About the writer

the-writer

I'm Jo

Everyone who already knows me will be entirely unsurprised to discover I'm the brains behind this particular, odd operation.

There is only so long that anyone with an excitable mind and hair like a dandelion clock can go on before accidentally falling down a rabbit hole or two, or starting a mysterious postal club.

And so here we are.

I'm a writer but have been something of a frustrated one, needing to support myself and my son by doing corporate jobs I don't particularly enjoy.

Letters from Wonderland is my rebellion.

Now, I'd love to claim that my letters hark from me striding strange lands in an impressively dashing way, but, as most of you know, that one is a bit beyond me.

Thanks to a lifelong, complex and debilitating disability, I spend my days mostly confined to a tiny two-up-two-down terrace in the middle of a very scruffy, built-up neighbourhood. I can't walk far and struggle with unpredictable cognitive, neurological and vascular hiccups, so adventures outside have to be rather carefully managed.

I know all this doesn't sound at all in keeping with the enigmatic heroine and fascinating great-aunt you were hoping for, but don't give up on me just yet.

You see, curiosity saved my life.

It is very hard to have very little control over your body or your world and not lose hope or confidence. And I have, frequently, if I'm honest, but curiosity keeps pulling me back.

Even when things feel very, very dark, I catch myself thinking, "I wonder what will happen tomorrow? Who might I meet? What might I see? Or learn? ANYTHING could happen." And so I wait around to find out.

Curiosity is just hope in another guise, I have discovered.

It also means that despite living a very small, isolated, unremarkable existence, I still manage to find some sort of Wonderland, every day. Like Carroll's, it is sometimes dark and uncompromising and honest and raw, but it is mine.

I fall into the same little patch of sky through my bedroom window. I fall into books and learning and ideas. I fall into people and stories and connections. I fall into questions, and a thousand impossible things (because six was unambitious, frankly), and I write about them all.

I am not particularly qualified to do any of that - hell, I struggle to remember how to make a cup of tea some days - and it gives me no power or authority or status because I'm a bit of a nobody, but I do it anyway, and it makes me happy.

Given that most of us are a little lost, I thought, maybe, curiosity might give you some light in the dark, too?

That's why I started Letters from Wonderland.

I hope you enjoy it.

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