Guns and other killing machines!

weapons small

It all started off with bashing people over the head with a rock, followed by using a club, throwing spears, bows and arrows, crossbows, pistols, canons, explosives, right up to a 50 megaton nuclear bomb. Over the course of history Man has tried to find more and more effective methods to kill one another.
I was struck by a quote by Jesse Hughes, the front man of Eagles of Death Metal who said “I know people will disagree with me but it just seems that God created men and women and that night guns made it equal, and I hate it that it is that way. I think the only way that my mind has been changed is that maybe until nobody has guns everybody has to have them”.

I am sure this man has been traumatized by what happened in Paris, who wouldn’t be. If you are a musician, starting a concert, there is no way in a million years you can imagine maniacs arriving firing guns randomly causing a massacre. You have to admire the group for the way three months after this shocking event, they went back to Paris to finish the concert that was so dramatically shortened. However Jesse Hughes’ thinking can perhaps be brought into question. It is true that the concert goers were at the mercy of the psychopathic killers who burst in with powerful weaponry and had no means of defending themselves.

However imagine if you went to concerts knowing that most of the concert goers were armed with rifles, pistols or whatever…That standing next to you there could be an extremist, a trigger happy crazy guy hungry, for violence, a totally unhinged person, all of whom have freely been given the right to buy firearms in order to “protect themselves”. Put guns into the hands of everybody and people will be dying in far larger numbers and on a regular basis. Having said this it is obvious that measures should be implemented that ensure that what happened at the Bataclan is never repeated.

Everybody walking around in bullet proof vests would be a preferable solution rather than permit everybody walking around with guns. Sadly we have to face the fact that in Europe any major city can be attacked at any moment. We are reliant on the security services to intercept, decode, messages and derail any threats. What can be done in large concert spaces? Train security guards to use guns…have a police marksmen at any major event. There will need to be a system in place to protect people at important events.

Meanwhile the world in general seems to be a far less safer place, not that it has ever been a really safe place in my life time. We have rogue state North Korea, trying to show off to the world that it can do whatever the hell it likes. Testing an H bomb (theoretically) recently, firing a rocket, the only country that could make this errant country step into line is China, but they seem loathed to do so. Strong words might be uttered against their actions, but the threat remains constant, that their deluded “leader” Kim Jong-un, might go too far and try to pull off some crazy stunt that would tip the world into an Armageddon state.

Kim Jong-un is just one menace, but what is going on in Syria, also does not bode well for the continuation of the human race. We have arrived at a particularly dangerous moment in history. The possible illegal ground invasion of Syria by Turkey and Saudi Arabia could ignite a conflict engulfing the great powers that could spin out of control.

Added to this we have ISIS, or whatever name these morons  are labeled with, an organization, with evil on a par with the Nazis, an organization with warped ideology and a propensity to kill and destroy. They hate the West and wish to re-impose a world more akin to Middle Ages, with barbarity that has ceased to exist in the West.

The method of attack has gone far beyond throwing a rock at an adversary’s head, countries/politicians, the military have to consider the fact that they will send the human race over the abyss. Our only hope is that we end this perpetual cycle of hatred.

Follow Francis H Powell on Twitter



The tangled complicated love lives of writers!

Byron   dumas-fils-1-sized  AnaisNin

A monogamous relationship with a woman, was something that was totally alien to Alexandre Dumas, as he put it succinctly himself, “If I had only one, she’d be dead inside eight days.” This incorrigible playboy right from his teens until his death, didn’t want to get married and only did so when forced into it, to pay off some of his debts. This did not change his penchant for taking on any number of mistresses and in so doing fathering seven illegitimate children. It is no real surprise that this inveterate bed hopper died of syphilis.

Lord Byron was another serial bed hopper, famous for his bisexuality. Married to , Anne Isabella Milbanke, he also allegedly was getting a bit of extra-marital with her half-sister Augusta Leigh. Lord Byron’s antics were too much for Lady Byron, who left her husband, taking their child with her. Rumors of the man dubbed as “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know” got so intense he was forced to leave England and never ventured back. Lord Byron, the patron saint of the Romantics certainly lacked in moral fiber, an affair with Mary Shelley’s sister, Claire Clairmont, resulted in a child he refused to acknowledge or pay for. His Lordship would get through hundreds of women each year.

It is not only men writers who have a strong appetite to sample different sexual partners, take Anaïs Nin, married aged 20 this proved no stumbling block to her rampant sex life, including a passionate love affair with Henry Miller, living with him in Paris in the 1930s. When she reached the age of 44, she had two marriages on the go, one to Rupert Pole, a man aged 28 much younger than her, while still “married” to Hugh Parker Guiler her “first husband”. Simone de Beauvoir declined to marry her boyfriend, Jean Paul Sartre, but the two shared a fruitful and revolutionary lifelong relationship, interspersed with affairs, both being quite open about them, even sharing some of them. De Beuvoir had a penchant for young students, one such dalliance with a Nathalie Sorokine led to her having teaching license revoked.

Charles Dickens was allegedly a virgin when he married Catherine Hogarth, aged 24. The marriage was not well destined as almost immediately became obsessed with her younger sister, Mary, who sadly died not long into their marriage, so poor Catherine was left to compete with a “ghost”. The marriage staggered on culminating in ten children, until Dicken’s fell for a young actress, Nelly Ternan. Tired of his wife Dickens had an affair with the actress, which he kept under wraps for fear of scandal.



Follow Francis H Powell on Twitter


When a writer needs to add a bit of romance or sex to their story!

love is blind

It seems the writing world is crammed full writers whose genre is romance. Romantic novels seem to be a money spinner, as are kinky sex books a la Fifty Shades of Grey. But what if your stories are not of this ilk, but romance and sex play a part in your stories? My stories are dark surreal short stories, that have elements of horror.

There are  some of my stories that contain sexual elements. One story even starts off with… Mercedes Shwartz had just had the most incredible orgasm, but her pleasure was still incomplete.

I would say if you are a horror writer, or a suspense writer, or whatever your genre, the sex parts in your stories, should not seem like they have been pasted in, to add a bit of spice to your story, but should be natural elements that enhance your stories. There has to be the same tension that pervades in the other elements in your stories. It has to be in keeping with the characters of the stories as well the moods.

In my story Cast from Hell, I created a character (previously a middle aged man) who has returned to earth from Hell, in the body of a woman. She becomes a predator, without any scruples, using men to own ends. I had to battle with my editor to make the parts that involved sex, in keeping with my style and how I imagined them. I got the impression my editor’s imagination was running wild at times and he was being far more explicit than I would have ventured, while moving away from the subtlety that is characteristic in other parts of my book.


Follow Francis H Powell on Twitter


Love is blind interview with Deanna Dee

love is blind author interview


NAME Deanna Dee…………………………………………………….

Do you believe love is blind ?
I believe love can be blind. People will forgive a lot for love, and they are often willing to overlook things in the ones they love that they wouldn’t in other people. That said, I think it’s important to actively work to make love see. Falling into a pattern and taking someone for granted can be the beginning step of a relationship’s demise. Keeping an eye out for these things helps to nip them in the bud and keep the relationship strong. Sure, we might see some things we don’t like in the process, but personally, I’d rather know and be happy anyway.
What about love at first sight…do you believe in this…has it happened to you?
Honestly, I’m not sure. It hasn’t happened to me, but other people say it’s happened to them. I don’t like discounting anything in life, so my short answer to believing is “maybe.”
Have you ever had a date from Hell? What happened?
Sadly, I have not. It’s an experience that seeing in the movies doesn’t do justice, and it would have been interesting to experience firsthand.

Is there much love/romance or sex in your stories? If so how is it conveyed?
My Games of Love series doesn’t have sex in it. I made that choice because I wanted to focus on the emotional growth without the complications sex can bring to a relationship. It’s a very interesting angle to write from, especially in a romance novel.

Is there any music or films that you associate with Valentine’s day or love in general?
Disney princess movies. I know, some people say they give terrible messages to kids, but they will always be my first experience with the romance story line.


Would you give up lifestyle, convert to another religion, all for the sake of marriage?

Aitken inside image

Would you give up your lifestyle, the comforts you are used to, be prepared for an almighty culture clash, as well as converting to a new religion, all for the sake of marrying somebody ? Some choose to take this route. Flicking through some news stories, I came across the daughter of a well-known Conservative politician Jonathan Aitken. This story is more remarkable due to the fact that Alexandra Aitken, now named Uttrang Kaur Khalsa, was once the ultimate party girl, hanging out with celebrities, going as far as to pose naked for GQ magazine, while living an utterly privileged life. She married a Sikh warrior Inderjot Singh six years ago, she describes their first encounter, seemingly still gushing ‘I was sitting on the roof of the Golden Temple at about 3am, and the most beautiful man I’d ever seen in my whole life walked in. He seemed 100 per cent man, gentle and intuitive and poetic and sensitive, but also extraordinarily strong and manly. And you don’t see many of these around. So I was like: “Oh wow!”’.

Their marriage was not some glitzy affair in London, however hundreds of holy men did come out of their caves to offer their benediction to their union. However these benedictions were not enough to sustain the marriage, which was short lived. Whether the marriage was strictly legal is also open to question. One thing is for sure is that the former Cabinet Minister’s daughter is on a spiritual mission and is upholding many beliefs that were thrust upon her by her former “husband”. Her life these day revolves around living mostly in a gurdwara (a Sikh temple) alongside yogis and meditation masters, while also being a fully-fledged green advocate. In a town of around 16,000 people, out on a limb as the only single western woman.

What to make of Alexandra Aitken/ Uttrang Kaur Khalsa? Is she a bit wacky? Mad? Or is she admirable, perhaps courageous? Certainly by reading about her, she seems strong willed. Will her story be made into a film, the Brit party girl, who marries a Sikh warrior…I could imagine a younger version of Kate Winslet, fitting the role. Her film Hideous Kinky, has echoes of the Aitken girl story.


Follow Francis H Powell on Twitter


Love is blind interview Cheryllynn Dyess


NAME – Cheryllynn Dyess

Do you believe love is blind ?


What about love at first sight…do you believe in this…has it happened to you?

Yes I believe in love at first sight. When I first met my husband our first dance changed my heart and life – so I have to say a big YES.

Have you ever had a date from Hell? What happened?

Oh yes, 🙂 I went to lunch with an old boyfriend from high school. During the lunch he proceeded to tell me he is against interracial relationships/marriages. I almost spit my tea at him. I have three bi-racial children. After making sure he did in fact know that I quickly ended the lunch and never spoke to him again.

Is there much love/romance or sex in your stories? If so how is it conveyed?

I briefly touch on the romance in The Jein’s Journey Series as it is geared towards teens and readers who are young. In my other books, romance is hit on more but nothing that could not be considered G-rated still. I like a clean romance. The sex that is mentioned is left to the imagination.

Is there any music or films that you associate with Valentine’s day or love in general? Hmmm, The Notebook is the only movie that I think of when I think of true love.


Married to a cross dresser!

Grayson+Perry+Philippa+Perry+Arrivals+Red+0iw66Jqz6zAl  61e5788ac43a6e1f5a158bb497b56848
It must take a special type of woman to be married to a cross dresser. Do they turn a blind eye? Put a lock on their clothes cupboard? Do they go along with the thrill of it all? Are their minds full of deep suspicions? Do they accept this aspect of their husband’s personality. These themes are explored in a film I have recently seen called “The Danish Girl”. The film is based loosely on the life of Lili Ilse Elvenes, who was born Einar Magnus Andreas Wegener. Lili married Gerda Gottlieb at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and they married in 1904, when Gottlieb was 18 and Wegener was 22. Elbe started dressing in women’s clothes one day filling in for Gottlieb’s absentee model; she was asked to wear stockings and heels so her legs could substitute for those of the model. Elbe obviously took to wearing women’s clothing. The way the films portrays Gerda and Lili’s relationship, is that from the start it was a “game”… a game for thrills, to see how things could go. The introduction of this new ingredient in their marriage is bound to have an impact. Lili/Einar suffer terribly, as he/she faces the fact that he is a woman caught in a man’s body. Gerda suffers as she comes to the realization that the game has moved on and she now has to face the fact that she is losing her husband, who is not the person she married. Gerda does however benefit from the fact that her paintings of Lili, suddenly elevate her artist’s career. However going by what we see in the film, she does accept losing her husband in an almost saintly manner. We have to remember that this is a film set in a time when ignorance prevailed, most doctors perceiving Lili/Einar as being perverted or insane. These are pre-David Bowie days.

Lili finally concluded his/her salvation is to go the full way and become a fully-fledged woman, even entertaining the idea of being able to have a child. Consequently she opted for sex reassignment surgery, which was experimental at the time. Sadly this led to her death.

Grayson Perry, like Lili is an artist. There may be some discernable differences between the two. Perry is married and has a child. From an early age he liked to dress in women’s clothes and in his teens concluded that he was a transvestite. The artist first borrowed a dress from his sister when he was 10-years-old, but never told her why. The artist says that his alter-ego Claire – whose style is inspired by Little Bo Beep, “the crack cocaine of femininity” – gives him a certain level of anonymity.
Aging is a constant battle, Grayson Perry says Trannies go through this horrible cycle,” he said. “When they’re really young and just post-pubescent, they can look gorgeous as a woman – you’re fairly androgynous, you’re thin, you just look good. Grayson Perry’s wife is a psychotherapist, quite a useful métier, not surprisingly Grayson Perry’s childhood was fraught with family problems.

Why does he cross dress? Because I feel compelled to, I suppose,” he ventures. “It gets me excited. A whole raft of feelings, really. It’s not just an erotic thrill. It’s also kind of like a coming-home.”

Other known cross dressers include J. Edgar Hoover’s femme name was apparently “Muriel”. Herman Goering, commander of the Luftwaffe in WW II, was also a crossdresser and partial to silk nightwear.

Comedian/actor Eddie Izzard describes himself as “a straight transvestite or a male lesbian”. He has also described himself as “a lesbian trapped in a man’s body and “a complete boy plus half girl”


Follow Francis H Powell on Twitter

READ MORE ON Flight of Destiny,