Author has written 156 stories for Harry Potter, Misc. Games, Misc. Books, Forgotten Realms, Doctor Who, Cthulhu Mythos, Species, and George Smiley series.
(23rd September, 2016. Ongoing health problems not helped by recent (by UK standards) 'hot' weather. Plod, plod, plod on the advancement of several Saint Potter related pieces. If none of them reach postable stage within the next few weeks, will go back to 'Harry Potter and the Greengrass Connection', and try to get out another installment about Harry's birthday.)
Hmm. What is it that is supposed to go in one of these? Well under the circumstances, I suppose I could go into something about fiction.
I am a fan of (in terms of paper book authors):
Leslie Charteris (The Saint)
Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot)
Ellis Peters (Brother Cadfael)
Ben Aaronovitch (Peter Grant - the early ones in the series, anyway)
...all four of which have crime and or mystery elements.
I have also browsed some (pre Hasbro & 4th Edition) Wizards of the Coast Forgotten Realms novels, Tolkien, HP Lovecraft, Doctor Who novels, and J K Rowling. Individual books I have also enjoyed include an English translation of Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita Bram Stoker's Dracula and Neville Shute's The Trustee from the Toolroom. I mention the latter since although it's lacking in detectives or science or magic - it's about an engineer with an ordinary job - it has some beautifully presented characters. I also consider The Winter of the Birds worth a shout-out - a book, as far as I can make out (it's a bit of a peculiar book), about the threat to community identities of outside cultural forces.
As of the autumn of 2013, I have recently (courtesy of a second-hand bookshop) discovered The Second World War by Winston S. Churchill. Whilst I'm in no doubt that - for reasons of diplomacy, politics, and espionage ongoing at the time the books were originally released - some events may have been glossed over or given rather favourable interpretations, they still make fascinating reading.
I would recommend the second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 'van Richten's guide' series of books as reading material for those interested in development of characters (particularly of 'bad guys') for story-telling purposes. Although they were written as supporting material for a game, there's a lot of material in them which isn't game specific, and I find them thought-provoking as regards to villains and how indeed some characters may become corrupted to end up as villains in the first place.
As far as music goes, I tend towards the classical. I find Bruckner's symphony number 4, "Romantic" almost heartbreakingly beautiful, Shostakovich's symphony number 7, "Leningrad" epic, and love a number of other composers and pieces, including but not limited to Beethoven's number 9, Tchaikovsky's "Snow Maiden Music" (that Tsar Berendey really knows how to make a musical entrance), Stravinsky's "Petrushka" and "Firebird", and Rossini (arranged by Respighi) "Boutique Fantastique".
I don't watch much television at the moment.
I ferret through various pieces of fanfiction written by others, which for one reason or another may catch my attention, though I dislike pieces which celebrate and glorify pupils attacking teachers. I have relatives who are or who have been professional teachers, and I have sympathy for the profession - even for the frequently incompetent members cast adrift in Harry Potter universes. Politicians pretending to be school-inspectors or head-teachers are another matter altogether however...
I have a few odds and ends out on another Harry Potter fanfiction site, where I started posting Harry Potter fanfiction, but the site in question is incompatible with the program I tend to write in, which requires anything I put out over there to basically be reformatted which takes a lot of time and work. The main thrust of my work on that site is focussed on the 'Shadow of Three Bolts' alternate universe, in which Lily killed (albeit temporarily) Voldemort on Hallowe'en 1980, completely writing off Trelawney's prophecy, but took a lot of psychological and emotional damage in the process. I've cross-posted a couple of pieces from around the periphery of that universe over here.
'Harry Potter and the Greengrass Connection' also originally initially posted on an alternate history site.
Besides cross-posting what there is to date (February, 2016) of 'Harry Potter and the Greengrass Connection' to this website, as far as 'ongoing' stories go (as opposed to one-shots), much of my attention is occupied by the 'Saint Potter' alternate universe where James Potter married not Lily Evans, but Selene Tilde Tombs - a woman who wasn't a witch (or even a squib) but was the grand-daughter of Simon Templar (also known as 'The Saint'). When Voldemort and his most trusted Death Eaters attacked the house in Godric's Hollow on the night of Hallowe'en, 1981, it was Sophie Theresa Potter who survived to be hailed as 'The-Girl-Who-Lived' by wizarding Britain, only to disappear (to be raised by her mother's father, Mr. Seamus Tombs). Characters and events consequently diverge somewhat from canon...
Whilst I appreciate signed reviews from members (which offer a chance to clarify ambiguities by private message) I am less enthusiastic of guest reviews which offer no such recourse (and some reviews read in ways which I suspect the original writer in no way intended). Guest reviews which go off the topic of the story which they are posted as reviewing are in danger of not making it past the 'moderate reviews' section, and guest reviews which are personally abusive will be deleted. Reviews from signed members which do not seem to be about the story which they are posted to will possibly be reported for abuse of the review system but will otherwise be ignored.
To those looking for advice on writing fanfiction I have one particular tip that I wish to communicate:
Always keep a backup copy of any work that it would mean a great deal of bother for you if lost. Websites shut down or managers remove material. Computer hard-drives get erased by viruses. Memory sticks end up being accidentally dropped in mugs of coffee.
A regularly updated backup copy of material is no ultimate guarantee against disaster, but it can help out a great deal if there isn't just the one copy of your work stored/posted in one place.
Lent, 2013: Whilst some people give things up for Lent, I'm trying to tidy up some outstanding errors (such as bad spellings of Dolores) in currently posted material, and to make a push on getting out the last full chapter of 'Alternate Scene by the Lake 4' before August.
Easter 2013: Additional supplementary material to 'Alternate Scene by the Lake 4' now posted and being tidied up.
End of July/Start August 2013: Last main chapter of 'Alternate Scene by the Lake 4' posted. Just epilogues to come.
August 2013: Focus back on Saint Potter, and trying to get 'House of Salazar' chapter of main story ready for posting.
September 2013: Posted community 'Saint Potter', collecting all Saint Potter related material into one place, to save people from having to scroll through my profile to find the pieces. All writing now pretty much ON HIATUS. Pretty ratty month. Regrettably I'm not superhuman, and due to a combination of away-from-keyboard factors and writer's block at this point, pretty much all creative writing is indefinitely on hold. May occasionally post reviews of other people's work or carry out basic maintenance/tidying up of one of own pieces (still a large number of pieces to go through to correct 'Miss.' to 'Miss', if nothing else).
22nd December 2013: Recently posted a couple of tidied up pieces drafted earlier in the year 'Angel of Death' and 'The Tale of the Three Sisters'. *May* be making some very small progress on new/ongoing material.
30th January, 2014: Existing 'canon' maps of Hogwarts/area around it insufficient for my purposes for the Saint Potter universe, so rearranging the geography somewhat and drawing my own maps. In Saint Potter universe likely that Loch Ericht does not exist and that Hogwarts/Hogsmeade/The Forbidden Forest occupy that valley instead. Troublesome speech continuing to be awkward to write, but I have a sense now of what I think it ought to 'feel' like.
19th February 2014: Proposed area occupied in the Saint Potter universe by Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, the Forbidden Forest, and the vicinity.
1) Loch Ericht does not exist. Part of the area occupied in the real world by the Loch is occupied by the 'Black Lake'. A short ridge towards the northeastern end of the area occupied in the real world extends across the width of the valley, limiting easy access (and blocking the view) from Dalwhinnie. The railway branch line to Hogsmeade branches off just south of Dalwhinnie, and turns into the valley occupied in the real world by Loch Ericht, piercing the ridge by means of a tunnel.
2) Hogwarts and Hogsmeade are located east of Beinn Bheòil, Hogwarts on the northwestern side of the valley, at the foot of the mountain, and Hogsmeade south of the castle, sprawling across the valley. Hogsmeade is at the southwestern end of the 'Black Lake'. The railway line runs along the south-eastern side of the valley, and is on a shelf of elevated ground, above Hogsmeade, and (along with the station) out of sight of Hogsmeade. The station has an accompanying goods yard on the surface, sheds for locomotives, and shafts to a subterranean narrow-gauge line, which passes under the Black Lake by means of tunnels to Hogwarts. (The subterranean narrow gauge line, for the movement of goods and other items back and forth between the castle and station, was constructed in the 1980's.)
3) Southwest of Hogsmeade, pastures and the forest extend as far as Meall an Uillt Riabhaich and Meall Liath na Doire Bhig.
4) All the land along the Alder Burn, south of Beinn a' Chumhainn, and below the crags east of the ridge of high ground running from Beinn a' Chumhainn to Meall a' Bhealaich to Sgòr Choinnich to Sgòr Gaibhre to Meall na Meoig & Mheall Mòr (including the lands in the 'gap' between the ridge extending southeast from Mheall Mòr and Meall Liath na Doire Bhig) are part of the Forbidden Forest.
5) The lands along the Allt Bealach Breabaig up to the gap between the eastern crags of Sròn Bealach Beithe and Sròn Coire na h-lolaire and down along the Allt a' Bhealaich Bheithe are forbidden to muggles. On the south side, this area is part of the Forbidden Forest up to approximately the 700 metre contour. The lands below Ben Alder's eastern crags are forbidden to muggles.
5a) Beinn Bheòil is 'off limits' to muggles except by special arrangement for fanatical Munro baggers.
6) The valley between Ben Alder and Sgòr Iutharn is part of the Forbidden Forest. The valley of Allta' Chaoil-rèidhe and the expanse of upland moorland in the real world identified as 'Ben Alder Forest' is part of the Forbidden Forest. The valley of Allt Cam is part of the Forbidden Forest, and the summit of the 'Munro', Càrn Dearg, between the valleys of Caol Rèidh and Allt Cam is only accessible to muggles via the ridge from Geal-Chàrn.
6a) To clarify, Meall Mòr, Meall Beag, and Meall Dubh are considered part of the Forbidden Forest along with the real world geographical area of 'Ben Alder Forest'.
7) Loch Pattack and the valley of the River Pattack running north are part of the Forbidden Forest as far as the gap between Coille Doir-ath and Torr nan Damh and the uppermost bridge across the River Pattack east of Torr nan Damh.
Note: I consider magical trees of the Forbidden Forest hardier than regular trees in the area, and capable of growing at altitudes up to around the 700 metre contour, if conditions are locally favourable.
Further Note: I am consider the possibility of the railway line extending beyond Hogsmeade, to the southwest, to pass out past Lochan Lòin nan Donnlaich and Lochan Sròn Smeur to join the other real world line in the area, just north of Rannoch station.
28th of May, 2014: Overhaul of existing chapters of 'Saint Potter?' main story completed. Numerous conversions of 'Miss.' to 'Miss', various other spelling, grammar, and punctuation slips corrected, and some sections revised to take into account development of background material.
18th of June, 2014: Second chapter of 'Slughorn' supporting material now posted; chapter includes some of Horace's thoughts on significant (to his mind) points of each new first-year Slytherin as of the September 1991 sorting.
From March 2013, Saint Potter and associated stories all have the same image used, as a quick visual identifier for communities and archives. At present, I use an image I scanned at home of what an old Stanley Gibbons catalogue informs me is a French stamp 'Book-binding and Rare Books' from 1953.
'Voldemort Triumphant' features an image scanned at home of a Royal Mail stamp of 1995 - part of a set celebrating H. G. Wells.
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