From my memoir

Describe a random encounter with a stranger that stuck out positively to you.

Today I’ll share an excerpt from my latest release, Topher Wins. Said title is an autobiography/self-help volume that was self published last year. This excerpt appears on page 98, in chapter five. A brief conversation, it shows the encouragement that we can gather from outsiders.

‘While grappling with high school, I had a short but memorable exchange. I was stuck near Mr Donut, waiting for the rain to subside. I sat beside an older gentleman, who had the same idea. I estimated that he was in his late forties. After some pleasantries, I stated that I was a campus writer and I wanted to win. He urged me to keep at it. Just continue writing, he insisted, and winning will come easier. He repeated this a few times. He also mentioned that my school had some notable alumni. With the downpour subsiding, he was soon on his way. For a change, having a listening ear was nice. Years later, I would read of a similar tete a tete between a then Hollywood newbie (Kevin Costner) and Richard Burton, who passed away not long after.’

Topher Wins

My book has lots of these vignettes. Culled from years of studying and research across two continents, I have a plethora of stories to share. There are twelve chapters. Aside from this, there’s some front matter, an author’s note, and three appendices. By reading the attached blurb, you’ll have a rough idea of what my project is all about. The book is quite professionally made, as I hired both a designer and an editor. Beforehand, I even got some proof copies printed. Aside from telling my unique story, make no mistake. This book has some valuable insight on the IELTS exam. There are four lengthy chapters dedicated to the Test, one for each component. It took me four years, on and off, to create this manuscript.

The Good Samaritan

The guy didn’t need to say nice things. After all, he was just passing through. However, despite our lack of affinity, his opinion had weight. Even as a teener, I felt that he meant it. A few of my classmates would mobilise my help as it wasn’t a secret that I could write. When there was a group writing project, I’d be the go-to guy. After all, I was in the school paper. By my sophomore year, I had already penned the banner headline. By senior year, as detailed before, I became the associate editor. Occasionally, they would praise my ability. Other batch mates knew this too. I referenced my school experience extensively in the memoir.

Getting a compliment though from a stranger was quite rare. It’s one thing to win the confidence of your peers. While conversing with me, the hombre must have made a good assessment of me. From a small sample, I reckoned later that he was shrewd at evaluating people. Over the years, I’ve encountered many more new faces. Exceedingly, I came to understand that the guy’s assessing is a skill in itself. If only more people could judge others’ character as proficiently. To paraphrase Hannibal Lecter, we live in a flawed society. ‘Half-measures are the curse of it.’

This entry was posted in Books, Literary and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s