Extremes

By | March 14, 2007

My writing has evolved over the two years since we started. I think it’s improved, though lately I’m pushed to find the time to really hone each post in the way I’d like to. I often read and re-read my words, knowing that I can improve them but not really having the time to polish a piece to the level I’d like to.

I’ve always been self-critical, sometimes to extremes, but I know there are deficiencies in my technique, and coupled with the time pressures this often leaves me feeling “could have done better”. Anyway, enough of the sulking.

Apart from the improvement that comes with practice and reading more than I ever have done, there’s the issue of subject matter. I find myself drawn to subjects that are extreme. I don’t mean extreme in a sexual nature, though I do allude to this in some of my stories and touch on it briefly in others when the plot demands it. No, I mean the effect that extreme circumstances have on human beings.

Suze and I have a great relationship, physically, emotionally and intellectually. We fit very well together, so while we do post about our sex lives, I think that is becoming less and less frequent for one very good reason. Yes, we have great sex, yes we explore each other with an unfettered openness and sense of adventure that can only happen when two people are truly right for each other. But do you want to hear about that all the time? I think not, occasionally yes, especially if we discover some new aspect of sex or reach a new level of understanding  about the dynamics of our sexuality, but to hear every day how “we had such great sex last night …” I don’t think so.

What I find much more interesting to explore is what makes people who they are sexually, and what happens to people when they are placed in extreme situations. Any human being can find themselves in a position where they feel torn apart by outside influences. Circumstances often conspire to put humans under intolerable stress and this changes people, sometimes for a few moments, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Suze and I have our problems, at the moment because of the lack of funds in the house. Now Suze is working this situation should slowly improve, but even that has tested our relationship from time to time. However because we love each other this financial blip is just part of the journey we’re travelling together. One day we’ll look back on it as character building, I hope LOL.

To explore the real extremes I have to use fiction, I have no aspirations to become the next Tom Clancy (do we need another?) or Clive Barker, but violent conflict brings out the best and the worst in people and the supernatural taps into our most primal of instincts and fears. That is why my current fiction takes the form it does.

My writing also reflects my hopes and fears for the future. Sadly my fears weigh far more heavily on my mind than they ought to. I’m not a depressive type, far from it I tend to be a hopeless optimist, but I’m a realist and I see a world with dwindling resources, uncaring leaders and societies putting their personal greed before their children’s future. Can we avoid our children having to wage wars over the dusty remains of a once beautiful world? I hope so, though the road to a sustainable way of life for all of us is a treacherous one paved with good intentions and it is so easy to be distracted from our ultimate goal unless we’re utterly selfless in our quest for a future for our species.

I read somewhere once that during our evolution the branch of the primate tree from which we derive was so depleted by environmental change and predation that there may have been only 2,000 individuals alive on the planet. Pre-humans a breath away from extinction and unaware of what their descendants would one day achieve. Having survived that it would be an appalling if we were to now wipe ourselves out.

I didn’t want this to turn into an environmental/anti-war rant so I’ll say no more on my current state of mind.

Let me leave you with a message of hope.

In the mid eighties a BBC news report came out of Africa which moved the world to do something positive to help people on another continent. Live Aid raised money and more importantly awareness of the problems facing Africans and soon, I believe, to face us all. Live Aid inspired a charity called Comic Relief. This runs a massive media event in the UK every two years, the lead-up to which is taking place now and culminates this Friday 16 March 2007 with “The Big One” on BBC 1.

The link to the charity’s website is on the top of our sidebar. If you can, please donate a little to this very worthy cause and as Lenny Henry put it on Radio 1 the other day “Help your neighbour next door and your neighbour in Africa”.

We all deserve a future where we can live in peace with each other and with the dignity that comes from being given the chance to help ourselves.