I can’t remember a time that words have not been present in my life. Its like asking someone the first time they became aware of breathing or seeing a parent. They have always been there – all present and correct. I was lucky – extremely lucky – to have been born into a family that loved reading. My dad used to write poetry (for fun, not profit – although had be gone into the greetings card industry I’m sure Hallmark would’ve loved him) and my mum always read. She didn’t write anything – to my knowledge – but her creative outlet was her garden (earlier in her life it had been art – something that she had less and less time for as her family increased). She encouraged that love of reading into all of her children, first through reading to us and then having us read to her. There was always ‘quiet time’ to read in a day, usually before bed.
One of my very earliest stories (preserved forever in a drawer in my mother’s dresser) tells of a boy who discovers that there is a fire-breathing serpent-beast living under his street, called a Dagon (do you see what I did there?).
I have never not written. Sometimes its been expressed through journalling (lord, they’re never seeing the light of day …), and at times through poetry (let’s just say that it may not be Keats, but it is passable), but for the vast majority its been as short stories. Sometimes these are fantasy, some are science fiction, some are plain old wish-fulfilment. Some even get finished.
The thing I suffer from (oh, woe is me) is ideas. Ideas, plots, characters, scenes, twists – they all arrive and burn within me. If I ignore them for long enough they fade away into echoes. If I focus on them for too long they burn and wither under the light. There is a happy medium – of course there is – and that is to just write the damn things.
That’s all that can be asked of any writer.
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