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.
Far too often people don't realize the problems young women can face.
This sad situation is one reflected in the lives of three young women I know of over the years. (There may be other women I've met over the years but haven't wanted to tell me all of their difficulties.)
The NSPCC charity has "held more than 15,000 counseling sessions about self-harm last year". These problems can be signs of deeper issues.
In writing my next novel, 'Imaginary Friends and Psychos', I have been sensitively referring to the self-harming issues of a young woman. This is not sensationalizing them but rather, coincidentally, I've been touching on this area to high light it.
Another coincidence is the interviews with the author Philip Pullman. In his online interview with the BBC he details six steps to writing his books.
For the first step he writes "Let characters show themselves". The characters almost subconsciously developed. This is exactly how my writing is. A prominent character in my new novel already features in my first novel but in a very odd way. (My first novel is 'Deprivations: The Psychopath and the Child',) Her appearance is actually based upon my own (sometimes quite disturbing ) subconscious directions. My third novel is not a sequel to the first one in a conventional way. To say any more than that would, well, give the game away.
He expresses in his second step "There are always more stories". In other words the story can continue beyond one novel. And that is certainly true with my writing. My second novel 'The Devil's Sister', is written explicitly for a sequel. In actual fact there are probably several books after 'The Devil's Sister'. I've already titled it's sequel in that novel as 'Searching for Satan'. The concept of the ruler of Hell is not conventional. Let's just say, in my novel, the Devil and Satan are two different people.
In his third step Philip Pullman expresses "It's normal not to be confident - but don't listen to music". He's saying it's all about writing the rhythm of the words in your novel. He can't write with music playing nearby. He expresses other authors write in different ways this is certainly true with me. I actually act out the words I write so the rhythm of the sentences is written as I speak.
For his fourth step Philip Pullman writes that "Tone is more important than structure". This is very much to the thing I wrote in the previous section. The tone in my present novel is different from my first and second novel. It certainly more casual and conversational!
Philip Pullman writes in his fifth step to "choose a favorite pen". Well I do have a favorite pen but I type on my favorite computer!
For his sixth step he advises "write for yourself". No comment there. That's exactly what I do.
And this kind of links with the title of this blog.
You see certain influences - and the author Neil Gaiman and several other writers agree as well - will affect the ways we put together stories.
Look at these reviews of my first novel 'Deprivations: The Psychopath and the Child':
These are reviews for the paperback format of my novel. And one of the reviews is titled "Next Dr. Who script writer?" Well, Doctor Who has affected many people in many ways (including Neil Gaiman) and it makes me wonder how does that series affect the ways an author can write.
That series has certainly reflected events going on in reality. Most of the time it was indirect.
There were topical stories talking about the dangers from brainwashing and pollution (look at the Jon Pertwee story called 'The Green Death'). There were less than subtle references to political issues (look at the Sylvester McCoy story called 'The Happiness Patrol').
The recent Doctor Who writing has subtly reflected topical issues, most successfully pro-female (feminist) issues. This course leads me to the next Doctor in Doctor Who. That is a very good step in helping young women see successful women as role models. It may help to develop self-esteem.
Has this influenced me? Well, I'm feminist anyway (yes, heterosexual guys can be feminist) and my first novel has a strong woman the main character searching for her lost baby boy. My second novel has both male and female characters in it and my present novel has a male central character. Has Doctor Who affected it? I don't know. I'll leave it to you to decide when it's published.
On the morning of Friday 6th Oct. I impulsively went to the Mega Speaker Manchester , sat with 50+ people and found I became deeply suspicious.
First of all there was an introductory talk/speech by a Reggie Batts.
No criticism of him. He was very good and informative. One of the things he was talking about was how important having a brand is. And that it can take years to develop but seconds to destroy.
I have brands according to my work areas.
For my pro--Diversity and anti-hate crime campaigns I use the Eye image below which the Greater Manchester Police have supported.
This above giant art piece (called ERI) is connected with my pro-environmental artwork and the image associated with that.
Here is my art piece 'Orca', which has been my brand image for my creative work.
It has been used not only to display at my art exhibitions but also as an image for children (and young adults) to colour.
These images all are visual summaries of different aspects of my creativity.
Now I got diverted from my talking about Mega Speaker Manchester. (I do that!) So back on track.
After the good talk by Reggie Batts, he introduced us to another speaker who was talking mainly about business issues.
You noticed there? I don't remember his name. In fact, unlike Reggie Batts, he didn't put his name on a PowerPoint statement immediately behind him,
I wasn't bothered to find out his name. I wasn't bothered to actually listen to what he was talking about.
So I was quite glad when he finished his presentation.
Then it got even stranger. Reggie Batts then introduced a video playing on the screen of Mr J T Foxx.
It was images of him posing various celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and an image of this Boeing 747 (I think it was a 747) with the words Mega Enterprises along its side.
And then Reggie Batts proclaimed Mega Manchester was being visited by J T Foxx.
Everyone stood up. I was a little bit puzzled by this. After all I've never heard of J T Foxx before. So why should I be impressed? And why these other people in the audience stand up and applaud him? In actual fact I think the audience had 'plants' - people who posed as members of the audience who then stood up and applauded to trigger other members of the audience to stand up as well and applaud. Well, eventually I did stand up but God knows I didn't applaud (largely because I was using my walking stick).
So he started his presentation and I realised not only was he American, he was presenting as though we were American as well. He showed pictures on the PowerPoint screen of various American celebrities he's allegedly interacted with.
But you know, he showed NOTHING about British people.
Nothing about meeting British celebrities. (If he'd met the Queen I'd have been very impressed and I'm not a Royalist - although I do respect her grandsons who've done a lot of good things.)
J T Foxx was expecting we would be blown over by his American show biz. Well, seemingly some were but I was getting suspicious and bored. Let's face it, I do get fed up of someone saying how good they are again again plus meeting celebrities again and again. Especially if the presenter isn't actually that good.
Now I will express I respect Foxx's success and obviously his American standpoint has been very effective in USA.
But when his talk was getting close to lunchtime he should've been winding down for the break but he just kept going on, even more intensely. Was he thinking people would agree to anything because they wanted lunch?
Well, I was able to get online with my computer there and checked him while he was talking.
Effectively it's alleging he's a scam merchant.
That uncertainty about being a scam merchant was enough to make me go away even though one of the positive things Batts and Foxx were more or less saying is 'think global act local'. Now that's a good standpoint but J T Foxx wasn't showing that in his presentation. I think it's just a regurgitation of a routine he's done so many times.
You have been warned. And so has he.
So how does this lot connect with my work?
Well, I'm not going to suggest J T Foxx is the Devil.
But I am expressing most of the events in my novel are in the present-day USA with others in the mid 1800s and mid 1900s USA.
I'm not American but I made sure my descriptions in my writing about America were accurate. As well of course of being readable and exciting.
That is more effort and respect than J T Foxx seemed to show in his presentation to British people in Manchester, UK.
This lacking of respect and understanding is shown in other recent problems around the world.
Look at events in the UK - think about WHY Theresa May called a General Election last year but also about how the Tories in the Conservative Conference were whispering about replacing May as their leader MORE than the benefits for the country.
Now I'm not expressing support more for any other party because I don't really trust any of them!
This lacking of respect and understanding is shown with various worldwide problems notably the hurricanes and the terror expressed in Rohingya.
I know many people around the world feel powerless about these problems.
Just do good things near you.
So what actually is the problem?
Do we look at the way Trump often reiterates the paranoia in America that all Americans are constantly in danger?
Even though the only danger Americans face is from other Americans.
The 'American Dream' is actually the 'American Nightmare'.
Which of course being us to racial problems. You know, the idea black Americans are somehow different and dangerous to white Americans? You remember the paranoia of that the American police often seem to have in murdering several completely innocent black people? And the way that they then get away with these murders even though they're filmed. Perhaps these incidents are judged by equally paranoid people.
We're facing the situation of the lack of education and America has a serious problem with this area.
You know I have personal very, very strong dislike this. I'm actually married to black woman. Ooo, I can hear some American readers gasping in horror about the idea of a white man marrying a black woman.
Yeah there are still some people who are so behind the times. The only major differences between my wife and myself are what's between our legs.
As for her having breasts well the only major difference here is that my nipples are not functional. (A bit of a shock here guys - your nipples are wired into breast growing mechanisms in your chest. They're asleep in the vast majority of man. There are some men who can develop breast cancer because there's the same tissue in men's chests as there is for women. Check it up if you don't believe me.)
Do any of you feel that insecurity when I talk about the intimate physical connection between men and women? Whatever your personal beliefs, the structure of male and female bodies are essentially very similar. Our bodies have been designed that way.
Perhaps you can actually take it one step further and emphasize that similarity is supposed to indicate we should respect each other whatever our gender.
Well I got from the horrible mass shooting in Las Vegas to talking about gender issues. How did that come about?
Tell you what - I'll give you something to think about. Do any of you remember the film Fight Club?
I won't tell you of any of the major details in the film. I would only say go and see it.
I remember showing my Dad this film. I bought the DVD of it. He didn't know what to expect but came to feel exactly the same enthusiasm about this film as I did.
Yes its violent. Yes it's very surreal. Yes Brad Pitt ends up sleeping with Helena Bonham Carter. (That's as much as I'm going to tell you.)
Yes it does tell you how frustrated American men often are with American society. The frustration is the fuel talked about in that film.
And that is the seed of the Las Vegas murders. And many other of the terrible American serial killings.
So I'm sure you're thinking how does this link with my novel 'The Ruler of Hell: The Devil's Sister'?
The novel's all about frustration and thinking differently Plus it's mainly set in present-day America but also in the mid 1800s during the Lincoln assassination and the mid 1900s in asylum incarceration. (Satan is in the asylum in my book but the full reason why is not at all what you expect.)
Now you're thinking how does this all connect with making speeches?
Will it doesn't - not directly anyway. You see over in the UK we have the Conservative conference at present. This is an annual gathering of the Conservative Party. The Conservatives are the present Government in the UK. Theresa May is the Prime Minister and she has had a very uncomfortable speech on the 4th October. She was snuffling with a cold and a prankster gave her a P45 UK unemployment form during her speech. She didn't shoot him. (There's the link.)
We'll see what happens to her over the next few days.
Now, why did I include mentioning 'space' in the title?
Maybe these people would like to live in a quieter place - like on a spaceship.
Well, now that NASA doesn't sent people into space it's up to private organizations who want to tempt people to buy tickets for going into space...
"Space Exploration Technologies Corp., doing business as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. SpaceX has since developed the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft family, which both currently deliver payloads into Earth orbit."
We can look more at them after these space rocket making people have got things right. (They've crashed one actually on the launchpad but anyway...)
Let's have a read of novels in the meantime:
So here we are. A seemingly fantastic image of Trump being in control of the world's politics.
No one seems to stand a chance against him because he's promised to rain fire and fury upon whoever challenges America.
Well the reality is Kim Jong-un, the ruler of North Korea, isn't impressed or afraid:
Bear in mind North Korea is actively supported by China. China is a nuclear-power and has a population three times bigger the United States. Trump would be extremely advised to be very very careful around this area. He's backing himself into a corner that can only lead to humiliation if he's not careful.
Now I know that Trump and Kim Jong-un are fairly inexperienced about their status. And, of course, there's that saying: "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." This saying comes from the English historian John Dalberg-Acton. So don't think it comes from America. But Action did have a great deal of interest in the United States.
Now before any of you get really critical to claim Trump and Kim Jong-un are being Neanderthal. I see where you're coming from but there is been new evidence suggestion that Neanderthals might actually have been quite bright.
This kind of brings me to Doctor Who. Yeah I know you're thinking, "How?"
Some of you might have guessed the image of Trump and the globe actually partly comes from a classic Doctor Who story, Time Flight.
Here, Kalid - no he's not Muslim - who apparently the Doctor meets in prehistoric times.
Kalid the Master in disguise. (Yeah for those of you who've only watched Nu Doctor Who, the master has frequently employed disguises.)
But then I'm sure you're thinking where does this go onto?
Well, think about it like this: The master has always - well, nearly always - been defeated by the doctor. (And the doctor always enjoys interacting with him even though he's responsible for causing so many deaths but we're getting off the track here.)
You see, Trump always wears a disguise. In fact I wonder whether he's forgotten what disguise he's wearing. Let's face it, if you're regularly featuring on TV, you're always going to wear a mask. Now I mean any celebrity not just an actor.
The problem for those kind of celebrities is is that they're never able to relax and take off that mask. Perhaps Trump needs to book himself a flight on the new space rockets that are apparently regularly launching.
Well it seems that America is making plans but also China and New Zealand and even Norfolk in the UK.
Well it seems that Trump might get the chance to get on a rocket up to space and have some alone time.
Well it seems that Trump might get the chance to get on a rocket up to space and have some alone time.
Maybe he can read a book I could possibly suggest a couple of absorbing books. Not that I've got any motives to suggest any particular books
But I suspect that his alone time might not be for too long.
Especially if a TARDIS materializes alongside him...
The things going on 0.93 billion miles away on the Saturn planet are certainly less troubled than having home-made bombs in tube trains and homicidal idiots madly driving vans.
However hurricanes are a bit of an issue on Saturn. Thank God we don't have to deal with them. Mind you, it's incredible to watch the phone films etc people did during the recent hurricane Irma :
I know you're thinking, "What's this stuff about a psychopath in the blog's title?"
Only this morning I was watching the really nice author/illustrator Cressida Cowell (@CressidaCowell) promoting her new book. (She wrote the very successful 'How To Train Your Dragon'.) Here is the UK tour where you can meet her -------------------->
(She's also doing a USA tour.)
Her brilliant drawings to in her book reminded me that I drew and designed the cover of my latest novel 'The Ruler of Hell: The Devil's Sister':
Parsons Green: Injuries after London Tube train blast
Yet again we seem to have another awful incident...
At this stage there's no clear view about what this is - many fear it could be another bomb attack...
I was going to write less dramatic things than this but this incident is more important...