22.01.15 (Day 395)
Because everyone needs their mum, and dad…
You did me right; you brought me up well.
It was me who failed you; it was me who fell.
I miss family occasions, talking of this and that.
Now an empty space at the dining table, where I once sat.
Please forgive me for the things I have done.
Don’t be ashamed when they ask, how’s your son?
The Mothership stopped reading this blog a while ago, mainly because it contained so much hatred and vitriol. None of that anger was directed at her, although some frustration was vented towards my family in general. If felt wronged and unfairly treated. I’d been placed in a very difficult and dangerous position. I’m sure they thought things would be quickly rectified but the system doesn’t work in the ways many think it does. Often the system doesn’t work at all and many would have given up completely by now, as I have at times. Most wouldn’t survive some of what I’ve had to go through and if it wasn’t for the kindness of friends, I’d have been dead by now.
As I’ve said before, there are two levels of remorse: saying you’re sorry and actually feeling regret; hurting yourself because you know that you’ve hurt others. My sorrow is the latter. Well, even though my mum herself may not be reading, I know that friends of hers still do follow this, so perhaps I can pass on a message or two.
It’s my mum’s birthday today: she’s seventy years old. I could write for days about her but I think I’ve summed things up in the lamenting ode at the top.
I accept that I wronged many people, family included. For that I received a punishment which has lasted almost four hundred days. So far. The fight goes on.
This blog has been quiet on the blogging front for some time because I’ve not been blogging: that’s pretty obvious. What’s also obvious is that I’ve been writing. A book. I really am. I’m not publishing it here for all to read because I’ve actually got a very real chance of getting the thing published. This is not a pipe dream. The only reason I’m, posting chapters of the book as I write them is so that they’re easy to access for my test readers. They’re issued passwords so that they can read what I’ve written and they give me constructive feedback. The feedback is good; very good indeed. On a couple of occasions, I’ve read what is very much a work in progress back myself and thought someone else might have written the thing. It really is that good.
Although you can only see password protected chapter titles here, the novel – The Paradoxicon – is now thirty chapters in, runs to just over seventy pages and about 30,000 words. At the moment, the finished work looks like coming in at around 50’000 words: right in the middle of the word count range which defines a standard length novel. Passwords are available to anyone I feel I can trust, so if anyone who knows my mum is reading this, maybe you might mention it?
The book is multiple genre: horror, science fiction, thriller, mystery. It’s dedicated to my kids – both biological and adopted – but it’s just the kind of thing my mum would like. I wonder if she might like a read. She may even be proud.
Writing is something I’ve been doing a lot of lately, especially working on the book. I’ve been working on it for six or seven hours a day recently. It’s a labour of love and I have great confidence in it. I’m only taking a break as I need to step back from the book. So I’m taking a break by writing. I always knew I had it in me. It’s not paid yet but time will tell if that changes. The signs are good.
In other writing news, Schlock magazine have accepted another ten of my short stories, in addition to the four they’ve already published. This is not paid work but it’s good exposure and the magazine is read by talent spotters. The vision is to get The Paradoxicon published, establish my name, then publish an anthology of my short fiction pieces. And one of those is being made into a short film: a student project but a film all the same and that student could go on to be a great film director, just as I have ambitions as an author. The next Sophie Coppola or Catherine Bigelow could be using my writing as the basis for their debut film.
Mum and dad are both mentioned in the acknowledgements of the book, along with several other people. My biggest helpers with the actual writing of the thing deserve extra credit: my fold-up girl and Nettie. Many meetings and discussion with both have really helped and encouraged me. I know I’m doing something good.
My fingers have been mainly engaged with the keyboard but they’ve been busy otherwise as well and not up my arse. I’ve been on the housing waiting list since July and am bidding on every suitable property which becomes available, so far to no avail. I have my ATOS assessment a week today in Croydon and if all goes well, I should get quite a lump sum of back pay released. A significant chunk of that is going to my mum to repay some debts. Despite over a year of hell, falling out with people, getting into scrapes with my fists and the law, spending time in hospital and not being able to see my kids, I’m still fighting and not giving up. Don’t give up on me.
I will make you proud mum and when I present you with a signed hardback copy of my book, you’ll be able to show it around and say “That’s my son”.
I love you.