Last week, I said that I'd give you the inspiration behind my story, 'One More Step', which is in the current People's Friend Fiction Special.
As writers, we are often told not to write too much from fact and usually, when writing short stories, I try and stick to that - just adding in snippets of truth here and there. This story, though, is semi-autobiographical.
It is about a woman who used to work in a primary school but who, after meeting the love of her life and marrying for the second time, chooses to give her teaching career up to follow her dream of being a photographer. The only problem is, the garage is full of memories of her old life - her folders full of worksheets and lesson plans as well as reference books. Although her husband wants her to empty the garage, she is afraid that getting rid of everything related to the job that gave her security after her first marriage failed, will jinx her ideal life.
With her husband's help, Trudy finally realises that clearing out the garage won't mean that history will repeat itself and they do the task together.
I wrote this story after having one of my teacake sessions with Tracy Fells. I told her I was having difficulty letting go of my teaching paraphernalia even though it was taking up valuable space in the garage. I told her a little of the background to my difficulty and she told me to go home and write the story (this has happened a few times now and she is going to want commission soon!) so I did.
Of course there are some differences in my own story: for a start I didn't give up teaching, I was made redundant when my school closed three years ago and just never went back to it. It was not photography I chose to pursue but writing although, like Trudy's husband, my own husband was one hundred percent behind my decision to change career. Finally, my lovely husband and I have been married four years not one.
Is my reason for hanging on to all my teaching things (even though I never intend to be a teacher again) the same as Trudy's? Well, I didn't know it was before I wrote 'One More Step', but maybe there is an element of truth in it - teaching was my security in the years when I was a single parent and maybe I'm afraid to let that go... after all, it's not as if writing would pay the bills, is it!
Now, I know you're wondering whether I have cleared the garage yet.
All I will say is that I've heard that the weekend is going to be fine, and we have no plans - so guess what we'll both be doing tomorrow?