Thursday, 29 March 2012

365 Photo Project

So recently I cemented my RL friendship with TwiKiwi50 (thanks Amy!) by becoming her friend on the book of faces.  It was there that I saw TwiKiwi's 366 photo project, and....became inspired!

Basically it's documenting a year in your live via photographs.  Anything and everything.  TwiKiwi got an early start on this so her project has 366 days and photos thanks to this year being a leap year, but as always I'm late to the party, so I only have 365.  You never know, maybe I'll do another project in 2013 and start from the beginning of the year... Which will then have my projects overlapping.... and as I'm home sick at the moment with an ear and throat infection this is making my brain hurt so I won't think on it anymore right now.

I love photography.  I'm not great at it, but it's always been something I love doing, and lately I've let this interest of mine kind of fade away.  So much has been going on the last few years, that there has seemed to be only time for stressing and recovering, no actual fun time.  So this project is a perfect opportunity to let me rekindle an interest I have in something that gives me joy.

Don't expect anything great.  The first few pics I took with my BlackBerry's camera, which is less than stellar.  But my Panasonic Lumix is charged and ready to go, so hopefully there should be better images coming soon.  My plan is to carry my camera with me everywhere, as far as I am able, and to use my phone's camera as a back up, or for quick shots.  I also figure I can maybe add a bit extra info on the photo's here on the blog, if necessary.

Also, thanks once again to TwiKiwi, you can go here for more info:

So, without further ado, here are the first few photos:

DAY 1: Papawer Street, where I grew up. Autumn has arrived rather suddenly here.

DAY 2: Convalescence buddies.

DAY 3: Shilo on the beanbag he annexed

So lets see if I can keep this up.  I'll post future pics here, probably in batches.

Friday, 16 March 2012


My friend Lori Otto and I have been having this debate about the Fifty Shades series of books.  Fortunately we can agree to disagree and I love Lori HARD. 

She allowed me to air my thoughts on her blog as she wanted to her blog to be objective and show all sides of the story.  You can go to Lori's blog here to see what I wrote for her and also see her other posts and what she's written.  Also please take the time to read the reviews of her books and then go ahead and buy them! Lori's Emi Lost and Found Series is phenomenal and she's working on something new right now which I'm very excited about.  Click on the pic below to buy Lori's books.

I'm putting my Fifty Shades of Fed up post here as well.  May as well use this blog for something, right?  So here it is:

So this is THE topic at the moment: Fifty Shades of Grey and its sexy success versus the ethics of it being originally Twilight fan fiction which has been reworked and published.

I am not going discuss the ethics of pull to publish or the ethics of E.L James.  Frankly the whole subject is giving me a headache and it is seldom the case that people are able to talk of their opinions about this rationally.  It’s getting ugly out there, people!  Fortunately Lori and I seem to be able to hold on to our rationale, while holding on to our different opinions. Love ya, Lori.  I will say this though.  I am a selfish person when it comes to books and stories, and I am very happy that E.L. James published her story because I got to put it on my bookshelf where I always wanted it.  I feel the same about Sempre.  It is possible that my selfish motives are colouring my opinion.  And I just don’t care.

But enough about that.  Fifty Shades is hot at the moment, good or bad.  However I do take issue with the fact that all the news stories that I’ve seen, as well as many of the reviews lauding these books as sensational are focussing on the sex. “Book porn”, “Band aid for marriages”, “Housewives new sexy secret” are all headlines I have seen recently, never mind the opinion that it promotes violence towards women, spewed by a doctor who had never read any of the books.  Why all this focus on the sex?  Yes the sex is titillating but why do people not write about the story behind the sex?  This book is not just back to back BDSM sex scenes (much to the dismay of another friend of mine).  There is much more to it than that, and it bothers me that the kink is all that’s getting attention at the moment.  In fact, for books sold as erotica I feel that this series really has very few sex scenes.

When I first read this story, I admit that I was not comfortable with the sex.  I was also really uncomfortable with the hero’s seemingly chauvinistic qualities.  There was one point where I honestly was just so angry with the characters that I really just wanted to give up on the whole thing.  I’m really glad I didn’t.

Gradually, in an almost agonizingly slow fashion, E.L James weaves a story about a young, traumatized boy trapped in a controlling man’s body.  He uses BDSM and Dom/sub sexual relationships as an emotional crutch.  In the BDSM arena, Christian Grey can control his emotional and physical relationships.  In fact it was his introduction to this world, as a young out of control teenager by a much older Dom female, which allowed Christian to experience sexual intimacy on a level he could accept.  Imagine being a 15 year old boy and having no outlet for your inherent anger and no way of exploring your burgeoning sexuality; in this scenario BDSM gave this young boy a way of doing these things.  Not a healthy way but the only way he could accept.  It’s this story that I find so emotionally compelling.  Christian Grey is a terribly broken human being.

The female protagonist, Ana, taps into something in Christian and makes him feel things he never knew he was capable of.  Ana is not unappealing or boring or painfully shy.  She is, in fact, exactly the type of woman Christian has always been attracted to – that is attractive, brunette, slim and intelligent.  The only problem is that Ana is not a natural submissive.  And it’s this that challenges Christian and to his surprise he finds he likes to be challenged. 

Ana, in her turn, has to find a way to deal with this mercurial man.  A man who has essentially been emotionally stunted and feels things as a teenager would, and often reacts in the same way.  And yet, in stark contrast, this man has an incredible drive to succeed, and needs to be in control of every aspect of his life.  And Ana needs to cope with this man, who she loves desperately, in a way that is acceptable to the both of them.

The three books in the Fifty Shades series, explore this relationship.  The couple have various hurdles to clear, the BDSM being only one of them.  Slowly, throughout the books you see these characters grow, stumble, get up again and fight for their love.  It is romantic yes, but there are parts that are horrifyingly heart-breaking, parts that make you angry, parts that make you giggle.  And at the end you find yourself reading about a strong relationship, a man in the process of healing, and a woman willing to put her life at risk for her family.

That, in my opinion is a good story, anyway you slice it.  It would still be a good story if you removed all the sex.  Not that the sex is gratuitous, as this is when both characters are at their most vulnerable, and some pivotal plot points occur in the Red Room of Pain. But the sex does not make the book.  I turned the pages, not to find the next sex scene, but to find out what was going to happen to Christian and Ana.

And I’m not saying that E.L James is the next James Michener.  Her writing style might not be to everyone’s taste; the books did have editing mistakes (it seems difficult to find a book these days that doesn’t); and yes the paperbacks are expensive.  But I believe that she has told a brilliant story and I for one, am glad that that story is now available to a wide audience.

So there it is folks.  My point of view on the latest hot topic.  As Lori said in her post, we are now going to focus on the funtimes to be had with The Hunger Games.

PS: You can listen to the soundtrack for the Emi Lost and Found series by clicking play on the widget to the right ----->
Or by going to Lori's website :D