Creative Writing. Lesson 2.


Exercise 1: 10 Memoir Topics plus related aspects:
1. Adolescence/childhood
Gladioli and street playground
Success as a scholar
Trying to understand adults esp Parents and older siblings
2.Reaching adulthood / a dangerous situation I survived.
Tertiary education  including Candidate Officers course
First car
Temporary work
Desperate motor accident
3. My career
How it started? Resolute in what I wanted. 10 years of creativity / hands-on as the foundation
Role became more of an expert and then to achieve promotion moved into junior management
Produced stable environment
Senior expert / management where managed managers. Career interferes with personal life. Spouses drift apart.Excuses.
Chasing the holy grail
4. A sport or game that’s been important to me.
Growing up in sport. Family allcommitted particularly with boxing champions, South African soccer and provincial cricket.
My early successes in cricket appointed captain nearly every year from age 9 until high school completed. Achieved selection provincially
Played youth soccer at a high level but a car accident caused a move into a lesser level where played until 29. chieved provincial selection.
Long distance running successful achieved sub 3 hour marathon and a silver medal at the Comrades. 10 medals at Comrade and 2 Oceans
My son and Golf . Now my wife.
5. Middle age
When do you realise you are in the middle of your life
When everybody goes their own way. Political circumstances exercabate this
Goals are singular, family relationships take a nosedive
Pension preparation
6. Songs and movies that influenced my life
Peter Sarstedt. Where do you go to my lovely. Built on my aspirations. Rod Stewart the rocker
One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest mad Portrayel of a person who had only positive thoughts even when the going was tough
Pretty Women. Everybody can do good, striving for success.
7. An illness
Wake up ? Stroke? Radial Nerve palsy
Initial  tests not conclusive but continued to expierience balance and walking issues further testing
Neutologist diagnosis. Shock PD Feb 2004
Devastated Debilitating disease
8. A move to new accommodation
Originally lived at home for 23 years. Could not afford anything else.
Married moved to a flat for 2 years. Daughter – moved to a house. My most profitable transaction
Now own three houses in South Africa
9. A change in my economic situation
My spouse the entrepaneur developed us into a financially strong partnership
My stability and lack of risk taking plus my wife’s skills were the foundation
Moved to complex for theattributes of safety affording lock up and go functionality
etirement gives opportunity to travel and having these properties contributessuccessfully
10. An important friendship
Conjugal relationship experiences strong binding links.
Confidence in each other built on trust and respect.
Exercise 2. Action Memoir aspects for 3 of the above topics.
2.2.1. Adolescence/childhood
1 Peed my pants the first day of school
2 Eke out a living
3 Chummy
4 Fish & chips
5 Shopping centre and my jobs
6 Results from school
2.2.2. My Career.
Military waste of time except for sport
Accident recovery
Too late for University Simple job but big knowledge accumulator
Asbestos throat
Small salary all economic goals achieved
Then a late University – not successful and started work determined to be successful
Promises made must be kept learning curve MUST be maintained
9 years then 32 years
Successful retirement
2.2.3. Adulthood / Survival
Finished military – about to go to university. Sister & husband negative towards each other Took my sister out to a club
On way home had an accident
Describe and explain medical process that occurred thereafter
Dad and exhaust pipe. 56 days in hospital. Went home in a spiker
Front section taken out. Walked?
Had January well into recovery. First plaster cast in May
No Sport
Exercise 3. Survey of Topics.
Topic most operstional   –  My career
Topic most focused       –   Adulthood
Topic most functional. –   Adulthood
Topic most appealing    –       A sport or game that’s been important to me.
Optional exercise:  A conversation that had an impact on my life
 It was a Monday morning. I had just been summoned to the Vice Chairman’s office at 09h00. I had had similar requests in the past but this smirked of a serious issue as the excecutive PA who had called me did not know the reason so I was completely in the dark. I had one  hour to contemplate the potential reason and prepare as best that I could having recognised that this could be a career limting conversation. I had already considered the most recent circumstances and had discarded my current preparation of budgets even though I knew he took personal interest. The most logical reason had developed on Friday when I found out that a management decision I had implemented some time ago had been a poor decision and it was about to cause my intentions to be questioned. I frantically revisited the circumstances which essentially had been to ignore a potential threat to our relationship with our franchise operations.
The Vice chairman’s office was situated in the golden where all the directors sat and the area was imposing. On arrival and the initial greetings had taken place I immediately sensed that I best be wary and not interrupt the proceedings. In normal circumstances the vice-chairman was easy going, strict and very effective in displaying respect and trust towards the individual. However these were not normal circumstances and I was asked to take a seat  and he proceeded to define the rules of the company that I had not held up high but had preferred to implement them incorrectly.In essence two of my staff members had chosen to operate in opposition to our company  and I had ignored this potential threat as impossible and taken no steps to intervene. However this dual process became an issue when the improbable happenend causing concern within our franchise base.
The vice chairman proceeded in no uncertain terms to explain to me what my shortcomings had resulted in. He maintained total focus on me and by the end of the meeting there was no question  that I had received a valuable lesson – one that I would never forget. I had  learnt that I would involve all parties in my decision making in the future and I would immediately share it with the executive management. This conversation  with the vice chairman was indeed part of my learning curve. The two staff members who did not inform us once they have received their successful appointment consequently moved out of our company.
This completed this period of learning for me.

About Pikkewyn

I am 63 years old and retired, I live in Johannesburg, South Africa. I always wanted to author something other than work related issues. MY long-term career was as a people oriented Information Technology Project Expert. In this function I have traveled widely and I have many experiences that I have lived through and sharing them is my ultimate dream. Reading other individual's similar renditions I have soon realised that presentation and holding your audience's attention is critical to success. I have the memories and I want to share them with you holistically even though we have varied backgrounds.
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3 Responses to Creative Writing. Lesson 2.

  1. Jude says:

    You built up the tension in your writing with your anticipation. It was an interesting piece of writing with the life lesson to be learnt.

  2. Bets says:

    Pikkewyn, you put me to shame with your thorough and diligent brainstorming of topics, which read like an autobiography. I enjoyed reading this detailed outline of your life and found that we have a quite a few things in common: our nationality, our age, and therefor our perspective on many things I think. Although we do not share the same gender, we are both acquainted with the dreaded PD, which I think has been specially designed to challenge those people who like being in control.
    I enjoyed reading your conversation piece and liked the tension, just as Jude has said, but would be interested t o see the same account using some direct speech.
    I racked my brains but was unable to find a single life- changing conversation earlier, but now of course you have reminded me of something! Thank you.

    • Pete Truscott says:

      Hi Bets
      Thank you very much for your comments. I will put them too good use particularly the importance to move away from an autobiographical syle to a more story / direct speech. The subject I related was definitely not monotone and consisted of a more excited interaction of wits particularly on my part. However I am pleased that in some small way I have contributed to your own progress.

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