If you love my stories and comics, toss a coin to your witcher. Check out my Patreon page. You can support my work and get unique rewards!Along with the usual merch you can now get facemasks in my store. Specifically here.
If you love my stories and comics, check out my Patreon page. You can support my work and get unique rewards!This comic is available as a print! Along with the usual merch you can now get facemasks in my store. Specifically here.
And immediately I thought to myself, I should write a story about writing that story. It could be meta and funny and clever. I have so many amazing anecdotes about this process, e.g., the time I sat in a Casino for a bit to see what the fuss was about for Research Purposes, or the time I was working in a café like a Proper WriterTM and the waiter actually asked what I was doing and I got to say ‘writing a novel’, or the time used a sword.
So I sat down to write this meta and funny and clever story.
After several months, four abandoned drafts, many unintended tangents into grim trigger-warning topics, an existential crisis, giving up twice, extreme use of the backspace key, and many, many, many cups of coffee all I had to describe writing a novel was …
… a montage.
No, worse than a montage. A montage without a kick-arse soundtrack.
Actually, small request? Could go put on your favourite montage track on. Spotify, mp3 player, CD, tape deck, vinyl, acapella cover band taking requests, however you play your music. Doesn’t matter. Got it? Cool. Now that’s playing, would you mind looking at that last illustration again?
… any better?
It wouldn’t do. This may come as a shock, but I have standards for this site. Not every loose thought or whim ends up here. I try do an acceptable-if-not-amazing-enough-to-get-widely-known job (and since no one has shared my stuff enough to make me widely-known yet, I assume I’m hitting that sweet spot. This is definitely fine and deliberate and not at all a secret disappointment to me).
I thought a bit harder about what the writing process was actually like, and finally I came up with something else.
I thought, better. Much better. It introduces some conflict, reveals character, and does that satisfying thing where I am completely honest about what a terrible person I am but somehow this entertains people rather than driving them away probably because they wrongly assume I am being hyperbolic (and I have just done that thing again by pointing it out). I have finally, in Proper WriterTM terminology, advanced the story.
Excellent. What happens next?
Here’s the thing.
Writing a novel felt like carrying the one ring to Mordor across an endless plain. It felt like slipping into a Lovecraftian dimension to stare down the old gods. It felt like fighting to the death in an arena for the entertainment of the Capitol (… if all the other tributes were me as well and I was also everyone watching it on TV, anyway).
It took years. I made myself chip away at it, re-write whole drafts, do better each time. I used it as a distraction from my miscarriages, my growing depression, the world. Sometimes the thought of it sitting on my laptop waiting for me kept me hiding in bed in the morning, other times it got me up early.
But all that happened in my head. From the outside, it just looks like a montage. And I don’t have a meta and funny and clever story to tell about writing.
Nevertheless, I have set up a brand spanking new alternate site so I can chat about writing ad nauseum for, ideally, the rest of my life.
* Pretty much. Some final polish to go still, but I’ve done four-ish total re-write drafts as well as several editing rounds. It’s there. It exists. I feel I’ve earned use of the phrase ‘I wrote a novel’.
So my new blog is OVER HERE.It will be different from Silence Killed the Dinosaurs, and Silence Killed the Dinosaurs will absolutely continue as is, unaffected. You do not have to follow the new site, particularly if you have no interest in writing, fantasy novels, or me as a person and not a stick figure.But, if you do, head on over.
Other light-hearted, non-dramatic stories and comics collected HERE.
If you love my stories and comics, check out my Patreon page. You can support my work and get unique rewards!Along with the usual merch you can now get facemasks in my store. Specifically here.
Everything Shakespeare wrote is a dick joke, a gloriously terrible pun, a sword fight, or a gloriously terrible pun that is also a dick joke taking place during a sword fight. If he had been big on adding stage directions, I’m certain ‘[pelvic thrust for emphasis]’ would be part of the Great Western Literary Tradition.
Along with the usual merch you can now get facemasks in my store. Specifically here. It makes me feel weird that this is a thing. When I started drawing SKTD I did think things like ‘hey, I wonder if this would look good on a mug?’ but I did not think ‘gosh, what a great design for a device to reduce the spread of the plague!’. But I guess that’s 2020 for you. We’ve just got to adapt.
[Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware this post contains the names of people who have passed away]
I know I promised fluff, but now is simply not the time. I’ve been watching the police brutality and the protests happening all over the US. This is just my statement as a white Australian, and it is intended for white Australians.
It’s really easy right now for us to look across the sea and say ‘oh, that’s terrible, good thing we’re not like that’, but the truth is we are a lot like that. Just with fewer guns. We are also a colonial country built on stolen land and the destruction of Indigenous culture and lives. We have our own racism problems—both the covert, microaggression variety that protects and builds into the more overt, violent variety. Since a royal commission into Indigenous deaths in custody in 1991, we have had over 400 Indigenous deaths in custody, not a single one of which has resulted in a conviction.
This is unacceptable.
I want to do something about it, and I hope you do too. Here are some resources.
There are a number of places to donate to support the Black Lives Matter movement in the US. I’m not familiar enough with the states or legal system to easily break it down, but I’ve found a few basic ones:
If anyone from the US has any suggestions for me to add, please leave them in the comments (I am particularly asking this of white allies, since I’m pretty sure black people have enough on their plates right now without critiquing my blog posts for me).
A petition to change public drunkenness laws in Victoria which, all the way back in 1991, the Royal Commission into Indigenous Deaths in Custody recommended to be replaced with community health oriented approaches instead. In 2017 this law was used to arrest Yorta Yorta women Tanya Day, who was then injured in custody and died.
In Western Australia people can be imprisoned simply for not being able to pay a fine, and the vast majority of those imprisoned for this reason are Indigenous single mothers. The Free Her Fund helps these women
The Healing Foundation, which supports ongoing trauma caused by the Stolen Generation and forced removal of children.
If you are Australian and on Twitter (or even if you aren’t Australian but are on Twitter) and aren’t already, I highly recommend following IndigenousX. I have been for a while, and now I support them on Patreon too. If you aren’t on Twitter but would still like an easy way to hear Indigenous perspectives, you can watch NITV.
And, please, when the dust settles, however it settles, don’t forget. Be anti-racist. Speak up when people around you say racist things—give them the opportunity to know better, let the other people around you see that it isn’t socially acceptable. Use your position to do the right thing. Pay attention. Give a shit about other people.
Okay, so this one isn’t exactly fluff, but ideally it’s not a downer either. Despite my resolve to post fluff as often as possible through all this, I have been … struggling. My old friend depression has been circling. Which is not particularly surprising, given everything. So if you’ve been wondering why the comics dropped off even after I promised, or if you’ve been hanging around your own comment sections, wringing your hands, waiting for me to appear and leave inspiring words such as ‘nice! I liked this’ … sorry. I’m working on it.
But don’t worry. I’ve got a major in psychology, antidepressants, and a decade’s worth of therapy under my belt*. I’ve passed through this before. I can do it again.
* and my cat, I guess. But despite this comic, I don’t think cats are in and of themselves the answer to depression. Sorry. They can help, sure, but for actual clinical depression probably get some medical advice.