Monday, 20 July 2015

Back a Ways - Joan Lennon

I'm just home from an amazing week tutoring at Moniack Mhor and it was fabulous and inspiring and fun and funny - and knackering.  Really, truly, bone-deep knackering.  I love the teaching side of being a writer but it doesn't half take it out of you, right?  

You can probably guess where I'm going here - I'm trying to say I'm too pooped to properly post.  So instead, with your indulgence, I am turning to self-plagiarization.  I've returned to the first thing I posted on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure in 2008.  Back a ways, I admit, but I stand by my words.  (It was titled "Bizarre Trouser Accident" and if you've got the time, the comments are well worth visiting!)  

"I love my job. I remember telling somebody once I was happy and they replied, "Is there something specific or are you just unaware of the facts?" The same thing could be said about saying I love writing. (Don't worry, I am NOT unaware of the facts, and I whinge plenty about them.) But there are MANY specific things about being a writer that make me want to hug myself with delight (or anyone passing within reach - disconcerting for strangers). And one of those things is how often I get to grin - and giggle - and, on occasion and not always appropriately, belly-laugh - at the felicities of language, and call it work.

As when, for example, a friend wrote to tell me that she'd been laid up because of "a bizarre trouser accident." Poor woman was on crutches and all I could do was snicker and think "what a great phrase - I HAVE to put that in a book!" 

Or another who said she didn't care, she intended "to irritate the conkers out of somebody." 

Or a son's long-term belief that the word "ostentatious" was actually spelt "Austentatious" and meant "thinking you're a better writer than you really are" - the same son who recently meant to say "Gilbert and Sullivan" but came out with "Sodom and Gomorrah" ...

Anyone could delight in such things, but only a writer - or perhaps a stand-up comic - could classify them as research. Some of them are just too gorgeously off-the-wall to be shoe-hornable into fiction - nobody would believe them! - but I live in hope that some day, somehow, I'll find a use for them all.

And, in the meantime, they are one of the reasons I love my job."

And I still do.

Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.


Penny Dolan said...

Ah, but you haven't said if you ever DID use the "bizarre trouser incident". Fictionally, naturally.

Joan Lennon said...

Not yet - I'd totally forgotten!