Thursday, November 19, 2015


LAST Friday afternoon, I went to visit my step-mum and pass on some Wallisian necklaces to my sister who has been nagging me about them for the last few months.
While there, I had a conversation with another mother who was there (whom I shall refer to as an aunt).
The aunt is in her late 50s, and is a reader – she loves books. As we were discussing books, I mentioned something about writing.
I told her that my interest is to get other people interested in writing – as in writing their own story.
I told her, as I have told others so many times, IN EACH PERSON, THERE IS A STORY, THERE IS A BOOK.
Whether that story is told or not will very much depend on that person.
And the best way to tell that story is to write it and it was my wish to get many people to write their own – as in writing a MEMOIR.
Others will read a memoir and learn about life and the choices people make, as well the consequences that followed.
Good stories help you see how privileged you are regardless of where and when you were born – and it you were reading “the right way up”, you will learn to make better choices in life.

I pointed to her that it is not too late to write stories. I gave the example of the story of Albert B Facey’s memoir, “A Fortunate Life” ...
He wrote the book very late in life.
I got a copy of the book almost 20 years ago and read it.
I left it in the house and my father picked it up and read it.
When I came home one afternoon, I heard him urging all the young people in the house to read it.
So, the story touched him too!

AB Facey, the Aussie boy who grew up away from his mother and grandmother, faced many hardships in life.
But his voice in the story tells you that the hardships were “just part of life”.
Facey started working when he was eight and could not read and write.
While working for an employer, he was physically abused and escaped, walking for days to get away from the cruel master.
He later taught himself to read and write.
At 18, Facey became a professional boxer and even enlisted in the army and fought in the Gallipoli Campaign where he was injured.
It was the woman who became his wife who urged him to write his stories.
Facey, who was then in his 80s, wrote the stories in a number of exercise books and later had the notes typed up.
He had requested a printer to print 20 copies for his family and friends to read.
However, the printer saw the potential of commercial success and had it published in 1981.
The book became a bestseller, selling more than 800,000 copies.
Sadly, Facey died nine months after the publication of his memoir.

I told the aunt Facey’s story and said, we do not have to wait until we are 80 to start writing some part of our story.
We can start right now.
I told her also that if people are uncomfortable talking about themselves, they can turn their story into creative fiction, as in penning a novella or novel.
I told the aunt, we would continue the topic when I see her again.

May you learn too.   

Nov 18 … DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF WITH YOUR PEERS … When trying to evaluate your skills and aptitude; do not compare yourself with your peers.
If you do, you will be lowering your standard. (Teach that to your children and younger siblings too!)
Find others out of your locality who are running at a much faster pace than your peers and join them in their race.
In doing so, you are already setting the pace for those in your locality. You are raising the benchmark.    

Nov 18 … HEAVY WRITING TAKING TOLL … For this writing project that I assigned to myself to do, on some nights the word count is about 2,000, at other times it is 1,500 or thereabouts.
(No, nobody’s paying me anything for this as yet.)
The heavy task is now taking its toll.
I just caught flu and had to rush off this afternoon to the other side of town to restock up my medicine chest.
Tonight, I will take it easy – just read and edit. May be there will be no writing as such.
Will I put down the pen in resignation, because I caught the flu?
No. I aim to get this thing completed – I will.
I am set – I am focused, I am moving, I will end next week, the last week in November.

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