Hello everybody, thanks for visiting my website
We’ll keep adding things to it (that is, Dean, my wonderful IT person will) so do keep visiting. In the meantime, here’s some stuff about me, because people sometimes ask questions like:
Where were you born? I was born in Jarrow when it was still living in County Durham instead of Tyne and Wear and whoever decided to change the name must have been having a very bad day, if you ask me. But let’s not get stuck on that, or we’ll be here forever. Jarrow’s in the North East of England, by the way, for those of you reading this in another country.
Where did you go to school? In Jarrow and then in Hebburn, which is the next town along. I had a lovely teacher in Junior School who really liked the way I wrote poetry. Once, she said to me, Celia, you should never give up writing. That was the best advice I’ve ever had. So I didn’t. But when you come from a place like Jarrow, which had a terrible time way back with no jobs for people and starvation and not being able to afford shoes or anything, you were expected to want to find a Proper Job.
Have you always been a writer? I’ve always written. But before I could write words neatly and in straight lines for school, I wanted to be a nurse, which was seen as a proper kind of job. So that’s what I decided to do. And I put in plenty of practice before I started. Because I was only about five. If you stood still for too long in my house you had to be bandaged up, whether you needed it or not, and dolls, and my sister’s dolls, were always turning up in my hospital which was in a corner by the stairs. I imagined myself in a nice blue dress and a snow white apron with a belt and a silver buckle; a long flowing cloak with a blood red, satin lining; a flouncy white cotton cap. It was a nice imagining. When I did become a nurse, there were no nice dresses. Aprons were made of plastic. Our uniforms were like overalls, we had belts with poppers and our caps were made of cardboard. Ah well. Never mind. I did like nursing. I liked the patients. I liked it when they talked and told their stories. It made them feel better. And I loved listening to men who worked down mines which still had ponies in them. And men who built ships when we needed ships. And women who were maids in big houses. Great stories. I stored them all up in my head.
Why did you become a writer? Because my head was like a full notebook and I had to take the notes and make them into proper stories. When I first started, my stories weren’t very good, but I loved writing them and with a lot of practice they got better. Eventually I was doing more of that than nursing and decided to try to make writing my proper job.
Is it hard work being a writer? Yes. You see, there’s a big blank piece of paper in front of me every day and it has to be filled. If it’s too difficult, and sometimes it is, what I do is this. I put away the big piece of paper and find something smaller, fill that instead. Or write a song and sing it; work on a short story; write a letter or a long email. Any or all of these things. Then, when the big blank piece of paper comes back out, I can try again. There are all sorts of other things which have to happen once it’s filled, by the way, such as editing and rewriting, crafting, trying to make it as good as it possibly can be. So yes. It’s hard work. But I love it.
Do you write all day and every day? No. I do other things. I visit schools and libraries. I run writing workshops for young people and older people. I run a singing session with older people and sing with my band. I go to the gym. Most importantly, I spend time with my family.
So there you are. Some stuff about me. There’s probably a heap that I haven’t told you, but keep visiting and you’ll find out more. If you want to know more about the singing side of me then visit: www.facebook.com/theceliabband. It’s all in there.
I’m just going to end by saying that I’m amazingly lucky to have a lovely family who don’t seem to mind all this writing and singing. That’s incredibly nice of them. And they know that if doing the dishes, or tidying, or ironing, was left up to me, it wouldn’t get done for weeks on end. Hopefully, one day, they’ll be so proud of me they’ll fall over the piles of rubbish without even noticing.