Wednesday, 21 March 2007

The writer in the mirror

Writing Hell in Barbados was quite traumatic for me. It gave me the long-awaited opportunity to tell my side of the story in some of the many scenarios I have been through. Certain things were truncated, though- for instance, I would have liked more of the original text I wrote about my time in Afghanistan, to have been included, such as what happened in the refugee camp I ended up stuck in for six months, penniless, swatting against the clouds of flies by day and the mosquitoes by night. But we wanted to get into the story re Barbados sooner, and thus certain ‘streamlinings’ were necessary. The text, as it transpired, was a lot less cumbersome and more aerodynamic than when it started.
It brought back a lot of memories, some painful, some long buried in my memory, some happy. People I had almost forgotten about, those I had loved and lost, for instance, but whose presences seemed to return like homing pigeons for the writing of this book. This book gave me the chance to seriously review some of the events I have been through- and realise their influence upon me. It was an incredibly cathartic experience, and I am now preparing further writing for Maverick House re my experiences as a ‘Down and Out in London’- as a former crack and heroin addict, living amongst the junkies, whores, pimps, dealers, et al of the dark underbelly of London Town, especially in and around north London’s King’s Cross area.
All of which marks a change in the kind of thing I have written about in the past. Back around the 1990s I wrote a series of books for a combination of American and British publishers on folklore, the tarot, magic spells, the Lord of the Rings, and dragons, in particular, ‘Step by Step Tarot’ by HarperCollins (circa 1992), ‘The Dragon Tarot deck and book set’( U.S. Games Systems Inc. 1993), and ‘The Lord of the Rings Tarot deck and book set’( U.S. Games, 1994). - Terence Donaldson, author.

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