Sunday, 3 August 2014

People are Strange?


A few of the recent reviews and conversations I've had with people about my writing have hit on the buttons labelled 'strange' or 'warped'.   Which, I think, is a compliment as it's better than saying your work is the product of a banal mind.  Or maybe they just did think I was weirdo.

Truth is, I've always thought that the banality of day to day life - and my life is rather ordinary - pushed your mind into odd flights of fantasy.  For me that started when I was a kid.

Sitting my English language exams at the age of 15, I remember being given the essay title 'The Last Bus Home".  I dutifully scribbled out my 1500 words of imagination and scraped home with a 'C' grade.   I remember afterward discussing what we'd all written in the exam.  Most people had written fairly normal stories (no doubt with better grammar and structure than mine). 

I wrote about being snowed into Croydon bus station with zombies.  Of course, I didn't really know what zombies were back then - this is 20 years before they became fashionable - so my zombies were mutants from leaks at the local gas plant (which had exploded a few years earlier in real life).

I imagine the person from the exam board who marked my paper would probably have failed me on most days, but the story of a schoolboy evading zombies as a blizzard raged was probably a respite from the other essays about journeys to see grannie or going to the vet with a sick dog.  I'm convinced that my early foray into weirdness probably got me through English and let me continue my education.

I'd love to get that essay back from the exam board one day.  I know it would be awful, but that's OK.

Stay strange.


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