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Back in the day

Whilst rummaging around in my cupboards (sounds like a euphemism, but it isn't - I wasn't looking for chocolate either...honest), I found an old tin full of early scribblings that I'd forgotten about. It reminded me that even then, aged 14, (spurred on by the dubious honour of having had a poem published in Judy comic aged 11) I used to write stuff...silly plays mostly with my dear friend, Cheryl. We'd record them onto enormous cassettes and bother the BBC or local radio to put them on. At least I'm assuming that's what the following two missives were about...



Now, to be fair, I'm not quite sure what the letter is referring to, but I think it involved a play about Susie who, as I recall, was a rather mischeivous little girl who got up to all sorts of...well, mischief I suppose. I'd write the script and Cheryl would play Susie, using what can only be described as a 'baby-voice.' What can I say? We were young and deluded. High on custard creams.





Judging by this, our expectations were a little unrealistic. (Nationwide was a local TV news programme).
Funny how we were anticipating fame back then, in much the same way that X-Factor contestants do now. Despite an obvious lack of talent.
I think the answer to question 9 would have been -"they are frightened and amused in equal measures, by our touching self-belief."
Ah, those were the days. Full of possibilities.
In biology lessons, a couple of friends and I used to write a weekly serial called Pigs in Pink Plastic Macs (don't ask) which we'd then pass round the school. I can't remember much about it, except it was great fun to do and, apparently, carried on circulating for quite a while after we'd left, according to my brother. I learnt a lot that year. Sadly, none of it had anything to do with biology.
It's quite reassuring to remember that, most of my life, on and off, I've been honing my skills as a writer. Maybe, one day, when (if) I'm published I'll be able to revive those questions accordingly!


Comments

CTaylor said…
That made me laugh! I've got two rejection letters from Penguin Publishers. One was sent to me when I was 8 for my 'book' "Weedy" and the second when I was 11 (no idea what that one was for!).

At school a girl in the year below me wrote an erotic tale about some of the teachers (she wrote in detail about imagined affairs they were having, going into somewhat gruesome detail about sexual acts and whatnot) and it was passed around the whole school. Funnily enough she was expelled not long after! I wonder if she ever become an author (I can't remember for the life of me what she was called).
KAREN CLARKE said…
How funny! The friend I co-wrote Pigs in Pink Plastic Macs with (can't believe I've typed that twice in as many hours) was also writing a bonkbuster, Jackie Collins' stylee, in an old notepad, but I don't think it ever saw the light of day. It was very rude though - all those surging hormones, I suppose!
Leigh said…
Er, wasn't Nationwide a nationwide TV news programme? We used to get it in Hertfordshire, which is a little way from Scarborough...
Anonymous said…
That's beautiful.
Lane said…
Brilliant. Your early writing sounds so sassy and cool. Pigs in Pink Plastic Macs was way before its time me thinks:-)

I wrote about dopey Victorian girls and ponies and never had the vision to actually send something off! And you'd even prepared your interviews! That will come in handy one day!
x
Annieye said…
I had a rejection letter from Blue Peter Annual when I was eight, but they sent me a coveted Blue Peter Badge because they liked my idea for making a memory aid for my ageing grandma (who was really old at 54!)

It consisted of an empty Swan matchbox covered in sticky backed plastic, a supply of elastic bands and a notepad and was accompanied by a story about how my Grandma forgot to collect my younger brother and me from school one day.

Two rejection letters in the early 1980s went in the bin in disgust.
Paul Capewell said…
This is brilliant!

I think I have bits and bobs cluttering up my closet from when me and my best friend used to (attempt to, at least) draw comics. And I think my sister and I used to record plays on cassettes too, or at least perform them to mum and dad with cassettes for sound effects and music...

Awesome that you still have these things though!
HelenMH said…
When I was at school I wrote a letter to Magnus Pyke (re a school debate about UFOs) and he replied! I treasured the letter for years! Not sure what that says about me!
L-Plate Author said…
When I was twelve I won a writing competiton. It involved writing a letter about what ideas I could come up with for a spare piece of land, which I'm sure was where the idea of Alton Towers came from!

I won an 'adventure' holiday for me and a friend and had a t-shirt signed by Valerie Singleton!
You should frame these early masterpieces, alternative art :) TFX
Alis said…
Pigs in Pink Plastic Macs sounds as if it's due a come-back to me - cult fiction - sell it to the Mighty Boosh!!
KAREN CLARKE said…
leigh - Doh! I think the clue was in the title! I was thinking of Calendar - a regional news programme (honest).

wayne - I know. Brings a tear to your eye :)

lane - I loved stories about Victorian girls and ponies...well ponies anyway. Ponies in Pink Plastic Macs doesn't sound the same somehow...

annieye - Old at 54!! My children think anyone over 30 is old, mind you. Bins are the perfect place for rejection letters, by the way. I don't want to be reminded of my failures :)

paul - I'm sure there's loads of other stuff in m'cupboard, but lots more got left behind when I moved. Probably just as well!

helenhm - The only letter I ever got back from someone famous, was Santa when I was 6. Definitely not the same :)

l-plate - That's very impressive! I wonder if Valerie will remember you when you're famous??

tf - I could frame them - to embarrass the children if nothing else!

alis - I've a feeling it might be a little 'out there' even for the mighty Mighty Boosh!

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