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|Posted on 26 December, 2015 at 9:35||comments (2)|
‘A Craving for Adventure’ – what’s it all about?
Without giving away too much of the story within my book, the story is about my long-standing need for a gargantuan adventure. Something which would cure the insatiable craving I have always had for daring excitement and adventurous journeys, and one which would hopefully leave me feeling completely satisfied with what I had achieved. Now that’s not an easy task for someone with a deep rooted fear of not living their life to the full.
I don’t know why I’m that way, because for as long as I can remember my weekends and holidays have always been filled with activities such as kayaking and sailing, and hiking up mountains. Yet regardless of how adventurous, or how hard I pushed myself; or indeed how much enjoyment I got from the many hours, days and even weeks I spent outdoors; it was never enough.
I needed something which would challenge me both mentally and physically far greater than I have ever before been challenged. Now with my sons grown up the time felt right to be embarking on that adventure.
|Posted on 26 December, 2015 at 9:10||comments (0)|
Why I decided to write a book.
I had always planned to write a book about my adventure from Wales to New Zealand, but only with a view of giving it to my sons so that one day they would read about what their old man got up to. It never crossed my mind that I could write a book and have it published. When it was first suggested I dismissed the idea as I didn’t think anyone would be interested in reading it. Yet during the journey, and even more so since; not only was I asked many times if I’m going to write a book, many people encouraged me to do so; saying I had a real story to tell.
The more I thought about it the more I too realised I had a story to tell, a story not just about adventure and excitement; and beautiful scenery and faraway places where one wrong turn can have devastating consequences, but of human kindness and generosity. One where being a stranger in a strange land was not a barrier.
My passion for everything I had experienced was obvious to all those I talked to, almost non-stop in most cases. And knowing I had to let people get a word in occasionally, I began to realise that writing a book would be an ideal way to tell people about the conflict, danger; adventure and above all the warmth of humanity I encountered along the way.
|Posted on 26 December, 2015 at 9:05||comments (0)|
We All Have a Story To Tell
Whenever I tell someone I’m writing a book, or as is now the case; I have written a book, nine times out of ten their reply is always the same, “I would love to write a book,” they tell me enthusiastically.
“Then why don’t you?” I ask.
And then comes all manner of reasons why they can’t which range from “I don’t know where to begin.” I don’t know how,” or I can’t spell.” These days being unable to spell is the last reason not to write.
But there is one reason not to write that I hear a lot, “I would love to write a book but I have done nothing in my life worth writing about.” This last statement in my opinion couldn’t be further from the truth, as everyone somewhere has at some point done something in their life worth a mention. It just takes some of us longer to realise that than others.
Several years ago I was struggling with dark moods from having foolishly believed I hadn’t achieved much in my life. The moods left me so overwhelmed that I was unable to think straight. In fact, it wasn’t until I put pen to paper and started making a list of everything I had so far done in my life that I realised I had actually achieved an awful lot, enough even to write a book or two.
And so I started to write a book about my life with the intention of giving it to my children and maybe even grandchildren. The book is nowhere near finished, and when I compare it to my writing today it makes me cringe when I see just how badly I wrote.
But that’s not the point; the point is we all have a story to tell.
|Posted on 26 December, 2015 at 9:00||comments (0)|
Just Because We Have a Story To Tell – Does That Mean We Should Tell It?
I guess the answer is probably no. Although having spoken to a number of people whose stories I found extremely interesting, there’s no doubt that some of us would benefit from reading the stories of others.
Take my friend Clive for instance. Clive is 84 and has a lifetime of exciting adventurous stories, many of which are hilarious; whilst others would make your hair curl. I’ve known him for 33 years and in that time he has regaled to me countless events in his life. Yet although I can see he has achieved an incredible amount, he doesn’t think so and has huge regrets about not doing more. Two thoughts spring to mind when I think about Clive's stories, one is how much pleasure others would get from reading about his exploits around the world. And the other is the peace of mind it would give Clive if he read just how much he really has done in his long life.
Recently I met someone whose story was so harrowing I was left feeling extremely angry. Aged 26, he had just been released from prison on licence; which means he has to visit his probation officer and the police every week. If he fails to keep appointments or commits even a minor crime he will be sent back to prison to finish his sentence. On the face of it that sounds fair enough, until I heard how he came to be sent to prison.
A very likeable fella, he admits he is easily led. And combined with a need to ‘fit in’, six years ago he found himself at the mercy of drug dealers. He didn’t owe them money; if he had he could probably have found a way to clear his debt. Much more severe was that once they had befriended him and he felt like ‘one-of-the-gang’, they then used him as a guinea pig to test their untried drugs before selling them on the streets.
For six years they filled his body with all sorts of deadly chemicals, using whichever vein they could find to inject their trade of misery and death. Being sent to prison for a crime he committed whilst off his face from another test, it was probably a blessing as it meant he was able to escape their clutches.
Today he is trying desperately hard to rebuild his life and avoid not only going back to prison, but also drugs and drug dealers.
There is one more person I will mention, whose story I found as interesting as the first two. 55 year old Roger (not his real name) lived in a rundown council estate, where because he was an outsider there were a number of people who tried to make his life a misery. That however was the least of his problems, as for the past twenty years he had been battling against alcoholism.
He first started drinking heavy when he began having nightmares, during which time he saw the friends he once had blown to bits in front of him on the battlefield. The more nightmares he had the more he drank, until eventually his wife could take no more and left him. He remarried again a couple of years later, but the marriage lasted just a year before his new wife also left him.
His family and friends disowned him due to his violent temper, which only surfaced when he had a drink. And no matter how much they pleaded with him to seek help he wouldn’t, always replying that he didn’t have a problem and refusing to talk about it. To cut a very long story short, it wasn’t until he began dating Susan (again not her real name) that things began to change in Rogers’s life.
By chance Susan worked as a counsellor, and thinking Roger might have some underlying problems persuaded him to write down what it was that was bothering him instead of talking about it. This he eventually did, and it was at that point he finally admitted that he had a problem.
He didn’t show Susan what he had written, and she didn't ask. And he still refuses to talk about it, though he does drink less these days; a lot less. He also doesn’t lose his temper or wet the bed anymore. And Susan became his wife.
Within each of us is a unique story that no one else can claim as their own. We don't have to tell it to the world, we could just use it as a form of therapy or personal pleasure. Or maybe we have a story that would entertain or educate; we could even use our story to leave our mark for future generations.
The choice is ours.