Oh, the horror! An afternoon with H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King

On a gloomy late October afternoon some of our network members gathered for a fun Halloween-themed online writing workshop.

The attendees were divided into two groups and each group received an assignment: they first analysed a sample of a well-known horror author’s writing with the help of some prompts and then they set out to write their own piece in that author’s style.

One of the teams worked on a Victorian story in H. P. Lovecraft’s style, while the other one had to imitate the contemporary American writer, Stephen King.

And… Here are the results!

King impersonators

Written by Fiona Gray, Holly-Anne Whyte, Alanah Reynor and Afra Madkhana

It was 15 minutes after midnight and Burt Fitzgerald had just dozed off when a loud crash had awoken him from a fitful dream, the kind you have when you’re sleeping in a bed that’s not your own. It was the old bed in the attic room that creaked and groaned in harmony with the wind outside. It was the last week of October, the run up to Halloween, and houses along the street were decked with dollar-store cobwebs and jack-o’-lanterns, their flames flickering and sputtering out as the storm picked up. I’d just gone out for the third time to relight the candles purchased for the occasion, yet more paraphernalia, a tribute to the Gods of the consumer season that my wife had worshiped as a devoted disciple. Each year she had filled her cart with Walmart’s finest from mid-September through to the new year like a magpie gathering shiny trinkets for his mate.

Love-crafted lines

Written by David Stockings, Laura Elvin and Anikó Pető-Mordovski

There is no arrogance greater than keeping a journal of the mundane and workaday thoughts of the average man; the compulsion to capture the most trivial detail of human existence against the grand significance of the cosmic cycle is pitiable. And yet, when one happens to chance upon the diary of a truly transcendent mind, one cannot help but be enmarvelled. Such was the case when I opened the mysterious brown package delivered by persons unseen and with no postmark to my office at the College. I was amazed to recognise the singular handwriting of my late colleague, Professor Emeritus Archibald Homer Augustus III.

The journal contained oracular but alarming statements about the universe and human existence; at least those parts that had not been scratched out with frenzied penstrokes, which grew greater in number as the journal progressed. These unnerving revelations – which I shall not burden you with – were still weighing heavily on my mind as I drifted off to sleep. I found no rest in my slumber, plagued as my dreams were by shapes that my mind could not interpret and echoes of the esteemed professor’s words ringing out in the dark.

Jolted awake by a sudden rapping at my chamber window, I hastily sprang out of bed and flung open the windows, struggling against the gales that battered the walls of my abode. Spying nothing amiss, I battled to close the casements, and attempted to return to my fitful rest; futile, of course. The rapping came again, more insistent than before, but seemingly at the tradesmen’s door this time.

Arming myself with the third volume of Dictionary of the Semitic Languages in one hand and a brass candlestick in the other, I hastened down the stairs, not even pausing to throw on my house coat. Once in the kitchen, I gathered my resolve and prepared to throw open the door and catch the miscreant off-guard. But the heavy oak portal swung open to reveal…nothing; no sign of a living being, neither animal nor human. Feeling somewhat foolish, I was about to turn to fasten the door, when all of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed a dark anthropic ectoplasm lingering beneath the skeleton of a lightning-stricken apple tree. As I narrowed my eyes to focus on the figure in the stormy gloom, my blood ran cold in my veins as the realisation struck me: the shadowy figure was, beyond a doubt, none other than the journal’s author, Archibald Homer Augustus III!

You can read more about the workshop in the January-February 2023 issue of the ITI Bulletin.

We are on LinkedIn!

Did you know? The ITI East Anglia Network is now on LinkedIn!

As most of our members are active on LinkedIn, we thought having a LinkedIn page for the network would be a great way of keeping in touch and sharing network news. It would also be a good place for people thinking about joining us to learn more about what we do at the ITI East Anglia Network.

Follow us for network updates, localisation industry news and much more! Feel free to tag us if you have an update to share on the platform!

Find us at: ITI East Anglia Network

Meet our member Roger Rayner!

Name: Roger Rayner
Services offered:
Translation & MTPE
Language combination(s):
German/French to English
Specialisms:
Music, Art, Architecture, Travel and Tourism, Culinary, Automotive
Location:
Norwich, East Anglia
Website: www.languistory.com
Contact info:
roger@languistory.com

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?

As a translator involved for many years in the arts, especially music, and as a traveller, I now communicate through words instead of music in order to bring these subjects to a wider international readership. My specialist knowledge and language skills guarantee translations that endorse the authority of the original author. I also offer experience in automotive translation especially diesel engines and tracked vehicles; I further offer well developed skills in MTPE.

What services do you provide and in what areas?

Translation of documents, academic papers, biographies, film scripts, new products, including snow groomers…

My specialisms include music, architecture, art/literary, tourism and travel, culinary, automotive translation.

MTPE

What makes you stand out?

My lifelong experience of language use hopes to guarantee accuracy and punctuality along with the willingness to perform an extra service if I can. I aim to help with culturally adapted material especially in architecture, art, classical music and travel. My training in two completely different performance traditions alongside my knowledge and experience as a traveller maybe enables me to bring a particular insight into European cultures.

What do you like most about your job?

There’s a lot of pleasure in searching for exactly the right term to match the source, at the same time keeping the tone and register in mind. Even texts that might at first produce just a slight groan turn out far more interesting than at first glance; and there is so much to be learnt from pieces even on familiar subjects. It is good to be able to work at the moments when my concentration is at its best (early morning, to my own surprise) and to be alone!

What do you do when you’re not working?

Walking is my favourite way of leaving everything behind, and I love going to the theatre and concerts, especially events such as plays, opera and ballet where I don’t know enough to be too critical. Radio comedy has always been a great way to unwind, and I am addicted to Just a Minute – now wonderfully chaired by Sue Perkins, herself a brilliant player.

What’s your favourite part of East Anglia?

Thetford Forest, where my parents took me as far back as I can remember. It made me love pine trees particularly, which are very much a feature of the Fichtelgebirge, the first place I visited in Germany.

Working alone together… and working together

A guest post from our member Holly-Anne Whyte on our first business retreat.

Laura Elvin, David Stockings, Holly-Anne Whyte, Frances Clarke and Anikó Pető-Mordovski on retreat

We all know that freelancing can be a lonely life and we can easily get stuck in a rut. Fortunately, we have a fantastic local network of colleagues with a wealth of experience and our first joint business retreat was a great opportunity to make the most of it.

Following the retreat we prepared an article for the Bulletin on how it worked and what we achieved. I won’t repeat that here. And while I was tempted to go into the logistics of organizing the event (and wrote a few hundred words on the topic), I scrapped that version in favour of some more general reflections.

What is a business retreat?

Put simply, it’s an opportunity to work on our business, rather than in it. An opportunity to consider what we want from our business, what it looks like now, what we want it to look like and how we might get there.

While I had always taken time out to work on my business (easily done in the early days when projects are few and far between), the idea of structuring the process more formally was inspired by the Deliberate Freelancer podcast: https://deliberatefreelancer.libsyn.com/3-host-a-solo-business-retreat. (Host Melanie has done a few more episodes on her own business retreats, so I’d definitely recommend checking them out.)

What do you actually do at a business retreat?

I tend to split the “behind the scenes” of my business into four main categories, each of which has several sub-categories:

Services and training

  • Service offerings
  • Side projects
  • CPD audit

Market:

  • Clients profiles (current and desired)
  • USP and value proposition
  • Market analysis
  • Marketing
    • Branding
    • Online presence
    • Etc.

Operations:

  • Tools and technology
  • Physical infrastructure (desk, etc.)
  • Daily routine

Finances:

  • Analysis of current situation
  • Goals
  • Rates
  • Expenses

A business retreat gives us the time to analyse some of all or these areas with a critical eye, to think about what works – and what doesn’t – and to set SMART goals to shape our businesses the way we want.

Working alone together…

For much of the business retreat we worked alone. So what was the point in meeting up? There’s something about working in a room with other people (people to whom you’ll report what you’ve actually done) that holds us accountable for actually focusing and doing those things.

The change of scenery helps too. It puts our brains in a different mode, one more prepared to think outside the box, innovate and take risks. I think that’s really important when we want to find new ways to move our businesses forward or get them back on the right track.

… and working together

Being able to bounce ideas off people who “just get it” was, for me, incredibly invigorating. Whether it was a brief interruption during our solo working time or as part of group activities, everyone’s enthusiasm for sharing ideas, relating and helping each other was palpable. We are social animals after all and or brains weren’t designed to solve problems alone (see https://youarenotsosmart.com/2022/05/29/yanss-234-how-to-create-better-online-environments-in-which-arguing-and-deliberation-is-more-likely-to-change-peoples-minds/).*

What’s more, it’s always heartening to know that others share your struggles and take joy in your successes. Who better to understand our lives than other freelance translators. Online is really no substitute for the buzz of someone finishing your sentence to build on an idea, seeing them roll their eyes in sympathy when you talk about a nightmare client or sharing that relief in hearing everyone is wrangling with the bigger picture.

The aftermath

Since the retreat, I have found I am more focused, more purposeful and more productive. I’m getting things off the backburner that should never have been there in the first place. I feel more connected to our translator community and beyond grateful for it.

I can’t wait for the next edition. See you there?

*Yes, I love podcasts…

Meet our member Hazel Hayman!

Name: Hazel Hayman
Service(s) offered:
Translation & Editing
Language combination(s):
Spanish to English
Specialism(s):
Medical
Location:
Suffolk, East Anglia
Website:
www.avellanatranslations.com         
Contact info:
hazel@avellanatranslations.com

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?

I always had a passion for both languages and medicine. When I left school I studied Spanish at university, however, after that I trained as a nurse. I worked in the NHS for around 10 years in various posts. In 2019, I couldn’t ignore my passion for languages anymore and I returned to translation. I worked as an interpreter at the Monaco Grand Prix, which was amazing, but I prefer working with the written rather than the spoken word. I then went on to take on some stand-alone projects and humanitarian work, before settling in pharmacovigilance, clinical trials and medical journal work.

What services do you provide and in what areas?

I offer medical translation and editing services from Spanish to English (all variants). My translation work is primarily with pharmacovigilance and clinical trials. I also peer-review edit and/or translate academic articles for publication. 

In addition, I have an interest in literary translation and academia, particularly in the areas of constrained translation and humour. This is an area I have been working on out of hours and is something I am looking to expand into in the future.

What makes you stand out?

My background as a nurse means I have experience and understanding that goes beyond solely linguistic knowledge of the subject. This, combined with my linguistic training, enables me to quality control documents more thoroughly and ensure attention to detail at all times. However, I am always mindful this is the client’s project and may be the culmination of many months of hard work. I understand this and respect the different skill sets each professional brings to a project.

When working in the medical sector confidentiality is crucial; I maintain many of the confidentiality practices I was taught whilst in the NHS to ensure no-one other than myself has access to my client’s data whilst it is in my care.

What do you like most about your job?

I love the problem-solving aspect of my job. Words across different languages don’t always map together equally, and sometimes it can be a challenge trying to find the right word. For example, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, new words were being generated and they also had to be re-created in the other language. For me, every word is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Individually it may not mean much, but the right words, fitting together in the right way, have the ability to paint a powerful image.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I love being in the water! I spend much of my time kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and swimming. Lowestoft is a great place for this! (I recently built a paddlesports translation glossary too.) I also love sitting in a café on the seafront with a good book and a nice cup of coffee or three (latté for me please). If I’m not doing that, I’m probably going to be relaxing with my church family or spending time with my boyfriend.

What’s your favourite part of East Anglia?

I would say Lowestoft; it’s the place I have spent the most time in the region. I love the beaches, the broads, the café culture, and most of my family and friends are here. It’s where I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life. However, I’m spending increasing amounts of time in Stowmarket these days and I’m getting to explore other parts of the region. But Lowestoft definitely has a special place in my heart (plus it has the sea!).

Meet our member Catherine Hurst-Hewett!

Name: Catherine Hurst-Hewett
Service(s) offered:
Translation, proofreading and QM.
Language combination(s):
German/Italian to English
Specialism(s):
Clinical trial documents/agreements
Location:
Long Stratton, Norfolk, UK     
Contact info:
catherinehwt0912@gmail.com

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?

After graduating in Modern Languages and Linguistics (with German and Italian) at the University of Salford in 2004, I moved to Vicenza, Italy where I taught English at a language school for a few years before moving to America in 2009. Vicenza is also where I first started my translation journey, I worked on various projects which at one time took me to the car show in Bologna which was a great experience for someone just starting out! I have been working as a freelance translator, proofreader and QM ever since on a practically full-time basis and this year joined the Institute of Translation and Interpreting as an affiliate member with the aim to further my career.

What services do you provide and in what areas?

I provide translation, proofreading and quality management services from German/Italian into English currently in the field of clinical trials but would love to expand this to other areas in the near future. I also work with machine translation technology on a daily basis and consider myself to be very confident with this new development.

What makes you stand out?

I consider myself to be a very client-oriented translator being well-versed in complying with client style guides and glossaries and I always put the client first. I pride myself on being very meticulous and always strive to deliver the best translation possible in terms of both content and presentation while staying true to the source text. My many years of experience have equipped me with the knowledge necessary to perform my role well and as a translator I appreciate the importance of keeping my knowledge and language abilities up to date.

What do you like most about your job?

Obviously, I love working with languages, but I also enjoy the flexibility this job offers, meaning that you can work while also having time to do the other things you love. It also opens you up to different worlds that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to if you didn’t speak those languages, like foreign language books, films, tv etc. It never stops being special to me.

What do you do when you’re not working?

A lot of my time is spent on ‘mum’ duties as I have two very active boys and two dogs. We are lucky to live in the country and quite close to the beautiful Norfolk beaches, so we spend a lot of time walking and exploring the countryside. Lockdown led us to discovering geocaching and, dare I say it, Pokémon Go which we dabble in from time to time! We are also a family of swimmers, both boys swim competitively and I am a qualified swimming official, so I get to officiate at their galas which I love!

What’s your favourite part of East Anglia?

This is tough but I love the beaches, there is something about walking along the beach at the far end of Great Yarmouth or Winterton and being followed by the seals watching you from the sea that is just so special. There is also a vast amount of history in the area and wherever you go you can get glimpses of the past. We are lucky to have a very beautiful and varying coastline, it’s definitely a must for anyone visiting the region!

Meet our member Alanah Reynor!

Name: Alanah Reynor
Service(s) offered:
Translation & Writing
Language combination(s):
Dutch, French & Spanish to English
Specialism(s):
Marketing & Business
Location:
Namur, Belgium
Website:
www.alanah-reynor.com         
Contact info:
alanah@alanah-reynor.com

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?

Between my Bachelor’s degree in Translation and Interpreting and my Master’s degree in Conference Interpreting, I spent three years in France teaching English and learning about my students’ varied disciplines. Once I completed my postgraduate, however, I decided it was time to finally do what I love: languages.

I started my translation business in 2018 in France, before moving to Belgium shortly afterwards. I’ve found that marketing and business play best to my strengths, because there’s always an element of creativity; in marketing it’s obvious but, in business, the creative touch you can add to communications is often more subtle.

What services do you provide and in what areas?

I love creating, so creative translation was definitely the way to go for me. I thrive when working on business and marketing texts that promote women’s health, sustainability, animal welfare and other topics that are important to me. A business should share its values and I help them speak from their heart.

I also offer writing services. My clients don’t always want the same content in each language, but prefer something fresh based on their notes, ideas or a combination of texts. Recently, I helped a client put together his business book through a blend of translation, writing and editing. 

What makes you stand out?

Thanks to my background (my mum is Belgian), I have in-depth knowledge of Belgium and its linguistic differences which can be very useful to my clients, many of whom are based in Belgium. This understanding helps me pick up on nuances and sensitivities and adapt the text for an English-speaking audience.

While my subject specialisations are fairly specific (although I like to test the waters of something new from time to time), I am flexible in my service offering. Whether translation, editing or writing, it often turns out that a mixture of services is what would suit my client best.

What do you like most about your job?

This is such a hard question, because there’s so much I love: the freedom to be creative, the variety of subjects, the relationships I have built with my clients, the community of translators around me, to name but a few. I have to admit though that accounting doesn’t make that list.

There’s also something immensely satisfying about hitting that send button after completing a complex project and, of course, receiving feedback. It’s not just feedback from the client that counts, but also from others who have read your work and enjoyed it.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I spend most of my time with my partner, our cocker spaniel and three rabbits. Being with them is my preferred way to unwind, although our rabbits (and the dog) have a naughty streak – many of my books feature nibble marks! I love reading. My favourite genre is historical fiction, but I also enjoy memoirs, non-fiction and romance on occasion.

At the weekend, you can often find me watering my houseplants, dabbling in some gardening or making granola. Throw in an afternoon of board games with friends and a long walk with our dog for a pretty perfect weekend.

What’s your favourite part of East Anglia?

This question makes me feel nostalgic, seeing as I don’t live there anymore. I used to call North Norfolk home. A few places stand out: Cromer where my dad used to have a second-hand bookshop and I worked on the pier; Felbrigg Hall where I used to go with my family for a picnic and long walks; and Heydon, its tea room and florist, which has become a ritual for my mum and I whenever I visit. But I also just miss the coast: the sea air, the sound of the waves, the wind in your hair… true bliss.