Connections, Net Neutrality, and the Thoughts of an Old Vampire Blogger.

As most of you already know I don’t say certain things were meant to be. I don’t believe that bad things, or even most good things happen for a reason. What reason is there for a child to get cancer? What reason is there for someone to lose a limb, or a job, or a home to fire, or the freedom of speech? Bad things can make us stronger, or wiser, or closer to those we love, but that does not make them good, or reasonable.

I do believe in a certain amount of what I’ll call, for no other words, magic.

Let me tell you a story about something amazing. It is a story of magic. It is a story of creativity. It is a story of a group of people meeting by chance over the Internet and doing wonderful, amazing, magical things together – through love of storytelling, words, pictures, and eventually each other.

Once upon a time, before I stared this blog in 2012, I wrote stories and books. I wrote plays that were produced. I wrote stories. I wrote books. I wrote poetry. I wrote alone.

When the Internet and social media came along I jumped onboard early. As an artist and a writer I could see the potential. Sure, we all loved the Hamster Dance, but there was so much more. There was community.

In the early days of Facebook a family member asked me to join. I discovered old friends, and things like FarmVille. Then I discovered FB groups. I joined a few writing groups but didn’t participate. I just listened in. Every once in a while I’d post a story. Nobody ever responded. I’d read works by others and press “like.” Sometimes I’d say, “That was great. More please.”

Then a troll invaded the group, and people started to talk. We banded together and beat the shit out of the troll. We made him leave. Then something amazing happened. About ten of us started to interact. We decided to have our own writing prompts. The first was for erotica just because it sounded like a challenge and a bit naughty and fun. So rather than put our naughty bits out in a public group of 2,000, we formed our own group. We called it our Den.

For almost ten years we have formed a bond as tight as any group that meets face to face.  We have faced personal tragedies such as the death of one of our members. We’ve celebrated success together. We have become true friends. We have loved, supported, and treasured each other. We became Writers, Poets, and Deviants, aka WPaD.

We are from The United States, Canada, and Austria. We are one. We transcend borders because our culture is that of free speech, creativity, great stories, and art for everyone.

We just published our 8th Short Story Anthology. I am always in awe of the true talent and dedication of this group, especially of Mandy White who acts as our publisher, editor, and den mother, and Jason Kemp, who has provided the original illustrations and design for several of our covers.

Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe

Strange Adventures in a Deviant Universe – WPAD Science Fiction.

Best Horror Anthology of 2015

Creepies 2 – Best Horror Anthology of 2015

Without the support of WPaD I would have never started Vampiremaman.com in 2012. Who else would have cheered when I said I was writing a Vampire/Parenting blog? Without WPaD I would have never considered publishing a book on my own. I would have never become a mentor to other writers, artists, and bloggers. I would have never met the amazing people I’ve come to know in the WordPress writing community.

To my WordPress peeps – I hold you all close to my heart as well. I will fight for your freedom to keep blogging and speaking your mind – forever.

To my WPaD friends – I truly admire, appreciate, adore, and love you for who you are, and for what you do.

In the old days, when I was a child, nobody had computers. People had pen pals. If we wanted to speak to someone we went out into the street to see who was there. More often or not doors were slammed in our faces.

But now, with the true magic and FREEDOM of the Internet I have met the most remarkable group of creative people I could ever imagine. I am not religious but I do feel blessed. I do feel this is something so rare and so special.

Net neutrality was ripped apart this week after the Federal Communications Commission voted 3–2 to repeal the network neutrality rules that prevented internet providers from blocking or controlling access to websites or charging websites to access users at faster speeds. Let me rephrase that – before ignorant and greedy trolls at the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to repeal the network neutrality rule. 

I encourage every American who reads this to contact their Congressional Representatives, and Senators and encourage them to reverse the hateful and dangerous repeal of the network neutrality rules.

We will continue to create, speak out, and love what we do, and who we do it with. We will contiue to support each other for we are the ones who create the magic. We are the ones.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

blogging-cat-meme

 

 

Why Sex Education Fails – Any Teen Will Tell You

The college aged and high school aged kids in my life wonder why politicians (and others) are so obsessed by the sex lives of others.

They say, “I bet the guys who are passing the oppressive laws against birth control and women’s health, and the LBGT community, partied hard in college, had sex with multiple partners, experimented, then went on with their perfect squeaky clean lives.”

They also say, “If you don’t believe in abortion don’t have one.”

AND most important of all (are you listening blind and stupid politicians) “If everyone had EASY access to birth control, with no limits on age, and no permissions required, then there would be fewer abortions.” 

Yes, if you cut back on birth control then you will never cut back on abortions both legally and illegally.

My daughter was telling me why sex education in high school and middle school didn’t work.

In middle school it didn’t work because one of the parents (ONE) complained. I believe it was a loud woman who donated a lot of money to the school. According to her, she and her child were the center of the universe. The child of course was completely embarrassed when the mother complained about having sex education in school taught by experts. So the embarrassed teachers had to teach the required course.

In high school my kids were taught abstinence only. Welcome to 1816. Yes, time travel is possible and happening right now in a state near you.

Plus the teens were taught be an uncomfortable wood shop teacher who could barely look the students in the eye when he said the word “pregnancy.” The only terms use were highly technical. The students didn’t learn anything about birth control and very little about STDs. Nobody told the teens about anything except the fact that birth control pills existed somewhere out there in the universe. They didn’t learn about all of the other forms, including easy to get over the counter solutions.

If you’re a parent please talk to your kids about sex. It is going to happen. Don’t expect them to wait until they are married. Remember this is 2016 not 1916, and even in 1916 people (a lot of people) had sex outside of marriage.

Get real. Be a real parent and tell your kids about STDs, birth control, relationships, responsibility in relationships. Don’t lecture. Just tell them the facts. Don’t bring religion or politics into it – because it is going to happen.

Tell your kids that sex is a two-way street. Tell them to NEVER do anything they are uncomfortable with. Tell them that if someone says “if you do this I’ll like you,” then don’t do what they want. Relationships are about sharing, not about only one person giving and one person just taking both physically and emotionally over and over and over.

Healthy relationships are responsible relationships. That includes birth control, protection from STDs, honesty, and respect.

Normal relationships and normal sex is not like what kids see in porn. Tell them that too.

Teens should also respect themselves. Tell your kids that it is normal to say NO. Yes, you can say NO, if you don’t want to have sex with someone. You can wait if you want. You can be on your own timeline. No young person should ever be pressured into doing something they are not physically or emotionally ready for.

Sex isn’t just physical. It is emotional. Talk to your kids about that too.

The point of this post isn’t to give teens and young adults permission to sleep around and hook up.

It is about accepting the fact that young people are going to do what young people do. Yes, we hope they will wait until they’re out of high school. We hope they’ll wait for someone they care about. We hope a lot of things. But even if they wait until college, and wait for a super nice and caring partner, they still need to be educated about birth control and protection.

They need to be educated about respect and responsibility.

Don’t be afraid to talk openly and honestly with your kids. If you don’t like abortions then you damn better make sure your daughters and sons are using birth control.

If you don’t like the idea that your young adult children are going to be sexually active one day then maybe you should have just had indoor cats.

If you want your children to be responsible then you have to be responsible parents and teach them about sex, birth control, STDs, relationships, respect, and trust.

That is what young people want and need.

If you ignore something it will not go away.

Those of you who have followed me for the long haul know this is a parenting blog. I talk about being a mom, teens, old folks, and other issues. Sometimes it is in the form of stories about my family or others. Sometimes it is just weird, but it all comes down to relationships we have with each other, and how we live our lives, especially when our children are concerned.

I’ll have the other stuff soon, but this is important. You have to talk to your kids – as a parent that is your job, no matter how uncomfortable you find it – and no matter how uncomfortable your kids find it. DO it. Talk. Now. Today.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman