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Saturday, 14 May 2011

Seven things: Work, Writing & Research

Thank you to Janice Horton, author of Bagpipes and Bullshot, for passing me the Versatile Blogger Award – the rules of acceptance are to tell you seven things about myself that you might not already know.

A writer looks for inspiration in lots of different places, but a fertile ground to base research on is a person’s own life experiences. So I thought I’d give you a peek at some of the things that have formed me into the person I am. I’d love to know what work and life experiences you have had which have contributed to you as a person, and how you’ve been able to use them in your writing. Please leave a comment and let me know.

1) One of my earliest memories is the unexploded bomb behind my granny’s cottage. We were evacuated to a big posh house and slept on the floor of the front lounge which was as big as a dance hall.

2) I’ve worked in a variety of jobs. I was a salesgirl in Woolworths, an office girl in a local grocer shop, a spinner in a mill, and a clippie (bus conductress). In my social work career I've worked in criminal justice, medical social work, child care, and I've been an adoption officer and an assistant principal office responsible for interpreting the law, writing guidelines and operational instructions for workers.



3) I once owned a small shop selling wool, needlework, crafts and babywear.

4) I left school with no qualifications but later got an Open University degree and a Post graduate qualification in Social Work from Dundee University.

5) I worked in Social Work for 20 years and took early retirement to concentrate on my writing career.

6) I got my first rejection at the age of 22 from the Sunday Post. Being totally ignorant of writing procedure I did not realize until many years later that it was actually what is called a ‘rave rejection’, and if I’d worked on the story it might have been accepted.

7) I entered the Dundee International Book Prize competition three times. The first two entries sank without trace before I hit the jackpot with my third submission, Dead Wood. It was a case of third time lucky, and it also proves that perseverance pays off.

Well, that’s my seven things so now I’d like to pass the award on to anyone willing to accept it, but please let me know if you are taking this offer up because I’d like to visit your blog and read your seven things.

5 comments:

Janice Horton said...

I loved your seven things Chris - you really are a versatile blogger! x

Bikerhen said...

Very interesting post Chris. I too have had multiple careers and some of them sure make you appreciate a good one when you finally have it.

Melanie said...

Great Blog post, Chris. I knew a couple of your earlier jobs - clippie and the adoption officer. You were doing that when we first met via e-mail and you sent me the article from Leopard magazine about your career as a clippie.

Bill Kirton said...

You in uniform - be still my heart.

I did my 7 things a while ago, only there were 10 then. They're at:

http://livingwritingandotherstuff.blogspot.com/2010/05/jean-henry-mead-writer-of-excellent.html

Rosemary Gemmell said...

That was so interesting, Chris - love the uniform! You're so right about all the things that shape us.