Thursday, August 12, 2010

Opening 'Chapter'

It's been almost a year since I started the blog. Today, I'm posting the opening page from the book this blog helped me construct.
The tale is a coming-of-age novel, as seen through the eyes of the fictional Don Booker, who begins writing a book to escape boredom and the death of his best friend.
I wrote the book in 'real time'. I tried to capture Ireland in a moment in time, and explored themes all to relevant not only here in Ireland, but in the world as a whole.
Themes such as Alzheimer's, suicide, alcoholism, attitudes to minorities and even a little crime were explored as I attempted to weave a plot around the protagonist Don and the thing that antagonises him the most, his life.
Initial critique has been promising. ( I would say that, wouldn't I?)
Though the subject matter was difficult to explore at time, I did try to retain a certain humor through the character and felt that Don is not your stereotypical idea of an Irishman but a more complex one who's own search for answers sees him through an extraordinary time in our nations history.
I decided to write the book in a non-traditional way and did not use chapters, but each 'day' has a particular heading, which in my humble opinion, makes it a more enjoyable read and easy to take up and put down at the readers leisure, which, at the end of the day, should be what it is all about.
All comments are welcome, good or bad. This particular writer respects them all, for he understands that writing is a learning curve.

Don Booker

Valentine's Day next year, I'll be forty. It’s hard to believe. Where the fuck did those years go? The insignificant life I led through the Celtic Tiger now seems like an epic when compared to the state it’s in today. The steep learning curve of life, hey!
Last January, I entered the year quite hopeful that in some small way my life might improve. Hope has proved me wrong, again!
My name is Don Booker. For twelve long months now, I’ve been at the mercy of the State of Ireland, one of the hundreds of thousands who have been forced on to dole queues not seen in these parts since the 1980’s. Some old timer’s say these are longer. Everything seems to have ground to a halt.
I’ve spent the last three months drifting in and out of depression, the length of my days now feel like a week. It would be the perfect scenario if I were wealthy, but when you have no money and the weather traps you indoors, I can only imagine this is what prison feels like.
It has taken time, but I have grown to accept the life I have. The government now pays for the excess' in my life. They've made me pay for everything else for long enough. I won’t give them the satisfaction of doing away with myself and lessening the burden they now have meeting social welfare payments. I'd feel guiltier if there were jobs out there to apply for, but there isn’t. I certainly didn't bring this country to its knees, a land now willing to suck on the fat member of the World Bank in an effort to survive. I have what I need. I have a roof over my head and a laptop to write with.
I’d skip town if I didn’t have to care for my Mum. She has Alzheimer’s. It’s not easy, but I do have the help of my cousin Mitch, a body building bouncer with a liking for men. Mum whittles her days away, benign to my very existence. Though, when I think about it, wouldn't the majority of us pay to forget sometimes?
Mum doesn't have to, it just comes naturally now. I mean, if you could bottle that shit, you'd be well on your way.
Writing is my time killer. I guess it makes me lucky in some ways, despite the lack of success that seems to cling to my pages. It’s not much, but it’s life.
The life Leon once had. The one I still do.

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