I love the Welsh word hiraeth. Roughly translated it means homesickness. But more. Stronger. A huge longing. Sometimes things get lost in translation.
Hiraeth was the feeling I had this Christmas while we were working for a month in the USA. It was the tug of invisible threads pulling me home across the Atlantic. This was interesting for me as a writer currently focusing on sense of place. I felt literally out of place.
But this proved to be a positive experience as being away from home offered me a detached perspective. I believe that sometimes the lens can be too close in so that you can’t see what’s right in front of your eyes, just waiting to be written about. Distance gives objectivity and the ability to see the usual with fresh eyes.
The result was two new stories (‘Out of Season’ and ‘Christmas Crackers’) and I am happy that they will be part of my collection, The South Westerlies which I will submit for my PhD very soon.