Wednesday, October 8, 2008

back atcha

I am changeable as the wind, why is that? Reader, do not believe anything I say. Or rather, believe it to be true (perhaps) for the moment, but tomorrow is another day. Recently I thought I might be getting a bit better, stronger, and I said so. Why can’t I learn to keep my mouth shut when this happens – be like the people who vow never to openly name the thing they prize most for fear of attracting the evil eye? But there it is, I am caught by the moment and fall for it. Today is different and I am back, and having to tread carefully. It’s ok, I know this terrain. I loved the walks I was having, took too many perhaps and now I go softly, pad pad, so as not to awaken the tiger.

I’ve heard the good news of two friends having their novels accepted by publishers: The first is a friend from my Hackney days – we were in a writing group together and had our stories published in an anthology. We are close friends, have touched on each other's lives in all kinds of ways, but the rock of our friendship is The Writing. I put capitals because that’s what I hear when we refer to it; when we speak on the phone or sit with coffee and the cigarettes we are supposed to have given up and say, so shall we talk about The Writing? I remember when she decided to write this book; how she went to another country to find the bones and flesh of the story whose essence was already gathering in her, and the email that came one day saying she had found what she was looking for and had begun the work. Somehow there was never any doubt that the book would be written and published.

The second was a student in one of the night classes I taught five years ago. I remember how when she came we were all crammed into a small room next to a language class that was clearly audible through the thin walls and how as soon as she read from her notebook I could hear that she was already a writer, a wordsmith in the making. She has just been offered a three-book deal by a big publisher. This too was something I envisaged happening, though it is still a shock of surprise when the dream becomes real.

Everyone has their own path and the thing is to keep going along it. It feels like a great calamity when one is prevented from doing that because of health or something else getting in the way. But on the other hand, that is perhaps the nature of the journey, an aspect of the path. So how can one refuse to walk it? I walk it - pad pad.

Cusp has kindly given me an award. I am taking it as something bestowed rather than earned.

And speaking of which: I would like to award this to someone who I feel is deserving of this, as well as others, for her courage, kindness and persistence in adversity; namely the creator of the award. Cusp? Yes, you. On yer sidebar!


cusp said...

All right already (dear readers, Signs has been barking at me with orders on my own blog)... I'm here and thank you very much for the award but you really shoudn't have...I'm blushing now.

Funnily enough, of late, I've been a bit too cocky for my own good too and yesterday saw the stumble fer....lop ! and \I'm surrounded by evil eyes, talismans, they obviosuly don't work though, do they ?!

Lovely to hear the good news of others you care about and in a way even better to hear same form someone you once taught --had a hand in their development

Reading the Signs said...

Cusp perhaps I'm being thick, but what is the stumble fer...lop. Anything to do with trickcycles?

Yes, it's really lovely news. Both of them are talented and hard-working (and healthy!) - a fabulous combination.

cusp said...

'stumble fer....lop' nothing to do with trick-cyclists...more about me trying to be clever (ha ha!).

I meant it in the sense that having overdone things the inevitable fall/stumble/flop came. Sorry I won't try and be clever again.

Reading the Signs said...

Oh - stumble flop - geddit now. Know it well.

Nicola said...

Me too - changeable. In my deep sense of loss at my youngest leaving for university last weekend, I told everyone that with time to spare - ha! - I would make curtains. Me? Since when? My children have grown up thinking that no curtains is normal - ok, so they moan a bit when the sun slashes their hungover eyes at 5 am on a summer's morning.
I mean, why have I suddenly declared to the world that I'm about to change the habit of a lifetime as well as dig over the overgrown vegetable patch, plant bulbs, finish the ironing (whaaat?),
begin the life story etc etc
The spirit was willing, truly, but
I, too, find myself padding now when I thought I could run, laid low by the darkness of the gulf left by my children's departure.

Fortunate soon-to-be-published friends to have a champion and friend in you.

Kahless said...

Hear Hear.

Cusp, you are wonderful and the award is extremely merited by yourself.

Well done Signs for acknowledging Cusp.


montag said...

Dear Reading the Signs, I stopped by to let you know I made my first attempt to write about the matter of God speaking. I posted it Oct.9.

Then I saw:
"...she went to another country to find the bones and flesh of the story whose essence was already gathering in her..."
"Somehow there was never any doubt that the book would be written and published."

These are beautiful mysteries: inspiration, growth, and the inescapable certitude of what is real and good.


ps: haven't seen or heard the expression "trickcyclist" since the Brits pulled out of India.

Reading the Signs said...

Nicola, Nicola, instant empathy with regard to youngest leaving for university, but making curtains! Ironing! Out with it, away with it, dear sister. Unless one has a particular thing for doing that kind of thing, one either does without curtains as you have done, or buys them, or wooden blinds, ready-made (me). And ironing only in desperate extremis. Rant over. But you may plant bulbs and dig the vegetable patch if you wish. And pad pad with writers notebook too, is good.

Kahless, I'm keeping an eye on her to see that she puts it up - just saying.

Montag! How lovely to see you here on the edge, with your good words and all. I will be heading Godwards directly.

Nicola said...

Dear Signs, thanks for permission -
it's all I needed. Or... 'sorted!' as my youngest would say.
Padding with notebook is all I can manage. x

That's So Pants said...

Hi Signs

Sorry to hear you've slid back a bit but great that your friends have got publishing deals. Congratulations on the award too. If anyone deserves one for integrity, it's you.



Reading the Signs said...

Pants - mwah!

sexy said...


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