Tag Archives: sexuality

Birthday Thoughts

sunrise-hope-for-change

On Saturday, July 8th, I will turn 64 years old. Since the age of 14 when I wrote and circulated my first petition to try to effect change for institutionalized young people–myself included–I have used my writing to attempt to bring about positive changes. Shortly after I began circulating that petition at The Hall (the institution where I was incarcerated for being “incorrigible”), I wrote a series of articles for a black-owned and black-run newspaper. The series was entitled “America’s Criminal Disease” and discussed racism as both a crime by the majority and as a disease of the mind. When my articles were accepted by the newspaper, I was asked to come up and meet with some of the staff.

I hiked through a black neighborhood that had suffered the affects of rioting during that summer of riots throughout America. Though I had grown up among the faces of desperate people, it was the first time I had seen that despair morphed into community-wide rage. It made a lasting impression on me.

Being accepted by that all-black staff as a fellow writer, changed me. For the first time in my life, it was confirmed that like those hundreds of books I had read from Carnegie Library, my writing, too, could change lives; could touch people.

Between the petition and the articles, I found a sense of purpose–the use of words to bring about change. I had discovered the direction I wanted my life to take.

But it wasn’t as easy nor as simple as making that discovery. Shortly after my several petitions to the The Hall’s administration resulted in changes to some long-standing rules, I was forced by the administration to leave The Hall and– unknown to me at the time–any chance I had at gaining a college education.

I was shipped off to a worse institution and my caseworker threatened to place me in a hard-core reformatory. I ran. Education doesn’t happen for kids who live in precarious and not-quite-legal places. I finally wound up marrying and having a child in order to have a stable place to live. Too bad I married a man who wanted to use me as a broodmare to have children to sell on the black market. Needless to say, that marriage didn’t last, but his threats of violence toward my daughter continued until I left the state.

Without friends or family to help with a young child, and no real options for childcare, I wound up working at jobs “under the table”; jobs that paid cash, but paid nothing into the future for me. Whenever I saw a way that I might make more money, I picked up and moved. Not an easy life. A life that sometimes wound me up living in a vehicle parked on a street in some nameless city. Several times, after completing a GED, I started taking college courses. Each time life reared up with a heavy hand and slapped me winding. I’d pick up and start somewhere new. All this time I struggled with my sexual orientation; and, consequently, made some very bad choices in men.

The only thing I held onto during those times of despair was my writing. I continued to use my craft to pen articles, poems, stories. Many were published in small magazines, small press book releases, and other journals. Writing kept me going when nothing else could; it gave me purpose; it gave me hope.

Somewhere along the line, I finally  accepted my sexual orientation. Then in my thirties, I met the woman who became my best friend, my life partner, and my wife.  It was then that my writing came into its maturity.

Since that time, I have written fourteen books. Mystery, literary, paranormal, and one inspirational tome.  Each book has brought me emails and reviews that tell me how my work has entertained, enlightened, encouraged, and empowered others–especially women.

Within each novel, I have represented real people with real issues in our modern society. I have talked about laws that need to be changed, and attitudes that need to be overcome among our people. In novels, I can present facts in such a way that people can more easily keep an open mind as they read and consider.

In Sketch of a Murder, I talk about a justice system that doesn’t give justice to women and children abused by men who can buy their way out of punishment. (Spoiler: justice does prevail in the end). In Street Harvest, I present the very real situation of street kids becoming prey to human traffickers. In Old Woman Gone, I touch on how society views older women and I touch on accepting one’s own spirituality. In Backlash, I point out that the law in many states allow rapists to demand access to children born to their rape victims, thus continuing a cycle of abuse and fear for the victim. In Death by Dog, I tackle a horror of dog fighting.

Even though I present these issues, if one is of a mind to find solutions (as well as enjoy an excellent story), during the course of each story I present ways each of us can help change these situations.

My literary novels always parallel reality while telling a triumphant story of a person who simply refuses to quit, to give up. In those pages, I shout the truth that the only time we fail is when we give up.

Words are powerful. During the many hours I spent among books as a child; during the dark days of the summer of riots, when Watts and so many other cities went up in flames; during those lonely times I spent in solitary confinement for inciting other kids to sign petitions and to stand up for themselves, I learned just how powerful words can be. I learned that words can change lives. (I also learned that those in power fear the words of others and the power for change that those words wield). From those lessons learned came a lifelong commitment to use my words to draw others into my world; to show them a different side of life, and to empower them to become better human beings.

My birthday wish is this: I hope that I have been able to entertain, enlighten, encourage, and empower you with my words. If I have brought you a smile, an uplifted heart, a feeling that someone understands what you are going through, then the years of my life have brought forth good fruit.

If you take nothing else from my writing, take this thought:

creators-child

 

 

 

Share

Sexy #Vampire Novels from #Mystery Writer

How does a mystery writer wind up writing a sexy vampire series? Isn’t that a bit far off the beaten murder path?
Yes, and no. In my writing, I adhere to a specific underlying agenda.
Sketch of a Murder2 ebook
http://www.amazon.com/Sketch-Murder-Special-Crimes-Team-ebook/dp/B00KU6AIPQ

front cover artemis
http://www.amazon.com/Artemis-Warriors-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B0158NZ1L6

My agenda is to 1. entertain 2. enlighten 3. encourage and 4. empower women. Every novel I write must do these four things. (Those of you who know I am part Native American, probably suspected that there would be four–a sacred number–parts to my agenda! LOL!)

  1. Entertain: Every book I write–whether is a part of my Special Crimes Team mystery series or part of The Vampire Wars series or a stand alone literary novel–must first entertain the reader. Does it hook the reader? Can the reader identify with, and/or care about, at least one of the characters?
  2. Enlighten: What could possibly be enlightening about a mystery series or a vampire series?
    With each novel that I write, I attempt to challenge some long held beliefs or to bring some bit of knowledge to the reader. In Sketch of a Murder, Special Crimes Team, I shine a light on how the perpetrators of sexual violence against women and children all too often avoid prosecution or receive light sentences for their crimes. In Backlash, I highlight how ongoing violence and harassment is aimed at forcing women “back to the kitchen”. (I also highlight a practice among some police since 9/11 where they stop motorists and rob them of cash. True stuff! Read my past post on that. http://ayawalksfar.com/2014/12/03/cops-stealing-from-motorists/)
    In Artemis’ Warriors I explore creation myths and history from a matriarchal viewpoint rather than a patriarchal viewpoint. While some might feel this is blasphemy, there has been some evidence that matriarchal societies did exist in the far distant past. Granted this question is hotly debated. As is to be expected since no ruling class, including the patriarchy, willingly preach the history of the classes they rule over.
    We know from more recent history, that women have been largely erased from the historical narrative in many instances. Did you know that Margaret Hamilton was the Lead Software Engineer on the Apollo Project in 1969? (Follow this link to my Pinterest Board “Great Women” and see the Pin of Margaret Hamilton https://www.pinterest.com/pin/453737731188529025/ )
    Were you aware that Elizabeth Blackwell, born in 1821, was the first women to receive a medical degree in the United States? ( https://www.pinterest.com/pin/453737731181212469/ )
    If such recent history is missing from most textbooks, it is easy to understand why women’s ancient historical contributions might also be completely “missed”, or maybe deliberately forgotten.
    3. Encourage: Because I write of current issues, I validate those issues for women who are struggling with them. It is very discouraging for women to feel isolated; to constantly hear that what they are experiencing is only a figment of their minds. I bring issues forward so women know they are not alone; other women face these same issues. Some of the issues I write about in my Special Crimes Team mystery series are: women in the work place; sexual violence; age; and beliefs. In Artemis’ Warriors, Book 1, The Vampire Wars, I explore what it means to love; bonding between women; female sexuality; and, sacrifice.
  3. Empower: Every novel I write must in some way empower women; therefore, each book has a strong female protagonist, as well as other strong female supporting characters. It is well understood that what we read has an impact on our self-image. If women only read about helpless women who never direct their own lives and are forever victims, then that is what we internalize. Women need to see females as capable, intelligent, decision-makers so that our subconscious minds can integrate that into our views of what it means to be female. In the Special Crimes Team mystery series, Sergeant Nita Slowater struggles through her discoveries about herself while trying to find killers and rapists. Her major supporting female characters are Dr. Irene Nelson, FBI profiler, and Dawn Samira, lesbian investigative reporter. In Artemis’ Warriors, Book 1, The Vampire Wars series, Serena Longer struggles with her heart while fighting invading vampires who want to turn humans into blood cattle. Her major supporting female character, Alexis Night Runner, is also the cause of Serena’s soul searching about love.

Have you read one of the books from the Special Crimes Team series, The Vampire Wars series, or the stand-alone literary novels? If so, would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or email me at ayawalksfar@gmail.com !

UPCOMING BOOKS!
Beyond the Silence: Available for pre-order http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Silence-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B01ADRQ0K8 Release date: Feb. 14, 2016 ecoversmaller (2) Beyond the Silence
Death by Dog, A Special Crimes Team Novel: Coming April 3, 2016! DBDCover(1)

Share

#FEMINIST #EROTICA: IS IT REALLY GOOD FOR WOMEN?

Feminist Erotica?

Today I am #interviewing Diana Persaud, author of Lucien’s Mate, an erotica novella. I have asked her to talk about what she terms ‘feminist erotica’ and why she writes it.

As my readers know, I support strong women, women who face challenges and make tough decisions. All too often in the past erotica has been more of a man’s fantasy and has revolved around the submission and humiliation of women, or at the very least, had reduced women to parts such as breasts and vaginas to be used and abused.

However, as an author, a feminist, a lesbian and a woman, I would be remiss not to explore what current erotica presents to its audience.  Of course, my question is always: does this celebrate women and their lives, their sexuality or is it simply another mask for presenting women as disposable chattel?

Let’s hear what author Diana Persaud says:

“Feminist erotica. An oxymoron? Not necessarily. The general idea behind feminism is that women and men are equals. Unfortunately, in our society, men are allowed to be sexual yet women are not. We are taught to be ashamed of our bodies and called names if we embrace our sexuality. In the name of feminism, I urge you to stand for your rights. Embrace your sexuality. Be proud of your bodies, no matter what the shape. Don’t listen to the media. They prey on women, making us feel insecure about everything from our physical looks to our sexuality.

You would be very shocked to discover that this #erotica author is pretty conservative. Yet I have embraced my sexuality. I enjoy sex. Often. I have multiple orgasms 99% of the time. If you label me a slut or a whore, you’re about to be shamed. The only partner I ever had is my husband. Frankly, for me, it’s incredibly arousing to know that he is the only one that’s ever touched me intimately. It didn’t matter to him at first but now I think it’s arousing for him as well.

Embracing our sexuality means discovering the things that arouse us. Are you visual? Do you like to watch? Or do you prefer to use your imagination and read? Do you prefer vanilla sex or are you more curious about taboo subjects?

Given the popularity of the 50 Shades series, it seems that a lot of women are now interested in the BDSM lifestyle. I applaud sexual curiosity, but I caution, the fantasy is sometimes better than reality. A long time ago, I asked my then boyfriend to engage in a little light bondage. The moment my hands were bound, I began to think: What have I done? I’m completely helpless and at his mercy. He could kill me or rape me. What if he wants to try something sexual I’m not ready for? I’m not exactly in a position to say no. After about thirty seconds of panic, I asked him to untie me. I was so relieved when he did. I learned a few things about myself. One, I was very naïve. I also realized that it’s ok to satisfy sexual curiositybut only with someone you trust. Obviously, at that particular moment, I didn’t trust him fully.

In my journey to discovering and embracing my sexuality, I discovered erotica. There are so many subgenres, I’m sure there is something for everyone. Almost a decade later, I am writing erotic and I would classify it as feminist erotica because my females are strong women who stand up for themselves. Some might be more submissive than others, but they are not doormats. My main characters treat each other with respect, even if one is more dominant than the other.

In my newest novella, Isabella’s Dilemma, Isabella faces a choice that most women eventually face: housewife or career?

Isabella is a Soldier. In her culture, this is simply not done. Her father expects her to be a housewife. Incidentally, her soul mate has the same expectations. Izzy has to decide which is more important: being a “good” mate an giving up her career to raise (future) children or sacrifice her love life so she can focus on her career. She faces an extreme choice.

Real women make these choices with varying degrees of compromise. Some women stay at home and once their children are old enough, they return to work. Some chose to be a “housewife” permanently while others remain childless and focus solely on their careers, like Oprah.

The wonderful thing about feminism is that we have a choice. We can choose to be full time or part time house wives. We can also choose not to be a housewife. The choice is entirely ours. So embrace your sexuality and read an erotic novella. I hope you will check out Isabella’s Dilemma and see if she made the right choice for her.

~Diana”

One interview cannot change my mind, but Diana has presented some thoughts to allow for exploration of the concept of feminist erotica.  PLEASE remember, that the beliefs expressed in the interview belong to Diana Persaud and do not speak for the author of this blog, Aya Walksfar.

If you wish to learn more about Diana Persaud….

Connect with Diana: www.facebook.com/diana.persaud.146

Blog: http://dianapersaud1.wordpress.com/

Follow Diana on Twitter @LuciensMate to receive tweets about Giveaways and New Releases. Don’t forget to check out her webpage dedicated to Lucien and his pack, dianapersaud.weebly.com.

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7314263.DianaPersaud

Discover Diana’s eBooks on:

Amazon.com/Diana-Persaud/e/B00FPOAEAM

Apple: log in with your iTunes account and search Diana Persaud

http://ca.axis360.baker-taylor.com

Barnes and Noble:  Go to Barnes and Noble then search for Lucien’s Mate by Diana Persaud

http://search.dieselbooks.com/index.php?page=seek&id%5Bm%5D=&id%5Bc%5D=scope%253Dinventory&id%5Bq%5D=diana+persaud

Kobo

Smashwords  http://www.smashwords.com/author/dianapersaud

Sony (this site is slow to update new releases)

Don’t miss exciting new posts!  CLICK AND FOLLOW! Every week brings new thoughts and explorations into the world of the mind and soul!

Connect with Aya on facebook and see the awesome VIDEOS and other postings at http://www.facebook.com/ayawalksfar

Have you heard the latest about the heart-breaking case the Special Crimes Team faces now? If not, go to http://www.facebook.com/AyaWalksfarAuthor and check out the updates for Street Harvest, Book 2, Special Crimes Team. COMING SOON! TO BE RELEASED FEBRUARY 21st! Watch for this exciting mystery to become available on Amazon.

Share