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