An interest in creative writing was fostered early on for Forster resident Barbara Edmunds.
It’s an interest that has stuck with her through the many stages and phases of life and now, the flair for fitting words together has been rewarded.
Barbara’s short story, “A Worn Out Knee” has been included in Seniors’ Stories Volume 4, which includes more than 100 inspiring short stories written by seniors.
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“It was the first competition I had entered, and really, I didn’t expect it to come to much,” Barbara explained.
“I was expecting they would notify people of the outcome at the end of September, and I heard nothing, so I just thought that was it.”
So, putting the competition to the back of her mind, Barbara went on a holiday, returning to an unexpected email containing exciting news.
“I was so close to deleting it as spam, I don’t know why I read it,” she laughed.
“Then I realised what it was and it was very exciting.”
Writing has always been something I enjoy, and it’s nice just to get that bit of acknowledgement that what you are doing is something someone else can enjoy.Barbara Edmunds
The theme of the competition focused on the benefits of aging, and Barbara’s story drew on her own experience.
“A Worn Out Knee was written about my experience getting a knee replacement, and how it changed my life,” she explained.
“I was working then, and I wasn’t really enjoying it, so I took the opportunity to retire when I had the knee replacement, and then it all became about designing my life after work.
“The knee was the catalyst for a very big lifestyle change.”
Barbara left her job in Taree and moved to Forster, a significant lifestyle change she quickly learned to love.
“After being a bit worried about retiring it actually turned out to be a really great thing,” she said.
“I’ve been very blessed in that the knee reconstruction has been the most serious thing that has happened to me, and it has had a positive impact.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to do a lot of travelling, and I’ve made some nice friends here. It’s a totally different lifestyle in so many ways.”
Barbara’s interest in creative writing was piqued by an English teacher she described as one in a thousand.
“She was fantastic, she inspired a love for words and the way you can put them together and come out with totally different meanings,” Barbara said.
“Many years later I did a diploma in creative writing, and that was a great avenue to get back into writing while I was working full time.
When she retired, Barbara joined the Scribblers writing group, before moving across to U3A.
“Through those groups and the creative writing course I learned a lot.” she said.
“Writing has always been something I enjoy, and it’s nice just to get that bit of acknowledgement that what you are doing is something someone else can enjoy.”