Nothing soothes the prickles in my skin like progression, even if most days, nobody will ever read what I’ve written. That’s not sad. I love to edit too. And sometimes, the mind doesn’t function as it should.
I was a child who was moved around a hell of a lot. I racked up four primary schools, and three secondary. That’s a mean feat in eleven years of education.
Books became close friends. Words were confidants.
It seeped into adult life. I’ve never been alone in my office, or bedroom, or garden. They’ve been with me. Characters have affected my life in ways only lovers could.
And I’m improving. Years and months and sleepless nights have been poured into writing. Very little money has been made, but the odd publication has spun butterflies, worth more than any number in a bank account.
Four novels have been written and one will be published soon. The first three cut my teeth. I didn’t even send them off. Why? We are our own worst critics. I still love them, the characters, the plots, the sweep of exhilaration they’ve coursed through my veins. And I will revisit them all.
I could go all day with this, but my rent won’t pay itself. Hopefully, one day, a few words might help a little more.
Here’s five of my favourite ball-clasping, rib tickling, heart thumping reads of all time.
You might get to the end and thump the screen, bash the keyboard, or bitch in the comments about the terrible job I’ve done, but relax. The list is in no particular order, and there’ll be five more next week.
Catcher in the Rye, J.D SalingerOK, it’s an obvious start, but how could i avoid it? Yes, we all know the plot line, yes we’ve all read it, blah blah, blah, blah, it’s awesome.
The Old Man and The Sea, Ernest Hemingway Since I read this book, I haven’t known what giving up is. Every writer should read it, every young man and woman, or anybody who’s half way up their mountain. “But man is not made for defeat” He said, “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” If that doesn’t stick a rocket up your arse, I don’t know what will.
3. The Last Night of the Earth Poems, Charles Bukowski
Poetry? What in hot hell is that doing in a must read book list? There’s no money in it. Nobody gives a flying toss about it. Lovers of the art are homosexuals and daisy spinning pushovers, aren’t they? Behave yourselves. Read this book. A lot of it is dirt, but it’s worth sifting through to find the diamonds.
4. Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.This makes my first five must reads, more or less. Billy Pilgrim is one of my favourite protagonists of all time, in this World War II head fuck of a novel. Read it.
5. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
This book had me hot and wet. Sure, it’s violent and filled with blood curdling horror, but it’s beautiful too. This is free will at its finest.
I like Old Photographs. The people are probably dead, and won’t ire if I create a character from their captive emotions. This is the first instalment of ‘I Like Old Photographs’.
This is Mr. Felix Darrenth. Felix’s day has just turned around for the better. Ten pints of Irish stout, and a 2am vindaloo from an Indian takeaway Felix described as, ‘better than Bollywood’, had caught up with his stomach.
A day out with the in-laws turned ugly when he was caught short on a stroll through the park. But Felix is smart. Felix is artful.
He was not only able to find ten yards of space, but with enough tact and vision, he lowered his trousers and caught the excrement in his hat, without a single soul noticing.
Felix was proud of his achievement, until his mother in law said, “Tis awfully hot. Felix, will you be wearing that hat again? I could do without one of those tacky forehead burns, you seem to boast every summer.”
Felix laughs and offers his hat.
Felix’s day has just turned around for the better.
SEE IF YOU CAN DO ANY BETTER! LEAVE A STORY OR A POEM IN THE COMMENT BOX BELOW. FELIX WILL BE MOST PLEASED.
I’m going to close my laptop, return in an hour and roll my eyes over no page views, no likes and no comments.
And when my prediction comes true, I’m gonna throw my hat down, scream, shout, thrash and thump the living daylights outta my carpet.
Then I’ll perch on my garden bench, light up a cigarette and think, ‘if this all goes tits up, the way it’s supposed to, I guess I could be a prophet, or a tea-leaf reader, or any other bastard in the yellow pages who talks bubble for money. Yeah, maybe that wouldn’t be too bad.’
Anyway words, I’ll see you again in a cruel, lonely hour.