A house of books, decades of boredom and a Tudor sixpence brought me here.
One thing we had a lot of in our house when I was a kid was books. My mum read everything: Dickens, Austen, Cookson, Collins, picture books on Ancient Egypt and Danish bog bodies. And so- spurred on by fits of boredom so painful they’d melt your face- did I.
I wrote a lot right into my teens- mainly blood-splattered, horror-stuffed schlock. But then I dropped out of college and into a job measuring mature ladies for corsets and the writing dried up. I left the corsets for hairdressing, left hairdressing for floristry, but after fourteen years my old friend boredom resurfaced and I decided to retrain.
I got my BA as the financial manure hit the global fan and found no one wanted a newly qualified Art History lecturer. A small piece of metal saved my sanity.
My husband bought me a Tudor sixpence for my birthday. In the year it was struck, my coin had been a skilled workman’s daily wage. After a hard day’s graft that man could’ve strolled across London Bridge towards Southwark, and blown the lot on a posh seat at the Globe Theatre. I imagined it jangling in the craftsman’s purse, the smell of small beer splashed on rushes, the slaughterhouse whiff of tallow candles.
I began to write a story about a girl who travels back in time using that coin.
My writing was awful, punctuation terrible, everything overwritten and flooded with adjectives. But I studied, wrote more, read more, wrote and read and… I’m getting there. One day that story will be published.
If you’d like to read some of my early short fiction and help to support The Alzheimer’s Society in the process, go to http://www.pewter-rose-press.com/store/store.html#StillMe and purchase Still Me, an anthology of short stories and poetry by the writing group All Write Then.