Hitting things with sticks and other important stuff…

Hitting things with sticks and other important stuff…

Fiona Cummisky was a bit of a conundrum for me.  I was at that stage in my young life – before puberty had been fully installed – but I still had an inkling that there was more to girls than them just being annoying creatures.  She was an odd girl, neither tall nor short in my memory, but I think a little bigger than I was.  She wasn’t thin nor heavy set, but she was more a solid sort of agricultural looking girl, as if she might be capable of holding up her father’s tractor while he replaced the wheel. We didn’t exactly have tractors in my neck of the woods but you know what I mean. Besides like I say puberty had still to take its toll on me, so in my head, she was more akin to Clarke Kent as a boy on the farm.

Nonetheless, I was curious about girls, just a little bit.  Along with my inkling but pre any stirrings of that nature, I was particularly curious about kissing.  It seemed such an odd pursuit, but there had to be something in it. Fiona’s friend was Sinéad O’Reilly and she was an altogether different kettle of fish.  Sinéad made me nervous.  Whereas Fiona looked at me with a stern look, often lingering a little too long for comfort, Sinéad was a gaggle of expressions, her attention a bagatelle that  never lingered, but always seemed to return nonetheless, without ever fully nesting on me.  I could sense her more than most girls.  She was always pushing or pulling me hither and tither, a skinny, pinch-faced pale creature that alternated her smiles and her frowns, and interspersed them with punches to my arm. She freaked me out, just a little.

Fiona was very different to Sinéad and I  got the distinct impression she would beat me up if I ever spoke to her, so I didn’t.  We somehow managed to exist in the same space without any direct, verbal communication. Besides, both Sinéad and Fiona operated on the periphery of my life.  They were my age and lived on my road, but they were girls.  I played with the boys and we had our own games.  Skipping and playing ‘plainey a package o’rinso’ with tennis balls against the wall, was all they ever did.  Sometimes if either sex was desperate, we might intermingle and come up with some compromise game, but ultimately that usually descended into a row. Girls talked too much and bickered over the tiniest of things. We hit things with sticks and absorbed ourselves in the important stuff, like what you could find under a rock that was the grossest.

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We did play chasing together though and that was fun.  The girls screamed a lot and their skirts flowed and billowed like sails in the wind, while their hair danced as they ran.  It often seemed like they wanted to be caught and I could never understand that.  I was ultra-competitive.  If someone caught me, it was only because I had let me guard down or maybe because I slipped or fell.  It was a matter of great pride for me.  It was because I slipped on a dry stretch of earth in the grass down on what we called the Californian hills, that Sinéad O’Reilly caught me one day as we played with the girls.

I landed flat on my back and she leapt on me like a cow-girl on a horse, straddling me and pinning me to the ground. She actually held my arms down and for a scrawny girl, she was quite strong.  I was panting and I could hear her breathing loudly as she loomed above me. She had me in a vice like grip using her bare thighs and I could feel the soft skin of her legs, press into my exposed flanks where my shirt had pulled up in the fall.

“Gotcha.” She gave me a huge smile and leaned down quite close to my face.  She smelt of toffee.  It was a very odd moment because I thought of kissing in a way I hadn’t thought of it before.  I thought I might actually kiss her, but stealing a kiss would have been wrong and besides everyone would see and I would be a laughing stock.  Then I realised that she might have plans to kiss me.  I went completely red and she let my hands go.  Like the flibberty gibbet that she was, Sinéad jumped up and ran after the next, nearest victim.  I lay there, panting, not knowing what had just happened. Was I being introduced to a world of something beyond my boyish expectancy, something that I could never hope to control?  It certainly felt like that.  I didn’t like it.

I brushed myself off and tried to compose myself as I stood up and watched Sinéad flounce away in the distance, chasing Barry O’ Connor and Stephen whose last name I didn’t know. My face finally calmed and I turned around to almost bump into Fiona Cummiskey who must have been just standing there, staring at the back of my head. Up close, I realised that she was quite a bit taller than I was. She wore a navy blue dress with polka dots that has flouncy bits on the edges of her short sleeves.  I have no idea why I recall that, only I know it didn’t seem to suit her.  I definitely still saw her more in the dungaree, farm-girl ensemble that she generally tended to wear, despite our urban environment.  Maybe that’s why I saw her as Clarke Kent on the farm.

It struck me, that I didn’t recall ever seeing her in a dress before. I looked at her face.  She had doll eyes, big bright blue circles with massive eyelashes and there was the tiniest smattering of freckles across her nose that I had never noticed.  Then she did something that took me completely by surprise.  She grabbed me with both hands by the scruff of my neck and pulled me to within a couple of inches from her face. She was going to kill me I felt sure, just like I predicted she would if we ever got this close.  I had no idea why, there simply couldn’t be any other explanation…or could there…but that’d be telling…

 

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Prospecting my fear, the dark things of the early morning light…

Prospecting my fear, the dark things of the early morning light…

I sat by my window and waited for the dark shadow man to appear.  Calling him Mr. Squiggles hadn’t really helped that much.  I will have secured my victory, returning home, unscathed – well more or less, certainly not in any way that really matters.  But I cannot get Mr. Squiggles out of my head. He was real for me I know, creeping outside my window, stopping even if only briefly to glance over his shoulder through the gap in the curtain, checking me as I lay there in my hospital bed.

That he came each morning at the same time made no sense, but he came nonetheless and his timing was the least of his nonsense. I felt the chill of him, even through the glass in the light of the half moon.  He knew me and somehow I knew him, my dark shadowy visitor.

Home is a word that entices and delights. Home is love.  Home is everything. I have yet to see the sun come up over Orion, but I have been exposed to the wonders of nature, the dangling exposed nads of a sixty year old north-sider as he struggles to clamber into a wheelchair, the sound that a tea trolley makes from over a quarter a mile away, the smell of antiseptic ingrained on the lining of my nose and the discomfort of a cannula that you think has become part of your body for ever more.

Institutionalised in the blink of an eye, there is still little I will miss about my hospital bed. I will take some fond memories.  Siobhan (Shiv- awn) the Nurses aid who was madder than a bag of ferrets for example. At night, she patrolled the halls, tackling the sneaky smokers or the vascular patients sprinkled with the demons of dementia.

Each night she would come in and chat. Her Mother’s brother’s half sister Eileen and her cousin from Leighlin that had cerebral palsy were just the beginning of it.  She had a sister who she was fond of but up herself, a brother who opened a bar in Tipperary…Tipperary!! And they from Kilkenny! Was he mad?  The granny wouldn’t step foot in it and her mother’s sisters little fella was ill.  He’d tell the granny to “shut up and smoke your fag Granny” he was the only one who’d get away with talkin’ to her like that. The brother with the pub in Tipp had moved to New Zealand.. hadn’t she mentioned that?…and the brother…well he had a new girlfriend.  She reckoned he was hidin’ her from the family! Then sure didn’t the mammy meet them down the town…well!

I swear to God I couldn’t keep up.  Each night she’d continue on about her extremely elaborate past, her massively extended family on a timeline only she kept track of and she just dipped in where she had left off, as if I had a brain the size of a massive NASA computer, capable of collating all the data that she threw at me.  It was enormously entertaining despite my confusion.

We watched Dublin beat Kerry in the All Ireland semi- final in the common room, as that had a big flat screen TV and as the only Dub in the room, I was the subject of some wonderfully entertaining but friendly abuse.  I rounded that gathering off with a lovely joke as I had a captive audience.

chi

Siobhan came in and start talking about foxes at half time.  I have no idea why.  So I asked her if she ever heard the tale of the fox in the chicken house. She hadn’t.  For those unfamiliar it’s a great visual gag.  The farmer catches the fox in his hen house and points a shotgun at him.  The fox has his cheeks puffed out as though he has a mouth full of something.  I acted out both parts.

“Did you eat one of my chickens?”  I asked this while I mimed holding the shotgun.  I then mimed the fox with a full mouth, shaking his head innocently as if to say me… nooooo.  This gets repeated three or four times, the farmer getting increasingly angry until he eventually pokes the fox in the stomach with the shotgun. Throughout I kept coughing and covering my mouth with my closed fist and on the poke in the belly, I coughed-blew and opened my hand, blasting a billow of small torn up pieces of white tissue paper that I had concealed there all along.  It looked like the fox spluttering out a cloud of chicken feathers and caught all by surprise.

They laughed so much that two nurses came running into the room.  Like me, they were all on telemetry monitoring their hearts and three of them went off the charts.  I nearly killed them with the laughter! Those were the sane moments, the saviours of my spirit. My loved ones and friends were there when I needed them and my fellow inmates gave me moments to cherish. But I could never quite shake Mr. Squiggles, even when it was all over.

sm

So on my last morning at 4.35 precisely, I figured as I had come through everything without the close call I had on my last visit, that my shadow man, my Mr. Squiggles would not return. I watched and waited and nothing.  Perhaps I had dreamed him after all, a figment of my imagination prospecting my fear for a nugget of doubt, trying to undo me and drive me down. As I tried to recall what he looked like, I suddenly realised he was quite similar to the almost hidden shadowy figure on the cover of my Darkly Wood only smaller and more sinister. Maybe it was all in my mind.

Then as I was about to turn away, I saw him on a ledge across on the other wing of the hospital. He was moving fast with leaps and bounds, disappearing at times in the early morning half-light.  He was oblivious to me, now a forgotten soul as far as he was concerned and his concentration lay elsewhere. I turned to go back to my bed, disappointed almost for no reason that made sense, when my blood ran cold.

There, not three feet away on the other side of the glass, perched another dark shadow man.  He was featureless just like Mr. Squiggles but he looked at me and then through me to the part of me that mattered.  Something passed between us, before he turned,  slowly dropped from the ledge and left me rooted to the spot, staring at a vacant space on the window ledge, knowing that although I was leaving that place, a new, darker shadow man had found me and he was coming home with me…

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Catching Mr. Squiggles…

Catching Mr. Squiggles…

I haven’t seen the shadow man again but he may have come into my room in the early hours this morning.  It seems he likes to arrive at 4.35 precisely. I was waiting for him with the curtain drawn around my bed.  Something brushed against it on the window ledge and I’m sure it scampered across the floor. The door was open so perhaps again he was looking for another patient.  He has no interest in me, not until Monday at least.

I decided to call him Mr. Squiggles to lessen his impact. Calling him the shadow man gives him some power I thought and who can fear something called Mr. Squiggles.  But that lasted all of ten seconds.  Almost instantly I imagined something different along these lines;

Henry was only five but he knew the meaning of fear. His parents told him there was no shadow man.  They checked under his bed each night, in the wardrobe just like he asked and behind the curtains. But when they left him alone, in the half light of the window, they didn’t see him slither along the ledge and enter his sanctuary.  They didn’t feel the slow, cold touch of his fingers on their flesh or the heat of his breath on their face.  They never met, Mr. Squiggles.

You see…It’s fine reading one of my books, you don’t have to live inside this head of mine twenty four seven.

But I’m not the only one with a Mr. Squiggles.  I am sustained, maintained and my life is framed by the girl who I call Jo. While I linger here with my finger on the trigger of my mind, she makes sure I am ultimately fine. To have a darling is one thing. To have a darling at this stage of my life is wonderful. Each day she makes the journey, ensures I have what I need, has a wander down the corridor with me to have a sneaky latte in the hospital café or and brings me equally sneaky treats to lift my spirits. She loves me like I need and more, takes my hand and I feel her small hand in mine like a secret gift I don’t deserve.  She holds me just tight enough and the merest, light touch of her lips on mine when we part, sends a spark to my fading soul. To be loved thus is beyond my warrant. I am a lucky man.

But I fear Mr. Squiggles may come to stalk her.  Taking care of me and all the other burdens she must carry daily, leaves her vulnerable to his watchful eye.  She cannot lean this way when it’s the time she needs it most for I am a ghost in her life today, haunting her peace with a worry that she could well do without. Peace of mind evades her I know, for as I love her she loves me thus, a thing of beauty always but the price of this beautiful gift of love is high for her right now and I am not there.

I want to watch over her, to sit by her window and let in only the light, to fight the shadow man, to repel him from her door.  It is such a thing love. There will never be a grander joy, a holier chalice than love such as this.  So what to do? I think I must trap my shadow man, my Mr. Squiggles.  I shall lay awake and wait for him until I see him up close, face to face.  Only then can I turn the tide, corrupt his power and make him hide, to keep him away from my darling, to keep her feeling safe inside. I want to leave this place so we can face him together, this Mr Squiggles.

The sun is up and so am I. Like the lark I’ve always been a sparkle in the early hours. If I try really hard perhaps, if I concentrate with  all my mind, I can send  my sparkle to where it’s needed most, I don’t need it this morning so off it goes, I hope she knows to catch it.

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Stealing away strangers in the night…

Stealing away strangers in the night…

A dark shadow man crossed my window ledge at precisely 4.35 this morning. It was the briefest of encounters as I lay wide awake and anxious, hoping my procedure will not be put back this morning. I want it over and so I lay awake as I do, staring out at the moon when he, scuttled into view.

He scurried goblinesque, pausing for the briefest moments to turn his head in my direction. The featureless creature stared eyeless, into my soul, before moving on. All night long I had listened to some poor unfortunate, groaning in pain, struggling against life and as we looked deep into each other that creature and I, in the distance I believe I heard the final death rattle of the anonymous man down the corridor.

My shadow man flittered off in that very moment and I knew he was truly something dark.  It was a tiny entity, no larger than a small dog but somehow I knew he could swallow me whole.  I wondered? Had he come for the poor soul down the corridor or was he taking a peek at his future prize? It sounds so morbid I know, but having once crossed the Stygian waters only to turn back at the last moment, I cannot help but watch for signs.

I am a man who writes of terrible horrors in at least two of my books, so you might think I am being led astray by my own vivid imagination.  But I don’t even have nightmares of this sort, never.  My fears are always reality based, but I do have a history of portentous dreams. This was no dream.

My biggest fear today is that the theatre is backed up and I may have to spend a weekend lying in a hospital bed waiting for Monday morning surgeons to come back to life. But what of my dark, long fingered, eyeless, shadowy friend.  Like Peter Pan’s shadow, he felt strangely connected to, yet simultaneously disconnected from me and I can’t seem to shake him off this morning.

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I sat alone looking at the sky through my window when he had gone, my groaning neighbour now silent.  In that moment I never felt so lonely, is it true that the darkest hour is just before the dawn? I touched the empty space in the bed beside me, the space that should never be empty, the space where lies my heart each night.  But not this morning.  On this morning I am alone and all is empty.

It is five thirty a.m. and I opened up my laptop for company.  I have written a promised review for a wonderful book by Lesley Hayes and I have tried to edit my sequel to Darkly Wood II The Woman who never wore shoes.  It has been interrupted so many times I should have subtitled it The book that never gets finished and now even that thought makes me melancholic.

When last I faced this dilemma, I met the edge of life and saw no light or flashing of my life before my eyes.  I blogged about it in detail and for those who read it, they will recall my only feeling at the edge was one of melancholy.  Maybe I revert to my natural state at moments like this.

So… what to do?  The wonder that is hospital tea, won’t come for another three hours and the sun won’t appear for at least another hour.  Everyone else is asleep, there is no unfolding drama for me to earwig on, nor discussion of stools to entertain me.  I guess I will have to fake a smile for myself, just for a bit, just long enough for the sun to peek through the leaves of the tree outside my window, long enough for the rattle of the tea trolley, the whistle of the porter and the inevitable drama that is hospital life.  Just long enough to fool myself  out of sadness.  I’ll be fine by breakfast, sliced by dinner with any luck and back in my bed for tea.  Hopefully I’ll bring back a less eventful tale than last time…and maybe even my real smile.

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Waiting for God…Oh! Blogging from the edge.

Waiting for God…Oh! Blogging from the edge.

There is a chasm, a deep trench along whose edge we all walk many times in our life. The irony is that the temptation that leads us to fall over the edge or leap to its blackest depths, are emotions of vastly contrasting origins.

We fall in Love, we dive into rage and blindly adore or hate, all inevitably casting us from the safety of the ledge, to the unknown of the abyss.  But then there are other devastating and incredibly powerful emotions that that lay in wait for us as less obvious structures.  The very fabric of our lives is infested with cracks of despair and I am currently doing my best to avoid stepping on the rotten planks beneath my feet, as I know they cannot bear the weight of my happiness and want me to fall into the deep. Last November I had an all too close encounter in this same hospital and tomorrow I again face the fear that history might repeat itself.

So I distract myself. Today my view is from a hospital window. I choose now to look for as many chinks of light as I can and I find them in observation and human nature which makes me smile.  Here in this place of healing, there is an obsession with bowel movements.  The condition of all of the patients in this particular part of the hospital has really little to do with bowel movements, but the wonderful nurses here seem nonetheless obsessed with the question. Fortunately for me, the response from one patient kept me entertained for a good ten minutes last night and sometimes, ten minutes can make a big difference to your day.

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“Did you move your bowels today?”  This simple question requires a yes or no answer really, but oh no, there’s always one.

“Yeah.”  The voice without a face answered in an inappropriately loud voice.   But happily he didn’t leave it there.  “I had a poo this morning.  Come to think of it I had a good clean out last night.” Enough information?  Let’s leave it there was my initial thought. You’d think so wouldn’t you?

“If I eat chocolate I can ruin meself,” he said before continuing. “Had a bar of whole nut on Sunday, cleaned me out.” Then he raised his voice and repeated the last bit in case anyone in a 500m radius couldn’t hear. “Cleaned me out.”  But he wasn’t finished.

“I had a wee…well…I had about 5 wees. Do you need to write them down?”  The nurse replied no and from the tone of her voice I think she was retreating, but this man was not to be stopped.

“What about the runs, cause I had the runs on Monday after being cleaned out on Sunday.  Does that count?  That’s when I ruined meself.”  It went on and on and I sat looking out my window, listening to the anonymous voice, smiling.

This morning a 14 year old intern, tried to question and lecture an eighty five year old man on his drinking habits.  They weren’t even reading the same book, let alone being on the same page.

“How many units of alcohol do you consume each week?”  It meant nothing to the auld lad.

“I don’t drink Eunice.”  His reply was a gem.  Never drink larger.”  Even I was confused.  The boy doctor tried to simplify the question for the man whose age was further exacerbated by his poor hearing.

“Not Eunice …Units…How much do you drink?” The old man laughed.

“Chance’d be a fine thing.  I haven’t had a drink since I came in here.”

“No, sir, How…much…do…you…drink.” He spoke as loud as he could.

“I’d have 2 cans of Guinness.”

“A week?” He needed unit numbers for his calculation.

“Jaysus no… a night… sometimes I’d only have 1.”  He sounded contrite.

“So you have one or two cans of Guinness a night?”

“I might have more.” I could hear the exasperation in the medical child’s voice.

“Three?” He was determined to work out the units.

“Might be 3.” Finally!

“So you have 1 to 3 cans every night?” Doctor boy was being sure of his unit calculation, pen in hand.

“Of Guinness?” The patient clarified.

“1 to 3 cans of Guinness per night?” the Doctor had finally tied it down.  You could hear the “Oh yeah!” in his voice.  But then the old geezer just threw it all up in the air again.

“I could have 6 or 7…”

juin

It was so much fun, yet another gem that went on for long enough to drag me across a few more planks of despair.  It is all around me here. The ubiquitous whistling Dublin hospital porter, every now and then whistling Spanish Eyes, as he passes the door as if on some cosmic hospital porter loop.  His colleague, the singing Dublin hospital porter, with a broader range from Nat King Cole to Frank Sinatra.  They all have a pure, magical, lilting belief that they have a magnificent voice, surely there is a school somewhere that teaches this art, for I have yet to visit a Dublin hospital and not hear one croon his way down the corridor.

Then last night my amusement turned to sadness.  At 3.30 am a registrar was discussing patients with nurses outside my door, when a thick Dundalk accent started shouting.  It sounded like an old woman.

“LIAR!”  She was accusing someone but it soon became clear she was talking about the doctor. “LIAR! He’s a kidnapper!  He’s a kidnapper.  Somebody help me please.”

A nurse tried to calm the clearly distressed lady but she became angrier, more distressed and suddenly, my fun of eavesdropping became an altogether different thing.  It soon became clear that she was suffering from some form of dementia or memory loss and was convinced that the nurses and doctors were holding her captive.  This morning I again heard her, only this time she was insisting on sitting on another person’s bed.  She was screaming that she could sit where she liked in her own house and wanted to know what all the people were doing there. Suddenly my amusement felt shallow.  I was seeing real anguish no matter how untrue it was, the lady in question was living a nightmare.  I needed cheering up again.

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Back to my window watching.  The sun is shining now, tomorrow I face into the unknown again, and until then I must find a way to while away the hours.  There is the obsession with tea of course, (that’s a whole other blog) time is counted here by when the next cup will arrive and I was beginning to despair this morning as patients checked out and checked in.   The old voices were leaving, gone my amusement at others around me. I have been left bored and alone waiting for the next cup of tea to arrive.  But it feels like I’m waiting for something more significant than tea…and then I heard him, right outside my door.

“Doctor is there anywhere I can put me cat.”

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Sniffing girls, wildlings and finding my butterfly…

Sniffing girls, wildlings and finding my butterfly…

I remember the pressure of the knife against my throat as clearly as if it was yesterday and the sense that in that moment, things might go terribly wrong.  Having skedaddled out of a very hairy situation only minutes before, more as a precaution than anything else, being trapped and surrounded by a marauding gang of knife wielding men in a remote part of town late at night, left the three of us feeling less than confident that we might escape unscathed.

That we did, was more down to experience than luck, an element of comradery, balls that were needed and applied at the right moment and a hint of cowardice in one of the gang members that surrounded us, threatening to cut us up and throw us in the river.  God it seems like such a long time ago now.  I’m not sure if I’d handle it with such disregard as I did back then.  Back then you see I knew how to walk the walk.

It started even before I began to smell myself.  As a nipper I was carefree and moved like a butterfly.  There was no restriction and I floated through my world, oblivious to anything but the moment. But  starting school introduced a different element for me. There I discovered disturbing cruelty among my peers.  Our neighbourhood was quite tough and while it was a craft in itself to avoid the violence of the teachers in school and worse still the penchant certain members of the so called ‘Christian Brothers’ had for little boys, it was surviving the everyday trials of the school yard that introduced me to ‘the walk.’

I stopped being a butterfly.  There was a strut, a certain shoulder swagger and heel kick that I studied with great care.  This was nothing to do with vanity.  It was not about being a peacock, that walk came later when I got a sense that girls might have some use after all.  No, this was about being a gorilla, a lion, a king.  My very survival depended on my ability to cross the road towards danger with my head held high, rather than cower in the opposite direction in fear of my life.

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Walking the walk was literally a matter of survival.  I loved steel caps on heels.  The big hard lads with their Wrangler jeans and tight hair, flicked their steel tipped heels on the pavement.  You heard them coming.  That’s where I figured it out.  They weren’t afraid that the wild boys might hear them coming.  They announced it with a click of their loud steel heels.  With a swagger and a strut, chest out, shoulders back, head held high, they could walk into the mouth of danger and the sea of danger would simply part.

My Ma wouldn’t contemplate allowing me to get Steel tips on my shoes, Lord have mercy she had an opinion on that for sure.   No, I knew that wasn’t an option but I also knew that I couldn’t run away from the boys that would have me do so at every turn, or beat me if I didn’t.  So I watched and built up the nerve to test my theory.  There was always someone hanging around at the newspaper shop on the corner, tapping you up for your ‘odds’ trying to intimidate weaker boys to hand over some cash.  I was a small polite boy and I never had any and that was worse.

Finally I decided I had to be brave and test my theory. I watched them from the far side of the road as I walked and they watched me, wondering if they should cross over and swallow me in a swarm of fear, leaving me nowhere to run.  So instead I crossed the road towards them, chest out shoulders back, head held high, a skinny little lion cub strutting, listening in my head to the sound of my imaginary steel caps as they clicked on the pavement.  The wildlings watched me and I changed my course ever so slightly, aiming straight to the heart of the cloud.

I saw them see me.  I knew they sensed something but all I could feel was fear and I hoped they couldn’t smell it like my Da said dogs could do. I kept a steady pace, no slowing from fear or rushing to show weakness, like a missile to the heart of the target.

To my astonishment, they cleared a path. I rounded the corner and importantly, I didn’t look back.  I knew they watched me wondering what kind of creature I must be to risk such madness, but it didn’t matter, I had survived.

As time passed, I practiced my walk, put a shimmy in my shoulder, a dip in the turn, a kick in the heel and a flick in the toe. Oh yeah…I was the business.   It didn’t take away the fear.  I still felt the knot in my stomach every time I encountered a fresh pack of wildlings but they never saw it on me.  My walk got me out of many a dangerous situation back in the day, but then it all changed.

For some strange reason I started to get a sniff of girls and they started to get a sniff of me.  Unfortunately I was unaware that I might be attractive to girls.  All I could see were my failings in that respect.  There were bigger boys, more handsome boys, more cocky boys.  I noticed that my walk didn’t impress the girls.  I watched the other boys, the ones that the girls liked and I realised that I was doing it all wrong.  Just when I had my walk sorted, feckin’ puberty kicked in and I had to learn a whole new walk if I was going to ever get a girl to like me.

jt2

Then when I was 14 I bunked into Saturday Night Fever in the Adelphi. Sweet mother of God there it was, the walk of walks.  Girls had to love that John Travolta strut.  A year later it was Grease and I was working during that summer and I bought myself a black t-shirt with cut off shoulders. I had the arms of a six year old girl back then but not in my head. A pair of flairs, boots and that black t-shirt.  Sure, I was a blonde haired, skinny little Irish boy…but I had the t-shirt and more importantly I had the strut. By that stage I had almost perfected my walk.  I didn’t like John Travolta or Grease, but the strut in Saturday Night Fever stuck with me and I knew he was a hit with the girls. I can still hear the Bee Gees in my head.

All I needed was a disco with a flashing floor and a couple of cool dance moves and I would be a God to all the young ladies for miles around. I didn’t have either, so I settled for perfecting my walk.  I stopped hearing steel tips clacking on the pavement as I walked down the street.  No, I had a new walk, a John Travolta walk and More than a woman reverberated in my head as I strutted and nodded my way down the street, smiling at the ladies and my fourteen year old self, feeling like a butterfly once more….

REMEMBER TO EXPLORE THE WORLD OF MAX POWER ALL AVAILABLE ON KINDLEUNLIMITED SEE LINKS BELOW

img_6156

Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –

http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower

https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com

fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks

twitter @maxpowerbooks1

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Read free previews here;

Little Big Boy https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00WRP0J8E&preview

Darkly Wood https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B004DL0PMU&preview

Larry Flynn https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00MZGSY3M&preview

Bad Blood https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00Q39HGEK&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_8ZOMwb0R

 

Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

I have been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by my fellow Blogger and talented children’s author Denise McCabe.  It is so very nice to be part of a community of bloggers where we can share ideas, thoughts, opinions and much more.  I am delighted and surprised to have been nominated.  That Denise McCabe nominated me is indeed complimentary, I read and enjoy all her blogs and she is a great example for those interested in getting started. https://kidsstoriesblog.com/

How did I get into blogging?

As a prolific writer, it is something that came naturally to me.  I took it as an opportunity to do what I feel I do best and that is to tell stories.  Many people write blogs that offer advice, inspiration or are critiques for example.  When I decided to blog, I stuck with that I know best.  I chose to reflect on my life with perhaps a little humour, something I don’t so in my books which are much darker than my blog. The idea for me was to connect on a more personal level with readers, who I hope can connect with similar experiences and I also hope, come away with perhaps a smile in their heart. It is also an opportunity for readers to get a glimpse at my style and writing process from a very different perspective.  I blog for fun mainly and as with my books, they are always written with the reader’s entertainment in mind.

Advice for new Bloggers?

If I am qualified to offer such a thing it is only through what experience I have writing my blog and from reading others.

  1. Simply put, don’t blog for yourself.  Blog for your audience. The only reason I read others blog pieces is because I enjoy them.  There are too many self-serving bloggers who simply want to hear their own voice.  I think the ones that work best and the ones I return to are the ones I enjoy. Remember that when writing.
  2. Having said the above my second piece of advice is to decide what you want to write about. Think of who would want to read it and why, then just write for them.

To accept your award You Must:

  • Write a post to show your award
  • Acknowledge the blogger that nominated you
  • Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers
  • Give a brief story about why you started blogging

Here are some of my nominees in no particular order.

  1. http://julialundauthor.wordpress.com/
  2. http://tombensoncreative.wordpress.com/
  3. https://jamesmilson.com/
  4. http://www.damyantiwrites.com/
  5. https://thelastkrystallos.wordpress.com/
  6. https://silaspayton.wordpress.com/
  7. https://felipeadanlerma.com/
  8. https://ericlahti.wordpress.com/
  9. http://andrew-updegrove.com/
  10. https://senangilsenan.wordpress.com/
  11. http://www.mybookishlife.com/
  12. https://pennyluker.wordpress.com/
  13. https://lesleysky.wordpress.com/
  14. http://write-escape.com/
  15. http://iandmooreauthor.wordpress.com/
  16. https://tracyblackauthor.wordpress.com/
  17. https://franklparker.com/
  18. https://writerpoppyreid.wordpress.com/
  19. https://sharonbrownlieauthor.wordpress.com/

Enjoy and have fun out there and I do look forward to hearing from you.

REMEMBER TO EXPLORE THE WORLD OF MAX POWER ALL AVAILABLE ON KINDLEUNLIMITED SEE LINKS BELOW

img_6156

Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –

http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower

https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com

fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks

twitter @maxpowerbooks1

IASD - globe 2

Read free previews here;

Little Big Boy https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00WRP0J8E&preview

Darkly Wood https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B004DL0PMU&preview

Larry Flynn https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00MZGSY3M&preview

Bad Blood https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00Q39HGEK&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_8ZOMwb0R