There are many good books, and there are many I wouldn’t have minded writing. A bit of fame, wealth and success sounds quite nice. But however good books are, I don’t get all fired up, thinking that ‘yes, I’ll start writing at once’. Books are for reading, as far as I’m concerned.
But there is one book, which could really get me going, and that’s David Almond’s Counting Stars. Unlike his usual fiction, this is a collection of short stories from his childhood. I can’t be sure, but I think the stories are real. They are snippets from things that happened to David and his family.
They are really quite ordinary stories, and despite the fact that David is older than I am, and we grew up in two quite different places, I felt very much at home in David’s childhood. It’s almost as if it could have been me. And that’s probably why I felt that I wanted to sit down and write my own version of Counting Stars.
I almost certainly never will, but it’s a fun thought to have, just in case I find I don’t have enough blogs to write and books to read and everything else. I did start, actually. I wrote about the orange ‘high’ heeled shoes. The purpose with that story was both to tell the tale, and to let Offspring practise reading Swedish.
That’s the other little problem I have. What language does one use to describe one’s childhood? I find that it’s almost impossible to write satisfactorily about a child in Sweden using English. My proper written Swedish is rusty enough, and I’ve not kept up-to-date with how you say things today. The shoe story was written using very simple language, as if I was still five years old, using words that belong in the early 1960s. So that works. But it can’t be easily translated.
And anyway, who’d want to read it? David’s collection is both for, and about, his siblings and extended family. Would the owner of the orange shoes want to know how much I coveted them?