Monday, 21 May 2012

It's that old devil...

Ok so I'm experiencing a familiar feeling... self doubt.  I am beginning to think, 'who am I trying to kid, I'm a stay at home mum and I think I can make a career out of writing!' but you know I guess it was going to happen.  I honestly don't think I've had this feeling so far in my journey writing but it's like reality has hit home. 

I've always been very determined, tenacious I suppose, and this has helped me get through life so far.  I've always had this need to prove something and feel like I have achieved something I can be proud of. The problem, with someone like me, is that I'm constantly trying to find that itch that I can't quite reach! 

Then I remembered wanting to send a letter to Blue Jeans magazine, when I was 10 years old, desperate to win the star letter in an edition of the magazine that I loved.  So I wrote a story based around something I knew.  It is said 'write about what you know' so I did.  My older sister, Lynda, had once lost a tooth and placed it expectantly under her pillow.  In the morning she was hopeful for some monetary gift to make the gaping hole in her gum line worthwhile.  Instead of a shiny, gold coin (let's be honest in those days probably silver!) she got a note.  It was handwritten and read something like this: "Thank you for your tooth however we don't have any coins at the moment so we will have to owe you." It was signed 'the Hairy Fairy'.  I wrote a story about it and sent it to Blue Jeans and forgot about it until my mum called me over to say I had a letter.  It was from Blue Jeans magazine and I had won the star letter!!!!!  I had been awarded £5, which was a lot of money in those days especially to a 10 year old!  The pride I felt when my mum took me to the bank to cash the cheque was amazing!  They wanted to change the story slightly which I never quite understood.  They added, 'my Dad's got a big, red beard.'  As if this would explain somehow that he was a hairy fairy - seriously!  Mr Bailey, my teacher at the time, made me read it aloud to the class!

I guess I am learning that you can write about what you don't know as long as there is some basis that you do know about and I guess there is something of me in Anastasia.  The first two shortest stories, Anastasia and the horses of Boughton Lodge and Anastasia and the Mounted Regal Rescue, introduce a girl that I knew could develop into someone special and by the time she reaches Anastasia and the Russian Field she certainly has experienced and learnt a lot.  I too am developing all the time and also learning all the time and realising that you can't just write a story - you need to research, research, research and research some more.  Imagine if I'd had the Internet in those days the time I may have spent looking up the tooth fairy!

Now I must google 'what is the going rate for a tooth these days?' in readiness for Ella's first tooth loss. 

So I guess I need to take a page out of Anastasia's book and embrace my new challenge.  The ironing can wait!

1 comment:

  1. I love this story. It just goes to show that if you want something bad enough you can get it. Hopefully Linda got her money from the Hairy Fairy in end too. Be patient with yourself. You are building the foundations of your empire right now.