I ate'n't dead - Karen Bush
|My Dad and his sister, my favourite aunty Peg
Last month Terry Pratchett departed for the black sandy desert ... He was greatly loved by his readers, as were the characters peopling the world he dreamed up to house them all.
|Want a copy? Hard to find
these days, and it'll cost you ...
Dad enjoyed stuff like that: he was an electrical engineer and had an inquiring and practical turn of mind as well as having an inner artist lurking inside. I knew he'd created some terrific wood carvings, but didn't appreciate just how good he was at his job until some years later when he was approached to write a book on the subject. And then it was his turn to ask me questions for a change: this time about how book-writing worked. He bought a computer. He produced all the technical drawings himself. A little while later he commented on what hard work this book writing stuff was ... but eventually it appeared. All the complementary copies got given away and I never got round to buying one of my own until after he had died. When I read it, I struggled to grasp the subject just as much as I had centrifugal force all those years ago ... but nevertheless, as my eyes run over the lines I can hear his voice in my head, talking to his imaginary readers, and memories are stirred up of nights out star-spotting while walking the dog, of comparing notes on the X Files, and sharing favourite books.
A book is of course, a form of immortality: and far better than a mere snapshot which captures only the outer image of a person. Whether it is fiction or factual, a book will invariably capture a piece of the inner person who wrote it too.
It is often said that everyone has a book inside them. Maybe. Maybe not. But have a go anyway. If a whole book seems too daunting, try a short story. Still too long? Well how about a poem? If that's too much, what about a limerick? If even that seems too daunting, how about a haiku then? Or keep a diary or write a letter instead of sending texts or emails - but write something.
My Dad lives on in his writing, just as Sir Terry does in his numerous volumes, and I'm so glad they both bothered to do it.
Long live the book. And all those other little notes and messages that pop up from time to time, marking the pages of my books ...
What? Are you still here? Go write, and live forever.