Wednesday, 5 April 2017
REFLECTIONS by Ray Foster
This was the first time that I opened a package and held a book that had my name on it.
'Reflections' is what it says - reflecting on how life is and how it used to be. Interspersed, with those stories are others that are straight, pure fiction like the one about a killer stalking the streets preying on those who have a weakness or a hitman with an ulterior motive.
The short story - well, that begins in the fifties. Thirty kids sitting in a classroom all doing composition during English lessons; honing a skill with a forty minute deadline. (Homework - what homework? We left education in the school where it belonged and went home to play.) That is how we grew.
Third year - that was when I was introduced to Sherlock Holmes. Once a week the English master would read from Arthur Conan-Doyle's 'The Memoirs Of Sherlock Holmes'. Influenced? Very. What it did was to make me realise that there was a lot to the short story. It brought home to me that this was what composition/essays were.
Inspiration came in all shapes and forms - in my case, books and movies - and,in one instance, cost me a pass in the 11 plus because my fueled up imagination took me on a journey that was the wrong one. One that I would repeat when asked to write about, on the same subject, just after I joined the Felixstowe Scribblers. That is one story in 'Reflections' so I won't spoil the fun here.
Sadly, none of the short stories that I wrote back then seem to have survived.
Most of those in 'Reflections' date from about 2000 and something on - some written during the period I spent in Felixstowe while others reflect times past in North Finchley and Orpington. I have added a couple of pieces of flash fiction that I did in conjunction with Pattinase's blog.
In some respects I have needed to go back to where I started. I think I realised that when I wrote the Jack Giles short story 'A Time To Live' that appeared in 'Where Legends Ride'. Much easier than writing the full length novel 'Lawmen'.
Music, too, both inspires me and plays like a soundtrack. Listening to Duane Eddy reminded me of a concert that I went to - it was a memorable day in more ways than one. Well, that's another story.
I was once asked why I wrote.
My answer is simple: Because I can.
And because there will always be 'Reflections' to think about.