Last night, someone whose opinion I respect, asked me if I was bi-polar? I spoke to many people last night. Really bizarre, some were in South Africa, another on Vancouver Island. I think they all worry about me. In the end it boils down to walking a tightrope. I have pushed and still pushing the boundaries of creative writing in a memoir. I have created an interactive ‘B’ class celebrity from three decades ago, wandering around as a policeman in the last colonial land in Africa, stuck in a Victorian time bubble. It is insane!
I shudder at some of the prose I have come across from Rhodesian/Zimbabwean writers and future writers. I am going over one at the moment, and I have warned the author that er…problems. As if I don’t have enough to do. A lovely parcel arrived today from the Open University. Loads of goodies inside for my next course and when I pass it…I have a degree…yippee. But, I wander a bit
So, who the hell am I to criticise any writer when I have no credentials? Actually, I have. Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing after my name (DipLCW(Open) as well as CertHum (Open)) for a start, but away from the academic…look in the cyber world. Google - The Gokwe Kid. Get it? Click images. Or just type in Gokwe and click images. Get it!
So – to my problems. LM radio is playing in the background. I listen to it all the time. Jim Croce is singing ‘Time in a bottle’, how appropriate. Then Tinky Pringle starts gabbling and snaps me out of the zone. Bless her. A Salisbury girl actually. You can Email her via their website.
Anyway, yeah, writing about Rhodesia and those days. I am giving away the first seven almost perfect chapters. Simply Email me and beg a bit. email@example.com
But be warned. Some of you will not get it and set fire to your PC. Some will stop and think – did he really just say what I thought he said? This is very dangerous territory I go into. Some people have the early drafts. Few have the latest version. This is dynamite and I know I am on a winner - but there is a big but – I am three quarters across the tightrope and wobbling. In one conversation last night, I was warned. I was walking a very, very fine rope. This is an excerpt from his Email I received this morning –
I've nailed the first 7 chapters with much enjoyment and some good chuckles and outright shouts of laughter. You poke fun at everyone (including yourself) and everything. But there is an underlying sense of sadness, I think. Sad for all the fucking idiots who ran the show and sank the ship. Many of them are brought back vividly to life and... if I didn't know them... I knew somebody like them.
I enjoy all the subtle use of innuendo and nuance. So many sights and sounds are familiar. It's full of good old colloquial speech and humour. The introduction of historical facts, movies, books, quotes is clever. Some oblique references where one has to 'refer' and try to 'apply' memory and make connections. Suggestive. It exercises the brain box!
What I'm saying is... everybody will see themselves in your pages.... and that's what will make the book popular, I believe (apart from the good 'wordsmithing' in its pages)
Random thoughts......good images of the times, local colour. It's ruthless and hard-hitting (you will take some flack)
I keep willing you down the road to a happy ending ( that it wasn't so bad and all worth while) But I don't think that is going to happen!!
Last night I had the weirdest of dreams. I recalled an episode from a TV series called Stalag 13. The plan was that one prisoner would try to escape by claiming insanity and hence be sent back to the UK by the NAZIs. Weirdly, this ‘expatriation’ deal was true. So, the head of the escape committee gives the man approval to go ahead with the plan, but warns him that he could be going to somewhere he will not realise. And you know what happens in the end? The bloke went mad, stark raving mad. He actually believed he was the madman he created! So I awoke refreshed (a bit) and decided to really go for it, because, in a mad world, the fools have the last laugh…hah-hah-hah
So, my budding writing buddies – read what I will send you, learn a bit, but most of all – do not go down this road because it maybe one you will not return from…
PS – I will try to set up a PayPal account so some of you can throw the idiot the cost of a beer or two now and then.