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Oh great.

At some point in the last few months I started drawing comics again, and made a new zine (get in touch if you want one).

‘Oh great’ is a short, sarcastic gratitude comic. Part cynicism, part therapeutic ritual. Life is being a little bit tougher than it strictly needs to be at present, for reasons I won’t go into, and there’s not a lot I can do to deal with it except channel that into some creative output, using the most ridiculous means i can find.

Have been thinking a lot about trauma (again) and find it is much easier to handle the darker parts of the world through metaphor, rather than trying to write directly about them. Which leads me into ever more fantastical fictional realms. Partly this is out of a will to protect others from my own thoughts and feelings about their thoughts and feelings, particularly the volatile thoughts and feelings of the teenager. This protective impulse is a challenge for writer-me, who never expected to become carer-of-a-teenager-me, and is thus a little bit reluctant to relinquish her powers – the self-appointed ‘right’ to write about anything and everything. Which is challenged by all relationships, though the role of parent/carer is particularly fraught.

This tendency is also part of a general trajectory I’ve been on for a while, finding myself impatient with the limits of realism and bored by its dominance in Australian writing, and I can’t tell if it’s brave or cowardly. Anyway, I have been working on some quite weird and horrible stories as a result of all this, and hope to get one up as a podcast shortly (i realise it is overdue, but nobody minds except myself).

The novel is going quite badly, but that’s okay too. I’ve been aware that it’s good to have some kinds of work that are less emotionally demanding lying around for these periods, so am happy to let the big project pootle along at its own pace, and have regular breakdowns (it’s a bit like my car).

I’ve also been reading up on torture and imprisonment, not just for fun, but because of a very cool project coming up in Adelaide later this year which I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about yet. So stay tuned!

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2 Comments

  1. Verity S wrote:

    Its brave, not cowardly – thinking about exploring other forms, that is. The extraordinary(and well deserved)reviews TRIW has received has perhaps made you wonder how you can stretch yourself further – or stretch the form further to more forcefully carry your ideas. Many writers use very varying forms to suit the purpose. The possible fear is that now you’ve nailed ‘realism’ so well, can you allow yourself to develop into other forms and risk not achieving the same connection with the reader. This reader dares you to go with your gut – you’ll know what works. We’ll catch you.

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink
  2. Louise wrote:

    Hi Jennifer. It’s nice to read your blog here at work. I’m surrounded by dull realism in the shape of planning applications and yes, it is boring and limited. Metaphor gets much closer to what we can’t see but sense. And has more dramatic effect. I don’t think it is less truthful than plain description either. People will get it even if they don’t know what it means. That’s how you work your magic. Maybe. 🙂

    Monday, October 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink


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