Who would a writer be?
I am not a professional writer, and certainly no academic; neither sage nor prophet. I write because I want to tell myself a story. I write because I wish to articulate my imagination. As with millions like me, I write because I want to, with no guarantees of financial reward. I’m grateful if someone reads what I’ve written, because at least it’s a closure to a particular effort.
So, what was the route I took to writing? Simple, really, no great revelations forthcoming.
At 13 I went into a military school. At nights, in the dugout (dormitory to you civilians!), I used to lull my fellow little ‘soldiers’ into sleep by telling them stories, straight off the top of my head. I remember also taking my first stab at writing; a story about our teachers getting bumped off one by one by an aggrieved pupil. Some little shit split on me and I was threatened with dire consequences, and words such as libel and slander were hurled in my direction. They were as pearls cast before swine. I had no idea what they meant. Interestingly enough, when I eventually left school, I didn’t write for a long time. I ended up studying Speech and Drama, through LAMDA. I got my Golds and then went forth to give Olivier and Burton a run for their money. I lasted barely six months in a children’s theatre company before jacking it all in. I wasn’t cast in the heroic mould of a thespian. I liked my basic human creature comforts too much.
One thing I should mention before I forget. I learnt two-fingers typing on my late father’s old typewriter, slowly but surely wrecking it in the process. We now move on to the mid-60s. I happened upon a book: Robert C. W. Ettinger’s ‘THE PROSPECTS OF IMMORTALITY’. Bang! That was it. I began writing with a serious intent, putting together a work of faction (fiction, with a strong mix of fact), following Ettinger’s line of prophesy.
It was to take me close on forty years. The results will go on to Kindle in the course of time. I eventually titled the book ‘PROMETHEUS ASCENDING’. Around the mid-70s, along came the old Capital Radio and their little dose of late night horror stories slot – ‘MOMENT OF TERROR’. A kind lady named Doreen tipped me off that the radio station needed five-minute ghost/horror stories – and fast! I think I eventually got seven of mine broadcast, learning a few things along the way. I was happy writing in that genre, and that five minutes in print equalled four A4 sheets of paper and double spacing between the lines. Hey-ho.
I continued writing, even though my brush with miniscule fame had passed. Along with working for a living, I went on to study and qualify in Hypnotherapy and Counselling, I also slogged away on the writing front. A good friend of mine, David, put some of my stories (‘BoCheK Tales’, as I now called them collectively) in his free magazine. They also went on cassette for the American Institute for the Blind, and were broadcast on a popular radio station in Israel. And before you ask, the answer’s no, I didn’t make a buck to speak of, and fame bade me to go forth and multiply.
And then, dear reader ……..!
A therapy technique I’d developed (MIND’SFLIGHT) was put on to a website (www.mindsflight.net), created by a remarkable young lady by the name of DIONNE. You know the one, ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed!’ When that was done, she casually asked me if I’d done anything else. I told her I’d ‘written some stuff.’ She suggested I get it on to Amazon-Kindle, and became my I.T. expert and mentor in the venture. That more or less brings us up to date.
I haven’t made this journey alone. Apart from Dionne, friends have always encouraged me, ‘egged me on’, in a manner of speaking. In matters technical and I.T. especially, I’m lower than crap in knowledge and execution. The term I apply, ‘crap’, is most apt, as certain people have often pulled me out of the brown stuff over the years when my various typewriters, PCs and then laptops failed to function. I mention in particular, Huwie and Alejandro. They’d get a plaintive yelp of ‘HELP!’ call from me, then ride to the rescue. The former still does. Shit, Shakespeare never had such problems.
Bring back the quill and ink, says I.
I guess that’s it. At least for now. I’ve prattled on long enough.
To all my fellow writers I say …. WRITE ON!!
(William P Thomson)