How many readers have finished a book and let their minds wander on to “what might have been”? Such is the premise for the swathes of fanfiction available on the internet (not all written by teen girls; then again, E. L. James was once just another female fan of Twilight…). Nevertheless, it is a sensation which in recent years has seen the rise of online writing group mutual support projects like NaNoWriMo (promoted successfully on social media platforms such as Twitter and Goodreads) and has seen the use (in all sense) of Wattpad increase exponentially (rivalling established publishing houses and even media studios). Forget Indie publishing on Amazon to start off a writing career, reviews seem to say: Wattpad is the first port of call today.

Fantastic Figures

Reading Wattpad’s statistics feels very much like looking at the Forbes Rich List when it comes to the sheer size of the numbers. For example, 13bn minutes are spent reading on Wattpad per month, with over 500,000 stories uploaded daily. The platform’s users are predominantly young and female, but these are stats that surpass even Candy Crush or Snapchat, and that is incredible. What is not so shocking is analytics proving once again that teen technology usage and online activity assists in predicting what will next become popular. Dubbed the “Youtube of fiction”, Wattpad is for a generation fed on the potential for viral fame.

Not Just for Kids

Of course, adults use Wattpad as well (the company did release its X-rated adult romance app in 2015, after all; doubtless off the back of 50 Shades success). Further, you don’t have to be the most tech savvy individual to be successful either, even though the platform’s stories are uploaded via the Smartphone app and you are notified (text message style) when a new chapter is added to whichever serial you choose to follow. To assist your endeavors, for example, there exists a Wattpad cover maker for such considerations to writing as a supporting image to draw readers in.

Handy indeed, or maybe even revolutionary. Margaret Atwood published a book of her poetry via Wattpad a few years ago to make a point on the cost of eBooks – seemingly negligible, but in reality not always so – and to highlight the potential for channeling the platform into a facilitator for mainstream publisher-notice.

Beware the Revolution

Nonetheless, not everyone is taken in by the “Wattpad Revolution” (not least due to its penchant for corporate partnerships, a collaborative business model set-up that saw its predecessor close after only three years of operation).

One question is, to what point can fanfiction be celebrated as much as original fiction? Though Wattpad lists its uploaded fanfiction right beside original creations, is this not in turn promoting profit from others’ endeavors? Authors who feel this to be true can object to fanfiction in response to their work being published on Wattpad, but what of those who don’t? Far more difficult and worthy is the development of that original seed of thought and resultant tree, than the weaker leaves that flutter wildly from its later branches.

Into the Night to Save the Day! Soaring onto DVD for the first time ever, PJ Masks: Time to Be a Hero provides little ones with the chance to join the superhero trio from Entertainment One’s hit preschool show for even more fun at home.

PJ Masks

Halloween treat

Coinciding perfectly with Halloween, this new DVD follows the adventures of school friends Connor, Amaya and Greg who, as night falls, magically transform into their superhero alter-egos Catboy, Owlette and Gekko. With their pyjamas on and animal amulets activated, they become the invincible PJ Masks team and tackle trouble that is being stirred up in the city.

PJ Masks DVD

PJ Masks: Time to Be a Hero features six action-packed adventures providing budding young superheroes with over an hour’s worth of fun. The episodes included see Gekko overcoming his stage fright to rescue his voice back from Romeo, Owlette learning that it is better to give than receive in order to escape Luna Girl’s HQ and Catboy striving to get back Amaya and Greg’s stolen superhero pyjamas.


To celebrate the launch, we’re giving a lucky winner a copy of the PJ Masks: Time to Be a Hero DVD.

PJ Masks – Time to be a Hero is available on DVD and Digital Download from Monday 30th October.

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Period poverty is in the news and rightly so.

Periods cost money

Did you know that British women spend around £19,000 on period products? This includes the cost of tampons, towels, pain relief and underwear.

If we take a woman who menstruates for 40 years that works out at about £475 which depending on your circumstances might not seem like loads of money. I would argue that sanitary protection is a basic need and that poverty should not stop you having it.

Let’s empathise

If you have ever started your period unexpectedly, you will know how embarrassing it is to have stains on your clothing or to leave a mark on a chair.

If we are honest we also know that sanitary products vary enormously in terms of efficacy and much of that is based on the price you pay.

Food or sanitary protection?

If you are mum and it is a choice between feeding your children or not having adequate sanitary protection, what will you do? We know the answer is probably feed the children but what if you need to work and have no sanitary protection and are on your period?

Earlier this year a pilot scheme in Aberdeen was launched to provide free sanitary products to women and girls from low income households, in a bid to tackle period poverty. Lucky Aberdeen but what about the rest of us?

We should be better than this!

It really gets to me that we seem to be no further forward than when my mother started her periods back in the Thirties. She told me she would try and make pads out of sheets of toilet paper.

It is great that food banks are now often encouraging donations of sanitary protection products from members of the public. A lot of us could afford two packets instead of one when we buy sanitary towels or tampons. It could make all the difference to the dignity of a woman and the emotional wellbeing of a family that is struggling. Should women really be reduced to using tissues, newspaper or socks in their knickers to mop up blood from what is a perfectly natural and important bodily function?

What about the girls who can’t go to school because they have no sanitary protection. Education if often the route out of poverty so that’s a real curveball. You want to go to school to escape poverty but you can’t because you are on your period and have no protection because you are poor.

Let’s take action!

Wouldn’t it be great if every blogger or blog reader that could buddied up with a woman or family affected by poverty to offer a monthly supply of sanitary product? As blogs so often give women a voice, it would be great to see bloggers coming together to do something on this issue.

In the meantime, check out Amika George’s #FreePeriods campaign and sign the petition unless you would ever love to be poor and have blood streaming down your legs?

What are your views on period poverty?

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The Modern Face of Marriage is of course very different than how marriage was in the past.

Marriage in the past

My Mum and Dad married in 1950 and as in many marriages of that era, it really was until death us do part. What an achievement to stick together for almost 60 years through good times and bad sharing the joys and the challenges. Dad was the main breadwinner and expected mum to stay at home at least until the children went to school.

Is romance dead?

It saddens me a little that people go up the aisle thinking already that they might get divorced if things don’t work out. Although I think it is great that people can escape an unhappy marriage particularly if violence or abuse is an issue, the romantic in me still yearns for the happy ever after for everyone.


When Mum and Dad got married their religions were different and that was an issue in a way that it would not be nowadays or I hope not anyway. Their wedding day was lovely but simple and not the huge ostentatious affairs that seem to be the norm these days despite so many in the UK being cash-strapped.

Living together

People often wait longer to get married these days both in terms of age and in terms of length of relationship. I was 10 years in to my partnership (and 3 babies!) before we got round to putting a ring on it. It is easier to just live together these days as people don’t bat an eyelid about that arrangement and are less judgemental.

Because divorce is readily available, more and more people have multiple marriages. I did not dream of marrying a man who had an ex-wife but that is how it turned out when Cupid decided to sling one of those arrows. If you are interested in reasons people decide to divorce, have the answers.

Modern Face Of Marriage

During our relationship, there have been times when my husband earned more and times when I did. I have worked, run a business and spent time as a stay at home mum largely due to the unavailability of reliable and affordable childcare.

Although I am a feminist, I often wonder if life was easier for wives when roles were more clearly defined. I can’t be the only woman who tries to combine income-generation, parenting and domestic goddess attempts often feeling the Jackie of All Trades and the Mistress of None.

Same-sex marriage

Of course there is one huge and welcome change in that same-sex couple can now express their commitment to each other in a public ceremony.

I think the real truth about the modern face of marriage is that it varies from couple to couple but thinking about the older couples I have known, I think that always applied really. We are individuals after all and have to navigate the ultimate partnership that marriage brings carefully.

There were 247,372 marriages between opposite sex couples in 2014 and 4,850 marriages between same sex couples in 2014. It appears that whatever the modern face of marriage, lots of us are still keen on the institution and the concept of our own Big Day.

Flight delays have the potential to wreck holidays and disrupt business plans. They can be under an hour or more than one day or anything in between. One delayed flight can mess up all the follow-up travel plans from getting a connecting flight to missing out on the public transport you had planned to get you nearer home.

Little things can make it less stressful depending on the causes and length of the delay. It might be that the airline offers you complimentary refreshments.

An apology helps but is so often not given in case it means admitting liability when often a sorry would make air passengers feel so much better about their plight.

It can be stressful whatever your circumstances but if you have children who get bored easily it can be an absolute nightmare. This is worse if your children are so young that you cannot really explain to them what is going on and that everything will turn out OK in the end. Couples often handle stress in different ways too so that might add domestic strife to an already challenging situation.

We all have lives away from our holiday period or business tasks. Sometimes we are juggling a lot of responsibilities. This might mean we have people who rely on us as unpaid carers to someone who is old and frail or someone with mental or physical health issues. Perhaps we left children at home with someone else who is only available for a limited period.

It can be nerve-wracking if you are the victim of a longer flight delay worrying where you are going to spend the night. You might have limited funds available at the end of a holiday.

Claiming compensation for flight delays takes a little time and effort but if you have suffered in some of the ways above, a successful claim might make you feel a whole lot better.