Or, Grumpy Old Woman. I'm now 50 years plus 2 months, so can safely be said to be in GOW territory - and determined to stay there. It's that, or insanity.
Hokaaay, that’s the prologue to what will become the novel of my life. And, as usual, I’m stuck at the ‘what to write next’ stage.
I guess introductions are in order.
Hi, I’m Sue. This is my blog and you are welcome to it.
No ... Hi, I’m Sue; this is my blog. Welcome.
I’ve never invited anyone into my private head space before. A blog is a kind of online journal, isn’t it? And to my mind, a journal is a place for my innermost thoughts and musings, a sacred shrine where none but I may tread.
Long before the internet, when computers took up the space of a football field, just so they could spew numerous simple calculations onto long ribbons of tickertape, I kept a journal. In fact, I kept a succession of them, all carefully dated, labelled and stored in my bedroom. I stopped this practice when I discovered my younger brother had discovered my latest tome and eagerly purloined it to share with his peers at upper school. So Neville Fitzroy discovered exactly what I thought of his latest 'tache, my bro discovered why his big sis liked listening to Barry Manilow records in private, and I discovered that, as far as diaries were concerned, it was best to keep them for anniversary and appointment dates only.
His treachery went so deep that, even after I'd moved on to a home of my own, I still didn't feel safe putting pen to paper. Or maybe I just got lazy. Whatever, for the next 30 years my journals were restricted to ultra thin appointments diaries with precious little inside them.
So why, at the not-so-tender age of fity years, did I feel the need not only to keep a journal again, but to deliberately share its contents with others – indeed, actively encourage it? To be honest, I’m not sure myself.
It could be my age. Fifty is, after all, a milestone that needs to be celebrated in some way - especially when it's one several of your friends have failed to reach. Maybe, after a lifetime of non-achievement, I felt the need for others to know that I at least existed. Just in case, you know, I didn't exist any more this time tomorrow.
It could have stemmed from a marital breakdown, followed by deep depression, followed by a therapeutic rekindling of an old hobby and the rather surprising discovery that I still had the gift for writing that I first showed in infant school. (Larst nite, there was cat poo on the carpit. My dad thort it was cole and pict it up)
Maybe not that, then.
I rather think the creation of this blog was connected to the fact that, after a lifetime of servitude, my 50 year old body – in particular, the multiple joints, tracts and short-term memory parts of it - decided to blow several fuses the moment I’d hyperventilated the candles out. The move from sick notes to long-term incapacity payments rather told me it was time to quit the aerobics profession and take up something less strenuous, like subterranean scuba diving, or writing up my memoirs.
Then again, it may have been down to a private mail from an author whose forum I’d subscribed to, in which he expressed admiration for my thread posts before suggesting, very politely, that I think about setting up a forum of my own.
Perhaps it was the realisation that, whilst I had no desire to recount the worst parts of my life in a misery memoir, I’d retained enough humour in my soul to make the lighter bits worth a giggle.
The truth of it is, I started this – my very first - blog because I want to be a writer. No, darn it, I started this blog because I am a writer. Which is why it’s located here, on a site designed specifically for writers, rather than a more generalised site such as Blogspot or Blogger. (Actually, the real truth is that my blog is located here because I couldn't work out how to use Blogspot slash Blogger, but that’s another story.)
I was drawn here through a need to express myself through my art, and to converse with others who feel the same way. I guess you could call it an escape route, which is why you won’t find much about my previous life on these pages. I have no wish to confront the past demons of my reality, since this would involve a great deal of boring talk about being a poverty stricken single mum on benefits. Since I still am a poverty stricken single mum on benefits, I don’t see the need in any case.
What I’m really hoping for, though, is a turnaround in my fortunes.
In other words ... I nurture the vain hope that, by honing and nurturing my talent on these pages, I might gain enough practice to risk turning my writing into a profitable career. Well okay, maybe not profitable .... but at least I'll be able to walk into a bar room full of Daily Mail journalists without feeling uncomfortable. (The Daily Mail doesn’t like single mums, especially not those on welfare benefits. In fact, it doesn’t like anybody on welfare benefits, period. Especially Richard Littlejohn. He regards us the same way Simon Cowell does those who can’t sing.)
Apparently, all aspiring writers (i.e. those who intend to get paid for doing it) should keep a blog. If nothing else, it shows prospective clients what you can - or cannot - do. That comes direct from Writers Forum, by the way.
So that’s what I’m doing.
See you down the dole office, John!
Separate names with a comma.