Sisyphus, Greek fellow, the inspiration for my first foray into writing. What created this scribbling frenzy was a programme on BBC Radio Four, where the panellists’ waxed lyrical about what they considered to be the best opening lines, and to be fair, what caught my ear wasn’t the books from which they were quoting (the usual suspects), which were by and large excellent books, but that the opening lines themselves, which in isolation, weren’t exactly all that inspiring. And, therein a spark became a something, that in turn became my first attempt to write a story.
I started with an opening It wasn’t a cliché…
And then I kind of just meandered into a paragraph, and then a page, and well you can guess how the rest of it all develops.
The story itself evolved out of a reaction to the proliferation of ‘warrior porn’. You know, the memoirs of the pivotal killing machines, ALL snipers in Seal Team 6?!? These reluctant heroes, who despite their presence in theatre, neither Iraq, or indeed Afghanistan, were resounding successes for the coalition forces – with such killing machines on our side, who’d have guessed?
Oh, for the absolute avoidance of any possible doubt, I am NOT belittling any genuine heroic events – my total and unreserved respect goes out to those people who did heroic things. My frustration, my objection is with the telling of the tales by those who somehow weren’t…
So, I thought to myself how about writing a self-confessed bit of honest fiction? You know, a real and genuine tale of human failings, insecurity, and all that kind of stuff – and, so, I did, and my first sad story “Sisyphus’s Burden” was written.
I should have stopped there, I should have, but I didn’t, and from a Greek perpetually pushing a rock up a mountain in Afghanistan (Sisyphus’s Burden) we ended up with an angry vengeful woman flying around the world killing people (Amy Grace) – oh, and tales of unrequited love and yet more murder (The Big House) and loneliness and isolation (The Diary of a Nobody).
A happy puppy dog story, about finding a lost balloon, and drinking celebratory lemonade may follow – maybe, but until then, we’ll just keep plodding along with the above, and see how it all pans out.