Round 2 of rewrite week! The subject this week is Casualties of War (original), a story inspired by an anecdote my mother-in-law told me from her time as an evacuee. I’d be pleased to hear feedback on whether you think the rewrite improves the original.
This week I’ve been thinking about passion. I was interviewed last week by a fellow aspiring writer and blogger who got me thinking about the things I loved doing as a child. I’d sort of forgotten that I was always embarking on this project or that project, usually wildly ambitious projects, many of which never got finished. Trixie Belden stories, a musical, a sequel to a book I read at school. Mills and Boon romances. Even the story I wrote as an 8 year old Brownie to earn my writing badge was a sprawling epic covering both sides of seven sheets of A4 paper.
One of my other childhood passions was writing music with my ukelele and my tiny keyboard with different coloured keys for different notes. As a child, it never occurred to me that the ukelele was anything but a toy. Certainly, when my mother offered music lessons, that wasn’t on the list! And yet, all of a sudden, ukeleles seem to be in fashion. Amanda Palmer (formerly of the Dresden Dolls) is currently touring the world with hers. Guy Folligrey trounced the competition at London’s 12th Literary Death Match during the week with his ukelele stylings and Jake Shimabukuro seems to be popping up everywhere. There’s even a store called the Duke of Uke in Shoreditch. Jake’s the one the media credit with starting the Great Ukelele Revival (I bet AFP would beg to differ) and he started playing when he was four.
It made me think: how many of us give up the things that give us pleasure as children because they seem like childish things? How many of us could rediscover our passion as adults by picking up those childish things? Check back in next week when I report on my experiment with reviving my old love of running around naked in the rain!