Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key by Jack Gantos is a book you probably haven't heard of, and that's a shame. Chances are that you've heards of Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by mark Haddon though, you might even have read it. Curious Incident is a good book, no doubt about that but I'm not really sure why it's done so well, in the same way I don't know why Harry Potter did or A Gathering Light. Why has there been such a fuss over Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell? No idea. All these books are well written but (actually as much as I like Curious Incident I don't think it's as good as many have claimed and I don't care for Harry Potter much at all) I don't think that's what's gave them great sales. About ten minutes before I began typing this I finished reading Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key (or JPSTK) and I was still teary-eyed when I started. JPSTK is about 5 years old and about a boy with ADHD, it's written from his point of view and is so successful in putting you in Joey's position that I felt I had ADHD every time I put it down. Joey's bright open manner, desire to be a 'good kid' and inability to control himself is the heart of this book, there's no realy plot to speak of just Joey's life and that's the power of the book. In a quirky natural and unsentimental way it punch you in the stomach with it's strong mix of sadness, humour and joy.
Jack Gantos' autobiography Hole in my Life is coming out in a few months, it talks about how he was sent to prison at the age of 20 for his part in a get rich quick drug scam and wrote his own thoughts between the lines of The Brothers the book that inspired him. It sounds excellent and I'll be buying a copy.
No writing today, noe yesterday and none the day before. Everytime I have a good day I follow it up with a few bad ones which is annoying. It's proving insanely difficult to build up any momentum, life and my inability to deal with it just gets in the way. Sometimes I wonder what I could achieve if I just focused on writing and drawing. The idea of doing nothing else but writing and drawing, is really attractive but I don't have the heart or the will power to do it. Also I'm scared I'll find out I'm not that good. The only thing I want to do with my work is to let go and just apreciate the moment but it seems to be beyond me. Perhaps one day I'll stop creating problems for myself but that seems typical of so many people of my generation.
Our new matress should be getting delivered tomorrow and I'm so looking forward to sleeping on it. Our present matress feels like a layer of rocks covered with cheap white bread which I don't think has improved my back much. Hopefully it'll encourage me to sleep, for some reason even though I love sleep and can easily sleep for 10 or 11 hours solid I tend to go to bed as late as possible and usually get about 4 or 6 hours sleep. Since I cut down to one cup of coffee a day I'm felling more tired (although not as tired as I did the first week I cut down) but still making myself stay awake. I just can't get the idea out of my head that the sooner I sleep the sooner I'll wake and be back at work with nothing to show for myself. Bad habit, must have more early nights.