I started writing poetry when I was very young. I was given “A book of a Thousand Poems” (ISBN-10: 0237443287 -Amazon) when I was eight years old. I was encouraged by my dad (pen name Hugh Diddit, although he didn’t publish them). He had a typewriter and I loved to type out my favourite poems from the book – sometimes in triplicate, and I would hand them out at school. In hindsight, I think my friends were more impressed that we had a typewriter than with the poems.
I found writing my own poetry a great release for all emotions, particularly the angst of teenage years, which for me were deepened by the separation and divorce of my parents. Their encouragement, though, and that of my older siblings, kept me writing. After leaving school I worked as a nanny in London and on the Isle of Wight. I then returned to Yorkshire, completed a Nursery Nurse qualification, and got married to my Yorkshire “childhood sweetheart”. We now have three children and six grandchildren.
I always shrugged off suggestions to publish, feeling that my poems were just too personal and would not be appreciated outside of the family. But then I saw Pam Ayres on Opportunity Knocks. Her style was similar to mine – just the accent was different! So I thought, well, maybe I could…
I put together a sample of rhyming poetry and self published it*. Starting from scratch, with just Blurb for company! It went well, and I realise that many things that have inspired me have affected others, too.
In my day job I am an administrator and office organiser/control freak. I’m in that age bracket of women who have had their retirement date swept from underneath them so the day job kept me busy for more years than I expected.
Poetry is not likely to become my retirement nest egg, but it will keep me active (my keyboard fingers anyway!) and fulfil a long-held ambition. Hopefully others will find meaning and joy, comfort or empathy in some of my work.
My second book “Candle” is hot off the press (December 2019)
For my next project, I hope to publish my dad’s poems, and other poems by family members.