It was a while ago, but not that long ago. It was a wet winter night in a small town west of Manchester where writers had gathered in a community centre hut, heated by an ancient paraffin stove, to welcome my friend and mentor @liftwicetasted. She was there ( as a favour to a friend) to talk about her writing. She had a lot to say that was interesting and inspiring, she always does, she’s great cabaret. They warmed to her, one or two had even read her books but then came the questions, disappointing at first, anodyne and then, quite simply, out of nowhere – outrageous.  It came from a man, it came flying like a bullet from a double barrelled shotgun,  ‘So where do you find the time to do the housework and, what does your husband think?

 I learned something that night, something painful about our failure to change attitudes, about what I might face as a writer just starting out.

 If you think things have changed you’d be wrong. Writers who are woman are asked these kind of questions all the time; about, house, home, children… After all, how dare we? How dare we put writing before these?

 Well I say we do and we dare and we don’t give a fuck about the housework.

And today, being International Women’s Day,  l’m celebrating my dirty house and my messy life, and along with them, my novel Sometimes a River Song, which has earned me much love and some great reviews, and the 8,000 words of my new novel just sitting waiting for more…

Jackie Flemming