I’m Nicola Humphreys. I’m a short fiction writer and poet, but like most people who don’t have a private income, I have another job that pays the bills. Fortunately, I can do this job from my home office, and since March 2020, that’s where I’ve been, watching the world change forever.
I work for a company (like a sausage factory) that makes widgets or gizmos or something equally as boring, with characters straight out of a Dr Seuss book, pretty much like a cross between the BBC Comedies ‘The Thick of It’ and ‘The Office’. Probably somewhere in the north of England, or the Midlands, depending on your point of view. Most
weekends days, I stay in my pyjamas until noon all day, work, participate in online Zoom creative writing classes, make stuff or make stuff up. I listen to audiobooks or modern classical music, honing my craft and chipping away at my 10,000 hours, in a gloriously sunny room of one’s own. I sometimes wonder where I’d be now if I’d had my own room sooner. I was only able to afford a MacBook Air because I saved up my dinner money and bus fares when Lockdown started.
Few things make me as happy as writing does. Well, maybe playing with a fat baby or music. Oh, and cashmere. I can spot a 100% cashmere jumper at 40 paces now.
Once a month I (used to pre-Covid) go down to that London, eat real food, be impressed by public transportation working how it should, to gaze at abstract expressionism, chuckle at installations, and wonder why I live in such a dull, lay-by of a town. Then I remember I don’t earn anything like enough to live near London.
Almost everything I write about here, could have actually happened to someone, somewhere, but I’m pretty sure I’ve made it all up. The people in these stories exist only in my head. I’ve picked bits from my travels and woven them together with snippets of conversations or places I’ve seen. They’re not real memories of mine. Subconsciously influenced? Yes. The truth? No. My truth or with the benefit of hindsight? Maybe.
My recollection can’t be trusted. It’s full of glitches, time lags and nonsense. I can guarantee it absolutely won’t be the same version of events that you remember. How could it be?
There’s a smattering of swearing in this blog, hopefully all in context.
Odd opinions are mine alone, and no blame is attributable to anyone for anything they might have done. Forgiveness is so much easier to live with than the bitter bile of anger. Sunk cost, living well, timing, self-care and all that. Besides, what good does it ever do to dwell?
Please stay for five and have a look around this blog. There are videos and recordings of me reading my writing, creative writing class insights, links to where you can read or buy my published work and videos of some of my favourite music. I’m no longer on Twitter. Btw, the photos at the top of the page were taken about ten years apart from each other…
2021 has been the best year so far for my writing. I would never have imagined that Apple would use a quote from me in their promotional material for a Billie Eilish Documentary, or that I’d get paid to read aloud in a library. I’m published as far apart as New Orleans and Australia, not forgetting Glasgow of course.
I really do appreciate your support and feedback. And yes, I do smell of Dove soap.
ps This is me inside one of those little pods at Terminal 5, Heathrow, London UK. Anyone who rides in one of these cute, little electric trains ends up with a massive grin on their face before they even get to Departures. I rarely fly, due to my eco credentials. One trip every 4 years or so, at most.
I assert my moral rights and the right of attribution to be identified as the creator of these stories.
😃 This lockdown witchy hair picture of me (aged 50) in my bathroom has taken on a life if its own in the #stopeditingolderwomen campaign on social media. I’m happy to help! Not everyone gets to make it to 50, and I have earned every single grey hair! I know I won’t always look like this but I’m certainly not going to waste any time worrying about it or wishing I looked 25 again. If you’re 25, and reading this, then the only advice I have to to please enjoy your youth and beauty.
PS. June 2022I have decided to pause this blog for many reasons.
I’m writing a novel, which takes up such a lot of thinking time.
The idea that if you’re not being paid for the content then you are the content. Coming off Twitter was the turning point. You’re only as good as your last project. “More, now, again!” as the late Elizabeth Wurtzel would say.
No-one can ever say that I haven’t paid my dues!
I will continue to update it with details of writing that I’ve had published elsewhere and there might be some guest posts, but they won’t be a regular thing.
Time speeds up as you get older. There is still so much to do and less time to do it in. I might be back in two years time with all of the words I could have written on this blog, but in a book-shaped format! (I wrote over 150,000 words in the first two years of this blog. That’s two novel’s worth, right there).
Thank you for supporting me.