A to Z Challenge: Quidditch, Quizzes and Queen

During the 2013 Blogging from A to Z Challenge I’m posting what I like to describe as “semi-useful” procrastination strategies for writers and others who may need a little break from the task at hand from time to time.

I have four links of time-wastey wonderment for your clicking pleasure today.

First up, why not get your wizard on and try your hand at blocking a bludger or tossing a quaffle in the online Quidditch Tryouts over at the Harry Potter site. I tried these and was horrifically awful, but you may be more skilled than I am. You could hardly be less. If you’re big on Quidditch, there’s another game on the Puff Game website. It might be better. It might be worse. I’m not a reliable judge, since I sucked equally at both.

Slightly more suited to my talents are the lovely collection of Quizzes from The Guardian. There are new quizzes every week and a hefty collection of archived quizzes, all on a diverse collection of topics, including “Margaret Thatcher in Literature,” “Test Your Easter Bunny Brain Power,” and “Football Quiz: Infamous Manager Quotes.” Okay, I sucked at this one too, but it was hilarious anyway. Hilarious. Even if you ignore the others you have to check this one out.

But maybe you’re being kept awake nights wondering about your chances of survival should your city or town or rural paradise be overrun by the undead. Well, the Zombie Apocalypse Quiz will help you figure that out. My chances, should you care, are not terribly good. In fact, they’re so not good that I’m telling you here and now that if you’ve been thinking I’m someone you’d like to invite onto your zombie-quelling team, you might want to have a little re-think on that one.

And, finally, let me leave you with a tasty helping of Queen, with a side dish of David Bowie, performing the classic Under Pressure (which is a pretty apt description of my online Quidditch experience).


There are some terrific bloggers participating in the challenge this year. Check them out over here.

A to Z Challenge: Longform, Literary Games, and Leek Jinx

During the 2013 Blogging from A to Z Challenge I’m posting what I like to describe as “semi-useful” procrastination strategies for writers and others who may need a little break from the task at hand from time to time.

Ah, yes, what do we have on the procrastination menu today? As it happens, “L” is exploding at the seams with possibilities for time wasting, so much so that I’ve had to cull my list ruthlessly to keep this to a reasonable length.

Longform is a recommendation site that suggests online fiction and non-fiction pieces for your reading pleasure. You can read the stories or articles in your browser, or save them to read later with Readability, Instapaper, Pocket or Kindle. One of the things that sets Longform apart is that it’s not about small, bite-sized chunks of writing. The articles it collects and suggests are longer (over 2,000) words, in-depth, and often from less well-known news sites. If you want to check out a couple of examples of the articles they link to, try these:

Or maybe you have a hankering for playing some Literary Games:

Or, then again, perhaps you’d rather sit down with a nice cup of tea and get your magic on by perusing the List of Spells over at the rather awesome Harry Potter Wiki.

Off you go now, to enjoy your weekend, and I promise not to Leek Jinx you. Probably.

There are some terrific bloggers participating in the challenge this year. Check them out over here.