Romance Writing: Is There Ever Too Much Sex? Erotica vs Romance- The Difference? #90DaysBlogChallenge #amwriting #blogchallenge

Well, in response to the #90DaysBlogChallenge in my personal view point, is there ever too much sex in romance stories? I feel that how it’s written can make it seem ‘too much.’ Rather than how much is written. Also, I feel if that (hot sex) is the main driver in a story that’s meant to be, or marketed as a romance, then it can come across as too much. I feel the latter as yes, I agree that there’s a massive difference between romance and erotica, in terms of genre, and the purpose they serve to myself as a reader and others. If the main driver is ‘hot sex’ as a selling point of the story, it really should be an erotica story. So, let me break this down.

Seriously, is it ever too much?

In romance sex may play a big part in the story, after all this is about people and their relationships. So sex will be normal, naturally for characters as it is for real people. It’s a way relationships develop you could say, so generally it’s to be expected in romance stories. Unless it’s a ‘sweet and clean’ type of story. Generally speaking for me as a big romance reader, and writer, I think that if romance writers think very carefully about where they place their sex scenes, what purpose it serves, and why their characters must get it on at that point in the story– this helps with reducing that cringe-worthy read feeling. Or the feeling a reader may have (myself included) of, ‘this is too much, shit I’m not gonna finish this book.’ This is what I mean by how sex is written rather than how much of it. Also, in addition to this if there’s pages and pages of it, that’s overly detailed, and leaves little to the imagination, and nothing else going on really in the story –yes as a reader I’ve felt it’s ‘too much.’ Again, that boils down to how it’s written. The main elements of what makes a romance a romance may also be missing, if sex is all that’s driving the plot. Which brings me back to the point I made earlier– maybe that’s an erotica story if that’s the case.

So what’s the difference between erotica and romance in your view, Kim?

I know that’s what you’re thinking, well what’s the difference? In all honesty for me erotica is sex driven not emotionally or even plot driven. To me the genre from what I have read of it, and clearly I know of it as a writer the main purpose it serves is more: the sexual tension, the sexy acts the characters get into themselves (BDSM, threesomes, carrying out fantasies etc). The plot is not always as dynamic as romance as the sexy acts can be such a big part of the story, and reason why the characters are together in the first place. This seems to be (from reading) what the main emphasis is on, in a lot of what I’ve read. It’s about the thrill of the chase yes but–sexually. Maybe you disagree, but this has just been my experience. I’d also generally say this as a writer too, I (and I’d guess most romance writers regardless of their sub-genre), write stories that are emotionally and plot driven. The emotional build up, tension (not always sexual think of romantic suspense as a sub-genre), and the growth and development characters often experience are a big factor of a story. The latter should be a feature if the writer has done a good job! Readers can feel and see it. Generally speaking also, the latter is not always something that is a heavy focus in erotica stories. It’s the power that’s in the sex scenes, rather than the power in emotionally tugging at a reader.

What about ‘steamy romance’?

Yes, let’s not forget this. I am a ‘steamy romance writer’ to the core. I find it very hard to write stories where characters just hold hands and walk in the park LOL. Those that pen wonderful romance and keep it clean, I commend them. It’s something I can’t really do– or maybe I just don’t wanna! Deep down. Steamy romance in my opinion is again different from erotica. I’d go as far as say I believe that ‘steamy romance’ is romance–emotionally and plot driven with growth for characters, a clear bond for characters over and above sexual attraction, even if sexual attraction is a feature in a story. To me it’s a label you can give romance stories that have all the features of a traditional romance but, it’s not ‘sweet and clean’, sex may feature a few times, and yes it may well be written in detail but not over the top. It’s different as again the main driver is not how ‘hot’ the sex is like erotica. The hot sex, adds to all the other romantic elements focused on.

So in a nutshell for me, nope there’s never too much sex in a romance as long as it’s well written, and not just thrown in for the sake of it. A lazy writer who can’t develop a romance, or romantically charged plot well, or feels that’s what’s needed to engage a reader (heaps of sex only), might fall back on this technique and call it ‘romance.’ To me it’s really not. Yes, there’s a massive difference between erotica and romance. No matter how steamy that romance is. The plot will always be over and above: ‘getting it on,’ having ‘hot sex scenes,’ or the thrill of the chase for characters is based on knowing what a sexual experience with another character might be like.

What do you think? Do you read either romance or erotica genres– is there a difference for you? Which one do you prefer?

2020: Introspection & Identity

At around 9.00a.m this morning my eyes shot open. For me this was strange, I couldn’t believe the time. I went to bed at about 4.00a.m, I was up reading. I didn’t feel tired and in some ways I was happy to be up, and not laze in bed until gone 11.00 am! I got up and switched the heating on as we’ve had some very chilly mornings, then crept back into bed. I stayed put, listened to the soft music, looked up at the ceiling, and thought about the fact that it’s the 31st December 2020.

For many, myself included this is normally a date to celebrate, party, have a few drinks, and really have a good ol’ time! This year it’s not that I don’t feel like doing this (can’t anyway with the pandemic and restrictions on social contact), it just feels like a very different ‘vibe’ for me as we end this year.

I contemplated this and wondered why this is? Obviously, the pandemic yes. But, there was more to it. I looked up at my ceiling and tried to find the words to describe 2020 in a nutshell, from a personal first person point of view for myself. ‘Introspection’ and ‘identity’ are the two words that came to me. But what exactly is it about these words that mean so much to me? Why do I sum up 2020 as my personal year of introspection and identity? I asked myself.

According to Wikipedia: Introspection is the examination of one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings.[1] In psychology, the process of introspection relies on the observation of one’s mental state, while in a spiritual context it may refer to the examination of one’s soul.[2] Introspection is closely related to human self-reflection and self-discovery and is contrasted with external observation.’

Sounds about right to me, from the second quarter of this year, I’ve done nothing but observe my own conscious thoughts and feelings. Via journal writing each day, I’ve filled up a good few since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only that, I have been very observant of the world around me and what’s happening. You recall what’s happened this year, most of it is probably etched into your mind just like it is mine. It’s been a year of really learning about each other, how others think, feel, see others, their points of views. I found that there were a good few I disagreed with! And some I did.

Introspection: Black Lives Matter Movement and Social Justice Around The World

In terms of myself, I don’t want to say ‘I’ve learned’ more about me, as I feel I know myself well, but I have rediscovered me I guess. And got to know myself on a deeper level, thinking about things from different points of views or even deeper than I have done in the past. With regard to the world at large, I think the #BlackLivesMatter movement really struck me, and made me sit up and take note of what’s happening. I became more ‘alert’ to how minority races were treated in general. Being from London, I must say while racism is everywhere London is a cultural melting pot I am so proud of. You’ll see people from all over, being racist (personally) is something I can’t do. Because I have been brought up in a city that embraces one and all! Not only that, it’s just not me as a person, I can’t look at the colour of some one’s skin and pass judgement before I know them. Yes systematic racism with the police, and other organisations is there in London and the whole of the UK. I know this, and see it . However I never have really outright experienced it myself, in London or where I live now but I am fully aware of it and recognise it.

The #BlackLivesMatter movement caused me to really grab hold of my identity as a woman of colour, my black -British status, as well as African ancestors, and family descent from the Caribbean and be proud of it. I’m the daughter of immigrants, I am proud of my culture and what it has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved it but I became more proud. I also became much more aware that in society and some parts of the world there is a long way to go, if a man can be treated some kind of way in the street, (still in 2020) because of who he is skin deep. And while it has happened long before the murder of George Floyd I am so glad that finally the world has sat up, and now takes police brutality and the general equality, diversity, and, right to be free of pre-judgement seriously!

The conversation that has been happening world wide over race, equality, and police brutality caused a lot of introspection for me personally. As well as anger! I’m black female, I have a black son, what kind of world is he growing up in, what can I do to help change it for the better for him and every little boy that looks like him? These were and still are my thoughts all 2020. This is the kind of introspection I’ve had all year, since the death of George Floyd and all those before him, and that followed him. I looked at my son different, I didn’t see the beautiful and handsome seven year old he is. I saw a public enemy number one, and it scared me. He is a tall boy, and will be very physically powerful when he is a teen, and a full grown man. I can see it, and his father is 6’3 he takes after him. It made me worried for a moment for his future, and how people will see my son because of his skin tone, build, and pre-judgement on ‘who he is’. It also made me want to ensure that he grows up being aware that he is a man of colour, know his history as a man of colour, and should be proud of his pigmentation and not let it hold him back.

I have concluded from George’s, and every other name that will be remembered following his, that died at the hands of police brutality ( there were a few more!), because of what appeared to be because of who they are skin deep, that apart from supporting the cause, writing about social justice as a writer for Aspiring Author’s Magazine LLC, I need to also do what I can in the world of fiction. Positive writing, change the perception of people of colour, change the view that in literature that writers of colour can only offer one perspective of gangs, drugs, thugs, street life etc.

I quickly started to keep tabs on the #BlackLivesMater movement across the world too. It also made me take note of social justice in general, not just race but sex, gender, sexual orientation. Any kind of ‘movement’ for an oppressed demographic of people I followed. Even the students in Thailand who fought for their rights, those in Belarus who protested against their president, the women in Argentina who fought for abortion rights. I lapped up the view point of those seeking justice across the world. It opened my eyes. The BBC Word Wide News Service became my daily medicine to listen in to what was happening with society across the world. I love that station!

Introspection: Social Distances

The pandemic crossed my mind as I was in bed, still looking up at the ceiling. Man, fuck! That’s all I can say when I think about this virus. To think that we end the year with a new ‘variant’ of Covid-19, it is just mind blowing! I took the positives from the pandemic. While it has been very hard at times to be ‘locked down’ at home, I do feel that it has been very necessary and myself and family took it seriously, and even more so now!

‘Home is where the heart is’ they say, so with this in mind I’ve personally done a lot to keep the home in good order, cleared out clutter, made it nice and homely. Being at home did not really impact me too much as I work from home, but staying home is very different to just working. I used this time to really connect with writing, I have become a prolific writer! Journal writing, and novel writing, from fiction to non-fiction. While some may have found it hard to write, I found that it has been my ‘escape’ from the TV, news, and reports on the pandemic. Don’t get me wrong I have been glued to the media and news! But writing really helped me to ‘stay sane.’ The fact that I can’t see friends, family, or go out as freely as I once did caused me to sit and write!

Reading has also become a safe haven of mine, I read a lot anyway before all this madness. The pandemic has just heightened this. While I watch the news a lot I don’t watch TV. I have no favourite shows, or things I have to watch each week.

Generally the pandemic, social distancing, and lockdowns have caused me to let go of superficial things in life. Remain in the present, as tomorrow may just be messed up! So go with the flow and don’t over plan, just have an idea of what you want. Follow the universal energy to make it happen, when the time is right rather than force things. I’ve also really increased my value of the outdoors and nature. I enjoy it anyway, but since it has been restricted days spent just sitting in the park, or by a lake where I live have been wonderful!

Home schooling as challenging as it was and some days still is now, has been so rewarding for my son. And our bond is even more tighter than it was. In some respects I feel that he has done better at home and made more progress. I have seen it.

Overall, 2020’s introspection has made me feel that it’s not wise to waste a moment of life, it can be cut short at any moment. You must do what you feel called to do, and what your soul is pushing you toward. I read Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist this week and boy! It felt like some kind of divine timing that the book in audio version was suggested to me on YouTube, and it was free to listen to! It reinforced all that I had been feeling up to the point of me writing this blog about 2020.

Identity: 2020

Ah yes, identity. Let me just say this before 2020 I felt like I had a good sense of who I am. And what I would call my identity or what I ‘identify’ with. Be it morals, principles, etc. This year it’s a whole new vibe! First of all the word ‘author’ am I an author? Yes technically because I have authored many things from books, novellas, articles, audio books etc. But really I’m a ‘writer’ and ‘novelist’, I prefer to call myself this! This is my ‘identity’ I feel more aligned with.

I feel that my identity as a person and woman in her late thirties, not just my profession (writer, novelist) will now probably influence a lot more of my writing. From what I want to write, where I write, to the characters I create or won’t create. 2020’s introspection, observation of the world, realisations internally and externally have helped to firm up my ‘identity’, and how I connect with others, my profession, and what I create!

I feel like as the year has been such a creative year in one respect that moving forward, I feel more compelled to ‘live that creative life’ more than I was before LOL I don’t know if that makes sense, but it does to me I know what I mean by it.

So whatever you do tonight to see out 2020 just be safe, consider the risks, and do have fun! Consider your own personal introspection, observation, and identity that has happened in 2020 for you. How you will move forward from this? It certainly could help to ensure that 2021 is a better year, improved year, important year, pivotal year for you, while it will remain a tough year in the background with with Covid-19.

It’s early afternoon for me as I write this, but I will say in advance happy New Year! And thank you for connecting with me via my blog in 2020!

Daily Gratitude Challenge Day #16: Hobbies and Interests #DailyGratitudeChallenge

I’ve just read a really cool blog post by this blog I’ve been following Suzy Speaks. It’s day sixteen of her challenge she has set, for herself and her followers to write about a different topic they are grateful for and follow the  #DailyGratitudeChallenge. While it seems I’ve missed fifteen days of great topics, I’ll jump in today as hobbies and interests are something I’m deeply grateful for, in fact they kinda make me who I am.

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Astrology and The Solar System:

I’m a qualified astrologer with a diploma in astrological studies. The study of the solar system from this science I’m  extremely grateful for, and my love of this subject. It started out while I was a teen, if you remember the shop Woolworths I stumbled across the annual astrology book for Aquarius, with a horoscope for each day of the year. I bought one ever year! Until Woolworths when into administration of course. The love of the stars, Moon, planet’s energies never left me. I ended up completing my studies about one or two years back.

Why am I so grateful for this science? Well, while many think this is ‘woo woo witchy esoteric stuff’ (and I would agree LOL), if helped me to understand me, life events, where I am going and even confirmed that, yes I am born to be a writer or working the journalistic field. Simply by a detailed study of my own birth chart, with my actual date and time of birth. Basically, astrology give me a lot of healing and direction in life. When I studied the chart of my son and other people, I was amazed at the accuracy I had from friends whose charts I read. I was able to confirm things about their life, or experiences I could not have known. In the case of my son, it also confirmed his approach and experiences with learning.

The study of the Universe will never leave me, I follow it closely and look at what’s happening in the world, and the planet’s energies. Overall, I am grateful as this skill I have learned has helped me to help others heal as well as myself, and it’s just a cool thing to say, ‘yeah I’m an astrologer’ LOL.

 

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My Sewing Machine and Fashion Design:

My nanna died when I was fourteen, her name’s Lucinda. She never worked she had eleven children, she was a homemaker and my grandfather worked. She arrived in the UK  with my grandfather from the Caribbean islands, and basically looked after all the family. It’s her I owe my interest and skill with a sewing machine to. She loved to sew, and I later on at school I  picked the subject ‘textiles’, which is now what we call ‘fashion design’ all these years later, as an option for my GCSEs at school when I was fourteen. I gained a C grade, not bad. It was in this class I learned how to use a machine, sew and express myself creatively with fabrics and materials. I also really loved my teacher, she was Italian if I remember correctly and so funky with her dress sense.

Later on, I started to collect dress making patterns for clothes, got my own machine and just before I had my son I was obsessed with making dresses. (That I had to wait until I had him to wear, as I was pregnant) . It took a while, YouTube, buying books to understand the patterns, and learn the craft to a more advanced level but I did it! I’ve not made a dress in about six years, since he was born. But I have my dress stand, and I named her Lucinda after my nana. As I write this I  feel like I should really go fabric shopping and do something.

In London, there is a high street called Goldhawk Road if I remember correctly, that has shop after shop after shop of fabric stores! I remember spending a lot of time there, and money before I had him.

I am grateful for this interest and hobby as, it really gave  me something to smile about when I was in school. I  looked forward to the classes, later on in life it also gave me a great sense of patience, working with accuracy, and learning the art of how to create clothing from materials. I am also grateful for it as I was heavily pregnant in the summer months, which was no fun and found myself indoors a lot of the time. My sewing machine and this interest gave me a pass time when it was too hot for me to leave the house.

 

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Civil Rights, Law, Politics

I just love this! I have an interest in all the above, I would not say it’s a hobby at all just an interest. That said, I am grateful for my interest in this area as it has allowed me to be able to make educated decisions, statements,  have opinions, and hold views on certain things that are backed up by rights and laws I am aware of, or have researched and can interpret.

I feel that this interest is probably something else that shapes me as a person, I won’t stand for anything that looks like it could be some kind of injustice, or breech of civil and human rights.  I am grateful for it as it has allowed me to be invested in causes such as women’s rights, human rights and the black lives matter movement.

Take a look at this cool daily gratitude challenge on Suzy Speaks and join in!

 

Writing Prompt: Dancing! #RagtagDailyPrompt #RDP

I’ve followed this blog RagTagDailyPromps for a little while,  today managed to log on just when they posted the prompt for the day so, I’ll take part today…’Dancing’

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One thing I just looooooooooooooooooove is dance, to watch it, do it, and learn it too! When I was about maybe seven  or eight years old, I attended my first ever dance class. It was ballet, tap and modern dance that I fell into. I kept this up until  about maybe 1999. I stopped as I suffered a knee injury! As a result all these years later I still have what the doctors called ‘fluid  on the joint’ of my right knee. It’s the reason I have trouble bending down or sitting on my knees, well, that and the fact that I’m the wrong side of thirty-five now LOL

One of the most fond memories I have of my dance classes is, when we did a choreographed dance to ‘ born to make you happy’ by Britney spears. I loved Britney as a pre-teen and teen. ( I still do if I’m honest with myself), but this song as a youngster in the 90s I adored, and really enjoyed the contemporary dance our class learned. We had a fantastic teacher, I remember everything down to my leotard I wore, sadly not all the steps. I’m thirty-seven we’re going  back to 1999 a long time ago!  Here’s the video for old times sake. As I play this in the background while I type, I still remember the words. Check out Britney’s moves! I love her.

 

 

 

Later in life, believe it or not, I actually learned the dance movies to Britney’s ‘Slave For You’. That was when this song first came out. I can’t get enough of the way Britney moves her body!! Generally when she dances. I find her a very talented dancer, many disagree and feel she’s ‘taught’.  While this is true, just like say Beyonce you can Brit has natural talent.  I learned the routine from @1:36 time stamp  to @1:53 it’s not even two mins BUT, it took a lot of practice,  laughs, pausing, and sweat LOL

 

 

I really like belly dancing too over the ‘lock down’ period this year, during the pandemic, I have watched some YouTubers who give classes. I even bought a scarf with bells to wrap around my waist while I TRY to do the routines. These days I don’t really dance that much, as in classes,  I feel that my knee would not be able to support doing any  highly choreographed dance that well, but I do still have a love for it.

When I was in my twenties I spent a hella-lot-a time in clubs with my girlfriends, before I became a mum or had any really responsibilities in life. Each weekend we headed to central London,  to the array of clubs we had back then.  In my early teens and twenties I was ( and still am) a massive fan of soulful house music and the UK’s ‘Old Skool Garage’ anthems!  In east London there were some great places, also the club ‘Fabric’ back then was a spot we’d go to a lot.

I can’t pin-point exactly what it is I love about dance, or any kind of exercise that is dance based. For example pilates, aerobics, yoga and even pole dancing! It could be the music, and my love for that. If there’s a song I love I automatically feel like moving to it sober or not LOL. I also like how good it is for the soul, I find it releases ‘happy vibes’. If time was not a problem I think I’d love to try to learn how to pole dance, but classic pole dancing that’s elegant as well as pole dancing for…well gentlemen’s clubs LOL ( Why not!)

I would also like learn salsa, it is a lot of fun. I only ever did one class with a girlfriend as it was more like  her finding a ‘date’, rather than something we’d do each week. In all honesty, it’s time for me between juggling life and writing, I just don’t have the time. If I did, I would love to return to dance classes — gentle ones due to my knee and see if I’ve still got it!

Do you like to dance? If so what do you like to dance to? Do you have a favouite song or music?

Writing Prompt: Tell Us About Your English Teacher… Damn! Okay

Stealing one of the personal blog prompts today from 365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers .  Wow my English teacher in what we’d call in the UK ‘secondary school’ I guess ‘high school’ to the rest of the world, in a nutshell he was a bit of  a mess! LOL.  I won’t name him, for now I’ll call him Mr. X.

 

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Where did I go to school?

In the depths of south London, Mum actually sent me out of the local area to school. At the time she didn’t feel the standard of education was great in our local area.. It was just a short bus ride away, about no more than thirty to forty five minutes from where we lived. It was a mixed gender school also, generally the school did have a good reputation back then. Lots of parents sent their children there. The only thing was, while the general reputation of the school was good….some classes were unruly! My English class was one of them LOL. Not me personally, when I was in school I behaved well, I was there to learn. I actually really enjoyed this subject, languages and design and technology too this is where I excelled. But my classmates were a hoot, to say the least. It was mainly the boys, we had a group of popular boys who loved to wind up our English teacher. There was also one particular female student who had a big problem with listening and behaving. To me, sitting at my table I just bit my lip and tried not to laugh!

What was your teacher like?

At the time when he taught my class Mr. X must have been in his late thirties to early forties. He was tall, very skinny! Had long, stinging , dirty blond hair, ALWAYS wore black and had bad breath. Thinking about it now all these years later, I bet he was some kind of goth. I left school in ’99 at sixteen, but it never really occurred to me why  he may have always wore black.

Anyway, like I said the class was a little troublesome and he spent a lot of his time shouting, mainly at the same students. His favourite line was ‘siiiiiiillllleeeence!’ Then, he’d slam a book or his hand on the desk, *cringe*. Nope, nine times out of ten that did not work, and he ended up splitting up the tables of students. In the end he gave us a seating  plan, so certain students couldn’t sit together.

As a teacher, looking back now all these years later was he a good one? No, not really. I say this as I myself after I left school went on to be a high school teacher, and spent ten years in the profession in the classroom. I worked my way up to head of my subject. On reflection compared to what  I know now , after teacher training he wasn’t a good one.

Did I learn…? Very little. Partly due to the class behaviour, but when the class was under control even then as I sit here and think, ‘what did I learn from Mr. X?’ I draw a blank!

Was it his fault? Hmmm it’s  a hard one. In all honesty, I think he was at that stage of what we call ‘teacher’s burn out’. When a teacher is so jaded about the profession they just collect their pay and that’s it.

Did  you get on?

In all honesty, I never really interacted with him much! I was one of the good kids there to learn, I just sat back and watched the ‘show’ every lesson. The battle of wits between him and the unruly kids. Did he ever shout at me? Yes, there were times when I got so bored I would talk, doodle, not really tune into what was going on. You could hardly blame me though if you were a fly on the wall. Did I ever talk back to him? Yeah, a couple of times as in all honesty I was one of the good kids, I felt ‘why are you picking on me!?’ as any teenager would at that time.

So in a nutshell, while English was one of my favourite subjects at school, sadly I never had a very inspirational or even dedicated teacher. It was more ‘crowd control’ at times in my lessons. Which is sad, because yes my grades in English did suffer, generally. And of course he did predict me and a lot of that class with low grades…. did I get a low grade  for my GCSE exams? yeah I got a C grade. This is not ‘low’ technically A-C is good, especially back then this was the 90s. But I was capable of so much more.

What happened after school?

Believe it or not, after school when I left I re-studied  English. I went to what you could call an  ‘online’ community school and sat some extra tests for another English qualification. I came out with a B, now that’s more like it! I didn’t do this right away, I was probably in my early twenties as it was at this point I was searching for work, and what I wanted to do. Employers (at the time) wanted A-C grades in English, okay I had that I got a C but I wanted to re-do it so I did.

Generally I feel on reflection that my English teacher at school had a lot on his plate, but even if the class was golden he was very jaded and job hardened I think, on reflection.  Sadly my English teacher did not spark my love for reading or writing, this came myself! Just something I enjoyed with little inspiration from the person who really introduced myself and classmates to it. You can’t win them all I guess!  I  don’t think I would go back and change things, as in the end it panned out okay. I just hope if Mr.  X is still alive if he ever thinks about his time in the classroom, that at some point in his career he can look back and say, ‘I loved that job even if class 7PU were little shits’ LOL.

 

 

 

 

So… It happened again, I got another magazine gig!

I think you really need to listen to the Universe when it ‘talks to you’ and shows you your ‘path’. Many of you know me well if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I like to research, write, read and look at the facts and make an informed decision. It could be due to my career and work before I started writing romance. 2017-2018 I held a magazine editor and columnists’ post I loved it!! It’s a shame that the founder of the magazine couldn’t hold down what we started. But, I felt that magazine writing is something I’d love to do more of.  Via support for #BlackLivesMatter from this side of the Atlantic, I landed a new job as a columnist again for Aspiring Authors Magazine! Man, I’m so happy. I found out from another author they were seeking articles on black culture and the whole ‘black lives matter’ movement. So, I sent my original idea for a blog post across, and landed a role.  The magazine has a focus on connecting authors around the world, especially those who are minority writers. And helping to further them in the industry.

Check them out below! My article will be in the June edition, and I am mulling over ideas for the rest of the year’s features. Thank you Universe!

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You can now subscribe to Aspiring Authors Magazine LLC click on link below and order your May copy of magazine or subscribe to receive the next 7 issue(save $5 per issue if you subscribe) You can also get PDF version viewable on most all devices…. Click on link below…..

Writing Prompt- What’s On Your Mind, Right Now?: This Week’s Global Events

Well, it’s been an eventful week to say the least, you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it the world has experienced it. George Floyd’s death is still ( rightly so) making headlines. Also, the ever changing statistics regarding Covid-19 ,and let’s not forget what I would call insulting or outrageous comments from Donald Trump.  It’s been a week so I’ve stolen one of my own blog writing challenges from 365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers, ‘what’s on your mind, right now?’ You know me, never one to shy away from a well articulated and deeply reflective POV.

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Was it Murder to the 2nd Degree?

I’m not American, as you know so I did have to research firstly what murder to the 3rd degree was, in terms of American law to understand the first charge against  Derek Chauvin. In all honesty, from what I read it ( 3rd degree murder) came across to me as an outsider, non-legal person, non-American just someone trying to understand what this  type of murder is, that 3rd degree is  ‘unintentional’. My first thought was, oh hell no! I know what I saw eight minutes and forty-six seconds of restraint? While being told ‘ I can”t breathe’ You wanna say that’s ‘unintentional’. Then, I read up on the 1st and 2nd degree. In all honesty again, as a person looking in objectivity yes, there was ‘malice’, ‘intent’ and I would argue ‘premeditated’ aspects of that officer’s  actions towards George Floyd. Therefore I’d say from what I saw it was more like 2nd degree murder. Many that I had exchanges with in discussion on social media felt, there was not really a premeditated action. I personally looked at the evidence 1. that officer knew George  apparently they had ‘history’ 2. that officer had a string of complaints against him (which went un-handled) evidencing his ‘premeditated’ actions and ‘malice’ towards men of colour. But hey, who am I ? Just a member of the public trying to apply the evidence to the law, fairly and remove my own personal feeling. I know what I saw, and I know what I read about the definitions of murder and yes, I believe murder to the 2nd or even 1st degree is correct.

Trump’s Never Ending Insults

Yes, insults that’s what I’d call them. I remove how I personally feel about his tendencies as a human being, and focus on what comes out of  his mouth. He has made two very insulting comments this week, especially with regards to George Floyd ‘ looking down from heaven.’ I don’t need to remind you what he said, if you’ve been following the news you’ll know. His tweets have been made highly public. Then, there’s the comment about what he has done for African-Americans…. I’ll wait, because I can’t see what has been done. Apart from efforts to divide American people with his comments, racial slurs he has historically made about Africa the continent, Chinese people and God knows what else. I won’t even rant on about this, but in all honesty the man is insulting and a disgrace…I said it. I’m not the only one who feels this way, and you don’t have to be an American to see it. Celebrities, as well as members of society, black, white, brown, and anything else are disgusted. I understand he has supporters and honestly I hold nothing against them, it’s just the insults from him I find hard to comprehend or support.

World-Wide Protests! And Pressure!

Oh I felt so proud when London showed up, and marched in the streets in support of George Floyd. I am loving the fact that world-wide people are coming together France, Ghana, Italy, Syria you name it. I’ve seen the support and I’m sure you have too. It’s wonderful to see people of all colours saying, ‘I Can’t Breathe’.  Not just for George Floyd, but every person of colour who is some kind of ‘public enemy’ for not just for police brutality, but society who have some kind of distaste for them simply for skin colour.

Which brings me to a point, while I am loving the fact that white Americans and white people are showing support, the whole ‘if they fire stand behind me’ that’s happening across the water in all honesty I’m not loving. I believe it sends the wrong message, as a person of colour I don’t think we can walk around hoping there is a white person to ‘stand behind’ and protect us, stand beside us, friend. If you want to support us, I’ll say it again beside us in union we don’t need to stand behind you. We’ve ‘stood behind’ for so long it’s 2020 not 1960. But, don’t get me wrong people of colour welcome your support with all our hearts. And I see the kind, good, and loving message that is trying to be sent with ‘if they shoot stand behind me’ or white people standing in front of non whites at protests who are marching for equality. We see it!  We love it! We want you there we do! And thank you from the bottom of our hearts, but reflect on the other side of the coin. Would beside be better than behind? Maybe? I’m just saying.

Covid-19

Man, I am at a loss with this. Yesterday I read a article on the death tolls and how many feel, protests and breaking ‘lock down’ will bring a new surge of illness. Yeah… I hear this,  really I do. My only thought on this is BE CAREFUL keep apart, wear masks, and have organised protests if at all  possible. Maybe I am a little naive in saying this, how can you have ‘organised protests’ when there’s so much passion? Covid-19  is serious, and something we do need to tackle. I listened in to a talk show on Thursday, the discussion was ‘are people right to put lives at risk, in order to protest’. My view was, if you’re not ill then you are free to show support and try to stay at a distance. It made me think though, how important the ‘I Can’t Breathe’ campaign is to some, so important many Londoners and those around the world have given Covid-19 the middle finger to march or support and change. Power to you!

There’s still not much evidence on the impact  on children with Covid-19 and if they can be key carriers. My son has not returned to school I still won’t send him. I wrote about that a little while ago.I still support social distancing and lock down where possible, for those who a vulnerable with health. I have become a ‘keyboard warrior’ showing my support for change in the world right now.

Online Racism…

Let’s think about this. Last week I saw a high number of very openly racist, derogatory and down right disrespectful comments on Facebook.  Some were from law enforcement too, teachers, nurses and people in a position of ‘trust’ in society in terms of their jobs. I joined the force with an active group to shut it down. I’d like to encourage you also, if you see these kind of posts shut it down, contact the employers of the racists and show them the evidence of how their employees are behaving. I wrote about that a last week also.  Do what you can, if you can’t be on the street protesting keep an eye out online. Last week, I saw more than ten racists fired, their employers put out public statements! Well done, stamp it out we don’t need it.

So, that’s my account of the world right now, and how I’ve been taking part to show support for #BlackLivesMatter and #ICantBreathe. And while I’m at  it, I just want to say saying ‘black lives matter’ does not mean no one else does, but saying ‘all lives matter’ ignores the fact that can be statistically supported that, black and brown lives are wiped out the most in society. By police or other members of society who are ‘trigger happy’ I call it, and happy to kill first and ask questions later. It can’t be ignored,  it has gone on for too long, the statistics are ear-watering to read. Black lives matter because they are wiped out more than others, simple. Until you can dispute that point with evidence based figures and statistics they will ALWAYS matter,  it does not mean no one else does not. It’s evidence based that they need to be focused on and highlighted that they matter.

Have a wonderful weekend! Keep well until the next ‘rant’ LOL.

 

 

 

 

Why Does He Trigger You?

Yet again I woke up in a real reflective mood, I  checked the news to see what’s going on. I’m  Just thinking out loud, I woke up this morning and looked at my son, but I looked at him different. I didn’t see his pretty eyes, long braids, beautiful face and cute smile with missing teeth and admire him 😆. Nope, for a good minute or two I stared at him and I saw him in ten years aged sixteen, well over six foot. (His dad’s 6’3 and already my boy is over half the size of me I’m 5’5 😳), I imagined facial hair, long braids and his natural powerful build and stance that make black men so amazing to look at fully clothed💯.

 

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Then I wondered if the world will still see his beauty, that I see and what makes him a black male as a monster, would ‘Karen’ call the cops on him for the entering a location. Would society see him as a threat. I really hope not and there’s only one way to ensure that 😤 I’m telling you, black Americans and all supportive white Americans keep applying that pressure people around the world are supporting you apply it where needed, don’t let these modern day slave masters and wolves in sheep’s clothing who’ve just swapped their whips for a uniform and a gun get away with it! I don’t care who doesn’t like what I have to say about the law enforcement, they need to show me something different before I can change my POV. If the police in Europe aren’t such savages towards men of colour why do they need to be 🧐 that is a statement not a question!

The case that hurt me the most was probably Trayvon Martin’s, I still think about it but I think George Floyd’s has topped it after watching that video and also the man who was jogging a few weeks back it really hurts me still. Black men, brown men, we love you, you are needed and I love you from the bottom of my heart even if I never had a son, I just do. There’s something about you that has the world on edge, you’re capable of so much if given the right resources and start in life, I think that itself some don’t like the idea of 😤.

Anyway I’ll try not to rant today, I said try… not promise 😆 depends what’s on my timeline  on Facebook and in the news today 😤💯. Good morning though.

#blacklivesmatter
#justiceforgeorge

Dear African American Man -An Open Letter #JusticeForFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #ICantBreathe

In the last twenty four hours I’ve been pretty disgusted ( more than normal), about the police brutality against men of colour in America.  After I viewed the video of George Floyd’s death while surrounded by four police officers,  while one of them had his knee on his neck while George said ‘I can’t breathe’  I took to Facebook. I followed some reports, then  I wrote an open letter to African American men just randomly without over thinking it, well  for all men of colour. I’m sharing it here today as It means so much to me in-light of what’s going on right now. If you feel just as disgusted as I do, do something anything it could be so small. Advocate, provide encouragement, share news reports and most of all apply the fucking pressure where needed for change!! America’s statistics of deaths of black men at the hands of police and society in general is not the ‘norm’ , or standard any country should aspire to! Compared to the rest of the world it’s very worrying.

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Dear African American man,

I don’t understand what’s happening in the USA, why there are so many deaths at the hands of police officers. It’s very hurtful for me to see as a non American, in my part of the world it’s not something we experience so often. But if this is read by any African American male just know while the world is against you, I’m here still in your corner, praying for you, I still support you, and no matter what reputation you’ve gained globally, or in your own country I will never give up on you. You’re not perfect I know 🙄, no one is and your lives are full of challenges from:

The police.
Society.
Men who look like you.
And women who look just like me. Some put you down and feel ‘you ain’t worth shit’ in such general terms, when it’s not ALL of you.

Truth is, to me you’re worth so much more than gold. Your style, your strength, your physical build, your mind, intelligence, the different shades you come in 🥴 everything about you ‘dazzles’ me and some times when I look at some of you I blush 😉 you’re amazing. 😍. I love all of it and you too, I always will. I feel so proud of you and to have been blessed with a son. Whether it’s a black British man, African American man, Caribbean man or African man you are just the shit!! 🖤✔️🙌🏽 Don’t forget that.

But seriously, I wanna ask you a favour can you please come together and stop killing each other and intelligently reclaim your credibility and place in society? You’re stronger together than as enemies. Right now, you’re at war with others it’s time to bring out the ‘intelligent, inner warrior’ in you. Malcolm, Martin, Marcus etc you know these names what advice did they have for your survival? Think back 🤔. Please stay strong, out of trouble, and fight back against the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual attack on you.

Keep safe! With love, your number one supporter.
Kim.

 

#BlackLivesMatter    #JusticeForFloyd #ICantBreathe

The Long Weekend- Reflections, Energy and Rambles

Good morning and happy Sunday! I’m really trying to slowly get back into this ‘just writing’, personally and from the heart with updates and rambles.  I  miss the daily writing prompt challenges from WordPress, it’s been a good few years they stopped it. I was just trying to search WordPress for a blogger that does daily challenges, or picture writing prompt challenges without much luck. Can you recommend a great blog to follow that does these? 

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Reflections…the last week in my world ‘locked down’

Anyway, another week down, another week in lock down too in my house. And another week of no school! Last week, I did a lot of reflection on the return to and re-opening of schools.  Not much has changed in my mind on further reflection. However yesterday I did find a fantastic resource to help with home schooling those that are continuing with this. A children’s author on Facebook shared her handwriting books which are available on Amazon, really inexpensive and look good! I snapped one up to keep us going until September.

Home schooling generally is going well I’m trying to be consistent with it, in all honesty I have seen the improvement in my son’s overall abilities in writing and spelling. So that I am thankful for.

Last week, I also got the edits back finally from my publisher for Sacrifices. A historical romance with a touch of suspense, I wrote about a year ago. I’m really keen to get going on the ‘early edits’ as they called it, as I’ve not actually read my work since they accepted it back in February.  August is set to be the release date, not long to go. I’m also really excited to see what they do with the cover, based on the brief I gave them as this is unlike any other story I’ve created before. I enjoyed setting a story in the 1950s-1960s and right in the height of the civil rights movement across the USA. It was a challenge, but a different and enjoyable one.

Last week’s Highlights…

We had some nice weather last week, and the BBQ was pulled out too. I do love a good BBQ I seem to be getting better at it LOLZ. It’s only a tiny one but it does so well, I hope next week and over this long weekend we get some more sun so I can make use of it. I don’t plan on leaving the house or taking any trips. I myself and family are staying very much in ‘lock down’ and social distancing. I thank the goodness for the small outside space to get some fresh air.

This morning read a few blogs here that I follow, many people have  highlighted the front of this weekend’s New York Times newspaper. It has 1,000 names on of those who have passed away from Covid-19. I was really touched by it ‘1,000 people, damn’ I said out loud in disappointment. And that’s only those that have been recorded, I’d take a bet there are many more.

Talking of Covid-19, over this last week I had a conversation with a friend who is living over in Brazil she told me, that their president has been against the ‘lock down’ all along! And as a result, the country is really losing it’s battle against the virus. I asked myself how could anyone be totally against it? Just look at the statistics, it’s eye watering reading over the amount of cases and deaths. But…. I won’t rant on.

How are things going with the management of Covid-19 where you are? I’d love to hear in any comments.

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Fresh energy…Reiki Anyone?

This weekend for me has been a very relaxing for me, I’ve not done much apart from read. But, I did sign myself up to an online Reiki course which  I am soooooo excited about, I was up until about 4:00a.m I started the course’s reading materials. It’s an online course and I was originally looking at an offer I saw for a soap making course, something else I wanted to learn how to do. (May as well up-skill myself during the pandemic aye). The Reiki course was on offer so I could hardly pass it up, but it wasn’t the price that really attracted me (even though it’s an absolute steal!) Those of you who know me well, know I really enjoy things like metaphysics, physics, astrology the strange and unusual so naturally I’d be drawn to this. However, a few months ago I had my first ever Reiki session performed on me….from a distance too! The practitioner was in a place in the world I have on my bucket list to see— New Orleans, USA.

She’s a qualified practitioner of Reiki of course, and many of you may wonder if this would even work at a distance….well it did! I felt the ‘energy’ transition to me it was wonderful I felt great after, I really needed it. At the same time, I relaxed on my sofa as she did the Reiki for me and at one point, I felt like I was being pulled off my sofa. Seriously, I kid you not this really works!! Don’t doubt it. Have you ever had a Reiki session? What’s your views on it?

There are three levels to the course, it mainly involves reading and some meditations in order to qualify to a level that you can teach others. There’s also a part on charging crystals with Reiki energy. I don’t think I’ll teach it even if I complete the Reiki Master level, but I’d love to carry it out on myself or others.  So far,  listening to the lectures has been very interesting learning about the founder of the energy healing method, and how it made it’s way from Japan to the western world. So this is my new ‘up skill’ course for the rest of this long- term lock down. And learning how to make soap.

My plan for today is, to finish reading a horror book I have for a book tour, listen into some of my Reiki course lessons and generally chill. If the weather picks up, may even crank the BBQ up. Right now, it’s pretty cloudy as I sit out and write this, today may not be the day but I remain hopeful for this afternoon’s weather! I hope you have a wonderful long weekend, and keep safe wherever you are! What are your plans?