Posted by on Feb 5, 2009 in graphic novels, teaching, Terry Pratchett | 5 Comments

Fannying Around on the Far Side*

This is how I think of times like this: fannying around on the Far Side – where nothing is quite real and conversations are utterly surreal and while nothing much happens, the not-happening seems fraught with portent and nasty things with lots of legs hiding in wardrobes and just waiting until I’m asleep …

You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?

It’s that time that comes around again and again for writers, when you’re waiting. Right now I’m waiting for:

1. A decision on a novel
2. A new date for a cancelled workshop (weather has a lot to answer for)
3. Another judgement, on a different novel
4. A response from an illustrator I’m keen to work with
5. Inspiration
6. Somebody to buy me a latte and tell me that I’m going to be okay.

Actually the last one I can manage. I shall go to town tomorrow and buy my own damn latte and tell myself I’m going to be okay, although it doesn’t feel like it.

And I’m fannying because I don’t know how much energy I need to set aside for 1 – 4. If 1 needs a rewrite, then it’s a lot of energy to find, 2 will work itself out, although once I get geared up to teach it’s tough to ungear (word-coining again, Sexton, that’s a bad habit**) again. 3 is probably okay, although I suspect I’m going to be advised to do a major rewrite to make it ‘commercial’ and that means I will probably shelve it in favour of getting on with something else and 4 is downright scary – suppose he says yes? I’ve never written a graphic novel before. Suppose he says no? I’ve never wanted to write anything as much as I’ve wanted to write a graphic novel. Suppose we find we can’t work together? Suppose we find we can – will anybody accept a forty-something female writer getting into the DMZ/Hellboy/Doktor Sleepless territory? Okay, I should be so lucky – but if you cut me open you’d find Swamp Thing written across my heart, I swear.

You still have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?

Fannying. That’s me.***

* Gary Larson, quite rightly, doesn’t like his work being reproduced without a copyright agreement, so you’ll have to put up with a rather bad digital photo of the cover of the one Larson book I could find on the shelf. The others have migrated to the teenager’s room and I’m not going in there unless forced to.

**Webster says ungear exists, even if Word doesn’t recognise it – ha!

*** I seem to have caught footnoting this week – perhaps it’ll help me write like Terry Pratchett – if so, hurrah!


  1. Charles Lambert
    5th February 2009

    Well, I can’t buy you a latte but I can tell you that you’re going to be OK, and mean it. I have every faith in you. And I would love to see any graphic novel you produce!

  2. Jim Murdoch
    5th February 2009

    Ah, Godot Syndrome! And you probably don’t even have a Didi to go with your Gogo. Assume the worst and anything else is a bonus. There’s a lot to be said for pessimism – nothing ever disappoints you. Yeah, if only that was true.

  3. C-ingspots
    5th February 2009

    Love Gary Larson!! Such wit is to be appreciated and to truly enjoy his comedy, I think you need to be slightly warped!!
    Just remember, as in everything else in life…This too shall pass.

  4. kate brown
    6th February 2009

    You don’t know me, but I know just how you feel.

    You’re going to be okay!

    And if you’re ever in Amsterdam, I’ll buy you a latte.

  5. Kay Sexton
    9th February 2009

    You’re all wonderful. Especially the Appaloosa, which is enough to cheer a gal up on sight.


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