My earliest attempts at writing

From a very early age I wanted to be a writer. When I was about age 8 I was given a toy typewriter, probably the same as the one pictured above. This was one available in 1955, about when I was 8 years old. It wasn’t a true typewriter because it had a false keyboard. The letters were formed by turning the central dial to the required letter and then pressing the lever which then left an impression of the letter on the paper. It was a tedious process and operated in a similar way to early dial operated labelling machines (eg Dymo).

Before receiving this wonderful boost to my writing career I would fill scraps of paper, old school exercise books, leftover brown wrapping paper and leftover pads with my writing. With my new “typewriter” came the need for typing paper and replacement ribbons. I graduated into writing stories, jokes and articles using my new toy, leaving spaces for hand drawn illustrations.

It wasn’t long before I discovered carbon paper in my father’s writing bureau, so multiple copies of my class newsletter were now possible. I soon had classmates paying for the privilege of subscribing to my periodical. My career was off and running.

Until Dad found out.

It seems that the father of a classmate complained that, in his opinion, my entrepreneurial endeavours were somehow illegal.  Reluctantly I had to pay back the money, and my writing career came to a grinding halt. For next 40 years I dedicated myself to my second choice, teaching. Now in retirement I can finally pursue that early dream, one that was almost snuffed out by an obnoxious and totally meddlesome person.

I sometimes wonder what might have been.

Don’t let anyone steal your dream.

Good writing.

The power of words

My grandson's solar powered helicopter

I am writing this post at my son’s home where we are staying for a few days of holiday. Our grandson, aged two and a half is a wonderful delight and his bright nature brings us all much joy. One of his favourite toys is a solar powered helicopter. It’s a simple little device made mainly of wood with two small solar panels on the rotor blades. Even a small amount of sunlight filtering through a window will send the blades whirring. It is an amazing contraption which intrigues us all.

One of the amazing things about this toy is the power generated by such small panels. Words are like that too. A few simple, uncomplicated words can have a powerful effect on the reader. A few well chosen sentences can change a person’s life. A story, poem or article can have a lasting influence over one person – or many people.

Choose your words carefully. Craft them lovingly. Launch them out into the wild world where they fly into the lives of others, bringing joy, blessing, laughter and perhaps even challenge to the recipients. Don’t waste your words; make them count for something.

Good writing.