If you were a reader of the original "inkyworld" blog you may remember that I decided to attempt to self-publish a book. (Had my Grandma not got steadily more and more poorly - to the point of passing away after a couple of near-misses - when it came to trying to market the thing I might have had more success than I actually did.)
Anyway - I was talking to someone who could be classed as a relatively recent permanent addition to Inkyworld about it. They sounded intrigued - so I lent them my copy to have a read of.
The book came back with a challenge to attempt to write another one. To be honest I wasn't really in the right mindset to think about the challenge properly (coming so close to the "Choice Unlimited" Roadshow).
In fact, that Roadshow is what convinced me to accept the challenge. More to the point - the (somewhat undeserved) praise I got convinced me. Not to mention the support I keep getting from someone who forms a kind of "Double act" in my brain with my Challenger.
I have got an idea for a story as well. (If you actually read "Someone" - don't worry - this is not going to be the same kind of 'stream of consciousness' as that was. This is going to be proper writing.)
What my Challenger doesn't realise is that they are going to be roped in at some point to make sure it keeps making sense (probably by attempting to decipher my scruffy handwriting to start with - before I transfer it to the typed word).
In a funny way - I am looking forward to making a start on this challenge because I know I can have a bit of fun with it.
I am not going to give very much away at this early stage but I will say this - they say "write about what you know" and I still haven't seen any fiction books where the main "heroine" (I really hate that word) has got a disability which she successfully copes with day to day.
Come to think of it - that is why I ended up attempting to get "Someone" self-published. I have spent my entire reading "career" reading fiction books starring characters who I have very little in common with - to the point where we are both human and that is about it as far as similarities go.
I know I can sound like a broken record when it comes to trying to point out the total absence of anybody with a disability in TV programmes or in fiction books. However - I don't think you realise (unless you are like me) how difficult it is not to judge yourself by the standards you are exposed to the most often.
If you are drop-dead gorgeous with no physical disabilities or Mental Health issues whatsoever I can recite a list of fiction books where you will find a character to match you.
As I was growing up I came to hate "Cinderella" with a passion you can only dream of. Yes - I know it is only a fairytale but - in my eyes at least - it has to be the cruellest story you can tell someone like me. Fairy Godmothers don't exist for a start. Cinderella's Fairy Godmother made it clear to me that you have to be "Picture Perfect" before you even get a chance to meet your Prince Charming. Let's face it - the Fairy Godmother didn't let Cinderella meet Prince Charming when she was wearing her scruffy work clothes did she???
I know I am probably asking too much but - just for once - I would love to read a fiction book which actually teaches readers that people with Disabilities (and Mental Health issues) are as valuable as everybody else - we just process the world slightly differently.
I have just reminded myself of my favourite themetune to a Children's TV programme from when I was little. "De Fabeltjeskrant" was a brilliant cartoon with a very educational (if not rather philosophical) theme song. (In order to understand what on Earth the song is rambling on about you need to know that the main character is an Owl who - in the song - reads from the "Fables Newspaper" ("Fabeltjeskrant" in English).)
The lyric I always think of when it comes to the representation of disabled people in the media is translated into English as follows - "Animals are the same as people - with the same human wishes and the same human mischevousness".
The chances are you will not understand a word of the lyrics of this song but I will put a link here anyway because the picture sequence is spectacular (the original cartoons were made in either the 1960's or the 1970's - put it this way - both my parents knew the themetune by heart). www.youtube.com/watch
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