So what’s on the agenda?

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Okay, I’m back — and thinking about additional pages I want to design for my blog, posts to write, images and quotes to add, even some audio and visual features I hope to create.

I want my blog to be a space where certain aspects of life and love can be wondered about, where questions are asked and answers may be found. In the hope that something here sparks your curiosity or resonates in your heart, I draw from my background in professional psychology and other life experience so as to explore and share with you some of the themes and subject areas I’m most interested in and care about–in particular, those that relate to the major themes, lead characters, and cultural context of my novel The Flying Girl:

—  Relationships:  Between spouses and partners, lovers and friends; between mothers or fathers and daughters or sons. Why do so many of us date or marry people who turn out to be other than what we hope or expect? Is there such a thing as soul mates? Are we destined to repeat the past, or can we heal and learn from it, even transform it into a gift we can bring to others?

—  Coming-of-age:  How do we emerge from childhood to adulthood prepared for healthy, responsible sexual intimacy, without shame or fear, and with respect and value given to our own and others’ bodies and sexuality? If we overcome a lack of information, the effects of myth or bias, repression or abuse, and imbue our experience with more meaning and value, might we engage in more loving relationships, reduce the prevalence of sexual violence, and lessen the pain of abuse and victimization?

—  The Sixties, The “Sexual Revolution” and “Women’s Lib,” and San Francisco: The era and setting in which my novel-in-progress, The Flying Girl, takes place. I’ll be writing about 60’s politics, the Hippies, the Beat influence, the “Pill” and its effects on sexual morays, the jazz of the Beat era and the San Francisco rock explosion that followed, 60’s counterculture values and spirituality, fashion, and more. Watch for pictures, images, and posts about the real Sixties in San Francisco communicated by people who were actually there.

Judge not . . . lest ye be wrong.

yellow tulips beneath blue skyI sometimes am asked about the kinds of subjects and characters I like to write about.

While I haven’t necessarily set out to do sonot consciously, anyway—it seems that, one way or another and more often than not, the underlying themes of both my fiction and non-fiction writing are rooted in certain needs central to the well-being of us all:

  • the need to be seen, heard, and understood;
  • the need to be respected and accepted without judgement;
  • the need to love and be loved for who we are.

Pretty basic stuff.

As you’ve probably noticed, people aren’t always what they seem. We make assumptions and think we know who others are, then find we have a lot to learn—hopefully, anyway, assuming we have a capacity for self-reflection. Misperceptions come easily, and many are quick to judge. Age, race, size, gender, religion, occupation, education level, liberal/conservative, married/single, gay/straightthe labeled lenses through which we view ourselves and others go on and on.

Maybe we try to deny we have our own pet prejudices, but they’re likely there, somewhere, tucked away in embarrassment or shame. Out of ignorance and fear, we needlessly, and often cruelly, separate ourselves and others into groups and categories, types of “we” and “they,” then look the other way. Continue reading