The style of writing is for a book, rather than a blog or funding bid, and the audience is children. I have taken ten legendary people and adapted their stories into tales for children to get outdoors in nature and enjoy exploring the legend.
After years of writing academically in such a way that stifles all creativity, I feel like I have been let out of a strict uptight school. A school where all the teachers wear mortar boards and capes and carry a bendy switch to terrify you into saying your nine times table backwards.
Instead of sweating over what on earth algorithms mean and how to spell it, I have been busy running across fields, climbing trees and feeling the wind in my hair. Being out of school means I can once again find my inner child so we can write, create, play, laugh and enjoy together what writing should really be all about – having fun. We must seem an odd couple roaming the forest, down land, and hanging off cliffs together. An over excitable pensioner with a dodgy hip pumped up on coffee, and a small gregarious grubby child running ahead screaming with delight.
The Heritage Lottery fund provided a grant for this book – but it’s not just any old book. Oh no. it’s a community book. What this means is although I have drafted the ten stories for the ten legends, it has now been passed to a group of wonderful volunteer families who are trying the stories out for size. I am just the catalyst for this to happen and have been overwhelmed by the response to it, not least my own response.
Currently the volunteer families are roaming across the countryside visiting the sites where the legends took place to see what can be added to the stories to make fun filled and, most importantly, free days out. They are adding secret treasure, hiding fairy doors and doing all of this for other families who can’t afford expensive trips to theme parks or days out on the mainland.
The stories involve some of the most beautiful stunning locations the island has to offer. They also includes dragons, witches, kings, smugglers and superheroes. The island is alive with the most wonderful tales, some of which have survived for centuries.
However, there has been a down side. I seem to have fallen a little in love with each of the legendary characters. To be able to write their stories, I needed to be able to feel them so very deeply, as if they were part of my very being.
Perhaps they really are part of my being. They were legends I grew up with, told to me by my parents and grandparents over and over again. They were, and still are, as real to my childhood imagination as my grand-daughter’s cuddly toy duck is to her.
This project has breathed life back into the legends again. I just hope I have done them justice and that new generations of children will fall a little in love with their stories too.