“It’s never too late to be who you might have been” (George Eliot); even if it is “By way of Kensal Green” (G.K. Chesterton).
When in the mid 1970s I landed on the road to journalism by way of being secretary to the editor of an IPC magazine in London, I thought my destiny was in sight. But a move back home to Bristol by way of a stint on a folk music programme for Radio Bristol and marriage to a BBC news producer, suggested differently.
The “merry road” of motherhood followed, and three sons and two stepchildren further on I was working as a medical secretary in a local hospital. Then in 2003 number two son turned me in a new direction; ‘Go and get your own degree Mum!’ he said when I pestered him about the books he was studying for his English degree.
So I did!
Six years later, while studying my final creative writing module with the Open University, I entered a piece in a Good Housekeeping magazine competition judged by Joanna Trollope, Ebury Publishers and Good Housekeeping, and two months down the road I had a phone call telling me I was a runner-up.
That did it!
Now, since gaining my First Class Honours degree in Literature and woven between work, family commitments – and the internet (!) I’m still writing and have had short stories published in print magazines and anthologies, another stint with the BBC on their ‘My Story’ project and a monologue performed by the Bristol Show of Strength Theatre Company. I’ve since become passionate about writing flash-fiction and my most recent accolade, of which I’m very proud, is being shortlisted for the Fish Flash Fiction Award 2012. Ether Books have also published some of my stories on their App for iPhone, iTouch or iPad and you can download the app for free.
I still have a way to go; I’m working on my first novel – did I say I’m an optimist as well? But, as George Eliot said, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”