I thought it was about time I wrote another inspiration behind the story. This one, The Sailor's Waltz is in this week's People's Friend and was one I wrote for an illustration that had been sent to me by my editor (interestingly, the original illustration was never used but I have to say I like this one better).
The original picture showed a couple on a boat. What did I know about sailing... absolutely nothing! Now, of course, as writers, we often write about things we don't know. In fact, I find researching new things fascinating but I'm less likely to be enthusiastic about weaving a story around something I've not experienced before.
I'd established that I didn't know anything about sailing but what did I know about? Those of you who have followed my blog for a long time will know the answer to this... dancing!
It's six years ago, almost to the day, that my husband and I went to our first ballroom dance class and just over nine since we met at a salsa class. One evening, we were reminiscing about our salsa wedding dance and about our honeymoon cruise where we spent our evenings practicing the few ballroom moves we'd learnt in the few weeks leading up to it (probably pretty badly).
Our wedding dance wasn't a problem, as we were fairly proficient salsa dancers, but we might have run into a few problems if we'd attempted the waltz. We pick things up fairly quickly but we could only begin to imagine what it might be like for someone with two left feet - how could they possibly learn? Here's our wedding dance for those who haven't already seen it.
The question was, could I mix the two things, sailing and dancing, in the same story? Luckily I could.
In my story, Cally wants to dance a waltz to Moon River, a song her parents danced to at their own wedding. Unfortunately, her fiance, Paul, cannot dance. The only thing he is good at is sailing a boat. When Cally's father (also a member of the sailing club) realises his difficulty, he uses sailing techniques and terms to help Paul learn.
I wonder whether using dancing techniques would help me to learn how to sail? Probably not!