Archive for June, 2015

Proud

Posted on: June 30th, 2015 by Madison Lake No Comments

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It was indeed a highlight of Pride Week 2015 when the US dropped the love bomb and announced that all 50 states would allow same sex marriages. Facebook became a page of rainbow faces, flags of primary colours shot up everywhere. It really was a historic moment that resonated around the world. We’re a slow bunch, we humans, but it’s hopeful when we do progress. Proud.

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On another completely different thread, and one I’m not proud of, I started watching a show on Netflix called Nashville. It’s soap opera sappy, like Dallas was, and it’s stupidly addictive, but here I am. Hooked. My friend and writing colleague posted on Facebook “Are men really as daft as shown on Nashville?” I’m going to support the men here and say ‘no’. You can thank me later! images

If you haven’t seen it, it’s about country music artists (damn good singers) and their personal lives around their careers in Nashville, a town where stars are born. As if Nashville is so small that the characters slip in and out of partnerships–on stage and in bed. I guess if you’re rich and talented it’s that easy. But hey, new story ideas come from schlock like this.

Speaking of schlock…I never did manage to get on Match.com. I found another site which lasted one week and I closed my account. It’s just not for me. I guess I’d rather visit Nashville once in a while. 

ML

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Hello again, is it Monday already?  It’s almost July, and as we’re about to step into the second half of the year 2015, I can’t help but wonder where the first half or the year went!  But, I’m not complaining, it has been a magnificent year so far, and I can’t wait what the second part will bring.  You can imagine I’m excited about my two new books that will be published in the upcoming weeks, and to all the adventures they will bring!  What about you?  What is in your plan for this year?  A new book, a new project, an amazing trip, or spending more time with family and loved ones?  Do share with me in the comments below.

I’m a girl of a routine, and my week started as usual, my lovely dog Pippa took me for a walk, and now I’m writing.  On my speakers today I’m listening to Jamie XX – In Colour.  I love the entire album, but the song ‘Loud Places’ is among my favorites.

Love,
Madison

Listen to the Jamie XX in Colour here:

Last week on The History of Sex we touched on Game of Thrones and The Walk of Shame.  This week we’re taking a look at GoT’s very own gender warrior: Brienne of Tarth.

 **There are spoilers ahead… Well, sort of, but not really: Go and watch the show already!**

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In both the books and the show, Brienne of Tarth is depicted as a woman who wanted to be a knight, and a woman who was ostracized and ridiculed for her choices.  This season we heard the story of how when she was younger her father had thrown a ball to try and find her a husband, and the young men played a cruel joke.  She describes the young suitors as suddenly showing interest, fighting each other to dance with her and whisper words of love, only to find out that it was actually a hateful ruse meant to mock her lack of traditional beauty and masculine demeanor and figure.  However, Brienne proves herself by becoming a knight of Renly Baratheon’s Kingsguard; protector to Catelyn Stark and her girls;  even gaining the friendship and admiration of Jaime Lannister who bestoys upon her the sword Oathkeeper, all despite not owning a penis to fit inside her suit of armor.

Throughout history real life women have bucked the standard of sex specific roles, and proven to be gender warriors in their own right:

Hua Mulan, the central figure in The Ballad of Mulan (and the Disney film, Mulan) was said to have been a real person who had lived in China, and disguised herself as a man to fill the draft quota during the Northern Wei in order to save her ill and aging father from having to serve.

Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, and one of the principal reasons for her execution was the accusation that she dressed as a man, despite doing so for safety reasons while traveling, and because the layers of pants with doublet and multiple fasteners was a strong way of preventing being raped.

Hannah Snell, a British woman born in Worcester, England in 1723, served as a man in the Royal Marines, and was granted a military pension.  She had been part of the expedition to capture the French colony of Pondicherry in India, and later, fought in the battle in Devicotta in June 1749.  She was wounded eleven times to the legs and once to the groin.  For her injuries she managed to keep her identity as a woman secret either by tending to the wounds herself, or enlisting the help of a discreet Indian nurse.  In 1750, upon return to Britain, Hannah revealed her true identity to two of her shipmates, and petitioned the Duke of Cumberland, the head of the army, for her pension.  She was officially recognized for her military service and granted her pension in November of that year.  It is said that Hannah went on to retire in Wapping, England, and opened a pub named The Female Warrior.

So there you have it; male, female, does it really matter?  Though she may be a fictional character, our Brienne of Tarth represents a triumph over the confines of gender stereotypes.  Though it would have made her life significantly easier to choose against her dreams and the image of what she wanted her life to be, she did it anyway. She did it because it would have killed her not to.

For Brienne, her beauty may not be in the curve of her waist and the softness of her skin, but in the swing of her sword, and the integrity of her soul.

Not A Princess Crown

Posted on: June 23rd, 2015 by Madison Lake No Comments

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The other night I was out with friends for a birthday dinner. Yes, another summer baby. All those cold, dark winter nights produced a lot of us.

So I was sitting at the table, sipping my wine, minding my own business when all of a sudden something dropped into my mouth. From where? I thought it was odd that I’d have a chunk of something in my mouth when I wasn’t eating. I popped it out and to my utter shock, realized it was my tooth. Ack!

I have a mouthful of good teeth, or so I thought. I’ve had very few cavities in my life and I’ve never had a root canal, implant or crown. I freaked. The funny thing was, everyone sitting around the table with me worked in dentistry. In the haze of my distress I could visualize sweeping my arm across the table (dramatically, like in the movies), wine glasses and side plates flying every which way, so that I could sprawl across the food-splattered surface for emergency dental surgery. Thank goodness I reined myself in.

“This sort of thing happens all the time,” said one woman.

“No biggie,” said another.

“Hey, at least it’s not your front tooth.”

That final comment made me flinch. She was right but still, the thought of my teeth falling out and my birthday coming up (not getting any younger that’s for sure) gave me reason to pause. I ordered another glass of wine and got up to dance, smiling with my lips pressed tight.

As expected, my trip to the dentist on Monday did in fact include two appointments for a crown, but not a root canal – a ‘no biggie’. It’s not a diamond tiara but it’ll get me through.

ML

 

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Hello and happy Monday!

I’m drinking a fresh cup of matcha and starting this new week, the new summer season, refreshed from the weekend and excited about what summer will bring.   My new book, Willow Wisp, is at the printer’s right now and I am expecting to be able to show you the final product in a couple of weeks, yei, I’m very excited!

In the mean time, I am wrapping up with the edits of Boudoir Stories and writing the 7th book.  Once I’m writing, I just can’t seem to stop!  I am listening to a lovely song Crave You, feat. Giselle, by Flight Facilities.  Listen below, and I wish you an excellent start of Summer!

Love,
ML