Thursday, 14 March 2019

Fiction: Conversations With the Witch Next Door

She had made tea for him, she said.
Scavenged the berries and leaves, poured in great helpings of things like tenderness and excitement and hope. He had tasted them, politely, but ultimately found them too much for him. He bought his own tea in boxes from the store; black with sugar, mild and polite and unassuming.
It wasn’t about the tea, the witch reassured me. It was just that her way of doing things was not quite right. She hadn’t realised, had kept making the tea and finding it left on the counter, cold, always assuming the best of him, assuming he had just forgotten.
If she had listened more, she realised, she would have understood that she was not right for him, nor him for her.
If the strangeness was all a little more than he could handle, that didn’t mean she should dim her light just for him, I told her. Burn as brightly as you like.
- Excerpt, “Conversations With the Witch Next Door”

Friday, 1 February 2019

What I'm Up To: Zine Workshops

I've spent my last few Friday afternoons attending a Poetry and Zine Workshop at a local women's centre. I'm so pleased that I discovered this place existed, they are a community hub which welcomes all women and afab genderfluid folk and offers a variety of useful and fun things, from CV workshops to book clubs.

We had all built up a nice rapport from spending so much time together over the last few weeks, and it was so validating to be part of such a supportive group. We had been working on erasure poems, streams of consciousness writing based on found objects, and responses to other poems from a huge zine library.

Looking at the masses of small press spread out on the tables in front of us, I felt overwhelmed by this huge sense of kinship with all of these writers and artists over time. Every pamphlet showed so much history and passion, all lovingly put together to share, celebrate and educate.

I'm not sure if I'm any better of a poet for it, but I did rediscover the simple joy of just writing. I also gathered some ideas for how to get inspiration flowing again the next time I'm stuck.

Below are some photos of my contribution (poetry and illustrations) to the collaborative zine (W)hole that the group produced. I will attach a downloadable PDF when one is available!

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Review: 'The Sleeping Dragon' by Jonny Nexus

[Note: This review is largely spoiler-free! No major plot elements are revealed, though I do discuss character arcs and such.]

I love Dungeons and Dragons (RPGs in general) and I love supporting indie publishers, so I was pretty pleased when the opportunity to review The Sleeping Dragon came about via my attendance at Dragonmeet. Published by indie company Wild Jester Press, this book promises a Tolkien-inspired, Pratchett-esque, science-fantasy tale featuring all of your favourite fantasy character archetypes in a delightfully subversive way.

What's it all about?  To give a brief summary:

The five greatest adventurers of the age discover that in five hundred years, the Sleeping Dragon will awake and destroy civilisation.

Many many years later, in a world so transformed by mass-produced magic that it seems heroism itself is rendered obsolete, five misfits find themselves tasked with preventing the plague, war, famine and destruction that the Sleeping Dragon will bring forth.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Review: 'Arrow Borne: Fate Loves the Fearless' by Jess Taylor

Here's the third in my recent comic reviews out of the batch I picked up at Nottingham Comic Con in 2018. After this we're veering into unknown territory - new year, new comics!

Today's comic is called 'Arrow Borne, Fate Loves the Fearless' by Jess Taylor and it is a beautiful work of art. Here's what it's about:

Fate loves the fearless...

In 2016, as the world falls apart around her ears, one woman is expected to piece it back together. Arrow Borne is a superhero tale about love, loss and the lure of Greek Gods.

'Fate Loves The Fearless' is the prologue for the upcoming Arrow Borne series and this special edition release includes sketches, concepts and rejected pages as issue #2 goes to the press.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Review: 'Space Trash' by Lydia Butz

Last week I said to watch this space... little did you all know that I was stealthily punning. [Insert mischievous chuckle here]. Today I'm blogging about 'Space Trash' by Lydia Butz, another purchase from Nottingham Comic Con 2018.

So what's this comic about? The blurb simply says:

A comic that is totally not inspired by true life events because it's set in space.

To add a little more context, the story could be summed up as this: our protagonist gets a super cool space job, except it's not quite what she thought... mishaps and hilarity ensue. To be honest, at just 16 pages per volume (and £5 each) with very little dialogue, you'd be best off just picking it up and reading it for yourself. It's worth it!

Friday, 21 December 2018

Review: 'Spunk' by Rhiannon Kagoe

Let's kick things off by diving into the pile of goodies I picked up at Nottingham Comic Con a while back.

The first stall I visited was that of the delightful Rhiannon Kagoe, where we bantered about nihilistic humour, chatted about representation in comics and traded artist origin stories. Kagoe shared some great advice about starting out in comics, but that's another blog post for another time.

On to the comic:

Spunk is a horror-comedy comic which features a small but engaging cast, a dash of playful whimsy and an LGBTQ romance.