Once a friend asked me what kind of books I read as a child, this casual question left my mind blank for a while.
Considering my love for books as an adult I was startled by the reality that I never did any reading as a child. Those days i must have been like Enid Who?
Sadly, my nine year old son has a reading difficulty so even though i bombard him with childrens books...
The only books available in my home back then where those by authors like Robert Ludlum, Jeffery Archer, Steven King and the like. These books where obviously above the comprehension of an eight year old, but that was the age I began to rummage my mother’s collection of books, searching around for anything that I could read, preferably anything with illustrations and/or large letters.
Even though it’s almost twenty years ago, I still remember the location of the books, the books cramped in the small space of the cream colored cupboard, placed in a revered location in the sitting room beside the shelves with the television and other expensive chinaware. I don’t remember which novels I read, but I know for sure I didn’t understand most of what I read.
That however did not stop me from trying to write my own stories. I didn’t have much of an imagination (i still dont), so I never tried to make up stories, what I wanted was to express myself in a profound way, dealing with serious issues of my time (though i wonder what an eight year old would consider "serious issues"). I still remember that overwhelming feeling of wanting so badly to get it right. I scribbled away on my quarter page exercise book I cut out myself, and gave up shortly after when I felt I was getting nowhere. I did however write a poem that got published; I remember the first line,
Africa, My Africa, Land of milk and honey
At About fourteen, the hardest period in my life so far, i collected a few poems, this time in a full length excersice book, after three years i took a look at everything and just tore it to shreds, i decided my writing sucked badly.
That act, i later came to regret, because not only could there have been some good ones, i've missed the oppurtunity of seeing the mental picture in my mind at that time. I shattered the mirrow of a frozen time.