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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Little jottings

FORMER Border TV reporter and presenter Gilly Fraser is rarely at a loss for words – and that’s a good thing because she had to come up with 50,000 by the end of November, which she successfully completed and can now officially call herself a NaNoWriMo winner.

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Gilly Fraser, right, launches her new book Forbidden Love and Other Stories at the Canonbie United parish church craft fayre with Wendy Patterson of Newcastleton who illustrated the front cover

Gilly has written nine books for Mills & Boon under the pen name of Rachel Elliot and has just brought out a collection of romantic stories Forbidden Love and Other Stories under her own name.

She recently took up the challenge of National Novel Writing Month – better known as NaNoWriMo – and had until November 30 to complete the task.

Gilly, who works freelance on a variety of media-related projects, said: “I’ve had a story bumping about in my head for a couple of years and just haven’t had time to set it free. I decided this would give me the kickstart I needed.”

Gilly joined thousands of other writers in the NaNoWriMo adventure not only around Britain but also worldwide.

She said: “The only thing we’ve got in common is that we’re completely daft. But it’s a lovely feeling knowing I’m part of a writing community and that we’re all in it together.”

Gilly is currently at 44,125 words on November 21 but if you would like to keep tabs on how Gilly did, you can find out by going to her blog at gillyfraser.wordpress.com

National Novel Writing Month first began in 1999 in San Francisco with only 22 people taking part.

Last year, more than 200,000 people signed up for the challenge all over the world.

There are no prizes. Everyone who achieves the target of 50,000 words is deemed to be a winner.

Gilly will be signing her new book at the Muckle Toon producers market on Saturday.

I am indebted to local history enthusiast Stuart Tedham who has done his best to unravel the mystery brought to my attention in last week’s Little Jottings by Andrew Paisley.

Of the carving on the large slab of sandstone with the letter, possibly an ornate L, or the letters J and G together, Stuart thought it could have been done in the 19th century.

He also believes that because the carving is so good it could have been the work of a mason, possibly someone who was working at the nearby quarry.

Andrew also noticed other fainter symbols which could have been numbers. Stuart thinks they are runes but is unsure of the origin. They could be Viking, Old English or Scots or Germanic and it is impossible to know how old they are. The symbol, which looks like a flash of lightning may be the symbol for ‘sun’, while the others may represent ‘cattle’, ‘oak’, ‘ash’ or ‘god’ and ‘hardship.

These may not be ancient but put there by someone in more recent times. Who knows?

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