Three Ulcers, a Hospital Nightmare and a Reading Fest by Enid Richemont

Here it is - the cover image of my very scary, but very funny, short chapter book for early readers. The inside illustrations, or at least those I've seen, are delightful. It's not easy to portray a cat in the process of turning into a boy, and Gustavo achieves this splendidly - his cat drawings are so witty.

 Since I last blogged on Authors Electric, I have been very ill, and in hospital, which turned out to be one of the worst experiences of my life. I was automatically placed on a geriatric ward where, already frightened by my condition, I was subjected nightly to the disturbing and haunting cries of a very small and rather distinguished-looking, but deeply demented old lady who kept repeating two phrases: "You're amazing", and, "In the mist". Irritation combined with my inevitable writer's curiosity - who was so amazing? and just what was she seeing in the mist? It would have been impossible to engage her in any kind of conversation, so I began making up my own stories.

I was told that I had three ulcers and put on hefty medication which I hope will work. Convalescence has been much slower than I expected, but one of its side effects has been a personal reading fest. My daughter lent me a very impressive debut Young Adult novel self-published by a friend and neighbour of hers, which, from the reviews on the back cover, seems to have already taken off agent and publisher-wise. It's an erudite and very unusual novel, dealing with the sudden illness and eventual death of a sibling, and the story is told via the Latin names of plants, classical music, art, skateboarding, sex and Shakespeare. The book is called: 'If Everyone Knew Every Plant and Tree', and the author is Julia Johnston. Look out for her in the future.

I then moved on to Fay Weldon. I used to read her a lot, then got tired of her rather flippant style of storytelling. 'The Cloning of Joanna May' became a sanity-saver for me, and likewise, although lesser so, one of her early books, 'Down Among the Women', both bought from a charity shop. David's huge library is also at my disposal. We had very different tastes in books.  He was passionate about fantasy and science fiction - not always my kind of thing, and I always lacked his scientific expertise - but it has certainly enriched my life, and I'm now into an amazing anthology of time travel stories. 

New books/illness/NHS battles, an amazing new writer


Lydia Bennet said…
sorry to hear about your hospitalisation, you have my sympathy! some older people get really bad but temporary dementia symptoms after a general anaesthetic which wears off after a few days, I don't know if your lady was one of these folks. We had a lady of 100 who had this when I was in, she used to recite Shakespeare and various poets all night, learned by heart at school I suppose! Good luck with the new book, and good to hear you got some benefit from illness in finding new writers to enjoy.
Mari Biella said…
So sorry to hear about this, Enid. I'm glad that you had plenty of books to pull you through - and good luck with the new book!
Chris Longmuir said…
Sorry to hear you've been poorly, Enid, and good luck with the book. I do like the cover.
Sandra Horn said…
Enid, you are amazing!
julia jones said…
Thank heavens for books - my mother used to say one should always keep one's underwear 'nice' in case one was in an accident (I didn't and was - but that;'s another story) I think the moral of Enid's sad tale is to ensure we keep our Kindles well stocked and ensure they are always with us. Stuffed into our freshly laundered bodices perhaps ...
Kathleen Jones said…
Julia - when my father had a serious accident on the farm and was fighting for his life in A & E, my grandmother said 'Thank heavens it was Monday - he'd be wearing his clean undies'!
Commiserations Enid. I hope you are soon on your feet again. The Were Boy looks fantastic! I'm also really intrigued by your author discovery. Will look her up.

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