In 2004, following a minor operation, I began an online diary to combat boredom and take my mind off the post-operative numbness. After ten days of rest and many hours of typing, I emailed my scribbles to a friend. Asked if I was writing a book, I said no. An avid reader of true crime and trashy novels, the idea of penning any kind of book was ludicrous. However, the seed was planted, so I continued writing about my past, and adding stories relating to my present situation at the time. Basically, I had no idea what I was doing, or getting myself into, and for the next thirteen years, a keyboard became my closest friend.
This had all started around 2002, when I bought a second-hand computer. My electronic skills were amateurish to say the least and typing about any stories about myself seemed like a good idea at the time. Soon my nimble fingers raced over the keyboards whenever I had a free moment. Working as a nurse at The Lister Hospital, a private institute in central London, my new toy kept me entertained. When 2004 arrived, I had a manuscript, or it looked like one to me, and after a google search, some publishers found a file to read. Naturally, they deleted it post haste, while I waited with bated breath. I got the impression they hoped I stuck to my day job. Finally, there was a reply. Someone wrote back and praised the story, and asked if I had completed the book. We exchanged a flurry of emails and I promised to finish the book in record time. There was no clear plan. I had no clear structure or idea on how to write any book.
Reading was easy, so I assumed writing a novel would come naturally. How wrong I was! I persevered and typed every day, tucked away in a tiny flat, laying down my story onto a computer drive. Using my reading skills as a writing tool, I allowed my fingertips do the talking. My recreational writing skill were an echo of my speaking style. The sentences were long and punctuation a tool delegated to the back seat. I was good at telling stories, if short funny anecdotes counted. Wrapped up in the idea of being an author, I sent most of the scribbles to friends, and waited for their feedback. Complimented and encouraged, they spurred me on, unaware I was some budding writer, so I kept it a secret, afraid they might tease and mock me. Years passed and I continued to write with less enthusiasm. The publisher was patient, told me to take my time and I did. I caught the travelling bug, flitted between California, South Africa and London, while my first book, Twisted and Torn, lengthened sporadically.
Along the way, I grew bolder, picked up a few tricks along the way, and not the sort you imagining, so I adapted my story telling skills accordingly. I was on a roll. The book, or the idea of it, was aimed at my friends and colleagues, many who knew me – or thought they did. It is natural for people to make some random assumption or theory about another person, we are only human. It seemed my physical appearance, different or peculiar social and personal mannerisms or affectations, gave strangers reason to comment, deride and verbally abuse me. I faced a constant volley of condemnation, which was most hurtful and emotionally destructive.
Yet, I gave nothing away, and I hoped the book would explain the reasons why I became an object of bad and gross misinterpretation, public or private speculation. After 13 years of much painful rewriting, proofreading, editing, friendly and professional advice, spirited motivation and encouraging feedback, it is finally time to read part of the journey I faced to become the adult I am today. A Coloured in Full Flight; The boy from the barracks, is the new title and it follows my path from the time I was young enough to register everyone and everything around me. This is Book One, personally written for all to enjoy and share the trials and tribulations of my life until the age of 15.