It's been two years since I handed in my MA dissertation and seventeen months since Seren was born; in that interval I've published a chapbook, started running writing workshops, redrafted the (still unfinished) novel, which I've now put in hibernation, pending a cool re-read in a few months, written and published a handful of flash pieces, and performed at a bunch of spoken word events around Manchester (this Thursday, come see me at WORD>PLAY in Didsbury!). It's been tiring and busy, but rather aimless, too. So it's time for the next phase - more focus, more serious-writing-face, more library-time. So, I've applied and been accepted as a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. I enrolled last week (student card and Young Persons' Railcard pocketed) and this week I'll have my first supervision meeting. It's a little scary and very exciting. I'll be researching short story sequences, or composite novels, and narrative theory (narratology, a bunch of formalist and post-structuralist works, discourse theory, etc), and I'll be writing my own set of interlinked short stories. I blogged frequently about my MA a couple of years back, and I expect I'll blog about the PhD too, but it's not as structured a programme, obviously, as the modular MA set-up, so posting won't be as consistent as it was then. But I'll try to keep you filled in, unless it's so boring you all beg me to stop. In the meantime, I better get back to watching Mars Attacks with Seren. She just loves to see the aliens slaughter everyone. Her evil laugh is a work of art.