Tuesday, 29 January 2013

It's Time To Stamp Out Hate Crime

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the hideous Julie Burchill article. Unfortunately, or fortunately, whichever way you look at it, it's found its way back online thanks to the Telegraph. You can read it here *** Possible Trigger Warning***.

Now, I'm not one to let things go easily. And I don't like it when people like Burchill go waltzing around, mocking others, and enjoying the attention. So I've written a long winded complaint to the editor. And I'll keep harassing him until I get a straight answer other than "sorry". If you want to get involved, feel free! The more the merrier! I'm going to publish the editor's name but, before anyone kicks me for that one, it's in the public domain.

Observer Newspaper Address:

John Mulholland,
The Observer, 
Kings Place, 90 York Way
London N1 9GU

Phone number: 020 3353 2000

And here's my complaint. Trust me, I'm really not going to let it lie. I don't care who you are. I don't care if you're someone on the street, a journalist, a musician, or an MP. If you say something like this, especially in public, then you should be subjected to the full extent of the law.

28th January 2013

Dear Sir,

It has been two weeks since Julie Burchill's hate speech masquerading as journalism appeared in your newspaper. No doubt you're still reading through the digital mountain of complaints which has been sent your way.

I'm writing to ask what you're doing about Burchill. In case you've forgotten what all the fuss is about I'm including a copy of the article.

Like every large company out there, I'm assuming you have a policy relating to people, their sexuality/gender/colour/religion etc and how they have a right to be treated as an equal and allowed to go about their job, and life, in peace and without the fear of harassment, discrimination, or reprisal. Anyone known to break this policy is subjected to suspension and/or termination. Has this policy been enacted against Burchill? If not, why not? Your average person on the street wouldn't get away with a fraction of what she said without reprisal. Why should she just because she's a “journalist”, “columnist”, or whatever you choose to call her?

Secondly, what she wrote is hate speech, discrimination, and a call to violence, all of which are crimes under British law. Has she been questioned by the police? Again, if not, why not?

Finally, what is your justification for allowing her to remain with your newspaper? After that little tirade she can hardly be good for your image? Or do we need to assume that her viewpoint is held by the majority of your staff?

While this country prides itself on freedom of speech, we also have morals and ethics which need to be upheld and honoured. Morals and ethics which are written in to the Editor's Code of Practice. I appreciate that Burchill's brand of writing is possibly what draws in your readers, but where do you draw the line? Will you let her publish something along the same lines about Muslims? Or people with disabilities? Or Asians? Where's your line in the sand? Take the article and replace it with any of the three examples I've given you and then ask yourself if you'd publish it.

Can you imagine if yourself, or one of your family, were one of the people lambasted in Burchill's article? Perhaps you are, I don't know. Perhaps you thought it would be good for “a laugh”. I realise that you pulled the piece and left a response along the lines of “The piece was an attempt to explore contentious issues”. However, your response could not be further from the truth, and I believe you know this. How would you feel if someone called you derogatory names and basically called for you to be injured and killed? You've probably had the statistics for the murder, assault and suicide rates among transgender people thrown at you a million times in the past two weeks so I won't repeat them. But, if you've read them, I'm sure you can see just how dangerous Burchill's article is. And just because Burchill is a “journalist” or “columnist” does not mean that she is above the morals, standards, and laws of this country. In fact, as a possible role model for others, she should be held even more accountable. How would you feel if a transgender person was murdered and the accused cited Burchill's article, the one you chose to publish, as a reason for why they committed the murder? It's a hypothetical scenario but has happened, where the accused has cited music, books, or films as the reason for why they committed their crime.

This is not about one particular group becoming more offended than another. This is about protecting some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We no longer live in the Dark Ages. We live in a time where everyone, no matter what their creed, gender or sexuality is can live in peace and without fear. You have an opportunity here to prove that you will not be among those who allow such speech to pollute our society.


Rae Gee

I'm laying down a challenge to the Observer. It'll be going with this letter. 

"By now you've probably noticed that your withdrawal of the offending article, and your subsequent apology, have not been accepted by the vast majority. You've also probably gathered that people don't want to read misinformed, unresearched and factless pieces. As a media outlet, you are responsible on what you put out there. You now have the chance to show the world that you actually mean what you said in your apology. Which is why I'm laying down a challenge for you and your newspaper. Find a positive story, one of hope, love, and dignity, and report on it. Don't put a negative spin on it. Don't be derogatory. Don't put down the person, or persons, the story is about. And heaven's above, don't give the piece to someone like Burchill. In fact, go through the list of people who no doubt write to you every week looking for work experience and give one of them a shot. Write a nice, positive piece, one which will make people happy to read your paper and run it as the front page story. Don't think about the circulation or the money. Don't think of anything like that because you're the editor and, as you've proved, can do whatever you want. So do this and start making a positive change in the world."

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Goodbye, Bertie

Bertie's gone.

He was never our cat. He actually belonged to the neighbours and, since they moved in to the area several years ago, their black moggy decided to make our home his as well. They always knew where he was and never seemed too bothered that he spent a lot of his time with us. Obviously the grass was greener on the other side.

Then, in late 2012, they told us they were moving. Not far, but they were still going. And yesterday, the moving vans rolled up.

The grief I've felt can only be akin to really losing a pet. The heart wrenching cold ache which causes tears to roll well up and your chest to clench tight. The pain which seems as though it will never leave. And I doubt that it will, at least not for a while.

The tears were the worst, knowing that we'll probably never seem him again. You probably think I'm stupid, crying over someone else's cat. But, in a his own little way, that cat drew our little cul-de-sac together. He helped forge friendships, ones which hopefully will last.

At least we have the memories. Like the first time he appeared in our garden during a barbecue, crawling through the fence before dully being dispatched back over it. To this past Christmas, which he spent curled under the tree like an additional gift. He slept in odd places; on top of drum kits, in the washing basket, among the saucepans, before he finally settled on claiming every box which came in to the house as his own. He even has his own chair, a white wicker one which was destined for the tip before he took up residence on it. Recently he'd moved to the rub, preferring that to the chair.

He wasn't supposed to go in the lounge, the bedrooms, the bathrooms. In fact, anywhere which wasn't the kitchen or the sun room. But he still wangled his way there, finally seating himself on the couch to watch TV.

His "talking" won't be forgotten easily either. A bunch of squeaks, mewls and half meows, all accompanied by deep, stomach rumbling purrs. I don't think I ever heard him meow properly.

I don't want to say we'll never see him again. There's always hope. Which is probably why his water bowl is still tucked away beside the dishwasher.

So, thank you Bertie for 11+ years of love, fun and, occasionally, frustrations. We'll miss you loads but I don't think anyone's going to miss you waking them up at 2am by clawing the windows because it's cold and wet outside and you don't want to sleep in your cat bed NEXT DOOR!

And we'll always love you, little Bugg-A-Lugs. Just no jumping on the freshly made bed, okay? No! Down! Bad Cat!

Saturday, 26 January 2013


It takes a lot of work to achieve anything in life. From going to school, to forging a career, to building a marriage, it all takes time, effort, energy and, quite often, tears.

Unfortunately we don't see a lot of that any more. With reality TV shows promising fame overnight and publishers snatching fan fictions from the internet, we now think that what we want should come to us in the blink of an eye.

But if you take a look around yourself, you'll see this isn't true. People slave for years to build something. Some succeed, some don't; it's a sad fact of life. And one of the things which tires me is the assumption that, because someone has done something with their life (whatever that may be), that they're "lucky", that they're "successful".

If you want to do something amazing, it doesn't happen overnight. It never does. It may happen in a few weeks, or a few months but, contrary to what the media would like you to think, it doesn't happen in an instant.

Take, for example, the Redbull Stratos Jump which happened in October 2012. Even with the backing of a huge, multi-national, and extremely rich company, it was many, many years in the planning. There were so many things which had to be considered, pods, parachutes, and camera which had to be built. Felix Baumgartner, who made the jump, was training from the inception of the project.

You can do whatever you put your mind to. It'll take time, it'll take effort, it'll take blood, sweat and tears, but you can do it. Don't give up on your dreams. Just don't let the media rip them from under you.

Steampunk Authors - I Need You!

Hello authors!

I need you! I'm organising the authors for the Triffin on the Trinc event on June 16th 2013. There are 4 spaces left at the captain's table (yes, that's where we'll be based!) and you're welcome to come and speak/give a lecture/answer questions/drink tea (which, as far as I know, will be free. There will be trouble if it isn't!)/generally have a splendid time. There will be room to sell books and hand out goodies as we'll have a chart table which sits 9. There will also be a lectern for reading from and there will be plenty of time for you to speak.

If you've got any questions, or want to take part (and you're most welcome to! Would be great to have you!), feel free to email me at waking_the_dead@yahoo.co.uk and I'll send you the booking form.

Ticking information can be found at:

You can find more info at:


- I have a book to promote. If I read/do a lecture, will there be a place for me to sell it?

Absolutely! You can display the book/pamphlet/wax disk in the Captain's Cabin and take turns manning the display to sell all day/evening. Authors will have the large (seats 9) charting table in the Captain's Cabin. All I ask is a nominal charge of £10, assuming you want to come aboard and stay aboard. Ticking information can is at:

- If I don't want to read/lecture, can I have a stall? If so, how much will it cost?
Yes, no problem, £30 for a 6ft table between the cannon on the Gun Deck. Please email Rae for the booking form.

- Do I have to pay to get into the event or will people involved be exempt from paying? If I have to pay to enter the event, how much is it?

You will get in for free if exhibiting/reading/selling/singing/or otherwise part of the event. However, if you want to roam the quayside and it's various fake shops etc. which are great for photo ops, then the council will want a fee, so an advance booking rate of £5 fee instead of the normal £8.50. Then of course there's the gig, so the "Access all Areas" pass for authors, illustrators etc. will be £30. At 5pm, the quayside closes, but is then free to access the ship. Anyone staying for the concert will need a separate ticket.

- Can I bring someone else to help me man the stall/make a cup of tea etc? Will they get in for free too? Or do they need to pay?

Assistants can enter for free, and like exhibitors, won't be able to visit any of the attractions on the quayside without paying the normal entrance fee, so you have to decide if you're happy to be on board and only visit the cafe, toilets etc. Or if you want to see everything in the historic quay. As for tea, that's provided for stallholders for free - jut buy your own cake. We'll have food and tea on the mess deck, plus toddys and even the Trincs own beer in the evening bar.

- How long do I have to speak?

Unless we're overwhelmed, we're currently thinking of 20mins(ish) with a 10 min(ish) break between speakers, to allow people to come and go, autographs to be given etc. Depending on numbers, you should get more than one opportunity to do this.

- Is there anything I can/can't do on board the ship?

No naked flames, no piracy, apart from that anything goes. You're free to explore all three decks, take photos, fraternise but only with your clothes on, and if the weather's nice and you want to give impromptu readings on deck, that's fine too. There will be sea shanties during the day, and Egyptian Belly Dancers, so prepare to be distracted.

Take care and look forward to hearing from you!
Rae :)

Sunday, 20 January 2013


One of the things which seems to bother some people about my books is the way Erus treats Cedo.

Unfortunately, in the 1900's, it was a way of life. There was no welfare state and, if you were poor or destitute, you had two choices: take what was offered or starve, even if it meant you used for sexual favours or beaten. You took what was there because you didn't even want to think about the final choice: The workhouse. The workhouse, but that was not a place you wanted to go to, no matter how desperate. Tales from the workhouses are far more horrific than any novel or film could ever portray.

We'd like to think that such things no longer take place. Tragically they do, and may even be happening right where you live. People trafficked to be used as sex slaves. Whole families forced to work back breaking hours just to survive. Children who should be in school working in factories just to pay their way.

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not that, and much more, still happens around the world. There are numerous people trying to put a stop to it and, if you search for "Modern Slavery" you'll find many websites and charities which are dedicating to putting an end to it once and for all. Last Christmas, the Advent Conspiracy's advert discussed just how little of a person's annual Christmas spending it would take to help free people from slavery once and for all.

It doesn't matter who you are. It doesn't matter if you only have a little money. You can give something you do have to help others: Your time. Go out there and help change the world. Don't think you can? Wrong! Of course you can!

Thanks for reading and keep being amazing!

Monday, 14 January 2013

No Phobias Here, Please

Those who regularly read my personal facebook page will know that, when in the wrong mood, I can be a chronic complainer. Wobetide if your company has failed somewhere along the line; you'll be hearing from me! It's actually become worse over the past year, a sign, I believe, that I'm getting old.

For those of you who are inflicted with my often long winded complaints (You are allowed to "unfriend" me, you know!!) will know that yesterday I really lost the plot.

If you didn't catch it, I was complaining about an article published on the Observer newspaper website (the offending article has now been removed, thankfully). It was written by a writer (and I use that in the loosest sense of the term) who decided to take it upon herself to write what, in essence, was a hate speech against transgender people.

I HIT the roof! I don't, and will never, tolerate any kind of "phobias" (I'm arachnophobia but that's a different story). We're not in the 1500's any more and people should be allowed to live their lives however they want. I don't care if you're pink, blue, black, yellow, green or rainbow coloured. If you're happy, you're happy. You will always have an ally in me and safe place on this blog.

As much as I'd hate to see anyone loose their job during times like this, the author of that piece (Julie Burchill, for the curious) really does need firing. No one, and I mean no one, should be allowed to get away with what she wrote. I don't care if they're a columnist for a supposedly upmarket newspaper. She should be promptly sacked and then handed over to the police for prosecution regarding hate speech and inciting violence. If any one of us had said what

And, if the Google News search is anything to go by, I'm not the only one.

It's time we stood up to these bigots. Time to stand up to the ones who think they're immune to any kind of retribution because they have the protection of an editor and newspaper. Time to wipe out this so called "news" and create something new and beautiful. Are you will me?

Well, are you?!?!?!

For those who didn't catch it, here's my complaint to the Observer in full:

To Whom It May Concern:

As a regular reader of your newspaper I find it utterly atrocious that you allow Julie Burchill to spout unwarranted, and quite frankly offensive, views. I would like to point out that we live in the 21st Century and, while freedom of speech must be maintained, so should the dignity of those who for so long have been pushed in to the minorities.

While I'm sure your editor allowed this piece through to no doubt "improve circulation and readership", all you are doing is lowering yourselves to the standards of the red top rags and the lowest of the low of news services. How about actually standing up for the people who find themselves regularly beaten and harassed because they are different? How about speaking to the people Burchill chooses to vilify and writing an honest, open article on their lives? (and not sensationalising it at all. Have you people learned nothing from the phone hacking and Saville scandals?) In fact, how about finally getting rid of Burchill and her outdated and vile views and replacing her with one of those people she so enjoys attacking?

How about you don't follow the "norm" and actually do something different? You would win yourselves a lot more friends that way than making even more enemies just by trying to improve your circulation with the mindless, outdated, and unresearched views. We in society have to think before we speak, and will suffer the consequences if we don't. Burchill should not be exempt from these rules and should be made aware that her words can lead her to be prosecuted.

While we need to protect our freedom of speech (which I'm sure you'll cite that article as), we also need to be aware of what we are doing and saying and how it can make others feel.

I do hope you take the complaints you're receiving about this article seriously and actually think about what you're putting out in to the world. This world is a bad enough place as it is without you allowing people like Burchill to whip up even more hate and prejudice.

This complaint will also be sent to the Press Complaints Commission.

Rae Gee


Saturday, 12 January 2013

Inspirational Interview 2 - Kez

I've had the joy of getting to know Kez over the last year. She's been one of the supporters of the Veetu Industries series, offering help via her blog, Gothic Angel Book Reviews. She's now writing her first book and took a little time out to come and speak to us. Please give her a very warm welcome!


1. Hi Kez! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me! First things first, tells us a bit about yourself.

I'm a 29 year old mom of 1. His name is Calum and he is nearly 6. 
I have been reading since I learned how and my love of reading a good book only increases as time goes by. 
I am a YA book reviewer/blogger and have decided within the last year that I wanted to write a book of my own. However, I only got the courage towards the end of 2012.

2. How did you get in to writing?

I had been toying with the idea for nearly a year but couldn't quite push myself over the ledge into the writing world, which is funny because now I can't claw my way back out LOL

3. Tell us about your book. Where did you get the idea from? How long have you been on working on it? When will it be available to buy?

It's a YA Paranormal Romance about a girl who's parent are murdered and their souls are stolen. She has to try and retrieve their souls so that they can be free.
The question is, will she be able to free them and will she fall in love along the way.
As for where I got the idea from? I don't actually know. I just woke up one day and realised that I had an idea for a book and would love to see my name on a book cover.
I've been working on it since about November 2012. I do want it to be available to buy soon, but have yet to write the last third and then embrace the world of self publishing.

4. What do you enjoy most about writing? Do you find it to be an outlet for yourself? Is there anything you don't like?

What I like most is the fact that it comes to me easier than I had thought it would. I'm not saying what I've written is good, it could be a load of crap, but it comes to my mind thick and fast and my fingers have a job of keeping up with the thoughts in my head.
I had a plan for where this book would go but from when i started writing it, it has lead me astray.
The basic premise is still the same, but how I get from beginning to end is not the journey I planned. Not that that's a bad thing. I hope! ;)

5. Did you plan your book or are a "by the seat of your pants" kind of writer?

I did have a plan. I wrote what I thought was 6 chapters, in a notebook because at the time I didn't have a laptop with Word on it.
However, once i got a laptop with Word, I realised that what I thought was going to be 6 chapters was only about 2 and I had to go back and put more description in because I didn't have enough.
I put a self-imposed ban on writing over Christmas 2012 and thought that when I got back to writing that I would actually do some planning because the first part just came to me.
However, I got this physical ache in my gut that told me I need to write. So this last week I have turned 39,004 words into 55,646 in just 4 days.

6. There are thousands of books released every year. How do you feel about being in that kind of market? Do you have plans for how to promote yourself? What would you say to other people who are thinking of entering the writing world but feel depressed that they'll never make anything of themselves through it?

Well I intend to self publish, and let it just be e-books at first. Once I see if it sells or not, I will then consider using Createspace to publish paperbacks. 
I don't know much about promotion but I am working so much on the writing that I am hoping to have some thoughts on promotion ince I type The End.
As for anyone wanting to write, i say WRITE. Do it for yourself, not for anyone else. You have to be happy with your book before anyone else will be. You have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and say to yourself "I Can Do This" because you can. If I can, trust me, anyone can!

7. The world's a pretty dark place at the moment. What would you do to change it?

I would write more books for people to get lost in. If I feel down, I read or write. It always cheers me up to be out of the RL world for a bit. 

8. If you could give a message to the world, what would it be?

Be kinder to each other. There is too much hate and life is too short. Let's work together to make this world a better place.

9. If you look at the media, things appear to be falling apart on a daily basis; economies, relationships, businesses etc. What are your hopes for the world in 2013?

For this country to pull itself out of its recession. For government to actually stand up and do something right.

10. Finally, where can we find you online?

You can find my blog here: www.gothicangelbookreviews.blogspot.com

My Facebook Pages:

Twitter: @Gothic_Angel28

Thank you for the interview Rae, I only hope that your readers will take a chance on this Indie Author.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The News In Brief

This was an email I sent to a friend, briefly detailing my Christmas and New Year. It made him laugh so I thought I'd share it with you.

The News In Brief

- We survived December 21st! Yay! Time to annoy my apocalypse loving  friend.

- Fuzzcopter out at 8am Christmas Eve.

- Christmas Day looked a lot like this:

- New Year's Eve looked a lot like this:


- This made me laugh (If you find this video is blocked for you, go to You Tube and search for "British Guide to Marshalling". The actual video title is "Aircraft Marshalling 12 Sqn way" and should be the first video in the search results. Enjoy!!)

- I has lots of new pens. Think people are trying to tell me something.

- *yawn* Back to work properly.

Sunday, 6 January 2013


Firstly, Happy New Year! I know it's a bit late but I hope that you're all settling in to the new year and have great plans. :)

*** Trigger Warning: Rape ***

Over the past few days I've spoken (on Facebook and Twitter at least) a lot about something called OpRollRedRoll (#OpRollRedRoll on Twitter). The story behind it has been gathering momentum over the past couple of weeks. The details are too immense to go into with new evidence coming to light every day. You can read about what started it at this Huffington Post story. The story is bad enough; I've not dared to watch the video and don't think I'll ever be able to bring myself to.

Why am I concerning myself with a crime story from thousands of miles away? Why not? Not only should something like this concern many people, it's also one which is close to my heart.

You see, I'm one of possibly millions of Jane Doe's, women who've been attacked and who, for whatever reason never got the justice they deserved. Some may have been too scared to speak, fearing ridicule and worse. Some, as with this story, may have been told it wasn't worth pursuing a prosecution for whatever reason. A huge one is evidence. The evidence of a rape, especially in drugged cases, can disappear in hours. Unless the person knows what happened, by the time they find out it's normally too late to do anything.

Thankfully, with this case, there is mountains over evidence, all of it being brought to light by hacker group Anonymous. Normally I wouldn't condone what they do but, this time, I feel that they've done the right thing which is why I've stepped up to offer my support. You too can help. If you're on Twitter, search for the hastag. If you're not, there's a Facebook page where people are linking to petitions and information.

No one, whether female or male, should have to hide in the wake of abuse against them. No one should have to feel so hopeless that they feel that their only option is to kill themselves (as we saw recently in the Indian cases). No one should be told that they can't have justice. No one should have to go through what this young woman is going through. No one should find themselves, as a victim, being blamed for being raped.

If you feel you can stand up for someone, no matter what the incident, do so. You never know who you're going to help.

Happy 2013, everyone! May yours be blessed and filled with light, love, safety and freedom.