At the risk of repeating myself (what me?) I thought I’d share how I have always loved writing. And reading voraciously. As a child, I looked forward to getting a writing set for Christmas, complete with make believe stamps, to write my Thank you letters. And loved playing school with my toys, making them tiny writing books to practice their handwriting and learning their letters. Letters were my first love of writing and keeping a diary, and later journals. In my late 30s, keeping journals helped me through serious life changes and I poured out my heart and soul in them. These days, my journals are more fun, and like scrap books of souvenirs and poems about trips, and occasions. I also keep spiritual diaries, full of Bible verses and lessons I have been learning about life.
I discovered I enjoyed writing poetry which seemed to just spring from inside me about 2000 maybe? Although I do remember trying to help my young brother with a rhyme once for his homework. I had poems printed in Anthologies by Forward Press, including one about the terrorist attack on the twin towers. My poor daughter had to endure me reading four of my poems at her wedding, (2002) although she did collate and print the booklet with them in. Blogs were my next venture, and as many of you have heard, my youngest daughter set up Blog sites for me twice, but I always forgot their title, password and where to find them. Although all that info was written down and kept somewhere safely. So in Lockdown, I set one up myself. Doing what I always told others as a teacher, Mum and friend, that by doing it myself, I would learn and remember. And I have.
And then I joined our U3A writing group, and started enjoying writing short stories. Even during the Pandemic when we couldn’t meet, I looked forward to the homework set monthly, with suggestions, titles and a captive audience. Some of my stories and a poem or two, have been included in the Whittlesey Wordsmiths Collections of stories (available on Amazon) as well as children’s stories which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m always intending on collating some of my stories, poems into a book of my own, and have offers of help from the group, but haven’t got a ’round tuit’ yet.
I thought I would share the latest piece written last week-
Writing group 1/12/2022
Picture prompt of a snowy Scottish scene with a croft
Group exercise, 20 mins writing
The car coughed and spluttered, juddered and slid to a halt against a tree.
‘No, No, No!!’ I crumpled against the steering wheel, head resting on my folded arms.
Could it get any worse? Yes, the engine refused to restart. Of course, I could hear my dear old Dad saying,
‘Don’t do that, you’ll flood the engine,’ as I tried again and again to start the stupid vehicle I’d had to hire. The last one available evidently.
‘Held together with string,’ was my initial bitter thought, picturing my sleek sports car, locked in the garage at my old place, where my ex-husband had now installed his skinny blonde bimbo.
‘She’d better not be driving it!’
It was still mine. Even though the divorce had been finalised I hadn’t wanted to go and collect it and risk seeing either of them.
Lifting my head, I looked around me. Everything was blanked out by the snowstorm I’d been attempting to drive through. I wasn’t even sure exactly where I was, as the signal had disappeared from my phone, wiping out the gps I’d been using. The hired car being so naff it didn’t have one.
Thankfully, the door opened as I leant cautiously against it, stopping myself from falling into the snowdrift next to the tree. Checking the front of the car, was relieved to see it hadn’t been damaged. It had been a genteel, sedate slide into the trunk. Maybe that had stopped me from going into a ditch or something worse? Who knew what the snow covered?
The extreme stillness and beauty of the scene around me struck me, just as the chill factor caused me to shiver uncontrollably. Reaching into the car I pulled out my padded parka, woolly hat, scarf, gloves and fur lined boots. At least I’d come prepared for my escape from my work life and persistent invitations from well-meaning friends and family.
Yes, I, the intrepid, wanna-be writer, had sought out the cliché
‘Remote, highland croft in Northern Scotland’ to be on my own to finally start writing seriously, over Christmas and New Year. Away from the baubles and glitter, drunken celebrations, noise and worn-out sympathies of said family and friends.
But I had rather planned on arriving at the croft in one piece, with all the supplies and clothing I would need. Especially the malt whiskey I intended savouring in front of the glowing log fire.
To be continued….