Poems and Stories

I grew up in Wales, the land of story and song. The folklore of the Mabinogion lives on in my bones.

The rise and fall of the welsh accent makes my heart glad to be from God’s country.

Singing traditional welsh songs in welsh makes me feel special. So really, being a writer was my destiny!

As I grew up I was immersed in culture of all kinds. Most Saturdays you’d find me at a museum, gallery, castle or theater with my grandparents.

Nights spent at their house always ended up with a poem or a story, usually the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. My granddad would often recite the Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. It always blew my mind how many words he could just remember!

When I was about 9, before I started Comprehensive school, my grandparents started to get me into Shakespeare. I fell in head first.

Taming of the Shrew was the first Shakespeare play I saw. My grandma always liked the play. She said it reminded her of me and my sister — I was Kate.

After that point I also got taken to ballet and to the opera.

As I got older we added some Chaucer to the mix.

I got encouraged to read everything!

I had a diary from the time I could write and I wrote in it religiously, every day.

The earliest entry I remember was about a kestrel. I had been in the kitchen with my dad and it had landed on a fence post outside the kitchen window. My dad pointed it out to me and it went straight in the diary. I remember my dad laughing as he read it. I’d written kettle instead, having no idea what a kestrel was!

Aside from my diary I wrote poems about everyone.

The first time I did any serious writing I was in junior school.

In Wales we have an Eisteddfod every year, it’s a huge event that gets covered on the TV. There will also be localised Eisteddfods in schools and community groups. The Eisteddfod is made up of a bunch of competitions, there are prizes for writing, singing, and recitation in English and in Welsh. At the end of all the competitions, one person is crowned ‘the Bard of the Eisteddfod.

In my second junior eisteddfod I won the English poetry section with a poem about a jolly jester. I wish I still had that poem!

I wrote a mix of poetry that didn’t rhyme. Short stories and novels that never became novels.

When my dad died in 2007 I was gutted and after that point I couldn’t seem to write fiction. I was too angry. All my emotions came out through poetry or stories.

Then I stopped writing for a few years. I had a dead end job. I had an unhappy life, I felt dead inside. You can’t write unless you can feel it — well you can, but you can’t write well unless you can feel it.

My friend ‘Saggy’ had always encouraged me to write and had loved what I wrote. We fell out many years prior to me stopping writing. The day I found out she died, I sat down and wrote for the first time in years.

At that point I realised I wanted to write — as a career. Surprising how many people laugh at you when you say that.

I left the dead end job to work as a bid manager. It’s not a writing job, but it involves technical writing, editing and Copywriting.

After two years of that I was ready to move on and here I am — 3 years later Copywriting, blogging, writing poems, managing content, editing and once again trying to write short stories — honestly my attention span isn’t long enough for a novel!

Over the next year I’ll be trying to publish one creative writing piece a week. I can’t promise it will be good, I’m still flexing my creative muscles. Follow along to see how I do!