Posted - 17/01/2009 : 22:16:36
It is often forgotten that one person's idea can spark another's creativity.
Perhaps it is an attitude, maybe it is a half-remembered phrase; the sound of birds or guns; the smell of turpentine pine and lavender mixed with the cordite of bag charges and the smell of carbon on the 0.50"ranging machine gun and the coaxial gpmg; sometims it is the tang of a faceful of oil from a blown gearbox; faces and places.
There are the good times and there were many, and, then there were the bad times, not so many but more emblazoned on one's soul.
I was lucky and never went to war, all we did was to keep the peace and play at infantry for odd tours to odd corners of the world; a few days here and show the flag and hope to hell that no one figures out that we don't have any ammunition for the weapons that we carry because some bright-spark in Whitehall has decided that we don't need it.
Happily I have always had a stores mentallity and could usually rustle up what our troop needed - the dear old 303 and 7.62 long and short cased bullets, all three fitted the SLR, as long as you were not too choosy about accuracy.
Then I left the tank park and those ghastly tanks and transferred over to HQ Squadron and became tank infantry as well as an instructor and medic - odd the choices that we make - for half my service I became very proficient in the killing arts and for the next half I became very good at putting people back together, usually in black bags because that was all we had to hand.
In the army of my time, we trained for real, in many ways the training was more real than the reality of action.
It is odd that now I am writing about my autism - A Portrait of The Autist as a Young Man - but my memory seems to be more centred on my Regiment and The Legion, though I have had yet another bout of D & V and the migraines are very frequent, so writing takes place in short bursts.
I want to make a success of this writing lark, but the learning curve is very steep - actually writing the book is the easy bit - and the marketing and selling are specialist areas and a lot of it is done by recommendation so you have to have a fair amount of cash in your war chest in order to place loss leaders with people who matter in the publishing and media worlds.
Not good because I am on benefits and with rising fuel bills my money is right at the bottom, so for 'The Autist' I am writing the first three chapters and doing a synopsis of the rest of the book and doing it as a Draft One and then I'll try companies like Gollancz and Hutchinson and see if my multi-level technique will hook some interest from them.
I have another bout of depression currently, but I treat the 'Black Dog' like the rest of what has happened to me and take it a day at a time.
The Crocs are fairly behaved and we seem to travel fairly well together, though Oddenstein wants some of the stories I wrote, while at Nell's place, to be published in his topic, but I want to sort through them first and decide which are for the book and which are for FP (Go with the flow, as my welding instructor used to say).
No matter how deep the hole we always have at least 3 choices: sit down, dig through to the other side or climb back out.
Service before self
'A Poppy in My Buttonhole' available now SEE:
My next book will be "The Crcodile Chronicles" and is projected to be launched 2015 or a quarter past eight in time for Christmas.