At 10 years old I won a plaque for an essay about an amazing event in our locality, The Miners’ Picnic. My first attempt had been torn apart by my mother who made me sit down and re-write it. Three times. (She also forced me to have piano lessons and I hated her for that at the time too, though am now, of course, thankful to her.) I was thrilled to win with version number four but not so thrilled that I felt driven to write any more than the obligatory essays at my high school.
Most went off to university. I rebelled and went into nursing, where I discovered I really did have a latent ambitious streak in me. I quickly became a nursing sister in occupational health, writing articles for the Nursing Times, not to mention the in-house factory magazine, and winning numerous competitions in which catchy slogans were required. This kept me in holidays and household appliances for many a lean year until I decided I wanted to be a medical rep. I desperately needed a car and saw a route for someone else to fund it. (Funny – forgot to mention that in the interview…)
A ‘portfolio career’ path – great there’s a title for it now!
A two-year detour into the music business (that’s another tale), then on to the more socially-respectable-at-that-time world of the medical rep. And, dear doctors’ receptionists (though not mine, obviously), that does not stand for reptile or reprobate.
On into another business world – elderly care services – and into the upper echelons of management. Writing still flitted in and out of my life and I found myself writing training courses for a wide range of businesses and copy for their brochures, as well as relevant care, training and business magazine articles.
I discovered an interest in the world of health and safety (someone has to be interested, though our country appears to have taken the concept to the extreme) and co-authored a training manual for the care industry. ‘Caring for someone at a distance’ was commissioned by Age Concern soon afterwards, when they heard me presenting at a national conference.
I decided that I needed to invest my efforts in paying a mortgage and climbing the senior management ranks and became chief executive of a national children’s brain injury charity, moving on to commercial directorships and other bits and pieces such as consultancy work for the Office of the Schools Commissioner. (Oh – and owning a few kebab shops along the way, as you do….) I also invested in chocolates and wine, which I discovered is the preferred diet of authors so I knew I was eventually on the right track.
All Things Bride and Beautiful…
An accident on my wedding day before I got to the church (I kid you not – see ‘Books – All things Bride and Beautiful’) meant I had to refocus my life for a while. Whilst working as a management consultant I gained a renewed interest in writing and two stones in weight. Copy-writing for businesses and photos/press releases for their marketing, especially the multiple award-winning (did I mention writing awards submissions?) Cafe Junior and Gym and Junior, http://www.cafejunior.com/ has since kept me gainfully occupied, as has interviewing, supporting and assessing candidates for the Chartered Management Institute’s prestigious Chartered Manager status and also the Certificate in Management. And I’ve just taken on copy-editing for Babi Cymru magazine, aimed at parents and health professionals. http://babicymru.com/publications/
And some other stuff:
I should also mention that I have a wonderfully supportive husband, Rory, daughter Zoe-Lisa, step-daughters Molly and Lucy, and grandchildren (obviously a child bride, I hear you say) Anderson, Isaac and Maia-Tlws (no, that’s not a typo and yes, we have a family predilection for hyphens). I try but often fail to make time for the Arts, animals, lists, cookery, gardening, foraging (anything from wild garlic to ‘another man’s poison’ at our local recycling centre shop – my husband has taken to calling me ‘Stig’ and he doesn’t mean from Top Gear), crafts and photography. For the sake of balance let’s look at my loathing: for pretentious gyms, Twitter trolls, people with no manners, and stuff not stored in boxes or baskets.
I live in the Somerset countryside as an exiled Geordie. I have also been published in the US under a pen name and have to decide whether or not to share that on this site. Decisions, decisions… maybe some wine and chocolate will help?