This past week I have to admit to taking time out from my writing as I have been busy playing at tour guide and hosting visitors from afar, not to mention star gazing. Rather I should say, gazing with admiration at a star of a different quality. Twinkling, sparkling bright in its purest form, the star I am referring to, is the legendary Dame Julie Andrews, a one night show, her first ever, in my country. A couple of friends had come to attend her show, for one it was their first time to my country in a flying one week visit from Spain.
Five strangers came together for one night, drawn under the spell. Dining and reminiscing, we spoke of how our lives have changed and what drew us here for this one night; writing, theatre, movies, and sitting during the performance a woman next to me spoke of her singing career taking off. All inspired in some way by this amazing woman.
For me Julie Andrews provided the key to my writing. That moment, when I picked up a pen, and started to write. I remember that night, very clearly. An interview written for, (I think), for Life Magazine back in 1968 of family values, moved me to tears. Since then it has been a wonderful snowball of events…. Not all of them so good, as that particular story I wrote that night got lost, was found, then it was stolen, then suddenly a copy was sent to me, and now after a time of sitting on a shelf it is being revised. In the meantime I had taken her daughter, Emma’s writing course, joined a couple of writing clubs, a critique group and attended conferences. Picture books and the art of writing for children brings’ with it an art of control, structure, imagination, and wonder.
It was a delight to listen to the life of not only a great legend in the music, theatre, and movie industry, but also to hear of her writing children’s books, with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. I had the privilege of meeting this elegant, amazing woman afterwards, and letting her know what an inspiration she was to me, in getting me started, and how I enjoyed Emma’s writing course. She was the key that unlocked a door for me.
A night I will never forget!