A blast from my gaming past – World of Warcraft Fanfic


brewfestI don’t make New Years resolutions, but if I had it was to Game more. Now, that may seem strange, because it’s such a time sink, and most of the world is making an effort to game less, but I feel that there’s a creativity in gaming, if you can find the right game, and inspiration to be found through frolicking in strange and wonderful, fantastical lands.

Gaming is something I’ve done for most of my life and in a previous life I spent a lot of time in World of Warcraft. For a creative outlet project I wrote a blog as one of my characters, to explore the world as she saw it, rather than as I saw it. Of course, the result is fan fiction. I am going to share what is effectively a short story from that blog.  A homage to my hardcore gaming days and my once great passion for WoW.


I woke slowly, swimming my way to the surface of a very deep sleep. My limbs felt heavy and I was supremely relaxed. I let the feeling wash over me, luxuriating in it as my mind rediscovered the body in which it lived. I became aware that I was lying on something firm, and warm, not a pillow, it rose and fell ever so slightly, ever so slowly, my right arm flung over it. Then I noticed a weight, wrapped around my torso. I felt safe, drifting on the edge of sleep, the last thing I wanted to do was open my eyes, but the sensible part of me told me I should at least investigate. I sighed and allowed my eyes to float open, taking a minute to focus. Read the rest of this entry


I queued for nearly two hours in the rain to get a book signed by Neil Gaiman


Signed booksThree weeks ago I met my favourite writer, Neil Gaiman at the Cheltenham Literary Festival. (It’s taken this long to write it because I’ve been struck dumb by the excitement of the experience!….Or I’ve been struck down by a series of viruses.)

When I say ‘met’ I mean to say that I attended a talk and book signing, but, it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to actually meeting him!

I don’t really think of myself as much of a ‘fan’ of anyone really, I don’t feel like I can justify the term. I’ve rarely read everything, listened to everything, followed obsessively and I’m almost always late to the ‘party’.

On the other hand, I queued for nearly two hours, half of that in the rain for the chance to get my books signed by Mr Gaiman. So I guess I can claim at least some fan-tastic tendencies…

My first encounter with Gaiman (though I didn’t know it then) was through the TV mini-series ‘Neverwhere’. I went on to read some of the early Sandman graphic novels. Later I read the novel adaptation of Neverwhere, and finally I put the pieces together. Read the rest of this entry

Book Review of Princess Grace – Don’t judge a book by its cover


Princess Grace Front CoverMy daughter is now five and three quarters (those three quarters count a lot for her!) and, as I mentioned in the last post, we visit the library regularly to feed her (thankfully) insatiable appetite for new reading material.

My background in sociology and my move into feminism means that I’m more aware than ever of the cultural brainwashing that goes on through books, especially when it comes to gender and especially in those aimed at children.

So, you can imagine my reaction when my daughter presented me with Princess Grace by Mary Hoffman (2007).

All that pink!

That dress!

That pose!

That jewellery! Read the rest of this entry

Why I will fight tooth and claw for my local library


The HiveAt the weekend, Children’s laureate, Malorie Blackman pointed out that 105 libraries have been closed or privatised over the past seventeen months, bringing the total to 347 under the care of the current UK Coalition Government. The continued influence of austerity measures are putting an estimated 400 more libraries at risk.

When I was about 15 or 16 my friend and I would spend hours perusing the shelves of the local library. Usually searching for ‘factual’ books about the occult and supernatural (we were into Ouija boards and horror movies in a big way then).

I loved the library. You could walk in, find a book on a seemingly endless array of subjects, get it stamped by a friendly librarian (avoiding the concerned gaze) and off you went. It was entirely free and you had reading material a plenty! Read the rest of this entry

Waste not want not, the food waste challenge


Waste not, want notToday’s topic is Food Waste. It was reached in a roundabout manner during a conversation that started with the lack of snow and ended with  fox hunting. But somewhere in the middle was a sojourn into the appalling waste of food that takes place in our country, and the world in general.

A new report by the The Institution of Mechanical Engineers claims that up to half of the world’s food is wasted.


An estimated 870 million people around the globe do not have enough food to eat. Read the rest of this entry

Music to write to


The TV is on, people are moving about in the house and the fan-heater keeps popping on to blast me with hot air. I log in to WordPress, ‘add new post’ and then think about getting my headphones so I can listen to some music, block out the sounds of the ‘real’ world around me so I can focus…

Procrastination, but also I realise I’m unintentionally demonstrating what I was just about to blog about. Writing accompaniment.

Some people can only work in silence, without any distractions, I’ve never been one of those people. I find silence distracting…

While I wrote the first half of this post I was listening to the rattle of raindrops against the window (after I’d turned off the TV). Now, a few days later, I’m writing it listening to La Roux, As if By Magic, a song recommended to me by Last FM who’s recommendations I’ve been flicking through for the past few minutes (I’m not sure they quite get me yet!). More procrastination? Read the rest of this entry