Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just because...

Well, what do I do early on a Tuesday morning, but sit here in my underwear and drink coffee and smoke cigarettes and play with the computer, while my dog eats his breakfast and Gandhi watches him jealously? It's one of those wonderful days of the week when I have no obligations, but to check the mail and my bank account balance, and to clean the kitchen and sweep the floors and dust the furniture. In other words, it is early and I can take my time, because all those things will get done in the right moment. That's the law of the land.

I slept like a newborn and was awake before the alarm clock went off. I was asleep quickly too. I read a few pages in my book and then departed from the waking world.

The book I am reading was Winner for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction in 2008 and I can't for the life of me figure out why. It's a well written book qua language usage and research done for the background, but it is just very unexciting and I can't begin to care about what happens to the main character of it. He never seems to touch my soul and the plot is rather thin too and I think it would have been more exciting if the whole book had taken place in his country of origin and he had never immigrated to England, but that would have given us a totally different book. A book about a post communist eastern European country and not a book about an eastern European migrant worker in England. And that's what it pretends to be a portrait of, but I don't see it, although I must say that with the right scriptwriter, it can be turned into a good film. That's the highest praise it gets from me.

Speaking of books, I'll be sending out 8 books through Bookmooch and I'm, expecting 13 books in return. Not bad an investment, although he timing of the finances is a little off. I can see now why you have to limit yourself to a budget every month and limit the amount of books you send to the States and Canada, because they sure as heck limit themselves. From now on, if someone from the States wants a book from me, I am going to look if they ship outside their country, if not, the answer is no. The knife has to cut on both sides, as they say.

I have another book that I haven't finished reading yet. I started reading it, but then put it aside for some reason and didn't pick it up again. It is called Sea Glass by Anita Shreve and was a national bestseller, in the States I assume. The story revolves around a derelict old beach house on the New England Coast and I started to read it when my heart wasn't really into reading, but I was trying. I have to pick it up and start over again and try to really get into it. I will make it my living room book while the other one can be my bedroom book. I have to also move into my reading chair again with the little table handy beside it for my coffee and my ashtray.

Would you believe I used to read 5 to 7 books a week? I read them one after another and couldn't get enough of them. I had amazing powers of concentration and nothing could stop me from reading. The Exfactor had to go to the library several times a week. Of course, I wasn't blogging then or spending other time behind the computer. All I did was send out an email every once in a while. Until we got a new computer and I taught myself to use it properly and that was the end of my reading days.

I am determined now to get back into reading, because I think that so much of my knowledge of human behavior comes from reading books about the interactions between all sorts of people, be they related or not, under all sorts of circumstances. That's what fascinates me the most, is how do people behave when confronted with all the other people in their lives and the conflicts that brings with it, and how do they resolve them and their inner turmoil, and do they make smart choices or make stupid mistakes, but live and learn anyway, and must there always be a happy ending when, in fact, the only true ending is death?

My sister always said that I used to live my life as if it was a novel, and it was all made up and the most fantastic things could happen in it. She was right, because I thought, if it can happen in a novel, it can happen in real life too. All you have to do is facilitate it. Help it happen, make it come about.

I wouldn't say that about myself anymore now, unless I starred in a treatise about a psychiatric patient and the hopefully happy outcome. I'll never be the drama queen again like I once was and drag everybody down with me, unwittingly, but nevertheless...although I must admit I get a little dramatic when my moods fluctuate and I have to watch that about myself.

Anyway. I have made the decision not to fall victim to my fluctuating moods anymore, but to nip them in the bud. I have no desire to have another high, as it causes me nothing but trouble and I really don't get that much pleasure out of it after the first initial hours. I don't want them anymore, those feelings of euphoria as if I'm on some drug. If I never had that feeling again, it would be fine with me, because I also would not have the subsequent low that follows it and that I can also do without.

Well, that's it for me people. I have to get the party started. First the finances!



Dave King said...

What a fascinating photograph. Where is it? What is it? And an even more fascinating post to follow... So much to comment on...

How often have I not started to read some prize-winning novel only to decide that I couldn't care less what happened to the protagonist? How do they select them? I would love to know the criteria.

Life lived like a novel... it has always struck me that life often follows the contours of our inner life. Perhaps it is so with you. Thanks for a really interesting post.

Babaloo said...

Hope your finances aren't looking too bad!

It's true, many of the US bookmooch people don't send overseas. They used to have a surface mail option which was comparatively cheap but that's gone now, so consequently postage has gone up a lot for them. (That's what I've been told.) I do check as well if someone is willing to send overseas before I send a heavy book.

And sometimes you're lucky just asking people nicely, even if they say they won't send a heavy book to you because it's too expensive. I found one in the Philippines and asked the lady because I REALLY wanted that book. I offered to mooch a 2nd book to help with postage and asked her to send it via the cheapest possible option (which might take 3 months to reach me!). She said Yes, simply because I asked so nicely. :)

As with many other things in life, it's a give and take and as long as you're polite & nice about things everything works just fine for all involved.

Gail said...

I have a day off too and have yet to decide how to spend it.

I have many shoulds but here I am reading another one of your wonderful contributions to my blog world.

Gail said...

I forgot to mention I do love the photo. It needs faces in the rocks. If I squint, I can see them.

Maureen said...

Ah, but you are still reading a lot; after all you have to read all those blogs, as well as your own writing!

I love the feel of a real book, though too. There is nothing like a good book, comfy chair, a glass or cup of your favorite beveridge by your side, a dog at your feet and a cat disturbing the whole picture by insisting you pay attention to THEM rather that your novel. ;)