1) As a small child, I was obsessed with limping. I would limp round and round the garden with a bamboo cane, pretending to be a little old man.
2) I am a slow, slow reader. I re-read sentences I like, savouring the words like that first sip of a gin and tonic. Ages pass before I turn the page. My husband whizzes through books, but I worry that he is missing something.
3) I insisted on wearing my stilettos when I worked in a toy factory during school holidays. One day they took me off my seat on the assembly line to work on a machine that punched rivets into plastic parts. It was a standing-up job. After the long walk home, my feet were so painful my mother had to make a mustard bath for them. But I still wore the heels the next day. I was utterly faithful to high heels and I still am, despite the torture. I don't understand the flat pumps my daughters wear.
4) When I visited my husband in hospital following his five-hour operation to remove a facial tumour, I had forgotten my handbag and ran out of petrol. The first thing I said was, "Have you got any cash on you?"
5) I eat mint-sauce sandwiches.
6) When a story I'm writing is going well, my heart beats very quickly. I feel it might jump out of my body. I get the same sensation just before a good story idea forms in my head. As though my body knows what is about to happen before my mind sees it.
7) A story came into my mind recently, fully-formed, with the main character complete and real. I felt he was mine to know and love and worry about. I sent him to a competition and know that if it isn't shortlisted, I shall be utterly devastated. I have been scared to read it again since, in case it's actually rubbish.
Thank you to penandpaints for giving me carte-blanche to bear my soul once more.