This week, I’m sharing a post by Nettie Anderson. Nettie’s writing career includes feature writing for magazines, and children’s stories, when she worked for the forces broadcasting service as an editor and presenter. This is such a lovely, thoughtful piece of writing, though I must admit, I got a lump in my throat when I saw Oscar’s photo. Here’s Nettie to tell you more about herself.
Being asked to contribute to Sharon’s blog set my mind in a whirl as to what I would write.
After all, who knows who I am?
Well, I’m a passionate gardener, reader and love learning new things. I am dedicated to writing. My family are the most important people in my life.
I have just finished my first novel ‘Out of the Blue,’ and I am now on the long road to being published.
It feels like I am applying for a job. I’ve refined, drafted and edited and done my homework on how to submit. Will my cover letter sell me and my book? Will my synopsis tell them what they need to know? More importantly will they like my book? Naturally, I think it’s a great story with my leading lady finding her voice and stepping out of the shadows.
This has reached fruition having taken early retirement from working in mental health. Following in the footsteps of my husband who retired a year before me. It was one of those life changing decisions brought about by life events.
Still, here we are nearly four years on living in a new village and settled to no alarm clocks, no rushing for deadlines, no writing reports or running workshops. Life events still happen: early on we mourned the loss of our trusty Labrador companion Oscar, which resulted in a domino effect throughout our family. In his honour, we planted a small cherry tree and in spring when the blossom appears it has served as a memory and renewal.
Beginning to garden again in earnest instead of snatched moments at the end of a long day, has restored my sense of calm. Sitting in my hut, tucked away at the end of the garden, I revel in the blank canvas before me. Originally, I was going to write in my hut but it quickly became a space for reflection.
This garden was literally a lawn nothing else. Now after lots of back breaking hard work, it is living and breathing with fruit trees, vegetables and flowers. My new project, a fairy garden is gathering momentum. When my granddaughter was very young, I made up stories for her about the fairies in the garden where we lived at the time. She tells me she believes in the magic I created and can’t wait to see what I conjure up.
I recently read a saying by Kahil Gibran, a Lebanese poet and philosopher.
‘Sadness is a wall between two gardens.’
In life, we step between many paths, those strewn with weeds and those giving way to the bright growth of sparkling flowers. Though I recall my mum once saying to me, never dismiss the weeds completely as some are flowers no one is interested in. Like life, we are quick to judge and assume. It got me thinking about writing. Gardening is always organic, evolving and a learning curve. When I write my story evolves through the love and patience, I give to it.
Mistakes are made along the way too many words, not enough words, words not in the right place. Much like planting, too many in one space so you miss some of the flowers straining to be seen.
I have nurtured my heroine Daisy for a long time, just like the seeds I have been propagating. Coaxing them, watering and now finally setting them out into the garden to find their way.
Daisy’s story has equally developed with the help of professionals assisting me in the editing. Now my book is out there under the scrutiny of strangers. Their own likes and dislikes possibly influencing their decision to represent me. I am now on this unknown path hopeful of finding an agent, hopeful they will spot a budding author that may need some nurturing.
In the meantime, the view from my hut is ever changing as the warm weather encourages new shoots of growth. The magic of ferns as they unfurl their fronds. The blackbird cocking his head close to the grass ready to grab the unsuspecting worm.
Wait a minute though, was that a fairy I saw hovering, her wings glistening in the afternoon sun or was that a germ of an idea starting to grow for book number two??
Thanks for reading.