I wrote these romantic stories, published in magazines, when two of my children were at primary school and the youngest was a baby going on toddler. In the early Eighties the only time I had was in the evenings, hunched over a portable typewriter on the kitchen table, after they had gone to bed. Later in the decade I slotted in my passion for writing both stories and articles between supply teaching at my local secondary school and being a mum and wife.
It has been fascinating to gather these stories together and read them again, after all this time. They make me realise how much the world has changed since the 1980s and often it is the everyday lifestyle details, as well as attitudes and relationships of ordinary young people looking for love, that come as a surprise and make me smile. Some of the trials and tribulations of life and basic human emotions, however, are still relevant today.
Yes, I did say portable typewriter! No way of cutting and pasting in those days. Or pressing ‘delete’. You had to be sure of what you were typing. Actually, I used to write them by longhand first, so I could scribble and change things. The creative process seemed to work through a line from brain to fingers holding pen in those days and I could not imagine writing straight onto the typewriter. Gradually I progressed to electronic typewriter, then basic word processor and finally a computer and soon could not contemplate writing by hand. I have carbon copies of my stories and can match them up with the magazines I kept. The titles were usually changed so I am glad I kept the old typed copies as proof that they are my stories. Incidentally, the magazines included Romance, My Story, True Story – and Christian Herald. The first-person narrative style gives them immediacy and the illusion of being real-life stories.
One thing that comes through in most of the stories is how important it was for many girls in those days to have an engagement ring on their finger, followed by wedding bands and bells.
This may be a decade you remember as a parent like me, or it could be the era of your parents when they met or brought you up. Either way I hope you enjoy reading these little stories about love and life in the Eighties. Ideal for commuters perhaps – ‘on the train’.
As you can see from the different look of the cover, this is a departure from the Appley Green novels. Rings on our Fingers is Book 1. The second volume will be out in a few weeks’ time. Can you guess what its title will be?
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Village novels by Miriam Wakerly are available as both Paperback and Kindle, Amazon See the reviews there!