Tag Archives: creative writing

An Extract from the Uncollected Notebooks (January 2011)

In which The Author serves up some university leftovers

I don’t remember my dreams in sufficient detail to keep a proper dream diary. A couple of years ago, as you might remember, my friend Josie was doing her PhD on the psychology and neuroendocrinology of dream states. Because of my chronic insomnia and fragmentary recall, I had to decline her invitation to join the study. (On the other hand, maybe some time in a sleep lab would allow the researchers to figure out why I can get by on barely four hours’ kip every night.)
Anyway, the change of season seems to have ushered in a fresh wave of interesting – if fleeting – night-time adventures. With this in mind, I’ve decided to do what Carys and I talked about six years ago, and keep a notebook and pen on the bedside table. Even if I don’t come up with anything which Josie would have found useful, I can at least jot some notes down on first waking.
I always used to carry a small notebook with me, and I’d jot down ideas for song titles, outlines for stories, pithy observations about friends and strangers, bits of overheard conversations, and so on. This raw material gave rise to my early blog entries on MySpace, some of which are preserved in the Archives. I’ve got a number of these little red books, but I haven’t looked at them for ages.
When I went back to university in 2009, I started carrying a notebook again. I was doing a Creative Writing module, and I quickly got back into the habit of recording useful snippets for future reference. Some of them developed into decent ideas (that was how ‘Pit Stop’, my Doctor Who/Torchwood fanfic story, came about). Others fell by the wayside when I was forced to abandon my studies.
On Sunday evening I dug out one of my old notebooks and took it upstairs with me. There were a couple of blank pages which would do for recording any bizarre or interesting dreams I had that night.
I found that it contained several rambling pages of notes for an essay I was writing about Peter Ackroyd’s novel Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem (my second-year assignment). I’d obviously been working on in the pub, and I’d made a couple of attempts to put my ideas on paper as they occurred to me. I’d already been to London to see the area for myself (see Limehouse Blues and Twos), so I can only assume I was writing soon after my expedition.
I read my notes again, and I’d forgotten just how much work I’d put into this piece. There’s even a separate ‘mental map’ of connections between the various elements of the story and my own observations, which I drew to help and tie everything together, headed by the words How the fuck do I structure all this? Considering that we were supposed to submit our drafts as well as the finished piece, I was either on course for a decent mark or a psych assessment. You can decide for yourselves.
I know there’s no structure to it; I know I’ve repeated some parts; I’m well aware that I’ve drifted into a more personal reflection towards the end of the draft. It’s just a rough outline, not a finished assignment. It doesn’t even make sense to me any more; I was just putting ideas down as they came to me.
Where there’s a gap between paragraphs, that reflects my original writing style. As each new avenue became apparent, I separated them out, with the intention of putting them in order later on. I’ve inserted extra material in [brackets], indicating things which might need explaining from an outsider’s point of view.
Where I needed to check things later on, I made a marginal note to myself. I’ve set these marginalia in bold, so you can see where my train of thought stopped at the amber lights here and there. (You’ll also see the exact point where it was derailed entirely, and took a long time to get going again.)
It’s unlikely that I’ll ever get round to finishing this off properly, and even less likely that I’ll have a chance to submit it for assessment. But I thought I’d post it in case I lose my notebook, as I still think it’s worth preserving. (Well, I would think that, wouldn’t I?)
Fiction, History and Psychogeography in Peter Ackroyd’s Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem
Ackroyd quote to start (Dark House Walk)
London’s ‘dark secret life’ lies at the heart of Peter Ackroyd’s novel Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem. Ostensibly a Victorian murder mystery, this complex narrative is as much a meditation on late nineteenth-century morality, and an examination of our obsession with the most hideous aspects of our society. In true Ackroyd tradition, real people are woven into the story so deftly that one almost expects to find the contemporary news reports in the British Library archives.
At the heart of the story are Elizabeth Cree, a gender-bending music hall performer who learns her craft from Dan Leno, and her husband John, a journalist and (if his diary is to be believed) serial killer. Elizabeth’s account of her dysfunctional childhood and her reinvention as a succession of stage personae, is interwoven with extracts from John’s diaries. These describe in graphic detail the brutal murders which he has perpetrated in an attempt to emulate the Ratcliffe Highway murders.
In December 1811 the Marr family, who kept a draper’s shop on the Ratcliffe Highway, were slaughtered by an unknown assailant. This, and another multiple slaying a few weeks later, were arguably the most notorious crimes in an area infamous for poverty, vice and cruelty. Indeed, [T. A.] Critchley and [P. D.] James contend [in their 1971 book The Maul and the Pear Tree] that they were eclipsed only by the Whitechapel murders of 1888.
Thomas De Quincey’s essay ‘On Murder considered as one of the Fine Arts’ was a satirical celebration of these most sublime of crimes – and it is this essay which apparently inspires John Cree’s killing spree. Cree is seeking his place in history, and it seems that by emulating (and surpassing) the sadism of the 1811 murders, his posterity will be assured.
That, on the surface, is the plot. But, as Ackroyd’s readers should expect, there is far more than this cursory examination reveals. Like a forensic pathologist, the reader needs to dig under the skin and gently peel away the layers of tissue beneath in order to observe the structure and determine the true cause of death.
Moving in various orbits around the Crees are the historical personalities who play minor roles in the story.
There is the ageing scholar and revolutionary Karl Marx (now pursuing his first love: poetry). There is the struggling young writer George Gissing. These two gentleman sit daily in the British Library, at neighbouring desks to John Cree, each unaware of the other’s existence.
There is the spectre of Charles Babbage, whose ‘Analytical Engine’ stands in a Limehouse workshop, a mighty mechanical consciousness capable of reducing even human fears and desires to mere numbers.
And there is Dan Leno, the shape-shifting genius of the London stage, who takes Elizabeth under his wing and (by the flimsiest of evidence) finds himself implicated in one of the murders.
In 1888, twenty years after the events of Ackroyd’s fiction, an American actor named Richard Mansfield was appearing in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. His transformation was acclaimed as one of the most remarkable performances ever seen on the London stage. Within a matter of weeks the first murder attributed to ‘Jack the Ripper’ took place in Whitechapel. Some popular newspapers called for Mansfield to be investigated. Surely, they reasoned, anyone who could so completely reshape his physical form must necessarily reconfigure his mind at the same time.
The folklore of the Jewish emigrés who have settled in the area informs the public fears which erupt as a result of the first murder. The ‘golem’ – a clay statue supposedly animated by some malevolent spirit – becomes the prime suspect. As with the Whitechapel murders, the Londoner’s deep mistrust of the ‘outsider’ (ironic in this most diverse and cosmopolitan of cities) is never far from the surface. When an elderly scholar of the Talmud is murdered (by mistake – Marx himself is the intended victim), the message is clear: nobody is safe. The city itself is responsible for the killings.
The Qabalistic tradition of Adam Kadmon – the so-called ‘Universal Man’ embodying both male and female characteristics – is also invoked. Leno frequently assumes female roles on stage. Elizabeth has a habit of wearing a man’s ‘duds’ and prowling the streets at night, at a time when a young woman alone would have been greatly at risk of attack.
Ackroyd himself has refuted any associations with the psychogeography movement. (Insert [Barry] Hugill [Observer] interview quote here) Even so, his lifelong study of London leaves the reader with little doubt that he has at least a passing acquaintance with the notion of ‘place memory’. John Cree’s psychosis, he suggests, is fuelled by his proximity to the Ratcliffe Highway.
The area today bears only a passing resemblance to the Victorian warren of slums, doss-houses and low taverns, home to an ever-changing population of seafarers and the associated trades necessary to support London’s role as the heart of the Empire.
Even the streets have been renamed. The road east from the Tower to Limehouse is simply the Highway, a dual carriageway Red Route to the millionaires’ playground of Docklands. Number 29 is no more – just one of a dozen or so house numbers subsumed into a modern block of luxury flats.
Yet, in a quirk of fate which Ackroyd cannot fail to have noticed, almost directly opposite is a small open space named Swedenborg Gardens. [William] Blake, who first investigated the psychogeography of London, was a follower of Swedenborg. (Coincidence? Maybe.)
As I write this, the news bulletin leads with the ongoing investigation into the murder of Jo Yeates. The tabloids have been full of surmise, half-truths, rumours and speculations since her body was found on Xmas Day. De Quincey’s phrase ‘the crimes that delight us’ seems as relevant now as when he wrote it, some 150 years ago. Maybe Ackroyd was right: between the Ratcliffe Highway murders of 1811 and the Whitechapel murders of 1888, London itself was hungry for victims. His fictional account fills that gap.
It is interesting to note that neither 29 the Highway, nor John Christie’s former home at 10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill, nor 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester (where the bodies of the Wests’ first victims were found) still exist. The Wests’ house was demolished; the official line was that it was attracting ghoulish sightseers. Yet it is possible to meet ghoulish sightseers at Whitechapel tube station on a Friday evening and (for a small fee) retrace the last known movements of Jack the Ripper’s victims. The Whitechapel killer was never caught.
John Williams was executed for the Ratcliffe Highway murders. Christie was executed. Fred West took his own life in prison. Their former abodes no longer exist. It is as if the murderous impulses which drove them would return to earth if their familiar stamping grounds still existed. On the other hand, Jack’s old ‘manor’ is still fertile territory for historians, tourists, conspiracy theorists … Maybe Jack the Ripper is just another golem, waiting to be reanimated.
The Reading-born songwriter and musician Karl Blake hit the tabloid mentality on the head in a song called ‘Bad Samaritans’:
Smut park rumouring ankle-socked dead
Discarded bike and satchel
A wet-lipped expectant fear.
We are gravel pit lovers
Fed them as a treat
Over cornflakes, toast and jam
We are gravel pit lovers
All day, every day
In our sexy Vietnam
(Reproduced by kind permission of the composer)
I still have my copy of the Autumn 1984 Time Out Guide to London, which was given out free at the Brunel Uni Freshers’ Fair. While I was working on my long-abandoned novel I referred to it regularly, to make sure I wasn’t name-checking closed pubs or tube stations which didn’t open at weekends. I’ve always been a bugger for accuracy. Ackroyd’s ability to reconstruct Victorian London is a testament to the volume of research he’s undertaken throughout his career. He’s the foremost historico-fictional chronicler of that city. He leaves me breathless at times.
The Analytical Engine was never built ([Douglas R.] Hofstadter). Babbage’s Difference Engine was much easier to finish; the A.E. proved impossible for the mechanical engineers of the time. Yet in Ackroyd’s vision it stands like some pagan idol in Limehouse, ready to exert its power over the citizenry. In the grounds of St Ann’s Church, there is a stone pyramid engraved with the words ‘The Wisdom of Solomon.’ An odd thing to find in a Christian burial ground: London’s half-buried pagan past leaking through fault-lines in Time.

What on Earth is this doing in a Christian burial ground?

Psychogeography. Derek Beackon [a former BNP councillor in Tower Hamlets] (Hugill’s article). Far-fetched but relevant. East End.
(Josef Fritzl’s house is also scheduled for demolition, 22/1)
If evil manifests itself in a particular space and/or a particular body, does society seek to eradicate it by physical extermination? Without a physical body to which ‘evil’ can be attributed, do the buildings remain as a conduit to the underworld?
[This is the point where I completely changed mental gears and started addressing my tutor directly.]
What was intended as a critical essay on Peter Ackroyd’s novel has become something darker and more introspective. It’s your fault. You told us we could use the authorial ‘I’ to reflect on our own creative processes.
Please see the preceding pages. They were written under the influence of various painkillers and pints in between buses to and from the surgery. I didn’t have the source books to hand, so I’ve had to vamp it for the most part.
Psychogeography. I’ve got the original Guy Debord definition at home. It’s to do with the way your surroundings affect your psychological condition. I’ve enclosed a photocopy of part of my Great Unpublishable Novel so you can see where I’m coming from.
Fiction. That’s what we’re supposed to be studying this year. I’ve only done one full-blown completed work of fiction ever – ’47 Minutes’ – and I worked long and hard over that. I downloaded computer software and consulted textbooks and journals to make sure my historical info was spot-on. Not many novels come complete with a Reference List.
Peter Ackroyd’s novels probably should. Who else would have the audacity to weave a Victorian murder mystery around the Ratcliffe Highway murders of December 1811, while Karl Marx, George Gissing and Dan Leno float freely through the slums, doss-houses, taverns and chop-houses of London? Using Thomas De Quincey’s satirical masterpiece ‘On Murder’ as a springboard, Ackroyd’s psychopath fills the vacuum between John Williams (convicted, executed – some doubt remaining over his guilt!) and John Christie (convicted, executed).
The problem is that London always wants its sacrificial victims. Between Ratcliffe Highway (1811) and Whitechapel (1888) there is nothing to satisfy the blood-lust of the teeming mass at the heart of Empire – the voracious deity for whom everyone is a potential victim. Ackroyd’s fictional murders fill the gap. No more. It’s a bone in the gaping maw of the city of Man.
A month ago, the body of landscape architect Jo Yeates was discovered by walkers near her home in Bristol. My brother railed at the TV coverage today: ‘Why is she always a landscape architect?’
A professional person has contacts. Her parents are no doubt well-connected, wealthy, respectable. If the body found in a snow-filled ditch had been that of a prostitute or a junkie, she’d have merited a couple of paras in the local paper and then been shoved aside in favour of the next cat up a tree or smiling golden anniversary couple.
And that’s the nature of the media. Peter Ackroyd’s fabricated news reports are so authentic that I feel tempted to seek them out in the archives of the British Library. But it’s the psychogeography – the spirit of place – that permeates his novel. The fact that Karl Marx and George Gissing and John Cree (who may or not be the killer) cross paths regularly without even knowing it is irrelevant. The fact that they meet under the great dome of the British Library is the key. The pyramid in the grounds of St Ann’s Church, Limehouse, (a most odd monument to find in a Christian churchyard); the non-existent pagan idol of Babbage’s Analytical Engine (never constructed according to Hofstadter); the avenues and alleyways of Limehouse – these are the focal points which Ackroyd’s characters orbit. The city itself, in its two-thousand-year evolution, exerts its malevolent influence over the hearts and minds of its inhabitants, with hideous results.
And that’s where it ends, abruptly, with no resolution. I think I made some progress towards typing up my notes, but it made no difference. My long-standing back injury took its toll about a week later, and my university career reached an even more abrupt end than this notebook entry does. I don’t know how the hell I was going to try and make sense of the whole thing, but I was definitely making progress.
There’s an intriguing postscript, though.
At this stage I hadn’t encountered Ben Aaronovitch’s books. Therefore, I had no idea that his first Peter Grant novel Rivers of London would explore vaguely similar ground. The spirit of riot and rebellion rises up in London and possesses unfortunate passers-by, who then commit awful crimes which they can’t remember.
While I was in London doing my own psychogeographical investigation of Limehouse, I realised that the spirit of riot and rebellion is still alive and well; that the city still needs its human sacrifices. Look at this newspaper placard I found on the day, barely an empty wine bottle’s throw from the dossers’ shelter behind St Ann’s Church.


The greedy ghosts of London, it seems, are always with us.

Saddle Up…

In which The Author might be riding the range again

Saloon and street sepia

My regular readers will undoubtedly have come across references to Dodge This scattered throughout this blog. My friends from Aberdare (virtually and otherwise) might remember this bizarre experiment in collaborative fiction. For the rest of you, let me explain…
Back in the good old days of Aberdare Online, a gang of the regulars had started writing a ‘Magnificent Seven’ story. It was a novel by committee, almost the literary equivalent of the old Exquisite Corpse exercise, where one person draws a head, someone else draws a torso, a third person draws the legs, and then unfold the paper to see the grotesque results.
I was a relative latecomer to Aberdare Online. By the time I got involved, M7 was pretty well established. I think I got mentioned in passing a couple of times, but there was no chance that I’d be able to join the original gang. When the server crashed in the summer of 2005, the entire saga was lost. It seemed like the end of an era.
Instead, it was the start of a whole new era. In the September of 2005, I was on the phone to my friend Angela R. She asked me if I’d seen that week’s Cynon Valley Leader, and drew my attention to the front page. A former Woolworths manager had been appointed to head the Cynon Valley Crime Prevention Committee, and the paper had run his photo under a headline which said something like, ‘I’m going to clean up this town.’ We realised that we had a new Sheriff.
Angela said it would be a good time to revive the M7 story – by which time I was halfway through typing the first episode. It was a very basic scene-setter, with a handful of stereotyped characters in a clichéd Western scenario. I posted it immediately, and told Angela to check out the site. It appeared under the title Wanted – Alive and Preferably Thinking. Angela loved it immediately. The following day, I wrote a second episode, introducing one of the mysterious characters who would play a key role in the story.
After a few days, one of the other site regulars asked if it was open to other people. I replied that I’d been wondering what was keeping the rest of them. Then the fun really started. Angela dived straight in. So did Binx and Nancy F. (from Canada), who’d been part of the original M7. It didn’t take much arm-twisting for Vicki F. to jump onto the stagecoach as well. Thus, the scene was set for what Vix later described (on the dedicated Dodge This forum) as ‘the wittiest, wackiest, weirdest Western on the World Wide Web.’
Aberdare itself was an obvious target for satire, with its struggling town centre shops, overwhelmed police force, ‘interesting’ pubs, pisspoor public transport, ropey council, laughable newspaper, and a host of bizarre characters who pretty much wrote themselves into the story. Even if our friends didn’t want to get involved directly, some of them had no choice. If you’re at all familiar with Aberdare, you’d probably have recognised some of the recurring characters: Benny, the politician-turned-actor-turned-comedy singer; Michal, the pissed Polish ex-boxer; the Scissorhands Kid, the town barber; Freddie ‘Smiler’ Goode, the grouchy saloon-keeper; Nick Garrison (aka ‘Dozes On Trains’), who could usually be found sleeping on pretty much any horizontal surface; Jeremiah Allan, the guitar-playing prophet of Doom; Theresa of the Sierra Madhouse; the time-travelling Banjo Man – all these (and more) bear more than a passing resemblance to friends of ours.
About six weeks into the story, I was at the wedding reception of my friends James T. and Vicky. James’ father Elwyn and his brother Andrew administered Aberdare Online between them, so there was no way they didn’t know about the story. During a lull in the proceedings, Elwyn took me to one side.
‘I wanted to have a quick word about the site,’ he began.
I was still working in the book trade, so I assumed that he wanted to get the latest guides to PHP, ASP, Javascript and the rest.
‘Oh yes? What’s up?’
‘This Wild West story that you and the others are writing…’
My heart sank. Surely he wasn’t going to pull the plug on it?
‘What the fuck are you lot on?’
It turned out that he didn’t want us to stop writing. Far from it – by the end of Season 1, we’d notched up over two thousand hits. Once people were on Andrew’s site, they tended to stay and look around. Within a couple of months, people from across the world were ‘tuning in’ to catch with the latest goings-on in Dodge This.
[A digression: You’ve probably noticed that we pinched the title from that great line in The Matrix, where Trinity kills one of the agents by blowing his head off. That wasn’t the only external influence on the story, mind you. We cribbed bits from sources as diverse as NCIS, James Joyce (Vix’s personal favourite), Robert Anton Wilson, Doctor Who and Torchwood, Round the Horne, Dylan Thomas, and many others. We quoted song lyrics, we robbed catchphrases from films, we experimented with HTML (to Andrew’s horror, as he usually had to repair the damage afterwards), and took the story off into unexpected and inexplicable avenues.]
Occasionally Angela and I would get pissed together and sketch out an outline for the next episode; other times, Vix and I would get pissed together and write an episode between us. (I’ve already shown you the result of one Steve/Vix collaboration, in An Excerpt from Dodge This.) Every so often, friends of ours would offer to contribute an episode, but they hardly ever did. I wrote the Painted Lady in at one point, because Sam B. had promised to come in on the story. In spite of several opportunities, she never did. I once had a long conversation with Rob C. (see Death of a Clown), during which he told me that he’d love to get involved, but he was afraid of spoiling it:
‘The problem is, Steve, it’s just too well-written for me to come in and play fuck with it.’
Even though Big Bob turned up on the edge of the action in several episodes, the Real World version always bottled out. We’ll never know what sort of fuck Rob would have played, unfortunately.
I didn’t realise just how big a following we had until I met Lorna Prichard, who had come to work as a junior reporter on the Leader. Through a series of convoluted circumstances, we’d arranged to meet up on a Friday evening so that I could lend her a mobile phone charger (don’t even ask – the full story is in here somewhere!) Anyway, I was in the Conway when Lorna came in with Catherine Evans, another Leader reporter who’d just landed a job with the Wales On Sunday in Cardiff. Lorna introduced us, and after a while Catherine realised that we’d had a very brief email exchange some months before.
‘Lorna,’ she gasped, ‘this is the man who writes Dodge This!’
This was an awkward moment: after all, we’d taken the piss out of the ‘Calamity Valley Courier’ pretty much since the start of the story.
‘Oh, you know about that, do you?’ I asked, rather shamefaced.
‘Yes!’ Catherine said. ‘We’re all huge fans in the office – we can’t wait for the next episode.’
I asked the girls what the editor, Gary Marsh, asked about our relentless piss-taking of the typo-prone ‘Courier’ editor, Garfield Moss. They told me that he was rather flattered, and couldn’t believe that anyone would take the time to satirise the paper. As a result, Lorna found her way into the story, thinly disguised as the eager young journalist ‘Miss Print.’
Apart from the occasional collaborations, most of the time we flew solo. As you can imagine, this gave rise to a host of continuity errors, some of which we were able to resolve by contrived means, and others which…
In our defence, I’d refer you to the Q&A with Steven Moffat in the current edition of Doctor Who Magazine, where he’s asked why the TARDIS no longer throws its occupants about mid-flight. Mr Moffat comes up with a suitably well-reasoned and convoluted in-story explanation, and then says: ‘In Cardiff, we just forgot.’
Well, if it’s good enough for this multiple award-winning screenwriter, it was good enough for us!
After five years or so, it seemed as though, like the cancelled train in Season 10, Dodge This had run out of steam. Even though Vix’s sister Julie and Doz the Noisy Bugger had come on board, we were starting to run out of ideas. More importantly, it seemed as though the fun had gone out of Aberdare.
We’d had to transfer operations to a new site after Season 7, when Aberdare Online had shut down with only a thirty-minute period to save everything for the archives. The new forum didn’t attract as many readers as the old site – and most of the new member registrations were spambots originating from dubious Russian web domains. Eventually, reluctantly, and with heavy hearts, we let Angela post the very last episode. Unfortunately, she resorted to Primary School Emergency Protocol One (‘Oh, it was all a dream…), and left everyone feeling totally unfulfilled.
That was about four years ago. I’ve often wondered about trying to revive the story. After all, just because the author says the story has ended, do the characters have to accept that? I’ve been reading Jasper Fforde’s novels, where the characters really do exist independently of the books they feature in. Over the past five years, I’ve often toyed with the idea of bringing some of our characters back, and picking them up for a new scenario.
When I was in Cardiff for my Fifteen to One audition, I had a few pints in a gay pub and looked at the posters for the forthcoming attractions. One of them was a drag queen called ‘Tanya Hyde.’ I texted Sam B. and said, ‘That’s a name we could have used in Dodge This!’ Straight away, she texted back, wanting to know why I didn’t get the story going again.
I explained that time had gone on; Angela and I no longer bother with each other; Vix is somewhere in the Middle East, teaching English; it would be very difficult to pull the old team together. Nance and I are friends on Facebook; I still see Doz every so often; Sam turns up once in a blue moon.
The problem is that Aberdare’s a very different place now. The pubs have changed. The people have changed. Aberdare Online – which used to provide much of the source material and a lot of the gossip – isn’t what it used to be. The Cynon Valley Leader isn’t fit to wrap your chips in. I honestly thought the time of Dodge This had been and gone.
Sam asked me if I could send her the whole text, so that she could read it at her leisure. I emailed it to her a couple of weeks ago, then realised that it still needed to be thoroughly proofed and knocked into shape before it was ready for publication. Now that Geoff’s book is out of the way, I’ve had the time to go and look at it again in detail. I know it’s full of clichés and stereotypes, but we really did write some quite good stuff between us.
And the coincidences are piling up again. Yesterday, at home, I was working my through the complete typescript and listening to music on Shuffle, when this piece of corny old 1950s pop came up for no reason:

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I listened to Radio 4 and Radio 4Extra into the night. In no particular order, the words ‘Nemesis’, ‘fugitive’, ‘cowboy’ and ‘sheriff’ all turned up in short order. To cap it all, the Radio 4 Classic Serial last night was the final episode of The Searchers. At the Remembrance service in Aberdare this morning, I caught sight of Angela sheltering from the downpour. Andrew was there as well, taking photos for the site. You know that sometimes all the pieces just fall into place?
I’ve got a feeling that it might be time to get back into the saddle. I don’t know how I’ll manage to set the whole thing up again. As far as I know, the forum is still active. Can I be arsed to go through the palaver of moderating everthing else, though? I might set it up as a subsidiary blog here instead. Sam B. and Rebecca C. have already expressed an interest in writing the revived story. Doz would probably enjoy stepping back into character. It’s very tempting…
That just leaves the original saga, of course. The first seven ‘seasons’ vanished when Aberdare Online crashed, but the rest still exists in Cyberspace. New readers would have to start somewhere. Even the Wix site I set up seems to have developed a lot of technical problems. I might have a look at it tomorrow.
There’s another avenue which might be worth exploring, of course. Once the typescript is ready for publication, I’d need to find a way of putting it ‘out there’ for everyone to enjoy. Could there even be a market for an e-book, I wonder? Watch this space…