It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. It’s been even longer since I’ve done any family history research. Slowly though, I’m beginning again.
But this post will be about my early days of – ahem- publishing.
My earliest attempts at writing date from my days in Sandhutton. My father had gone to London to look for work, since rural North Yorkshire wasn’t on the look-out for university educated Poles, and I had just started at the village school.
I was a shy, slightly earnest little thing at my London primary school. By the time I was nine or so, my friend Rona and I were spending most of our free time writing and drawing for our very own magazine . I have no idea what its title, PIBA, stood for. Print run? One copy. Readership? Two. Us.
Disaster struck when Rona and family moved to Maidstone, leaving the editorial team stranded 60 miles apart. No matter. We continued our labours for one further edition, as this letter shows. Who knows what shocking things I revealed in my own letter to Rona?
As my primary school days drew to a close, I decided that play writing was the thing. The Haunted School owes everything to the boarding school stories by the likes of Angela Brazil., and to heroes such as Jennings and Darbishire. My teacher decided that this gripping yarn should be performed at the end of year prize giving, and my mother helped me write out multiple copies. Photocopying was unknown, and not many people had typewriters at home. Naturally I got the main part.
When I went to Grammar School, I continued to write. There was the odd competition. Here’s proof that I got to the finals of a Daily Mirror (what?) competition in 1960, when I was 13. I find my offering, when I read it now, to be stilted and dated. A lively personal writing style was not encouraged.
I did quite well in the competitions I occasionally entered for The Young Elizabethan magazine, whose readership consisted of the now obsolete 1950s grammar school child. Perhaps I should start buying up back copies on e-bay.
Then I pretty much stopped writing for pleasure.
I didn’t begin again until I started blogging about my life, first of all in France, then back in England. Later still, I joined Ripon U3A Scribblers. Our facilitator, the ever-resourceful and inspirational Sheila, wrings stories, memoirs, observations, poems, flash fiction ….. words of every kind from us. We won’t be publishing our oeuvre. But we do have fun.