Thursday, 24 April 2014

Inspiration Behind the Story - Worth Waiting For

Another in my series of Inspiration behind the story. This time I am going to tell you how the idea for my story 'Worth Waiting For' in this week's Woman's Weekly, came about.

I was sitting in my doctors surgery waiting for a doctor whose name I couldn't remember. I was just hoping that when the time came, they'd call my name loud enough to drag my attention from the magazine I was reading (don't you just love reading things you'd never normally buy).

As I waited, a succession of doctors came out and called names and as they did, it made me think about how things had changed at the surgery since I moved to the town in 1987. For many years, I had one doctor: I knew him and he knew me. He saw me through my two pregnancies and other general ailments and I trusted him implicitly. When he retired, it was a very sad day (not for him, I'm sure!).

Now the system has changed. Nobody has a doctor - or rather you get to choose who you would like to see. The only problem is, if you want a specific doctor, chances are you will need to make an appointment a week or so in advance (not much good when you're ill and need to see someone that day). I actually saw five different doctors while they tried to sort out my high blood pressure over the course of a few weeks. I had to tell the same thing to each one and lovely though they all were, I never felt I knew any of them.

This led me to think how hard it must be for the older patient who needs the reassurance of a familiar face and with this in mind, my main character, Mrs Parsons, was born. The other character, Izzy Maynard, was based on a young woman who was struggling to get her double buggy through the surgery door.

So you see, inspiration is everywhere. Look out for it next time you are out somewhere.

Also, you might like to look out for my story, 'Too Good to Last', which is in this month's People's Friend Fiction Special.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

I Need a Rest!

I've had a very busy time since last week. First there was my birthday and then last Friday we were off to Hayling Island for the Jive Time modern jive weekend. I've been on many jive weekends over the years but this is a particular favourite - held at Lakeside Warner holiday park, with accommodation in chalets, which gives it a rather quaint Hi-di-hi feel. I have to say we were very well looked after and the carvery was as good as usual.

The fun begins when you get your timetable and decide what lessons to do each day. This year I did: West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, 1930s Shag, Salsa, Kizumba (not to be muddled with zumba), Quick Step and advanced Modern Jive.

For three nights we danced until the early hours and then staggered home on the Monday Morning!

Yesterday, I took my eldest grandson to London for the first time on a sightseeing trip. We didn't get home until nearly midnight! Armed with a children's map and an I-spy book of London, we (along with my sister) took in all the major sights, saw the changing of the guard, took a boat trip, visited the Tower of London and walked back along the South bank for dinner near the London eye - looking out over a river that reflected the London lights as day turned to evening. Certainly a day for us all to remember.

This week I have a story called 'All Our Yesterdays' in The People's Friend - I think I'll read the rest of the stories with my feet up!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Birthday Hug!

I can't believe another year has gone by since I wrote my last Birthday Blog. I've just been reading it back and I was getting excited about going to the Waldorf tor a tea dance. You read my post about it here.

My birthday started well with a huge bouquet of flowers from my husband (when he carried them in, I could hardly see him behind them!), a sale to The People's Friend and birthday wishes from my editor - they are so kind.

This year, I decided to have a quiet day just doing things that I enjoy - so the first thing I did was visit the grandchildren for a birthday cuddle and then home for a sunny walk with Bonnie by the river.

The rest of the afternoon I'll spend writing, as tomorrow we go to Hayling Island for a big modern jive weekend and if the last three years are anything to go by, it will be really tiring. I'd come back a stone lighter, if it wasn't for the amazing carvery they have and the cooked breakfasts.

I am still trying to contact Claire (winner of my rejection T-shirt competition) so she can read your good wishes but have had no luck so far. On her behalf, thank you all for all your messages of encouragement.


Thursday, 3 April 2014

And the Winner is...

Who is the winner of my rejection T-shirt? I bet you can hardly wait to find out! I have read all your comments from my post two weeks ago (if you missed it, you can read it here) and made my final decision.

In third place is Patsy, who said that she hadn't just got her share but other people's as well! (we don't need to feel too sorry for Patsy though, as since then she's had a lot of good luck).

In second place is Nicola, who gave an extremely strong case for winning with a favourite story that did the rounds but still failed to hit the mark. Since then, she's said that she's not going to waste her energy moping but is putting it to good use writing her novel.

So here it is... in first place is Claire. Claire has written stories, poetry, readers letters and articles but she hasn't collected a heap of rejections like the rest of us. Why? Because she hasn't had the courage to send them. In a way Claire has rejected her own work and that is so sad.

So congratulations Claire - you are a winner after all and that is because you pressed the submit button on my blog! I hope that this T-shirt will be a reminder that we all (published and unpublished) get our share of rejection from time to time but that rejection is a sign that we have been courageous enough to submit our work.

Claire is a young writer and I'm sure you will all want to give her the encouragement she needs to send out her writing... then, one day, she might have the chance to win again.