A Life of Choice: Part One – now available

In 1992, I considered myself fortunate, not only to have completed a military career, but to have done so unscathed by mental or physical trauma. It was towards the end of that great life I considered writing my autobiography, but I wasn’t sure how to proceed.

Most service personnel are storytellers, although many would say it wasn’t the case. To put that statement in context, if you have two or more soldiers in a truck, in the troop garages, a trench, a bar, or a social event – you will have storytelling.

My favourite setting is the ubiquitous campfire. I can recall more than one occasion sitting around with a group of guys, sometimes with beers, and sometimes with coffee. Even the memory brings a smile.

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CampfireThe scene means more to me now, as a writer.

Why?

It is where storytelling began – and in effect where my present career was born.

Prior to the written word, storytelling was how experience, instruction, and legend were passed between our ancient ancestors – and it still is in some places.

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I toyed with the idea of a straightforward, no holds barred, truthful account of 23 years of fun, fear, drunken nights and a multitude of different days, but I realised it couldn’t work. Next up was the thought of writing the chapters as individual short stories, but that method would have made it easier for real people to see themselves and others.

I followed my military career with 20 years in retail management, during which I wrote my autobiography in several styles – but always badly.

I am not foolish enough to judge if I’ve got it right this time, so I’ll have to await reviews, but the story will now be published in easily digestible parts.

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It was in 2007, I stepped down from retail management to make writing my third career, but it was only in recent times I pulled out my handwritten notes and word documents to assess what to do with my very first ‘big’ story.

Armed with the experience of writing my novels and short stories, I tackled the venture with a new attitude. The story is loosely related to my military career, but it is not an autobiography. Although I’ve chosen to write the tale in first person point of view – it is fact-based fiction.

All the ingredients are retained, but with a light-hearted tone. I sincerely hope it leaves a sense of intrigue and not frustration in the mind of the reader, to know that some events involved me, some are fictitious, and yet others are based on events that I know happened to somebody else.

A Life of Choice – Part One is now available on Amazon and is unlike anything I’ve written previously. My estimation is to complete the story in five parts, and if reviews are favourable, this is the story I would most like to produce in paperback at a later date.

The link below is an Amazon – universal link which will take you to your local Amazon.

Amazon – universal / preview / buy

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As always, thank you for reading my blog, and if you do decide to try this new title, I would appreciate a review, however short. Authors don’t ask for reviews to receive praise – they ask for them to provide feedback to let them know if they’ve achieved the primary aim, which is to entertain the reader.

Until we meet again. Thank you.

Tom

A Reality Check

I feel like I’m in an enviable position in many ways.

Disturbed at work ... or just disturbed?

Disturbed at work … or just disturbed?

I did write a whole paragraph about the various situations that folk find themselves in, but with the best will in the world, it still made depressing reading, so I’ve deleted it.  If anybody out there really wants to appreciate their own life more – drop me a line and I’ll cheer you up with some figures.

Where do I stand in all this?  In a military career spanning 20+ years I saw enough of life to appreciate my own survival, so anything else was a bonus from then on.  I followed that with 20 years of retail management, during which I saw a whole new spectrum of life and attitudes.  Here I am today, with a few days to myself, but even at work now I’m only there three days a week – and it’s not management.

This is not a pose ... this is reality.

This is not a pose … this is reality.

I can deal with other people’s situations through some simple reasoning.  The employment situation and the homeless are beyond anything I can do, apart from the fact that a lot of them have created their own situations.  I regularly donate to chosen charities so that removes any feeling of guilt about doing nothing.  My efforts to raise funds for Comic Relief 2013 may not be much, but again, every £1 helps in that cause.   Please see my previous posts or visit my website to see how you could help:

http://www.tom-benson.co.uk/comic-relief-2013/

Fortunately for me, 60 is the new 40, or so I’m prepared to believe because it makes me feel good.  Writing is the meaning of life for me now.  I’ve always been a storyteller but only put them in print in recent years.  It’s gratifying to get feedback to the effect that some of it is actually good, so I’m going to stick at it.  I’ll be following this post with one on Reading and Writing, so at least it will serve two purposes:

First, it will let you all know what I’ve been reading recently, what I’ve been writing and that I do both … oh yes I do!  Secondly, it will refresh my own memory of what I’m up to these days – because there really is so much of it.  I’m serious, there really is!  There are competition entries, site updates, the next novel, a little poetry, e-publishing and would you believe mentoring, but that’s all for next time.

Okay, having said all that, I’ll just check my links are working, add a photo to create more interest, LOL … and then I’ll be back on to prepare the next post.  Today I must really make an effort to read other blogs.  Oh, and by the way, thank you for reading.