Friday, 24 January 2014

What I did this week - Pottering

So, what did you do this week? Some weeks it's easier to look back on and measure and some less so. This is one of those ones where I'm thinking the latter. So, just to remind myself...
I wrote ten Pansy Potter strips, on spec. At time of writing I don't know whether I'll get the go ahead to draw them*. If I don't, I essentially wasted a day. The previous week I wrote, and laid out in my characteristic biro scribble style (which takes many times longer than a type script but far better gets the joke across for this kind of comic strip, I feel) a set of Keyhole Kate scripts which didn't get commissioned, amounting again to another day down the Swannee.

Last Friday the Socks played their first gig of the year, their triumphant Address To The Haggis in Glasgow, and tomorrow (Saturday) they do their first 90 minute show of 2014. Those are the sort of landmarks that make sense and are memorable.

The rest of this week, however, has been "time at my desk". Which, when it's not producing a particular thing for an obvious deadline which subsequently appears and that we can all enjoy, is nebulous and frustrating to look back on. (I realise, saying that, that I may have summed up many people's entire jobs, but what can I say? I like to produce things that appear in public, and a week working in private is an odd thing to me).

On the mundanest level I contacted a lot of schools. This is something I do sporadically, finding the contact details for schools in areas around the country, and emailing them about the Comic Art Masterclasses. This week I've been reaching out to new schools in Scotland and East Anglia, (resisting the temptation to title that blog post "Norfolk an idea") and have taken a number of bookings for the year. This has, of course, been one of those weeks when I haven't visited a school, so I don't have the kids comics to look at (though I have two day's worth still to post up from the schools I've done this month, still to share with you, you lucky people). Basically I've done secretarial work for the best part of three days.

Creatively I need to write some stuff for the Socks to help their pitch to TV. I bought a new camera at the weekend to help with that process and still have that to get on with.

I also wrote, in one page rough outline at the moment, a Doctor Who story which I think is rather brilliant. Of course even if I fully plot it and script it, it can never be made. It's a very visual TV script that would work neither as audio, novel or comic strip, and therefore something in the back of my mind is reminding me there's no point finishing it because it would be a lot of time wasted. But it would be a demo script, I remind myself. And suddenly I'm having one of those conversation that I have with myself when I'm not on an immediate deadline, and such are the internal workings of the mind of a writer.

And don't get me started on the time I've wasted on Facebook**. Facebook has become the biggest thief of time in recent months and I'm not sure why. It is undeniably addictive.

Oh yes, and when I start to wonder what's happened to the work I would do in the evenings, I suddenly recall, Hev and I just finished watching Breaking Bad. On Wednesday night we watched the final three episodes of the Final Season, having watched the preceding 3 episodes on Tuesday night, and the first 2 on Monday night, the DVD having arrived in Monday's post.

We had such withdrawal symptoms that last night we watched the DVD extras, which are amazing.

Today (Friday) I look forward to having something great to report from my day's work. Onwards and upwards.

* UPDATE 29/1/14 - Nine out of the 10 Pansy Potters were accepted and I've just drawn and delivered them. My first art for the Beano in over 5 years. Hooray! Also today's Beano features my name on the Bananaman strip drawn by Wayne, the first time my name's appeared since 2009. Ironically the script (Derailed) was delivered as a typescript and has been totally re-written so it bears no resemblance to the one I sent in. Literally not one word is the same. Still, baby steps.

**UPDATE: Dammit! I just did it again. Looked at Facebook, swearing I would just read any responses to my very important posts (a concept that only exists in my mind) then found myself scrolling down until I found a post I could add a smart-arsed comment to. Pathetic! (The comment was "Whisky Ga-Gore", a brilliant joke I'm sure. And a minute of my life I'll never get back).

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