When I first started to express my creativity via the written word I could hear the words rise in my head. Initially, the voices were those of the characters I was writing about. The young Inuit girl that followed the bird out into the arctic wilderness, and then perished, my friends when I wrote the beginnings of a novel about my High School friends and I got stuck in a cave after an earthquake sealed us all in after a rockfall, ala Buck Rogers. No, you’re not seeing things, I never mentioned anything about, A Stitch in Time, because I just remembered it now!
The voices of the protagonists slipped away after my possession in Dunedin and were replaced by Buford Somerset at first, then eventually the other remarkable characters who inhabit the universe of Oho Ake Books. When I took up the mantle of author/creative/imaginist in 2008, Buford was the first to make himself known. I read the short stories I wrote in the mid-1990s and reimagined them, crafted them into a somewhat intelligible level of prose that a reader could decipher and decode. A persistent shadow cast over me in those days of writing, Buford’s voice felt burdened, heavy, and crippling. I knew the origins of his arrival into my sphere of influence, but what was his history? Where had he come from? What had ailed him so horribly that his voice sounded warped, trapped beneath an oppressive force that dominated him as he feebly attempted to win back control over his body?
The details of the macabre tales he would elucidate to me were as poetic as they were ghastly. There was such beauty in the horrors he bestowed upon me. How could the two exist together I wondered? I wrote like a man possessed (once again) each word felt like a cathartic release from the images being constructed in my imagination till the story concluded and I had witnessed what I had written wholly and completely. Thankfully not to be haunted by the experience.
As I was writing these anecdotes, Buford’s own story was overlaid into my mind by another voice, this one a husky, Latino voice, that of a man in his later years. His use of language as intrepid as Buford’s if not more. Two stories played out in my mind, one Buford was telling, and the other relaying Buford’s history. How he became the author he was. It was plucked straight from the years of conscious spiritual awakening that had taken place in my own life. The information about how he had become Lord Buford Somerset showed me how his life had been a ruse, and the final act of this trickery had made him who he was. It was no wonder he needed an outlet for the insane terrors that filled his being, that cathartic listener being me, his vessel.
The husky Latino voice aided me in the process of documenting Lord Buford Somerset’s history, and by doing so, I was imbued with his this old man’s own history as though each spoken word coloured the palette of his form and place in his universe. It was a case of Russian dolls, and this character would name himself Harmon Sueno.