Sometimes people come up with challenges that are rather drear and only an ingrained politesse has you responding. At others, one idea stimulates another and so on. Willowdot21 has linked me to this First Post Challenge whereby one is asked to go back to the very start….
…let’s start at the very beginning,
a very good place to start…
And you’re meant to link back to that first post, say what sort of post it was and why you wrote it; why did you start something as public as a blog with this?
At the same time, the self same Willow, challenged me with a three quote challenge. You will have seen it: three favourite quotes over three days. I love quotes but since I left the constraints of the law complying with rules hasn’t been either my preferred position or my default mindset so, Willow, I hope you don’t mind if I just pop in a couple of apposite quote here.
You see, starting if I may with the quotes there is one that tickles me which emerged from the film – the First Exotic Marigold Hotel – a rather splendid film if you’ve not caught it yet:
Everything will be all right in the End…
And if it isn’t all right, it isn’t the End
For me that’s more a life philosophy than a quote. And my first post, my starting my blog journey as it were (though ‘journey is rather pretentious, don’t you think – I mean, when I start a journey, especially these days, my first thought, after ‘where are my keys?’, is ‘I really should have a pee’ and I don’t remember ever thinking that before blogging) – sorry where was I? Yes, my blogging life – it started with an End very much in mind. A few light writing exercises to start, building up the word muscles and testing out the narrative pavements to see if I could make any progress with a view, eventually to reaching the height of a prepubescent novelist’s ambition – the marathon that is publication of my book.
My first post was like putting on a brand new pair of writing trainers, opening the front door and stepping outside. But where to go, what to write that’s going to get you across that particular line? The first thing that came into my mind that day, that’s what. Thus I typed the following (here’s the link):
My first post. Ever. Well, on my own site. What is it to be? What was it that came to mind when I stared at the blank page? It was the news that Cornwall has been recognized as a new minority group within the UK, ensuring that the preservation of its language and culture is given some sort of priority. Marvellous news. I love the idea that a small area can punch above its weight by having its own language – having lived in South London for years I’d argue that that’s true around here, too, with the melting pot of linguistic influences creating, amongst the young, its own spoken dynamic. But Cornish has history and it’ll take a few decades for Brixton to be granted the same status. It set me thinking, however, about languages and their creation. My son has recently introduced me to the TV epic that is Game of Thrones. I didn’t think I’d like it – bonking with swords I’d been told – but, after a couple of episodes, and still desperately keen for Sean Bean to get a haircut/wash, I was hooked. And one thing I enjoyed was the creation of the Dothraki language. To create something coherent yet novel is to me a real skill. As it was with Tolkien and his Elvish. Or in Will Self’s Book of Dave (a bit of a struggle this but undeniably the languages were an achievement – getting used to them was a bit like the first ten minutes of Letter to Brezhnev until I sorted out the Scouse accents). I’ve not tried this new language thing in my own books yet – will I ever have the time and patience, I wonder – but it is quite something for those who get it right. What I have confronted is the use of a language other than English where some of my characters come from another country (in my case Poland); of course you would expect them to talk to each other in Polish. So how do I achieve that without confusing the reader or clumsily providing a translation? My simple method was for the first few words to be in Polish and thereafter the characters speak as if in English; I hope the readers understand and it is neither over-simple nor in any way patronising. I wonder how other achieve this? Maybe there’s a convention I’ve missed (wouldn’t be the first time). In the meantime, Meur rás, Nos dá as they say in Cornwall.
One like, three comments, one from the lovely supportive Vet and one of my own and bugger all else. That’s me in a nutshell. Banging on about something that is like milk becoming butter in my churning mind – mental clotting – and no one really notices.
What type of post? Meah. A ramble. What made me write it? I thought I needed to blog in order to create a platform for my writing and as a pre publication exercise.
But you know what, it’s a world in its own right. Like exercise, it is hard to start, really hard. And a struggle while you adjust (here we go, pretentious to the last) to this new paradigm (give me a break, Klaus, this boy is so up his own… shhhh) but once I gained my bloglegs and found how to regulate my blogbreaths, once the endorphins of a well received post flooded my being, the writing and publication thingy became secondary.
And, as with exercise, so with blogging and I’m addicted. I need my fix. I also need pretty constant physiotherapy, much the same with exercise but that’s another issue.
And that leads me to my second quote and what has become a little personal mantra when I think about what to blog. It is that I must always remember
Laugh and the world laughs with you
Weep and you weep alone
Try and add to the Joy of Nations, that’s really what this is about. Or at least the Thoughts of Nations. Don’t piss people off. There you have it: my credo, my life goal.
The challenge police ask that you pass this on. You know what? I’ll leave any of you to decide if you want to go back and revisit those early memories. It’s been fun and all that but here’s to future