Finally, after much effort, and during what has been and continues to be a tough time for us here at Cage Writer HQ, I have managed to complete publication of my first book! Cage Writer is a collection of short stories, musings and rambles many of which have been previously published here on word press; but not all. The First piece in the book ‘Smoke signals ‘is the beginnings of a novel, one I intend to finish next year. The book will be available to buy on Amazon worldwide and to download onto Kindle by 12/12/12.
Here follows the introduction.
My favourite part of school as a young boy was ‘quiet time’, a period in the day when the teacher would tell us to relax and listen to the story. There he sat, his leather patched tweed jacket dusted with chalk, the corporal punishment tool of choice never out of arm’s reach, reading to an audience captivated by every word.
Well maybe not everyone was captivated, some fell asleep, others dreamed of scoring goals for England, or performing open heart surgery on healthy conscious cats!
I was captivated, and dreamed that one day I could write a book as good as ‘Tom Sawyer’ or ‘The fantastic Mr Fox’. To me, at that tender young age, to write for a living, or otherwise should, and probably was, every young person’s main ambition in life.
The beauty of the book, in many cases, is the ability to transport the reader to another world. Rudyard Kipling took me to India, Mark Twain to the white picketed fences and river boats of the Mississippi and J.M. Barrie to, well, another world, a world I wanted so desperately to be part of.
Unfortunately I struggled through school and eventually gave up on education or, more aptly, education gave up on me. ‘Quiet time’ no longer an option; I chose a life of truancy and petty crime. All the while imagining I was someone else, somewhere else, desperate to step into a story, to disappear between the pages of a good book.
Much later in life I was tested positive – if that’s the right word – for dyslexia. By this time I had begun to write fiction, to practice the dark arts of narrative and wade clumsily though the written word.
For me to write anything, be it fiction, a Facebook comment or text message is an effort. I’m constantly caught between my thoughts and how to present them coherently to a potential reader; you. I have, nonetheless, never used my – I own it – dyslexia as an excuse or a defence for my inability to spell. Instead I’m pathologically obsessed with covering my tracks! I make mistakes constantly and rely heavily on spell check and my wife Sylvie to proof read, and correct my work; without them I’d be lost.
Without support or stimulus children become bored, do things that, in later life, they may regret. I chose to live my childhood within a dream, turning my back on reality, and its cold oppressive truths. It took me a long time to come out of that dream and join the real world; even now I’m not sure I want to be part of it.
These days schools and teachers are more ‘dyslexic savvy’, or at least they should be, and those children suffering from, what is, as much as anything, an alternative outlook should be considered as an asset and encouraged to shine.
Not everyone should be, or should be allowed to be shoved into a box, round pegs, no matter how hard you try don’t fit into square holes. The sooner the education system recognises this, the better.
Right where was I? Oh yes the beauty of the book, a good yarn lends us a fleeting break from the world, a release from our own problems and a porthole into another world; and reading a book electronically or otherwise is still the only way to entertain oneself legally while sitting on the loo.
So if you are sitting comfortably…