I'm always surprised that my mother thought to give us the book. After all, we're talking about a woman who, a few years later, was dismayed to hear my news that we teenaged girls had been given a talk on female hygiene, complete with instructions on how to insert tampons. 'I'm not sure I approve of that sort of thing,' she said, and returned from her next shopping trip with several large boxes of brick-like sanitary towels.
Anyway, back to the Creative Writing. With a capital C. Unfortunately, the Dummies' Guide to Creative Writing, also known as the introductory course, began several weeks ago and rather than have to wait until next September, I had to join the Intermediate level. The word 'Intermediate' strikes fear into my very soul. It's a word often used in skiing literature when booking lessons. I'm a serial beginner and haven't moved past a snow plough or green runs after 5 seasons. More of that in a later blog, perhaps.
I tentatively asked the college assistant if the introductory course was a prerequisite and she replied, 'It says here that you just need an interest in reading'. So far, so good. 'Oh, and you have to have been writing seriously for some time. Have you been writing seriously for some time?'. If you count shopping lists, birthday cards and writing my 10 favourite songs to be buried with, during a particularly boring meeting last week, then yes, I have been writing seriously for some time. I paid the course fee and started to panic.
And have been panicking ever since. Time to start some SERIOUS writing. Unfortunately, this will coincide with my time to start some SERIOUS exercise. The writing course starts the day after I return from our 10 day long ski trip in Canada. After I returned from a week's sweating across the slopes last year (I never, ever point the skis downhill), I swore that I would be 2 dress sizes smaller and have a heart rate 20 beats slower before I returned. Of course, I have done nothing and so now the SERIOUS stuff starts.
Hence the appointment with a personal trainer on Monday evening and the stream of consciousness you are (perhaps) reading now. Of course, all things are relative. Painful though both may seem now, I'd rather be hunched over my PC or even the cross trainer than leafing through the pages of 'How I Was Made' with my sister, trying to blink away the imagined faces of my parents, super-imposed on cartoon pictures of long haired and sandalled '70s couples.