Posts Tagged ‘the man who could not forget’

The concluding part of my story The Man Who Could Not Forget:

In the end, I was disappointed. Lanchester’s prose was convoluted and ultimately banal. Speed reading, I devoured the entire text, looking for just one jewel of home-spun wisdom, but there were none. These were the memoirs of an ordinary, and poorly educated man, the record of an unremarkable life, bloated with pedantic minutiae. Brady and I were of the same mind: fifty pence was about its worth, and I regretted wasting my memory on it.

After finishing the book I dozed a little, only to be roused by a loud rapping on the door. I looked at Clarissa, but she was still sleeping. Thinking it might be an anxious relative, I hastened downstairs to open it.

It was Brady. “I should have guessed you’d be in it together,” he said.

“What? You followed us here? For fifty lousy pence! You’re crazy.”

“It’s the principle,” he replied. “Now, where is it?”

I still had the book in my hands and there was no point now trying to hide it. Brady reached out and took it. I felt powerless to stop him. It was his, after all.

“I don’t expect to see either of you in my shop again,” he said.

Clarissa woke after dawn, looking brighter and fresher. I knew her recovery would be short lived, though. She gave me a tender look when she saw me waiting at her bedside, but became gloomy when I told her what had happened.

I tried my best to reassure her. “He won’t come back,” I said. But she was less concerned about Brady’s visit than the book he had taken.

“I’ll never find another copy,” she said.

I tried to make light of it. “Well, from what I read – it’s not much of a loss.”

“You read it?”

“Cover to cover, while you slept.”

“So you could recite it to me?”

I didn’t like the sound of that. “It would take days.”

“You could do it, though? Word for word?”

“Of course. But it’s dross. Why waste your mind on it?”

She looked at me then, a steely determination coming over her. “I must have that book,” she said.

“Why should I help you to commit suicide?”

“Is that what you think?”

“What else am I to suppose, when you seem bent on burning yourself out? You’re almost there now. Another book will kill you.”

She looked at me curiously. “I don’t keep this knowledge, you know? I pass it on.”

“What do you mean, you pass it on?”

“I mean, literally. To students, mostly,… I’m a tutor at the college. I also do other,… freelance memory work. But you don’t understand, I pass it on directly,… from my memory to theirs – not that they’re aware of it of course. They just think I’m a good tutor.”

She could see I was struggling with this concept, so she enlightened me further. “That time we met, at college, remember? I gave you some saucy images of me, so you’d want to go out with me. They were Polaroids I’d taken of myself. I thought of them, then projected them into your mind. It was cheap, I know, but I was younger then and not so sensitive. Funny, it had always worked on men before.”

I felt myself go pale. Could it be true? Was it possible? Had she really done that?

“I’m surprised you don’t know the technique.” She grew serious then, and drew herself closer. “You don’t do you? You really don’t. You’re still carrying it all with you! Your whole life! But,…. how can you bear it?”

“What choice do people like us have?”

“But surely, you know that in passing it on, you’re relieved of the knowledge yourself? That’s why people like us live the way we do,… so we can put other stuff in there as well – like,.. like,… those bus numbers from last night and any other trifles that keep accumulating. We,…we,… excrete them.”

I shook my head in disbelief at this. “You mean you dump the garbage into other people’s heads? But don’t they know?”

“You jumble it up,” she said. “It’s just background noise to them – and quite harmless,… but to us,… to us, such a relief!”

“But, how is it done? How do choose your subjects? And what do you mean, you project it? You mean like ESP or something?”

“I don’t know about ESP,” she said. “I only know that it’s easy. You can do it to anyone – even a passer by.”

It was a revelation! Such a technique, if true, would extend my useful life to the norm. SO, the obvious question now was: “Can you teach me, Clarissa?”

She gave me a sly look. “Of course,” she said. “Just as soon as you’ve given me Lanchester’s essays.”

“But if you teach me now, I could give you the essays directly, and rid myself of them in the process.”

“It might take months to teach you,” she said, “And those essays are urgent. My client must have them, and soon.”

So we began – me typing out the essays word for word, comma for comma. It was not a difficult task, only tedious, like copying out the pages of a dictionary. Every hour or so, I would produce a sheaf of printouts, which she would then settle down to read. The task took two long days to complete, the last full stop being punched in around midnight. After that I slept on a futon Clarissa had prepared for me in her spare bedroom. I woke the following morning to find her sitting cross-legged on the floor regarding me strangely. Something was troubling her.

“You will teach me?” I reminded her. “You promised.”

“Yes, I’ll teach you. Have you realised though, the price will be your memories? Which ones and how many, only you can decide. Once gone, they are gone forever. I’m worried you’ll be reckless, destroying half your life in an attempt to preserve it.”

“Surely I’m the best judge of that.”

But already I had begun sifting my memories in an attempt to label them for execution. It had been harder than I’d thought. Was it only the good memories that sustained us? The successes? The times of deep satisfaction? Could I safely dispose of the failures? the cringing embarrassments? the heartaches, the insults? or were they as important in defining us? Was Clarissa right? Was there a danger I would destroy my person in an attempt only to preserve its mortal vessel?

She reached out and squeezed my hand. “Of course I’ll teach you.” “Besides you still have pictures of me I’d like returning.”

“Ah no, Clarissa,” I replied, teasing her. “Those pictures have kept me warm for years. Some things I will never be persuaded to part with.”

By now she was almost too weak to leave the house. It was as if Lanchester’s infernal essays had proven too much for her. In the end, I had to drive her across town to her appointment with the mysterious client. I was curious about him – even more so when she directed me through the gates of a geriatric home.

We were greeted at the door by a senior nurse. Clarissa’s client?

“Clarissa, darling. We were worried.”

“It’s fine,” she said. “I’m fine.”

“You have them?”

Clarissa tapped her head. “All in here,” she said. “Safe and sound.”

We were shown along a corridor, the air heavy with a soporific heat, and finally to a lounge whose walls were lined by the vacant expressions of many ancient souls, each one looking up in expectation as we passed. The nurse led us to a frail old guy in a wheelchair, and knelt beside him. He was in a bad way, his skin almost transparent over his bones. I offered him my hand, a gesture he returned by some long embedded reflex.

The nurse smoothed back the thinning remains of his hair. “Poor love,” she said. “Stone deaf,… Can’t even remember his own name any more.”

But I knew it of course. “Mr Lanchester, I presume.”

Now I understood the value of memory. What to me had been worthless, to him was a spotlight, cutting clean through the fog of his decrepitude to the finest of his days, days that had leaked away from him to be gathered into two temporarily stronger minds.

I tightened my grip on his hand, and Clarissa lowered her head, as if to concentrate. Then she sighed and I swear, as I looked into his eyes, I saw a glimmer of light, not much but enough perhaps to sustain him.

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Continuing from part one of my story, The Man Who Could Not Forget:

The bus station café was just across the street. It was not renowned for its cuisine, and even less for its ambiance, but it was rest and refreshment we sought, and she really looked like she needed to sit down. So we sat, and for a while we watched the buses swinging in and out. Her name was Clarissa and her memory was indeed every bit as perversely proficient as my own.

“You were reading art,” she said. “You were writing notes, in green ink. You had a lovely tortoise-shell fountain pen. The ink had stained your fingers.”

“An essay on Monet,” I recalled. “You were reading Wordsworth’s Prelude. You had on a denim jump suit, a blue scarf, and a little badge on your lapel, a teddy bear,… yellow enamel.”

As we continued to compare notes from that brief encounter, I began tingling with anticipation. Clarissa was different from all the other women I had known. We could understand one another, but almost in the same breath I saw the futility of it. A relationship with her was no more likely to succeed than any other. Indeed it seemed twice as likely to fail, neither of us ever able to forget a single word of all the words we might share, and especially the cross ones. As a distraction, I asked her why she had taken the book.

“It’s rare,” she said. “It’s the last copy in existence. I’ve searched everywhere for it and would you believe it? I find it on the day I’ve left my purse at home. It didn’t seem such a dreadful crime – and I was going to sneak it back when I’d read it. As you know, I need only read it once to possess it.”

“Woudn’t Brady have put it to one side for you?”

“You clearly don’t know him very well. I’ve asked him to do that sort of thing before and he’s always refused. He’s not exactly the most obliging of characters.”

“Actually, I do know him, and you’re right. He does have something of a cantankerous reputation.”

“It sounds irrational, but I was afraid it might be gone by the time I came back. You’ve no idea how important this book is to me right now. It’s vital to my work, to my client.”

She took the volume from her pocket and turned to the inside cover where I noted it was a first edition – 1946. Here also, the price was scribbled in the top corner: fifty pence. For all his faults and they were many – Brady did have an eye for a book’s worth. From the looks of it, J. V. Lanchester did not have much of a following.

“There’s one copy of the Lindisfarne Gospels,” I said. “That’s priceless. But this?”

“No, there are many copies of the Gospels – just the one original. But these essays are probably the last existing vessel of this man’s knowledge. Your paintings by Monet, my Wordsworth – those works have been recorded and printed many times and are in the minds of so many people, they will never be forgotten,… but Lanchester’s childhood in a Manchester slum? His experience as an overseer in a cotton mill? His views on social change in the nineteen thirties?”

“But they’re just some dead old geezer’s memories,… they’re not important. They don’t exactly make the world a richer place, do they?”

“Who’s to say?”

She broke off suddenly, overcome by a pain in her temples. She kneaded them with her fists and tried to shake her head clear.

“You’re unwell,” I said. “I should let you rest. Is there anyone I can call?”

“It’ll pass,” She looked at me. “I’m sorry to ask this when you’ve already been so kind but will you walk me home? Please don’t get the wrong idea. It’s just that I’m afraid I’ll pass out on the way.”

“Have you seen a doctor?”

“There’s nothing anyone can do,” she said. “It’s my mind. I’ve been filling it with too many books lately. Now and then it shuts down in protest, or like just now, it threatens to burst open. I’ll be fine if I can sleep a while. So, if you could just see me to my door?”

“You mean you still make a habit of reading books?”

“Of course. Don’t you?”

The thought was appalling. “Not books,… no way. There’s too much information in them. I collect pictures, that’s all. They’re a much more efficient way of saying something. You know? A picture says a thousand words, and all that?…”

It was essential to avoid filling one’s head with too much information. The numbers of the buses manoeuvring past our window? the faces of the passengers gazing back at us? I would remember them until the end of my useful life. And each day added inexorably to the burden, so it was enough without actually setting out to deliberately look for more. With care, I might have another twenty years before my mind burned out. After that lay only confusion in an asylum. Now I understood the nature of Clarissa’s sickness: she was nearing that stage already.

We walked slowly while she complained of dizziness, and paused frequently, crouching now and then on the pavement like a drunkard. Eventually, she led me to a respectable suburb and to the door of a tidy terraced cottage. It was here, while fumbling for her keys she collapsed, leaving me to carry her inside.

The house was impressively neat, though what struck me most, given her apparently suicidal thirst for text, was that there were no books. The walls were white and the floor was bare. There were just a few plain rugs ordered with geometric precision, and some simple chairs. It was much like my own home, nothing to arrest the attention, only blank spaces where one might safely stare and put the receptor circuits on hold.

There was no sofa to place her on, so I took her upstairs to her bedroom. This too was in the minimalist style with a low bed and a plain wardrobe. Everything was white, and without feature. I laid her on the bed, arranging her as best as I could, then sank down in a chair, beside her.

She was such a pretty woman, and we had so much in common, but all thoughts of pursuing a relationship with Clarissa, no matter how sweet, were pointless. We could become friends of course, but I already had a string of women with whom I shared a pointless friendship. I say pointless because all my life, I had craved so much more. Had I not been concerned for her health, had she simply passed out blind drunk, then I would have walked away, never to return, but under the circumstances, common decency obliged me to stay.

Perhaps it was boredom then that had me sliding Lanchester’s essays from the pocket of her overcoat. I admit I was also curious about him and I wondered if there might, after all, be something profound about his insights. I wondered too about the mysterious client she had mentioned. I mean what was so important here it could have driven Clarissa to possess these words at any price? I turned to the first page, and began,…

The Man Who Could Not Forget concludes with part three, tomorrow.

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Another of my short stories from way back, reviewed and rehashed for the blog. Printed here in three parts. Next part tomorrow:

I have a problem with my memory. It isn’t that it ever fails me – quite the opposite, in fact. Indeed, my recall of events from all but the earliest years of my life is photographic. There was little doubt in my mind then, this  woman was the one who had stolen the book. I had seen her only minutes before in Brady’s Antiquarian Book shop, having looked up from my perusal of a box of eighteenth century prints to see her tucking the book down the front of her trousers. It wasn’t something I approved of, but one had to admire her cheek.

It was Brady who raised the alarm and ran out after her. She was on the street in a moment and would have got away, except she blundered into the arms of a passing policeman. It was all a bit of a farce, and might have been amusing except Brady then delved into her clothing to recover the book. I know she’d stolen it, but to my mind, his ungentlemanly conduct trumped her petty thieving, and I found my sympathy siding with the woman.

She fought back, managing to recover the book from Brady, and she kept him at bay, clinging steadfastly to the book. “It’s mine,” she protested.

“Nice try,” he said.

“No, really. I just hid it to avoid confusion.”

The policeman listened to this exchange before asking the woman if she could prove the book was hers.

“Well of course I can’t,” she said. “But can he prove it’s his?”

This was a good point. She had taken the book from the second hand section. The stock there was low grade stuff, and bore no proprietary markings. The constable turned to Brady: “Well, can you?”

Of course, he couldn’t prove it either, but shop-lifters were the bane of his life and I could see he was determined to make an example of the woman. That’s when he turned and jabbed a finger at me.

“He’ll tell you. He saw it all!”

Now, in fact, I had not seen her take the book from the shelf. I had only seen her slipping it down her trousers, so, to the letter of his request, I was unable to help. This may seem a little pedantic, but I felt I did not owe Brady any favours. Many were the times he had asked me, sarcastically, if I’d intended buying anything, this being a barbed a reference to the fact I only ever browsed. He was not to know I did not need to buy his prints, that the act of looking was enough for me to possess them. Also, the affair seemed overblown. The book in question was a tatty volume of essays by one J. V. Lanchester. The fly cover was missing, the spine broken. Why the woman should have risked prosecution for such a worthless thing, I could not imagine.

So, all eyes were upon me: the policeman’s, Brady’s, the woman’s. She looked pale and nervous and, all right, you might be thinking my sympathies were misplaced, but there was more. I knew this woman, and apart from a few wrinkles around her eyes, she looked exactly as I remembered her from our first, indeed our only meeting, a decade ago.

“I really couldn’t say,” I told them.

Brady turned an ominous bright red colour, like he was about to pop his cork. The policeman decided to give the woman the benefit of the doubt and let her go. Then he rubbed salt in Brady’s wounds, telling him off for interfering with the woman’s clothing. I turned to Brady and gave a helpless shrug, at which he gruffly announced he would be closing his shop for the rest of the day. Then he ushered everyone outside.

Walking back to my studio, I thought about the woman. Our encounter had been in the library at the polytechnic, where we’d been students. It had been a wet afternoon and the place had been busier than normal, with very few places remaining to sit. It was thus by chance we’d found ourselves facing one another across a cramped reading table.

I’d found her attractive of course, but I was already jaded by my experience of intimate relations. It’s my memory, you see? Everything is recorded, all the things you normal people are the better for forgetting. Every slight, every cross word, every bitter misunderstanding, they’re like rocks being added one after the other to the sack on my back, and it’s getting heavier and heavier. It’s our nature the negatives always carry more weight than the positives, so is it any wonder then my condition provides so little nourishment for the first delicate seeds of attraction to blossom into something more lasting?

It was for this reason I’d tried to ignore a growing and somewhat irksome arousal, that day in the library, but with little success. Indeed, such was the strength of her effect upon me, I had begun to imagine her undressed and in all manner of lurid poses. I assure you I was not normally given to such prurience. Indeed, at the time I had found the experience rather unsettling and was only able to overcome my distraction by gathering my books and moving away.

And that was it. I did not see her again, until the day of the incident in the book-shop. That I can remember her from so long ago, and after such a brief and, you might say, insignificant encounter is not so remarkable for me since I can bring to mind the face of every person I have ever met. What is remarkable, though, is I was certain she remembered me, and with equal clarity. But, if true, that would have been very strange, wouldn’t it?

As I walked, reminiscing over the incident, I came upon her. She was waiting a few doors down, having flopped onto the steps of a shop. The tatty memoirs were pressed against her bosom. When she saw me, she eased herself to her feet and fell in step with me.

“I should thank you,” she said.

“It’s fine. I saw nothing, really.”

“But I’d like to explain. I mean, I don’t make a habit of this sort of thing.”

She looked away, perhaps reading my silence as disapproval. Then she said what she had meant to say in the first place: “We’ve met before, haven’t we?” She almost whispered the words, as if she couldn’t believe it herself. “I wouldn’t mention it,” she went on, “except I think you might also remember me, which would be rather remarkable, wouldn’t it? I mean, considering how brief that encounter was.”

“We have met, yes.”

“So,… we’re the same, you and I?”

“It would seem that way. I’d no idea there were others like me.”

As we walked, I noticed her pace slowing and her steps becoming erratic, as if she was growing dizzy. Eventually we stopped, and she took my arm to steady herself. I looked at her, wondering about the power of her memory. Could it be true?

“Obviously, we need to talk,” I said.

Part two follows tomorrow,…

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I have a problem with my memory. It isn’t that it ever fails me – quite the opposite in fact. Indeed, my recall of events from all but the earliest years of my life is truly photographic, so there was little doubt in my mind the woman before me now was the one who had stolen the book….

So opens my short story, The Man Who Could Not Forget. It was an early foray into the so called speculative genre and began doing the rounds of the print markets shortly before the turn of the century, but without luck. I eventually gave up on it and put it on my website in 2002, then as an ebook on Feedbooks in 2008. The reason I mention it now is it’s coming up to a bit of a milestone and will at some point this week achieve 100,000 downloads. I just wanted to take time out and celebrate that fact, to thank all those readers who have made this possible, and to dwell a little on what it means both to me as a writer, and potentially to you as well, if you write fiction, but despair of ever seeing it published in a proper magazine.

Those proper magazines I submitted the story to were generally obscure with limited circulation figures.  As a rule they paid little, indeed usually nothing at all beyond a free copy of the magazine itself, and though it might have bolstered my ego a little to have seen “The man who” as a featured story in one of them, none would have carried my words very far or for very long, so I wonder at my obsession with trying to gain their favour now. Indeed, with the clock about to click over those 100,000 downloads, I look back upon it as a kind of madness. Regardless of their supposed merit as bastions of literary taste, and learned guides to what is currently “hot”, as simple vehicles for the distribution of any kind of written word, good or bad, let’s face it, they were actually quite poor.

The editorial staffers on all those “proper” magazines passed my story by without comment, but in spite of their discouraging indifference, thanks to the internet, a lot of people have now read it, at least a hundred thousand of them, and some of them have been kind enough to say nice things about it. The story has still not achieved “printed” fame, it’s not won any competitions, and it’s never been reviewed in literary magazines. But apart from that, it has been read lots of times – not because it’s any good (I’m hardly the one to judge) but because the number one distribution medium nowadays is the internet. It’s global by default.

It’s this sense of having “connected” with an audience that’s made all the difference to my writing. I write to suit myself now, to express myself, to entertain myself, to explore myself, and to heal myself. I’m free to do this, but you can’t do it if you’re constantly distracted by thoughts of trying to gain the approval of an editor, before your work can see the light of day. That’s when writing becomes less of an art and more of a chore.

Which is a pity.

In writing to suit our selves we are free to indulge our selves. We don’t need to worry about writing like someone else in the mistaken belief it will make our work more “marketable”. Our most important asset is our individuality, indeed some might say we possess nothing else of any real value, so it’s important we’re free to express ourselves in a way that reflects our essential selves, whether that makes us a marketable commodity or not.

If you’re a writer and you’re struggling to connect, be aware the readers are there online. If you’re happy to work for nothing and can forgo the debilitating ego trip of seeing your work in print, then I think it will open a lot of doors for you if you can simply make your peace with the day job, and start giving your creative work away. I know it’s hard. You’ve invested a lot of time in it. It’s the best of you. It means a lot to you. But what good does it do gathering dust in that bottom drawer? You can kiss goodbye of course to becoming an international bestselling author, but on the upside it means you no longer need to chase your tail studying the so called market ever again, and trying to second guess what will make an editor’s eyes light up.

Really, life’s too short for that.

As an interesting aside, since going up on Feedbooks, “The Man Who” was picked up by Adrian Ionita of the webzine Egophobia, and translated into Romanian. If your Romanian is up to scratch you can read it here. My thanks again to Adrian  for making this possible. “The Man Who” and “Rosemary’s Eyes” make me a translated author, and that feels really cool.

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I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those e-readers out there who have downloaded “The Man Who” to their iPhones, iPods, Kindles,… or whatever, and especially to those who have left messages for me on Feedbooks. For anyone writing independently of the mainstream, readers really are our life’s blood because we have no publisher or agent to polish our egos or bolster our bank balances, so to know you’re out there is a vitally important thing. If you’re an e-reader, and you have something to say about a piece of work you’ve read from the cloud, then don’t be shy: say what you liked or what you didn’t. We indy authors listen. I’m not saying we dance to your tune, because we don’t. We write what we like, but we also need to keep our fingers on the pulse and we’d be stupid to ignore you.

If an Indy author’s not writing for money then why is he/she writing? Is it for adulation? Hardly. The psychology of it is complex and any attempt at an answer is going to be simplistic, but I think the knowledge that our work is being read forms a large part of it. We write, you read, you think, you puzzle and you form an opinion of our work, good or bad. Perhaps there’s also a sense of insecurity – that we’re not right in the head for having the thoughts we do, and that if we can share them, and those we share them with appear to gain something from our thoughts, be it pleasure ot the genesis of their own forays into the imaginative realm, then we aren’t as uselessly strange as we perhaps worried we might be.

“The man who ” was born in 1985. Its genesis was a chance encounter with a girl in the library of the Bolton Institute of Technology, as it was known then. At the time I was blundering through the obscure Engineering Council Part 2 course, which I subsequently managed to pass, but only just, and now, twenty five years later, in a post industrial England, “The man who” remains the more enduring reminder of my time there.

The girl in question didn’t register  me at all back then. I glanced at her and something about her had my mind, my soul soaking up the details of her like a temporal sponge, a time machine with the ability to transport me back to that moment even from this immense distance. I recall her in vivid detail, pretty much as I describe her in this story, though I’ve no idea if her name was Clarissa or not of course, because I didn’t speak to her.

A romantic anecdote to be sure,… and we all have similar tales to tell. These are the stories behind the stories. A verbatim telling of the years I spent at college would be a bit of a drag, even for the most patient of readers, and it’s the writer’s responsibility to distill from his or her experience the pertinent human detail, and use it to set fire to some idea that will warm the heart or engage the mind of another person.

That simple encounter in the college library was the seed for a story that wasn’t to be written until decades later. As a writer you don’t plan these things. You simply mine the strata of  your life’s experience for whatever precious minerals you can find. I once read that a writer is a person who keeps a notebook under their pillow on their wedding night.  Only a writer would recognise the truth in that. I’m not saying a writer would produce verbatim an account of their wedding night, but on a subliminal level all experience is dissolved into the great crucible of being, it is transformed into the language of dreams, so that when we sit down to write we do not always recognise from whence our words are derived. A snatch of dialogue in a story I’m currently working on came from an encounter in a discothèque (such a quaint word) back in 1978! I see her face, her words spoken then in innocence above the sound of  ABBA’s Dancing Queen, being only now, to me,  profound and mysteriously transposed from that 70’s disco to a post apocalyptic lakeside in the Swiss Alps.

Only now do I realise that to write you do not need to have led an extraordinary existence. You need only to have lived, and to have looked at the world through your own eyes, and be able to tell it to us as you see it. Your experience of this world is unique and therefore priceless. If you feel the urge to write the story of your life, then do so and pay no heed to those who might scoff and tell you your life is worthless. All right, the story of your life might not be commercially viable and if you knock at the door of commercial publication, your enthusiasm may in all likelihood go unanswered, but in human terms the simple fact that you felt compelled to set pen to paper, or keyboard to cloud, is ample qualification of your fitness to write, and to tell us your story. 

But who will listen?

As little as ten years ago, you were lost, you were a voice in the wilderness, you were an ordinary person bursting with the extraordinariness of your experience, but with no organ, no means of communication, no means of connection with your fellow human beings, your potential readers. It’s different now. Now you have a platform called cyberspace. You can blog, become webmaster of your own domain, or you can self-publish on any number of free-to-upload cyber-emporea. You will never make a living from it, but you will always have a voice. So get connected, get hacking, and tell the world your story.

Your recognition may only come centuries after you’ve gone, but is that not always the way with writers? Most of us are failures while we live. It is posterity that judges us. Posterity that decides. So be it. Welcome to the club.

Keep the faith.


Graeme out.

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