Saturday, June 13, 2009

Peek in the Past - Introducing . . . Anne Bradshaw

First, I’d better explain that I’m from England, which is why some things I say (write) may sound a little odd. The only trouble is, most of the time - unless someone points out the error of my ways - I don’t know I’m doing it because to me it’s normal. So please be sure to tell me if you don’t understand something and I’ll translate.

Growing up mostly in Cheshire, England, in a non-LDS household was uneventful by today’s standards. No Primary. No Young Women. No family home evening. Not much excitement to stir the memory. My brother and sister were twins, and I was two years older, so I spent much of my time alone. I didn’t mind, because I had enough imagination to fill a zoo. From an early age, I had a make-believe horse stabled in the attic. At that time, we lived in an old Victorian semi-detached house in Knutsford, and I think I was the only one who ventured up those creaky, uncarpeted stairs to the two bleak rooms in the sky.

There were no curtains on the windows, sashes were broken, and the glass was dusty, with bird droppings encrusting the outside in strange patterns. Cobwebs in corners fluttered when I blew on them, and spiders kept busy trapping countless flies. I had no fear of spiders back then, since British specimens are not poisonous.

There was nothing comfortable about those rooms with their uneven floorboards. They smelled musty in summer, and dank in winter. A bare light bulb dangled by its knotted wire in one ceiling; the other room had nothing but window light. Yet those rooms were my refuge. The place where imaginary friends lived and played – and where I enjoyed many a quiet read.

It was there that stories began in my mind. Instead of empty space, I saw Snowball, my plucky white stallion, surrounded by tackle-filled walls, bales of hay, and a tub of water, which I refilled on a regular basis, along with a bucket of feed. I enjoyed the company of pretend children, fairies, goblins, and animals of varying sizes. Instead of a Secret Garden, I had a Not-So-Secret Attic.

More about my writing beginnings in the next post. Right now, I should climb down those attic stairs and return to reality. It’s amazing how vivid some memories remain after years of hiding away. But work calls. My new book, Famous Family Nights, will soon be in the stores, and there’s much to do.

Feel free to join a Facebook group for Famous Family Nights by clicking HERE.


Rebecca Talley said...

I'm excited for your new book.

Love your post--very interesting. You have a great imagination and your descriptions made me feel like I was right there in your attic.

Rachel said...

I should know that you are from England, but I always forget. What a fun post! And I'm excited for your new book!

Amy said...

Wow, where to begin??
First of all, hi, I'm Amy. Second of all, I LOVED your post. Not only did it take me back to my own childhood filled with all kinds of imaginary mates similar to your own, but it also took me back to the eight glorious days I spent in England three years ago!
I adore England. And I adore writing. I look forward to seeing more of your posts in the future!

Tristi Pinkston said...

I love the picture of that house, Anne!

Stephanie Black said...

It was so fun meeting you at the LDStorymakers Conference! Congrats on your new book!

Anne Bradshaw said...

Thank you, people :-) It's great getting to know you all. Good luck with your books.

kersten campbell said...

Love your post Anne!

JoAnn Arnold said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I could almost see an enchanting story within your story as I read about your childhood.

Jaime Theler said...

I love your not-so-secret attic. I never had a cool place like that. The closest I could get was up in a tree or in the backyard, which wasn't very big.

Cindy Beck said...

What a cool story! And a great imagination. :)