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The Brit 1
by Asa Butcher
Issue 1
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Following those weeks after Christmas and New Year, when the decorations are returned to the attic and you are sick to death of mixed nut selections, you suddenly realize that your new trousers from Aunty aren’t exactly fitting you comfortably. You resolve to exercise and return to your former slender physique, so you scour the New Year Sales for a cheap exercise bike and set yourself a rigorous exercise plan. Summer arrives, the bike has a thick layer of dust and Auntie’s present is still hanging in your wardrobe.

“What has this to do with anything?” I hear you grumble, well I was once asked by a friend how it is possible for me to write so easily and so well because he had a nightmare trying to compose an article of just one thousand words. After careful consideration I tendered a response to his question, “I believe it is because I love what I do. I am motivated by writing and entertaining people. I have no motivation for peddling my fat ass on an exercise bike but give me a topic and I will happily burn a few calories typing at the keyboard.” My fingers have an hourglass figure.

Writing has always been an obsession in my life and when I enrolled at university the restraining order was lifted leaving me free to pursue it with a passion. One issue that had haunted me all my life was the belief that I wasn’t very good at…err, anything. My athletic confidence was dented the first and only time I attended school football practice wearing a fluorescent yellow shell suit and later my parents jokingly compared my running to Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean.

My lack of self-confidence spread through all areas of life including my writing. Often I would show a piece of work to a friend or family member and they would offer positive feedback and laugh at the appropriate places but I still didn’t believe that they had truthfully enjoyed my work. The root of my problem laid in the fact that I found it straightforward to write something and believed that anybody could do it.

My eyes were opened to the fact that ‘not everybody can do it’ while proofreading submissions for a magazine in Finland. Many of the early articles were terrible, they were hard to read, featured blatant plagiarism, had no beginning or end, and frequently gave me a headache trying to sort them out.

It was while working on the magazine that I met a Greek named Thanos and like all great romances we had a rocky start to our relationship but love conquers all. Okay, I am lying but we have become very good friends and he has helped me to believe in my writing ability and set my self-confidence on the road to recovery. Thanos has an incredible ability to instil the belief that you could rule the world if you put your mind to it, I don’t have any megalomaniac traits yet, although I am delving into media avenues never before considered.

The other third of the Ovi team is Mr J. Pederson, Wisconsin’s favourite Euro-traveller and the nicest Yank I have met this year. We picked John to join our team because he told us that he was always picked last at school and our hearts went out to him; he’s also quite intelligent when it comes to politics and Italian scarves. My aim as a Limey (Englishman) is to teach John the rules of cricket, repeatedly tell him to ‘queue’ and not ‘wait in line’ and generally follow the current trend of getting on the case of Americans.

Depending upon the order you have read our editorials you will or won’t know that the aim of The Ovi (Finnish for door) is to get our work and names known throughout this global world. We want a living, breathing portfolio that highlights the unique talents that each of us possess. I realise it isn’t fair to Thanos and John to be mentioned in the same paragraph as me but then the world isn’t fair – you may notice I no longer have literary self-esteem issues. Sincerely, I hope to borrow, steal and learn from their experiences and opinions in all aspects and continue to better myself in the eternal quest to locate my style and establish myself among the literary greats.

Am I drunk on my own self-importance or is it just my brand of self-depreciating humour, which has served me well for years – a personal necessity when you run like Mr. Bean and have a ‘unique’ name. I love to take the piss out of myself and to try to find the humour in any situation, this has enabled to make friends easily and my personality has been described as infectious, which is probably a good thing.

My primary interest in people has always been their stories, experiences and the anecdotes that they bore everybody with a thousand times. I believe this comes from growing up in a household where stories eventually became the joke. My Dad is teased whenever he begins to tell a story to my wife that we have all heard before and now this has reflected back on me with my wife joking that if something goes wrong at least I have a story to tell later - a healthy outlook on life if you want my opinion.

Articles I currently write are published in either a small local Finnish paper, a monthly Helsinki magazine and on its website, so my work is out there already being received and commented on. In fact, one day I met a friend for coffee and he brought along a friend of his. We began talking about jobs and whom I write for and the stranger revealed that he had read a few issues, one of which contained a funny story about hating tea, which just happened to have been written by yours truly.

There is nothing better than feedback, of course positive is always nicer than negative but with either at least you know that somebody had taken the time to read and respond to your work. We want you to become involved with The Ovi and to tell us what we are doing well and areas where we need to pull our socks up. The Net is a free for all medium where you can post your views and opinions, a forum where I can say, “I totally respect your thoughts but you are fucking wrong!”

We are writing and maintaining this site because we want to be known. We want to become either famous or infamous. We want to be able to afford a laptop to go and write outside while the sun is shining. We wanted to have a website with our work and we have done it. What have you done recently?

Asa

 
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