It's great to be back behind the keyboard after my brief but highly necessary sojourn to a surprisingly pleasant London hospital (forgive the words 'surprisingly pleasant' but I remember the NHS of the Blair years...).
Since my return I have been focusing on two things - getting back to work right now and starting to prepare for the new experiences that MS will bring in the future. I managed a whole week in the office so the first aim was met well enough and I was also pleasantly surprised that my second aim took a few (admittedly wobbly) steps forward. Let me explain...
As regular readers (poor but very welcome souls) will have seen by now, my main aim in an MS dominated future is to turn my attentions to an activity that has genuinely been a love of mine since I was wobbling around the house for reasons of age rather than a medical condition. Put simply, I love to write and have done since my toddling days.
I'm pretty convinced I will never be the next J.K.Rowling (I'm always confusing Harry Potter and Del Boy Trotter), nor the next Stephen King (horror in my stories tends to be entirely accidental), but I know that with practice I will improve from an okay starting point.
Ultimately it's a matter of how others perceive your efforts, of course, and a few weeks ago a little light-bulb flickered into life above my head (there's plenty of room there these days - I now have few enough hairs that I'm able to give them each a name). It wasn't exactly a brand-new idea, but it was mine - an idea that I have kicked around on and off for a few years. Back since kicking was a genuine option for me, that is. It's real birth was way back in the last century (good grief, that sounds ancient) when I amused myself and a few other watering-hole regulars with the creation of stories from single sentence concepts. Someone would come up with a sentence/idea and I would, the next evening, deliver a short story based on said sentence. An example that springs to mind is 'A revolver that fires seven bullets instead of six' which became a rather gruesome story about a witch with an old tea-room (One for the Pot).
Well, back in those pre-twenty-first century days, one or two people suggested that I might like to feature them in short stories, and the idea festered away. Sure, these days I would love to be short-listed for the next Man Booker prize, but the idea of writing a short story for someone, featuring that person in the fictional context has never really gone away.
So, anyway, a few weeks ago this idea formed (or rather, re-formed) in my follically-challenged head and I offered a couple of people the chance to 'star' in a short story. I even allowed them the choice of genre. As a first venture into this territory I was kind enough (i.e. stupid enough) to offer the service both free and with an agreement that the finished work would be theirs and theirs alone.
And there you have it. Last week I finished two original short stories for which I received the grand sum of zero pence/cents and which I cannot show anyone by way of reference to my abilities... Perhaps the surgeon who worked on my face killed off more than a trigeminal nerve...
Oh well, in the very (very) broadest sense of the word I guess I am now a true professional author, and I really will persevere with my 'bespoke short story' work - but next time, there will be a slightly fairer agreement all round!