The solution to fantasy writer’s block

Fantasy writer's block
Fantasy writer’s block: push all you like, it ain’t moving.

On Twitter recently, @MLSpencer1 suggested what we really need is a magic 8 ball for writer’s block faced by fantasy writers. When you can’t figure out what happens next, give the magic 8 ball a good shake and it comes up with a helpful suggestion like “they all die”.

Other genres have their fixes for a stuck plot, like a man runs in with a gun. Guns are out in a lot of fantasy worlds, but we have other solutions.

So next time your plot grinds to a halt, roll a die and throw in one of these guaranteed fixes.

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How to retrain a cat

Cat attacking a sleeping woman
This is what I put up with when His Royal Fluffiness was a kitten. Yes, that’s me. I dress up to sleep.

When His Royal Fluffiness (HRF) was a kitten he had a lot of energy. Think of a squirrel that’s overdosed on caffeine.

He liked to pounce and bite. He also slept during the day. That meant most of his playing went on at night in our bedroom.

One night my sixth sense booted me awake. It was a good thing it did, because this was headed for my face.

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I’m lost without you, Mr Blurb

I need a blurb

Don’t get me wrong, kindles (or your e-reader of choice) are a wonderful invention. I love paying $3 for a book instead of $30 and getting it in 5 minutes rather than 5 weeks. Kindle books are also easy on my bookshelves, which groan under the wonders of culture.

But there is one area in which ebooks fall short and interfere with my reading experience: they almost never have easy-to-find blurbs.

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Why to date a dinosaur


Dinosaur head for dating
Would you swipe right or left?

On Twitter recently, I saw a link to a hilarious-sounding article, How and why to date a dinosaur. Being married, I’m no longer on the dating scene, but I imagine there are some very good reasons to date a dinosaur. As for advice on how to date a dinosaur, who doesn’t need dating help?

So you can imagine my disappointment when I clicked the link and discovered the article was actually about how to tell how long ago a dinosaur carked it. (Also an interesting subject, but quite different.)

To remedy the dearth of information on romantic relationships with dinosaurs, I resolved to write this post. (Unfortunately my success with dinosaurs has been limited, so I’ll stick to the why and leave the how to others.)

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Lion cat and the tunnel of death

Lion in the kitchen
What would you do if you found this in your kitchen?

The empty bowl

The first sign something was wrong was the empty cat food bowl. His Royal Fluffiness (HRF) never cleans his bowl to the bedrock, and yet there both bowls were, sparkling clean.

I didn’t catch on at that stage, though I should have.

The next day I was in the living room with HRF and I heard a crash in the kitchen. It wasn’t the sort of crash you get when a breeze knocks over the paper towel roll, but more the kind of crash you get when an over excited feline spars with a bowl of cat food.

I jumped up and heard the thump thump thump of the cat flap. By the time I arrived in the kitchen it was empty and so was the cat food bowl.

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