Sunday 20 December 2015

Day 20: Snowflakes and Good Deeds by T. D. Holland

 What gave you the idea for your Snowflakes story?

This is one of the stories that is featured in my memoir, ‘Born In The Change.’ I started writing it for my thesis on my degree course (Professional and creative writing.) at Nottingham University.
Winters were always harsh in Sheffield when I was a child, but we still found a time to help others and to laugh at the extremes in our weather. I chose to write this memory to show people that being born to elderly parents are not always bad and being a child carer isn’t all work and no play.

How would you describe your normal style of writing?

I would say a fine middle style. My writing is relaxed and easy going. I love to show with dialogue the emotions of my characters. I like to write about everyday things and how people live.

Have you published other material?

I have had work published in four anthologies, which I feel has been a good start in my writing career. If you can tell a good all-round story in a short story, it helps when you decide to write that longer novel. I entered my finish memoir into the Mslexia’s 2015 memoir competition and was proud to be longlisted.

 Do you have a writing routine?
I would love to say yes, but my muse sometimes moves me to write at some pretty unusual times. I always try to write every day, as writing is like a muscle, if you don’t use it you can lose its strength.

Do you have a favourite place for writing?

I love to write at the table in my dining room. It overlooks my garden and if I feel a bit of writers block creeping up on me, I can go outside and draw on nature to put me back on step.

Tell something quirky about you.

I actually read my stories out to my cat, Harley. He is my best critique, and constant writing companion.

An extract from Snowflakes and Good Deeds 

In Sheffield we had proper winters, just like the ones you see on Christmas cards. Winter for us was one big snow covered world, and I am talking deep snow.
The negatives to this winter wonderland were, the difficulty getting out of the house in the first place. Our house on Cullabine Road seemed to be situated in a wind tunnel. You would know it had snowed because in the morning you would wake up to complete silence, as if the whole house was soundproofed.
One of the strange things about the snow was the fact it didn’t make the house overly cold. Again it was as though the snow had cocooned us.
Mum would rush down stairs and quickly get the fire started and the kettle on. We would all scurry down stairs and be welcomed with a roaring fire and a warm cup of tea.
“By the way.” Mum would say. “The door’s blocked.”
“Oh dear. Does that mean no school?” I would reply, a look of hope on my face.
Now our school was old and the pipes were on their last legs and these undependable beast would bust if snow fell too deep. This my dear friends was not a sad occasion for us, in fact it was a time of rejoicing as a snow day was a fun day.
“Nothing has been said on the radio yet, but there’s still time.” We would all sit expectantly by the radio, hoping our school would be read out on the list of schools closed that day.
Going back to the problem of the front door. Our solution was to lower me out of the front window, with a small spade. No this wasn’t child labour, this was fun.
I would get my jeans on and a big coat, grab my wellies and I was off, or should I say out of the window. The snow would be fresh and crisp and it would fall away from the door like sand. I would then bang my booted feet on the mat outside, shaking the snow off, then enter through snow cleared door and back for another warm drink.
“Bad news Tracey.” Said Dad.
“No way, how can we go to school in this snow. There will be no heating and I will freeze to death.” Then I would see dad smiling.
“Dad, you’re evil and you will go to hell.” I would tell him.
“Well at least it will be hot. And I will have Mum to keep me company. Won’t I my darling wife?” Mum would reply by throwing a cushion at him.
“Ignore him Tracey. The radio has said your school is closed today.”

About the author:

Tracey has been writing all her life and has just graduated from Nottingham University with a BA in Professional and Creative Writing.
Her main interests are Memoirs and Children’s writing and she has finished her first novel, a Memoir titled, “Born In The Change.”
In 2015 her Novel was long listed in the Mslexia memoir competition.
She is now looking to get an agent and publish her first novel.



Rita said...

Bought the book from Amazon. I have read 5 stories so far. Really loved reading them especially the story Tracey wrote. It took my back to my childhood in New Yok City near Central Park West.

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