Guest Blog – 5 years in 500 words!

I haven’t hosted Adam here before, but he is THE BOY that I keep talking about. Show him some love. 

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Time stretches back in the form of memories, highlights, edited collections of things we choose to retain. If you had just 500 words to talk about about the last 5 years what would you choose to include, what would you omit, what would you not even be able to recall? How do we select what memories are worthy?

I’d remember first and foremost meeting you, I’d recall with film like quality the first time our eyes met, our first conversation about the beer you were drinking. I’d remember shutting ourselves in as a storm raged outside, the tranquility we’d feel in shutting the world out. I’d remember following Stephen down remote coastal paths, as if on a voyage of discovery. I’d remember our first place together and how hard it was to get here to this point, sitting here now thinking of the last 5 years. I’d remember falling in love.

If I had to pick one unifying factor that encapsulated the last five years it would be travel and expanding horizons. When I went to Cyprus in 2010 I hadn’t been abroad for 10 years, since then I have been on a 3,000 mile European road trip that took in 9 countries, visited my sister when she worked in Germany, been to Spain twice, to Slovakia for my brothers stag do, spent a week in Bangkok and visited India twice before eventually relocating here in 2014. I always thought I had an adventurous spirit buried inside me that wanted to get out and see the world, and now here I am living in India, 5 years ago i’d have found that impossible to imagine.

My family has changed a lot over the last 5 years. The older generation, who were the rocks for so long have found themselves more reliant on the support of the young as time inevitably began to take its toll. In 2011 my Granddad died, I don’t use the words lightly but he was a great man, constantly supportive, always kind, always putting himself second to our needs. I draw inspiration from his memory as I try to make my way in what can sometimes be a vastly confusing world.

In July 2014 my younger brother got married. I think i’ll look back on the memories of that time as some of my fondest. Everyone important to me in one place, wonderful weather and true happiness, something that shouldn’t be underestimated in life, something that can be all too fleeting.

I’d look back to the 2010 version of me and tell him not to give up, that there are new experiences and unimaginable things ahead, that what perhaps seemed like a dreary existence wasn’t going to last forever. I’ve never been one for 5 year plans or planning the minutiae of my life, sometimes I have thought it has been to my detriment. But as I look back across the last 5 years i’m glad I just allowed things to happen, because allowing things to happen can take you to places you never imagined.

Guest Blog – Why I Write

When Kevin was born, NASA put a man on the moon to celebrate. Hoping to cash in on his highly validated fame, I decided to beg him desperately ask him nicely to write a post for me. This may be my nefarious way to steal Trigger, his gorgeous dog, from him but he must never know. Okay? 

Without further ado, I present to you, New Author Online

I would like to begin by thanking A for the opportunity to write this guest post. Thank you A!

Perhaps all authors are a little insane. If insanity consists of hearing voices in your head then I plead guilty. One of my earliest recollections concerns people holding conversations in my head. As a small child these concerned adventures in which I was a key participant, usually a hero. I was the secret agent who against all odds saved his country from dark forces or, as I entered my teenage years the lover who held romantic conversations with a beautiful girl as we walked along the beach, barefoot the waves lapping at our feet.

As an adult I still hear voices in my head, people knocking struggling to escape and be brought to life on paper. Writing enables me to scratch an itch, to find relief by enabling the people living in my imagination to find life on the printed page. Many of my imaginings concern people faced with extreme situations.

Writing Cartoon
How I imagine Kevin’s warm up exercise looks like before he starts putting words on the screen

In my story, The First Time we meet Becky, a young graduate with a first class degree in English Literature. Faced with mounting debts and her inability to pay her creditors, Becky turns in desperation to the world’s oldest profession, she becomes an escort. I heard the conversation Becky held with her first client. I felt the revulsion Becky endured at having sex with a man to whom she was not attracted in return for money. I was compelled to write The First Time, to allow Becky and her fellow escort and friend, Julie to speak to my readers.

On finishing a story I feel a sense of bereavement. People who have occupied my thoughts are now out there in the big bad world and are no longer under my protection. They must sink or swim by themselves. Sometimes I am surprised by my reaction to my own writing. In my story Samantha one of the leading protagonists is killed. He is a thoroughly nasty piece of work and richly deserves his fate. He is, none the less my creation and killing him off left me feeling rather like a man who has murdered an old friend. I was, in effect destroying a small part of myself.

Turning to the mechanics of writing, as a blind person who is unable to read print I use screen reading software called JAWS which converts text into speech and Braille allowing me to use a standard Windows computer. In addition my iPad has in-built screen reading software (voice-over) which is great for accessing information on the move.

Summing up, as an author I suffer from a terrible itch, the need to write. I must scratch, scratch and scratch again and again!

Thank you Kevin. As always, I find your stories as captivating as ever. I hope this post has sent the rest of you spiralling into deep philosophical thoughts about why you write as well. I know I’m going to be lost in thought for the next few hours. Why do you write? Where do you draw your inspiration from? Are you insane?

5 GOLD RINGS!

More fun with the junior Aussie who said I was “WEIRD” for liking Vegemite. I called her a fake Australian. She called be a wannabe bushranger. I don’t know what that is but I sure do like the sound of that.

In other news, I have blogged over at Lazy Happy Bored Happy Sad. It is the first guest post she’s ever posted and happens to be the coolest person I know (and have met) from the interwebs! Go over and check out my Christmas Traditions. Seriously. Click.

Fine, here’s a photo of me kidnapping a goat on my 2nd Birthday. It features in the post. Now, click, please?

How can you deny my face!
How can you deny my face!

I don’t know when I’ll blog next so in case I don’t get to put carols in your head, here’s an old classic from India. JINGLE BELLS YO!