I am a writer, committed worrier and nostalgia obsessive with a fascination for all things historical. In 2018 I completed an MA in Creative Writing at Leicester University and I loved every minute of it. Since I completed my Masters I've been spending a lot of time working on my poetry. You can see a list of accepted poems on the right and please scroll down to see my books and Heritage funded writing projects...
I suspect most people can remember being five but can you
remember what it felt like to be five? I don’t mean what TV programmes you
watched or which school you went to. I mean your emotions and reactions as you
saw those cartoon cats or Dr Who’s daleks. The programmes may have changed but
the emotions are still the same.
Even if you remember the emotions, it’s not always easy to put them into words. I can remember watching the grey and white flower opening
up on the TV screen at the beginning of ‘Watch
with Mother’ but how can I describe the feeling in simple terms? It was a mixture of excitement at the anticipation of a
familiar programme and the exclusivity that this programme was being screened just
for me. There may have been more emotions going on inside me. I can’t remember.
And I’m really not sure how I would describe my emotions on my
first day at school. The other children were confident, comfortable in their
environment, or so I thought. I was scared to step on each strange section of
floor in case it sucked me in and ate me up and I cried until I made myself
sick. It was probably a way to try and get Mum to come back for me. I’m not
sure. One thing I do know is that I was a real pain!
So what’s brought on this latest bout of introspection? I
treated myself to the 'Children’s Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2012'. The last
one I bought was the 2005 edition. This new one is much thicker. Excellent, I
thought, that means there’ll be more publishers waiting for my manuscripts.
Wrong! There are more articles about writing for children though and it was an
article by Anne Fine that got me thinking.
Anne fine in ‘Writing
Books to Read Aloud’ says that a child has to care about the character in a
story so we must make sure that we give the character thoughts and emotions
that young children will recognise. Her example is, rather than saying what a
shame it is that it’s raining, show the water dripping down the child’s neck.
It’s the old adage of ‘show don’t tell’ but does it go far enough to touch
those real emotions, the disappointment when rain has stopped a longed-for
Another article by Geraldine McCaughrean called ‘Writing
for a Variety of Ages’ tells us that she embarks on a picture book as she
would poetry rather than prose, “pouring on the word play and euphonious
vocabulary, making the most of the aural splendour of words.” [aural
splendour... I like that. I must try and use it in conversation today!]
I can do word play. I can even do euphonious vocabulary, but
I’m still not sure about the feelings. Does the English language have enough
child-accessible words to accurately describe those childhood emotions?
How would you put into words the way it felt to have a story
read to you at night?
Or the emotions you experienced during your first funfair
Or is there another childhood emotion that you could share