A Roundup of Writing

I haven’t been using my blog at all recently, due to yet another round of personal chaos. I have been writing though, albeit not on the scale I’d like to be.

If you’d like to catch up with my recent work, it appears in:

FWYL – A zine about pop/rockstars and our teen crushes on them. I wrote about Gerard Way (of course), being a little freak who grew up into a big freak, and my ever-growing ‘thing’ for femmy boys.

Cheval 9 – Two of my poems appear in this anthology of the best entries for the 2016 Terry Hetherington Award.

One Week One Band – I wrote about The Used for one whole week at the amazing music blog One Week One Band.

Jane Austen, Designated Driver

Let me preface this by saying that I really like Jane Austen. I have enormous affection for many of her characters and I respect her for being a clever, shrewd lady novelist at a time when being a smart girl probably wasn’t the best thing to be.

Having said that, I do sometimes get the feeling that Jane Austen would be the friend on a night out who insists you switch to water after 1am. I feel like she’d say something like “we have toast at home” if you tried to buy a kebab on the way back from said excursion. Basically, I feel like Jane Austen is trying to make me behave, and I don’t like it. Continue reading “Jane Austen, Designated Driver”

Watching Austen with a Real Person

My housemate/informal landlady/rescuer/excellent friend Chen is a wonderful person. She can do so many things that just don’t come naturally to me: she understands what solicitors do, thinks about things like the nutritional values of food, has different forks for eating cake. Sometimes she interprets me commenting on this as thinking she’s boring, which is simply not true (she is actually very interesting) – I am extremely envious that she is much more of a proper adult human being than me, less fundamentally ridiculous.

Never has this difference in personality been clearer than watching Austen together. We both like literature, and enjoy Austen (to differing degrees – see my next post for more information!), but Sense and Sensibility seems to have been written with us in mind. I, she of wailing tantrums and terrible taste in men, am all sensibility, and capable, spinach-eating, DIY doing Chen is sense.

Continue reading “Watching Austen with a Real Person”

It’s a Metaphor, Fool (Fantasy vs Reality)

This piece is reposted from my old blog, The Thing Itself.


 “The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo Sapiens (‘wise man’). In any case it’s an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan Narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.”


I’ve always enjoyed science fiction and fantasy, even if I don’t get as involved in things like fandom* as I did as an overly-earnest teenager. Nowadays, when I’m nowhere near as much of a reader as a used to be (and when I spend the majority of reading time on trashy crime novels** about murdered girls – your fave is problematic) I tend to get my fantasy fix through gaming, logging more Skyrim hours per week than I’m willing to confess to in a public post.

But sometimes when I’m getting immersed in fantasy worlds, being emotionally invested in fictional characters, or fixating on small aspects of world-building and mythology, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by a sense of pointlessness. Even standard fiction does this to me at times. What is the point in spending so much of your real life thinking about pretend lives? Why is it easier to cry at a wizard dying because of a magical contract than it is to cry at wars on the news, or at the small unfairnesses of life?

Continue reading “It’s a Metaphor, Fool (Fantasy vs Reality)”

Sherlock: The Abominable Episode

After a two year break, Sherlock was back on TV on Friday night, for a one-off ‘period’ special. I want to state, before I get started, that I have been an enormous Sherlock fan in my day. I’m talking fanfiction-writing (eep), theory-making, london-visiting, Moffat-forgiving levels of fandom.

Sherlock was the first show I reviewed when I started my brief student job reviewing pop culture for CultBox, which has blossomed in my absence* into a really reputable, entertaining website.

I went in with high hopes. Like many, I’d felt a dip in quality in the third series, but I’d enjoyed Mary Watson as a character and John’s grudging acceptance that he’s fundamentally attracted to dangerous, dark people. I also found that it improved on the second watch.

Continue reading “Sherlock: The Abominable Episode”