About me, part 2 : University to despair.

Sounds heavy, doesn’t it. Well, It’s not all doom and gloom, thankfully. Let’s continue on my journey.

So, a happy, long-haired confident young man returned from his time in education and started work. This is where reality truly began to poke its unwelcome nose into my consciousness. Firstly, though the work was good, it was far from well paid. I lived ten miles from my workplace and had to cycle there each day, hail, rain or snow. several times I was nearly knocked off my bike by careless car drivers, some of them overtaking at seventy-odd miles an hour, heading stright towards me.

I enjoyed designing things, seeing them made and installed. I didn’t enjoy the daily death run, or having less disposable income than I had as a student. What could I do? Nothing at first. Then the given man came to the fore again. I rebelled. I sat in the office reading a copy of motorcycle news until my boss noticed and got mad with me. I got mad back. I declared that I wouldn’t move until I was given a pay rise. At that point, I didn’t care if I was sacked. Surprisingly it worked. Here began my suspicion and resentment of authority figures. It’s still with me now, thankfully. The very idea that a person demands respect by their dress or wealth, their uniform or connections, simply appals me. Nobody, myself included has the right to demand respect…it has to be earned. It can only be won through hard work and above all, by honesty.

Things steadied down then into a bit of a dreary monotony. This tedium was relieved by my latest love. Not women, but motorbikes. Motorbike rallies, rock festivals and beer. I got up to all sorts, got faster and faster bikes, then rode them with no regard to my own personal safety. I invented the bike rally sport of naked marquee pole climbing, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Two hairy naked bikers race up and down a thick wooden pole, for the amusement of the rest of the crowd. Rope burns and splinters are hazards, but I was good at it.

Happy days. I have neglected to mention romance in all of this. That’s not to say that there was none. I just wasn’t too confident with women, so I messed up a few times. Eventually though, I got married and spent my honeymoon in Jamaica, land of sun and grass (if you know what I mean). My marriage was where it all started to go wrong. Only at the end did I become aware that my wife had conflicting personality disorders. By then it was too late.

I’m leaving most of this to your imagination, though you would have to be a story teller of awesome power to be able to guess all that happened. Largely I have to omit most of it because of my daughter. If my blog is still here when she’s sixteen, then I may say more. I can say that events culminated in losing my job of twenty years for health reasons.

I can also blythely state that I am now a single parent and have been since before my daughter was one year old. Over the last seven years I have suffered badly from depression and still do. In essence, that’s why I started writing. For a few years, I treated it as therapy, although I had dreams of becoming a famous author. The lonely nights I filled with characters. I hammered out my frustrations on the villains. I made myself smile by creating quirky and humorous people. All of them were caught up in worlds that were limited only by my imagination. Even the nightmares help. Some of the dark and haunting scenes are straight out of my nightly horror shows.

Unemployment in the UK is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially in these times of recession. There is a perception that unemployed people get everything supplied for them and live a life of relaxed splendour. Not so, especially if you own your own house. Ironically, since I had worked and paid taxes for a couple of decades, this indirectly resulted in me being worse off than somebody who had never worked. I’m not saying it’s easy for those people, either. But just as you can’t imagine the pain of a broken limb until it happens, it’s not possible to understand the effects of poverty, either. The experience is not good and seems to be a blight without end. Hopelessness and despair have visited me frequently.

The plus side is that I have at least felt more intense emotions than many people ever will. My challenge is to use all of this and wrap it up in nice packages called books.

So here I am. That’s how I ended up writing. I’ve published Summoning Empire, the last of my manuscripts. That has been traumatic in itself. I have low self-esteem and an unhealthy dose of paranoia, so I have been in fear ever since I offered the novel up on Kindle. Even writing this blog is hard, largely because I want to hide behind my inner wall and not even peep out at the world anymore. I’m going to try, though. Underneath all of the protective wrappings, I still hope to be that given man of my younger days. Maybe I will expunge my personal demons and at the same time provide pleasure for others. In some way that will justify everything.

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