I’ve been asked to write a chapter for a book on the short story – a project put together by writer Vanessa Gebbie. My chapter , ‘Building a World’, is mostly about writing and research. Oh, and cakes. I’m having fun with this… In another life I am a builder, and wear a leather belt that has deep pockets filled with hammers, pliers, chisels. I suppose this would have to be not just another life, but an alternate universe in which the mere fact of women working on building sites was neither a cause for alarm nor a media event.