sentinent beings

I guess, for me, writing and happiness will always be intrinsically linked. Without one, I cannot have the other.

I started writing when I was five, working on a blatant Star Wars imitation called ‘The Knights of the Wonga’ on an old green and black BBC computer. My mother was my chief editor, helping me with my grammar, syntax and vernacular, and indulging my exuberance. When she died, I was 14 and I felt I’d lost my talent to write. In its place I gained a desire to not waste a second. Don’t die wondering, die wandering… in wonderment.

So, I started writing about theories I had and ideas I thought would change the world, along with mystery stories about dragons and space; self indulgent drivel meant for no other purpose than to satisfy my desire to write and to fantasise about a world more exciting than my own. I convinced myself I wasn’t going to live to be older than 23. I knew there was a world out there, waiting for me, but I didn’t feel like I could reach it. I couldn’t write until I’d seen it. I wanted to have the stories to make my writing glorious and unique.

Then I joined a band. I was lead singer, and though I couldn’t hit a note to save my life, writing lyrics gave me a new medium in which to utilise words for expression. I became fascinated with how the words connected and related to each other, like people with personalities in a city where your dreams are the Empire States and your fears are the Sewers. Where do you let your words take you? My wonderment for life grew with each day.

Toby Balls

I left home aged 16 to try and find adventure. I put experiences before all else, and so dropped out from two colleges. Somehow, despite this, I managed to find a way into university, and was given the opportunity to study the culture of the world and re-discover a medium in which to process this wonderment.

University was tough, and youthful arrogance made me think I was smarter than I was. I spent my semesters at university working full time to make the money to travel every summer, and then I spent those summers working for various media groups and NGO’s in South East Asia and Europe. I loved every moment, and knew then that a life of writing was the only life for me from then on.

After I graduated, I spent the rest of my early twenties experimenting, exploring and exorcising evils. I held down a number of successful if mundane jobs in bars, restaurants, social media and management, before stumbling across a career in teaching. It’s perfect for me, as it gives me the opportunity to hone my craft, indulge my desires of meeting new people and learning new things, and I get the freedom to develop my own story with travel and experience. The best part is now I have plenty of time to write!

Now, I live a pretty quiet life in Taiwan, enjoying the sunshine (but not the humidity) while teaching English to some of the countries coolest kids and working on my debut novel. It’s due out whenever, so watch this space. I hope you like Self Indulgent Murder Mystery Theory novels about Dragons in Outer-Space…

When not teaching or writing, you can find me reading, exploring and travelling.

Books and words captivate me in a way nothing else has ever been able to. Writing is my itch that I cannot scratch, no matter how hard I try. I write and I write, but I always want to write more.

I live to write, and write what I live. Life is a long journey, and I want you to join me.


india travel main


© Itchy Quill and ItchyQuill.WordPress.com, 2015

27 thoughts on “Quillography

  1. Good stuff, love the balloons


  2. That’s one of the best About pages I’ve read on WP. And there are a couple comments I need to add to my Quote journal, if it’s okay with you.

    “Don’t die wondering, die wandering… in wonderment.” And, “I live to write, and write what I live.”

    Are they original to you? Don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would love to say for definite that they are, but you never know. As far as I am aware they are. Either way, you’re welcome to them. Words are like my friends; I can never say I own them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just enjoying discovering more of your work after you kindly followed my blog. I find your story and the way you have written it inspiring! Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your blog name does speak volumes about your passion to write…loved reading through the story of your life…till date…I have beena teacher myself and I love it…nice to see ,you too enjoy what you do…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It sounds like an interesting journey so far. And I’m all about naps. Best of luck with the novel.


  6. Thanks for popping by and liking my post. I did the same I must say I enjoy your way of stringing words together to create a picture. I will be back. Kindest Regards Cheryle

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gosh, we have so many things in common, I don’t know where to begin. Your story made me feel so warm and invited, like I already know you. I have never been the lead singer except for car singer (which annoys everyone in the car), but I write lyrics too. Though they’re in Mandarin for Pinyin, I have character versions, too. I don’t know anything about murder mystery theories, but I can sure try it; I like to read too. I’m reading The Golden Lotus, a translated work by an author during the Song Dynasty in mainland China. Do you love or hate Jay Chou? And Vincent Fang?


    • Hey Leanne! I must say I have become quite partial to a bit of good ol’ Taiwan pop, as it goes (though in moderation). Yourself? Car singing is pretty fun as you are always the lead singer! 😀 I’m currently reading The Brothers Karamazov and On Writing by Steven King. I try to keep it mixed, and read about as many perspectives as possible. I will have to check out the Golden Lotus. Do you play an instrument?


  8. Loved reading about your life and thoughts on creativity. You have a powerful storytelling style and flow. I particularly liked this line: Don’t die wondering, die wandering… in wonderment.

    Awesome work!


  9. Beautiful! I’m following your blog!


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