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sunbeam and doodle banter

Yesterday I had the most amazing shaft of sunlight illuminate my desk, just as I was sending in my weekly comic strip to Ben and Will, my editors at the DFC. So I mentioned the sunbeam in the e-mail, and Ben wrote back to ask me to wing some sun over to Oxford because - this is so English - 'It's a bit parky down in the sticks.' I asked if 'parky' was the English equivalent to 'dreich', a word used by my Scottish auntie (which is something like 'dreary', but that deep dreariness you only get during a Scottish winter). According to Ben, 'parky' is closer to 'soggy'. ...Hooray, a new word for my keychain!

Edit: Okay, horrible confession! I was reading my e-mails too fast and Ben, the Riley Fungi, sent me a message saying that, actually, he'd said parky means chilly, not soggy! Huge apologies, Ben!

Then Will wrote back complaining that they don't get any sunshine in their basement workshop with its one tiny window looking up through the grating to the street, only mushrooms: 'In fact, we are mushrooms.' So we swapped little Wacom doodles of each other in our respective lighting conditions:

Here's my (very messy) desk with the last traces of said sunbeam.

Have you seen Garen Ewing's fab drawing of Tozo and Klikker?. Everyone loves Tozo. Edit: And Klikker. Sorry, Klikker!

I so wish I could go to the Saturday morning Autobio comics classes with David Lasky and Greg Stump in Seattle. Classes run 24 Jan - 28 Feb. I met David (dlasky) last time I was back in Seattle and it made me wonder what my parallel universe life would be like if I'd never moved away from my hometown and had got in with the Seattle comics crowd. Nice to know it could have been great both ways. I wonder what my artwork would have looked like and who would have been my major influences. Hmm, some musings for a less busy day.

And I don't know much about it, but this FCBG conference could be interesting. Some of the speakers include Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo), David Fickling (my publisher), Barry Cunningham (the editor who took up JK Rowling's books), illustrator Petr Horacek, and writers Melvyn Burgess, Tim Bowler (who was reputedly very inspiring at the SCBWI conference) and Meg Rosoff. It's in Worth in West Sussex, not far from Gatwick Airport, from 3-5 April.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2008 08:56 am (UTC)
You did good
It's good that you went out and discovered the world and had (and are still having) adventures. I think you'd still be a formidable illustrator in Seattle, but the opportunities can be limiting. (And don't tell anyone I said this, but it can be kind of 'provincial' out here.)

I sometimes wonder what I would have been like had I gone to art school in NY or at RISD or some such thing. Maybe I still will try that. I'm not too old yet... Uh, am I?
Dec. 3rd, 2008 11:07 am (UTC)
Re: You did good
Never too late, you're a spring chicken, m'boy. ;-)

Yes, I'm very glad I left my hometown, I think it made me appreciate things more, seeing things that were different. But I wonder if my sister and I would have worked much more closely together with our artwork, who knows. That said, she didn't even start painting until I left home, and suddenly her very first paintings were better than some people make at the end of art college. I wonder if she would've done something else if I'd stuck around. We could either be each other's muses or anti-muses. Or maybe a bit of both.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 09:02 am (UTC)
I always thought (and used) 'parky' to mean 'nippy' - a little bit of a bite in the air. But I'm probably wrong! Do you use your feather quill much? (or is it just a feather?)
Dec. 3rd, 2008 11:09 am (UTC)
It IS just a swan feather! But I've cut and shaped the tip so it writes pretty well. Haven't used it for awhile, maybe I'll try out out again on a parky morning sketch.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 09:32 am (UTC)
I also think that parky means nippy, ie cold cold!

Love the photo of the desk, very creative and sunlit.

Just wanted you to drop you a quick line and say hi - you seem SO busy at the moment, but that is good :-)
Dec. 3rd, 2008 09:46 am (UTC)
Oh, and the comment about parallel lives is always really interesting. I often think about what would have happened if I stayed with a previous bloke - I wrote about it here if you are interested in some creative writing!

Dec. 3rd, 2008 11:09 am (UTC)
Hi, Helen! Thanks for that! I'll have fun reading on my coffee break! :-D
Dec. 3rd, 2008 11:01 am (UTC)
Chipping in on 'parky'
I'd also use it to mean 'nippy' - cold not (necessarily) wet.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 11:10 am (UTC)
Re: Chipping in on 'parky'
Interesting! I wonder if there are regional variations on the subtle nuances of parky.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
No regional variations, Ben is just plain wrong (calls himself an editor, I don't know...) Parky is just chilly.

And, pah! you call that a messy desk? You're not even trying!
Dec. 3rd, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
And I thought I was trying very hard! :-D How does your desk look?
Dec. 3rd, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
I agree 'parky' means 'chilly'. of course 'Parky' is also a term of endearment for Michael Parkinson, which was so famously used by the much lamented Mrs Merton ( http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj-9lSEBBm0)
Dec. 5th, 2008 08:51 am (UTC)
Okay, horrible confession! I was reading my e-mails too fast and actually, Ben said parky means chilly, not soggy! So he has sent me a Riley Fungi notice and I am setting straight his damaged linguistic reputation.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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