A Lorra Crazy Letters
If you read my post of 4th November on the launch of Grub’s Pups, you may have noticed that I referred to a letter that I read out to everyone. In fact, there were two of these – The Sunflower letter, and The Mushy Peas letter – and they form just a small dint (I love that word) in the crazy letter pile that formed the bulk of my early writing. Let’s get one thing straight, I’m not being hard on myself here. I had a whappy imagination as a youngster and my crazy letters are the result of this. I also wrote some crazy odes, and, as an angst-ridden teenager, wrote more serious stuff – woeful poems, which (dear god!) I hope will never see the light of day… hmm… but the way these blogettes go, you never know do you?
I also wrote a diary, every day, from around the age
of fourteen, but this was more an account of my day and a way of venting my woes, and whittering on about whichever boy I fancied at the time, than an escape route for my rather overactive imagination. Thus, the trips to my dad’s office in the spare room, the unclasping of my dark green typewriter case, and the clicketty click of the keys that could be heard resounding around the house, as I constructed yet another crazy letter, were (although I didn’t know this at the time) the beginnings of my life as a writer. I’m sure you’d love to see one of my crazy letters wouldn’t you? Of course you would. Here’s the one that I read out at the Grub’s Pups launch, typed out below, as close as possible to how it appears in the original… and yes, I KNOW there are typos AND punctuation errors AND spelling mistakes!
Last week I bought 6 packets of seeds;I packet of Daffodils,Dalias,Pansies,Clamaters,Geraniums,and
finally Sunflower seeds.
I found that most of your seeds,after 6 days,have not grown
an inch.But however,your Sunflower seeds have persivered in
growing taller than my house.I cannot find a way to stop
Can you help me.If you can,please call at No:8,Crabtree
Lane.You may not beable to get through the tangle of roots,
but don’t tell me off it’s your own stupid Sunflower seeds.
What I am particularly impressed with, and slightly amazed at, is my correct use of commas for parenthesis (around ‘ after six days’) and my knowledge of plant names. I think that more than makes up for the other errors… don’t you? Yes, of course it does!
The letters were nearly always from disgruntled customers to people and places that didn’t exist about random things that never happened – but that was the fun of it! Coincidentally, around the same time that I dug out these letters to take to the launch, I picked up on a typewriter tweet from writer, Jon McGregor. There began a conversation amid a burst of nostalgia and reminiscences (on my part) about the wonderful typewriter I used to own, all of which resulted in my purchase of this…
The Abi No.2 does all the things the Abi No.1 did… it clicketty-clicks, it dings when the carriage needs to be returned, the keys do that jammy-uppy thing. It can never be the same for me as it once was, but it brings back memories of those early days, and makes me realise how important they were. And, the most wonderful thing of all, my daughter absolutely loves it and has begun writing letters and songs on it… a pile has gathered in the centre of our dining room table that fills me with joy and brings tears to my eyes. You see, that’s all it takes!
What are your ealiest writing memories, and do you still have any of the evidence?