I never planned to write an autobiography. Those I have read seem to be the self-serving, egoistical ramblings of actors, television personalities or politicians etc., or the quiet, introspective wonderings of people whose lives were actually interesting, but who don’t know how to write. Very few, even those written by talented ghost writers, hold my attention for long.
There are, of course, exceptions. Laurie Lee’s ‘Cider with Rosie’ and ‘As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning’ are wonderful, evoking a past that is now forever lost.
However, my wife insisted I write about my life; ‘For your children and grandchildren.’ So, for the next couple of months, I’m going to write ‘Something to Remember Me By’ – to paraphrase the song by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz.
Another thing I wish to make clear is that Mark Patrick is a pseudonym that I use for my books, stories and articles. My real name is Adrian, which I’ll mention a time or two in this book.
Although this will be in the ‘traditional’ format of autobiography; starting from birth and ending in old age, it will not have every moment lovingly detailed and each chapter dated and remembered with startling clarity – almost in vivid Technicolor, but rather consist of a series of scenes that I, for some reason, remember well and which mean something to me personally.
Some of these scenes might be no longer than a paragraph or two; others might be the length of a short story. I can’t plan it too rigidly as I’m going to just allow my ideas to flow in a ‘stream of consciousness’ and I do not know what other streams will join mine, or what new rivers, lakes or seas my stream might unite with.
Another thing I must stress is that any dates I mention, apart from verifiable ones such as my date of birth etc., are approximate. They will be, to the best of my recollection, correct, but as we all know; memory is fallible – my wife tells me, mine more than most.
The book is going to be divided into three volumes; childhood and adolescence years, working in London and up to my marriage, and my life in Spain. I have sub-divided these further; places I’ve lived, school, work etc.
Also, this book of memories is totally from my point of view; others of my family and friends might have different recollections of the same scene, or not remember it at all.
Finally, it should be born in mind that I am a writer of fiction; mainly fantasy-adventure, and my mind might embellish some of my recollections to make them more entertaining than they actually were. After all, life is mostly boring; it is the unusual we remember clearly.
Scenes from a Life
is a very personal look at my life, written at the urgings of my wife, principally for the knowledge and enjoyment of my children and grandchildren.
It is not meant to be fantastic literature, but, in effect, to give an idea of a time that is passing rapidly into history.
I am making it available for public reading, mainly because most of the early chapters describe a time that no longer exists, and, perhaps, never existed except in my imagination, and I feel people might be interested in my descriptions of a past that was.
I have, to December 2019, written about 23,000 words and have reached the age of tthirteen. I can see that I will have to divide it into three books since, as I write about my older years, my memories will be sharper and more detailed.
I hope you will like it and I will try and keep you up to date on my progress.