Thursday 22 October 2020

The First Blue Dress

This week sees the publication of one of my short stories. Another is to be published in the very near future. The two stories are written in different styles and were submitted to different publications at different times and accepted at different times so it wasn't until news of their publication coincided that I realised both stories featured blue dresses. Very different dresses though. One is a dull blue with white spots, which the wearer hates. The other is a beautiful long dress, the colour of bluebells, which the wearer loves but feels might not be suitable for a midweek morning. 

A Girl Can Dream is published this week in Yours Magazine (edition 361) in the UK. 

The story, originally titled A Dress Made for Dancing was inspired by a real person I met through my work. Cathy, a wheelchair user also had dysarthria, a speech impairment, as does my story's Cathy. She also had an admirer called Alan but the rest is imaginary. One memory of the real Cathy, which isn't in my story, is how her speech would improve after a vodka and orange or two when we went for a jaunt to the pub. Sadly, it didn't prove to be an efficacious universal therapy tool for speech and language therapists. 

Both Cathy and Alan died many years ago but I deliberately used their names in their memory. I hope they would both approve of the story.  

Having said that, there have been a number of edits to my original story. One or two are fine, but many  I hate. I wasn't surprised to see it changed from my first tense to past tense but the number of clichés, including its new title, that are now dotted throughout are horrible. The final sentence too, has been changed into another cliché! My image of Cathy in her beautiful blue dress was a lot more glamorous than the illustration. I wanted my story to show a wheelchair user looking absolutely fabulous, and I think the blue cardigan (which was originally a little shrug) is more like the warm winter cardigan I've been wearing during lockdown than anything Cathy would have chosen!