The Pencil

Although I like to plan out my storyboard in different coloured pens, I’ve always ticked and crossed out the part I’ve written with a pencil. Don’t know why, I just do! For some reason, years ago, when I was nursing and had much longer hair, I used to push my pen into my ponytail or whatever gripped my hair together. It was an automatic, kind of natural thing I did without thinking – heaven knows what my scalp looked like after a twelve-hour shift! I was an intensive nurse for most of my career, and for most of that I worked in paediatrics, so I wore scrubs. Scrubs are not designed to accommodate one pen, let alone the three different colours the observation chart required to make it look nice and pretty. So like I say, it just became a habit to push said pen/pens into my hair. Then I got a bob!


I have had a bob now for… well as long as I can remember. It’s quick, easy, neat, and hassle free. I do change it up slightly: short and graduated; all the same length with bangs; it’s currently just above my shoulders and I’ve grown my bangs out. So now, once again, I can tie it back so I get the best of both. While sat in my coffee shop one day some time back, I must have pushed my pencil into my tied-back hair without thinking. It was when my younger son was doing one of his shorter sports classes, and I must have packed up in a hurry to pick him up. As I walked the short distance across the street to the community centre, several people along the way appeared to be looking at my head. It was my son’s instructor that said to me, ‘You do know you have a pencil stuck in your head don’t you?’


More recently I’ve been writing in the evenings at home as – sadly – the classes are finished and school is out. My husband was quick to notice one evening that I had pushed my pencil into my hair, and he declared it was something he had always liked about me when he saw me at work. My female character in the novel I’m currently writing is a paediatric intensive care nurse, with lots of long hair. My husband’s love of such a simple thing that apparently always made him smile – and still does – gave me an idea for a scene. In my first novel I will give you sexy fruit… in my third I will give you the sexy pencil!



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