Today’s the day! Happy book birthday to Esme’s Wish! My dream is finally being realised and I am buzzing with enthusiasm, giddy with joy and more than ready for a glass or two of champagne.
If you are keen to buy a copy or two, check out the home page of this website for buying options. Now to some reflections on the journey so far.
At the risk of disappearing amongst the bubbling excitement of the launch, I thought I’d take stock. When it comes to my writing journey up until now, what am I most proud of?
Virginia Woolf talked about needing a ‘room of one’s own’ to write and therein lies my answer. A plant requires certain conditions to grow and flourish and so does a writer, or any person wanting to express themselves creatively. The list includes encouragement, good reading material, personal space, funds, and emotional resilience. I’ve had to create some of that for myself, but have been lucky to enjoy plenty of help from others, too, along the way.
I think of the women in my family who never got this far, whose creative talents shone far earlier than mine and whose wings were clipped and never got to really fly. I think of my mother’s mother, long gone now, who was blessed with a stage-worthy operatic voice, only to be told that she couldn’t train to sing, because only a ‘certain type’ of woman did that. My mother, too, who devoted her life solely to her many children and passed away without the chance to fully express her creative gifts. It was when mum was playing the piano that her inner spark would shine. Her eyes would light up at those moments with the joy of her natural creativity, and these are some of my fondest memories of her.
I’m a ‘slow twitch’ sort of person in a fast twitch world, more comfortable in the river’s deeps than in the rapids. I need thinking space and thinking time and I suppose I’m proudest, apart from the obvious satisfaction of writing a publishable book, of making room for myself and my creative whisperings.
Creativity, in whatever form, deserves honouring as part of who we are as individuals or as part of our wider culture. So take the time to express yourself, and make the time, too, to experience the work of others. Visit an art gallery, wander the shelves of your local bookshop, go listen to live music or a symphony. Whatever, or however you do it, let your heart sing. My first novel has both a singer and an artist in it and perhaps, in hindsight, they contain a little spark of those women in my family, and perhaps the millions of women over past centuries who never truly got the chance to express the muse inside.