Beneath the Amber Moon – Competition Story

A couple of months’ back I was one of 1500 people to submit a story to Fortnum and Mason’s short story competition. I did not win (otherwise I wouldn’t be able to publish the story of my blog, duh), but I have learnt a valuable lesson: I am not a short fiction writer, and that’s OK. My shortest fiction is 1000-1200 words, which gives me enough space to explore the details I love and feel a sense of completion.

The prompt I chose was “On a cold autumn night, one of Britain’s smallest villages will become the country’s most infamous, with the perplexing disappearance of all its inhabitants”, which was linked to their whisky chocolate. Of course. Because of the requirement that the story started with the prompt, I had to edit the draft you find below into something I didn’t like much, and I already wasn’t very keen on the original story because I had a 500 words word-count and felt it ended abruptly, but I wasn’t too keen on removing what, in my opinion, makes something nice to read. So, yeah, I am not a short fiction person. Sorry. If you’d like to read the short story, though, here it is, with no words cut to fit an arbitrary number or anything. 

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My Ultimate Minestrone Recipe

Vegetable Market

Happy Epiphany! We’re in lockdown again, but I’m sure many people will be looking at doing Veganuary or just get increase their vegetable intake after feasting on cheese for the holidays (no judgement, that’d be me), so here’s my ultimate minestrone recipe for a taste of Italy in these cold weeks. Since people always complain about how food blogs have a lot of fluff before you get to the recipe, but we all know we need long posts for SEO purposes, I will lead with the recipe and then share the anecdotes at the end.

This recipe makes about 1/1.5lt of soup.

1h of cooking plus extra for steeping if you want a stronger flavour (or cook in advance and have to cool it down anyway), and 12h soaking overnight if you use dry beans.

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The Serpentine Perspective: Favourite Non-Canon Couple

Hand in hand couple

It’s the last day of the month and the last day of the year, although it honestly feels like it was yesterday that we started 2020 and the fact we’re starting a new one in lockdown makes it quite hard to feel like we are entering a new year after all. Still, it is the 31st of December and so Rory and I are bringing you our monthly post about all things Harry Potter and related. This month’s topic is our favourite non-canon couple. Years ago I read an amazing fan fiction that I was never able to find again when I tried, and I guess that might be a big part of why my choice for today is Dramione (if it’s not clear enough, Draco and Hermione). Here are my top 3 reasons why I love this pairing, in no particular order.

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Review: Burn Your Fat With Me (Part 1)

Girls exercising

“Burn your fat with me” is a Japanese app that is basically otome meets fitness. What could possibly go wrong? Spoiler alert: a lot. I downloaded the app and opened the prologue: the love interest slash fitness coach is the love child of Tristan Dugray and Hyogo Kaga. You start out by hating his guts for being a jerk (the Vogue review of the app concluded that anger is a great motivator). The whole idea is the standard otome tsundere trope where the guy becomes nicer as he likes you more. I’d like to say it’s not a great idea, but Eisuke Ichinomiya has won the Love365 Election again, by a margin that nobody could bridge. The target audience sure likes that type. I, for one, would spend good money on an HLITF training app where you run sprints against Prince Subaru, do martial arts with Soma, and get your head patted by Goto for being a good girl and sticking to the training plan, with the option of choosing the three meanies as coaches instead. I’d take a full army Bootcamp over this teen demon…heck, I’d take Kaga as my lawfully wedded husband over him. I never thought I’d see the day…

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The Serpentine Perspective: Bellatrix Lestrange

Witch Sign outside window

Happy St Andrew’s Day. There’s no 31st in November so I contemplated posting on the last Saturday and then I was like, nah. I had Voltage stories to read to my long-suffering husband, who has now taken a liking to Dr Hosho because he wears “proper clothes” (cit.) On a side note, the English Language really needs an option to specify you are quoting even when it’s not trying to show there’s an error and it was quoted verbatim. Of course, as a Takado fangirl, I am having none of it, and I will eventually prevail on him to love the (MTV remake) Patrick Verona of Semei University Hospital. Alas, the topic today is a fictional character, but not an otome one. We’re here to talk about how Helena Bonham Carter has saved the only villainess of the Harry Potter Universe from oblivion.

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