Category Archives: LGBT

Warning: These 10 Top Tips Will Help You Write Seriously Authentic Lesbian Characters

10 tips for LGBT characters
After my rant last week about the lack of LGBT characters in mainstream fiction, I thought I really ought to make some kind of suggestion as to what the differences are, (and there aren’t many) in order to help writers who want to write LGBT characters but haven’t plucked up the courage yet.

I really did have to rack my brain to find something useful to say because there isn’t much. We are human just like the rest of the world. For those looking for tips on writing gay male characters, I’m not going to be helpful in this post. I’ve stuck to what I know…lesbians.  Continue reading

Where Are All The LGBT Characters?

Where Are All The LGBT Characters?

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. Continue reading

Interview with Author Michael Harwood

Michael Harwood

If you would like to be featured in an author interview, drop me a line.

I had the pleasure of meeting Michael through my interview with V G Lee a few weeks ago. I am really delighted to present a fellow LGBT writer Michael Harwood. Continue reading

Interview with VG Lee Critically-Acclaimed Author

V G Lee

I had the pleasure of attending V G Lee’s Inner Monologues creative writing session last year. I was inspired by her class and was absolutely delighted when she agreed to let me interview her for my blog. All the author Interviews are available on the Author Interview Page. Continue reading

Interview with James Howell – Author of the Disturbed Girl Trilogy

James Howell Author Interview

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. Continue reading

Spermy, Spermy, Sperms!

more sperm

 

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!

 

Forget terrible twos, why didn't anyone tell me about the terrible ten months?

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.

giphy child

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!

 

Writespiration #2

fairy tale

Neil Gaiman has inspired this post, with his soon to be out ‘Sleeper and the Spindle‘ fairytale where there are not one, but two princesses. Which is coming out later this month.

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.

Why being a lesbian mum is exactly the same and completely different

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?

On Being Sacha Black

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.