My poetry deadline loomed and I was really panicking

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Friends and family released balloons on Portsdown Hill on what would have been Katie's 15th birthday on February 4

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What a time I’ve had lately, jumping from one World Book Day event to another speaking about myself and my book.

I say it’s been marvellous, but after repeating the same thing four or five times, I do find myself becoming ever so slightly bored with my own life story and wanting to rev it up a bit to make it more interesting for me.

There are only so many occasions that I can talk about visiting cement factories – and relate that to writing – without wanting to encase my feet in said glutinous substance and jump into the nearest river.

It’s like when I tell people that the Z in my name stands for Zorro – as I work at a school now, there will be a generation of children who believe that my parents were such fans of the film they named me after a character played by both Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins.

If only those children were to look at my wrinkles and IMDB (the internet database for all things film), they’d be able to work out that I was lying through the ever-so-small gap in the middle of my front teeth.

With such a busy week of seeing other authors in action and hearing about yet more fantastic ones appearing in local schools, you’d think that I’d be inspired beyond belief.

But with a poetry deadline looming – for a charity booklet to be sold for Faith and Football – I was actually panicking, much akin to how I used to feel when I was overdue on some homework, or I’d forgotten to revise for a test.

Heart palpitations, sweaty palms, trying to do everything and anything to avoid having to sit down and write.

Poetry is way outside of my comfort zone. I like stuff that rhymes, that is very simple in its intent, and doesn’t make me think too hard. I’m basically lazy when it comes to understanding – and writing – it. But I finally found inspiration, ready for the Year Nines from Portchester Community School to sell my effort as part of their Faith and Football Enterprise Challenge.

Like 100-plus other children from local schools, they’ll be taking a stand in The Cascades shopping centre this Saturday and selling their wares to make money for the charity.