I am always inspired by people like Gaye Hemsley — today’s Tuesday 12 x 12 author — who combine their passions to live the fullest life possible. Frankly, as somebody who can’t dance, sing, draw or seemingly do anything else that’s creative besides writing, I’m in awe of people like Gaye who do so many. On her website, Gaye says she needs to live to be 100 because she has so much to do. I believe her, and I love that spirit! I am also very grateful to finally know where the phrase “stark naked” came from. 🙂 Please welcome Gaye!
Follow your passions.
My first published articles were in the ‘Pixies Pages’ of the Woman’s Weekly in the 1940’s. I enjoyed sending in little poems and tongue twisters. One advantage of being an only child was my having to invent friends and create my own games. When teachers gave us a choice of subjects to write about I would usually pick the likes of ‘The journey of a penny.’ To me that was much more fun than ‘Gold mining in New Zealand.’ Unfortunately my poor spelling always let me down. Teachers told me they took marks off an otherwise good story. With age and the help of thesaurus it has improved.
My English grandmother, who lived with us, kept my imagination alive with wonderful stories of her life in England, her voyage to New Zealand and her marriage to my Norwegian grandfather. When I was ten years old my mother, who was a ballroom dancing teacher, took me to see the visiting English Ballet Company’s presentation of ‘Giselle.’ Well that was it! Ballet lessons started the following week. I adored my teacher who was one of the dancers who performed at the Civic Winter- Gardens for the American troops who were on furlough in my home city, Auckland. One of the other dancers in her troupe was ‘Freda Stark’ who danced a provocative fan dance finishing baring a beautiful body completely covered with gold paint. In case you don’t know, that’s where the Kiwi saying came from ‘Stark Naked.’
When I was fifteen I started teaching. Writing came back into my life some years later when I commenced writing little poems and setting them to music. My preschoolers enjoyed dancing and acting out the stories. A friend suggested I find an artist and have them made into little books. Since then I have self published many more. To give me more guide lines with my writing I signed up for a correspondence course on ‘Writing for Children.’ It took me twelve months to complete and graduate.
Like many writers out there I suffer from TMIS syndrome. ‘What’s that’ some of you ask. It stands for ‘too many ideas syndrome’ which can be just as much a dilemma as BPS (blank page syndrome.)
How many of you wake in the night with little gremlin ideas buzzing around in your head. Well don’t get up, have a pen and paper next to your bed; jot your ideas down. Don’t turn on the light, that will tell your brain it’s time to get up and you’ll never go back to sleep. Put your ideas in a folder, computer or drawer. When your creative juices are running freely, open your folder and write! It’s amazing how many times you twist and glide phrases and words around. In no time your words are ready to dance.
Social contact with other writers, whether on line groups like 12×12 or local groups is very beneficial. Stay true to yourself, take advice and do remember it’s your story.
Competitions and deadlines are essential for writers starting their journey. It’s a real boost to your confidence when you manage to get in the top three or even short listed.
Over the years I’ve sent manuscripts away to publishers and waited, sometimes I may get an nice refusal, but many times no reply.
So, I self publish my own books under the name of DanceWrite Promotions.’
I’m lucky to have a platform for my little action stories. I do have my books listed on my web page and social networks but find not many sales eventuate. It’s an advantage to get out there by visiting kindergartens, craft markets, etc.
For me I find teaching dance and writing is a happy combination. Doing dance choreography is not unlike planning a story that is; an interesting beginning, exciting middle and satisfactory ending.
May the dance never end and the story never finish.
A lifetime of working with children as a dance teacher has motivated ‘Nana Gaye’ into writing picture books, organizing children’s events and private parties. Many of her little books have been the theme for dance shows she has presented.
Her life has been surrounded by children, her own, her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and hundreds of dance pupils. With all the experience she has had with working with children her next project is a book full of original ideas for holding a ‘Fabulous Fun Party.’ She’s passionate about passing on her love of dance and writing. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christina-Productions/115056665208409