when it comes out.

6. Take no notice of anyone you don’t respect.

7. Take no notice of anyone with a gender agenda. A lot of men still think that women lack imagination of the fiery kind.

8. Be ambitious for the work and not for the reward.

9. Trust your creativity.

10. Enjoy this work!

Jeanette Winterson
Ten Rules For Writing Fiction
Guardian February 2010

T. S. Eliot helped me

December 13, 2018

I had no one to help me, but then T. S. Eliot helped me.

So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language – and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers – a language powerful enough to say how it is.

It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place.

Jeanette Winterson
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

strangle it and move on

November 30, 2018

When we killed what we were to become what we are, what did we do with the bodies? We did what most people do; buried them under the floorboards and got used to the smell. I’ve lived my life like a serial killer; finish with one part, strangle it and move on to the next. Life in neat little boxes is life in neat little coffins, the dead bodies of the past laid out side by side. I am discovering, now, in the late afternoon of the day, that the dead still speak.

Jeanette Winterson
Gut Symmetries

expect her to rustle

September 22, 2018

Some people are magic, and others are just the illusion of it

There are plenty of legends about women turning into trees but are there any about trees turning into women? Is it odd to say that your lover reminds you of a tree? Well she does, it’s the way her hair fills with wind and sweeps out around her head. Very often I expect her to rustle. She doesn’t rustle but her flesh has the moonlit shade of a silver birch. Would I had a hedge of such saplings naked and unadorned.

Jeanette Winterson
Written on the Body

Destroy

September 9, 2018

I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me.

Jeanette Winterson
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

time always ends

May 26, 2018

cat and bird

Frighten me? Yes you do frighten me. You act as though we will be together for ever. You act as though there is infinite pleasure and time without end. How can I know that? My experience has been that time always ends. In theory you are right, the quantum physicists are right, the romantics and the religious are right. Time without end. In practice we both wear a watch. If I rush at this relationship it’s because I fear for it. I fear you have a door I cannot see and that any minute now the door will open and you’ll be gone. Then what? Then what as I bang the walls like the Inquisition searching for a saint? Where will I find the secret passage? For me it’ll just be the same four walls.

Jeanette Winterson
Written on the body

guiding lights

February 8, 2018

I had lines inside me, a string of guiding lights. I had language.

Jeanette Winterson
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal