The Story of You

Years ago (decades actually), I attended a writing class run by a local poet, Pat Borthwick. I was the youngest attendant by far. Pat's classes centred around using our life experience and memories as a subject and basis for our writing. Homework would often require us to tap into our life - one Sunday morning, a poem using symbols to describe a loved one, a holiday memory. The others in the class, including Pat herself, had a wealth of experiences to call on and I quickly came to realise how describing what some might consider to be a mundane act could often lead to a fascinating read. By comparison, my own life experience seemed, if not boring, then limited and pale. I felt I had few memories to offer up that would make for an entertaining tale.

Move on around ten years and I started to write murder mystery plays for the am dram group I was part of. Based around a known cast and a familiar stage, what started as a way to fund a hobby quickly turned into a business I loved (and still do). The more plays I wrote, the more I pieced in characters I had met, situations I had come across or lived through, and the humour of my home town.

When my parents died in 2002 and 2007, I began to tell my children about them, and the stories they had told to me. With each rich memory, I wove a tapestry of warm colour and cosy texture to wrap us all in.

Writing my novel, I pull in my own experiences of motherhood and loss, and the colourful characters I have met throughout my life who held a magic of their own.

No experience is ever wasted and no life is grey. We all have a story to tell and whether we use the details, the memories, or the characters in our writing, our lives are a rich resource.


  1. Our lives are rich resources for stories, no matter how we tell them. Great post, Fi!

  2. That is very true, Fi. I'm always amazed at what surfaces as I write.

    Yule and winter solstice greetings to you. Happy Holidays.

  3. The best solstice to you too, Karen.

    Thank you both for the lovely comments.


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