Monday, 9 June 2014

Celebrating the Week!


If you are a magazine writer, you know how it goes. You'll have a week of sales and then one of rejections. Then you'll have nothing in a magazine only to find that the following week you have six stories in four of them - which is what happened to me last week. One of the stories in The People's Friend Special is written under my pen-name Emma Toone... but more of that another time.

I think that due to the uncertainty of what we do, we should remember to celebrate the feast as well as mourning the famine and so today, this is what I shall be doing - in case it never happens again!

The story I have picked today for the latest in my inspiration series, is one of the two I have in this month's Take a Break Fiction Feast. It is the picture of the little girl that you an see on the cover and is called, Keep it Forever, Mummy (yes, the title was changed!)

The inspiration behind this story, is a short holiday I had in Charmouth, in Dorset, with my children. My eldest daughter was around twelve and my youngest eight. We had a cottage in the village and spent the days on the beach, fossil hunting. I can still remember the look of boredom on the eldest's face when we arrived at the beach. She was at the age where she was aware of her looks and it had been a fight to get her to wear wellies and a raincoat.

As we started to hunt for ammonites, a cold wind began to blow and I must admit, I wasn't sure whether we'd find anything before having to escape the inevitable storm that was approaching. Then, I heard a shout and turning round, saw my eldest holding something up to the sky. When we got there, we saw she had found a perfect ammonite of fool's gold.

After that first find, she forgot her hair and make up and even donned a woolly hat as she searched for more fossils and I was able to see the little girl hiding inside the one so desperate to grow up.

Several hours later, cold, wet and tired, we sheltered in the Heritage Centre with its fossil display and little shop and looked at our treasures. The girl, Kelly, in my story, is just like my daughter (although a little older) and her story is a sad one (albeit with a happy ending).

This coming of age story was a very poignant one for me to write, with familiar characters, settings and themes (although the story itself was fictional) and I was thrilled to read that Keep it Forever, Mummy was magazine editor Margaret's favourite story.

I shall be sharing the inspiration behind some of my other stories very soon.

21 comments:

  1. I'm sure it will happen again, Wendy :-)

    The story behind your story is lovely - I haven't got my Fiction Feast yet and now I'm desperate to read your story about the little girl who finds a fossil x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My daughter, the inspiration for Kelly, is now 27 and mother to my three grandchildren!

      Delete
  2. It's a good'un, Teresa!
    Congratulations, Wendy. Such a thrilling week. I loved your |Emma Toone story, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pat - that's very kind of you.

      Delete
  3. Wendy - what a lovely (real) story and congratulations on your wonderful week - I wouldn't be surprised if it happens again!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's lovey to hear where others ideas stem from Wendy! Congratulations again on your fabulous week! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny how some stories have a real inspiration to them and others done. My second story in FF is purely fictional.

      Delete
  5. Wow - what a great week, Wendy, and I love the story behind this particular story. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must rember to show my daughter and see if she remembers out fossil hunting day, Rosemary.

      Delete
  6. Well done, Wendy. I've read both your stories (next to each other in this month's TABFF) and enjoyed them but it's lovely to hear the inspiration behind the story! I think stories based on true life often have that added depth to them that lifts them out of the ordinary. A great week for you and as you say, you should celebrate, because the life of a writer is very up and down!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your final sentiment is very true, Helen.

      Delete
  7. Beautiful story Wendy and well done. It's exciting to see one story in print but SIX! Wow. Something to be very proud of indeed!

    It's so interesting reading about the inspiration behind your stories too. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Sue. There will be another inspiration behind the story soon.

      Delete
  8. Hi Wendy, I don't know how you stop yourself from running up the street and shouting out to everyone. Think I might.... and I remember that age well. It's weird as grown ups don't know how to treat you either. It proves that you have to be connected to the story for it to come alive. Look forward to reading it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Early teens is a trying time for everyone, Susan.

      Delete
  9. What a week, Wendy! And then the BBC longlisting too. Love the Dorset inspiration - we had several lovely holidays searching for fossils, but sadly never found an ammonite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found loads, Tracy. You were obviously looking in the wrong places!

      Delete
  10. I love this story behind the story, Wendy, and congratulations on your well-deserved success.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations! You're absolutely right in that we should celebrate our success.

    ReplyDelete