Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gay marriage and the grumpy churchwoman

Life News:

As the gay marriage debate hots up, I'm pleased to see that the Church Times journalists on the whole don't really get what the fuss is all about. Isn't it quite rightly a done deal apart from the shouting? I'm also perplexed by the recent old-fashioned emphasis on something only being a "marriage" if you physically have children together. Um, does that mean I'm not actually married because neither K nor I want or like children and indeed had that text in the marriage service removed as neither of us wished to say it? For that decision, we must surely be the lowest of the low!

I also don't understand the argument that same-sex marriages threaten the sanctity of marriage. Um, as this wonderful cartoon tells us, what actually threatens the sanctity of marriage is infidelity, alcoholism, addictions, physical and mental abuse, and lying, amongst other factors. I would say that same-sex marriages would enhance the sanctity of marriage, and indeed might encourage us hetero bods to try and get it right more frequently, especially in a society where two out of three marriages currently end in divorce. Hush my mouth, eh ...

Speaking of which, there's a great blog from the talented Jason Shaw about gay marriage which is definitely worth reading. Well said, Jason. Turning to another issue in the gay community, I'd like to highlight this worthy cause to help support LGBTQ youth. All donations welcome!

Meanwhile, I'm really struggling with the Lent course, groan. The theology of the Marcus Borg video seems highly dodgy to say the least. Many apologies to the man, but I simply don't respond well to skewed debate, manipulation of content and the use of a sparkling web of words as a trap. I've come across it too often in the church in the past to give it my full attention now. Besides, I can't really take seriously the theology of someone who neither likes the physical resurrection of Christ much, nor believes that sin is a viable concept. Um, in my opinion, our bodies are hugely important, and if there isn't any sin, then Christ is a liar and there was no point in Him dying. Which, of course, is a theology everyone is entirely welcome to believe but just don't expect me to join in with much enthusiasm. Ho hum.

So, all in all, the Lent course is very draining, and I'm glad there are only two sessions of it left. Though, as I said previously, it has helped me to nail my colours to my own particular theological mast, which is always interesting. So perhaps it's not all bad, eh. But I probably won't be sending the good Dr B an invitation to our Easter service, hey ho.

But to cheer me up, we have a brand-new phone system, which is so advanced that we fear we can't keep up with it. There are four receivers (four!!) so we can have one in my study, one in the bedroom, one in the hall and one in the kitchen, well gosh. They even tell you the time, and you can get different ringtones for different people who ring you. We've decided my mother should be like a warning call, so I can prepare myself ...

This afternoon, I've nipped in to the doctor's as the time is due (yikes!) when we have to review my anti-depressant medication. I have to admit I've not been looking forward to scaling it down as I've been so much better with it - life-changingly better. But the doctor was very sweet and we've agreed that when I next renew my prescription, I'll be given the 10mg Citalopram rather than my current 20mg ones, and see how I am after a month. Seems reasonable to me - maybe I'm just getting overly worried about it (surprise, surprise, eh). Though it is good to see this article about depression which I thought was highly astute. And the more these things are out in the open, the better.

Plus I have to confess I appear to be entering my peri-menopausal zone (turn aside now if this is too traumatic for you, though of course you're welcome to claim I'm way too young for it, ho ho ...), with the dreaded itchy skin and irregular/unusual periods. Ah what it is to be a woman, eh. I remember asking K years ago if he'd still love me when I'm grumpy, sweaty and awkward. His reply was that he wasn't sure he'd notice any difference, so maybe I'm just growing into my real self, hey ho.

I must also praise the customer service skills of the Co-operative Visa people who were total charm and efficiency on the phone today and solved my issue in seconds. Good for them - and a very pleasant surprise. Tonight, K and I are out at the theatre (hurrah!) seeing Bette and Joan - so hang onto your hats for a night of perfect glamour, wit and bitchiness. Much like any normal night here in the outback really.

Book News:

Over at Vulpes Libris Reviews we're having a high old time. Yesterday, we were recommended by The Times as a good book review website, a wonderful surprise which drove our site hits up from the usual 1000 per day to 2250. Well, gosh, I hope our new visitors enjoyed the read! And it's a nice balance with the previous recommendation we had a couple of years back in The Guardian, so the universe is indeed happy.

Not only that but the marvellous Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard, which I reviewed last year on site, has just been longlisted for the Orange Prize, so I'm revisiting it here. Hey, we Book Foxes can definitely tell a good book when we read one. Well done, Ms Stothard, and if there's any justice at all, you'll be on the shortlist before you know it.

I'm delighted to say that my literary horror story The Gift of The Snow has now been accepted for publication by Untreed Reads, so I'm looking forward to working on that one at some point. I'm continuing to work on the edits for The Executioner's Cane and have now reached the dizzy heights of page 50, good for me.

In the meantime, the first in the series, The Gifting, is currently available for only £1.91 at Amazon UK, so snap up a bargain while you can. On the other hand, until the end of March, if you sign up to my quarterly newsletter, then you can get your very own copy free! Happy reading.

You can also find gay thriller The Bones of Summer available at a 20% discount until 20 March at Dreamspinner Press. And one of my writing friends, Mark Wagstaff, is offering free Amazon vouchers if you help him to choose the title of his new short story collection. He's a great and powerful writer so do have a go, and good luck.

I'm also very excited that I've booked my hotel accommodation for the upcoming GLBTQ UK Writers & Readers Conference in September. I absolutely can't wait for this - especially as most of the GLBTQ fiction conferences take place in the US, so it's lovely to have one in the UK too. And if you're a fan of m/m or GLBTQ fiction, then Brighton in September is definitely the place to be.

Also on a hopeful note, there is at last good news about the recent Paypal Censorship issue - so that writers of erotic fiction, such as myself, will continue to be allowed to use Paypal to sell our books. A moment of victory indeed, especially as it's so much easier getting royalties that way. So a BIG thank you to all who have continued to oppose the literary censorship over the last week, and thank you to Paypal for being willing to reconsider.

Looking to the future, I'll be part of the Amber Allure St Patrick's Day Party on Saturday 17 March, and there's going to be lots of fun, frolics and book giveaways, including my own. So come on in on Saturday and enjoy!

This week's meditation poems are:

Meditation 628
Sometimes all you need
to carry on

are a small nearby light
and the distant promise

of sunshine.

Meditation 629
The day is filled
with emptiness
and the faint memory
of fire

while the history
that binds us
falls away as the smoke
drifts higher.

Meditation 630
It’s come to my attention
that we learn far more
from disaster
than success.

So let us be content
to fail and grow wise,
and live well
with less.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK


Clare London said...

*hear hear* on the debates on gay marriage. I'm always saddened by the attitude that it will take away from what's already there, when in my experience it *adds*. Have a good weekend!

Anne Brooke said...

I entirely agree, Clare! Hope you have a great w/e also! :)) xxx

Megan said...

yep, good on you, Anne and have muchos fun out and about (go away itching!)

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Megan!! Says she, scratching ... :))


Jason Shaw said...

The talented? Wow, thank you so much for that, what a lovely compliment, I’m not sure of its validity though!
It is amazing the amount of controversy surrounding what really is a matter of love. One day we’ll be equal, one day equality will be an actuality rather than just a wish!

You'd think they would be happy about it, for a start it would mean more bums on seats in their chruches!

Anne Brooke said...

I stand by my description of you, my dear! And you're sooo right about the bums on seats! It's a matter of justice :))