Writing has always been one of life’s joys for me, and I have been exploring its possibilities in one form or another throughout most of my life. At 12 I started writing comic books, which my little sister illustrated, and I never looked back. Well that’s not strictly true, as I often had to hide their content from my elders as my contributions always swung ominously between explicit, and bizarre.
The comic was entitled ‘Sergeant Slaughterhousen’ and basically followed the expletive exploits of a retired Drill Sergeant who would time travel back to important historical moments, then start criticizing people and ordering them around. Sergeant Slaughterhousen’s subjects would always take his advice, and the future ramifications would be catastrophic. I guess it was somewhere between Full Metal Jacket, Bill n’ Ted’s Bogus Adventure, and back to the Future.
I’ve always enjoyed telling stories of any description, and the first narratives I ever put together were with the help of my grandfather’s collection of encyclopedias. This was back in the early nineties when flick books were all the rage. I started with rudimentary stick figures having knife fights, and soon started condensing the works of Roald Dahl into the page corners.
My little sister eventually got a scholarship to an exclusive art school; alas the comic could not survive my crumby drawings. I was about 14 at the time and started writing short stories. Reading them back, it was a good thing they were short stories, as for the most part they are almost impossible to comprehend. Almost every scene suffered a bizarre twist in plot, and the characters would invariably end up dead, or having sex with each other.
Looking back on my earlier projects I think of a child with a brush who paints not for product, but process. I remember the days when I would have laughing fits in my room while writing, and I sincerely hope to rediscover that pure joy of writing one day. With writing comes an unrivalled sense of independence in a world where we make so few decisions.
Growing up I was always drawn to the work of two writers: George Orwell, and Hunter S. Thompson. I always felt that the two were of a similar ilk, yet Orwell somehow managed to keep his soul intact. I hope that in some way people can take comfort in my writing as I have in theirs.