Friday, 30 November 2012

New Publication - Stories on Motherhood by Sue Oaks

Short Stories on Motherhood
Sue Oaks

I am excited to announce that my new book Short Stories on Motherhood has just been published by the wonderful Metaplume. It is available through Amazon

These stories have been many years in the making and are aimed at an adult readership. They are very eclectic in style and touch upon the diverse experience of motherhood in a creative, humorous, serious and sometimes poetic way.

The book of five stories can be purchased for $4.95, I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Sue Oaks

Friday, 23 November 2012

Fancy Dress Party Ideas - Gods and Monsters (Guest Post)

It’s always a good idea to have a theme for a fancy dress party. It helps guests narrow down their options to come up with a good costume and with everyone being dressed according to the theme, it gives the event a more memorable feel.
Common themes include the Sixties, the Seventies and the Eighties; rock and pop artists; TV and film characters; and Halloween is essentially its own theme. If you’re looking for something a little different, how about having a gods and monsters party?
This seems pretty vague, but it’s good for fancy dress because there are lots of fantastical characters you can create. It is fantasy, but without the temptation to come dressed as one of the dreary heroes.

Sculpture by Holly Schmid copyright 2012

The Norse gods offer a couple of good options. Thor is an obvious example with his giant hammer, but what about Odin with his one eye and his ravens? Or what about the Ancient Egyptian gods? Anubis has the head of a jackal, while Ra has the head of a falcon. Similarly, in the Hindu religion, Lord Ganesh has the head of an elephant, while other gods can be identified by their multiple arms and the objects they carry. Another good option from Hinduism is Hanuman, who is a monkey.
Greek mythology gives rise to some good ideas as well. Poseidon is the god of the sea and always bears a trident, while Hades is god of the dead and King of the Underworld. If you’re not sure how to turn that into a costume, what about his three-headed dog, Cerberus?
Monsters come in all shapes and sizes and popular culture provides us with plenty of possibilities, from Skeletor to Frankenstein and from Godzilla to Gremlins.
It’s up to your guests how far the concept is stretched. A programme like Doctor Who gives rise to the Cybermen and the Daleks – are these monsters? It depends on your definition. If the costume is good enough, people will be happy to bend the rules a little. Similarly, Ming the Merciless is perhaps more of a villain than an out and out monster, but it’s such a good costume that you’ll doubtless be forgiven.

A fancy dress party theme is as much about giving people inspiration as it is about being prescriptive, so set the tone and then see what happens. Most of the fun is in seeing what people come up with.

Mark Stretford gets his men’s fancy dress costumes from