|Someone once said that everyone has five minutes of fame. How true this is. Whether it is written, spoken, legal or illegal what you do with your life can have an effect on others so that they remember you for at least five minutes.
My five minutes of fame happened a few years ago, I forget the exact year. It was while I was attending creative writing classes. In the class you were required to read your work out to the rest of the students. This I managed OK after a few nervous moments. Well, the others work could only be as bad or better than mine.
At this time I used to go to an acoustic night at a local pub. Performers sang solos with a guitar or read poetry. One particular night I took samples of my efforts hoping that one of the more experienced poets could give me their opinion. One said to me why don't you read one out. I was not keen on standing in front of a mic in front of a roomful of people but eventually I agreed. The one I read was Deidre Blues. I was surprised how well it went down and the buzz I got from being in front of an audience. I was asked to read that poem a few more times after that.
Aside from this I must mention a mentor. His name was Chris Challis. He was a writing tutor and one of his published works was 'Quest For Kerouac' He had long hair, a beard and was slightly deaf. He sat on the edge of the table when the students read so to hear better. He found positives in the work and never made the student feel bad, always encouraging them with constructive comments
He also wrote for a motorbike magazine, short stories about a mysterious character that rode around the country on a motorbike and solving paranormal mysteries. One of his interests was the history of the American Indian. In fact He was a very clever bloke and bit of a rebel.
He sadly died in 1996/1997 aged 50 years young, after a fall down stairs at home. He liked the odd drink so this may have been a contributory factor. At his funeral, his coffin arrived accompanied by a Trad Jazz band playing When The Saints Go Marching In.
There was a wake after where one or two famous poets attended, one being Sue Townsend author of the Adrian Mole books. Probably better known in the UK. I wrote a poem for the occasion in tribute. Can't find it at the moment but I said how much of an inspiration he was. If I have writers block or stop writing I think of him and I feel the encouragement to carry on.
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