I’m a recently retired college lecturer who took up writing in 2009, after, some would say, a lifetime of preparation in the form of voracious reading..... and of people-watching/listening (AKA nosiness!)
So far, my publication success has fallen into two categories: travel and poetry.
‘Not all who wander are lost.’ JRR Tolkien
It all started with a huge stroke of beginner’s luck: we’d recently returned from a wonderful holiday to the Canadian Rockies and I was still on ‘high’ from that when I spotted a writing competition run by SAGA and The Daily Express. I was delighted win First Prize, an all-inclusive trip to Costa Rica. Since then, my aim has been that writing about one trip will at least partly finance the next. I’ve managed that pretty successfully, the best ‘words-to-cash ratio’ undoubtedly Rough Guides: £4,000 to spend on travel and accommodation in return for a 100 word article!
If your idea of a travel-writer is a dare-devil adventurer, bungee-jumping and white-water-rafting their way round the world, then I’ll be a big disappointment. I can’t even swim or ride a bicycle.
However, I’m a strong believer that it’s the way you tell the tale, rather than the destination, that counts.
‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.’ Proust
As for poetry, that’s been simmering for far longer than travel writing. Again, it was discovering the abundance of competitions that gave me a focus and turned half- finished scribblings into more substantial pieces. Not for the prize money (very modest, I am lucky to break even on entry fees) but to get honest and objective feedback. A great morale booster when a judge says something nice. And a wonderful opportunity to read some truly talented amateur poets who DO win the prizes!
Basically, I enjoy writing and this site is as good a place as any to store my offerings. I hope you may enjoy reading some of them.