Today I’m taking part in the launch of Rhoda Baxter’s latest novel, Please Release Me. The three main characters in Rhoda’s novel are all “stuck” in some way, and so as part of the launch, Rhoda had the interesting idea of asking a few authors to get together to write on the them of “being stuck.” (You can visit Rhoda’s website and discover all the other authors’ posts here.)
“Being stuck” suggests to me all the many times I’ve been stuck on a problem – and especially a maths problem. When you were at school, did you ever look around the classroom after the teacher had finished speaking and watch everyone else writing away, whilst you sat there wondering what on earth was going on? Well, that happened to me on a regular basis in my maths class. I well remember the sinking feeling of horror when I turned over my maths paper and realised I had no idea which was the x axis and which the y. Why “x” and “y” anyway? Why not “a” and “b”? And what about “z,” and all the other letters of the alphabet? None of it made any sense at all.
I’ve often been told by people who are good at maths that mathematics is a language with a beauty of its own. If so, it’s a language I don’t understand, which is strange, because I enjoy learning new languages, and I’d never worry about picking up at least the rudiments to have a basic conversation with anyone anywhere in the world. It’s doubly strange since you’d think that ordinary language would present more problems than maths, too, as the meaning behind what people say or write is so often ambiguous, whereas in maths there’s only ever a right or a wrong.
The spoken and written language isn’t the only other means of communication I enjoy. I love going to art galleries. There are stories behind every painting, but again, even the most seemingly straightforward picture can have a thousand different interpretations, from van Gogh’s sunflowers to Rothko’s rectangles of sombre colour. I never feel “stuck” when I look at a picture, though. I feel just the opposite, in fact – a sense of freedom combined with a feeling of connection with the artist.
I know there are people for whom solving a maths problem gives that same sense of exhilaration I feel when I read a book or poem I love, or look at a painting, and I wish I weren’t so stuck with the language of maths.
I’ve enjoyed thinking about Rhoda’s interesting topic! And here’s the blurb to her new release:
Please Release Me
What if you could only watch as your bright future slipped away from you?
Sally Cummings has had it tougher than most but, if nothing else, it’s taught her to grab opportunity with both hands. And, when she stands looking into the eyes of her new husband Peter on her perfect wedding day, it seems her life is finally on the up.
That is until the car crash that puts her in a coma and throws her entire future into question.
In the following months, a small part of Sally’s consciousness begins to return, allowing her to listen in on the world around her – although she has no way to communicate.
But Sally was never going to let a little thing like a coma get in the way of her happily ever after …
You can download Please Release Me here
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Thanks for inviting me to your launch, Rhoda. It was an interesting topic, and so is the premise of your new release. Best of luck with your launch!
Did you have a subject you were always “stuck” on at school? Do you find maths as easy to understand? And how about understanding art? If you have any comments at all, I’d love to hear from you!