I am conforming to a stereotype. I have, slowly and subtly, turned into a mad elderly woman writer with cats. My eldest son says I am turning into a recluse. I am depressed. And I STILL haven't finished Murder Imperfect.
This, of course, may have something to do with the depression. It's a long time since I was diagnosed with clinical depression and it was due to external reasons (can't remember the official term now) so I'm guessing it might be now, as I am not naturally a depressive. But the symptoms are vile. And the sense of persecution is appalling.
I have some experience of the illness in family members, and I have learnt the hard way not to believe everything you see. Some people are brilliant at putting on the good face. I used to tell my children when they were young that if they pretended they were being good, that's how it would look to the general public. "Play at being good while you're with Auntie Thing, and she'll think you really are!" Perhaps this is not necessarily a good thing, although if you go about with a face like a kite and refuse to talk to anybody, those around you will walk away. Possibly for ever.
So I must get myself out of it. Now, don't you go saying "Pull yourself together, Lesley, look at what you've got to be grateful for." I know, I know. And I'm sure, when I've finished the book - nearly there, now - and started going out and seeing people again I shall return to my usual self.
But there, you see. I'm conforming to the picture of the tortured writer. Who knew?