Showing posts with label sexually fluid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sexually fluid. Show all posts

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Nerd Church (SPECIAL EDITION!) - Lessons From 2 Years of Book Blogging

It's my blog anniversary tomorrow! :) Yes, on Halloween, 2 years ago, a little depressed bookish rebel took her first steps into book-blogging.

That's Jango 'helping' me blog (climbing over my shoulder and onto the keyboard, he likes doing that) - he's the pretty/fluffy one ;)

So, you want me to dish the dirt, yeah? Of course you do ;)

I didn't blog much 'til October/November last year.

Yes, I've had a blog for two years, no I did not have a bl**dy clue what I was doing with it 'til last autumn, when I decided to really give this thing a go.

Don't look at my early posts, they're terrible. In fact, I look back at posts I wrote a few months ago and am hugely surprised at how much I've progressed since then.

The way to produce half-way decent blogposts is to produce a lot of not-so-great ones along the way.

If you're a blogger, don't be afraid to be honest.

I decided from the start that I was going to be brutally honest.

That doesn't mean being abrasive or aggressive - it just means that you're going to be open and honest about you, your feelings, your life.

Granted, the fact that I use a blogging name is a huge safety net for that. When I started this blog, I was majorly depressed, and I still struggle with depression and anxiety now.

I don't think I would have felt comfortable talking so openly and frankly about my mental health problems if it'd been my real name that I was using.

Ditto, there are approximately three people offline who I've come out as sexually fluid to.

Online? I'm free to be me.

Also, my real name is actually Welsh, and after nearly a quarter of a century of having it mangled by people who are, themselves, Welsh, I figured that expecting people outside Wales to do anything but butcher it was probably a little much ;)

Blogging almost every day has helped a lot.

Don't get me wrong: I know not many people want to/have time to do that. And it's uber-important to take breaks when you need them. Self Care first guys!

But I found that, actually, blogging almost every day helps with the depression: I have awesome online friends, the satisfaction of completing a post, and the ability to get my thoughts out of my head and into the world, where they might even do some good.

Plus, the amount of blogging/writing practice I get in is huge.

BUT: Do what suits you. No-one else. Blogging is such a personal thing that you have to do things your way, or you're going to end up hating something you should love.

I'm still socially awkward as all hell.

I'm so awkward. And I'm not just saying that. Everything that I could say goes directly out my earhole the moment someone talks to me.

Also, every time I talk to (awesome graphic novelist) Linda Sejic, I manage to become the living personification of a socially interactive train-wreck.

Luckily, Linda is amazing and doesn't seem to mind that I a) link to reviews of her husband's books instead of hers b) tag a random person whose @ was similar to Linda's handle and c) forget how to word and end up sticking random smiley faces in instead :)

General Warning:
If I'm acting weird, it's not you. It's def not you. *sigh*

But I'm not (that) afraid of controversy.

I'm not afraid of standing up for what I believe in. I think if you have a voice, you use it.

That said, I find it exceptionally difficult sometimes to disagree with people, in case I accidentally offend them.

The thought of offending someone is my #1 anxiety trigger, so you'll rarely find me insulting people - even those who deserve it - because it's not worth the shaking and racing-heart that comes with it.

This is not a way to gain instant fame and fortune.

I don't want to put you off - but to be even semi-successful in the blogging world, you need to put in some damned hard work.

If you're not willing to do that, then you won't see the results. Simple as that.

Basically, the way to blog, in my humble 2-year opinion, dearest nerdlets, is:
  • try your best
  • be you
  • don't write posts you wouldn't read
  • show people your passion

And, of course, Cee's Golden Rule for life:

Don't act like a jerk!

I know this is kind of a long and blathering post, but I also have to give a special shout-out to just a few of the people who continue to inspire me:

Emily @ The Paperback Princess; Emma-Jane @ The Book Crunch; Sierra @ The Nerdgirl Review; Olivia-Savannah @ Olivia's Catastrophe; Tina @ As Told By Tina; Charlotte @ Bookmarks and Blogging; Naz @ Read Diverse Books; Ely (and Michelle) @ Tea & Titles; Imogen @ Wandered Souls

(and thanks to @arbind_paonam, @LindaSejic, and @misses_pancake for making Twitter a nicer place to be)

Sorry if I haven't thanked you: I love all of you, but dude, listing you all would take more than a blogpost, and this is already entering Oscar-speech territory. I've met so many amazing people through blogging!

Please be assured that I appreciate each and every one of you, and am always pleasantly surprised when you like, comment, RT, and generally support yours truly.

There have been times when your niceness has actually made me cry. And I'm kind of a hard-a*s, so that's actually an excellent achievement on your part - keep up the good work guys! :)

So what's next for Diary of a Reading Addict (which I only realised a few weeks ago I can shorten to DORA - I'm so oblivious)?

Well, firstly, tomorrow I have a special review of a book called Star-Shot, from a Welsh publisher called Seren (which means Star) and an actual real-life giveaway on Twitter!

And yes, this is the first giveaway I will ever have done. They stress me out. See how much I love you guys?

So drop by tomorrow to check that out!

After that? Well, I'm going to keep shooting for the stars (I really couldn't resist that pun!) and I hope you'll want to join me ;)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Nerd Church - Sing It For The World

This week, dearest nerdlets, I'm going to get all multimedia on your butts in an attempt to explain why your voice - and everyone else's too - is important right now.

(OK, so I ramble and get off-track a bit in this post, but hopefully there's a point in here... somewhere.)

It's inevitable that you're aware of the general feeling in the world.

The Trump threat, Brexit, and the rise of the far right here there and everywhere, means that never has it been more important for you to raise your voice for this world.

The legacy of this generation can not be the rise of intolerance and bigotry. We have to work to make this world a better place.

One MCR song comes to mind. 'Sing' is about refusing to give up and just let sh** happen to the world.

It's a song that my fellow Killjoys, MCRmy, and members of the Black Parade will know well. But to those who might not, this song is a battle cry for speaking out. It says that you have to keep trying - no matter the odds.

Please, if you get the chance, listen to it; and pay attention to the lyrics. There's a lot of truth in there.

It's more than a little concerning just how relevant both the album Danger Days, and the Green Day album 21st Century Breakdown, are, given that they're both dystopian-set.

Then there's using your voice as a well-known figure to try and do some good.

(Like the Save the World campaign did this week. Please, Americans - let the world see Mark Ruffalo naked!)

But it doesn't always take big things to change the world.

Do you want to hear about something beautiful that made me tear-up this week?

The actor Nico Tortorella has a new podcast available called Love Bomb.

Love Bomb is all about sexuality and understanding each other, and is generally awesome sauce.

The beginning of the first episode is a spoken-word poem-type thing. It's also at the start of the extended preview which you can check out on iTunes here. (Please do!)

That first spoken-word poem thing is about being sexually fluid.

Nerdlets, do you know what it feels like to hear the things that you haven't been able to put into words? Do you know what it's like to know that there are people out there - albeit a continent away - who feel like you do?

So yeah, I teared-up.

I also tweeted about it - cos dudes, I'm aware that most people don't understand sexual fluidity; and this meant a lot to me.

Then, something awesome happened:

So yes, that felt... completely amazing! XD

Cee, you seem to have got off track.

This may very well be true dearest nerdlets - but I had a point! (Somewhere... at some point...)

My point, (I think,) was that we can all change the world - we can all have an impact (even if it's only on a 20-something book-nerd in her front room in South Wales.) 

We can all mean something.

Yes, we can all change the world. But you have to raise your voice.

'...You've got to make a choice
If the music drowns you out
And raise your voice
Every single time they try and shut your mouth...'

Nerd Church is a weekly post where I try to keep the world from going to sh** all on my lonesome - feel free to come and help me out! ;)

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Saturday, 24 September 2016

5 Simple Rules For Reading and Reviewing LGBTQ+ Books

I don't claim to be the expert when it comes to reviewing queer books - far from it.

I'm human, I make mistakes. I may even make mistakes in this post (but I'm damn well gonna try my best not to.)

But, I don't want people to be afraid of reading and reviewing books with LGBTQ+ characters.

So I figured I'd give you some tips which seem common sense, but, as you may have seen this week, clearly need to be spelt out.

So listen up my nerdlets, hopefully this will be helpful (and feel free to correct me if I do make a mistake,):

1. Neither sexuality nor gender are a lifestyle or a preference.

Would you refer to a straight person as having a heterosexual lifestyle? I doubt it.

I know that a lot of the time, referring to LGBTQ+ people as living a certain lifestyle, or having a certain preference, is well-intended.

I may even have done so in the past myself.

Some LGBTQ+ people may not have a problem with it; a lot do.

It gives the wrong impression.

To a lot of LGBTQ+ people, it is offensive. It feeds into the idea that this is something that people could 'choose' not to be - which is just wrong.

It can also give the impression that you find their sexuality too disgusting to even talk about in the open - which is hurtful.

Sexuality is not a lifestyle or a preference. Gender is not a lifestyle or a preference.

I know that what language is acceptable, and what is not, has changed a lot over the course of the 20th, and even 21st, centuries.

(And I will never get elderly relatives to understand that times have changed *face palms.*)

But please understand that a heck of a lot of people do not like it when people refer to their sexuality that way. It's a misconception at best.

2. Sexuality does not require a content warning.

Sexuality is not the same as a sexual act. Sexuality is not in any way explicit or pornographic.

I am sexually fluid - but haven't had sex, with anyone; that doesn't change the fact that I'm sexually fluid (I'm ok with the term queer too, by the by.)

(I know, if a dragon comes I'm going to be the one with my a*s tied to a rock as sacrifice.

But I have too much respect for myself to be with someone who I'm not in love with, and I simply haven't found that person yet. #DealWithIt.)

Likewise, you can be involved in a sexual act which doesn't conform to your sexuality.

See the difference?

So, unless you are planning on putting a warning in for cis-het characters too, please do not put one in for an LGBTQ+ character.

If there are sexual acts in the book, then you can point out that the book is sexually explicit in your review. No problem.

Otherwise, in order to convince me you're not being prejudicial, you're going to have to point out when straight characters kiss or fancy each other. #JustSaying

3. Gender and sexuality are not the same thing.

Yes, they are inter-linked. No, they are not the same. Just remember that. Please.

4. Refusing to allow genuine criticism is not acceptable.

People are allowed to question you. Take their feedback in. Apologise and correct your statement if necessary.

Under no circumstances act like a jerk and become aggressively defensive (yes, that's a thing that happens.)

Do not follow-up legitimate concerns by claiming that they are not legitimate concerns. Do not get personal in your response.

In case you need more, here's an example of a good response to criticism (albeit on a different representation issue):

I pointed out to a blogger that they had called a fictional character weak next to a gif of them literally committing suicide.

Their response was to apologise for the mistake (and I believe it was a genuine mistake,) profusely, and change the wording immediately.

This blogger's grace and acceptance (not to mention their genuine remorse,) actually made me think better of them than I had before.

5. Not all LGBTQ+ people are the same.

So your gay best friend read your review of a book about a gay person, and said it was fine.

Someone else read it, and was offended. But they must be making it up, mustn't they? After all, you got a gay person to look it over, so it must be fine. NOPE. Guess what? People are all different.

I - and a lot of LGBTQ+ people - don't like it when my sexuality is referred to as a lifestyle. There are people who are fine with this. That doesn't mean that no-one can be offended by it.

People's concerns are relevant. Please at least take the time to really think about what they're saying.

Doubtless, there are a million other things I could've said in this post.

But I just wanted to point out a few key things about how to approach LGBTQ+ book reviews.

Mistakes happen. It's how you react to them, it's how you learn and move forward, that matters.

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Nerd Church - Being Yourself and Other Extreme Sports

How do I even begin?

To Thine Own Self Be True butterfly poster image

Once there was a girl who just wanted to be herself. Problem was, she didn't really know who that was.

Sometimes she liked boys. Sometimes she liked girls. Sometimes she liked both. And sometimes she didn't really have any desire at all.