A Day in the Life: British Crime Writer Azma Dar #amwriting

by Azma Dar

The Secret Arts
7.24am Wake up on sofa in sitting position. Was trying to work on laptop last night and nodded off. Horrid. Make packed lunches and wake up everyone else.

8.15am Decide not to go into my fake office (a corner in the local Costa) to do some serious and necessary work, as house is in a complete mess following Eid, guests, weekend away at family barbecue, punctured tyre and fridge breakdown. Thankfully a new fridge arrived on Saturday but kitchen has been rearranged to accommodate it. Dining table is covered in teapots, presents, balloons and tins.

8.40am Take advantage of punctured tyre to get out of doing the school run and send kids off with husband. Read a few pages of lovely new crime novel, look at Next sale preview, then have a bath.

10.30am Behind schedule. Boil an egg and make toast. Eat it while watching B&B programme Four in a Bed. Woman whose rooms are named after famous detectives (Clouseau, Marple and I can’t remember who else) forgets to put sugar on breakfast table and runs out crying. Later, the others accuse her of being obsessed with cleanliness and tell her house is like an operating theatre. She cries some more.

11am Turn on laptop and read director’s notes on my play about vampires. Have a think. Go in kitchen and move the table around. Husband comes home and tells me he’s changing the tyre in time for me to pick up Daughter 2 from work at 12. I moan about having so much to do. He offers to go if I’ll make him some lunch in the meantime.

12pm Send an email about community storytelling project I’m doing, then put some more eggs on to boil, more breakfasty really, but he doesn’t mind. Daughter 1, on holiday from university, comes downstairs limping and complaining about sore foot. I tell her what I tell at least one of my kids daily- it’ll be fine, and advise putting on some Tiger Balm.

1pm The sofa where I was trying to work is now surrounded by people eating breakfast/lunch/watching news. I give up and go and wash some dishes and put the cups back on the relocated shelf.

2pm Daughter 2 wanders in and asks what’s for lunch. Not much (due to aforementioned dodgy fridge.) It reminds me that I have to go shopping. I look in the fancy new freezer and find a packet of some absurdly and curiously named Japamosas, so called because they are samosas covered in a Japanese style tempura batter. I fry them all and say here’s a weird lunch.

3.15pm Daughter 2 kindly picks up Daughters 3 and 4 from school. This has been a very luxurious day for school runs, as normally I can have up to six trips of dropping off and collecting them at different places.

4.30pm Dining table cleared and kitchen in reasonably tidy and normal state. Time for coffee and biscuits. I go upstairs and drink coffee while playing a soothing game of Blendoku on my phone. It’s supposed to be like Soduku but you have tiny coloured squares instead of numbers. Very pretty. I’m not really obsessed with things with strange hybrid names. I look at my notes for the community project and fall asleep for five minutes. Accept there won’t be any writing done now until later.

6.30pm Make dinner, load washing machine, more boring dishwashing.

11pm Turn on laptop again and write up blog post for community project. Write down list of things to do this week (mostly just copy down the same things every week because I haven’t managed to do them- next draft of play, few thousand words of new novel etc). Add a new item- make appointment with hygienist. I don’t want to think about this at night. Too creepy.

Twitter: @AzmaDar1
The Secret Arts on Amazon
The Secret Arts map and behind-the-scenes on The Booktrail

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