Something to remember.
Getting old has advantages as well as disadvantages. it may mean that you are freed from obligations – work, bringing up children, looking after older relatives – that left you little time or energy for writing. If so, that new freedom could stimulate your creativity.
Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, your writing will be informed by your own life experiences – work, leisure, travel, friendships, relationships, love, loss…you name it. The older you gte the more life experiences you have to draw om.
Many thanks to the Story Reading Ape for posting this
The Fortunate Isle?
Take a trip there with Ronald Mackay.
An intriguing title is only one of the delights to be found in Fortunate Isle: A Memoir of Tenerife (Plashmill Press, 2017)by Ronald Mackay.
Ronald recently wrote an article introducing himself to readers of the Story Reading Ape’s blog, describing his life, travelling and teaching behind the Iron Curtain, in Mexico, England and Canada. Later he specialized in the design, management and evaluation of development projects which again took him across the globe. His latest memoir tells of a year he spent in the Canary Islands as a young man with everything to learn about the world and himself. The islands have often been called the Fortunate Isles, and yet another alluring name for the largest, Tenerife, is Island of Eternal Spring.
Mackay left home in Scotland at 18, after failing to win the University place he hoped…
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Thanks for posting this Chris, the Story Reading Ape!
As I toiled upstairs one morning in my grandparents’ house, a rumbling angry voice broke the silence. I couldn’t make out the words, but the emotion couldn’t be misread, even by an eight-year-old. I hesitated, but my need to pee made a visit to the lavatory imperative. Luckily the volcanic tirade, punctuated by the popping of the gas water heater, was coming from behind the closed bathroom door. I crept past and shut myself into the separate toilet. But then–a new problem—if I pulled the chain and released the water the noise would certainly alert my grandfather to my presence. And what about washing my hands? In the event, I chose secrecy over training and cleanliness and scurried away to the safety of downstairs and escape to school.
Born in 1875, Grandfather had grown up in the reign of Victoria and by the 1940’s was elderly not only in the…
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Thank you for posting this, Chris!
Licence Obtained to use image – Copyright: Dmytro Pauk 123RF Stock Photo
The possible steps between biography and fiction seem to increase from year to year. Ian Jack, writing in the Guardian in 2003, commented, “Writing one’s own personal history used to be called autobiography. Now, more and more, it is called memoir.” Since then, the variety of memoirs has proliferated: we have the traditional memoir, the constructed one, the fictionalised and finally the fictional. This last categorization may still be greeted by a furore as some degree of “truth” is still demanded of the genre.
Biographies may trace accurately the life of someone, usually a person, well-known for their achievements or notorious for the life they’ve led. Though stuffed with facts and footnotes and even using the actual words of their subject culled from letters, diaries and interviews, the biographer usually remains somewhat detached presenting an overview of the…
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Thanks for this Chris.
Lullaby for a boy buried 7,500 years ago
at L’Anse Amour, Labrador
“Lay his fragile flute, my dears,
Safely wrapped in woven scraps,
Near his fingers, stilled at last.
Fever’s gone and peace returns,
Innocence replaces pain,
Once again my eyes can see
The buoyant youth, he left behind.”
Grief has frozen mother’s arms
About his body, cold as stone
Pushed and pulled by tidal waves.
Years of sea cold lullabies
Whispered in his salty ears,
Once his life had slipped away.
He’d been young, a traveler,
Loved companion at the hearth,
Where, one day, he took a bone,
The hollow shaft of some great gull
And whittled it into a flute.
Then wild music rocked the waves
And blew among the flocks of birds.
Great auks nested there, and terns
Spun in winds above the beach.
Out at sea the supple seals
Tossed their heads above…
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