How did I become hooked on a programme about baking? The Great British Bake Off commanded my attention every week and woe betide anyone who dared to telephone during that special hour. I watched the contestants whip, stir, pound, and stretch their creations with single minded attention. The crazy thing is that the last cake I made was about 20 years ago and the Prince Charming was so heavy that he ended up with his head buried in the blue icing (supposed to be the sea but a rather sick looking cross between a muddy pond and a cloudy sky). Anyway, since then my constant battle with the scales has forbidden indulgences such as chocolate cakes and iced buns.
So I am making a plea; why not get the contestants to tackle some recipes for watchers of weight and the growing population who suffer from diseases such as diabetes, etc? It would give a different meaning to carrot cake and banana breads and orange muffins.
I have been truly humbled today by someone’s generosity of spirit. As I grumbled about my difficulties getting a small piece of work right this woman was undergoing radical changes to her life as a result of a health issue. Yet she still found the time and humanity to give me a pat on the back.
Now, doesn’t that put things in perspective. As we sit at our computers typing away and creating our pretend worlds somewhere someone will be facing real life dangers, issues or adventures. While my heroine is struggling with her love issues, a real life heroine will be dealing with real life dangers. We are told as writers that we should write from our own experiences; as we all know we should write about what we know. I am certain that everyone of us knows someone who has used their writing as a therapeutic exercise, whether it has been to express grief, anger or joy.
A few years ago, I sailed across the Atlantic on a smallish yacht in a rally of a number of boats. Every single person on that adventure had their own story to tell at the end of the passage. Some of the stories were of self discovery, some were of unexpected adventures. One man, who suffered from dyslexia, wrote his own book and others wrote diaries. Some people discovered that their relationships grew stronger whereas others jumped ship before their boats were tied up at their journey’s end. One man became critically ill, leaving his wife to sail a large yacht single handed and another man spent over 24 hours in the sea when he was knocked overboard.
My own story was not that dramatic; we left one harbour and sixteen days later arrived at another. Mid ocean we swam behind our becalmed boat and a day or so later lost all of our electric power leaving us with some interesting challenges of navigating by the stars and how to manage food storage, sails, communications and all of the other things which are supported by power.
In writing my novel I am drawing from some of those experiences to develop the character of my heroine. On paper she does not live on the sea or sail a boat however it is observing how someone reacts to adversity or indeed any given situation which is how I am writing about what I know. My life as a nurse, midwife, wife, mother, sailor, daughter, friend, success, failure, and more informs my writing but in particular it is my observations of the wonderful human spirit which inspires me.
Today many of my friends will be doing the Race for Life to raise money for local cancer sufferers.
Most of us will have been touched by loss of a loved one and for me it is a day for remembering those whom I have loved and are gone. As that wonderful poem by Mary Frye reminds us the wonderful memories that they gave us remain around us forever.
As one of my new writing projects I have started a blog http://withoutasense.blogspot.com.es/ about hearing loss. I am going to try to create an interactive site with some of the trials and tribulations, some of the humour, useful tips, new products etc, all connected with the subject of hearing loss.
I am not totally deaf however when I was in my early 30’s I started noticing that I was missing words and sounds. Now in my mid 50’s I have had 20 years of experience of what it is like to live with reduced hearing. This is a condition which affects a huge number of people and can lead to social isolation for many. It can affect careers, home life, friendships and more. I have decided to take positive action to encourage others with hearing loss to avoid social isolation by promoting an open discussion forum about the condition.
Pleases stop by and take a look at my blog. It is in the infant stages however I hope that with feedback it will grow and maybe in the future will be a source of support and inspiration to anyone who begins to notice they are turning up the volume.