All posts by joanbarbarasimon

Dr (soon to be Dr Dr) Joan Barbara Travers Simon. Teacher, researcher, novelist, editor and more. As an author, I write adult-rated fiction for freethinkers. Explosive (multicultural) literary fiction with alpha protagonists locked in an erotic-psychological Kampf. Raw, funny, philosophical. Read my work (e.g. Verses Nature) and make your own mind up. I can also turn the heat level down. Long Time Walk On Water: 'a captivating multicultural historical novel with its splash of something quite unique, its touch of romance, reggae style, will win your heart forever.' I've been called many names: a wordsmith par excellence. A madwoman and literary terrorist. A magician. A truly fearless writer. I rather like all of these. I've also been called a woman with a dick. I like that one even more. As a scholar, I run an education blog for the general public. My special interest: the multilingual literacy development of young learners at home and school. Very little jargon. Lots of good ideas/data for free. I am also about to launch an online course for PhD students: The Academic Writer's Programme (AWP). A free mini version of this course will be on offer soon. Updates about this are on my website: www.joan-barbara-simon.com I love learning, asking questions, breaking the rules and giving you what you won't get anywhere else.

How To Stay Alive (from a survivor)

The doctor said it was too late. Soft medicine would be of no use to me now. I cried into my pillow as the visions of what I still wanted to achieve in my life flashed before me then ran off into the bushes.

Don’t move. If you do, you could bleed to death in less than three minutes.

I practised being dead, resisting every urge to cough or twitch, but first I called the children to hear their voice in case…

And as I practised being dead – getting better and better at it – a familiar face ventured almost apologetically into the room.  So grateful was I to see him one more time that I cried in earnest. It wouldn’t matter if I bled to death now.

That was nearly two years ago. Two years, over 600 pills a month and the will to prove everyone wrong. Whenever anyone says ‘no’ to me, I make it my mission to prove them wrong. The doctors had been telling me for years that  I would be on medication for life.

‘Are you sure that I won’t be able to get off these pills one day?’
‘No. Let’s be honest’.

That was their No. Not mine. On my miraculous journey back to health from a chronic kidney disease, I encountered a wonderful soul with a simple message: we can eat our way back to health and the way to do so is to practise intermittent fasting. It sounded like just another fad to me and I challenged the author to give me good reasons why I should take him seriously. He won me over. I read his book and you know what: I feel GREAT! I’m not going to twist your arm or try to talk you into anything because I’m not motivated by self-interest. There is a growing body of research on the benefits of intermittent fasting. I only know it is helping me to regenerate both my body and my mind. If you would like to know more, click on the image below to receive your copy of this short yet life-changing book.

 

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Staying with the topic of health, I’d like to share with you an amazing piece of fiction by  Mari Reiza. My first encounter with Mari was via her book  Physical: The Catastrophe of Desire. This is a first-class piece of feminist humour which I would have loved to read all over again, but I decided to try another title to see if Mari could enthrall me yet again. Oh yes she can! I’ve just finished reading Room 11: A Man Sits Singing Where A Woman Lies Dreaming. This is an impressive book that should have its place on the reading list for Contemporary Fiction or Women’s Fiction around the world (says I, as a  Creative Writing lecturer). Reiza’s short book nonetheless takes on epic dimensions of mind, inhabiting liminal spaces that churn around love, desire, belonging, acknowledgement, You would need to be an erudite reader to take in all the references in this story which frequently returns to Greek mythology and escapes (or so I find) into surrealist-like fantasies that call to mind Kafka. In many ways I see the work as a tragedy of love. It’s a breathtaking work that left me exhausted and thoroughly elated. Just read it!

 

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Like Loui Lam, Mari was amazingly open to my questions and comments about her book. I love that dialogue between authors and readers!

If we want to stay alive, physically and mentally, then we shouldn’t play dead. We should be open for new encounters that have the potential to refresh our souls. I remember reading a blogpost about a woman who one day realized that her reading was in fact limited to English and American authors, so she determined to correct this blind spot by aiming to read a book from every country in the world over the course of a year. That’s some goal! There’s so much out there for us to discover and that is why I would now like to make a request:

Tell me about your favourite fiction titles and/or any life-changing books you’ve read and why you think everyone should read them. Depending on how much time you have or want to spend, you can tell me about a single title or many. I’d love to share this list over the course of forthcoming posts so we can all stay alive.

More good news: I competed my second PhD in February, despite all odds. I’m very proud to be able to call myself Dr Dr Joan Barbara Simon (or Joan Barbara Simon, PhD, PhD). Achieving the unthinkable is also one reason why I have been away from this blog for so long. Well, now I’m back, full of love and life and love for life and I want to share as much of what I’m reading, doing and thinking with you so don’t be surprised if my posts bounce from theme to theme: it’s just how I am, not trying to concoct some marketable brand but giving you the real deal on who and how I am.

 

A final piece of good news: my historical novel, Long Time Walk On Water, is now ranked #1 in 3 amazon categories! It’s a pity that there are so few reviews to let readers know what to expect. If you have read and enjoyed the book and would like to take a few minutes to share your views, please click on the link below.

Review Long Time Walk On Water Vol.1

Thank you for that and hear from you soon with your personal Best Books!

 

The Queen’s speech for 2017

In the words of my favourite friend and queen, Yode Olubajo:

 

Dear friends,

This year, I’m struggling to write you because it truly has been an anus horribilis on a world wide scale… Where does one start? We continue to witness evil on an unprecedented scale, with the loss of so many innocent lives… One cannot begin to imagine the sorrow and pain of the families and loved ones of the victims… And for the victims who survived these atrocities, many now living very different lives than what they had imagined for themselves..

Many of you will be asking, if there is a God, why is  this happening?.. Well, you see, heaven helps those who help themselves. We must take responsibility for our actions. Those who use religion as an excuse to commit heinous crimes, have nothing to do with God or religion..The world we have been given, is a beautiful place… And mankind is destroying it.

Nevertheless, I decided that I will see the glass half full, and not half empty. There are many many positive aspects of our lives we take for granted, that we ought to be grateful for.. Just waking up daily and breathing the fresh air, the food on our table, roof over our heads, the wonderful friends and families we share..to state a few obvious blessings..Many of us are at that age where we are losing loved ones, some prematurely, and some, because it is simply time… Challenging and painful though it is, we are still here and must continue to live life to the full.

On a personal note, I feel very blessed… I can not complain about my life. I have my ups and downs like everyone, but, I’m constantly learning to put things in perspective and not dwell on negativity, because it only destroys us in the end.

I reached my 5th decade recently, with many of you celebrating with me. I felt so fortunate and incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so much love… What a week that was…! I am thoroughly blessed.

I’m hoping to be able to give you some news early next year on a project I’m working on.. I’m very excited! And I’m bloody terrified too…! LOL!

As always, I was not able to physically see all of you this year, and it has flown by again..! Each year seems to get shorter, or are we just getting busier?! But, you are often in my thoughts and I continue to pray for your well being and fulfilment..

Wherever you find yourself this festive season, I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing time with your families and loved ones… I am in Toulouse enjoying quality time with friends..As we enter the new year, I pray for a calmer, safer and healthier world for all of us.. Remember to make the most of every day… Life is now! It ain’t no dress rehearsal!

 

God bless you!

 

Love always,

 

Yodé xoxoxoxo

why you should never fake an orgasm (and why I did)

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If you fake it, then because you think you owe your partner this trophy as a reflection of their expertise?

Why? Why not: no work, no pay?

Who owns your orgasm? One of my favourite lines in Verses Nature is when Carmina, after a disagreement with her lover, Tatar, writes in her diary: I refused to let him make me come. Think about that for a while: I refused to let him make me come.

Carmina owns her body, its pleasure, no matter if Tatar is convinced otherwize. Her orgasm: a gift she may choose not to give?

So, when and why did I fake it? Not for them. I did it for us. I did it for Simone. Simone Leigh and I met each other online. She writes coffee break erotica for women. We’re kind of in the same line of business. I write ‘high-brow rumpy dumpy’. Officially, I call it erotic literary fiction. Men are welcome. At some point I mentioned to Simone that I am a performance artist. At a later point I had a copy of her The Virgin’s Christmas in my hands. Two plus two makes…

Sure. Why not?

One of the problems I have with most of what goes by the name of romance is the role women play. When I think that most porn is made my men for men and most romance is written for women by women, then why do romance authors perpetuate the happy end myth of woman becomes wife? Is that all there is to it? To us? Find a man then settle down? I thought Austen was dead (in that respect).

Leigh’s The Virgin’s Christmas, upon first reading, appears to fall into the category of romance (and erotica), where the female is but a life-size toy men may operate, battery-free.

Take a second look. I did. As I rehearsed this piece, it became clear to me that the protagonist, Charlotte, is everything but a mere pawn. When the Christmas gift of a threesome with her ‘Master’ and Michael is jeopardized by a snowstorm, it is Charlotte who takes the initiative. Okay, they are stranded in the middle of nowhere, far from their desired destination, but must that mean all is lost? They have food, they have blankets. They have everything they need. And Charlotte can think of a good way to stay warm and kill time…

With two men serving her from both sides, Charlotte gets the pleasure she had set out for. Her orgasm is but a couple of words in the text, words which could (easily?) be lost in the overall narrative. Charlotte is, after all, outnumbered.

This is where I step in. I transform Charlotte’s climax into the climax of the story, thereby relegating the men’s orgasms to mere narrative side effects. I read the word Master, seeing in my mind ‘Master’, the citation marks meaning ‘so-called’ and thus dethroning him who, throughout the story, remains nameless (thus exchangeable?). The thrust behind the M as I pronounce it – Master… Michael… – could easily override the softer pronunciation of Ch in Charlotte – Ch/sh, like: be quiet… shut up… it’s a secret, so don’t tell anyone… (???)

My Charlotte stays in control. Her climax, not theirs, steals the show, as ‘Master’ becomes servant, one with no other option than to accept Charlotte’s decision regarding when they will meet again.

The Virgin’s Christmas is part of a series and in this particular episode (episode 7), there are no wedding bells, near or far. Maybe the three will meet again in the New Year? Charlotte will decide. In the meantime, she gets on with her life. With her studies. She’s a bright one, Charlotte. Neither her ‘Master’ nor the love-stricken Michael are calling the shots. I loved being her. Even though Simone Leigh doesn’t accord Charlotte’s orgasm the same weight that I, as a performer, may, it’s there in the text. I didn’t write it. It’s there, waiting for me. Is my more feminist-oriented reading of The Virgin’s Christmas to be reduced to simply faking it?

Make your own mind up.

One step behind

ebook layout options are fine, I guess, for standard texts. If you want to do anything fancy, tho, get ready for a headache.

 

I have a headache.

 

ebooks are not ready for what I do. Take a text like this:

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and your ebook formatting process goes: wtf??? No way! Just who do you think you are, throwing me this fancy stuff?

You can’t explain to them: look, these are two protagonists, one per column, talking to each other. He’s on the left. She’s to the right. Smaller font is what she thinks but doesn’t say aloud. Underlining underlines where her thoughts overlap. Get it?

 

You can’t explain all that. You can only comply:

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You’ve given your name as the author, but the minute you push that ‘publish’ button, you know it’s not your book. Not the one you really wrote. It’s theirs.

 

They say paperbacks could become a thing of the past. Not if I have my way.

 

 

 

 

 

RAPE! (4)

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Today is Friday, which is alias for my Matthew Temple special. To make today particularly special, I have a double bill for you. First up, the next episode of RAPE! Then discover Matthew from his contemplative side in the next blog post.

 

“Put your gun away man.”
“Yeah, put it away.”
“Macro, watch yourself.”
“You’re going to get us arrested.”
“No one’s going to get arrested.  I’ve got a permit to carry this.  Stop making a big deal.”
“It is a big deal.”
“Biotik.”
“What?  Were you going to say something?”
“Yeah.  Just.  Stick to what you know, man.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means you don’t know shit about firearms.  I had to take a weapons safety training course to get this permit.  So I know shit about firearms.”
“Just keep it away, man.”
“Just watch your mouth, Macro, or I’ll thump your girl.”
“You ain’t gonna thump shit.”
“Macro, you’re pissing me off.  If I wanna thump your girl I’m’onna thump your girl.  Now why don’t you two get on with your date.  Sherman and I are gonna find us some pussy.”
So Macro and his dog bitch girl wandered off into the night, to have ugly sex between ugly people which everyone knows is shit.
And Sherman lectured me on the anti-merits of Holding a Gun When One Goes Out Selecting Pussy and the Pitfalls of Aiming a Gun at a Bitch When You Don’t Intend to Shoot and the like.  Sherman was getting very professorial, and I wondered when he was older if he would be like the ancient schoolmarms which traversed our school and taught our classes.
“You need to leave your piece at home.”
“But how will I make bitches all scared like?”
“I don’t know.  But sooner or later, if you bring your gun out, someone’s going to call the police.”
And what do you know, he was right.  The very next morning my roommate who was a stinky faggot woke me with a start.  The stinky faggot informed me that the police were at the door and behold, as I looked up from my covers there were the old black and blues, peeking into our dorm room door.
My gun was on my desk chair, fully loaded.  I threw a pair of boxers over it, very casual, and pushed the stinky faggot out of my way.
“Do you mind waiting outside, you stink,” I said, and the stinky faggot complied.
As he pushed open the door I could see there were two of them, short cop and tall cop, and they were no doubt ready to play all sorts of games with little old me.
“Can I help you?”
They spoke my name.  “Is that you?”
“Yes.  What’s this about?”
“May we come in?”
“Come right in, come right in brothers.  Can I interest you in a cold brewski?”
“We’re on duty.  Have a few questions for you about last night.”
“Last night eh?  Can’t say I know much about it.”
“Can’t say you know much about what?”
“About anything, really.”
“Were you at Bruno’s on State Street last night?”
“Indeed I was!”
“Do you own a weapon, sir?”
“I own a wee Glock.”
“A Glock.”
“A wee Glock.”
“What makes it a wee Glock?”
“It’s very small.”
“Did you take your Glock with you to Bruno’s?”
“My wee Glock?  No I did not.”
“Where do you keep your wee Glock?”
“I keep my wee Glock in a safe back in Burlington.”
“In Burlington.”
“Yes.”
“Mind if we search your room?”
“Be my guest.”
So they start rummaging through my closet and that of the stinky faggot.  I make sure they know that one’s not mine.
“What are you looking for?”
“Let us ask the questions.”
“Oh.  Duly noted, my good man.”
“What was that?”
I enunciate.  “Duly noted, my good man!”
“Do you think this is funny?”
“Am I laughing?”
“What were you doing at Bruno’s?”
“Scoping out bitches.”
“What?”
“Me and my cronies were scoping the fly hunnies.  Bitches.  Sir.”
“You know you’d get more pussy if you stopped calling women bitches, don’t you?”
“I beg to disagree.  Sir!”
“Did you point your gun at a Miss Angeline Brewster?”
“I’ve never met a Miss Angeline Brewster.  Sir!”
“Did you point your gun at anyone?”
“My gun is in Burlington.  Sir!”
“Do you know what the mandatory minimum sentencing is for felony assault with a firearm?”
“No sir!”
“And you weren’t out pointing your firearm at any women last night?”
“I was simply looking for a little pussy, sir!  I had started out earlier with my boy Tic Toc.  His name is Sherman but I call him Tic Toc sir!  We headed out of the crib and met up with Macrobiotik at Bruno’s, sir!”
“What is macrobiotic?”
“Macrobiotik is my homeboy, sir!”
“Your homeboy’s name is Macrobiotik?”
“Macro for short.  Sir!”
“You can quit with the ‘sir.’  You could spend a lot of time in jail if this lady’s accusations are true.”
“I don’t want to go to jail, sir!  Sorry about the sir!  I’ve heard people get ass fucked in jail, not-sir!  I’d like to die an asshole virgin sir!  I can’t help it sir!  I’m not ready to be fucked by a nigger in prison sir!”
“You have a bad attitude, son.”
“I know, sir!”
“You’re acting like somebody who has something to hide.”
“My story is complete, sir!  There was no harassment at Bruno’s.  Just a lot of bitches looking to get ass fucked by a carrot.  Have you ever ass fucked a woman with a carrot sir!”
“Why don’t you sit over there while we search your place.”
So I sit at my desk, on top of the boxers covering my gun.  And I feel that gun pressed into my ass and I think of what it must be like to have a Glock 9mm stuck up your ass by some psychopathic faggot who wanted revenge for all the times I’ve used the “f” word.
These cops were thorough, but they weren’t searching under my butt.  They worked their way through the room, opening drawers, looking on top of the closets, then they made me sit there while they went up and down the hall questioning my hallmates.
When they came back they asked me if I was sure my gun was in Burlington.
“Scout’s honor.”
“Are you even a Scout?”
“It’s an expression.  What?  You think that just ‘cause I said ‘Scout’s honor’ without being a Scout that that makes me a liar on the point of my gun being in Burlington?  My gun is in Burlington, rest assured.  Just because my bitch-ass hallmates say otherwise doesn’t MEAN SHIT!”
Then they ask me if I’m on any medication for psychiatric illnesses.
“No.  Not that I know of.”
“Are you aware of the university health service?”
“They treat scabies and STDs, right?  I don’t have any STD’s.  I fuck clean bitches.”
“And what do you mean when you say ‘fuck bitches?’”
“You’re kidding, right?  I stick my pee pee in they cooch.  What the fuck you think I mean?”
“Do you ever get rough with a bitch?”
“Why would I get rough with a bitch?  Maybe I slap ‘em in they mouth when they act up.  I mean I might do that from time to time.”
“You know that’s assault, right?”
“I’m not admitting to anything.”
“You need to treat bitches right, ok?  When you get a bitch to suck your dick, that ain’t no license to fuck her, and when a bitch lets you fuck her, that ain’t no license to hit on a bitch.”
“Now wait a minute, who ever said I be roughin’ up on bitches?  Did they say that?”  I point to the hall.
“We’ve had reports.  Bitches be callin’ us and lettin’ us know what you’ve been up to, bro!  When you stick yo’ dick in a bitch, and she don’t want you to, sometimes bitches be callin’ us the next day and gettin’ they insides swiped.  We find you spunk inside a bitch that didn’t want to be fucked, you could go to jail.  Bitches’ insides be they own.  You can’t fuck a bitch ain’t got no permission.”
“Respek.”
“Now, did you take your piece to Bruno’s last night or not?”
“Nah, man.”
“You didn’t pull your piece out on some bitch named Angeline?”
“Nah, man.  But that bitch was actin’ up.”
“What did she do?”
“She was lookin’ all fly and shit.  She was wearin’ tighty fishnets and I could see her maxi pad between her legs and shit.  It was stickin’ out.  I was thinkin’ about that bitch’s pussy and shit.  Bettin’ she had a fly pussy.  Wanted to do a finger test with ye olde pinky, if you catch.”
The officers were coming closer, and I squirmed me butt around the Glock, trying to conceal that I wasn’t sitting on flatness.
“What’s a finger test?” the one officer asks.
“When you get a bitch captive,” I say, “you want to perform Ye Olde Finger Test.  This is where you finger a bitch progressively with one finger, two fingers, three fingers, four.  Start with your pinky.  Ideally you want a bitch who passes the one-finger test, meaning that when you stick yo’ pinky up that bitch’s cooch that bitch is tight as hell.”
“What happens if she fails the test?”
“You move on, my brotha, you move on.”
“Well, we’re going to be keeping an eye on you.  If it turns out you’re hiding your Glock on campus there will be serious consequences.”
“Good, my brotha, right with you.”  I give them the old thumbs up.
“And take it easy on the bitches.  I know you like to fuck but bitches be havin’ feelings.  It’s important that everyone be treated with respect.”
“Respek.”
“No.  Respect.”
“Respect.”
“That’s right.”  The officer gives me the thumbs up.
“And you boys take it easy on the road.  You never know with these university brothas, when someone might go ballistic on ya, jump out guns blaring, like maybe if he had a personal grudge or something.  So anyway take care, I doubt we’ll be seeing much of each other after today.”
Then those black and blues took their smug faces and they left me be.  And I stood up from sitting on my Glock, and straightened out my ass cheeks.

(from RAPE! by Matthew TEMPLE. Read the rest of this story here.)

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