Introducing: The Percy Award

Last year, when I saw Alison Bechdel talk, she introduced me to Stigler’s Law of Eponymy – “No rule is named after the person who came up with it.”

Stigler did not invent that law.

In the spirit of Stigler’s Law, allow me to introduce you to the system I’ve come up with to test how feminist a film is: The Percy Award. There’s only two criteria…

1) There is at least one woman with a plot that doesn’t revolve around: a man, femininity, beauty, or being a mother.

2) There are (roughly) at least as many female speaking roles as there are male speaking roles.

If a film accomplishes both of these, it gets The Percy Award. Let’s break it down:

1) There is at least one woman with a plot that doesn’t revolve around: a man, femininity, beauty, or being a mother.

Most of the time women are given same two roles, over and over again. They’re mothers or lovers – the virgin or the slut. They exist to dispense sex or nurturing, to be lusted after and fulfil societal expectations. They can always be described in relation to a male – “the love interest”, “the sister”, “the ex”.

Women in films exist to dispense sex or nurturing, to be lusted after and fulfil societal expectations. They can be described in relation to a male – “the love interest”, “the sister”, “the ex”.

And on the rare occasion that they do more than just prop up a male character’s plot, the fact that they don’t fit the typical feminine archetype will be their plot (think Merida in Brave).

To fulfil this criteria, the woman also needs to actually be given a storyline, which is pretty important*. We’re defining a “plot” here as “A story with a beginning, middle and end (in different scenes).”  Megan stealing the dogs in Bridesmaids isn’t a “plot”, but Annie dealing with the closure of her bakery is (and while it involves a man, it certainly doesn’t revolve around one).

* Note that I’m not saying “main characters” or “central storylines” – that would eliminate every film with a single male protagonist, and a film can still be feminist while having one protagonist who is male.

2) There are (roughly) at least as many female speaking roles as there are male speaking roles.

Our population is made up of (roughly) 50% men and 50% women. You would expect representation in film to be roughly the same, but in 2013 only 30% of speaking roles were female, and only 15% of protagonists. The further back you go, the worse it gets.

As a writer, whenever I need a character to deliver a throwaway line or piece of information, my first instinct is always for that role to be filled by a man. Shop-keeper, hotel clerk, doctor – unless a character needs to be female, they’ll be a man.

This ties into the first criteria as well. If a writer sits down and asks themself “Okay, let’s put a woman in – what would a female plot be about?” then they’ll repeatedly draw from the same well. Men can have any plot in the world; women need to have a woman plot.

Male as the default is a dangerous and unhealthy attitude. You’ll see it all the time – if a character doesn’t have to be female, then they won’t be.

Also note – we’re not counting the number of lines, just whether or not they have lines at all. This is for the same reason that “roughly” is specified. You should be able to work out whether a film is deserving of the award without having to sit down and rewatch it with a pen and paper.

You’ll find that the vast majority of the time, it will quickly become obvious whether a film is going to come close.

In Bridesmaids, for example, female roles include: Annie, Lillian, Helen, Megan, Rita, Becca, Annie’s mum, and Rebel Wilson. Male roles include: the policeman, Lillian’s father, Jon Hamm, Annie’s boss, the fitness instructor, and Matt Lucas.

There are probably a few more scattered around, but Bridesmaids? Totally deserves The Percy Award.

Finding worthy films is extremely difficult. That’s why it’s not a “test” – it’s not a pass/fail system, and it’s not something that a movie can accomplish with one throwaway line (I love the Bechdel Test for looking at trends, but I just don’t think it’s the best standard for evaluating individual films).

Getting a Percy Award is an accomplishment – if a film manages to give a woman something to do outside of base gender expectations and it shows a roughly-equal representation of both genders, then that’s (sadly) a genuinely rare feat.

So let’s celebrate it. What films can you think of that deserve The Percy Award?


In my experience, every genuine disagreement I have with someone ends up coming down to one of three things:

  1. Differing core beliefs“Look, when it comes down to it, I would rather someone productive and unhappy died rather than someone unproductive but happy.”
    “Oh what? I would always rather someone unproductive and happy died.”
    “Well we’ll just have to agree to disagree.”
  2. Conflicting information. “I can’t believe Julian Blanc was barred from entering Australia – sure, there are some sleazy pickup artists, but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be allowed to come here just because of his job.”
    “Actually, he had videos in which he explicitly encouraged men to choke strange women as a way of hitting on them.”
    “Oh. Yeah, okay. I now fully support his visa being revoked.”
  3. Miscommunications. “So you really think that the idea of God is impossible. There’s not even a one in a hundred hundred billion chance that he exists?”
    “A one in a hundred hundred billion chance IS impossible. That’s the same odds as guessing every password you encounter, exactly correctly, first time every time. That’s not going to happen – it’s impossible.”
    “Well no, that’s not impossible. Impossible is something that could never happen.”
    “Like what? Impossible, by that definition, doesn’t exist. There’s nothing that could never happen – only stuff that’s so unlikely that we call it impossible. But sure – by that definition, God is totally possible (but so is literally everything).”

(Those are all real arguments I’ve been a part of.)

I think of myself as an extraordinarily good communicator. I make my full-time living from writing, all of my hobbies involve communication in some way, and I used to be a great math tutor specifically because of my ability to make complicated concepts quite clear.

But I would say something like 90% of the arguments I’m a part of come down to miscommunication. Quite often, they come down to semantics – the way I’m using a word (or the way I interpreted it) is unusual. Maybe it’s just that my social circles are mostly made up of people with similar opinions and information to me. Maybe I only remember the Type 3 arguments because they go on the longest (when you’re arguing different premises, it’s amazing how much time it takes you to realize that).

“If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.”

So I’m wondering if there’s something about me that means I communicate things strangely, so tell me – think back to the last 5 or 6 arguments you had. With your spouse, your friends, your co-workers, anyone. Did they fall neatly into those 3 categories? And if so, does one stand out as being the main cause of these arguments?

I just want to check if I’m an asshole.

Group Theory

everyone is wrong

Here’s the sad truth: every group, no matter how big or small or well-intentioned or yes, even hateful, is going to contain idiots. Not just idiots – truly awful human beings who want to bring everyone else down, whose identity is tied up with being a part of the group AND their membership making them better than everyone else.

If you judge the entire group by those people, you’re doing everyone a disservice and also opening your group(s) up to the same attitude*. There’s no easy solution to this – it’s really difficult to examine the group “as a whole” or even work out the group’s true core values, because they’re so often misrepresented by these angry, loud people.

*and yes, YOUR group also contains those hateful, ugly people. No exceptions.

Instead, try to find the best of the group, see where they’re coming from, and then decide whether or not it’s a point of view you can understand, even if it’s never going to be something you agree with. Again, this is not easy, but it’s the best and most fair (and frankly most interesting) way to do things, and it’ll leave you better equipped to fight evil, and with a greater understanding of the world.

And above all, strive to never be that person. Identifying a certain way might make you feel good, but it doesn’t automatically mean that everyone who doesn’t agree with you is evil, and treating the world as simplistic and black-and-white just makes you look like an idiot.

(Now here’s a game for you – try to guess which group inspired this post! I would put money on no one being able to work this out, because though it may seem to obviously be about x or y, this philosophy genuinely does apply to EVERY group and identity I’ve ever, ever encountered.)

Why you should identify as a feminist

I run a Facebook group dedicated to discussing feminism, the aptly-titled “Let’s Talk Feminism“. About a month back, I posted this mini-essay on identifying as a feminist, and someone asked me to repost it publicly. So here you go!

The question is basically “Why should you identify as a feminist?”, or to break it down slightly further, “Why put yourself in the same group as people who you think are awful, even if you technically fit the definition/share some of the same core ideals?”

(at least, that’s the question I’ll be answering: if you have a similar/related question you want me to answer, leave a comment and I’ll try to get to it.)

This is a conversation I actually have a lot. I totally get it, too: when some people hear hear “feminist”, they think “bra-burning, man-hating, all-sex-is-rape nutcases.” And yes, that kind of feminist absolutely does exist.

There are three main comparisons I like to use. Two are personal and unlikely to cause offense, and the other is more general and has the potential to make people very angry. I’m going to use all of them.

Comparison #1: 

I, personally, hate being referred to as a “nerd”. When I hear nerd, I think “socially awkward, proud-of-being-into-obscure-things (for the sake of being into obscure things), misogynist recluse.”

That’s not what the word means.

I play board games that 99% of board gamers haven’t even heard of. I make card and board games as a hobby. I’ve spent 8 years working on a fantasy universe, just for the fun of it. I make my living working online. I am a reasonably big name in the community hub of a digital trading card game.

It’s basically impossible to ignore the fact that I’m a nerd.

And so, for the record, I totally GET it. I understand why you hate that you can’t be passionate about certain topics without being landed with a label that you don’t like.
But the fact is, sometimes you’re a thing (even if you don’t want to be) and it’s fruitless to fight it. Not only fruitless, but – in my opinion – actively unhelpful. (And by now, you should all know how much I hate unhelpfulness. :P)

Comparison #2:

I want to get married, some day.

I’m a polyamorous (more-than-one-love-at-once person) feminist, who’s completely aware of the awful history of marriage.

When I think marriage though, I don’t think “Has origins in women being property”. I think “public declaration of love and commitment.” And so I want to get married, because I want to show the world how awesome marriage can be. I want to show that marriage might have awful connotations to some people, but that isn’t what it has to be – you can take the concept, and work on shaping it into something really cool.

“But why take a pre-existing word and try to change public opinion? Why not just make up a new word, like Soulbinding or Civil Union or something?”

Because, frankly, it’s not going to catch on. I can say “Hey I’m going to get soulbound to my girlfriend” and I have to explain it in full every time, but honestly no one else is ever going to use the word.

Instead, why not say “I’m going to get married” and if people look at me strangely, explain how I’m using the word?

This is an argument I see a LOT in terms of feminism. “It has ‘female’ in the title*! People who I don’t like are using the word! I’m going to call myself an egalitarian/humanist/equalist/genderist/oh my god there’s so many.”
*more on this later.

Firstly, as I said, it’s not going to catch on. Really. Feminism has been around for a very long time, and – like it or not – it’s here to stay. Feminism is THE leading movement that works towards equality of the genders. It has been since it started, and it will be for a very long time. The word means “someone who believes there should be equality between the sexes.”

If you believe that it’s been “taken over” by horrible people, there’s exactly one way to fix that, and it’s not “use a different term”. You’ll end up a confusing array of words that no one understands, you’ll splinter the movement, and – perhaps most importantly – you’re never going to convince EVERY feminist to stop using the term.

If you want to “save” feminism from meaning “people who hate men”, you need to start using the term to describe yourself while being a decent, non-misandrist human being. You need to use the term proudly while being a good guy.

That’s it.

Declaring yourself a genderist instead is going to require you to explain what you mean by that, every single time it comes up. Why not instead call yourself a feminist, and explain what you mean by that only to people who don’t already know what feminism is/use it the way you’re using it?

There are feminist dickheads. There are a LOT of feminist dickheads. But the fact is, if we all started using “genderist” instead, there would almost-immediately be a lot of genderist dickheads. So what do we do then? Make up another term?

If you want to be a part of a movement without dickheads, you’re going to be searching for a while. If you want to be part of a movement where people don’t associate the term with dickheadery, call yourself a feminist and be a good guy.

I am a nerd. I am a social, well-dressed (most of the time), well-spoken, outgoing, feminist nerd.

And the more nerds like me there are, the less ashamed I’m going to be to use the term.

Comparison #3: (WARNING: Possibility of offense ahead!)

I know someone (and if you’re reading this, I hope you’re okay with me using you as an example) who doesn’t identify as a Christian.

That’s fine. I don’t identify as a Christian either.

This friend, however, believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God, who came down to Earth to save us from our sins. They believe that Jesus is the path to salvation, and that belief in Him is the only way to get into heaven.

They don’t like being called a “Christian”, however, because…you know. Some Christians are crazy.

I sincerely hope you can see how completely ridiculous that sounds. If you believe that there should be equality between the genders and you don’t call yourself a feminist, that is what you sound like. For real.


Other arguments I frequently see:

But feminism has ‘fem’ in the title! As in FEMALE!

Yes. So what?

“Female” has the word “MALE” in it! “Woman” has the word “MAN” in it! Do these words bother you? If you’re going to complain about gendered terms within words, at least make sure you’re consistent about it.

We’re not going to rewrite the English language, because it would simply never catch on. English is not a literal language, and (as a writer) I can honestly say that’s one of its most beautiful strengths.

Feminism started (and is still primarily focussed*) on women’s rights. That’s its origins, and that’s why it has the name it does.
*more on this later

The word “English” is now used in hundreds of countries. But its name has “ENG” in it, as in “ENGLAND”…because that’s the origin of the word. It would be a ridiculous amount of effort and almost completely pointless to change the word just for America and Australia and Canada and etc etc.

Similarly, we’re not going to change “feminism” just for men whose feelings are hurt because they’re not in the title.

But feminism focuses on women! I want to be involved in a movement that REALLY believes in equality, spending just as much time on men’s rights.

Here’s the thing: Feminism absolutely does deal with men’s issues.

Men are encouraged to bottle up their feelings, because talking about emotions is “girly” – that’s something feminism fights against.

Men are denied custody because taking care of children is seen as a woman’s job – that’s something that feminism fights against.

Men are killed in greater numbers than women, because they’re encouraged to be violent (often specifically against women) – you’d better believe that’s something that feminism fights against.

Men are more likely to go to prison, because women aren’t seen as capable of the same sort of criminal behaviour as men – believe it or not, that’s something that feminism fights against.

A lot of feminism is dedicated to the fight that women, just like men, are human. And EVERYONE comes out on top when that fight is won, men and women alike.

I’m not a feminist – I’m a humanist.

Why not be both?

Seriously. There’s nothing stopping you from taking on both labels. “I’m not a nerd, I’m a board game enthusiast.” No…I’m both. You can consider one a subset of the other if you like, but the fact is that both labels describe me.

Anyway! There are a bunch of other reasons you should identify as a feminist – to unite the brand, because of its long and (frankly beautiful) history, and to signal to other decent humans that you too are a decent human – but the above are my personal reasons I strongly argue that you should, as well as some rebuttals to common questions I hear.

The last time I had this conversation, a friend of mine said something that I’ve always loved quoting:

“Basically, the only problem with “Feminism” is that people don’t understand it. We will not need the word when everyone identifies as a feminist.”

If anyone has any questions, or disagrees with me, I’m keen to hear about it. Special thanks to Cherese Sonkkila for helping me draft this post.

Down-time and stress

It’s funny what relaxes you.

There was a conversation on /r/AskScience about different body shapes – why some people only gain weight around the mid-section, while for others the weight is evenly distributed around the body.

I’m one of those people who only gain weight on my torso – a personal trainer at my gym once told me that it was the worst kind of body-type to have, because the closer your fat is to the heart, the higher your odds of a heart attack. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but it’s handy in inspiring me to attend the gym more often.

(also handy is Gym-Pact, a website that my friend Mike put me onto. Pledge how often you’re going to go to the gym and your credit card details, and it’ll charge you a pre-decided amount every time you fail to go. If you hit your target, you get money from people who didn’t. It’s a clever little site, and I’m planning on signing up later this week.)

My Dad has the same body-shape, and so I had always assumed it was genetic. The comments of the reddit thread I was reading, however, suggested that where you put on weight was determined by hormones, specifically those produced when one was stressed. The more stressed you are, the more the weight focuses around the middle.

Now I haven’t independently verified this, but it doesn’t really matter. The point is, for the first time in my life, I stopped and went “Hang on, am I stressed?”

Turns out that I am! It’s not something that normally bothers me, but having attention drawn to it like that was a bit of a downer. Since then I’ve been thinking about it, and realised that I don’t really remember the last time I wasn’t stressed.

Things seem to feed into one another – this week was meant to be a chilled week for me, but yesterday I spent alternating between a rush editing job that I picked up and a Melbourne International Comedy Festival application for We Should Know Better; today has been a bit better, but I’ve had morning appointments almost every day this week and don’t really have any breathing time until Sunday.

Since learning that I’ve stressed, I’ve been feeling it (which sucks) but I’ve also become more aware of what I do to deal with stress.

I’m not good at time off. I can’t imagine not being run off my feet – as soon as I have time off, I fill it with more things to do. So my method of relaxing is to do something productive.

Sometimes it’s sorting files on my hard-drive: I find this to be very soothing. Often it’s working on All-That-Is, which is a nice form of “creativity without deadlines” that I quite enjoy. Very occasionally it’s playing a computer game, but I rarely find a game that doesn’t make me feel like I’m wasting my time. (puzzle games, that’s the trick. It’s so satisfying, finishing a puzzle.)

Recently, and this brings me back to the start of this post, it’s been organising my Kindle library. I’ve downloaded (one could say “pirated”) a bunch of books that I own in physical form (eBook piracy is surprisingly challenging) and I’ve been adding covers, correcting meta-tag fields…you know, all the stuff that one does on their downtime.

It’s funny what relaxes you.

Kindle: The Update

So a while ago I spoke about getting a Kindle. Well, since then my birthday has come and gone, and a Kindle Paperwhite mysteriously arrived in the mail one day…and boy oh boy do I like it.

For the last six months, I’ve been heavily into the John Green-inspired “T-shirt and blazer” look, and the Paperwhite is the perfect size to fit into the interior pocket of all my blazers. So now everywhere I go, my Kindle comes with me.

Turns out that when you have every book you own in your pocket all the time, you start reading a lot more. And when you start reading a lot more, you start thinking about books a lot more, which results in more reading. Since I got it, I’ve read three or four books, which is (embarrassingly) more than the rest of the year put together.

If you have a Kindle, I strongly recommend checking out ManyBooks – they’ve put together a huge collection of public domain books in easy-to-download (and extremely presentable) formats. Gutenberg ain’t got nothin’ on ManyBooks. It took me a while to work out how to find the books I was after, but once I did, I downloaded well over 100.

I’ve also picked up a few of my favourites (Night Watch by TPrattz is, it turns out, so much better than I remember it. It’s a genuinely great book, and makes me want to start working on my fantasy world once more.) and have been plowing through those.

The only downside is that the interface makes it a bit awkward to organise my books – over the months I’ve been writing erotica, I’ve picked up a few, and every time I hand the Kindle to someone to have a look, it seems to resurface. I’m playing with calibre to try to fix this, but no luck so far.

In conclusion, if you read (or want to read more) pick up a Kindle! I can only speak for the Paperwhite, which I’m crazy about, but I’m sure the others are good too.


A rare weekend post!

I’ve been having a lovely Sunday so far. It’s been a great mix of “lazy” and “productive” – I’ve gotten a fair bit done, over many hours, by interspersing the work with lots of sitting around and chilling.

Right now, for example, I’m procrastinating from tidying my room, unpacking the car, and doing the grocery shopping. But I have full confidence that all of those things will be done. Why?

Because I went to the gym today.

Going to the gym is something I really dislike – we’re biologically programmed to want to hold onto our calories, but I try to overcome this and go at least 3 times a week. During show week, that often dwindles down to “1 time”, and occasionally even “0 times”.

Here’s a confession for you: I’ve turned into a bit of a fatty. I’ve been slightly overweight for years – nothing you’d notice unless I were actually naked in front of you, but I’m naked in front of myself quite regularly, and so it’s become increasingly clear to me that I’ve put on a bit of chub.

I don’t want to be overweight, and that’s why I pay $70/month for a gym membership. My sedentary lifestyle (combined with my desire to eat delicious foods) mean that if I don’t go out of my way to avoid it, I quickly pack on the pudge.

Lately, two alarming things have happened: I’ve noticed myself “fat-breathing” – you know what I’m talking about, that horrible noisy mouth-breathing that only seems to come from the overweight. Unless you’ve been jogging, I don’t think you should be able to hear yourself breathing like that. (I’m grossing myself out a little just thinking about it.) Fat-breathing is new.

The second alarming thing is that I’ve noticed a fat roll. Like I said, I’ve had a belly for a while now, but only in the last few days have I actually had a distinct roll of fat. I blame the abundance of chocolate I was surrounded by over my birthday, and my complete lack of self-control when it comes to being surrounded by chocolate.

I pride myself on having a pretty incredible will-power. I’m extremely capable, and choose to spend my time doing quite difficult things: organising TV shoots, or monthly panel shows, or trying to make a living out of writing erotica. I can sit down in a chair and force myself to write even when I have no inspiration. If I put my mind to it (and have the time) I can go to the gym every day for a month.

When it comes to chocolate, however, I’m helpless. If there’s chocolate in the house, it doesn’t matter how rationally I know it’s a bad idea, I will eat it. That’s a simple fact. I have spent many years fighting this, but I think a big part of growing up is accepting these things, and so I’ve accepted it – I simply cannot resist the sweet call of chocolate.

So my solution is to simply never buy any. I’m extremely good at that.

The problem comes when I have chocolate in the house for other reasons: we bought a lot for an event held recently called “Chocolate-coated evening”. Some of the chocolate melted in the car, and was no longer suitable for the event, so we kept it. And, for the most part, I ate it.

Chocolate, busyness during the last week (show last night! Went really well. Possibly our best yet) and my birthday all came at once, and the result?

I’m a bit pudgy.

To fix that, I’m going to go to the gym every day until I get overwhelmed with busyness once more. I figure if I go extra when I’m able, that will help make up for the times that I don’t go at all.

And now I’m going to start unpacking the car. While listening to music, so I can’t hear myself breathing.

This entry is exactly like my day has been. Drifty, relaxed, but hey – it got done! Happy Sunday, all.

Why I don’t secret.

There’s a big discussion in the erotica forum that I frequent (to follow trends, get opinions on covers, and be inspired by how well other people are doing) about keeping your choice of career a secret.

I’ve never been much for secrets. I had to keep a secret from SJ for about 3 months (more on that later) and it was horrible. I almost spilled the beans a number of times, and any time she was talking to someone who knew, I was on edge.

Never again, says I. It’s not fun, and I’m not good at it.

Pretty much as soon as I started making money from erotica, I started telling people. I didn’t broadcast it, or introduce myself to people by saying “me Peter, me write smut”, but if someone I knew asked what I was doing for money, I’d tell them.

A few people in my line of work just tell everyone in that they write romance; I do that on occasion, but mostly people I won’t interact with regularly – other extras on set, bored wait-staff, or my dentist.

Since I’ve told my family (who were all cool with it; all of them but my Dad asked if they could read a story or two) I’ve “come out” about smut-writing everywhere but Facebook. I didn’t want the wider world to know before my family did, simply because that would be a pretty crap way for (say) my sister to learn about it.

(Facebook is an interesting bag – I feel like I’m forcing it into people’s faces if I post about it on there. My extended family read my Facebook closely, and as most of them are religious, I suspect that they don’t really want to know about it.)

(If I ever start making serious dollars, I’ll post about it there, but until then I’m happy to keep it under wraps.)

I’m a big fan of Kevin Smith – I think he’s a great writer and an even better speaker. I’m actually a bigger fan of Kevin Smith the man than I am of his films – I’ve seen all his stuff except for Red State, and while I love Clerks, Clerks II and Dogma, the rest I can pretty much take or leave.

One thing that he heavily promotes is “owning your shit” (I can’t remember if that’s his exact words or not.) – the logic is that if you own your weaknesses (being fat or having a small dick or whatever) then no one can “dig it up” and try to use it against you.

I write porn. For years, it was just for fun – in the last few months, I’ve started making money from it. (about a year ago, I started writing for commission, but that was only ever spare change, and I’ve only recently begun trying to make a living from it.)

My best-sellers are what’s called “PI”, or Pseudo-Incest: step-fathers, step-siblings, adopted cousins etc. Consensual, fully-grown adult incest, I should specify. They sell well and I’m good at writing them – I have absolutely no attraction toward my own family, but I’ve always enjoyed the fiction of it – so that’s where most of my writing energy goes. They make up something like 70% of my income, with two books alone being about 25% of that.

I also have no shame about my body (except perhaps that I’m a little chubbier than I’d like) and so I’ve done a little bit of online porn. Nothing hardcore (though I don’t honestly have any objections to doing that either) – there are a few alternative erotica sites that pay you to do stuff like masturbate on-camera. I’ve done two videos so far, and they’ll be released in the next month or two.

But as well as all that, I’m also a kids’ puppeteer. For a while, I wondered if I should keep all the above under wraps (or even decide not to do it at all) – if I were to create the next Sesame Street, would it all come tumbling down when a video of me jerking off surfaced, or if people found the story “Backseat Fisting” amongst my catalogue?

If it does, so be it. Morally, I have no issue with the people behind “Play School” also being porn stars. I realise that I’m particularly liberal when it comes to these things, but as far as I know, there’s no connection between being filmed having sex and being dangerous to kids. If others disagree, that’s their problem, and if it means that they won’t buy my products (or the network refuses to air my shows, etc) then so be it. I’m not the kind of person who lives their life by the standards of others, and I don’t want to be.

You only get one chance at life, and it doesn’t make sense to me to make decisions based on what other people might think. If this attitude of mine results in bad things happening to me, then I’ll learn that lesson at the time.

Until then, I’m going to live my life as well as I know how to. And right now, that means writing chapter four of my latest commission (in which the adopted daughter seduces her mother to get her step-father’s attention) and then go home and redraft the story of the wizard who helps his owl work out how to best be an owl.

If it all goes up in flames, I’ll have this to hold on to: while it was happening, I had fun.

Have an interesting life.


Back on the horse

I’m aware that a disproportionate percentage of this blog is just about me blogging and my daily routine. But on the rare occasion that I want to sit down and blog, that’s just what I want to talk about – I haven’t really promoted this anywhere, so right now, I’m writing just for me.

It’s Wednesday of the mythical “next week” that never comes, and I’m finally back in some kind of routine. I’ve accomplished plenty over the last few days, but this is the first day that I’ve managed to wake up at 8/blog/write a 6MS/get started on the day’s work by 10.

It was my birthday 6 days ago – instead of having a party, I decided to organise a big comedy gala. It went off without a hitch, and is actually one of my projects that I’m most proud of. I’m going to turn it into an annual event, so mark it in your diaries – November 8th, 2013: Chocolate-Coated Evening will be back.

I was so busy organising everything that I didn’t really think about the fact that I was 25 until a few days later.

When I was 15, I put together a “time capsule”; a bunch of stuff that I thought my 25-year old self would be interested in. It’s been a long and crazy 10 years, and earlier this year when I went to prepare the time capsule, I couldn’t find it.

Rather than weep and sob, I accepted that I should have kept a closer eye on it between the 10+ times I’ve moved houses/3 times I’ve moved states. It’s a pity, but I won’t lose any sleep over it.

Opening that capsule has been so closely linked with “turning 25” in my brain for 10 years, that without it, I don’t really feel like I’ve had that birthday. It wasn’t until I was talking to SJ and the phrase “in 3 years” came up that I freaked out a little – in three years, I’ll be 28. That made it much more real.

I’m doing okay with it all – honestly, I’m too busy to think too hard about it. If it hits me, it’ll hit me, but until then I’ll keep plodding along with my various projects.

Apparently 29 is the one to freak out over. We’ll see how I feel when I get there.


About once every few months, I get sick. I don’t know if this is a standard frequency of illness, or if I’m unnaturally healthy/unhealthy, but it never lasts more than a few days.

I’m sick now, and so Sarah Jane and I have basically spent the last two days watching Breaking Bad. (her for the first time, my first rewatch since I first saw each season as they came out.)

No regrets.