Naming a child can be an extremely personal and – in some cases and cultures – sacred process, as the name a parent chooses for their child will often stay with that child for their entire life. There are countless traditions from around the world centered on naming a child, from naming them after an older relative, to the Chinese practice of giving them a temporary “milk name” and waiting 100 days before choosing a real one.  Some people take this choice and the responsibility it carries extremely serious. Others… not so much.
My sister-in-law’s cat can be very demanding, and likes to meow with all the volume and desperation of a creature that has never been fed in its life. She also likes to devour her food like it’s the last meal she’ll ever enjoy – and has made herself sick in the process more than once. So I was understandable concerned the other day when, as I pet her after supper, she made a strange little noise her throat. I froze, ready for her to start vomiting, but she just settled down and started purring again.
It’s no secret that fanfiction is looked down upon, and it’s not unheard of for a book to be compared to fanfic as a way of insulting or disparaging it. Writing fanfiction can be seen as an indication that the writer lacks the originality or creativity necessary to make their own stories,  and people who write it are often called lazy or talentless.  But is fanfic really all that bad?
In a game of Dungeons and Dragons, almost anything goes. You want to set someone’s house on fire because they ripped you off in a potion sale? Go for it! You want to give all your gold and worldly possessions to a little orphan child? Sure! You want to deface an ancient temple and lead its acolytes on a wild goose chase trying to capture you? Sounds fun! If you can think of it and roll well enough to accomplish it, you can do pretty much whatever you want.
Though bisexuality has seen much persecution and erasure throughout history, it wasn’t always a taboo. In Ancient Greece, for example, it was not uncommon for men to have extra-marital relations with other men, and in Japan, the practice of shudo between a samurai master and the young men they trained often involved a sexual relationship to create stronger bonds between them.  There are countless other cultures around the world that had different views toward sexuality and sex compared to the relatively Eurocentric ideals many are accustomed to.
History is rife with examples of fearsome queens who made their names known by terrorizing their enemies. They often came into power by way of their husband’s death (at their hands or someone else’s) and many of them did very well by their people, forcing out invaders and fighting against persecution. I’ve always loved learning about these figures and found that they – like many women in history – are underappreciated. So here are very, very brief examples of some of these incredible queens.