#BEDM14: Let Go of the Lego

If you’re lucky your childhood home goes through four stages.

The first is the eighteen or so years of your life when you actually live there.

The third is very short and hopefully comes many years down the line, when you have to pack up your parent’s things and sell it on.

The fourth will be when you view it from the outside when someone else lives there.

I’m currently, though, in the second stage. The stage where I don’t live there, when I rarely visit there unless offered dinner.

It’s during this stage that every six months or so you receive a phone call from your mum. She’s having a clear out.

A shudder goes down your spine.

She’s in the loft. She’s in the garage.

She’s got black bags.

My instructions are always the same.

“Do what you like, but don’t touch the Goosebumps books. Don’t touch any on my Nintendos. And don’t touch the Lego!”

I’m probably never going to use any of them again, and when we get to stage three, I will probably transition them to my own home, never to be touched again.

Maybe I should learn to stop hoarding, but all three of those bits are massive parts of my childhood. I’m not ready to move on yet.

Prompt: Lego or Meccano? Trains or Planes?

Stop Playing on that Bloody Game Boy!

Lots of people know that I want to be a writer. Or rather, that I am a writer. After all, there’s no magical line that means you’re a writer only when you’re published, if you writer, you’re a writer.

There are two reactions that I remember the most though, that have stuck with me. Maybe because of what was said, maybe because of who said them.

My godmother, on a bus into town one day, told me I should get myself some work experience at the local paper if I really wanted to be a writer.

My gran said, in a way that only grans can, that if I was serious about being a writer, I’d be writing all the time and not ‘constantly playing on that bloody game boy’. I was still young, she meant the hand-held Nintendo console. There was no euphemism there.

I guess the reason that I remember them was because they’re wrong, and they were probably wrong because I didn’t explain it properly. I am not a writer. I  don’t have any interest in writing up the facts about a man who rescued a dog from the local canal, nor do I derive much pleasure from holding a pen and scribbling things down – although there is some satisfaction from seeing a page of A4 complete with thoughts, spilled from my own mind.

I’m a storyteller. I want to tell stories. I write fiction and I constantly see new plots in every part of my life.

There’s a magic in holding someone’s rapt attention by telling them something that only existed in your head prior to that moment. I love making things up and telling them to my cousins, I come up with ideas for television shows, plots for existing TV, stories and dialogue for all sorts of characters that live in my head.

Sometimes, I will retell a real event, but with the retelling, it gains embellishments, certain events may move because it makes for a better story. That’s why I couldn’t be a journalist – I’d probably be sued for misrepresentation of the facts.

Now, when I tell people I want to be a writer, internally I chastise myself, because I don’t want to be a writer. I need to be a storyteller.