|Devizes Book Shop|
When I noticed what my body was doing it triggered a whole load more memories. I was never lucky enough to own my horse. My parents kept telling me I would get one when we moved to a house big enough - we never did, we just kept looking at them. But I had a great friend Jojo who I used to ride with, plus I had regular lessons and took part in gymkhanas etc. At that time it was my life. The chance to escape into the countryside and experience the total freedom. There is, and was, nothing like it. I also spent a lot of my very young life riding 'pretend' horses in the garden and jumping numerous bushes, convinced in my head I was on this beautiful, brave pony. I could really see it, feel it, hear it. Oh the joys of imagination. Perhaps it is this strong imagination that I still use when I write because I live my story in my head as I write it.
I am still in contact with Jojo and our lives have continued to touch though not via horses so much. To be honest I don't think Jojo is known as that by anyone else but me these days. She is a proper grown up now but still rides! She owns the amazing Devizes Bookshop (see photo above provided by Jojo). Go and visit it, it is a wonderful independent book store, which includes a gallery space. It is a place you can get lost in....think of all those books and stories that you can delve into!
What has this got to do with writing I hear you ask, well, I was also reading Candy Gourlay's latest blog post, where she is talking about 'writing who you are'. When you write there will always be a bit of you in there, sometimes you need to let in a little bit more but, as with all writing, there has to be a balance to it all. You must also watch that you haven't put too much of yourself in a story. It can stultify the narrative. It needs to be hints and understanding whilst also realising that being a child now is very different to when you as the author was a child.
Candy says 'It is not just writing about what you know, it's about writing who you are.' Maybe it is time for that pony story to make its way onto my screen instead of it hiding in the corner all the time. And perhaps that pony will need to be called Kelly, eh Jojo?
Just to take a few people even further back including my sister Jacky....this is just for you as you celebrated a special birthday last week ;-)