MY FAVOURITE THINGS: Amazed at the amount of home-grown talent in Sheffield – Sheffield Telegraph

Posted: November 27, 2020 at 9:46 am

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Her debut novel, Stones in my Bra the search for love, enlightenment and the perfect flapjack, is out now.

Set in Sheffield, it features many of the things she loves about her hometown.

Sheffields writing scene

Writing was something I took up as my children got older and I had more free time.

I wrote to amuse myself and my friends and didnt really understand there were skills to be learnt in terms of narrative arcs and plot development.

Then, thanks to an article in the Telegraph, I discovered Joanne Burn, a great writing coach based in Grindleford, and later I found the Sheffield writing scene and joined The Virtual Writers Caff run by local actor and creative, Letty Butler.

Im amazed at how much home-grown talent Sheffield has!

In the current climate, local press has taken a hit in readership. This is such a shame as its vital to have professionally trained journalists to report on issues that affect us.

I always pick up the Sheffield Telegraph on a Thursday to find out whats happening and appreciate that, even in lock-down, theres been a balance between publishing the facts and keeping a positive outlook.

Local radio also keeps us up-to-date and entertained. I love the phone-ins and interactions with the listeners so wanted to incorporate an element of that into my story line.

Sheffields alternative therapies

Im used to being considered alternative by my family!

Whats nice is that in recent years, many of the practices, such as yoga, mindfulness and reflexology that were once considered strange, have now become mainstream.

My novel introduces the reader to several therapies in a light-hearted way and, should they be inspired to try out a gong bath, clear their clutter, or cherish their chakras, then groups such as the Reiki Shining Light Circle here in Sheffield can offer them all.

Sheffields running community

I got into running a few years ago and pre-Covid was a regular at the Endcliffe park run. Im a member of the Millhouses Beginners Group which meets every Thursday at 9.30 am and runs through Ecclesall Woods.

Ive learnt such a lot I never knew there were so many techniques to improve your form.

The sessions are free, fun and open to all ages.

In fact, Im so inspired by them that I had my narrator join a similar club in her quest for self-improvement.

Lockdown has been made bearable by still being able to get a curry from the Bilash on Sharrowvale Road, a pie from the Broadfield on Abbeydale Road and a drink and a meal in our excellent neighbourhood pubs. Theres also no shortage of superb cafes in Nether Edge. But nothing can beat my narrators award-winning flapjack.

Ive had a long career in teaching English as a foreign language and my students always say how theyve been made to feel at home here.

I love the fact Sheffield embraces different cultures and has such a vibrant international community at both universities. Id also like to mention the Migration Matters festival and the charity ASSIST which do so much to raise our awareness of asylum seekers and refugees. And lets not forget neighbourhood groups, like NENG, who organize events such as our quarterly market. In my novel the narrator worries her father is suffering from dementia.

So, reading of the Sheffield care workers who locked down with their vulnerable residents made me feel really proud. Its why I chose to give my Bridget Jones meets Eat, Pray, Love story its unique Sheffield flavour and also why profits from my sales will be going to Alzheimers UK.

Stones in my Bra is rated 4.9 and can be purchased on or at Wickwire, in Nether Edge.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS: Amazed at the amount of home-grown talent in Sheffield - Sheffield Telegraph

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November 27th, 2020 at 9:46 am

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