I promised my Stellium blog followers a personal story – and this is the first of two amazing tales…
About thirty-odd years ago, I had a desperately rotten office job, working for a boss who was barely sane. I also spent every Saturday giving astrology readings at a psychic centre in London. Much of my life was absolutely gutty, money was too short to mention, and I was fast reaching a point where I could no longer cope with the endless round of overwork and worry.
One Saturday, the dam broke. I can’t remember what it was that had upset me so badly that day, but whatever it was had been made even worse by heavy traffic making me late for work. I hate being late for anything, I particularly hate having to start work in a rush, and I was so clearly upset that the lady manager sent her boss over to help me. She told me he was very psychic and that he would show me a way out of my problems. The chap’s name was Zack Martin and the “reading” that he gave me was one of the weirdest I have ever encountered.
Zack sat down in front of me, looking right at me and saying nothing. Then he suddenly said, “Right!”
I waited for him to elaborate this opening salvo but nothing more came. I must have looked utterly nonplussed, because Zack then repeated the word, “Right,” once again.
By now, I was convinced that I was dealing with someone who was as crazy as my day-job boss, and I began to seriously wonder if every guy who owned his own business was certifiably crackers. As it happens, Zack wasn’t saying “Right” at all, because what he was saying was “Write!”
The mist started to clear when Zack said, “Write a booklet on something, run off a few copies and bring them here to sell, as that will be the start of a new road forward for you.”
“But how do you know I can write?” I asked.
Zack lifted an eyebrow and gave me a funny look, after which, he got up and walked off. By now, I was sure the man was completely off his trolley. However, I could see clients coming my way, so I put the strange affair aside until I had time to think it over, which I did during the long drive home; I decided that I had very little to lose by giving it a go.
Over the next few days, I wrote a small book on hand reading and I drew pictures to show the parts of the hand that relate to love and to money, and I made a cover design for it. I called my magnum opus “How to find a millionaire and marry him”. I took my sheets to a photocopy shop and spent every spare penny that I had on the job, and the next week, I took my precious copies to the psychic centre with me and put them on the corner of my work table. Each copy had cost me 75 pence to produce, so I priced each booklet at £1.50, and to my amazement, every single copy went!
Over the next few weeks, I made more copies of my palmistry booklet and I wrote several others, and they all sold out, but then the psychic centre closed, and that was that. However, the experience of writing and illustrating was good practice, so when I later came to write the set of articles that eventually became my first book (see my blog called “Blame it on the Olivetti”), it wasn’t that hard for me to do.