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I must tell you that it’s been an emotional start to the week. So many seem to be going through tough challenges this year. Health problems, financial worries, grief, break-ups… they seem to be everywhere… and then, I look out at the bright California sunshine and I realize that no matter what, we must carry on.

I have so much on my mind. Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the passing of a FB friend, Peter Kozma, known to the world as Arpad Miklos. He was an amazingly talented gay porn star who was driven to suicide because of a deep depression that he hid from everyone but those closest to him. One day, he sat in his New York apartment and decided that the way out of his depression was to take an overdose of medication. It did him in. Just a few days ago, a famous actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, struggling with his own drug addictions, did the same thing. He’d gotten clean twenty three years ago and had stayed clean until 2012 when he succumbed to his addiction with a relapse using prescription medication. When I read about him, my memories of losing Arpad a year ago came flooding back.

Read more: Deep Sadness and hope...

2013 Year End Blog… looking back at a productive year!

 

     Well, 2013 marks the first full year of being self published for me. It has been exciting in so many different ways. I had 14 new books published this year and 8 re-releases of previously published works. This is monumental for me, even though the majority of them were short stories and novellas. 2014 looks to be as productive if not more so. For the very first time in a while, I have been able to make a decent contribution to family finances and I have been able to call myself a full time author with my head held high. Along the way, I’ve set out and accomplished a ‘branding’ of sorts, pushing the fact that what I write is not merely smut, but BDSM smut for the most part.

 I’ve gained a world of fans both here and abroad and I’ve also been published for the first time in a foreign language (French), thanks to a very nice lady who took a shine to my writing. Bless you, Benedicte! I’ve launched a campaign toward the end of this year to be able to branch out to the Italian and the Spanish readers as well, setting those translations into motion and before the end of 2014, I hope to be read in four different languages all over the world. That in and of itself, is amazing to me. I’ll let you know how that goes at this time next year.

Read more: A look back at 2013...

Holidays are a time of reflection for me. They make for some of the best memories. I had one of those Ozzie and Harriet type households growing up in the sixties and seventies when I was really little. Somehow, my mother and father always managed to surprise us, even when they didn’t have two pennies to rub together. My uncle Otto worked with wood and he made me a set of stilts when I was about twelve. I walked on those $5 stilts (made of scraps) all day long and all the kids in the neighborhood wanted their turn. I recall just how excited I was when they had all had a turn and I could claim them once more for myself. I walked all the way around the block (we lived behind an elementary school and it was a huge block) which took me an hour. I was sore as heck the next day, but I never fell off those damned sky blue stilts. They were the best present ever. I can remember getting a ten speed bike one year and then riding it all day long until it got very dark and my mom finally called me inside. I was out on it the next morning of course.

Read more: Holiday reflections...

This week’s topic for Tuesday, is “The Bastardization of Thanksgiving and the greed of Black Friday…

First of all, with regard to the topic, I try not to invite any bastards to Thanksgiving, thus having a bastardfree turkey table. I’ve held Thanksgiving at my house for the entire time we’ve been married, even when we did a second one at my folk’s house when they were alive. Why, you may ask? Because I married a Persian man and the Persian relatives think that American Thanksgiving is just about the best holiday concept on the planet. A day to stuff yourself with my great cooking and an excuse to laugh your ass off with a bottle of Patron. Okay, I get that. In the early years of my marriage (28 now), I used to lament the loss of the whole ‘spirit’ of the holiday, the pure ‘thankfulness’ of it. Someone up there is watching out for us, making sure we get through another year together, safe and sane (for the most part), but I don’t worry so much about that anymore. It’s more like a holiday of togetherness for me, my husband, our four kids + one (granddaughter this year). It’s the first year that my daughter has been with us for the last few. She was indisposed for a couple past years, so it was great having her with us.

Read more: The Bastardization of Thanksgiving and the greed of Black Friday

Mandatory Condom Use… the end of the Porn Industry?

Should pornographers be required to make their actors use condoms and other safety devices during onscreen action?

This question came up when I read a wonderful blog by fellow author Max Vos this week. Here: http://max-vos.blogspot.co.uk/?zx=b7f9a1384f6a8b67

Max writes his blog about the use of condoms for “safer sex” in the porn industry from the perspective of a gay man. I write my blog from the perspective of a Californian. We are of the same opinion, ultimately, Max and I, and for many of the same reasons. We both agree that it should be an actor’s decision whether or not to wear a condom while performing for an audience onscreen.

Read more: Mandatory Condom use... The end of the Porn Industry?