Throughout my mixed-up stroppy school years, writing was a secret pleasure that
my pride and fear of critisism, in equal measure, would never allow me to own up
to. Yet it earned me good grades and a mortifying picture of me on the front page
of the local paper for winning 1st prize in a writing competition that the school had
entered all eligable pupils into. I obviously didn't die, but felt sure for as long as any
well meaning teacher refered to the subject, that it would have been better for me
if I did. Fortunately my family was sufficiently disfunctional that further embarassment
of that kind at home was avoided.
Skip to earlyish 80's when my son was a tot and we were trying to clamber out of
the quicksand. I would get up at around 4AM and 2-fingure type on a sit-up-and-beg
typewriter that my sister kindly gave me, until my son woke up and the real world
began. They were difficult times in many ways but chances are without that chaos
and fear I probably would not have been so driven to find an escape within myself,
and when looking again for that safe place recently, there would have been no prior
point of reference for me to steer towards.
I wrote 2 novels , a screenplay, a play, numerous short stories, childrens stories,
stories for radio and so it went on. The problem was that I had very little money
for printing/reprinting - or even for paper, so rewriting was rediculously lacking.
There were no spell checks and I sent copies around randomly if and when I could
afford to and wasn't to disenchanted by any piece previously returned and rejected.
As my son got older our lives became busier with school and work and real life things
that crowd out the imaginary world where I could exorcise my demons.I kept all my
literary attempts, although I hadn't opened or read any until recently. Typically I had
thought about looking through the ottoman in which it was stored for many weeks prior
to doing so - frightened, I think, of the rejection slips and the feebleness of the writing.
Eventually I was very brave and found out that I was actually a bigger idiot 30 years
ago than I already thought I was. The state that I had sent some of the scripts to
publishers/broadcasters was appauling and there were a number of rejection slips that
were actually asking if I had any other works that I could send. I have no memory of
that and certainly sent no other samples on.
Probably more strangly, I have now decided to make my first literary attempt of this era
totally new and unconnected to anything that I had previously written. I don't know why.
It is/will be a screenplay called On Reflection.