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Michelle's corner

Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)

Currently reading

Zero Point
Neal Asher
Your Beauty Mark. All You Need to Get the Hair, Makeup, Glow, and Glam.
Dita von Teese
Progress: 208/256 pages

Why writing is bad for my health...

On a typical week day morning, I rise at about 4am. By 6:30am I'm driving my car away from home. I wait until gone 5:30pm before starting the return drive from work and usually reach home again at anywhere between 6:30pm to 7pm, depending on how dramatically someone's car wants boot-sex with the car in front that evening. (I see some drivers tail-gating so badly that the vision brings me to mind of one dog sniffing another dogs behind.) That gives me about 2 hours to get on top of all the private correspondence before I hit bed in order to repeat the whole thing again the following day. I deliberately wait until the bulk of the traffic has cleared so that it is easier on both my nerves, and my car.

Over the course of two years I came down from 15st 5lb to 12st 0 but now I'm hovering at about 12st 9lb because my exercise levels have hit the deck. Most of my very limited free time now, is spent writing.

Many of my friends and peers think I'm out of my tiny brain because I'm burning the candle at both ends and in the middle in order to get this series out of my system. This writing will partly explain why.

I'm currently writing book 3 which is entitled, "From The Cradle," and as you can guess, it deals with birth. Yup, a BDSM book where children are involved. Heard of walking on eggs? Well, right now I'm walking on the whole damn hen house. However, I've got a message that I need to get out of my system. I've already shown with the best figures that I've got available, that a sizeable chunk of the population is biased towards kink in some way or another, and it stands to reason that these people are also parents who, like any other parents, want nothing less than the best for their children.

I had one problem ... my lack of knowledge on childbirth.

Of course, I know a bit about my own birth. My Mother has, like all mothers do, taken ample opportunity to embarrass me in front of my friends.

Apparently, I was a screamer at the birth itself, with powerful lungs. Mum recounts being able to hear me all the while that I was being carried down the hospital corridor in Bridgend, South Wales. I was also an intelligent blighter too, highly curious and also adept at escapology at a very early age. I would escape my cot and be wandering around the house, unbeknownst to my parents who would still be in bed.

To counter my wanderlust, Dad fitted hooks and eyes to the top corners of the doors, so you can imagine their shock when I was found to have retrieved the broom from the hallway cupboard and was using it to unhook the doors! Mum recounted that, "Well, you wasn't even three, I don't think." I was also known for my catch phrase, "Tea Hot Mum! Tea hot!" when we were up and about, and Mum would make a cup of tea; at that stage I was drinking out of cups. No surprise then, when I would become fascinated by computers and later on, join Mensa.

However, being transsexual, I will never experience the harder side of child birth first hand, and while I have personal experience of abuse, my last decade of relative safety has combined with the desire to repress those memories and now, I am more biased to the aspect of BDSM freedoms.

In to this mix, steps Amie Daniels. Amie is a fellow author who became a friend over Twitter, I approached her for help in answering questions I had regarding child birth. As it turned out, her job is in women’s services. Obviously, I won't say where or exactly what. However, she has a lot of experience dealing with both birth and abuse, and it was her help that balanced my own experiences. If anything I had written was powerful enough to, "trigger," her, she'd let me know, and provide me with information as to why; so I could alter how a particular scene played out. When it comes to BDSM and abuse, it is a fine line to walk and no matter what you write, there will always be someone who will be offended or, "triggered," but with Amie's involvement I am happy that I'm on the side of reality and honesty.

Amie, of course, taught me about doula services; something which I didn't know about and of my friends that I've asked, they didn't know either, so I took the opportunity to publicise their existence by writing them in to the book. When I did my research on childbirth and BDSM, I forwarded the result (which nevertheless went in to several pages!) to Amie, and she commented back on it. Although not a midwife, her opinion and experience was miles above mine and I was able to make the advice more accurate as a result. I had to sound the warning in the preface, however, that the advice given in the story line is no replacement for a medical expert because, when you come down to it, society still thinks BDSM is very fringe (despite the evidence to the contrary) and honest, professional, peer reviewed information is very hard to come across. People have been surviving on whatever could be passed on social media in order to stay safe and, as backward politicians and the vocal minority fight to shut down access to such web sites, I wanted to have at least something mainstream that people could use as a starter for ten should those backward numbskulls we call politicians, ever succeed in their goal to close off vital health information in the guise of clamping down on pornography.

Also, without Amie, my depiction of labour and childbirth wouldn't have been realistic, or to time. I wanted to paint reality throughout the series and that includes the emotions that both L and Mark went through; to carry the message that it's OK and natural to be concerned, worried or even depressed during the process; and not to be ashamed if you, as either an impending father or mother, feel those things; it's natural and help is available. Amie was able to confirm that I was on the right line and steer me back when I ventured slightly off my intended course.

So there you have it. Thanks to Amie, I was able to more accurately navigate the real line between abuse and BDSM life, and also pass on some information regarding safety, health and mothering options that are useful to people whether they are BDSM or not.

Now ... you see why I am so emotionally invested in the series, why I'm burning the candle so viciously and why this series has nothing in common with Shades. 2016 will need to start with a break and a heavy duty return to fitness classes, because I'll probably be an emotional and physical wreck at the end of it!