An Outstanding Debt

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With my mother at my first book event, long after the age of thirty.

When I was fifteen I bet my mother ten pounds that I’d be published by the age of thirty. Ten pounds was quite a bit to me then. I felt like it was a fair deal, one where she’d have to pay me. After all, I’d always been a writer.

I wrote stories in notepads from as young as seven. I wrote a sequel to my favourite book Heidi when I was ten, with diagrams and chapters and everything. I completed my first teen novel at fourteen. Everything inspired me. My sound of my father’s guitar playing. The smell of my mother’s lap, her yellow dressing gown, as I tried to soothe her tears. The sight of clouds against blue sky.

So I knew my mother would have to hand over ten pounds on my thirtieth birthday.

I continued writing in early adulthood but never quite dared send my work anywhere. Thirty approached. I sent a few articles about being a mum to our local newspaper. When the editor called me, I thought it might just be for feedback, but he wanted me to write a weekly column for them. I was overjoyed.

My first piece was published two months after my thirty-first birthday. I had to smile. Better late then never; because this gave me confidence, and I began having more faith in my writing, and haven’t looked back since.

I do however still owe my mother the ten pounds….

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