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Cartooning with Phil Judd

ruffToday I attended a cartooning workshop with Phil Judd. Phil is the creative force behind  Comic Express www.comic-express.com.

I sat among the kids who ranged in age from tiny to tall. We learned the basics about shape and proportion and how to mix and match features to create completely different characters every time. Secretly, I believe I had the best time out of anyone there. I came home and began penning some more – and I have to admit, it could become habit forming. Phil was excellent with the kids. Very patient and encouraging. And his work is fantastic. Phil will be running more workshops. Check with your local library or on his website for workshop locations and dates. Today’s workshop ran for two hours and I came away excited and eager to have a go. I think I may have found a new addiction. 

Above, meet Ruff. Ruff is my first born. Here’s to many more like him…

New Beginnings

imagesNew day. New blog. New beginning. 

After months of deliberation, I made the move. Packing my words into a small cardboard box and making the trip to another domain. To a place that feels somehow more like “home”. With a shiny new blog, I am hoping to gather my writing momentum again. It’s been lacking of late and has perhaps packed itself into a box and moved house as well. 

I finished the Year of the Edit with Kim Wilkins. It was such a valuable experience. Kim is an amazing teacher and there was never a dull moment. I was one of the first up for critique. I think that’s when my writing momentum shrivelled and died. The feedback was accurate and necessary. The first ten pages of the story I submitted, I have since realised, is not the story I want to tell. I spent the months during the course pondering. What is my story? Where did it go? I feel I know it inside and out but how do I get that sensation down on the page? 

As the course progressed, I listened and learned, took notes but felt like I didn’t have a “real” story anymore. I had nothing to apply all the great knowledge to. I felt like a fraud at times. My own work stalled in the process as others sped down the track leaving me in their dust. I changed gears for a while. Gently pushed my WIP aside to dabble with a couple of short stories. Something to take away the feeling of failure I seemed to have taken on board. But each word I wrote for “another story”, felt like I was cheating my one true love; the story that feels a part of me, the story that seemingly won’t rest until it has been birthed to the world. 

So I have all this editing knowledge. I know the pitfalls to avoid, ways to freshen my manuscript, how to straighten out story line kinks and fill in gaping black plot holes. What I don’t have anymore is a manuscript that portrays the true story I want to tell. And that makes me miserable. How do I fix this? I start again. But not on my own. 

On the first day of August, I will begin Year of the Novel online with Kim Wilkins. It is strange to first do an editing course on a manuscript you thought was heading in the direction you wanted to go. But alas, why do things by the book? I’m doing it this way for my book. I am doing it because I believe in my story and I want to tell that story as well as I can. And with Kim’s guidance, I know I can do this. 

I’m taking a page from author Julia Green’s book. 

‘Practise lots. It can take a long time to get a story right. Don’t rush it. Let it take the time it needs. Do lots of re-writing. Talk to other people who write. Believe in your story.’ 

So here’s to my first post on a new blog, with a new plan. I’m off in search of my happily ever after. Even if I have to write it myself.