As I mentioned in A Site is Born, I’ve been a writer for most of my life, and as such, I enjoy dabbling in various genres and learning about new mediums. This site is intended to be a look at my journey from there to here, a sort of self-examination of sorts. Mixed in with these self-reflective posts I’ll try to post some of my own opinions, some personal titbits, and some of my hopes and desires. I hope to also keep these blogs short so as not to totally bore you, although I fear that may already be a lost cause.
There’s a common, trope I guess you’d call it, that is used in movies, TV series’, and books. It probably has a name, but if it does, I don’t know what it’s “officially” called, but I like to call it the “Where do I begin?” annoyance. I’m sure you know what I’m referring to. Character one has to tell a story of one sort or another but is uncertain how to tell it. Character one asks aloud “Where do I begin?” Character two suggests that Character one should start from the beginning. And there you have it, the “Where do I begin?” annoyance. You see, this is what annoys me, beginnings are subjective and all depend on your perspective. Obviously I realise that the line, as used in its various formats, is a throwaway line, but it irks me nonetheless. Hand on heart, I’ve never used it myself and I never plan on doing so but as I’m speaking of beginnings, I should talk about my own beginning as a writer.
I define my beginning as the day I was handed a very particular book. There was nothing special about the book in and of itself, but it was an Event. I don’t mean that there was some sort of social gathering, or it was some sort of magnificent gesture. It was a common everyday thing, nothing more, nothing less, but it changed me in a profound way. I was eight years old and I was given “Five on Kirrin Island again” by Enid Blyton. I devoured that book, cover to cover, and reading became my obsession. Three years later I had collected almost all of the Famous Five books and by that time all my close relatives knew that buying Christmas presents or birthday presents had gotten much, much easier. Books; I was happy to get books. It was just a matter of finding the right ones. Enid Blyton led me to Roald Dahl, and later to C.S. Lewis. In the midst of all this book reading, I joyfully discovered the existence of Libraries.
It may seem like an inconsequential thing, this Event, but for me, it was a beginning. You see, like the Famous Five, I lived in the countryside, I ran across fields, I swam in the sea and, more importantly perhaps, I was surrounded by local history and interesting places. Ruined castles, old graveyards, hidden beaches, caves, and Irish place names hinting a more interesting past. I couldn’t help but be inspired to write, but I didn’t. I needed a push.