How would you summarise you? What comes to mind? If you played a word association game about yourself, what words would you use? Physical attributes often come to mind first. Height, hair and eye colour which may then be followed by personality traits. Are you friendly, sensitive, ambitious, funny, intelligent? Which adjectives would you want to use to sell yourself?
How do we choose words that conjure something of our personalities and demeanour? I realised as I scanned my social media profiles recently that those assemblages of words only tap superficially into parts of me. So, here are FIVE things about me that may give you some insight into me, the writer.
1. I am passionate about THE ENVIRONMENT: this reflects my background as an environmental scientist. I love being outdoors and, especially, value times when I can watch birds. These opportunities are times of complete escape for me and often provide inspiration for my writing. I use my literature to encourage children to engage with the natural world. I am challenged by the reality of climate change. It is not easy to live in the western world and reduce your carbon footprint, but I do my best.
2. I am a VEGETARIAN: I chose to go down the ‘veggie’ route over 30 years ago. I did this for both ethical and health reasons. I believe that eating a diet high in fibre and rich in fruit and vegetables helps me to keep healthy. I love vegetarian options, but sadly I am not particularly skilled at cooking them.
3. My FAVOURITE reads: I wish I knew what these are. I love reading and devour books avidly. My problem is that, at any time, a particular book can feel like my favourite until it is usurped by another. There are currently so many fabulous books around that I just can’t get enough of them. My favourite genre at present is the Middle Grade model with so many excellent authors e.g. Christopher Edge, Horatio Clare, Emma Carroll, Kiran Millwood Hargrave. I know that I don’t really enjoy sci-fi or horror novels, but that might change by next week.
4. I’m HALF FULL: they say that people have either a ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’ approach to life. Those who know me would say that I’m a ‘half full’ person. This reflects, in part, my personality and, in part, the fact that I’ve had to face rather a lot of challenges in my life. Being exposed to hardship early in life can either make or break you and, in my case, it made me.
5. I love RAILWAYS: not many people would admit to it, but I do enjoy steam railways. My passion for this can manifest as either visits to model railway exhibitions (now can you see why I might not admit to this?!!) or, much preferable, riding on rail systems with steam engines. Perhaps steam engine railways will figure in one of my books.