Today is my birthday, and tomorrow is the book-signing of my third novel. Fifteen years ago the thought of becoming a fully-fledged author was an impossible dream, which I was encouraged to commit to paper. I was over sixty, for heaven’s sake.
We had recently emigrated from Kenya, my husband and I, mainly due to his failing health. Although the doctors and nurses in Africa were first class, the infrastructure left lots to be desired. So – yes – we became medical immigrants, coming to cause more burden on the NHS. Australia, our first choice, because the bulk of our family had settled there, had refused us on the grounds of medical health.
But I digress…
With barely the wherewithal to pay for a tiny flat at the foot of the South Downs, and a husband who was medically retired – how was I going to find a way of earning a living?
I tried several options. While training for one of them, the concept of dreaming and setting goals caught my fancy.
It was no problem thinking up ten impossible dreamlike objectives, writing them down, and putting the list at the bottom of my empty in-tray. Writing a book and having it published was about fourth on the list. But I hasten to add that, although I am immensely proud of myself, my books did not lift our financial burden.
These past months Roy’s health has dwindled rapidly, and our lives have entered new territory. My admiration for the NHS has increased manifold, but the burden is different.
I have neglected my writing.
Today seems an appropriate time to re-start my Friday blog. I feel rather rusty, so please forgive me.
Beautifully written, Jane, and under the circumstances, I sincerely hope you have a truly wonderful and unforgettable birthday.
Thank you Ian for those words.
I am full of admiration for you Jane, may you continue to find strength x
Thank you for your thoughts and support, Sarah.
I understand. My husband was 86 and recently passed away. I was writing flash fiction and short stories and now have to start again. I had one short story published, winning the 2nd Place in a challenge CQ Magazine (online) was holding so that was encouraging. I just have to keep at it. All the best. 🙂 — Suzanne
And the best of fortune to you too, Patricia. It is amazing how the exercise of writing things down can serve as a catharsis.
what a tender and sweet testimony. Our lives never quite take the road we expected to travel, yet I’m thrilled for you that your writing has been such an inspiration to others. Best of everything with your latest book!
Thank you Beatrice – and good luck with yours, too!
Have enjoyed your blog, but sorry to hear things have not been easy – the price we pay for getting ancient! After my breast cancer diagnosis, surgery and now daily medication, I have difficulty concentrating, so maybe quieter than usual on here, but ‘about’ just the same. I hardly wrote for almost three years, just doing a little now and then and editing old bits and pieces. Take care, Margaret xx
Enjoyed reading your blog, but sorry things have not been easy – the price we pay for getting ancient is sometimes very high ! After my breast cancer diagnosis, surgery and then daily medication, I have trouble concentrating so writing has been somewhat occasional, although I hope to improve on that. So glad to see you are coming back to it and well done on your books – Take care, Margaret xx
Thank you as ever, Margaret, for your thoughts and support. And may your health get better and better.
Best things, Jane. ☼
Thank you Ashen.
Well written Jane. Despite your husband not being well sometimes it is healing to put pen to paper. I do hope you manage to enjoy your special day. Xxx
It is indeed, Heather. Thank you for your thoughts.
You both are in my thoughts nd prey this day. W cannot be know what it’s us but to be a writer is to touch magic.
Thank you for your kind thoughts, Ray
All things at the right time….. I hope the year unfolds well for both of you. And I’m glad you have made some of your dreams come true. All the best! xxx
Many thanks for your thoughts and support Fran.
Happy Birthday Jane, hope you have a wonderful day and all love to the family
Thank you Martin