Sunday, April 16, 2023

Sunday Snippet: Cultivating a Fuji by Miriam Drori #SundaySnippet #Uplit #TheCoffeePotBookClub @MiriamDrori @cathiedunn

Cultivating a Fuji

A moving tale about social anxiety

by Miriam Drori


Publication Date: January 19th, 2023 (3rd edition)
Publisher: Ocelot Press
Pages: 244
Genre: Up Lit

Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, Martin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings.

Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now?

Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves. There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up.

Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this…

Warwick University, UK, 1973

Computing assignments involved using the machines in the computer room. They meant booking your turn on the PDP8 so that you could practise using the buttons, or preparing a set of cards on a punched card machine and then giving them in to a real person to be processed, and collecting the output the next day. But this extra interaction was worth all the embarrassment, because you ended up with a few continuous sheets of computer paper with green horizontal stripes and holes down the sides. And on the paper was not only your program, neatly printed, one line after another, but also the result of running that program and whatever you told it to calculate and print out. If you told the computer to add up all the integers from 1 to 100, you would write the addition as a loop, each time adding 1 to the integer to be added and of course telling it to stop at 100 so that the loop wasn’t endless. If you wanted, you could tell it to print out the running total each time it went through the loop. The next day, your printout showed the result, exactly as you intended. It was the predictability of it all. Amazing.

Some of the other students, Martin noticed, weren’t overjoyed when they went to pick up their pages. Some of them received syntax error messages because they’d made a mistake on one of the cards, while others got back great wads of computer paper because they’d written an endless loop. Martin cringed at the profanities that streamed from their mouths like vomit, words that had never ventured from his lips, and he felt sorry for those students. He couldn’t understand why they had such difficulty, but he’d have been happy to show them how easy it was, if anyone had ever asked him for help.

Miriam Drori

Miriam Drori was born and brought up in London and now lives with her husband and one of three grown up children in Jerusalem. With a degree in Maths and following careers in computer programming and technical writing, Miriam has been writing creatively since 2004, mostly producing novels and short stories that have appeared in various anthologies.

Social anxiety features in Miriam's latest publications. Social Anxiety Revealed is a non-fiction guide that explores this common but little-known disorder from multiple points of view. The book has been highly recommended by ‘sufferers’ as well as professionals in this field. Cultivating a Fuji is the story of a fictional character who battles against social anxiety before learning to make friends with it. Style and the Solitary, a crime novel, asks an important question: what happens when a suspect can't stick up for himself?

When not writing, Miriam enjoys reading, hiking, dancing and touring.

Connect with Miriam:
Website • Twitter • Instagram • YouTube 

No comments:

Post a Comment