The Book That Nobody Will Read
This biography lark is working quite well.
That’s what I think, though others may disagree.
I am not familiar with existing biographies, never having read one that I can recall. Not knowing how they are written is probably a good thing as I can invent my own format.
I thought about a chronological form which struck me as intensely boring and confusing. The first chapter dedicated to my first memories would make for tedious reading to put it mildly. So I thought of writing on particular topics. The problem there is that topics are going to overlap and turn the story into a spiders web of interrelated topics and a certain amount of repetition. For example, talking about my cycling experiences is going to overlap timewise with my school memories and so on.
So as you may have gathered, I have started banging out my memories not just of childhood but in some cases my recent past as well [I said it was going to be confusing?]. Having a target of pumping out [fairly] regular scribbles on a particular topic is a good incentive to write. Also I have discovered that concentrating on one particular topic brings back far more memories than a general retrospection.
My intention is to take the relevant posts and stick them all into some kind of book format, with additional stuff tying the pieces together. I don’t know if it will work, but fuck it – I’m having fun remembering. I shall continue [I hope] to post apparently random pieces which will drop in for no apparent reason, so just bear with me.
There is one significant disadvantage to my plan. If I am relying on my ten readers to buy the damned thing then I am going to be disappointed as nearly everything will have appeared here anyway That’s why my provisional title shall be “The Book That Nobody Will Read”. But then that’s not the main purpose of this exercise. The real purpose is that sometime in the future my Grandkids, my Great Grandkids and maybe my Great Great Grandkids will find this dusty old tome up in the attic, will blow the cobwebs off and have a good laugh at how pathetically simple and naive life was back in the latter half of the Twentieth Century.
I just wish my ancestors had tried the same trick.
"I suppose a book is still a book, even if no one but the author and his wife reads it"
John Wyndham, 'The Kraken Wakes'
Who am I to doubt such a giant amongst authors?
What about linking topics to places? Then future generations will be able to observe Grandad day in a way similar to Bloomsday.
I do mention a few places in passing. Theoretically someone could reconstruct some journeys if they were really bored enough.
Don't forget photographs.
They add to the story and also prompt memory.
About 15 years ago I had accumulated lots of colour photographs, slides and negatives which were undergoing colour deterioration so scanned the lot. High resolution. Photo software allowed the colours to be corrected. Monochrome, black n white, negatives and prints do not deteriorate. Scanning permitted a great weight of prints and photo albums to be binned.
Since then I have inherited and borrowed more from relatives.
The negatives were the most interesting because good prints were given away.
Finally I was able to give each of all my relations CD ROMs with the lot on. It was a cause of much amusement for young folk to see their elders when they were gay young things, and also how they lived.
Now CD ROMs are almost obsolete, so have to keep using newer media.
I have toyed with that. Whether I have sufficient photographs is another matter. My parents weren't great at taking photographs and I only really started in the last decade or so.
I have done one. But I did it chronological order from as far back as I could remember. A good practise is, as you are remembering, you forgive those who harmed or hurt you, and then let it all go. It is astonishingly cathartic! Loved your car post!
Fair play! It's an exercise nearly everyone should at least try. Even if no one ever reads it, it's a marvellous bit of brain exercise. I am also really enjoying it as focusing brings back memories of long forgotten details.
When writing a biography it's important to remember to exaggerate certain "episodes" (the ones that are boring for example) as well as just making things up when the proper flow is needed. This is rather bad advice of course however, it is often done.
By the way, what you're writing is defined as an autobiography in point of fact. To quote (from various sources):
I wanted to point this out just for the sake of being picky. And I'll buy it and read it just because. That is if you actually live long enough to complete it and I live long enough to read it.
Arah sure I know that! It amuses me when some brain-dead "celebrity" talks about someone else writing their autobiography. Correct me if I'm wrong but – auto = self, bio = life, graphy = writing?
You're absolutely right although I always associated the word "auto" as some type of motor vehicle (or transmission?). Apparently the word 'autobiography' has it's roots in Greek (I had to look that one up) but I'm sure you knew that. I'd attempt writing one myself since I've had a highly varied and frequently intense life. However, I'd have to learn how to punctuate properly as well as proper sentence structure including using paragraphs instead of breaks. As for a keyboard artist I'm strictly a 'poke and hope' type. Fat-fingering a keyboard is more along my style.