I dug out some old files from writing courses and browsed through them looking for inspiration but only discovered that that my old writing was far less inspiring than I remembered!
Thankfully Younger Son provided inspiration with his reminder that today is World Book Day. 'Write about your favourite book,' he said.
The first book that came to mind was one I've mentioned before: Brother of the More Famous Jack, the first novel from Barbara Trapido. But then I thought, 'What about My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises with its granny-I-aspire-to-be?' And what about all the Janet Evanovich 'Stephanie Plum' novels with their hapless but kick-ass bounty hunter - not to mention another model granny? Or Little Women with the feminist before her time Jo March?
And I realise I could list loads of books that I really enjoyed but none has stayed with me in the same way as Brother of so that's the one I'll settle for.
I was living in Southampton in the late 1980s when I bought and read this Whitbread-award-winning novel and I loved it so much I even bought it for a friend in Swansea for her birthday. (I very rarely buy books as gifts as reading taste is so personal but I was convinced she would love this and she did.)
It's about a girl from a 'proper' lower middle class upbringing on the verge of going to university and who becomes involved with her lecturer's family, the eccentricities of which are so far removed from everything with which she is familiar. And like her I aspired to be part of this family, to have that confidence, the assurance that was theirs by right. And I fell in love with the second son.
The author's other books never did it for me in the same way. I guess sometimes you just hit lucky