My son turned into a real person the other day. Up until then, he had been a baby, someone who needed care and constant attention, someone who could and would pick up anything from the ground and put it into his delicate little mouth.
Then, just shy of his third birthday, he apologised for the first time. ”Sorry daddy,” he said after an act of particular naughtiness. Two simple words, but there was something shattering in his tone. It took me ages to realise that he was expressing actual remorse, that although he had probably been taught to say sorry after doing the wrong thing and this was mostly a learned response, there was also hiding in that tone a feeling of genuine regret. I wasn’t sure whether to be proud, or devastated that the world had already taken the first little piece of his innocence away.
Bill Hicks once said that a person wasn’t really a person until they were in his phone book. I think a child becomes a person when they first learn the meaning of sorry.
It would be impossible for me to do justice, in words, to the beauty and wonder of Milk Fever.
I had written down some thoughts and feelings before I read the stunning final chapter, but then when I was finished I realised, behind many tears and a thickening chest and throat, that I would have to write down how it made me feel first, then maybe try to express any thoughts or feelings about the writing.
It has been a long time since I wondered what life could possibly mean if there was no God. Finishing Milk Fever, I feel like someone has pushed me down the pathway towards understanding. I realise that the feelings, confusion and disjointed thoughts I have had for a long time about life’s energy and the awe-inspiring magic of the world have finally been put into words, laid out for me like a map to my own heart. In this amazing, profound book. And for that I can only express my gratitude to the universe. And to Lisa.
Milk Fever is elegant, painfully insightful and aware. It is filled with dazzling and effortless imagery that takes your breath away with its acuity. Almost every sentence is like a jewel waiting to be discovered and savoured, whether it be about a decrepit country supermarket or the intricate workings of the human heart and soul.
It pulses with life and wonderfully drawn characters.
It is moving, poignant and funny.
I feel privileged to, I hope, call its creator my friend.
She stands centimetres away, eyes flashing. Champagne dress hugs her figure. We are in a fairground of movement, light and noise, but there is nobody.
I am in a dream. I take her fingers in my palm, edge closer. She radiates loveliness. Our bodies not quite touching, but nothing in the world could separate them.
If you were stranded on a desert island and you knew no one would ever read anything you wrote, would you go on writing?
Someone has come into my life. She says mysterious things, then is gone. She is intriguing.
She is also exquisitely talented, in so many parts of life. A beautiful writer (her debut novel, Milk Fever, is published next week), an accomplished musician, a poised and intelligent human being. Which begs the question: how could she ever be remotely interested in a world weary news editor?
In my work, I read thousands of words every day, words describing chaos and pain. They overwhelm me, cloud my judgement. Can I find the words for joy and love and beauty to conquer that outside world? Are they still inside me? I hope so…
She presses the last petals of her beauty between the pages of her days
Never seeing that the poison she absorbs is swathing the inner child within.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of an optimistic heart must be in want of a woman who loves to watch Jane Austen adaptations on television.