I have always been a voracious reader and in the formative years was lucky to have a sister 5 years older who is a book nut, and thus i imbibed the classics; as she was making up her own canon with a first class brain; now speaking three languages - lives in Rome and her kids speak yada yada yada. Too clever by half; but loadsa stuff that i have forgot, yet, as canons go, a pretty broad wan and perfect, as i only read them coz they were there.
So my eldest sister is responsible for me first reading in a neutral way - or rather - the selection of books was just "there" and - looking back - was perfect in every sense; as i didn't have to decide myself what to choose when starting out, and thus could then - and now - approach books impartially.
And whilst we begin with a healthy reverence coz we are "fans first" writers second; as we up our oeuvre - word count - this starts tipping, as we become as much writer as reader.
And to be a writer one need only strike one glyph.
You is the writer, essentially, and don't please disagree, even if you do. In print be proud. You have as much right as any writer, whoever they are and be. That's what we learn as we do it, that writing is a con - or trick of the mind - or rather; the registers and incredibly important gravitas critics try to muster up about individual books in the rags, of - decision - yea or nea - success or failure - is a con.
Because the literary worth of any book is rarely - either or - but more sophisticated than that; and honesty is the "voice" we try to "find" and out as a writer.
And as we crack on and get an oeuvre under our belt of experience, realise that - actually - it doesn't matter what life we have as a writer, as it is a state of mind first.
The "there" within only we alone have and uncover - or not. And it is the dig of word, word, write, one by one, which leads us to the inner "there", which is all writing is.
And I am here as a bore first and bores buzz off this affirmational discovery, when we get the hang and sense of writing. When the initial:
"oh no i am shit with nowt to say of interest" - wears off as we suss on that, actually i do have stuff to say, and - for me - it all began around the age of 14 - the most impressionable age for the mind, like the Ovid line about the mind being but warm wax melding to whatever form is there.
And the very first intellectual questioning was pondering the relationship between one and zero. Something and nothing. All night long i would ponder in sheer amazed going nowhere'ness. Being stoned without having to inhale.
And although i hadn't took in any philosophy, i think that 14 is a pretty fair mean average age when most minds first awake, questioning.
The initial wonderment which strikes with only the virgin bloom of truth, and most tender of times; although i do remember thinking i was a step ahead of others intellectually; as my sounding board was H, the brain-box of the year who has a ferocious intelligence and is now some engineering doctor in the corporate machine.
Hubris. But whatever it was, i launched over the lip into youth/adult-hood, full on and reckless.
Looking back now i was still the same in the head. No changes or fundamental intellectual u turns since then; always the same outlook and belief. A brief flirt with frank zappa was as whacko as i got; but the books i read is like knowing what song is on the piano as it plays, we learn this first.
Before we write knowingly, we believe never will we play it ourselves, be musical.
So we take on and in every note until our Love for literature spills over and we find a succession of messiahs in print. Me and H discussing Herman Hesse and Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance in the top field in the fourth and fifth year of high school.
Our fads as serial philanderers in the party of Literacy; true free lovers abandoning ourselves in the affirmational register of:
Yes, i read and loved it.
And getting windier, certitude, the unknowing next stage of actually getting a life in print.
We all love reading and - de facto logical - writing; and after we have been a reader for years and sport online here, we get a different take on the biz, just by writing ourselves in the bear pit of internet and wood pulp. And it is interesting to have this life in print, become a cheerleader and dictator of literate Love, in the best sense of a benign dictator who doesn't really boss, but our experience alone, outing here, in the new media.
The wealth of readership we have accrued, enough of a weight to make us believe we are the un-fake and real reader first. And the logical next step as we read - and after decades or nea of reading - is that we get the urge to talk in print about our love for these fictions and wotnot.
And so we talk, first off being ourselves as best we can, until a strange line/stage/level whatever is crossed/ascended whatever; and it is only after the act, and when in it, when we read back what we wrote, we realise that this first time thing happened.
The simple honest muse coming through after a few hundred thousand words of dig and imitation, we realise as we cotton on to the basics of the craft.
Coz when we start, all we can do is imitate what we have read, and if we have a library in our head, silent and uncommented on, it takes a while to find our feet and the true warmth of practice cheering us up no end as we sit alone armed with nought but a hard stare into space and dreams of Love and peace.
And we get loved up in print, or rather, we get honest in it, thinking...hey, i like this feeling of being real in print, me as i want to appear to others, as a reader of thousands of books it took me to get to this stage of talk.
And i apologise for any over-exuberance or weirdness that may stop the flow of craic, the call and return, online hurley it is, for me, trolling all day and i am learning to understand in a gang i realise now are just like me, in love with writing and reading as human beings.
And to try and make up for the daft posts i did dear reader, i want to ask we pretend for a mo.
We have to name a favourite book and talk about it.
Not why or owt like that, but just to get the ball and flow of talk rolling, coz it's only pretend see, so there are no rules but they we make up as we pretend. And though i am not expressing what i want, the fact that we only know each other in print, and time being the key to what trust is here after our two year suss of words and thus the outing here..mine is erm...top of the head it has to be; not yer fave, but when the first word/book title appears, just dive straight in and start gassing owt.
Coz its the swim, the process that i'm after, beauty and humanity with truth as we start to suss how to just be ourself in print.
So forget the amber light in the UK traffic control system. The "get ready" and prepare one.
In Ireland they don't have it, and this was the first thing i realised after a week, and it removes the chance of cocking up through over-preparedness. That one last tap of a pocket to check you have...whatever in there - for the hundredth time - in the very moment that the light goes red-amber; the two seconds that can trip you up.
You blowing it - not purposely, but nerves perhaps - the brief wait. And in Ireland it aint here. It's either or, no three way split of stop get ready go, but stop and go, that's it and it is almost an insignificance - but a very real difference it makes - this tiny thing that is nought but a mode, a method or idea essentially.
A mindset of "this is how it is," when it actually isn't a divine thing, but human mindset, and ermm..fave book in my mind now, all the Sven Hassel war novels. Obviously raw and war, not my real fave, but that's what came.