Flights of Fancy · Tuesday Reflections

My Sims 4 Challenge – Starting up!

Years ago my daughter got me into playing Sims, it is something I play every now and again but never seem to stick to the challenges but now I have decided to set myself a new one and I will be sharing it with you. I got the idea after watching this video…

So my plan is to redevelop the lots basing the Sims on the characters in my books. It will obviously be a slow project as I don’t have a lot of time to play but I will set aside one or two hours per week to do this then share with you how it is progressing.

If you have read the books then feel free to throw in lots of feedback, the first lots will be based on the first Queen of Ages trilogy book and feature the characters from there. I will start off with two households, Celdwady and Brawd, as father and son, then  Jacantha and Trywn as a married couple.

I don’t have the cheats so it will be based on the base game and the packs we have. if any of my author friends have SIms 4 and fancy taking up this challenge or readers if you wish to create a world based on characters from your favourite books share with me on social media what you create.

So let’s begin…

I have started with the Celdwady/Brawd household and I decided that instead of one big house I would create a collection of huts for them…

The photos are not brilliant, I must have removed the screen recording app I used before for screenshot so had to take it on my phone, I will remedy that before next week. There is a fourth hut to add as I intend having one as a kitchen-living area, one as a study, a bathroom and then finally one for the bedroom. They have both got followed the conservation path in terms of career, this fits in best with a Druidic lifestyle from the choices available.

As you can see the interiors are quite sparse at the minute because you really don’t get a lot of funds to start a house from scratch on a vacant lot but I will come back and play this a couple of times to get all the basics in before I start building the next household.

The interiors will take a little more work and moving things around but it is a work in progress, the worst thing was trying to create the actual sims themselves, although I have made Celdwady an elder no way does he look anywhere near old enough. The sim you can see in the photos is Brawd, I will do some pictures of the sims and how I set them up at a later date if anyone is interested.

I decided to set up the Queen of Ages Characters in The Magic Realm expansion pack but as I think there are only four or five lots it will mean trying to keep as many characters from each book constrained within the lots, maybe one for each book, then, one for the bad guy/guys.

Do you, or have you ever played Sims? Or any of the other games where you recreate life such as Second Life, I joined that to go to the Duran Duran Universe there and attend club night where the actual band members were online being the DJ. If you do or have let me know your experiences in comments and if you do a post showing off yours ping those links to me.

2. Tuesday · Flights of Fancy

Five Star Reviews

We are getting closer to the print version of Lupus Animus being released and I confess I am getting rather excitable about it!

For those who did not see the previous post about it here is the cover you should look out for…


And if you need any extra persuasion to shell out a couple of quid for a very worthy cause then maybe these 5 star reviews will tempt you!

This book was a brilliant idea that has allowed a charity to prosper.
The stories in this book were a delight to read as were the poems, each different and unique in their own way I absolutely loved reading this.


Lupus Animus: Charity Anthology is a compilation book with an abundance of treasured thoughts and stories geared towards the beloved wolf. Delightful poems full of life and promise, as well as rich stories filling the mood with mystery and resilience while pulling its reader in. A lot of heart went into writing these beautiful stories.

I love that this anthology is donating its profits to Artisan Rarebreeds an organization that is channelled directly into the care, accommodation, maintenance and improvement of their animal residents.


What can I say? This project is incredible! The stories and poems are filled with heart, and every word is a joy to read. This anthology is donating to a great cause, and there are entries in here to please everyone. You should definitely pick this up, I am sure you will find something you can enjoy!

If you are waiting for a print version then the wait is almost up, they are working through the proof copy as I type this, for now the links for the kindle version are here and please feel free to add it to you ‘to read’ list on Goodreads.

Buy links




It is all getting rather exciting!!!



2. Tuesday · Flights of Fancy

And now for something a little different!

It is Tuesday so it should be Mysteries of Udolpho but I will be honest I have not read enough to write a post about, there are just so many more interesting books, maybe I will have to put away all the other books round the house until I get it finished so I don’t get distracted.  So today I debated what to do and I thought I haven’t written a poem in a while and most of the ones I write are a little depressing so I have challenged myself to write a raunchier poem.  I read a few blogs by people who write erotica some in verse form and while I have written rather kinky sex scenes in my novel I have never really tried writing sensual so here goes at least if it fails miserably we can all have a good laugh.

I close my eyes,

Feel your breath

Upon my cheek.

Its warmth

Sends a quiver

Through my body.

Slowly you peel

Back the sheet

Revealing me

Exposing me,

My vulnerability

To your touch

Hypnotised by the

Steady warmth

I wait anticipating

Loving for those

Practised moves

That play a concerto

With my senses

Building to the crescendo

Where I will thrash

In the waves

Of your music.

Eyes remain sealed

To open them

Would break the spell

And I would know

You are not here,

And all I have

Is the memory.

Film/Dvd Reviews · Flights of Fancy · Tuesday Reflections

Bonus Tv Review – Blakes 7


It could be seen as procrastinating from picking the Mysteries of Udolpho up again but the reality is that one thing leading to another has brought us here last week I discussed my love of the Doctor and the podcasts that I listen to as a result, well I have been listening to back episodes of a couple and listening to one by The Ood Cast another of my childhood favourites was mentioned.  I am fully aware for non UK followers this programme may be unknown unless they have the geek gene but let me introduce Blakes 7.

Now I know that by todays standards it looks terrible it has aged badly when you compare it to CGI technology but it still has something, these characters made you love them or in some cases hate them, as kids we played Blakes 7 in the field behind where I lived, we ran round pretending to shoot each other with sticks that were our lasers, teleported by jumping, and of course we girls spent as much time rescuing the boys as they did rescuing us.  I have to say in many ways my childhood was far more enjoyable than that of my own children, we had far more freedom, places we could play safely and less pressure to produce results at school which ironically led to far more creativity.  Now we have almost gone full turn where people expect children to learn by rote rather than thinking, they have targets to meet rather than time to develop but that is another story for another day.

Of course all good stories need a bad guy or in this case a very bad girl.

She always wore the most fantastic outfits sadly as a bit of a tomboy I never appreciated them at the time I was always far more like Cally who was a telepath aswell as her other talents.

One thing I have noticed is the age of the actors, if this was made today they would all be played by people in their early to mid twenties, for potentially two reasons one of course being sex appeal but the other reason I think is partly down to how long a series can be spun out while it keeps making money, Blakes 7 in some ways is unique in that it has a very obvious limitation in its very title, Blake himself.  His companions can change and if fact Blake himself did not appear throughout all four series but even when not an actual screen presence he was very much still part of the story line, fan fiction has suggested the possibility of clones being involved at the end of the series for its continuance but we will come back to that at in a minute.

If you have not watched this and now have an urge to watch the full series stop here! No seriously stop! Go Away! Because I am abut to discuss the end of the series so if you think you might want to watch it toddle off now the full episodes are on You tube.

Now for everyone else…

Blakes 7 ended with a massacre.  There is no other way to describe it, and today in a society where we have come to terms with the idea of things lasting forever this seems strange, although there was the slimmest possibility of one or two characters possibly having miraculously escaped according to certain fan circles, the reality is that a story line would have to be pretty far removed from reality to allow it.

Part of me would love to see this series remade, but part of me would be scared of what they would do with it.  While I am sure they could do amazing things for the special effects I am not so sure they could re-capture the spirit of it and that they would stay faithful to the ending.

Flights of Fancy · Me And Mine · Schedules And Lists · Tuesday Reflections

New Year Writing Resolutions

I should imagine like most of the normal resolutions I make I shall have broken most of these within the first week but here goes – I always make my resolutions in tens that way I might keep one hehehe

1)  Complete post a day for my blog in 2013

2)  Upgrade my blog so that I own the domain name

3)  Invest in Scrivener – my trial is nearly up have had to cheat to stretch it our by using word for some early drafting

4)  Complete a minimum of three writing exercises per week and keep my sensory journal adding one thing per day

5)  Be more realistic about reading other blogs, accept sometime you cannot read everything no matter how much you would want to – to ensure I do this I shall clear my inbox at the end of each day

6)  Write a minimum of 1000 words (including blog posts per day)

7)  Do my personal NaNo challenge in January

8)  Do NaNo in November

9)  Try to find a writing group I can join up with either locally or online

10) Learn to believe in my writing

Okay so that’s the resolutions next up the project list for the next twelve months – I may regret this one as I can see it growing

1) Publish Voices Across The Void

2) Edit Queen of Ages and begin submitting to agents and publishers

3) Begin drafting second part of trilogy

4) Research for final part of trilogy

5) Research for postapocalyptic novel based on the idea I mentioned before

6) Second collection of ghost storys based on the extra ones from VATV

It looks like a busy year ahead and I look forward to continuing to share my journey with you all.

Flights of Fancy · Tuesday Reflections

50 Things before 50 – 24) Stop Smoking

I am not sure technically how long I am supposed to wait before I can officially say I stopped smoking.  It is christmas day and for the first time in forever I will not be smoking in fact it has been nearly two months now.

It is still hard and there are times I really want one still but I recognise that it is want rather than need and then it comes down to self-control.  I have put on a little weight since stopping, no point pretending otherwise but with my back healing now is the time I can start working on that aswell.

This is only a short post as I have a turkey to stuff (okay we all know I scheduled this but you know I had to check it posted) and most of you have to do the same.  So if you are reading this on the day have a lovely time with those you love and if you are reading it after I hope you had a wonderful day.  Merry christmas, happy holidays, or yule blessings take your pick but which ever you choose take it with love.

Flights of Fancy · Tuesday Reflections

Hmmmm I Really Should be Blogging but Johnny Depp is Distracting Me

I sat down tonight to prepare tomorrows post there was nothing on tv so I stuck a DVD in for background noise.  Now I have actually been working my way through my DVD collection, as between kids and the other half, none of whom associate discs with the boxes they are supposed to live in, many of the discs are scratched and the damaged DVDs take up valuable space on the bookshelves.  So I grab the next on the pile and stick it in not really paying attention to what I am putting in – big mistake!

I have ended up distracted by not only Johnny Depp but the actual film The Ninth Gate, which is one of his slightly more obscure films.

Basically the plot revolves around three ancient books and whether firstly one or all are genuine and secondly whether they contain a hidden meaning.  I am not really going to go further into it if you want to you must watch the film here is the clip…

On the plus side it has inspired me with a topic for later in the week about hidden meanings and whether they exist and if they do are they intentional.  I know sounds good, it might be if I get round to writing it but I shall leave you with my favourite example of a poem with dual meaning which is William Blake’s Tyger Tyger I was a young girl the first time I ever heard it and it was spoken by David Attenborough over the start of a wildlife programme on you guessed it tigers.  I wish I could find a version of the footage but this reading of the poem by Helen Mirren shall have to suffice

Now you can imagine my despair when an english teacher ripped away my pretty tiger images and replaced it with the scenes of industrial revolution.  Where I had seen majestic stripes now stood smoke polluted skies.  It was a long time before I was able to listen to the poem again without it having been spoilt for me.  I think the truth is that my vision of it was just as valid as the academic version.  Blake may very well have been writing about the coming of the new technological era yet one cannot help feeling that should he have lived now, the tigers plight at the hands of man, would have still inspired the self-same words.

Flights of Fancy · Tuesday Reflections

Creative Cloudwatching

Recently I have been listening to a backlog of podcasts from the World Book Club on my Ipod.  I listen to authors discuss their weighty award-winning tomes, to where their ideas came from and how their characters developed.  And I have begun to reach a conclusion…

While the situations we can place our characters in is endless in the permutations we can devise, there are very few truly original characters out there anymore.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Now you may be wondering how this relates to the title but I really do believe from the readers point of view characters are a little like clouds.

When you cloud watch you lay, preferably on a sunny day in a warm meadow, and gaze up at the sky picking out shapes and pictures in the cloud formations.  There is of course never really a castle in the sky or a wild horse galloping or any of the million other potential things our minds create from the mix of shadow and light.

I believe the same is true of our characters, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAregardless of the subtle nuances we may give them to try to make them individual the reader will take those same details and apply them in relation to someone of their own acquaintance to shape their image of your character.  On top of this the majority of reader bring to each new book a wealth of prior knowledge which they use whether knowingly or not to compare and contrast.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As someone who occasionally indulges in a little Chick Lit I know I look out for the classical plot lines be it Pride & Prejudice, Emma or Jane Eyre, then I compare the heroines.  I do not mean to in fact until recently I did not even realise that I did it, but I find myself categorising them into Miss Bennett’s, Miss Dashwood’s or Miss Woodhouse’s.

And if I am honest having recognised this I realised that I do the same in other genre’s.  If I am reading horror I use Bram Stoker and Anne Rice as my frame of reference, for every genre each reader has favourite writers which shape their taste and the way they read books.

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This is not necessarily a bad thing despite the negative way in which I have approached this the reader is able to engage with the characters quicker if they can recognise the basic characteristics.  It also allows you to lead the reader to think they know how a character will behave then with a puff of wind you can blow their shape in such a way as to leave the reader breathless, or stunned.   Ultimately we cannot control exactly how the reader will view our creation only give them the outline that will hopefully guide them in the direction we ourselves see our characters heading.

But let’s be honest the world would be a far more boring place and the options for discussion so much more limited if while laying looking up at the clouds we all saw the saw castles in the sky.

Flights of Fancy · Mysteries Of Udolpho · Tuesday Reflections

The Return of Udolpho

Well not quite, I intend to begin Udolpho posts again next week and hope that MsKatykins will be joining back in very soon, as it has been a while anyone wishing to refresh their minds as to our progress can find all the posts here.

I have started the new week with high hopes of finally being back in the swing although I have made a discovery which I hope will help me in the future.  What have you discovered you may ask? Well simple when it comes to editing windows 8 sucks!  I spent an hour trying to split screens between a fresh document to type up an edited version of my WOCA story and the version marked up for editing and it just didn’t work.  I realise that I need to print it off and actually scribble on the paper to get my head round it.  Now this may seem like such a simple thing but previously I have always managed editing directly onto the computer.  I am not sure if this change is to do with my standards getting higher or my medication levels getting lower either way I need to get some ink for the printer.

I also have some other reading to look forward to, I have nearly finished reading Chocolate for Breakfast by Martha Reynolds and have just received my beta copy of Thomas Rydder’s The Clearing then throw into the mix The Life of Pi which I would love to read before the film comes out here next month I shall have a busy month or so ahead but luckily I am still off work and reading doesn’t involve too much strenuous movement.

For those of you who loved my accent I have a treat for you, not only will I be doing my second video blog later this week but one of my favourite reality type tv shows here in the UK Come Dine With Me is actually showing a week of episodes from my home town so I shall share the link today then again at the end of the week when all the episodes are up.  You have to laugh at the people they pick for these shows to represent an area as they pick the strangest people and throw in one or two normal ones.

I have quite a busy week planned this week including the annual scrub down of the skirting boards in the living room (you know the one where you shift the furniture to try to work out how you fit the christmas tree in last year – don’t worry I am not doing the actual moving part).  I hope to really get stuck in on various things over the next couple of weeks so watch this space.


Flights of Fancy · Tuesday Reflections

No Udolpho Today

MsKatykins and I are both a little behind with our Udolpho reading but I hope over the next couple of weeks we will catch up and normal service will be resumed.

So today I am going to talk ghosts.  As I have mentioned once or twice last year I went on my first ghost hunt to Bolling Hall in Bradford in the UK  I had hoped to go only a couple more this year but sadly my health issues made this impossible, I hope next year after recovery from my surgery I shall be able to participate in a couple at least.

As Halloween or as we pagans call it Samhain approaches the veil between worlds thins allowing those in spirit to draw closer to the living world.  Most Halloween practises are descended from ancient beliefs to keep the spirit world at bay and stop those who would come back to do harm at bay.  But it should also be a comforting time when those beloved ones who have departed this world can draw closer to their loved ones they left behind.  It is a strange day to be having surgery on theoretically one could worry about how much easier it would be to pass beyond the veil but for me it is comforting to know that those who have loved and cherished me will be able to watch over me and see me safely through my operation.  I would love to be able to not only see them but to remember the experience but I doubt that will be the case.

My 2010 pumpkin

I look at spirits or ghosts just like living people some will be lovely and others you would rather not meet but I do not believe they can do you any real harm though a few might try.  I know a lot of people do not believe my other half being one though he experienced things at the ghost hunt he could not explain despite trying to find rational answers for.  Sometimes faith or belief only comes through personal experience so when you light your lanterns to keep the spirits at bay ask yourself would it really be so bad if they if they came to visit.  I shall miss the trick or treaters this year but I might just carve a pumpkin still but rather than keeping them at bay I look at mine as a beacon to guide loved ones home.

My 2011 Pumpkin