It MUST STOP. We are writers. We will not keep quiet.

In light of today’s shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md we need to all watch and speak out for writers, editors, and journalists everywhere.

From NPR: “On Thursday night, Anne Arundel officials released the names of the Capital Gazette employees killed in the shooting: Rebecca Smith, sales assistant; Gerald Fischman, editorial page editor; Wendi Winters, special publications editor; John McNamara, staff writer; and Robert Hiaasen, an assistant editor and columnist.

 In a Facebook post Hiassen’s brother Carl, a renown novelist, described Robert as “one of the most gentle and funny people I’ve ever known.”

Journalists, nonfiction writers, bloggers, or writers of fiction have long been targets. Jails around the world are full of bloggers and journalists sent there for speaking out on subjects we would consider no big deal. Writers of fiction and nonfiction have long been threatened by extremists. In the US, in France, and in other countries journalists have been targeted by crazy ass insane hateful ignorant people.

In today’s climate of crazy ass madness and blind hate we need to keep our voices loud and support writers all over the world. No writer should live in fear. Not from some crazy ass shooter. Not from their government. Not from stalkers and trolls. We must stand together.

We don’t need useless thoughts and prayers. We need action. We need to speak out for the freedom of thought and speech for everyone on this planet.

I don’t feel like my government will do anything. Thoughts and prayers are useless and will not fix the problem. Ignorance and hate must not be embraced. We can’t ignore anymore shootings. Politicians are useless. It is up to us to figure out a way to CHANGE. I wish I had the answer – help me out.

Keep your voices loud. Keep your voices clear. Support all writers be they journalists, bloggers, writers of fiction, and nonfiction.

To the assholes of the universe: YOU CAN’T KEEP US QUIET. YOU CAN’T STOP OUR VOICES. WE WILL WRITE. We will write. We will write. And those who don’t write will READ and talk and share.

We are writers. We will not go away. We will not be quiet.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Note: One of my all time favorite authors John Sandford said this better than I could have. This is his heartbreaking FB post.

Screenshot 2018-06-28 22.26.16

 

The Rally

Andy stood in the dark on his back patio looking at the night sky.  He sang softly to himself, barely audible.

L’amour est un oiseau rebelle
Que nul ne peut apprivoiser,
Et c’est bien in vain qu’on l’appelle
S’il lui convient de refuser.
Rien n’y fait, menace ou prière.
L’un parle bien, l’autre se tait.
Et c’est l’autre que je préfère.
Il n’a rien dit mais il me plait.

Turning around he found his brother Max standing by the French doors that lead to the patio. Andy in his jeans and white dress shirt was in stark contrast to Max’s all black, mostly leather ensemble.

Max smiled. “I’m still in awe of the beauty of your voice baby brother.”

Andy gave Max a bro hug. “Thanks. You worked tonight?”

“I’m keeping the world safe for Vampires everywhere.”

“And you’re greatly appreciated by all of us.”

Max was a hunter of Vampire Hunters. Andy was an opera singer. Both were Vampires. And they were brothers, with the same chestnut brown hair and hazel eyes that could go pitch black on demand.

“Tonight,” Max began, “I was off from work and looking for a bite to eat, and I ended up in an alleyway with an incredibly angry woman.”

“Were you going to…”

“No. I’d passed some sort of event, I think it was a rally of some sort. People were mingling outside and it looked like fun. Then one of them called me a faggot when I walked by.”

“What an asshole.”

“It doesn’t matter. At least it didn’t then. You know I’ve never cared what they think. I’m not one of them.”

“You’re the most standoffish Vampire I know.”

“Like I said I’m not one of them. But tonight was different. She got to me.”

Andy smiled. “She? Love?”

“No. Of course not. I turned the corner into an alley, and there stood a woman, alone. Someone yelled, “You’re a cunt Lila. You know that? Would you rather hang with a bunch of fucking rug munchers and queers?” She didn’t respond to him.

She looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Have you ever known what it is like to be different? To be hated? Do you know what it is like to feel hated for not hating?”

Not a single warm blooded human has ever asked me that. “Why were you there?” I asked her. I wanted to know what would have convinced her to be at such an event.

“A couple of coworkers asked me along. One of them has a friend I kind of liked. I thought it would be interesting. I had no idea how interesting. It was like going back to 1930’s Germany. The guy, that asshole who yelled at me was dating the girl I liked. I didn’t know.” She looked at me in an odd way. “Why were you there?”

“I wasn’t there.” I told her. “I just got off from work. I was just passing by, on my way to get a bite to eat. There’s a wine bar a few blocks from here. Please join me. We can talk.” As we left the alley there were more jeers. I turned to the men and gave them the most awful visions. One fell on the ground clutching his stomach. Andy, you would have been proud of me.”

“So tell me about her,” said Andy. “What did you talk about? Did you talk?”

“We talked for about three hours. She asked me if I was gay.”

“Did you tell her your preferences?”

“That I am attracted to both, but mainly women? Yes. She didn’t blink and eye.”

“Then what?”

“We talked. Then we walked for a while. I drove her home. Then I kissed her cheek. She didn’t even mention that my lips were cold or my eyes had gone almost black in color. It wasn’t romantic, but I’m going to watch after her. She might not know it, but she’ll never be alone, or unsafe.”

“What about dinner? Was it her?”

“No, some guy in the bathroom of the bar. It was fast and easy.”

Andy didn’t ask the reason for the rally and Max didn’t mention it.

About an hour later, on the drive home, Max watched the sunrise through the rain. He tried not to think too much about the night. He could have killed the men who called him names and yelled at Lila, but he didn’t. There was a lot he could have done, but instead he decided to perform the rare act of listening. Just listening.

After dropping his clothes on a chair he texted a Vampire woman he was trying not to fall in love with and asked her to come over. Then he climbed into bed and closed his eyes to the new day.

 

~ End

 

Note: I wrote this after listening to my teenager talk about what is going on in the news and the bigotry and hate and sheer ignorance we hear coming out of so many public mouths. This is a quickly written sort story, and not great literature (or even a great story) but I hope you understand the meaning behind it. Haters are going to hate but wouldn’t it be nice if they didn’t hate and didn’t spread that hate to others. It is something we all must think about if we value our freedoms and the future of our children (who are usually smarter than we are.) ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman.

 

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

 

 

Being a Vampire in a Political World

Last week I took a bunch of teens to see Bernie Sanders. Yes, Feel the Bern and all that. Teens love him. One girl kept yelling “Grandpa!”

We waited for three hours in the sun. We listened to bands. My child leaned into me as we sat on the grass, unembarrassed by her mother. The other kids were fine with my presence. Other young people were also there with their parents, waiting for the old man with the white hair and passionate voice.

Two middle-aged women with gray hair, long flowing skirts, and no bras danced the dance of white girl youth with memories of a skinny young man who made love to them in a tent, and too much pot. Other middle-aged women, with perfect blonde highlights, in slacks and blouses watched over their teens, with the just got off work look and fierce passion in their eyes for their young adult children.

I tried to count all of the Secret Service men but there were too many. I know there were hidden ones in the crowd, but there were also the men in suits who make themselves obvious and watch everyone.

Bands played. Soulful singers with voices that sang gospel, blues, and punk pop. A young man, originally from Korea, played the Spar Spangled Banner on a violin, while his Black friend played percussion. Everyone sang along, including the solemn Muslim girls in their headscarves and long-sleeved shirts.

I had to smile. The crowd of 20,000 was as diverse as it could be, from the palest of pale, like summer ice, to the dark color of the midnight sky, but then again, I live in probably the most diverse county in the United States. People were young and old. It was an equal mix of male and female. I was encouraged by the number of young men there. Seriously, it seems that all too often young men don’t show up at “things” these days as much as they should. Anyway, it was diverse. But to us that is normal. And that doesn’t even include the section of the population I belong to. And you know we’re never included in the statistics.

Over the year my children discuss why we’re not “out.” Because we would be slaughtered. We all know that.

The old Jewish man would listen to us with interest. Then I don’t know what he’d do. Maybe he’d just let us be. But could he protect us from the extremist? The loud man with the ugly hair and ugly attitude would have us immediately put to death. The woman would listen then come up with a complex solution to something only regular people think could be a problem. Or she could put out the word that we’re safe and to be ignored. We could only hope. Hollywood types and wanna bees would say they know us well, even though they don’t. The hard-line holy rollers who give my Christian friends a bad name would pee their pants.

I try not to delve into politics this election because, frankly, it makes me sick to see what is happening. And of course by the time the primaries come to California it is always too late for us to have a choice. Then again, there is always a choice.

It was good to see so many people of all walks of life, all colors, and all ages, gathering together in a peaceful and positive manner. Seriously, the good vibes were intense.

I posted this on one of my social media pages:

Last night I joined some young people in my life, and almost 20,000 others to attend the Bernie Sanders Rally in Sacramento. No matter who you choose to like or follow, it is important to check out your options, listen to all sides, research, learn, and listen. This was also a great opportunity for the teens to see how our process works. They saw the press, the Secret Service officers, and people from all parts of our community. They saw a calm and well behaved crowd. It wasn’t like what they see in the news. It wasn’t what they see in the movies. It was real life and pretty normal. They saw a speaker who running for president – not an everyday event. If you have kids talk to them about current events, the election, and our world. Also listen to them.You might learn something – about them and about yourself. And finally, vote for who you want. That is your right. Just vote. I stress to the young folks I know that people in other parts of the world risk their lives, risk jail, and risk everything for the right to vote. Don’t take it for granted.

Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t take for granted that there will be peace. Don’t take for granted that you will not be hated for your beliefs by blind followers of ignorance. Don’t take your freedom to say, or write what you feel, and what you believe in for granted.

Haters are going to hate. It has been a while but I’ve had haters come after me about Vampire stuff. Yes, they’d waste their time on that. Obviously haters never read Green Eggs and Ham, or much of anything. Don’t be fooled. Haters come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and levels of education, and economic status.

No matter who you you choose to support, there is no excuse for bad behavior (including party crashing, nasty phone calling, and other assholery.) Make sure you tell your kids that.

I’d like to say as part of the paranormal community who lives in the shadows that I could rally my peeps together and we could save the world. Unfortunately we can’t. What we can do is vote, and help change things one baby step at a time. You can do the same.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

                            ~ Martin Niemöller

 

All Hallows Eve

On a crisp October night,

Eve, a girl of singular beauty and spirit,

refused as the 5th daughter to marry

a man

not of her choice.

It was a good match,

for someone else,

but not for her.

The thought of living under his roof,

be it in luxury,

made her think that she was

nor more than property

or a child

or something other than herself.

The idea of him touching her

or going dying in childbirth

like her sister

made her ill.

All Hallows Eve

All Hollows Eve

 

So lovely Eve, the dark eyed girl with the musical laugh, walked out into the night to the old church yard. There she met the nephew of her neighbor, a young man with golden hair and happy blue eyes. He dried her tears with a rose scented handkerchief and told her that her fate was hers.

Eve said she would marry him, because he’d been such a good friend over the years, but he declined. At least he declined then, because he wanted her love, not her gratitude for helping her escape.

She wept in his arms over what would happen when she returned home and an engagement was announced. The wedding was already in the planning to the man her father had chosen.

The nephew of her neighbor, her friend told her, “One day there will be places where women have choices to live their lives as they wish. They’ll own their own bodies and not have to give in to the will of any man or law. They will love and create and explore and think free thoughts without fear.  One day women will not be considered the weaker sex because they are not weak. Women have never been weak. It is the fear in the heart of men that keeps women in servitude. It is their very biology that men fear.”

“How do you know that? It sounds like a fantastic dream of an idiot,” she cried.

“It will take a long long time but I can take you there. We can start now. But that means you must come with me, far far away.”

And so on an October night, as the ghosts swirled around like so much cigar smoke trails, Eve took the cold hand of her mysterious friend and left into the night.

Last night Eve called me with news from the boys. The boys being our two sons Randy (belongs to Eve) and Garrett (my son) who are now at college. Randy told hilarious tales of professors, fellow students, dogs on the beach and girls they’d met. Then he asked his mom to send his orange plaid pants and his purple brocade vest. Randy, the ultimate California surfer dude guy, likes to dress up in funny vintage clothes when he is feeling comfortable – or wants to do some major flirting with girls.

Eve is still with Vince, her neighbor’s nephew. Vampires love long and true, even if their hearts are cold and rarely go pitter patter.

For all of the women and girls in the world, with all my heart and soul, I wish you freedom for your body, your heart and your soul. Let us all say no to the evils that people do to each other in the name of power, tradition and misplaced religion. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Loud and Clear

July 4th is one of those days where we really, actually, absolutely celebrate the holiday that we’re supposed to be celebrating.

We celebrate our life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

People risk their lives to come here, to the United States of America. Appreciate that fact.

At the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence this small spot in the world was settled by some of the most forward thinking and brilliant minds in the world. Some were from Europe and other foreign locations, but a lot were born here. This was their country, as only they understood it.

Far away from the rest of the world they could make and create their own society. They could make their own rule – rules that suited them and not traditions that had nothing to do with their lives.

They were afraid but fearless. They were strong but had loving hearts. They used their minds as well as their swords.

Forget the clowns and nitwits who now call themselves politicians. They have lost the passion and intelligence of our founding fathers. They have lost the imagination and creativity. They have lost their balance. Most don’t have the balls to sign their names as large as John Hancock.

That said, my wish for this Independence Day is for those with thoughts of freedom, justice, creativity, and the individual will rise up and take part. Let your voices ring out with truth, justice and common sense.

Remember, the Vampires will back you up on this – we know what it is like to be different and without a real voice.

Make your voice heard. Shout it loud and clear – like John Hancock’s signature.

Happy Independence Day!

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman