Looked at the papers in the supermarkets?
Look for disappearances on the headlines. Yeah most of the papers don't show consistent headlines at the moment. But have you looked at the Reflections newspaper?
Yeah, I know it's pretty new. It won't cost you much.
Here, I've bought today's copy. See the headline? More Disappearances.
Isn't that strange? None of the other papers show anything about this major story.
What you mean you don't know about this story? Come on - you mean no one's told you about this? It's been happening for the last two weeks.
Look, come with me. There's been a couple of disappearances very close to this park. All you need to do is walk up this slope. The park's entrance is right by that posh house. You know the one I told you about? Yeah, that one.
Come on. Hurry up. Yeah, I know the greenery around us is distracting. What you mean? You've never heard of Reflections? Where have you been all these years?
That's better. Come on.
You know I actually know a couple of writers for Reflections. They're not like from the other "real" newspapers.
Oh hang on - look over there. You see those small - I don''t know - what do you call them? Baby trees? Anyway those other there. They're planted by kids from a nearby junior school.
My son goes to that school. Yeah, I know don't talk about family but...
Anyway, we're coming to that posh house.
Through the park entrance, cross the street, and then down that little road over there on the right.
You see it? I told you it's close.
Where you from by the way? No, no, I shouldn't have asked that. Bad question. None of my business. I'm just glad you're here.
Let's cross the street. It's quiet isn't it?
It's the time of the day I guess. During the weekend I think it does get very busy. I never come over then.
Now down this road and we then get into that house and-
Hum? What did you say?
No I can't promise you it's not dangerous going into the house. Yes, there are people living there.
Don't worry they won't bother us.
Well, all right I don't think they'll bother us but there's two of us so we'll be safe.
Well- I hope hoping you didn't remember when I said there'd been two disappearances here.
Reality. Are you, the reader, less real than me, the character in this book? Or are you less real than the writer of this book? Or is he less real than me? We’ll talk more about that later on.
Just come over here and sit on this park bench. Have a look around. It’s a lovely park isn’t it? You see that building over there? No, that one over there on your left. You see it? That’s actually a private building in the park. Well kind of. It’s beautiful though don’t you think? I often come into this park to look at the greenery and breathe.
Don’t tell me – you’ve got hay fever. You’re a bloody spoilsport you know that? Oh, you’ve taken some antihistamine tablets - or whatever they call it - before you picked up this book. Well that’s a relief. I wouldn’t want you sneezing on the pages of this book. Yeah, yeah, you’ve got an e-book not a paperback. It doesn’t matter. It’s still me. All this bloody technology didn’t make me any less real.
Anyway we’re getting off the main subject okay? Hang on let’s pause for a moment. That mother over there is bringing her children into the play area opposite us. Well, two of her kids. I think that’s the father over there on your left playing football with that little boy. Well I can’t complain. This part in the park is very popular with families.
Okay they’ve gone now.
Let’s face it it’s not exactly easy to be talking about murders and stuff when some people, especially children, are standing almost in front of you.
Are you okay are sitting here? I mean we could easily go for a walk in the other parts of the park. No? You’re okay - all right.
Now how do I start this? Well, okay I’m asking you because you're not real. Are you fine with me telling you that? I mean I suppose it’s not a big revelation. Anyway, we’re getting off the subject – murders.
Okay, basically there is been a big cover up. I mean look in the newspapers that have recently been available in the shops. If you buy any those papers you will find the strange issues I’m going to be showing to you.
Oh, you're now feeling bit nervous? It doesn’t matter.
I think you’ll be safe.
With all the recent controversial "crude outbursts" from the president of a certain country let's have a look at things a little more unusual.
Above is an artist's interpretation of a phenomenon that some astronomers have recognized:
When I learn about exploring space like this it makes me feel so very small. Well it makes us all look so very small.
So basically those "crude outbursts" are well little more than insignificant hot air in huge universe. I'm sure a certain person would disagree with me but there you go.
In actual fact, as part of making us look so very small, there is now a British satellite floating above us which can take films in very high detail:
So Pres Trump give it a wave as it goes past. Make sure you limit your vocalized hot air - we don't want this satellite going off orbit.
By the way, this satellite technology is not alone:
With the advancement of technology, explorations from space are no longer limited to a small number are very big countries like the USA.
I suppose this reminds me of the articles I wrote about the frequent insecurity about that advancing technology.
The use of technology to commit murders is something I write about in my novel Deprivations: The Psychopath and the Child. (You know it feels strange remembering how methodical I was in writing about how to use that technology to kill people. As for how I wrote how the baddies murdered people in my novel The Devil's Sister. )
I often read discussions on the Quora website and there have been so many questions about Trump. One was how he's regarded in other countries outside America. Here's an interesting answer to that question:
There's certainly been doubts over his mental stability. I personally feel he's either clever or demented. We'll have to wait and see.
(Trump should be very careful about saying he's a "very stable genius".)
So at first Pres Trump was complaining about fake media and now about Michael Wolff's book. You know it would be great to hear him saying nice things?
But I don't want to hear anyone else saying nice things about him. I still feel I'm about to throw up when I think about his cabinet meeting last year where all were making sycophantic speeches to him. Remember that one? God that was nauseating.
Remember when I talked about space voyages last year in my blog?
It's just been announced that a real major hero has just died:
US astronaut John Young, who flew to the moon twice and commanded the first ever space shuttle mission, has died aged 87, NASA said.
"Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer," agency chief Robert Lightfoot said in a statement.
Young was the only person to have flown missions on the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programmes.
He also once famously smuggled a corned beef sandwich on to a space flight as a gift for a fellow astronaut.
Young retired in 2004 after a 42-year career. NASA said he died on Friday following complications from pneumonia."
He majorly overshadows the present US President. John Young was incredibly brave and achieved things far and away more extraordinary than Trump.
But then Trump would still say he's fantastic. Well he is fantastic... but not in the ways he's thinking/saying.
Now of course I've got to mention my pro-Diversity novels which of course relate to actual matters. Yes, they are more fictional than Michael Wolff's book but then they are more absorbing and readable.
Rest assured they don't mention President Trump - although The Devil's Sister is set in present-day and historical America. Yes, it does describe a President but it's President Lincoln I write about who's perhaps more significant than Trump.
As for the connection between Trump and the psychopath in my novel Deprivations: The Psychopath and the Child. Well, in my novel the psychopath is murderous whereas I don't think Trump is. Although he keeps talking about the capability of US nuclear weapons so... who knows?
Many people still follow old fashioned ways of thinking and looking, despite the world changing more and more. I've already written about how some fundamental religious beliefs may come from the fear of change.
We have those fears the growing technology will lead to artificial intelligence that may eventually over-shadow or even extinguish us.
Obviously, the Terminator, the Matrix and the I, Robot films clearly show that fear but also films like the Resident Evil movies etc as well.
Of course the Resident Evil films reflect the same fear that led to the development of the Planet of the Apes films.
This is uncontrolled chemical development leading to the destruction of humanity.
The Planet of the Apes movies portray another issue that's more basic in showing prejudices within the human race. This is these films are a metaphorical reflection of racism expressed around the world.
It also shows the destruction deriving from over reliance upon fire arms.
We've seen so many tragedies deriving from the use of various weapons by people who are not able to truly understand the consequences of the uses of those weapons.
Basically there's plenty of things written and filmed deriving from that fear.
So where do we go from here?
Do we wait for the artificial intelligence to take over and guide or destroy us?
Do we wait for the insane (self)destructive sides of the human race to destroy us all?
I suppose my novels show some of that paranoia but contrast it with different ways of thinking about what we see and feel.
The Devil's Sister is showing what we fear in the Devil (of course he's an dramatic metaphor) but also showing how we feel in our prejudices.
(I should mention that The Devil's Sister is a prologue novel leading to the beginning of writings about a civil war in Hell. This is portrayed in my novel Searching For Satan.)
I must also mention how my first novel Deprivations: The Psychopath and the Child is a warning about our future.
Both of my novels champion Diversity awareness not because of 'Political Correctness' but through experiences in humanity's diverse cultures.
Pres Trump and his VP are steered by out of date prejudices deriving from misunderstandings.
This mention of a trans-woman in my novel isn't me being PC but reflecting reality.
Diversity is reality. That's what we fear. Our insecurities are controlling us. Artificial Intelligence? There's nothing to fear except us. We're doing a great job of destroying ourselves without Artificial Intelligence, viruses or certain chemicals.
This is the map of the frequently fought over Jerusalem:
It is one of the oldest cities in the world and has hosted multitudinous conflicts and massacres. Despite its horrific past, Jerusalem it is still important to people of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths.
As tradition the Pope makes a speech on Christmas day about the events in the past year. And he's talking about the many unpleasant things that have happened including the issues around Jerusalem.
The human race has had so many conflicts over the centuries around the world. We don't seem to better at resolving things except in causing more destruction. Trump won't succeed. He'll only continue the conflicts. And so he'll lose interest if he can't get praise.
Jerusalem is important for believers in the three most publicized faiths. And yet no long lasting agreements have ever been reached in the last 2000+ years.
Have a look at this:
So if there any way around this or do we just brush our hands of this issue considering no one in Israel and Palestine wants to end the fighting?
A tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye until everyone is blind and toothless.
It's like the black knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
At the root of it the human race is shaped by being awful. And often in the name of a faith.
Ironic considering the fighting Jews, Christians and Muslims believe in the same God. They all regard the Old Testament as the root of their beliefs.
(Even though the Old Testament talks about internationally illegal things like how to treat your slaves and expressing rules about selling your daughter - see Exodus 21:7.)
But I will admit the human race is capable of kindness and creativity (which the above religions all encourage). Too rare though.
But these faiths these days are touched by fundamental beliefs in returning to basic teachings (often using violence). It's like many are afraid of the increasing development of technology which is seen as depriving people of religious beliefs. But it's also depriving faith in technology and it's benefits. A never ending circle of conflicts. A bit like Jerusalem.
Yes, my novels do touch on beliefs, particularly The Devil's Sister.
It does refer to religious writings and quotes a couple of lines as well. One of them I have suggested refers to the seven successive rulers in Hell. I also mention the 'screech owl' - there's major religious meanings of 'screech owl' - you look it up.
This is the first of connected books that gives a prelude about major changes...
Of course my books are steered by championing Diversity awareness.
Apparently 'feminism' is the "word of the year" according to Merriam-Webster, the US dictionary [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42337596].
It's interesting how some people are still expressing the old fashioned wrong view that all 'feminists' are aggressive 'man-hating' women. I'll express I'm a feminist and I'm a man - let's face it having an MA Gender Studies would be a give away of my feminist standpoint. Thing is, my feminist perspective is that I see 'misogynism' as often about 'male insecurity'.
Let's face it, if you're happy in yourself why would you EVER want to make somebody else unhappy?
This is the same argument for almost any prejudice. (Like 'hate crimes'.]
So where does this fit in with my factual or fiction writing?
Without consciously thinking, my novel is obviously influenced by my views. As many authors' writings are.
And yes, The Devil's Sister approaches stereotypes in very different ways. (Let's face it, this would be a boring book if it didn't do things differently.)
My view is to both reinterpret mythical writings (while not contradicting them) and to play with what you might think of what you see around you.
.Plus, I write short chapters and every chapter has a cliff-hanger. Certainly makes stimulating reading! (Of course I'd say that 'cause I'm prejudiced!)
Of course, feminist views often link with Diversity championing standpoints. Not universal though. There are some people who describe themselves as anti-trans* feminists.
Personally, I think they're shooting themselves in the foot.
The prejudices transgender/trans* people face derive exactly from misogynism.
So you might ask where does Doctor Who come into this?
This series has been running since 1963 and has always expressed pro-female issues (often limited before 2005).
The most significant early issue was the first producer for this show, a young woman called Verity Lambert. (There was also the first Indian born director Waris Hussein so anti-racist views were major as well.) So Doctor Who was influenced from the start by Diversity awareness.
Of course this wasn't uniform during television shaped by patriarchal viewpoints.
But in some respects that outlook has always surfaced. Perhaps it was reflecting the changes happening in UK society at that time - the 60s. So, from the first episode, you had the Doctor's teenage granddaughter being influenced by 60s pop music but also very overtly showing her intellectual abilities. And then, erratically, several of the doctors companions reflected the struggle towards anti-sexism and, with that, pro-Diversity.
So the second Doctor had a companion Zoe Heriot who saw herself as brighter than the Doctor. There was Liz Shaw, a companion for the third Doctor, who was extremely bright but the writers for the Doctor Who programme seemed unable to develop her character.
Again reflecting current contemporary events during 1973, the makers of the show added Sarah Jane Smith who was defined as 'an ardent feminist' [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Jane_Smith]. It could be argued that as she was so popular in Doctor Who her standpoint shaped several later companions.
That feminist stance wasn't consistent until the renewed Doctor Who series from 2005 onwards.
Again the series reflects contemporary situations.
My novels do that as well.
Deprivations centers on a bisexual woman searching for her baby son.
But I also include details about a trans-woman. Talking about transgender issues are still controversial. This includes the trans-women who were tortured and murdered due to prejudices deriving from misogyny.
The transgender identity of the trans-woman in my novel isn't significant in the book but her personality is.
The present-day Doctor Who series has touched on transgender identities in a different way. a Time Lord's body doesn't get surgically altered but can be changed by regen(d)eration.
This alteration is being favorably anticipated to by many people. Alterations of gender in mainstream society is rarely positively regarded. Perhaps the 13th Doctor can positively affect mainstream attitudes to Diversity.
The above photo shows John Lydon at Question Time on the UK BBC1 back on Thursday 5th July 2012. There was a brief statement by a young woman in the audience expressing that no one was looking at the reasons why people go for drugs. There was little response to that statement. The disquiet and controversy about drugs and continues.
The futile international fight against drugs has always been present in our recent history. Only quite recently it was expressed "The United States is Losing the War on Drugs in the Americas".
Let's face it with a President like Trump, getting high on drugs may be very attractive to some people.
Question: are we better allowing people to be 'shooting up' with drugs or allowing people to shoot loads of other people with guns? Think about the 59 people killed and 527 people injured in Las Vegas on the evening of Sunday 1st October 2017. (Disturbingly I found this incident almost forgotten when I Google searched the headlines then but then Americans often try to forget issues where they've failed to win - on a bigger scale, think about the Korean or Vietnam wars.)
This is actually related to the prejudices against LGBT people:
Will my books help with this situation? They include situations concerning some LGBT issues (particularly transgender identities) but not in an obvious, almost pontificating way.
I prefer to engross people with exciting situations in my novels and enhancing diversity awareness is an almost unconscious consequence.
I certainly seem to be having that kind of positive effect upon readers.
I've certainly approached gender issues in very different ways in both of these books. But the common theme is highlighting factual situations.
Like in The Devil's Sister novel I do touch upon the actual issues of prostitution in New York City. Prostitution is a controversial issue with LGBT communities, particularly those with drug abuse problems.
But of course I'm actually writing about the overthrow of the Devil in the novel. But then, am I actually meaning the Devil is involved with prostitution as well?
I'll leave up that up to you to decide when you read the book.
Of course I've got to include this incredible review about The Devil's Sister:
Have I forgotten my writing about drug abuse in this blog?
No I haven't. In my third novel - Imaginary Friends and Psychos - I'm actually writing about drugs in a rather unusual sort of way. You see, part of it derives from my own personal experiences with drugs years ago. I'm not going to say any more than that. I'll leave that you to discover when I've finished and published this novel.
Virginia Elects Danica Roem, the First Openly Transgender State Legislator
Well it seems transgender identities are not really regarded as shocking any more. Let's face it, anybody who does regard them as 'shocking' tends to be insecure and bigoted. Personally I don't care if someone is transgender. Well okay let's face it, I did a PhD on hate crime and transgender identities in Manchester, UK, so I'm not exactly freaked out by transgender. You can get it here to download if you want:
I tend to take the view, "Is that person I'm working with and/or socializing with a nice person?" Doesn't matter what gender they are. All I care about is are they good at their job and are they nice to chat with?
Yeah I know there too many bigoted people out there. That's why over in the UK there are special anti-hate crime/incident laws:
"The police and Crown Prosecution Service have agreed a common definition of hate incidents.
They say something is a hate incident if the victim or anyone else think it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things:
This means that if you believe something is a hate incident it should be recorded as such by the person you are reporting it to. All police forces record hate incidents based on these five personal characteristics.
Anyone can be the victim of a hate incident. For example, you may have been targeted because someone thought you were gay even though you’re not, or because you have a disabled child.
Some [UK] police forces also record hate incidents based on other personal characteristics such as age.
In particular, Greater Manchester Police now recognises alternative sub-culture hate incidents. These are incidents based on someone’s appearance and include Goths, Emos, Punks and other similar groups. This means they will also record any such incidents as a hate incident."
So it seems the war against prejudices is slowly being won. I say 'slowly' - it's like baby steps. Let's face it we've got President Trump who's not exactly open-minded.
Remember what I said - bigotry derives from insecurity and, I suppose, ignorance - being vulnerable to getting lied to and manipulated.
Do you remember the whole situation about Trump banning transgender people serving in the USA Armed Forces? In reality, transgender identities are a tiny fraction of the population. And those that serve in the Armed Forces are quite willing to sacrifice themselves for the country they love. That bravery goes way beyond gender.
So Trump was banning patriotic people serving in the US Armed Forces. Kind of weird thing don't you think - especially when you remember about how he was accusing some sports people of not being patriotic when they weren't standing while the US national anthem was being played? (Of course, not standing was protest against racism. Let's face it would you want to stand if you were a black person and your president was supported by the KKK? Anyway...)
Issues about transgender identities are touched on in my novels. The thing is I wanted to make sure those identities were just minor things. They're not major parts of my mainstream novels.
Effectively I wanted to show people how minor these issues are but also to make you rethink your opinions in a lot of different things.
Let's face it, essential parts of any novel are to make it exciting and absorbing.
I've already had several very positive reviews about my first novel Deprivations: The Psychopath and the Child.
The Devil's Sister is a very different novel in that it makes you question all you've read, seen or heard about the Devil.
At no point do I ever misquote Biblical or mythological writings but I do interpret some of those writings differently.
Let's face it, misquoting Biblical writings is something frequently done by many writers, filmmakers, terrorists or even evangelists.
(I'm not connecting terrorists with evangelists - I'll leave that up to you if you wanna do that.)
That actually gives me ideas for a possible future novel or short story. It's unbelievable and frustrating how I have been getting ideas about various things to write about in novels and short stories when I still haven't finished my third book. It's about three quarters completed.
I was reading on Twitter of someone asking people's opinions about which is the scariest Doctor Who story.
It gave episodes Blink, Midnight and Hide as examples. But it also gave the option of 'Other'. Well, for me it was 'Other'. The scariest story for me was 'Seeds of Doom' from classic Doctor Who where Tom Baker was the Doctor and Elisabeth Sladen played his companion Sarah Jane Smith.
The late actor Tony Beckley acted as the main baddie Harrison Chase and he was SCARY and evil. The photo above is of Chase wanting Sarah Jane to be stung by a dangerous plant. Chase callously murders people for for his unemotional plans. (Although the Doctor finally does win of course!)
You may ask why am I talking about this?
Well it brings to mind some of my writing. You see, my novel Deprivations: The Psychopath and the Child has had several very favorable reviews (in fact all five of the reviews give it 5/5!) And one of the reviewers wonders if I'm to be the next Doctor Who editor. I'm not going to object to that although in writing Deprivations, I wasn't consciously influenced by Doctor Who.
Yes the main baddie in that book is a violent psycho.
And, in developing that character, I did research psychopath views but in the psycho in my novel developed her views from a different angle than many I read about.
Mind you, the novel I'm writing at present (Imaginary Friends and Psychos) also kind of includes her in an odd sort of prequel you won't have come across before. (Or least I hope you haven't!) It's a very different book from the other two I've had published.
Now, what about my other novel? That is the one called The Ruler of Hell: The Devil's Sister.
Yes, you do get excitement and drama combined with violence. You also learn that the Devil and Satan are two different people but one of them in my novel is a former ruler of Hell.
That's just the tip of the iceberg in this book but, hey, I'm giving the story away.
Does this link to Doctor Who in some way?
Well, I'll leave that to you. I don't think there is but then a reader might have a different view!
A reader sent me an email about this book. She'd loved Deprivations and so she got The Devil's Sister.
The first three chapters of both books are on my website where you can also see the film trailer for The Devil's Sister.