Life Lessons from Animal Crossing: New Horizons

How do you want to escape the current global situation? The biggest video games to come out at the start of 2020 are Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, so realistically, there’s two ways of distracting yourself: you can either blast demon hellmonsters with big guns or catch fish, do some landscaping and sell … Continue reading Life Lessons from Animal Crossing: New Horizons

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Poor Kermit would have had an even worse time of it had he lived in the Middle Ages. Frogs and toads were, frankly, considered to be the worst: they were associated with the devil and thought to be a favourite form of familiar for a witch. Indeed, in North Cambridgeshire, an old word for “bewitching” … Continue reading It’s Not Easy Being Green

“It’s Research, I Promise”: A Writer’s Google History

This month I’ve been a bit quiet because I’ve been taking part in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. Admittedly I’m not going to “win” the month as I’m still well off the 50,000 words target but it’s been really useful for making writing part of my daily routine. I’ve also stopped feeling so paralysed … Continue reading “It’s Research, I Promise”: A Writer’s Google History

Nobody Expects the English Inquisition

As I’ve mentioned on a few occasions now, a couple of years ago I finished an MA dissertation looking at Medieval magic trials in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (intro here). A lot of people who weren’t face-first in this period of history like me expected to hear me talk about witch hunts and the … Continue reading Nobody Expects the English Inquisition

You Should Be Writing: Turn Your Procrastination into Productivity

(Or at least feel like you’re doing more.) As a writer and recent former student, there is one area where my skills are rock solid: procrastinating. Why write an article when the bathroom needs cleaning? How can I possibly focus on a short story when I need to find just the right pair of winter … Continue reading You Should Be Writing: Turn Your Procrastination into Productivity

The Pythonissa: A Slippery Soothsayer

Here’s a new insult for you. Margery Ryvel was excommunicated by the church in April 1348 for practising divination, superstition and illusion. Whichever clerk wrote the Latin report that survives in the Register of John de Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter, clearly did not like her or her activities. The report reads as a barely-concealed rant … Continue reading The Pythonissa: A Slippery Soothsayer