A recent UK study from the London School of Economics claimed that a number of sporting and leisure activities can bring people as much happiness as a pay rise. They said that the most rewarding way to spend your spare time was having a boogie – which they said brought as much happiness as having a £1,671 pay rise. This is something I can totally relate to. After a couple of drinks (or at home sober) I’m the first on the dance floor or begging a prospective dance partner to join me. Also I’m one of those drivers that sing the great anthems while driving; my head is bobbing/thrashing and the fingers clicking.
Over the week there has been much widespread outcry in New Zealand over a group of young men, who call themselves the ‘Roast Busters’, who allegedly encouraged young girls as young as 13 to drink copious amounts of alcohol (often not drinking themselves) and then as a group raped these girls. These incidents have occurred over the last two years with the young men bragging their ‘conquests’ on FaceBook.
After driving two teens to school and listening to the talk of bullying, teachers who misunderstand and who ‘judge too easily’, it reminds you of this messy thing called life.
There is often no worse time than when you are a teenager. Although you can’t tell a teenager, it will get better, because teens tend to live in the now. Plus I’m sure most of us can remember some ‘wise’ and older person telling us that school is the best times of our lives, with no responsibility, no bills to pay and being pampered by doting and indulging parents. I guess it all depends what you call a ‘good time’…I know my early teens were reasonably carefree and my later teens had some insecurities but muted with the freedom that comes with leaving secondary school, drinking, and partying, but my mid-teens were fraught with insecurity and hormones.
You know from some of my other posts I like to party, to have fun, to enjoy a drink or three or four and of course break out into a sweat on the dance floor. But most importantly I know when to stop. But not everyone is capable of doing this.
Why is that some people cannot stop at four or five drinks, they have to go and get blotto and lose their way home, sleep off their hangover on the couch at their mates place and then once home spend the rest of the day in bed unable to move without placing their head over a bucket?
My YA novel has gay characters. The protagonist has two Dads, who just happen to live together and to love each other and they both own a business together, a hairdressing salon.
But as I work on my first draft various questions emerge:
Gay characters – hairdressers – stereotyping?!
Can I write authentically about gay characters when I’m not gay?
How can I not offend readers?
The man you fell in love with, or thought you had, has got you cornered. Lately he’s been slightly possessive. Always questioning you where you’ve been, who’ve been talking to. He bombards you with questions after a man has said ‘hello’ as you both walk together in the street.
The relationship didn’t start off that way. But insidiously the relationship and trust you both had with one another has deteriorated. You confront him. You tell him the relationship isn’t working. He cries. He says he’s sorry. But this time you don’t cave in. You’re studying to be a lawyer, not a doormat.
You stand up from sitting on his soft black leather couch and turn and walk away. You hear him rise from the couch too. You know leaving will not be easy. But then smack you hit your head on the hallway wall. You have stumbled after something, or should I say, someone’s hand, has pushed you hard on your back. Your whole body jolting from the unexpected push. Now you’re just a tinsy bit afraid. You’ve seen his temper. It’s not charming.
Even though you’re afraid, you feel safe in the knowledge that he wouldn’t kill you. Bruise you? Possibly. Give you a black eye? Another possibility, but you doubt it. You can’t hide a black eye. Smack. This time you fall to the ground. Something has hit your head. Now you are truly scared. This man, your now ex-lover is acting out of character. Sure he is a hot head. But this? You feel the warmth of blood trickling down your face. You turn to see where he is. He’s disappeared. You half stumble to the closest room with an internal lock. The bathroom. You lock the door behind you. Then wait. He will calm down. Then you hear it. A click…
This story may sound familiar to you. Or it may not. It’s only speculation of what may have happened recently when a young woman, 29 year old model, Reeva Steenkamp, an aspiring lawyer was shot in her boyfriend’s bathroom. The accused, 26 year old Olympic hero, Oscar Pistorius has admitted to killing his girlfriend but says it was accidental. He thought the person he was shooting was an intruder and fired in self-defence. Whether it was a cold-blooded attack or an accident, the courts will decide.