Friday, 15 February 2013

RIP David Barby (23 April 1943 – 25 July 2012)

I just discovered, through watching 'Flog IT! Trade Secrets' on the BBC, that the wonderful David Barby died in 2012. I am saddened by this, as he was one of the people on my 'Would Love to Meet' list. Mr Barby was a flamboyent, extremely knowledgeable antiques expert and a generous and gentle Gentleman. His specialism was ceramics. Sadly he suffered a brain haemorrhage at his Rugby home on 12 July 2012, dying two weeks later on 25 July 2012 in a hospital in Coventry, aged 69. Best wishes from me to the family and friends who survive him and, doubtless, mourn and miss him. I will miss him too, he was a wonderful entertainer and a marvelous antiques expert. Blessed Be, Mr.David Barby!

Monday, 9 July 2012

'Adult' content in fan fiction and other genres

I understand that one of the sites I have, in the past, published on, recently made the decision to start removing some of the 'MA' rated fiction  from their site.  I vehemently disagree with this action.
"Fiction M can contain adult language, themes and suggestions. Detailed descriptions of physical interaction of sexual or violent nature is considered Fiction MA."
I also don't understand why the site in question has allowed authors, recently, to class their writing as 'MA' and publish it as such when they claim they haven't accepted MA stories since 2002.

Other sites recently started removing NC-17 material as well, including some mainstream publishers of e-books. One such move was prompted by the demands of certain banks, inflicted upon PayPal and thence onto their service users.

NC-17 is a rating used for some films in America:
"No one under the age of 17 is permitted in a theater to watch a film with this rating. The MPAA gives a film an NC-17 rating based on "violence, sex, aberrational behavior, drug abuse or any other element that most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children.

(In the UK the rating equivalent to NC-17 would be an '18' (over 18s only). There is no drect equivalent of 'MA', since it is 15+ OR under 15 if accompanied by an adult, so it falls somewhere between our '12' rating and out '15' rating).

I cannot state vehemently enough how opposed I am to the suppression or censorship of creative works by corporate, financial, religious, political and governmental bodies. If humans do it, we should be able to write, paint, draw or perform works about it. 

As a sexual abuse survivor I have a vested interest in this situation, because what happened to me, in real life, involved "violence, sex [and] aberrational behavior". If I cannot express my experiences and my views on such issues, whether that be in fiction or factual writing or artwork, then the door is left open for those who would seek to inflict the same behavior on new victims. Abuse happens behind closed doors. The victims of abuse are told not to tell. We MUST tell in order to stop the abuse! 

As a pansexual / bisexual / humanosexual / Queer I need to be able to speak of myself and my tribe(s). I need to be able to express my views, describe my practices and expose the lies people tell about who I am and what I get up to. I need to be able to tell the stories of my tribe(s), so that our history may be preserved and those who need to find and join us may do so.

As a pagan I need to be able to discuss my faith, my belief, my hopes, fears, concepts and understanding of this life. Some members of my faith feel that the practices of the faith should not be disclosed to the uninitiated; having lived past lives that ended in torture and fire I understand their concerns, but wonder what impression the stance gives to outsiders in the present time. 

As an artist, and as a sufferer of mental ill-health, I need to speak of my personal vision, my insights, experiments, nightmares and explorations. I cannot allow all that accumulates in my head to go unexpressed, because it would, quite literally, kill me to remain silent. 

Silence allows those who would eradicate our tribe(s)--or disenfranchise or gag the members thereof--the opportunity to promote wildly inaccurate fantasies about what we may or may not get up to behind our own 'closed doors'. Silence can cause those moderates who might otherwise support us to wonder and to doubt, and thus our causes are weakened,

I am fortunate enough to be able to say, without serious fear of death, or imprisonment (though not violence, even here in the 'enlightened' West), that I will not allow my voice and the voices of others to be censored or silenced whilst any means of self-expression remains open to me. I support wholeheartedly those who live in regimes where such freedom is unobtainable and will work to gain them the same freedoms, where it is in my abilities to do so.


There is a practice among those who write fan fiction to include in their profiles various statements about their fandoms, their beliefs and their politics, and to ask others who agree with them to re-post these short statements onto their own profiles. Thus I offer these two:

If you believe that it is your RIGHT to be able to publish overtly sexual content (NC-17(+)) so long as it has a warning on it, PLEASE copy and post this on your own blog.
If it is your intent to fight corporate, financial, religious, political and governmental attempts to censor and suppress the creative works of yourself and others please copy and paste

Despite their stance on NC-17 literature, the site I refer to above has a very good, user friendly system in operation. I can quickly find my own works and those of others which I have especially enjoyed. It will notify me when favourite stories are added to and it will tell me when my favourite authors have published something new (provided of course the works sought are not NC-17 and have not been removed). I have yet to find a site which offers as much easily accessed interactivity. I will not, therefore, remove my existing works from the site, but in future I will be publishing on sites which do not censor their content to exclude NC-17 works, even though I rarely write such works myself. 

You will find my newer work, presently, on my own (writer's) blog, on the Redemption Reef blog and 'coming soon' at Archive Of Our Own (AO3) and A Teaspoon and an Open Mind

I hope that in time those publishers and other institutions who currently feel they need to bow to the demands of those who support censorship of the Arts will 'grow a pair' and say 'NO'. I praise those who already actively resist censorship of the Arts and I remember those Artists, Writers and Performers who in the past had their work removed from galleries, theatres or presses, whose perseverance has proven that resistance is never futile! Blessed Be!


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Revelations and Revolutions

I am currently reading one of Jack Rinella's books, 'Philosophy in the Dungeon: The Magic of Sex and Spirit'.

I have been an admirer of Jack Rinella's writing for a long time now. Jack is mainly known for his involvement in the BDSM ad Leather lifestyles. He's lived with his slave, Patrick, 24/7 for a long time now. He speaks at conventions and other cultural events and his style is very much 'no frills, tell it how it is'. It was a small surprise to me, then, to learn that Jack is also travelling a path to enlightment and has written about it so well and so elegantly in this marvellous volume. I should have known of course, because Jack has always been a rabid pursuer of the truth and the meaning behind things.

Sex magic is a much whispered about but rarely elaborated-upon aspect of Magic. In this book Jack Rinella has brought light to the topic. He's also brought his humility (a rare thing amongst authors who write about Magic), his experiences, his life, his trials and tribulations and his joys and transformations.

Whilst the word 'Philosophy' in the title might make it sound daunting and dry-dusty, this book is far from that. There is warmth, there is humour, their is strength and pride and there is a very real desire to share learning.

I highly recommend this book not only to the Leather, BDSM and LGBTQ communities, but also to the Pagan, Wiccan and Witch communities as well as to the rest of humanity. On the other hand, if you are easily shocked, prudish, afraid of sex, close-minded, bigoted or stupid this is probably not the book for you, though, because it might dangerously alter your understanding of the world and of sex and love, including the love of the Divine and our reasons for being in this life.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Books that Changed My Life

I like this sort if thing, 'top ten' lists and the like, as popularised by FaceBook. Here's a list of books that have meant a lot to me and have--quite literally--changed my life.

The Adventures of Binkle and Flip, by Enid Blyton
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C S Lewis
A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin
The Dancers of Arun, by Elizabeth A. Lyn
Silver Metal Lover, by Tanith Lee
Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer
Vampire: The Masquerade, by Mark Rein-Hagen
Love is in the Earth: A Kaleidoscope of Crystals, by Melody
The Master's Manual: A Handbook of Erotic Dominance, by Jack Rinella
Per Ardua, by Jessie Blackwood
The Hands, by AB Gayle, Katisha Moreish, Jessie Blackwood, Andrea Speed and JJ Levesque

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Bit of a Rant

I posted this on my Facebook today and decided I felt it was important enough to blog it here too.

A friend posted this link:

It's My Story: Getting Bi

Having listened to this quite interesting, though short, radio documentary I felt I wanted to respond. This is the resultant little rant I placed on Facebook:

"You know, for the record... Bisexuality is no more of a choice than being gay is. I am bisexual; I am not a lesbian who is in denial. I will have a physical relationship with anyone, regardless of gender, PROVIDED I LOVE THEM and they are up for it. Nor am greedy (despite being polyamorous). I am just aware that a) what twiddly bits someone happens to possess has no bearing on whether I can like or love them, and b) I have learnt by experience that loving someone 'with all of your heart' can be done to more than one person at a time. To quote the documentary, "some people ARE Bisexual, so get over it!" Some people are also poly, so get over that one too."

Thanks for listening :-)
This post has also ben blogged over at my Gender Irrelevant blog site.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Redemption Reef - End of Season Finale

I am delighted to announce that the final post for this season of Redemption Reef has now gone up. Following an arduous day in the office Gideon Sterling--Mystery Island's Security Officer--decides to make a social call on someone on the neighbouring island of Rapatoka. Secrets are shared and plans are laid. Read it now at Redemption Reef--Episode 38: Building Bridges.

This season's adventures will be appearing as a free ebook soon. We are also looking at the possibility of taking this and the prequel, 'The Hands' into paperback format.

Next season is already being planned. If you would like to join us as a guest author please contact us via the website or through our Facebook fan page.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Redemption Reef update

I am delighted to say that episode 37, the penultimate episode of Series One of Redemption Reef: Second Chances has now been posted. Episodes 1 to 38 will be compiled into another complete volume, again a free read, once the series concludes and will be available for download soon after.

The prequel, The Hands, is now available on GoodReads as a free download and we are looking at the idea of publishing both volumes in paperback form. If you like that idea, let us know!