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

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Vampire Diary: Connections

Dear Diary,

The cat and her kitten refuse to be quiet, except when they sleep. Then it is as if they are dead. I can hear the low rumblings of their purring. They know I am writing about them. They are sly creatures.

~ Vlad

————–

Dear Diary,

Last night was a complete success then it was strange.

I go to the local club and women come to me. They are forward and fresh. No fear. No males watching over them. They do what they want.

My blood almost ran warm after spending time with them. I was full – enough for an entire week. Their blood is healthy and so much better that what it was like so long ago when I ruled the land of Vampires.

Sitting at the bar, finishing a glass of wine, a beautiful dark haired woman sat next to me.

“Come with me,” the woman whispered in my ear. Her hand was on my wrist, hot through the sleeve of my shirt. She moved her hand up to mine and pulled me up. The palm of her hand was unusually rough.

I looked into her brown eyes and saw a flash of gold, then her eyes darkened to almost black.

“Werewolf,” I whispered under my breath. She caught me off guard. That is not like me to do that. “I am not going with you.”

Then she said something so strange that it threw me completely. “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

I asked her what she meant by that.

She said, “Monty Python.”

“I cannot recall snakes being involved during the Spanish Inquisition except in reference to…”

She put her rough finger to my lips obviously to keep me from speaking. Then she kissed me. I stepped back. She was beautiful but a Werewolf. I do  not even want a dog licking my hand, much less being kissed on the mouth by a Werewolf. She put her hands on her hips and smiled.

“You know Vlad,” she said, “you’re cute but you’re kind of dense.”

I do not understand what she means by that.

How did she know my name?

~ Vlad

—————-

Dear Diary,

I thought about the Spanish Inquisition. I was not in Spain at the time. Elsewhere friends were burned to death. Others vanished into the darkness, never to be seen again.

The world still is not a better place.

The cats crawl on my lap. They curl up contented. They relax as if their bones vanish.

Gillian comes over. Her hands are soft. Her lips are cool and comforting.

“Do you remember Gillian? Do you remember when we were young?”

She brushed her fingers through my hair. “It was horrible. We need to live now and forget the transgressions of days past.”

Gillian never calls me cute. That is why I love her in the depth of my cold unbeating heart.

~ Vlad

——————-

Dear Diary,

When I take photographs with my magic box telephone with the apple on it the sunrise is red, but the sunset fades to pink. I see it as red, but it will not stay red once it is inside of the box. That is confusing. Telecommunications are confusing as a rule. Photographs are confusing. Everything is confusing.

I walk by the mirror and Gillian catches my hand. We stand in front of the glass, her front to my back, her arms around me, her face looking over my shoulder. We look in the mirror, eye to eye. My blue eyes on her brown eyes – locked together, our reflection clear and true.

“I understand the world when I am with you,” I said to her.

No truer words have ever been spoken.

~ Vlad

——————–

Dear Diary,

In attempt to find out what this Monty Python is I watched a film about King Author.

In an attempt to understand I then watched a Marx Brothers film called Coconuts.

I thought there would be a connection. I went to the Internet to try to understand more about connections. One name kept coming up.

I watched a film called Footloose. 

I read more. It was the man named Kevin and bacon. I still do not understand.

Then I watched a film about an old man with a flying house and a broken heart. A boy had a bird. The bird was called Kevin.

I looked out the window and saw a teenage girl. She lives next door. Her name is Chloe. I asked her about bacon.

She smiled and ran in her house. She came back with a book.

I read the book. For some reason it all made sense. It was called Charlotte’s Web. 

Finally something makes sense.

~ Vlad

————————–

Dear Diary,

Tonight the moon is a perfect half.

I heard the howling of coyotes.

Gillian hissed under her breath and said, “bitch.” I could see her fangs in the candle light. She looked so beautiful.

I smiled. This is love. I do not understand but I like it. I love it.

~ Vlad

 

Where’d you hear I was dead?

I was sitting (and still am) at my dining room table with my laptop and overheard my husband on the phone.

“This is Theodore Kings…yes, it’s me Teddy….well I suppose, but no I’m not dead…I haven’t been dead for a long time. Where’d you hear I was dead?….Really?…I married Juliette…Yes, that Juliette… You and Juliette? My wife? Really. No I didn’t know… I wanted to ask you about…”

From there is was all business. I hadn’t thought about him for years. I hadn’t talked to him for at least eighty years if not longer. We’d spent a year on and off, more on, traveling around Europe and ended up in New England. Then we just sort of drifted apart and pst touch, as Vampires tend to do. I had no idea that Teddy knew him.

Anyway, what was I writing about? Huh.

Oh right, we were looking at vacation spots and thinking of either Iceland or Bermuda. Seriously. But we have to go to New Mexico and school and skate schedules have us booked up.

The cat is on the table next to me purring, then I hear a voice asking, “So are you dead?”

I look up to see The Ghost sitting across from me. Yes, that ghost.

“I’m very much alive,” I tell him.

He smiled that nasty shit eating grin of his, “Sort of like those parasites that go dormant for years on end then come to life when they smell blood.”

“Do you need something Nigel?” I asked.

He shrugged. “Not really.”

Tonight his eyes were almost black under his long lashes. He smiled and started to fade out, then reappeared in the chair next to me. He is so annoying.

“Juliette, my dear, you were never a real person were you?”

“No, I was never a real person. I’m one of the lucky 10% of Vampires born this way.”

“Then how can you be undead? I mean you’re a Vampire so you’re supposed to be undead. But you were born alive as a Vampire, so you didn’t die first did you? That wouldn’t make any sense. Then again, I’m a ghost and that never made any sense to me. I was alive and then I was a ghost. And my body is in a box marked with a stone. People still come by and visit there. I’m hardly ever around when they visit. And here we are talking. Fancy that. So what exactly is undead? Isn’t it weird to be a monster? Do you ever feel like a freak of nature?”

“We’re done talking Nigel.”

“You’re done Juliette. I’m just going to hang out for a while. Go back to what you were doing.”

I tried to ignore him and started to look up stuff, you know research on the book I haven’t finished yet.

“Hey, Juliette, mind if I take your car?”

“You’re a ghost. You can’t drive.”

“Just checking to see if you were listening.”

I reached out and touched where his hand was. My palm rested on the table but it made him smile. “I’m listening. It must be difficult to be real and then not real. Teddy had a Hell of a time adjusting. How are you doing with it Nigel?”

“Alright I guess. I need to get out and haunt more but it gets old after a while. Not quite 30 years and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. Just kidding. It’s fucking great.” He almost spat that out with a ghostly snarl. Not as good as a Vampire would snarl it out but almost.

We sat for a while and listened in to Teddy’s phone call. They were talking about diamonds.

Nigel stood up and straightened his cufflinks. “It was fun. I gotta go.”

“Haunting?”

He smiled. “No, hot date.” Then he vanished with a thin bit of blue smoke like an exotic cigarette, but without the smell.

You can’t always define friendship or connections or old loves or old pals. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? It’s just a thing.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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