Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.
What did you want to be when you grew up, vs. what you are today?
In some ways, I’m still waiting to grow up.
I might have grown old but I still feel about 18 inside.
Back when I really was young, I wanted to travel, to see the world. Maybe that’s where the desire to write about other worlds came from. I’d still like to see other worlds. I’m sure that one day part of my D.N.A. will travel to the stars, inside the cells of one of my descendants. In a way, I’ll be there.
I spent my career on ships. I saw other worlds. OK, they were on this planet but back in the days before instant communication and the internet, they were as other-worldly as any of my subsequent creations. There was no homogenisation of culture back then, foreign meant different, not McDonald’s and all the familiar places and things from everywhere else.
Hardly anyone spoke much English in a lot of the places I visited, you had to communicate with signs, gestures, a piece of paper with an address on it. For a young lad from Devon, it was a revelation.
I’m a retired Master Mariner and Thames Pilot, sitting in my house in Devon, five minute’s walk from the sea. In my seagoing life, I did most of the things I always wanted to.
I went around Cape Horn, voyaged six-hundred miles up the Amazon.
I sailed through storms, saw volcanoes, felt earthquakes and stood watch at three a.m.; with a million stars overhead and the smell of Sandalwood on the breeze.
Later, I piloted over 3,000 ships on the Thames, from yachts to supertankers.
I went through the Thames Barrier, pushed through the mud and reeds in Barking Creek. I backed the largest passenger ships to visit London at the time through Tower Bridge, reversed a warship into the West India Dock.
I amassed a brain full of stories and characters, good and bad, funny and tragic. When I cast my mind back to all the places that I’ve been there are so many things that I can pick out; to modify and retell in a new setting. My job travelling the world had set me up for a second career as an author.
Would I change a moment of it? NO!
Did I achieve what I wanted? More than I ever could have imagined.
That’s my story, my novels are really only based on things in my life, with a little bit of license, taken and placed in a new setting. Because when we boldly go, we will take it all with us. All the humanity, the emotion and all our vices. The story will be the same, it will all play out on a new stage.
How about you, where are you compared to where you thought you’d be? Let me know in the comments, then go and check out the other great blogs in this hop.
Just follow this link.