Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine April 2017 | Page 479

would just come to me in the midst of writing a piece, it’s like its floating above you, and you reach up and pull it down, and it would just sound right. I took the name “Tim Tim” as my stage name, because in the French Patois-speaking islands like Haiti, St. Lucia, Dominica and Grenada the storyteller says “Tim Tim”, like once upon a time, before he begins his stories. Why do you write in the vernacular? I was first influenced by the late Louise Bennett ‘Miss Lou” of Jamaica. In 1972 while doing post grad studies at U.W.I Jamaica, Miss Lou came on campus to entertain us. After hearing her and enjoying her and seeing her connection to the audience, I decided to try my hand at writing in the vernacular. The rest as they say is history. The performing grew out of the writing. Miss Lou and I became great friends and did many performances together. For me the attraction of writing in the vernacular was firstly the challenge of attempting to put the oral or spoken word on the page, to make the written word sound as close as possible to the spoken one. It gave you the freedom of being a pioneer, of creating your own structures, of realizing that what we spoke had structure it itself, that it was a language not a dialect. You can have good vernacular and bad vernacular, there were standards.