a picture my son drew of a wave on a beach

Writing

Walking up the steep footbath from Lowertown toward Osborne Parc the air was rich with the smell of spring hedgerows. Meadowsweet and Cow parsnips brushed against me as I spotted new bluebells peeking out of the undergrowth. We had recently moved from our ancient farmhouse above Porkellis Moors to this suburban valley town. I was soon to be twelve.

Some of the things going through my mind. Flowers, spaceships and glass valves. I loved glass valves.

At the time I was obsessed with Tolkiens Middle-earth, Dungeons and Dragons; Dr Who; Blakes 7; Triffids; pretty much anything involving elves, space-ships and such-like. When I saw the bluebells and foxgloves of the hedges and the fuschias in our garden they all looked to me like squadrons of rockets. Fuschia petals and stamens unfurling like powerful flames driving the craft out to adventure.

I narrated a fantasy version of my walk silently to myself as I went. Making myself a hero of a life bigger than this one. I constantly edited the story in my mind.

On this day I had homework due and had to come up with something quick. I scrawled it out sitting on the granite style. My handwriting and punctuation were terrible, as usual.

My teachers never let me forget how bad I was at writing except once when my English teacher, Mrs Whiting, read one of my stories to the class but that is another story. Here is the story I wrote that day:

A page from my school 'rough book' containing a story I wrote. See below for the words.
A product of my imaginarium, age 12
My handwriting has not really improved in the intervening 43 years. Click this to read a clearer version of the above.

A great deal has happened since I woke this morning.

When I climbed out bed, instead of landing on the floor I floated off and bumped my head on the roof.

Then I heard a strange voice which said, “Ah, good you are awake. I hope you had a nice sleep. Oh, sorry I should think you are wondering where you are.”

I replied, “Yes, I am but first who are you?”

My name doesn’t matter but I will tell you I am a Russian and that you are on Russian space ship heading for Mars”

But how am I going to get home? I’m meant to be at school today they’ll think I’ve been skiving.”

Don’t worry we’ve taken care of that. You will be up there in space For ten years or until you die” he replied.

I loved story-telling but was discouraged by the act of writing. I was dissappointed I did not come up with how or why my character woke up on a space-ship. I remember thinking my space-bound character had the next ten years or a lifetime of adventures, I could feel the possibilities.

My handwriting has not really improved in the intervening 43 years. I continue to make excuses not to be a writer. With my head in the clouds I am too lazy to be an artist of any kind. It is a shame because I not only love writing but all forms of creativity.

I make excuses for myself… is it okay to tinker? I have always kept irregularly random diaries, I have written immature and well decorated letters and increasingly blogged. Perhaps this is just another part of the ambling walk up the steep hill.

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