The next step took me from song writing to poetry writing, and so that much closer to becoming an author. I was 14 when I realised that I could write, I remember exactly the moment it happened.
From I know not where, a sudden desire to write poetry began. I wrote what I considered to be a rather deep poem, I showed it to my mother who liked it and then my sister, Madeline grabbed it for a quick read.
Madeline and I have a 13-year age gap. Although we love each other we never used to speak deeply about things. The fact that I used to drive her mad with my wild and immature 14-year-old behaviour goes a long way to explaining her reaction following the reading of my poem.
The first thing she did was to read it several times, each time looking more confused and suspicious. She eventually confessed to it being very good, in fact much too good for me to have written it and wanted to know what I had copied it from!
Half of me was proud, the other half somewhat insulted as she took it on herself to sit on my bedroom floor and read the back of all my album covers to find where the poem had come from. She of course never found anything but even after she gave up, it took several more of my poems to fully convince her.
Although I felt my poems were good, her shock, and in fact awe was really the moment I thought that I could actually write, for real.
I mightily surprised my English teacher with my poems and later short stories. After all it was by far the only indication that there was more to me than just being rough, loud and unwilling to learn anything at all!
To be honest I was still mainly an undisciplined, irresponsible and confused teenager but now I could write songs, poetry, stories – and even liked to read. This was pretty much my life, until the age of 18 when I went to the Middle East and fell head over heels in love.