I recently had cause to think on where it all began.
While I have been writing poems and stories for as long as I can remember, I started to get serious about my writing in 2012, when ‘The Man with the Purple Halo’ placed third in that year’s Trudy Graham-Julie Lewis Literary Award.
That was enough to make me think that others might like my stories too.
My toughest reader turned out to be my husband.
When he first read ‘The Man with the Purple Halo’, he said it was good. To me, “good” means “pleasant; nice; nothing exciting” — but, as it transpired, he thought this story was pretty great. For months afterwards, he used it as the measure for each new story: ‘It’s good, but it’s no Purple Halo.’
So there you go. High praise, in retrospect. And a valuable lesson in how my husband and I use language differently.
Here it is, again, in case you missed it the first and second times around: http://www.munsterlit.ie/Southword/Issues/26/vandidden_hannah.html
I hope that you enjoy the read.
[Feature image (c) India van Didden, 2017]