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The Story of Neil Gaiman’s Cousin Helen

By Books & Authors, InspirationNo Comments

Neil Gaiman, Image from The Byre Theatre.

The Writer Neil Gaiman used to think that making up stories for a living was trivial. That was until he learned the story of his cousin Helen. Here is Neil Gaiman sharing the story of his cousin Helen:

“Helen is 96 and now lives in Florida. At the end of World War II, Helen and her two sisters wound up in a refugee camp in Southern Europe having fled Poland. Homeless and displaced, they finally ended up in America.

In Poland, Helen had been smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto. There was a corpse run every morning, transferring the corpses out of the ghetto and she snuck back in on the returning transport. I think she snuck back out that way, amongst the corpses, too. Inside the ghetto, she started teaching the local girls arithmetic and grammar. At that point in time, books were illegal and there was a death sentence for anyone found possessing one. However, Helen had a Polish translation of Gone with the Wind and she kept it hidden behind a loose brick in the wall. She would stay up late every night reading so that when the girls came in the next day she could tell them what had happened in the chapters she had read the previous night and just for that hour these girls got out of the Warsaw Ghetto and they got to visit the American South.

Helen’s story – this story – made me realise that what I do is not trivial. If you make up stuff for a living, which is basically what I do, you can feel kind of trivial sometimes but this made me realise that fiction is not just escapism, it can actually be escape, and it’s worth dying for.” – Neil Gaiman

(From The UN Refugee Agency, Last accessed: Sunday 17th July 2016.)

People need stories, we always have. In ancient history, our ancestors sat around camp fires telling one another stories, illuminated by the glow of the fire. Then they began writing them down and having them printed and published in books. Today we still have printed books and ebooks are in their infancy.

In the future, people will still need stories. To understand why this statement is true, you need to understand why people read stories. We read stories to light up our imagination, for pleasure, for entertainment, to make us laugh, to make us cry, to be thrilled, to make us feel alive, to give us hope, to unwind, to escape and to learn.

Blog soon,


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Be Creative Everyday

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Creativity, Happiness & Joy, Inspiration, Journalism, Thinking2 Comments

Recently I’ve been thinking about being creative, but not actually doing anything creative. Creativity should be something I do everyday, as it has so many benefits, including:

  • It lights up my imagination, giving me pleasure and increasing my happiness.
  • It motivates me.
  • It is good for my mind, heart and soul. It makes my mind more active, my heart beat faster and enriches my soul.
  • It helps me deal with my feelings, good and bad. It also helps me to express these feelings.
  • It makes me a better problem-solver. When I’m feeling creative, I can come up with better solutions to problems.
  • It allows me to explore ideas.
  • It enables me to look at events, situations and people in different ways.
  • Helps me to hope for and imagine better or alternative futures.
  • It gives me hope, at times when I feel that I need it.
  • Other people’s creativity inspires me.

The way to be more creative, is to play, as children do inhibited. So when I was at Waterstones at the weekend and saw these books, I just had to pick them up. Here’s my opportunity to play and be creative:

642-things-to-draw-book-cover 642-things-to-write-about-book-cover

I picked up both of these books along with a pack of felt tip pens. I’m going to draw or write something in these books at least once a day. I’ve already started.

I’ll be posting my progress here by sharing a few scanned images. Don’t expect any drawing I do to be an artistic master piece (for that see my fabulous Illustrator friend Sye); or that any writing I do will be literary genius. Just take it for what it is – me playing. I’m aiming to post a progress update once a week.

Blog soon,


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My Monthly Reiki Session: A Spirit Guide?

By Happiness & Joy, Health, PaganismNo Comments

Two or three months ago, I had loads going on and was stressed to the hilt. It was like plates spinning. I’m Reiki One Qualified (see Reiki one – Qualified) so technically I can heal myself; but I had some birthday money left over so decided to treat myself.

I booked a Reiki session at Halsa Healing. I left feeling great, completely de-stressed, relaxed, energised and so amazingly well. I decided to make it a regular monthly treat. Well…when I can afford it anyway.

So what is Reiki? Well…

(Image Credit: Isis Jade)

On my last Reiki session, I had a rather spiritual experience that I’d like to share with you.

I lay on the massage table with my eyes closed. The relaxing music soothed my ears, as I felt the Reiki flow into me from the Reiki Practitioner.

As the session continued I began to sense two streams of Reiki entering my body, one into my chest (heart chakra) and one into my feet (root chakra). I double-checked using my senses. Yes I could definitely feel two streams Reiki energy, even down to the associated physical tingling and heat.

How is this possible? I thought.

I briefly opened my eyes. Louise, the Reiki practitioner was to my side her hands over my chest. I glanced down at my feet to see a bright white humanoid figure of pure energy. His hands were cupped slightly and sending Reiki energy into the top my feet. It was kind of like the image above, only minus the wings and much whiter. It’s difficult to describe the beauty of the energy I felt from this being. I definitely got a feeling of safety, home and hugs from this being.

For a split-second I thought that it might be Alex (see Thinking of You Often…). But my intuition told me that is wasn’t. I was sure of this, as sure as I am of the fact that the sky is blue. I got a distinct feeling that this being had never been on this physical plane. Or at least not for many, many lifetimes.

After the Reiki session had come to the end, I told Louise about my experience. She said it could have been one of my spirit guides or possibly one of hers – helping her out.

I am aware of spirit guides and have done some work with them in the past. But not for years. So I read up on spirit guides. This basic but really interesting Q & A article is great for anyone new to spirit guides.

Then I found this fantastic guided meditation on YouTube to help people meet and communicate with their spirit guides:

Click here to display content from

I completed this meditation with the hope of finding out if it was one of my guides that was healing me during the Reiki session. If it was, I wanted to meet him and get to know him better. I can’t remember all the details of the meditation now; but I can remember meeting him.

I met this broad-shouldered man, strong looking. Strong hands. Made me feel safe. With a warm Smile. He was hansom – sharp jawline, green eyes, short hair with a quiff at the front. He was wearing a green jumper and possibly jeans. I asked his name telepathically. He answered the same way, saying that his name was Matt. I asked him what was his purpose was, as part of my spirit guide team. He answered with: Protection.

He was/is there to keep me safe. I understood my feelings of safety, home and hugs that I had when I first met him in the Reiki session. I always imagined that my spirit guide for protection would be a samurai warrior, in the full gear. Well…at least that’s what I’ve always imagined standing guard outside of my cast circles.

The reiki session and the guided meditation were amazing spiritual experiences. They wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been relaxed and open to them. So the lesson here is: always try be open to new spiritual experiences.

Blog soon,


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Film Review: I Want Your Love (DVD)

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
I Want Your Love is collaborative film between gay porn studio NakedSword and independent filmmaker Travis Mathews.

Jesse is an aspiring artist who feels creatively blocked because of the state his finances and his massive amount of debt. After spending the last decade in San Francisco, Jessie decides to move back home to his parents in Ohio, the Midwest to free himself of the financial pressure.

I Want Your Love is the story of his last weekend in San Francisco with his friends, roommates and ex-lovers coming to his leaving party.

i-want-your-love-1 Sex plays an important role within this film and there are uncensored sex scenes from the start. Sex is used to show character development, intimacy, move the storyline along and the development of friendships: those that start with clear defined boundaries but turn into something more – entering that grey area between friend and lover.

Whatever type of man you’re into, you’ll find them in this film and I can guarantee that they’ll be in a graphic, all-exposed sex scene. Whether your taste be: bears, twinks, older, younger, white, black, asian, muscly, ordinary or just an all-round lover of all.

The film is extremely erotic and at times felt like watching a porn film. There’s even a threesome scene. The obligatory porn “I’m going to come!” scene followed by – well use your imagination, makes several appearances in this film. Arguably the storyline gets lost at times in the incredibly hot, but distracting sex.

i-want-you-love-2 Jesse is completely likeable, relatable and discovers that he’s searching for his true self. Over the course of the weekend he redefines what it means to him to be an artist, gay, and an adult. However the ending was a bit of an anti-climax.

It’s brilliantly directed and shot in a way that makes you feel like your sharing the characters most intimate moments. I Want Your Love is at times: funny, emotionally touching, romantic and sentimental as well as being abundantly horny throughout.

There were slow scenes of sparse dialogue that were followed by peaks of rampant high-paced sex. There was an annoying character – one who really grated, but luckily he wasn’t in the film much.

Mathews stated that he wanted to give an ‘honest and relevant’ representation of everyday gay life for men in San Francisco. I’m not from San Francisco so I can’t comment; but if that’s what it is really like – get me on a plane!

I Want Your Love is the perfect film to watch with your partner or other very close friends – not only thoroughly entertaining, it will give you plenty of ideas in the bedroom department. I Want Your Love [DVD] is available to pre-order/order on Amazon.

Review soon,



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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