Some days I wonder why I claim to be a writer. An author I am, I have published 4 books of so-so merit but a writer? No. Why?
These last few weeks I have read two fantastic books, I remembered others and I have celebrated a birthday.
These are all great events, enjoyable events, events to smile and jubilate about.
These are also events to plunge one into gloom and despair!
I read two books this month which have delighted me. Ruby’s Spoon and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I have posted about the first and Peculiar Children will be up this week. This is not a review of either. This is a small song of praise to an imaginative use of language and ideas, of the stunningly good debut novels from these two authors. I got to thinking of other debuts that had blown me away. There are many, The Kite Runner springs instantly to mind, The Purple Hibiscus and Small Island, Catch-22 and let us not forget one of my all time favourites To Kill a Mockingbird far too many others to mention here. Brilliant (in my opinion) books. First time authors, first stories. So good. Oh so devastatingly good!
The birthday boy was of course Charles Dickens. Two hundred years old this year. Well not him of course – he died and moulded away years ago. But his stories, those fantastical tales of life and times. Now many of you will groan, roll eyes, shrug and say ‘Oh not him’. Many people do not rate Charles Dickens highly. His style and manner out of fashion decades past. His prose too purple, his adjectives and adverbs too liberal. Penned in a more leisurely time for folk who listened more and had fewer distractions and written in cliff hanging instalments, his were stories that need work nowadays.
They are worth the work in my opinion, but I accept that for many. . . well then. I cut my reading teeth on him and his ilk 6 decades ago so they remain delights for me. For all of us who claim to be writers though, whether fan or not, it’s the birthday which may depress. Two hundred years and he is still being read, his stories are still being dramatised, his characters are still known. I know in 200 years mine will not be remembered.
So this month I wonder why I bother. Wonder if it’s fools gold I seek.
Next month I hope to read a devastatingly BAD book and cheer myself up again!!!
follow all our insecurities!:(