LIAN TANNER

Enthusiasms

April 28th, 2018

Every now and again I get these Enthusiasms. (Note to self: check definition of ‘enthusiast’ and ‘enthusiasm’ in the dictionary, especially the bit where it says ‘self-deluded’ and ‘irrational’.)

The pattern goes something like this – I’ve just finished a particular stage in writing a book, e.g. I’ve handed in the copy edit. And with a few days fancy free before I need to start something else, I’m suddenly struck with the desire to write something completely different. Like – um – a novel for adults retelling the Bluebeard story.

I get really excited about it, and get out a notebook and start jotting down ideas. I have a wonderful first few lines, which spur me on even more, because this book is going to be amazing.

(Note to self: I don’t actually have time to write this book. No, not even if I write it in the gaps. Which don’t actually exist. And I’ve tried writing two novels at the same time, and it just doesn’t work. *sigh* I’m not listening, am I.)

For about three days, this idea rages inside me, and I do write in the gaps, carrying my notebook with me everywhere I go and working on the story while I wait for appointments.

Then, just as suddenly as it came, the Enthusiasm disappears, and real life creeps back in. And I see that no, I don’t have the time. And although it’s a good idea, I don’t want to write it.

You’d think I’d know better by now than to be caught up – and really, I do. I’ve noticed the symptoms and stopped myself in the very early stages several times over the last couple of years. But this time it snuck up on me – probably because I’m going to New Zealand this week and am a bit distracted.

So now I have several pages of Bluebeard that will sit in the back of my cupboard for the next few years, slowly turning to dust. And yes, the first few lines are terrific. But I don’t want to write the book.

What am I reading?

I’ve started several books that I’d probably like at any other time, but are not enough to hold my attention right now. So I’ve fallen back on an old favourite, The Ladies of Mandrigyn by Barbara Hambly. Here’s the blurb:

‘When the women of the City of Mandrigyn tried to hire the mercenary army of Captain Sun Wolf, to help them rescue their men from the mines of evil, he refused. Little did he realize how insistent the ladies could be, and how far they would go to persuade him to train them against the evil of the wizard Altiokis…’

Great characters, a strong storyline, and an appalling villain looming over everything – just what a distracted person needs.

0 thoughts on “Enthusiasms

  1. James Dowton says:

    Greetings, Ms.Tanner
    My names is James Dowton I’m in the 9th grade and I’m in the process of writing a persuasive review about “Icebreaker” and I need to compile 15 facts about the author of the book I chose. And I was wondering if you would contact with additional information for I have read the 10 facts on you website. I thoroughly enjoyed how the plot unraveled and have already purchased “Sunkers Deep” after reading “Icebreaker”.
    thank you for considering my request.
    Sincerely,
    James Dowton
    P.S. My great,great uncle (Charles “Jinx” Bugden) settled in Tasmania after world war II

    1. Lian says:

      Hello James, how nice to hear from you. I’m very pleased to hear that you enjoyed Icebreaker, and hope that you also like Sunker.

      So you need 5 more facts, yes? Okay, here goes:
      1. When I was in my early 20s I lived in Papua New Guinea for three years, working as a teacher in a little bush school near Rabaul.
      2. Once, when I was scuba diving with friends, a PNG fisherman decided to fish with dynamite, and dropped it directly above where we were diving. It nearly killed us.
      3. I once spent 3 days searching the jungle near Rabaul for a Japanese soldier left over from the second world War. (This was only 2 years after the last soldier had been found on Guam – he didn’t know the war had ended 30 years previously.) We didn’t find him.
      4. I have my first picture book coming out early next year, and am very pleased and proud about it.
      5. I used to be a juggler.

      How’s that?

      P.S. I know a bloke in Hobart called Joe Bugden. I wonder if he’s related to your great great uncle Jinx.

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About Lian

Lian Tanner has been dynamited while scuba diving and arrested while busking. She once spent a week in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, hunting for a Japanese soldier left over from the Second World War. Nowadays she lives by the beach in southern Tasmania with a large fluffy tomcat called Harry-le-beau.

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