Back In The Jug Agane

Books, Reading & Writing

The healing process is not quite as linear as I’d hoped it would be. Not to sound too Blanche Dubois, but there are good days and ones where the mirrors must be turned…

So let’s look at the good news. I’ve been nominated for several awards. The Last Laugh for Best Comic Novel, for ‘The Lonely Hour’, possibly the darkest and least amusing of all the Bryant & Mays (somebody has a warped sense of humour), the longlist for the Short Story Dagger – for ‘The Washing’, which appears in the collection ‘Invisible Blood’ – and again for ‘The Devil’s Triangle’, a story from ‘England’s Finest’.

The first copy of ‘Oranges & Lemons’ has arrived and looks rather sumptuous. It also sets off a warning alarm because it’s the starter gun on a raft of work that includes three edits of the US edition and the first draft of the next book, which is all planned out but subject to enormous changes. I now realise that when writers don’t publish for a couple of years it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re being lazy but dealing with illness, divorce, madness etc., writers being so prone to mental health problems that I wouldn’t be left alone in a room with most of them, especially (name redacted).

And of course I have accepted further work because it would be cowardly not to. I’m all for jumping high and falling short if necessary – better than not to have made the leap at all. Busy fills the mind. I can honestly say that I have not had a second of boredom in the last three months (too many ‘interesting’ moments if you ask me).

So your erstwhile host is not waiting around for good or bad news on the health front but moving on to new exciting projects. To misquote James Thurber, I have the true Emily Dickinson spirit except I get fed up occasionally. Avanti!

May I direct your attention to the slender vol. above viz the early adventures of N Molesworth Snr that someone has diligently culled from the pages of Punch and faced with a piece from Gyles ‘Intros For A Buck’ Brandreth but don’t let that put you off. Molesworth likes a GURL except she ‘chews her blotch during prep’, but these despatches are less evil than the later books and therefore not as much fun. One for completists.


21 comments on “Back In The Jug Agane”

  1. Kim Froggatt says:

    As Oranges and Lemons was my first dip into the Bryant and May pond, I have to say, it is my favourite, Not for any other reason than it made me laugh out loud when there was very little to laugh at in my life during that time.Thank you for the laughs. Hope you are feeling stronger and better every day.

  2. Jo W says:

    Like the new mugshot,Chris. Will it be adorning the dusk jackets of your future books?
    Good to read you being so positive.x

  3. SteveB says:

    What we can see of you looks surprisingly good!
    I’m all for jumping high and taking the risk of falling short.

  4. Roger says:

    “The first copy of ‘Oranges & Lemons’ … three edits of the US edition”
    What do you have to do, apart from change the spelling? It sounds like it’lll be a completely different book.

    Surely “the Emily Dickonson spirit” was to shut herself away and never publish? If she hadn’t been lucky – not quite lemot juste, considering their other qualities, but it’ll do – her work would have been destroyed.

    I can’t remember who wrote it, but there’s an adult Molesworth book featuring the boys of St Custard’s employed by Grabber Industries.

    Anyway, keep going (silly thing to say. We don’t have much choice.). You have more energy in a horrendous illness than I do in good health.

  5. Roger says:

    I meant: Surely “the Emily Dickonson spirit” was to shut herself away and never publish? If she hadn’t been lucky – not quite le mot juste, considering their other qualities, but it’ll do – in her family her work would have been destroyed.

  6. Jan says:

    Congrats on the nominations.
    You definitely suit the moustache (!)

  7. Keep on keeping on. We are all looking forward to the next books, but prepared to be (moderately) patient.

    PS Where’s Snowy? I’m missing his thoughts.

  8. Vic says:

    Part Einstein. Yeah I’ll go with that!

  9. David Atkinson says:

    Willy Ruston wrote of an aged Molesworth with the familiar crew still around him. Graber running Graber Inc, Fotherington Thomas as a solicitor “Hello birds, hello sky and that’s £300 per hour.”. Pearson married a younger, pneumatic lady who had her own pub and appeared to be the only happy person in it. Bit of a pot boiler from memory with some good drawings.
    Can’t remember if he mentioned Hogwarts.

  10. David Atkinson says:

    Why is your clock 8 hours behind mine? Are you in Chicago?

  11. Jan W says:

    Obvious I know but non-linear recovery(chiz) is still recovery, Take care and don’t beat yourself up. My gosh, the Darkest Hour got a comedy award? Now that is amusing. I am so looking forward to Oranges and Lemons and thank you for the Molesworh reminder.

    I loved that Molesworth grew up to be a dress designer. My favourite quote is ‘ Reality’, sa Molesworth 2,’ is so unbelievably sordid it make me shudder’ from Whizz for atoms. Unfortunately my spelling and grammar are about on a par with his.

  12. Jan W says:

    At first I thought the mask was Albert Steptoe, then I realized it was Albert Einstein….

  13. brooke says:

    Whew! For a minute there I thought our Mr. Fowler was going to mature and grow up. Fortunately that seems to have passed.

  14. Liz Thompson says:

    Amazing face mask! Highly suitable.

  15. Cornelia Appleyard says:

    Congratulations on the nominations!

    Looking forward to the new projects – and if they take a bit longer than usual, I’m sure we’ll all wait patiently.
    Healing takes as long as it takes.

  16. admin says:

    No maturity here thank you!

    I am not in Chicago. I’m currently foregoing sleep and enjoying it, although I have Gladstone bags under my eyes.

  17. Helen Martin says:

    Maturity is definitely over rated and we agree with Jan that non-linear recovery is still recovery. Not actually my favourite portrait of Einstein but ’tis enough, ’twill serve as they say.
    Have had another wrestle with Amazon and they are now willing to take my order for Oranges and Lemons.

  18. Einstein was undoubtedly a genius, but he topped it with success on the image front. Has any other scientist made it as a mask?

  19. Lyn Jackson says:

    Congratulations on your nominations. Looking forward to Oranges andLemons but don’t think it is in WA yet. I like to support small bookshops so won’t resort to Amazon. Hope your health soon improves in a linear fashion.

  20. Maria says:

    Congratulations on the nominations and again, sending every good wish for your health, treatment and for all those not so good days. However, as usual, I seem to be in a minority of one – as I really didn’t like your face mask. I admire Einstein hugely but loathe that photo of him with his tongue sticking out- and I don’t like it on you. Tough you may think!! However, haven’t you got anything abstract? Sorry

  21. brooke says:

    well, about the mask…what Maria said.
    may your health improve exponentially

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