I don’t have much of an imagination. I’m creative and I like making things and I can visualise the way I want my life to be. But I can’t imagine worlds. I can’t imagine people. They never seem realistic. I’ve always loved writing. I don’t ever remember not writing, I don’t remember not loving words. Throughout Primary and Secondary school, I loved writing stories. I wrote poetry and short stories and I won prizes in little competitions. I don’t know if my stories were any good but I used words that the other twelve-year-olds hadn’t heard yet and I guess I made an impression.
I remember in First Year in Secondary School, the Fifth Years held a poetry competition for us. Our poems had to be based on Hallowe’en, which was just around the corner. I didn’t win the competition but my poem got read aloud to the rest of my year. Thinking about it now, I guess it seems pretty bizarre – my poem was about playing with a Ouija board on Hallowe’en night and being terrified of whatever spirits I’d conjured up. It must have seemed strange to our seventeen-year-old hosts: I remember the girl who read out my poem stumbling over the words “ethereal” and “occult.”
In our First Year English class, we were learning the basics: we were learning about how diaries work and, as homework, we had to keep our own. From what I remember, mine was a minefield of latent teenage sexuality: I was besotted with a boy who used to take the same school bus as me. The chronicles of my non-love-affair with Bus Boy made my teacher laugh and probably made my classmates cringe. I was trying to be funny, even then. Using my life as the punchline. I wish I still had the notebooks and copies that contained my teenage mind, but I threw them all out a couple of years ago. (Maybe I’m more of a minimalist than I want to be.)
I tried to write a proper short story a while back but none of my attempts had a resolution. I write about things that happen to me, and that’s an on-going story, I don’t know how it will end. I know how certain episodes end and I can wrap them up nice and tidy, but I can never imagine a story with a decent ending. I can’t conjure up realism – I just live my life in a bizarre manner and that’s where the story comes from. If I ever write a book, it will about my life. My life is pretty average but strange things happen to me all the time. Not strange, even – just awkward and funny and stupid.