When I was a child A very young child I had many siblings
Some were afraid of the dark
Some liked to listen to the dreams of far, far away
All liked to know Someone was there To make the darkness into light
Make the monsters be friendly Give them dreams of a tomorrow
Where they could be wise Or wealthy Or famous
I would tell them the stories Make them up Take other people’s stories Make them our own
Whisper them quietly Speak them loudly Sing them badly
I did not write these stories down
But I was the storyteller
And they will all tell you The story Of their own oral book store.
When I was eight, I went to a country school. It was scary, because I was used to radio school (they call it school of the air now). In radio school, you only did school stuff in the mornings, and the afternoons were for exploring, working, walking, and doing kid things, like making up new worlds, meeting strangers as friends, making canoes from tin and barbed wire to row down a dry creek, stealing honey from bees – you know, the good stuff. But it all ended when we went to a town. In the town, there was rubbish on the streets, in the creeks, on the beach. If you went to the main shopping area, there was a smell of rot – rotting food, rotting people, rancid beer, rancid dogs. I didn’t like the smells, or the rubbish, so I did a project for school. I don’t remember what the title was, but the subject was rubbish, litter, human filth and carelessness for the world they lived in. It got an excellent mark, and my teacher submitted it for consideration at the state science fair. It won, and was published in a serious science journal.
I wish I still had a copy of my first non-fiction written work. And I think it’s still as relevant today as it was then. Maybe I should do another one …. Or maybe, I’ll write fiction to bring to light all the things I think we could do better. Yes, that’s it – I’ll write the stories I used to make up for my siblings, and I’ll put in them the things that make the world good. I’ll deal with the bad, the evil, the smelly things as only a writer can, and I’ll try to take it to the world of the young so they can do their best to enable their world to be beautiful, and wise, and wealthy in many things.
I need to write. My life spirals out of control if I can’t put words into their own space and story. My stories are my safe haven, and I can make my heroes and heroines do the things I can only dream of doing. But through them, I live a full and interesting life that is both well-grounded and on the very edge. What could be better?
What I write:
I will read almost anything – even the bad stuff has things we can use to learn. I will write almost anything, but I like to write fantasy because that is the world where I can do all of the things I mentioned above. I like to write romance (especially the hot stuff) because I believe we are all connected and love is the thing that makes those connections sing a beautiful song. I like to write science fiction because I believe we can learn from the potential of the sciences, and put forward a scenario of ‘what it would be like …’ using the sciences (all of them, including the ‘soft’ sciences). I like to write children’s stories because I believe children are our future, and we (adults) need to ensure we produce children who can be fully functioning members of a connected society. Am I a dreamer? Yes, of course! Do dreams come true? Yes, of course! Is it easy? No. Yes. No. Anything that becomes easy, is only easy because we have done so much work to make it to that point. So, yes it is easy, and no, the hard work is still hard work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!