I began writing ‘seriously’ ten years ago. When I was diagnosed with M.E. (CFS) and was no longer able to work I thought the best part of my life, the useful part, was over.
In time I realised that what I had was an opportunity to do the things I had never had time or space for in my life. I began to write, and later to paint. The painting and drawing was a great help to my writing as slowly I learned to look better and to see more.
I also signed up to the Open University to study Creative Writing, and in 2009 gained my Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing, with distinction. This was a great online course. I learnt so much and made some good friends – both online and actual. I can heartily recommend it.
I have concentrated on poetry and short fiction, for which I have been placed or won a number of different competitions, including Winchester Writers’ Conference, Slough Arts Festival, Elmbridge Literature Festival and the Guildford Short Story Competition,Fish Poetry Prize as well as performing live and having my work broadcast.
I have recently published of war poetry – I have a son in the armed forces in Afghanistan. This collection has fifty poems with the themes such as the way having a serving member of the armed forces impacts on family -both close and extended- and friends. The things that can be said and the subjects that are always avoided, the charms and spells we do to keep them safe, the way we deal with harsh and critical or kindly and understanding comments from the world at large, the moments of departure and arrival…and the many, many things families have in common, from whatever side of the war they may come. I also highlight the many positives that have and will come out of the current hostilities.
I would welcome contact from anyone with a thought to share on any aspect of the themes above, or indeed on writing and reading poetry. I can be contacted through this daily blog.