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Northern Gothic

7 November 2004

Been a busy week. Loads of university stuff (including that favourite of all pastimes, The Student Who Doesnít Turn Up; with a curious twist on it this time, The Student Who Insists That He Did Turn Up. Not at my office, he didnít. Parallel universes, anyone?), a US Election Gloom party (only to be recovered from by the thought that this means my friend Peg wonít be going back for at least another four years, hurrah), lots of theatre (the Royal Shakespeare Company is in town for their annual visit: a monthís culture-fest, I love it) and squeezing a little writing in between all.

And between all that, thereís been a lot of activity associated with the ghost-story gigs Iím supposed to be organising next month. It is now gigs in the plural, because the first one booked up inside a week, before any of us were ready for it; thatís on the 13th Dec (auspicious date, I fancy), and weíve now arranged a second performance for the 16th. If youíre reading this and want to go, book now (0191 232 0192). Itís at the Lit & Phil in Newcastle, itís free, and itís filling up fast. New stories by me, Sean OíBrien and Gail-Nina Anderson. Plus the main attraction, mulled wine and mince pies and spooky music. Maybe even candlelight. Itís gonna be fab.

Weíve got an Arts Council grant for this (itís a complex project, including recording the event, printing the stories and selling book-plus-CD afterwards; if youíre interested, let me know), and to keep the monies separate and the finances transparent, Iíve set up my enterprise arm. Northern Gothic is no longer just a website and a phrase in the critical lexicon, it is now a legal entity with bank account and a constitution. I am Pendragon-for-Life. Itís interesting, suddenly to discover that one does have a megalomaniac streak after all. This is my baby, damn it, and no boardroom coup is going to take it away from me...

The other interesting thing is to find that I might have a taste for this impresario/entrepreneur kind of role. Iíll wait and see how this first gig actually pans out (and I am already having the sweaty sleepless nights and the panic attacks one would expect, being how famously crap I am at organising anything, ever), but there are various other rogue thoughts in my head, including the highly personal & occasional limited-edition magazine Iíve been thinking about for the better part of my life now...

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© Chaz Brenchley 2004
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.