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About this blog

Writings, the very occasional essay, and thoughts about my ongoing scribbling.

Entries in this blog

Beware Gremlins

Beware Gremlins

My kettle died the other day, just as I was desperate for that morning hot drink. Irritating, but easily solved by buying another one. When my laptop died yesterday evening, that was something else again. Even my not very technical brain could understand something serious had happened from the error messages that appeared on the screen.    Fortunately it's still under warranty, just. A phone call to the seller's helpline confirmed my suspicion that the hard drive was fried. Great ... I

northie

northie

Twelve months later ...

Twelve months later ...

About this time last year, I announced the start of my off-site blog, A Pencil Is Best. it's anniversary time, and I thought I'd report back. Is it still going? would be my first question in your shoes. Yes, it is, and doing pretty well. When I started out, I had no idea how I would generate enough material to keep a blog going. Although I have to say, part of that came from the idea that I had to post x number of things over a certain period for the blog to justify itself. I'm over that now, th

northie

northie

 

Venturing forth ...

In a moment of January madness, I decided to inflict my writing on the wider, virtual public by starting a blog on WordPress. I already blog on there in a work capacity, but this is rather different. This is me (as northie) putting myself out there in a very crowded arena. I'm under no illusions about the amount of attention it'll garner, but I think it's worth a whirl. A Pencil Is Best serves both to display my writing, but also to promote the community here. If it results in additional interes

northie

northie

 

New Year, new story

I'd been wondering how to communicate what's currently happening with my writing, when I decided to add another entry to this blog. It's been quite some time since I last wrote anything here, so I re-read my last effort as I couldn't remember what I'd written. It turned out to be an interesting, if salutary read.  Comparing what I thought my writing plans were last June with what actually happened, has just given me a few smiles and the odd eyeroll. If you know my writing, and you're curious, gi

northie

northie

 

The new and not so new

A quick update about what's happening in my neck of the woods.   Departures, a new chapter about my Demon will be making its appearance shortly in Hell_is.com. Chapters to this will post only as I have the time and inspiration.   My sequence of stories featuring Geoff and Tony will be extracted from my prompt collection and be posted separately so I can add other stories. This will mean I'll lose all the lovely comments but it's not the end of the world. I may take the opport

northie

northie

 

In Praise Of Editors ...

And beta-readers, for that matter.   My editor and I had a slight blip a couple of months ago. I was about to publish my second prompt response when I realised that my main character changed his name halfway through. Neither of us had noticed. In the same prompt, I committed a style faux-pas which had also passed my editor by. He wasn’t impressed with himself and suggested that the next blog post I wrote, should be used to comment on his editorial abilities. So, I’m doing so, just not quite in

northie

northie

 

Room For Another?

When I first joined GA in March this year, it was as a reader (with posting photos as a sideline). I had no urge to write anything except the odd review. In fact, apart from one local history booklet written as part of my work, I haven't written anything of any length since my student days. I've never thought as myself as a frustrated novelist, poet or any other sort of writer.   GA (and you, its wonderful inhabitants) have been slowly working your magic. First, I was persuaded that I might ha

northie

northie

 

Poetry Prompt 7 - 2 Responses

On the way to read a partiular poem here on GA, I got side-tracked and read another instead. It was a piece of blank verse and as I read it, I thought I'd like to give it a go. As a rank amateur writer of verses, it was a bit presumptious, perhaps, for me to think that - I have given it my best go but I realise that may not be good enough ... All comments are welcomed. As ever, I thank Parker Owens for his patient assistance. However, all deficiencies are mine, and nobody else's.       This

northie

northie

 

By Way Of Congratulation ...

Yet another Last Post Wins entry . The Emperor penguin has just had a promotion and this is my congratulations card. If you're not familiar with the characters in use, you might want to read my previous blog post here http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/blog/664/entry-16424-a-peaceful-transfer-of-power/ .     [A solitary hack waits in an airless hotel room for the start of an interview. The benevolent Penguin Emperor has decided to allow the publication of the ex-queen's memoirs. They have b

northie

northie

 

A Peaceful Transfer Of Power ...

Another Last Post Wins entry. I am no longer queen - I have been usurped To welcome our new monarch, Valkyrie, I wrote the following to help her pass the time as she's recovering from an operation.   [A bunch of hacks are waiting in a palace anteroom for a press briefing to start. They look engaged but not exactly riveted. The door opens and their eyes all swivel, focussing on the individual who enters. The (now ex-) queen walks up to the podium - she is dressed regally but lacks one vital it

northie

northie

 

The Bard's Pursuit (2) - An L P W Ballad

This is the second (and concluding) part to my ballad which I wrote to cheer a friend up. If you haven't read part 1, you can find it here: http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/blog/664/entry-16410-the-bards-pursuit-1-an-l-p-w-ballad/ As a reminder, it's loosely based on elements of Last Post Wins, a popular game here on GA. I had enormous fun writing this and I hope you enjoy it.           The bard's pursuit (Part 2)   The bard he came straight to the Queen And found her quite alone. Her

northie

northie

 

The Bard's Pursuit (1) - An L P W Ballad

A friend has had a trying August (his words) - so, to cheer him up, I started writing this ballad. It is loosely based on elements of Last Post Wins, a popular game on GA. It is a fun piece with the consistency of a meringue and the emotional depth of a puddle             The bard's pursuit (Part 1)   A grasping bard did gold desire, He plotted all the while. He drained his cup all through the night And thought with all his guile.   One cool, bright morn he hurried forth And thou

northie

northie

 

My Garden

My garden – if this brings up a vision of a wide, green expanse, think again. My garden is a collection of around 40 pots and planters crammed onto a patio outside my ground floor flat and I love it dearly.   When I moved down here for my first job I was terribly homesick. Mum (who had the greenest of green fingers) included two ready-planted pots in my stuff when it was sent here. I didn't really have any interest in gardening then but those pots were a connection with home and I made sure I

northie

northie

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