Can anyone tell me a blockbuster famous novel they have read with a main character that was either gay or lesbian? Don’t worry, I’ll wait whilst you scratch your head to think… still haven’t thought of one? No. Me neither. Anyone else got an issue with that? Because I really do. (more…)
If you would like to be featured like this on my blog, drop me a line.
I first found ‘A Disturbed Girl’s Guide to Curing Boredom’ in DIVA, a magazine for lesbians. It had the tiniest of blurbs (as all their reviews do) about this little book with a rather intriguing title. I absolutely HAD to read it. So I did, and I was an instant fan. His trilogy is one of my favourites… EVER. So it had to make my ‘books that MADE me write‘ list, because it was just that good. (more…)
I really hate January 1st. It’s the ultimate come down. You partied hard the night before, fuelled by booze, contagious enthusiasm and ever more ridiculous resolution promises. The night seemed alive, 2015 was going to be THE year. It’s your year, your time and your chance.
What a load of shit.
Woke up this morning, feeling more bloated and fatter than ever, with a raging hangover and more resolution promises I will break before the end of month. Stepped on the scales, didn’t I?
WHY, did I do that?
Now ELEVEN pounds heavier than I was in August.
Fuck January. Fuck my life.
January 1st – berroca in the morning 11am hangover starting to disappear, better make an effort – healthy yogurt and bagel for breakfast. By 1:45pm I’d eaten chocolate, hated myself for eating it so ate more to console myself.
F***ing January. I’ll start tomorrow!
Looked at the insanity DVD pile with enough hatred to send me straight back to the chocolate drawer for another round of “stuff my face and hate myself some more” I’ll start insanity tomorrow.
Looked at my beautiful treasured Mac laptop lain unused for the entire Christmas break. Not a word written, not a thought for my assignment nor my much in need of an edit WIP. Looked at it, hated on it. Then hated on myself for slacking. I’ll start tomorrow.
Looked at the calendar, only 3 more days off till I go back to work. And the awful realisation I’ve wasted my entire precious Christmas holiday doing sweet fuck all. Something I can’t abide – waste. Spent most of the first week off being ill with a stupid cold I couldn’t rid myself of for a month. Happy to say the last two days have seen it finally bite the dust. But still. I hated on myself some more for behaving like the thing I hate – a waster – sleep is for the weak!
So where did it go? When did I lose my mojo? It’s been gone at least a month. I have no motivation AT ALL. Not to exercise and lose the weight I need to, and not to pick up my technological pen and write.
How do you get motivated when you and your mojo are lost?
Maybe you should tell me tomorrow?!
This is quite possibly the most exciting personal post I have written in a while. The posts about my life and memoirs seem to be getting rarer, but this blog was created originally as a memoir, so I refuse to let go of that side completely, no matter how much it’s evolved, so sorry to all the folk out there who signed up to read all about writing, this ones a memoir.
A long time ago, I was told I probably wouldn’t be able to have children. It’s a long story, but it ended up in me falling pregnant rather quickly and a hasty retreat by the fertility clinic.
Thankfully we managed to get pregnant, and nine extremely long months later, and 3.5 days of excruciating labour, baby Black was born. The best year of my life followed, and a difficult decision about sperm.
The wife and I thus far haven’t really wanted another child. Not for any other reason than, we need to pay off the cost of the first baby, and buy a house to make sure we can provide for him first before having another one.
We have spent a long time discussing whether having another one would suit us, and our family. We bickered a lot to start with, but I guess that’s normal for most couples. As time has gone on we have continued to learn lots of parenting lessons and are continually growing together on our journey.
Deciding whether to save sperm for another child has been a topic of much contention. It’s difficult trying to predict what we might or might not want to do in a few years time.
Of course, even if we didn’t save sperm we could have another child using another donor, but if the option is there to use the same donor, we are both in agreement that we would prefer to use them.
So we came to a cross road… To save or not to save? It’s an extremely costly affair saving sperm. To save enough for three attempts it’s a whopping £1000 for three years, and another £300 every three years to continue to have it stored.
BUT, we decided to save some, just in case. I am not saying we will have any more kids, as at the minute neither of us can see it happening, however, we are trying to protect our options, ensure that we aren’t taking our choices away and making a decision about how we will feel in 5 or 6 years time.
So there we have it… Very exciting news, the Black’s have a bank… a bank of sperm! (can’t help but giggle like a child about this!) But SHHHHH! It’s a secret!
As I promised, this would be a blog of two halves, partly about my life as a mum, writer, and worker bee, and partly about writing, and my quest to get published.
So, this is a motherhood post.
Everybody knows about the terrible twos, how truly awful they are with screaming tantrums and public paddies.
Hideously embarrassing and the phase I suspect most parents dread in young children. BUT SERIOUSLY…. why did no one tell me about the horrific change that happens at ten months? My son is now ten and a half approaching eleven months, and it was like an alien literally took over his body and possessed his previously calm temperament.
Nappy changing is simply an impossibility without an army of spare hands, arms and legs to pin your gremlin of a child in place while you change them. Ok, so distraction occasionally works too, but not as well as it used to! He now likes to pitch an absolute bitch of a screaming fit, when I get him dressed, try and do his teeth, or anything that even remotely changes his current situation.
In spite of the fact I’ve read a million mum blogs, help sites read books and compared notes with a hundred friends, it kind of doesn’t matter what they say or suggest because baby black, is just going to make life difficult his own way! When I find a solution I’ll report back!
Why don’t you try writing a brand new fairytale, maybe something set in this village, what happens? is it traditional? Or are there two princesses? Or two princes’? Are there fairies, dragons, or made up creatures? Who is your target audience? Is it children? or adults, or teens? Who do these houses belong to? or maybe you could just remix a current fairytale.
let me know if this helped, and if you wrote a fairy tale.
There are some fundamental things about motherhood that just don’t change. You will change umpteen nappies, and as a result you will get baby poop and other bodily liquids over most of your limbs at one point or another. Generally speaking however you obtain a child (no, not theft, I’m talking adoption, fertility treatment or in a plethora of other ways) it’s come from the same place – a womb. There will be a time – if you have a newborn or very young baby – where you don’t sleep, you will feel like the walking dead and you won’t know who you are; one day you will find you self sat on the sofa in yesterday’s underwear, bloodshot eyes with bags the size of houses, unbrushed teeth that still look clean because you can’t remember the last time you ate, smeared with poop, a few bubbles of sick down one arm, and some crusty snot thrown in for good measure. That happens. To everyone who’s a parent believe me. There’s other things, like the fact that once your a parent there really is no going back – particularly for those that have carried and birthed a child, once you have that baby your life will never be the same again. It takes time to go back to feeling like yourself, but that self is very much a different self. Whoever you were before you had a child is gone, held captive by your long forgotten and never to return youth. Whoever you were is most definitely not returning. But that’s ok. This new you is a better you anyway!
Thats the stuff that’s the same. Seems like everything, right? Wrong. The differences are invariably cultural. Its always cultural. It’s those little things that make our lives that bit harder. The worst bit, is it starts before your child’s even born.
Take your antenatal classes – a class full of straight couples. Where does the non birth mother sit? For the sake of this and any ongoing blogs I post (and my word count!) the non birth mother will be referred to as ‘mama’ and birth mother (mum). Where should the mama sit? It’s not really with the mums – they are all discussing the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and their fears of labour. But it’s also not really with the dads who are more concerned with discussing where the closest dominoes pizza place is to the hospital.
Throughout pregnancy I felt sorry for my wife – she would tell people she’s having a child and within about three seconds a haze of confusion would melt over their face as their eyes would unsubtly drop to her stomach and back to her face a few times. It’s still not ‘normal’ enough for people to just accept that two women can have a baby.
Even after pregnancy and labour it continues – but the problem is – the differences are between your friends and you. I am sure that to a certain extent straight couples who have kids young experience similar things. The friends who begin to slip away because they ‘just don’t get it’. They are incapable of compromising or being understanding to the fact that organising a night out is the equivalent to party planning for the royals. It takes serious time and effort, you can’t just go out at the drop of a hat. And, lets be honest, most of the time you don’t want too either, not because you’re a bore, but because if you do go out – the consequences will reach further than just a saturday morning hangover. You’re going to be tired long into thursday – especially when your child decides to start teething again – at that very moment you went out and let your hair down – commence a week or two of exhaustion. That bit – is probably the same.
But for the LGBT circle, the current generation of young’uns (17-35) we seem to be taking life in the slow lane. The majority of people who are having children in this gayby boom are 35 plus in the LGBT world – obviously I’m not saying everyone, there are also pockets of exceptions – but in my world – most if not all the LGBT parents I have met are 35 plus – in fact thats kind of mimicked with the hetero-parents I’ve met too. The difference this makes is – most of my friends are still in the culture of being concerned with where the next night out is coming from and who’s round is next. most still live at home with mum and dad, and few have careers sorted or any kind of concept of where they want to be when they grow up. Indeed any kind of mention of commitment and you got yourself a full on epi pen needing allergic reaction. Why is our generation of young LGBT so frightened of commitment? few if any of my friends have had relationships longer than a couple of years. It makes me feel like a freakshow – not only am I LGBT and therefore in a minority group as it is – but I’m a minority within a minority – a young LGBT person with a child, who actually had the child in a lesbian relationship and whats more, gave birth.
Other major differences include the ‘questioning’ when you come across a straight couple with a newborn – usual questions include: Oh how adorable – how much did they weigh? How was the birth? Do they sleep?
Now – we tend to get one or two of those normal questions and then you get hit with the- ‘I’m going to look really awkward and shift from foot to foot because I know what I’m about to ask is rude, but I’m going to do it anyway!’ – face and then the barrage of “oh so, er, how did you do it then?” most of the time I feel like responding with an equally stupid answer “do what? get my hair styled this way?, do what look this good on no sleep?” etc etc. Other stupid questions include “do you know the donor?” “are you both called mum”
Seriously, next time a straight couple asks me how I ‘did it’ I’m going to ask them how they got pregnant too, see how they like them apples!
I’m ranting – but I have a point, we face regular interrogations from joe public, and even from our parents. My own dad commented that he wasn’t really sure how it would ‘be’ raising a male child with two mums. “Where’s the balance” I remember him saying. He ate his own words though when he visited because he then said “I don’t think I’ve met a happier child.”
There are probably a million other differences I could name, but my rant just ran out of steam! For any of you LGBT mummies out there – anyone else able to add irritations to the list?
It’s been ten months since I posted properly. The birth of my son understandably turned my life into chaos. But after some thought, and preparation I’ve decided a new look to Sacha Black’s blog and a slight re think in content should bring me back onto the straight and narrow blogging scene again.
This blog has had so many incarnations – rants about work, struggles with art and writing, and my battle with fertility, but always my memoirs.
But now, I am a mum, a worker bee, a wife, a writer, and hopefully a blogger again. This blog will be twofold, my memoirs on being a mum, and my memoirs on writing.
I hope you will follow me on this journey.
I am attempting to take more time for me now that I am beginning to get some semblance of routine back into my life. With work just round the corner an the end of my maternity approaching, I am trying to think more about myself and where I want to go. I don’t want baby black to grow up with a miserable mother – just because I carried on doing a ‘job’ that pays the bills. I want to be a role model for him, to show him if you want something bad enough you can do it, you just have to work hard. So, now I have a fixed laptop, it is time to crack on with my writing course. Incase anyone else fancies themselves a writing course you can find it here.
So my first assignment, and piece of writing I had to do was a piece of descriptive writing. I thought I would share it with you. It was an observational piece, and we had to choose somewhere of interest and describe it. Feel free to comment if you like:
In the distance an aeroplane rumbled, and I strained to find the contrail jutting out of its rear. Unable to see it, I meandered down the twisted wisteria walkway instead. This was the aisle I was meant to walk down on my wedding day. Sighing, I stroked one of the baby branches arching over the walkway and was surprised to find it furry and covered in moss; my fingers tingled at its touch. Its elder looked down watching it grow, bark as wrinkly as a grandmothers.
The gravel crunched under my feet, as I continued down the path. I halted as I glimpsed a hint of the pillar-box red oriental bridge in the distance. Veering off the walkway I headed towards the bridge to stand at the edge of the lake, I heard the quacking of a pair of ducks paddling in the pond, and the roar of a waterfall pounded the jagged rocks surrounding it. Staring at the pool beneath the waterfall, I wondered whether mermaids lived in the murky midnight blue depths.
I stepped around the end of the walkway into a huge open space covered in a blanket of green grass. It felt like I was entering a magical world. A towering pagoda stood peacefully amongst the trees and boulders around it. If you listened hard enough you could almost hear the clip clop of geisha shoes, and the flapping of kimono fabric in the wind. Poised at my feet, stood a single flower flecked with pink ready to battle the first frosts of spring like a samurai preparing for war.
I inhaled deeply, and the sharp air cut my throat as it whipped my fringe into my glasses. I pulled my jacket tighter to protect myself from the chilly air and walked through the dewy grass towards the aged mansion at the top of the gardens. I placed my hands on the filigree garden gate, and shivered as the icy metal bit my fingers. A delicate spiders web quivered in the breeze lonely without its eight-legged owner. The stately gardens behind the gate were pruned to perfection, with chess shaped bushes and neat lines surrounding the majestic fountain centerpiece.
Springs first sunshine kissed the mansions sandy colored bricks. Terracotta turrets bulged out of the roof, and evergreen coloured ivy crept boldly up the walls. I walked away imagining wartime evacuees waving behind the mansions enormous square windows and running through the great rooms inside.
Like the TV advert, the wife and I decided to set up an email account for our newborn son to open on his 18th birthday. We will spend the next 18 years sending letters, photos and videos to him in secret, so that his life with us is chronicled. I thought you may like to read my first entry.
My Dearest A,