Reading, Writing and (A)rithmetic

After a stressful day (actually week) on the book-publishing front, I am baffled. This is clearly an absurd enterprise, since at the same time I am reading – and enjoying:

Middlemarch (George Eliot); Surviving the Sword, Prisoners of the Japanese in the Far East 1942-45 (Brian MacArthur); One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez). I have started Americana (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) and Morning has Broken, (Carol Balawyder); The Sorrows of Young Werther (Goethe). I have dipped into The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt) and I am looking forward to And Then Like My Dreams – a memoir (Margaret-Rose Stringer); A Serious Business (Roderick Hart)… and then there is Bring Up The Bodies (Hilary Mantel) and The Luminaries (Eleanor Catton) staring at me from the bottom of a pile of books on the other side of the room.

Oh and I will be picking up The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion) from the library and polishing it off for a meeting on the 6th of August… correction I am going to the opera that night – but I will still read it.

With writing like this, the world does not need books by Hilary Custance Green. Any which way you calculate this, it doesn’t add up. I should stick to cultivating my garden, reducing my ‘to read’ pile and my stress levels.

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I’ve invested too much time (years), energy (and some money) in writing, editing, revising, researching, submitting and rewriting this book, never mind all the pfaff of getting a tax identity in the States, and learning how to create ebooks (nearly there with the older novel), to give up now. Also I am too bloody-minded. Also I owe all the kind friends who have supported me. So I shall add another few straws to the giant hayrick of books swamping the world – even though it fails to add up or make any sense at all.

Some rejected book covers to laugh at. I’ve learned a lot about InDesign

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PS. I have now finished the Surviving the Sword, sobering and good for realigning one’s priorities.

11 thoughts on “Reading, Writing and (A)rithmetic

  1. Re those rejected covers: I REALLY like that cutout dropped lettering … How facile a remark is that ?! 😐
    How about the concept (such as on my cover – my ONLY cover) of an image somewhere with edging on a couple of corners …?
    You’re insane, obviously. [grin]
    I have enough trouble reading one book at a time, let alone plugging through a dozen here and there. I’d never be able to remember all the plot-lines !!!

    • Anything that appeals is good, as far as I am concerned. I am in a fever of indecision on the subject. I love your cover and because it addresses the essential elements of your story AND looks good.

      • I was thinking only of the essence of it, Hilary, when I made the suggestion: a relevant image with some edging design …

  2. I bow before your book consuming ability, Hilary. I typically have 3 or 4 on the go but sometimes one dominates (currently A Tale of Two Cities) and the others are dipped into. I have read the Goethe in the original (at uni) and I have read One Hundred Years of Solitude but the others are not on my radar yet. You may be surprised at the reception your e book gets – you just never know. Your Voltairean activities can wait awhile, surely?

    • I don’t plan to read multiple books, it sort of creeps up on me, not sure it is such a good idea, but I can kid myself it helps to keep the brain cells jumping. it’s an embarrassing admission but all of these are books I have never yet read.

  3. Just had a run in with someone who I thought was keen on publishing some of my work but his specifications were too harsh and too pedantic. I don’t mind and even welcome good editing but when it comes to dictating the subject matter…go and get lost!
    It is a harsh world but I count myself lucky when my rants get read. I also, by and large, enjoy putting words down. Here are some, and now some more…:)
    I enjoy re-reading Garcia’s books. He gets away with so many colourful words and yet they have been there always. It is the word order that counts.

    • It’s a tricky route distinguishing between good advice/criticism and someone’s desire for you to write the story they would have preferred. I find Garcia Marquez’s books almost too imaginative for me, but I am fascinated by this one.

  4. Please carry on writing. I have just started Uneen, and it seems to Ms Tartt has ‘borrowed’ your concept from Chapter 1. We here at Postlethwaite Snodgrass and Snaith envisage legal action on a no win, no fees basis.

    • I am laughing because one of the friends, who read chapters of Unseen Unsung as I was writing it (2005-6), sent me a copy of The Goldfinch for this very reason. (I can’t quite bring myself to read it yet). The concept for my book dates back to the Turkish earthquake in the 1990s. However, I don’t envisage any need for the services of P, S & S. I hope you enjoy Unseen Unsung.

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