Friday, 28 March 2014

My Field of Dreams

When I was a kid, magic and wonder in books was mainly to be found in the Narnia series or The Hobbit. Romance was provided by Jane Austin, Du Maurier or Victoria Holt and Cartland for those who sneaked such frowned-upon books into our school. Conan Doyle and Christie provided intrigue, Lois Stevenson - adventure, Bram Stoker and Shelley - horror.

As I grew older, I discovered a wider world and eagerly worked my way through more modern avenues but at my core, those first literary tastes had shaped my palette. I knew what I liked. Now, the choice is so overwhelming that I often struggle to find something to spark my imagination. I've been bombarded consistently with so much that the magic wore off, romance faded, intrigue dampened, I'd already lived enough adventure in my life and horror? - often gratuitous and repetitive. I found myself reverting back to the authors I used to read. To my surprise, since becoming a writer, I now see patterns, hear the author's inner voice in places I hadn't recognised previously.

But, how I now long to be so lost in a story that I do not see or hear anything behind the tale! Those first heady words that draw me in and keep me there agog just as the first page of Catcher in the Rye did or Zen and the Art... Is there anything new or has it all been persistently re-invented over the years? I read something and I'm reminded of something else. I also now switch off TV programmes for the same reason - long, drawn-out stories that should have ended long ago.

Despite the parade of the "next best thing" I'm still looking for that one unique Voice that will change standards and possibly life as I perceive it. The Voice that doesn't have to shout to be heard or use a string of profanities to make a point. I want a protagonist I can admire, hate, fall in love with and see all doubting Thomas's get their comeuppance. I want to cheer and rage, be lost in the character's psyche, to feel what they do and see through their eyes as well as be the observer from my lofty advantage point.

It is a kind of high perhaps, so long dependent on street-peddled goods that I want to experience the good stuff anew, that one supreme high. As a writer, I can only dream of being able to do it myself but as a reader, a viewer, then I look for it constantly out of the corner of my eye.
Welcome to my field of dreams