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Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Evolution of a Writer - Part One

At the age of about eleven I had a peculiar dream in which a maniacal man of magnificent delusions found himself in possession of a bulging ring binder full of notes and papers. His eyes widened in crazed ecstasy as he declared, “At last, I have everything that Kerin has ever written!” As if he had just found the Holy Grail of English literature.

Well, I don’t know about that, but it must have had some influence on me, as from then on I became determined to become the writer of my dreams.

For the next ten to fifteen years I tortured innocent notebooks and unsuspecting scraps of paper with invisible brilliance, meaning the “brilliant” part of my writing was cloaked in nonsense; the true value of my poetry and prose extended no further than the cost of the ink I had wasted…

But I suppose not all is wasted, after all perfection can only come through perseverance, and my blindness to how completely rubbish I was certainly enabled me to persevere!

Just to be clear, I’m not claiming to have “made it” in the realm of writing just yet. I can only claim to be better now than I was then! But at least now I can approach this craft with the sober knowledge that no one any time soon is going to seize my dusty notes and try to sell them on eBay for a fortune of any size!

So to the point of this series…

I have recently unearthed many of my past creative disasters from various stages of my artistic development, maturity and experience. Reading them and remembering the pride I had over them conjures up images of failed American Idol contestants who, after singing like a gargling cat in a blender, still have no idea why they got booted off the show!

Were I a vet and my past atrocities dogs, I would put them out of their misery and bury them under a starving lemon tree, but as a blogger instead I feel compelled to publish them for your pleasure, and quite possibly pain.

But there is a catch to this, I intend to publish them as I wrote them then and juxtapose them against how I have re-written them now. This should be interesting, I’m George Lucasing my own work. Thankfully I have a lesser fan base to worry about offending!

So here it is the first installment in the Evolution of a Writer…

The Photo
by Kerin Gedge, sometime in the late ‘90’s, probably aged around 18-20 years old.

It had been ethereal. Celestial. The night sky had been lit with thousands of stars and then one began to grow. It seemed to sink from the sky until it was now a sphere of pulsating light. An array of colors, blues and greens and oranges caressing the field as it rested in the air. Paul sat dead still. Above him was this flying jewel which filled him with both utter terror and purer ecstasy. A UFO! Time stood still. Forever it seemed like it was just Paul and the craft in the middle of the universe just watching each other. It was almost like being in love. But then he realized it was his breathing that had in fact stopped and the moment he took in a deep breath the vessel bounded off into the sky higher and higher and then away across the fields. The Camera! Paul sprinted to his car, reached through the window for his camera case and ripped the camera out clumsily, but the ship was now too far away to get a decent shot. It was then that Paul snapped into action, throwing the camera onto the passenger seat and turning the ignition, he was off. Over the farm lands and onto the gravel road kicking up the dust in his wake he chased the flittering angel. One hand clasping the wheel and the other trying to focus the camera. Out onto the main road now Paul continued the chase, the UFO flying low and Paul still not able to focus on the darn thing. The ship was getting faster and so was Paul, oblivious to the 180 k’s he was tearing down the country Rd. All that mattered was the photo and the thing which any second might shoot off back into space and never have another photo opportunity again! And then, abruptly, it stopped. Paul kicked at his breaks and screeched past slamming into the ditch. While the craft hovered. Amused. Paul staggered out of the exhausted vehicle, the camera shaking in his hand. He lifted it to his face. Click. Got it! And with that it was gone, darting back into space like a hawk with it’s pray. Paul jumped into the air. Yes! But then the realization hit home… no film! The camera broke into tiny bits when he threw it to the ground in distempered rage. The car choked away despondently and the stars lit the sky over the fields.

Above the globe of Earth the vessel sat, two aliens green and with bulging eyes stared in anticipation at the small black box one had in it’s tentacle. “Did you get it?” The other asked hastily. “Sure did!” said the other salivating creature. And from the black cube came a photograph of a human being with a very wry expression on his face.

And here it is again, only this time as a 33 year old…

The UFO could only be described as ethereal, a ghostly luminosity that descended upon the earth like a colossal, and yet somehow celestial, yo-yo.

The midnight stars punctured the night sky like a billion pin pricks in the eternal fabric of space until one of them began to grow, tearing through the atmosphere, pulsating, gyrating and terrifying.

The incredible object plummeted towards Paul like a great giant’s hammer, threatening to shatter his existence, and yet crippled by fear the shivering human remained transfixed by the colorful horror hurtling towards him.

But suddenly it stopped within an inch of Paul’s furrowed brow.

It was a peculiar feeling that came over Paul at that moment as his mind tried to swallow the gravity of the floating abnormality above his face. He found his emotions bouncing back and forth between terror and fighting the urge to lose control of his bowels.

A UFO! Time took a holiday as Paul and the unearthly vehicle faced each other like awkward strangers on a blind date, not really knowing what to say to each other and trying to think of a good enough excuse for getting out of this uncomfortable situation. He tried not to forget how to breathe, but it was difficult. The spaceship’s very presence seemed to suck away his very desire for air until, just before he was sure he was going to pass out from all this excitement, the alien craft abandoned Paul to the darkness, darting down the dusty highway, caressing the countryside with its array of colors.

Suddenly, Paul came back to himself. “I’m such an idiot!” He thought, as he realized that all this time he had been holding a camera and it never occurred to him to take a photo!

But by now the fallen angel was too far away for a believable shot! Snapping into action, the now desperate and obsessed Paul threw himself into the driver’s seat, started the engine and quite literally floored it down the dusty highway in frantic pursuit, gravel exploding out from under his rear wheels like murderous chunks of shrapnel.

With one hand wrestling with the steering wheel and the other fighting to focus the ancient camera, Paul followed his prize to no avail as all he could see through the lens was bleak nothingness.

Suddenly, Bang! Paul hit a fierce bump in the road; the car shook in a violent swerve, Paul dropped his camera and noticed the speedometer screaming at him to slow down, but any thought of safe driving departed quickly from his mind as the desire to validate his experience with photographic evidence consumed him with madness. All that mattered now was the photo.

Abruptly it stopped. Paul almost overtook it before torturing his breaks to a shrieking halt, burning the road with an arc of hot rubber, the rear of his car plunging into a ditch.

The craft hovered nearby. Amused?

The frantic photographer staggered from his beleaguered vehicle, with trembling hands he brought the camera to his bleeding face and took the photo with a deafening click. Got it! He sighed.

And with that, it was gone, a veritable lightning bolt flashing into non-existence by an abysmally ordinary night sky.

Paul jumped excitedly into his car like a little boy with the biggest piece of birthday cake, but his enthusiasm was quickly vanquished as he looked down in dismay at the camera, which would have stared back at him, were it not for the fact that the lens cap was still on.


The Earth shrunk in the vast distance as the flying saucer silently sliced through the eternal emptiness. Onboard two creatures resembling a rhinoceros spliced with a cucumber crouched over a small black rectangular device. There was something earnest about their demeanor as what passed for their eyes bulged in anticipation. “Did we get it?” asked one of the aliens in a voice that sounded like a cat gargling absinth in a blender. “Yes!” said the other excitedly. And from the back of the device came a fresh photograph of a rather bewildered looking Human Being.

The End


  1. I couldnt be bothered changing the name... I think we were both doing photography at school back then...


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