The Carousel is the novel I am currently working on, and have been since the beginning of the year. Merry go round it is not. It is autobiographical, mostly. I thought it had reached a natural conclusion at the end of part two, but now I am into writing part three. Whoever said writing is never completed, only abandoned, was spot on. Whereas the writing of A Clockwork Apple took a lot of anger and transformed it into a plaything, The Carousel has required a connection to a lot of sadness. The writing of anything isn't just the writing of a journey but is a journey of itself. This as yet wannabe novel has lived with me through the death of my dad, in March, my mum's serious stroke in April (she is still in hospital) my starting a new and demanding job. Well, that's life, it goes on and on. And yet in this novel it goes round and round; trying to get off the carousel and onto the safety of the grass long enough to see where you are before getting onto the next carousel is the main theme. The story is centred on the Tully family, who are fractured, badly wounded but still never give up hope of personal change. Some of the family are only too aware of how they are in relation to most other things, a consciousness which breeds anxiety to keep trying to move forward. One of these is Evie, or Evelyn, who is haunted by the character of the same name in Joyce's The Dubliners. And yet Evie is struggling on an inner city council estate where literature mostly comes in the red top variety. I think about The Carousel and I panic about what, if anything, my family would make of it. One sister has already read the first half and couldnt wait to read more, despite her annoyance at the character based on her coming out with a racist remark; and no, we are not polite siblings for the sake of each others feelings. If anything we are much harder on each other when it comes to such endeavours. Anyway, The Carousel has suddenly become much harder than the Dad's illness and death scene. Why? Because part three dedicates some much needed space to the Mum - and then it gets really complicated.