Somewhere in the mucky recesses of our shed, amongst the half empty paint tins, the spare bathroom tiles and the cage the pet rat used to live in, there’s my first novel. It was a dodgy first attempt, and isn’t fit to see the light of publication, but it had a theme that still interests me. In it, a woman murders a man who appears to be a stranger, and the rest of the novel is about a young journalist interviewing everyone who knew the woman in an attempt to find out why she did it.
When I wrote it I’d been wondering what people who know me would say about me, and whether there would be a consensus, or whether they’d all see me differently – Dave, my children, my children-in-law, my brothers and sisters (taken individually), my friends, neighbours, acquaintances, the people at my Quaker meeting, the lady at the Co-op checkout, the GP, etc etc, and you, dear readers.
Last week I had to write a 100 word bio of myself to go with an entry to a screenplay competition. I had to say when I started writing, why I wrote, and what I thought was my biggest writing achievement, all in 100 words. I spent a day and a half on this – which doesn’t exactly recommend me as a writer. At the end of the first day I showed it to Dave who said it was dreadful: it made me sound boring and (apparently) I’m not boring. He poked and prodded me with his suggestions and eventually I achieved 100 words that I was happy with: my words, not his.
I don’t know where I’m going with this, except to say that wouldn’t it be fascinating to get inside the heads of all the people who know us and to find out what they think of us?
This is me with my sister Jen. I’m the one with the glasses and the knobbly knees: