NOTE: I am fully aware that at times in the review below, I sound like a ridiculous book-critic or something. I do not care. Also, links to Amazon contain my affiliate id.
A few weeks ago I attended the New York Times‘ TimesOpen Open Source Science Fair on behalf of Automattic/WordPress.com. As part of my “thank you” bag, I got a copy of Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. I left it on my bedside table in a stack of other books which I’d thus far neglected to start, let alone finish (not to mention all the unopened titles on my Kindle).
I grew up in a small town called Wagin, which is about 2.5 hours drive South of Perth (the capital of Western Australia). It’s a small rural town, and I lived on a mini-farm for the first 12 or so years of my life. During that time, I guess I had a very different childhood from most “city kids”. I moved to Perth and went to high school (years 10 -12) at Como Senior High School.
My friends in Como were always amazed (and perhaps appalled) at the stories I told of my childhood. Somewhere along the line someone suggested that I should write down some of those stories because they were so different. Thus Back in Wagin was born, a short auto-biographical compilation of stories from my childhood. I originally wrote the book when I was about 17, and printed it myself (on a computer printer) then spiral bound it. I still have the first original copy. Now things are very different, and I’m re-publishing a Second Edition at Lulu.com. The power that services like Lulu (and Blurb, and SharedBook, etc etc) give to people to be able to express themselves is amazing and inspiring.
I spent a number of weeks on and off adding stories that I’d previously missed, cleaning up my grammar and generally improving the book. It’s now rounded out to 90-ish pages, and I’m in the process of putting together a snazzy full-color cover for the book. It will be available from Lulu.com for about $12 in case anyone wants a copy.
Going through all those memories has been a great experience. I’m really glad I took the time to write them all down when I did. Even if you don’t go as far as me and get it printed (semi?)professionally, I’d recommend the process to anyone.
UPDATE: You can now buy a copy of Back in Wagin from Lulu.com. I even make a couple bucks off the sale price.