Wednesday, April 15, 2009

and counting

I went to my first book group last night. I never thought I would join one of those – as far as I’m aware they came into being after I got M.E., I had enough on my plate to attend to and anywhere one heard such funny stories about what happens in book groups. I loved watching The Book Group on Channel 4, but that was for watching, not being part of. But anyway, it was great and so was the book we discussed, The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. Reading a book as good as this and then getting together to talk about it with other reading people who have things to say and enjoy tossing ideas about makes a lot of sense. The So What? factor didn’t come up for me with this book at all, but if it had then I might have been motivated to go through that barrier because of the group.

It will be just me and the cat here for four days because Mr. Signs is off to a psychotherapy conference. I have plans, but they are so often sabotaged by the Malignant Entity (I just came up with that, not bad) that I dare not even say what my plans might involve in case it hears. I think I must either be an incredibly positive and motivated person or unbelievably stupid because every day, well almost every day, I wake up at whatever time it happens to be, depending on the state of me and sleep disorder, and I think: today is the day I will do whatever it is that I am wanting to get on and do. And I really believe this. It’s as though some clown has programmed my default setting to think that in spite of all evidence to the contrary, this new day brings untold possibilities, all of them good, even when I wake up feeling properly horrible. On better days there will be an hour or two when I carry on believing this, but then the invisible egg timer appears and I see the energy sand running out. Last week I managed to write two poems in the time between becoming egg timer-conscious and flaking out. This week (well, it’s only half way through the week and Monday was bank holiday) I haven’t been doing so well. Yesterday I cleaned the kitchen and today I went shopping. On the other hand, I also went to a book group – that counts. Actually, it all counts, as I have said more often than I care to remember. But if the writing isn’t happening then the inner core of me feels diminished. I have ways of getting around that, but daren’t look over my shoulder too often on account of time’s winged chariot etc.

But everything is going to be ok, it can’t miss, it’s in the bag. Because tomorrow is another day.


nmj said...

I've never actually been in a book group, only a writing group (years ago). I do like the idea of a book group. I LOVED the drama on Channel 4, it was superb.

Zhoen said...

I've tried the book group idea, and read a terrible book, then they didn't meet anyway. Your group sounds much better.

Reading the Signs said...

NMJ, yes the drama was lovely. I'm not sure how well I'd have done as an actual member of it - probably wouldn't have got as much reading done.

Zhoen, there are some really awful book groups around. That's why it took me so long to stick my toe in the water. I knew two of the members very well already and they are properly literate reading/writing people - so I knew it would probably be good.

Digitalesse said...

I know another PWME who is a member of what she calls her 'reading circle'. I assume you would read set books and get together and discuss them. Sounds like an interesting way to meet with like minded people and share your passion for literature. Enjoy :)

Reading the Signs said...

Digi, it depends on the group - in this one each person takes a turn in choosing what the next book is to be. But some groups draw a list up at the beginning of each of each year.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Signs

I've been to three book group meetings in my life - all other people's I happened to be staying with at the time. I think the funniest one was for Morris Farhi's Young Turk. The great man was in attendance and all anyone wanted to know was whether it was autobiographical or not. Thankfully, no one asked him about Nicole! I had a library copy and I tried to get him to sign it - I thought the library might get a kick out of that - but he thought he might get into trouble for defacing it.

I've just been given White Tiger. I suppose I'd better get on and read it now.



Reading the Signs said...

Pants, everyone always seems to want to know about the autobiographical. I remember my first creative writing teacher saying that whatever we wrote people would think it's autobiographical so we should just get used to that.

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