4 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK


“Don’t miss this unique chance to discover the real dark heart of Rome.”

That’s what the tourist advert said and boy, they weren’t kidding. OK, I was looking for something different. I’d already done The Roman Forum, The Trevi Fountain, the Piazza Venezia, The Monument to Vittorio, the Colosseum (both above and below it), countless catacombs, ceaseless crypts, boundless Basillicas, the Pantheon, the Vatican…   Darlings, all so tedious and mundane. I mean, how many ruins do you want to see?

So when offered the chance to do something that dreams are made of (think haunting), I took it and went to the chilling Capuchin “Bone Chapel,” located in the centre of Rome, the Eternal City. I was about to discover that bit about Eternal.

I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MANY BONES IN MY LIFE.  They were everywhere. The place was lined with the skeletal remains of over 4000 monks.

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Bold Strokes Book Festival, Nottingham, by Victoria Villaseñor

7 Jun

Women and Words

Hey, friends! As Jove and I talked about in the Women and Words podcast last week, I did manage to track author and editor Victoria Villaseñor down and she graciously blogged her thoughts about the Bold Strokes Books festival in Nottingham. This was the 8th annual there, but this year was different because of horrific events that occurred in Manchester and London.

She told me she was a little worried about including her thoughts about that, but I told her that what happened was no doubt on the minds of people at the festival, and acknowledging it doesn’t detract from the festival, but rather recognizes our connections to each other, to our communities, and helps us with solidarity in the face of such terrible occurrences.

Here’s Vic with her thoughts.


At 3am on Sunday morning, my phone started buzzing. Because I have family in the States, I don’t turn…

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Pre-event pondering

2 Jun

Source: Pre-event pondering

The Importance of “Me Time”.

2 Jun


It can be so hard to see the positives when everything is going wrong and it seems likes there’s only negative things happening. And some days, weeks, even months can be more difficult to deal with and extra exhausting than others.

But it’s okay to take time out and look after yourself. In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s essential. If today is a bad day and I can only summon the energy to stumble downstairs wearing my pyjamas and eat a humongous bag of chocolate while crying at a soppy film…that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I might text rather than speak to people but I will still let my loved ones know I love them. There’s no guilt. No pressure to act okay, when I don’t feel okay. It’s me time. The opportunity to take comfort in simple things and not feel bad or guilty for “wasting” a day.

And if today is a good day and I feel amazing, well that’s awesome. I will try and get as much done as I can. I will do the things I enjoy and make time to speak, visit, spend time with my loved ones and tell them how much I love them. Hug them. Make them laugh.

As my Irish gran used to say, “we’re here for a good time, not a long time.” There’s no such thing as a perfect life. We should not be so hard on ourselves. All we can do is our best, at this particular moment in time. 🙂


Deeper Connections by Sandy Lowe

2 Jun

Source: Deeper Connections by Sandy Lowe

Deeper Connections by Sandy Lowe

2 Jun

Bold Strokes Books, UK


In the modern digital age, there is a case to be made for using the Internet make our lives easier. Want a recipe? A book? An Uber at 3am? The Internet is happy to provide (and to profit). Less obvious, but just as life changing is the way cyberspace has transformed the social realm. We make friends, colleagues, lovers and even enemies online, opening ourselves up to a social network that transcends time and place.  For LGBTQ people this network can be life changing: increasing avenues for acceptance, support, resources and even as a vehicle for finding just the right happily ever after.

Social media has made it so that everything we share online can be viewed by friends, friends of friends, and often even strangers we’d never actually consider friends. Inevitably, this leads to impression management, curating just the right collection of filter-hazed photos, anecdotes, witty retorts and hashtags…

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Rescuing the Damsel by Robyn Nyx

1 Jun

Source: Rescuing the Damsel by Robyn Nyx