Seeing a poster advertising a local writing group, I emailed and I suggested myself as a guest speaker. Last night, I had been wondering if I should pop over to an earlier meeting to suss out the territory, hoping to make sure I know where I’m going and what I might expect. Solely with a view to making sure I don’t end up flat on my face or in the wrong place, you see.

This morning, I suspected that my motives might be misconstrued by the regulars. Might they conclude that I am looking for kudos or searching for compliments? It is possible. The last thing I want to do is to get in their way or cause any embarrassment.

I’m no more of an exhibitionist than the next writer is. But somewhere along the way I have had to take on a bit of reinvention, adapt. Shy wallflower with artistic dreams transmogrifies into marketing, networking and sales novice with a few tips up her sleeve. It may help that I am old – well, oldish – and I’ve had a life. I have reached the age where these silly adverts “are you fifty plus and looking for a way to reassure your loved ones when you die?” will very soon apply to me, and I reflect, “Well, I may be approaching that particular doorway, and I may well have already passed through most of the usual doors one expects to, but, really, I haven’t lived much, yet. Can we put off the appointment with the funeral directors for a couple of decades, please? Making the most of it, I hope to keep going.

I hope I’m one of these souls who are euphemistically referred to as “late starters” and that, when Life does finally start, I have a body which is still fit enough to enjoy finishing what I’ve started. Getting all the ducks in the row at the same time is a bit touch and go. But I am determined to do my best and the omens are very good. So here we go.

Claire Montreuil, 1945
Claire Montreuil, 1945

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