Category Archives: women

F*** Balls, Grow A Vagina #1000speak #writespiration 76

A struggleThere’s this phrase, ‘grow some balls’ I hate it. Mostly because I say it all the time! I’ve seen a photo banded round the internet that slates that phrase, suggesting instead, that one actually needs to grow a vagina. Why? Because vaginas are hardcore – baby pushing out – machines. While balls…Balls are… soft, squishy, breakable sperm bags.

Why am I talking about balls and vaginas on my writing blog?! Well, this weeks writespiration happens to fall on a 1000speak day, so you’re going to have to bear with me whilst I waffle on in order to explain the challenge! Every month there is a group of people that come together to write on a theme, the campaign is called #1000speak. This months theme is forgiveness. If you haven’t ever joined in, you should. It’s awesome to take some time out to ponder different things, and to join in a movement based on compassion. Continue reading

Spermy, Spermy, Sperms!

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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!

 

Writing Tips #5 Killing off characters

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Killing off characters…

Whilst I might not be an accomplished published writer… yet and therefore not necessarily have the right to say what I am about to, I am a prolific bibliophile, which does give me the right as I may well read your work one day too! Just as a caveat, this isn’t meant as a slur on anyones work, just a lowly readers opinion.

So, killing off characters….. lots of people do it, in fact most authors kill off a character or two… Sometimes it helps to shimmy your plot along… Great, do it… but what about when you kill off a main character…?

George RR Martin does it all the time you say, well if game of thrones can do it then so can I.

No. No you can’t.

I mean, you could. But word of cautionary warning… don’t just kill off main characters without a irrefutable reason. I will give you an example.

Spoiler alert: Veronica Roth & Divergent

If you intend to read Divergent then skip to another post!

You spend three long books getting to know, investing in and falling in love with her main character Tris. Then she offs her a few chapters from the last book. Fatal mistake. I know I am not alone in thinking this either. Most of my friends who have read her are equally as pissed off. Heres why:

1. She spent three books making us fall in love with her character, ‘feel’ for her character, get to know her inside out, as well as we know ourselves.

2. We were invested in her

3. It came out of the blue – I had to re-read the page in which she killed her off three times before I understood that she had in fact killed her off, at which point I genuinely said out loud “Are you fucking kidding me?”

4. Three books close to a thousand pages of reading about a character and then the last couple of chapters end without her in it.

5. Secretly most people want a happy ending for the characters they love, unless the whole book has lead you to a different ending, which this didn’t.

6. She wrote the first two books from the main characters point of view, in the first person, and then split the last book chapter by chapter to two different characters POV – annoying. Do it the whole way through or not at all.

7. She tricked us, into thinking she was going to have a happy ending with ‘four’ her boyfriend and live happily ever after.

This all adds up to being NOT ok. It’s sloppy writing, in fact it is down right lazy writing. I feel like she couldn’t be bothered to work out an ending so she just offed her main character. Who does that???

Another point to note is POV. Veronica Roth writes in the first person. *SLAPS FOREHEAD* you simply can’t write three books in the first person and then kill your character off. I mean obviously thats why she split the last book to write from two characters view points, but still wrote in the first person. It was tough going and annoying. But explains why she was able to kill off her main character.

She made me invest in a character and then tricked her readers (me) out of the ending we had been expecting and wanting. It’s not ok to do that. Whilst Veronica Roth wrote an outstanding first book, which has clearly made her millions, and an ok second book, she utterly massacred the last one, with an ending thats pissed off every reader I know. It has certainly put me off reading any of her future work. What it does show, is that she can certainly make her audience talk about her work, and feel emotional about her work, I mean, if angry counts? Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t meant as a character assassination on Veronica Roth or the Divergent series. I am just trying to show you how not to really irritate your readers.

DON’T CHEAT US OUT OF AN ENDING YOU LED US TO.

 Obviously, if you have led us down the road of knowing the main character is going to die, then fine. But if you haven’t, then please be careful, think about what your readers would want and expect, and hope for, for your characters ending.

The one thing I do have to thank her for, is she inspired me to get off my arse, and write a better story, with a better ending. I’m not saying I am a better writer than her, I’m clearly an unpublished nobody. But, she made me want to write a story with a better ending. I was that annoyed! and here I am in the midst of NaNoWriMo, several thousand words deep in my book…. 🙂

Antenatal reasons why I love my wife!

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We went to our first of two antenatal classes the other night, and boy did it start awkwardly!

We rocked up fashionably late – by total accident – we both despise being late, and the wife had been sent home from work as she was in excruciating pain from her bad back still from the car accident – Anyway – she slept most of the day away after swallowing a load of painkillers the doc had given her. After an epic three hour snooze and with barely 30 minutes to get to class I finally plucked up enough courage to wake her from what can only be described as some kind of zombie death sleep! I really didn’t think I would be able to wake her!

We rocked up – slightly late – with EVERYONE gawping at us, as we were CLEARLY the only gays in the village! and we awkwardly sat in the last two remaining seats, right in front of the strangest tutor I have ever witnessed.

This tutor – paler than a vampire, with an accent that was so confused she must have lived in every country in the world.

During the course she brandished an alarming wooden plank that depicted the dilation of the cervix which she then proceeded to push a babies head through the 10cm circle… to which all the women began to cringe slightly and I tried not to whimper and sob in utter despair!

I was a bit disappointed in the class to be honest – I only found out one new piece of information about some vitamin K that the doctors give babies straight after birth. The wife was like… “what do you expect your a geek….” she has a point!

Anyway – What this class taught me, is that I absolutely, love my wife, and wouldn’t be without her.

The tutor split the class into ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ – so my poor wife made the awkward journey over to sit in the ‘boys’ circle to discuss how they were going to support their wives.

WELL….. having been surrounded by women for so long – I had completely forgotten how utterly useless men can be.

Suggestions they came up with included – making sure you had the take out number because they deliver to the maternity unit – clearly thinking about their stomachs.

When I suggested that they should pack the hospital bag because they would be rooting around it as we were going to be in no state to look for shit one of the men turned round and said

“thats the womens job” – DICK HEAD.

This made me cross so I verbally dropped him on his arse and everyone giggled.

Anyway – this continued, and all the good suggestions that they had come up with I would look over to my wife and mouth “did you say that?” and she would give me that cute little smirk she does and nod….

Sigh, swoon, so proud. bloody love my wife!! <3

 

Hotter than Hell

In the UK we appear to be having a heatwave. Now usually I would be delighted at the prospect. However, being pregnant in this heat is really not fun.

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I genuinely feel like someone opened the gates to hell, and is pouring its fiery death heat all over EVERYTHING.

I really, genuinely do not know how african or any women living in the southern hemisphere cope.

Also, I would like to add, why the fuck does mother nature think its funny to skip the last three summers… and then the year I fall pregnant, pour 30 degree (86 F) heat all over us. I mean I know thats not that hot to some countries, but for England it’s ridiculous. We are not used to this kind of weather. We’re lucky if it breaks 25 over summer. So reaching 30 is KILLING ME.

I cannot cool down. Once I get hot, I am a sweating, irritable, waddling mess.

I have had to take my wedding rings off and everything, my fingers are swollen, and my skin is clammy.

UGH.

P.s. we had the 20 week scan… I will up date later…. and we know the gender! 😛

Hormonal Times – 19 weeks

So, I am officially shit. Completely missed the 18 week post, and my 3 blogs a week average is starting to slip…

What can I say?

Pregnancy makes you tired – I really figured that I would be less tired now I am in the second trimester but seemingly not.

I think the whole decorating the house thing kinda exhausted us both, but now it is mostly done – just the babies room to go.

Thursday coming we have our 20 week scan  – seriously half way ALREADY??? wtf.

This week has been tough – we went to buy the pram and car seat and had it all fitted outside the shop and when we came back out someone or something had smashed my windscreen in a footlong snowflake /spider looking thing – I think someone hit it with a hammer, but the wife isn’t so sure, I just don’t see what else could have done it? What do you think?

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That is literally me! fingers up at the world!

We get to find out the gender at our next scan, everyone, well mostly everyone is excited for us to find out.

I will let you know when we know! 🙂

17 weeks

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17 weeks… Honestly, where is the time going?

Well anyway, I thought I would add a couple of shots of the belly – although the skin one looks bigger it isn’t I had to crop loads out so its just zoomed in more.

So when I spoke to the midwife she said that the reason I have a belly already is because my uterus has moved up. She was surprised about how quick it had move and how far up it was for how far gone I am. And hence the whale like proportions already!!

I figure that I can’t have much room inside me and that’s why it’s moving so quick. My mum barely showed at all because she has such deep hips 3 weeks before she was due to give birth people were only just telling that she was pregnant!! But I was breach apparently!

So what else has happened symptom wise:

1. I had a hormonal surge which turned me into a monster for about 36 hours – poor wife – nuff said!

2. Had some ridiculous cravings for curry and ate it a lot…! I even considered it for breakfast one day. When I started thinking it was a good idea to put grated cheese on top I scalded myself and promptly gave up eating it!

3. The headaches days and days of headaches

4. The belly button change – now it hasn’t popped I have a very deep set button (or inny whatever u call it) and I’m not sure it will pop out but it has certainly started to go quishy and change! That’s the best description I have at the minute!

5. Sciatic bloody nerve. I’ve been referred for physio and currently waddle like I’m in the third trimester! I’m not – I’m just in pain! A lot of pain.

6. The left hand side – of my WHOLE body is starting to fall apart – my knee is agony my foot is excruciating. I’m guessing all linked to the sciatic nerve.

7. Boobs – I thought the boob ache was over but apparently they are STILL growing – I had to buy another bra today one that is TWO cup sizes up from my original size 🙁 and was slightly depressing if I’m honest.

8. Popping – so the midwife said that because my uterus had moved already I may feel something sooner than later… I’m not so sure because I’m only 17 weeks and the average is 18-22…. That being said, I have felt some funny things this week hard to describe… But…. You know when u have gas and u feel a bubble sort of role and pop, well it felt a bit like that… I didn’t have gas at the time… So I am not sure. I was expecting “butterfly’s” as that what everyone says it feels like… This felt more like having my stomach squeezed on the inside!

9. I brought a pregnancy yoga video, which hasn’t turned up yet, but will do hopefully tomorrow, and I booked on to an aquanatal class starting the end of the month- and brought a swimming costume. I need to do something active I’m going nuts here. Going for dog walks with my friend 3 times a week isn’t cutting it.

10. Baby brain – I can’t remember shit. Not a thing. And my head is seriously full, of fuzz and static, I can’t put anything else new into it.

That’s it, I can’t think of any more updates so I will post again shortly!!

Baby Beat

So…

Baby heartbeat

I had my 16 week midwife appointment last week. It was wicked, I got to hear the heartbeat – and in fact I recorded it on my phone, and I am hoping that this works:

Hopefully that is an audio player that will play the heart beat! If so – enjoy 🙂

The appointment went swimmingly – all apart from the horrendous fact that – my midwife’s HOT… like really hot! I am going to be so so embarrassed when she comes to check on us the day after the babies born and she has to show me the ins and outs of breast feeding! or worst… has to check I’m ‘healing’ I am going to die!! lol. It really is going to be one of those “awkward moments when…”

Of course the wife found this all hilarious -and is now going book leave just to come to the next appointment so she can judge my taste!! haha.

Baby Bump -10wks 3 days vs. 5week bloat!

Well, I am so glad I took a photo shortly after I found out…. I am not sure how I have rounded so quick, but seeing the two photos next to each other!! No wonder nothing fits me! This baby’s going to be a bloody whale!!!

First photo is me feeling bloated at about 5ish weeks

The second one is me in a bikini This morning at 10 weeks 3 days.

I honestly didn’t think that my body would change so quickly, I have been feeling like I was fat and must of put on weight but actually comparing the photos I see that my belly is round and not just flabby.

I feel better….

For all those commenting… Be nice I am fragile today!!

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It's Definitely a BFP! :)

Ok, as if I haven’t peed on enough sticks I decided to do three tests this morning just to make sure… They were all positive!! Here’s the clear blue and first response… Both positive. I wonder when I’ll be able to stop testing!! I am in disbelief

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