Are we re-living the 1930s?

My social media presence seems to be changing. I used to write about sex, writing, and my medical work. Now I am writing more about political issues.

I just spent 45 minutes on the phone to my partner, and I had nothing better to talk about than the xenophobia and racism I see everywhere. We used to talk about love, sex, books we read, stuff like thatNow we talk about how somehow, it feels as if we lived in 1930. And I have been thinking about all that anti-Muslim talk. Recently, whenever I take a taxi, the taxi drivers, most of them of Pakistani origin talk about it. They seem scared, vulnerable.

And I had an idea.

How about if we replaced the word “Muslim” by the word ““Jew”?

Try it. And then think about the choice German people had in the beginning. And how they mainly looked on without doing anything. Are we the same? I am afraid we are.

I am also imagining Putin invading Estonia and Europe and America not doing anything, like we did nothing with Ukraine and Crimea.

Scary, if you ask me!

Maybe I should start writing about sex again. I am editing my book for a re-publish. It might cheer me up.

Enclosing a symbol of Love. Kind of a good ending,  ha?

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Do we need Alien invasion to bring us to our senses? I hope not.

I have just come back from my birth country, Czech Republic. I like going there, Prague is beautiful, and I have many good friends there.

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However, I can see the same nationalistic shift there as in other countries. Far right parties- small but growing, people constantly talking about the Islamist threat, the racism towards Roma, or, as most Czechs call them, Gypsies. The generalisations, the fear.

There is an old competition where Czech people vote for the most popular pop and rock musicians. It is called Zlaty Slavik- Gold Nightingale. This year, an obviously fascist group called Ortel got the Silver. I looked at you tube, listened to their songs. It was shocking. The lyrics are clever, just skirting the boundary of legality. Manipulating people’s frustration and fear. The disaffected, unsuccessful people who want change. People who don’t feel part of the society. It seems to be happening everywhere, Brexit, French and American election.

Fear and frustration makes people hateful.

I speak to my generation of Czechs, people who are intelligent and educated, people who should know better, but they seem to be suffering from the same blinkered right wing and xenophobic views. I find it scary.

But then, there is the other side.

I read this obituary of Fidel Castro. No mentioning of the prisons, censorship, oppression. The obituary portraits Fidel Castro as an almost saintly figure. Not true.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/26/fidel-castro-obituary

I grew up in a communist country, and I could never understand the Western enthusiasm for Mao Zedong, or Che Guevara.

For a while after emigration, I made a mistake, assuming that enemies of my enemies are my friends. So, I had my blinkered, slightly right wing period.But then I started to use my brain. Asking questions, distinguishing between opinions and facts.

And here I come to the things I worry about.

If you present opinions as facts, or if you accept other people’s opinion as facts, how can you ever discover the truth?

The binary vision of the world is, in my opinion, dangerous.

The “ Them and Us”.

Will it lead to wars? I hope not.

I came back to the Brexit United Kingdom.  Place where the sentiment about “Make England real again”.

Not so different to “Make America Great Again” of Donald Trump.

I have friends from different ethnic groups. I am a non-believing Jewish Czech living in England.What is my identity? Well, I think I am a person. I truly believe people all around the world have more in common than they think. I am thinking about Rudyard Kipling:  “We are of the same blood you and I”

Which brings me to this, something I found on Facebook:

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Maybe the differences could be reconciled.

Somebody told me about a quote, by Ronald Reagan, then repeated by Bill Clinton;

“Alien Invasion Will Usher in World Peace”Maybe, let’s hope that is not the only solution.

Sounds a bit extreme to me.

Going it alone, scary and exhilarating, wish me luck.

I am changing things.

I am leaving Authoright with the Clink Street Publishing. Somehow, it no longer worked for me.
I will use the opportunity to re-write my first book a bit – mainly culling some parts- I am a woman of many words. I will re-publish it together with my sequel. maybe even break it into a trilogy. That will help me not to have to be so careful about not writing too much.

I will use kindle direct publishing. I should have done that the first-time round, but I  did not have a clue how it all works.

I learn from my mistakes.

Like with my sexual revolution and writing, I learnt a lot.
I will need to find a publishing editor, proof-reader and cover designer, but I hopefully know what I am doing, second time round.
This will mean my book might not be available for some time, so if any of you want it, get it on amazon now.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Woman-No-Strings-Att…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

https://www.amazon.com/Woman-No-Strings-Attac…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

HINT HINT LOL.

It is a bit scary, like fast skiing. But I like that!

Wish me luck!

Lucie

 

How a musical about shoes and drag queens made me cry

It has been twenty years since I have seen a musical. But I saw one today, in London.

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The main reason I went to see it was because the songs were by a singer I like- Cyndi Louper. I like her energy, her quirkiness.

Before I went, I spoke to a friend who saw it before. She said it was a silly musical about shoes, not at all intellectual. “You will most likely not want to see another musical for another twenty years.” she said.

I expected a light, forgettable entertainment, nothing more.

But I got a surprise. It is a strange story of a shoemaker who starts making different type of shoes, high heeled boots for male cross dressers. Apparently, it is a real story, although different to the musical. Here is a link:

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/600025/Kinky-boots-factory-WJ-Brookes

The music was OK but not amazing.

But the musical was not about shoes. It was about accepting people like Lola- an outrageous male Drag Queen for what they are. It was about tolerance, and adapting, and changing opinions.

I like that. And very surprisingly, it made me cry. I rarely cry at films or theatre, but I seem to cry at surprising productions. I remember that when I saw the film “Truman show” which was supposed to be a comedy, I started crying and could not stop.

Well, today, I only cried a little.

Some quotes:

“Accept people for what they really are”

“You can change the world if you change your opinion!”

Deeper than you might expect in a “silly musical about shoes”, ha?

Don Giovanni- an opera about sexual attraction

 

mozart

Sometimes you read a book, see the play or opera again after many years, and it is completely different. With books, the change is probably in the reader, it happened to me many times. The book was the same, I was a different person to when I read it first.

It happened to me in Prague with Don Giovanni.

I saw it in the same theatre where it premiered on 29th October 1787.

I know the opera well, I saw it about 25x with my first boyfriend, an opera singer, who loved it, and in Covent Garden with a friend this July, but this production was very different. Two young male directors, rather bold. I like bold. It was fantastic albeit rather controversial.
Worked for me, but they were almost having sex on the stage. There was a scene when Don Giovanni is seducing the rather flirty Zerlina, but you are not completely sure who is seducing whom. Zerlina removes and then puts on again -no nudity seen, this is opera- bright red panties, as a powerful sexual symbol. The scene of Don Giovanni and Zerlina was rather erotic, although they were again fully dressed. Zerlina in this production was not a poor seduced peasant girl, she was a young woman who is having fun and who was clever enough to get away with it.
It was all somehow tongue in cheek, you almost sympathised with Don Giovanni, because he was smart and rather charming albeit non-scrupulous. It made sense, why would all those women fall for him if not for his charm?!  The others- Elvira, Donna Anna, Masetto, seemed, somehow a bit stupid. More moral, but rigid, their characters rather uni -dimensional.

Leporello and Zerlina were not. They were smart and witty. It made me think about how revolutionary having smart peasants or servants was in 18th century.

It is the same in Marriage of Figaro. Of course, Pierre de Beaumarchais who wrote the original play was thrown to the Bastille for it by an offended Louis XVI. Even as an opera, the text is pretty revolutionary. I knew that, but somehow, I never noticed this with Don Giovanni before.

I loved it and the singing was very good, too. I love going to Prague, see all those old places and old friends. If you have never been, try it!

And nope, I am not being paid by the Czech Tourist board.

http://www.narodni-divadlo.cz/en/show/5693

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Giovanni

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Nope, it is NOT Erotica

book blogToday, I looked at my book Amazon page and found two nice reviews that I did not know about. I never look. One recent, one a year old. From strangers.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucie-Nov%C3%A1k/e/B00LFSJ2PU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1475092573&sr=1-2-ent

 Here is what they said:

4.0 out of 5 stars

Interesting, Good Read

By Some Chick on August 4, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

This is an interesting book. I enjoyed the voice of the storyteller and her pragmatic way of speaking. This isn’t a naughty erotica story. It’s a novel about a 50-something woman’s awakening in her own life. It doesn’t just cover sex, which she finally learns to enjoy. This book shows the personal growth of a strong woman taking charge of her life. I especially liked the titbits taking me into thoughts and memories of communist Prague. I’m looking forward to more by this author.

the next one

5.0 out of 5 stars

Great book

By Brad Powellon September 13, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This book is fascinating, the writer does a great job describing this awesome stories.

I highly recommend this book, a must read.

 It is so nice when readers review a book, I should do it more often. And my readers have been very kind.

It made me think about the only bad review I had.  This negative review amused me, because the reviewer, a man, said:

 “It’s only potential value is as a primer on how to *not* write erotic literature. “

laughing-smiley-face-clip-art-smiley-face-clip-art10 (1)Funny !

The reason why it was funny was the fact that although my book has a lot of sex in it- so has life- it is by no means Erotica. I would be indeed more worried if it was praised as erotic literature.

I looked up Erotica definition:

Erotic literature comprises fictional and factual stories and accounts of human sexual relationships which have the power to or are intended to arouse the reader sexually.

Well, my book has sex in it, lots of sex. But life often has a lot of sex in it. I really do not think my chapters about sex have the power to arouse the reader sexually.

But even if they do, they were not intended to arouse the reader sexually.

So no, IT IS NOT EROTICA! And yes, I am shouting.

I do not like books being pigeon holed into genres anyway. But “A Woman with (no) Strings Attached” is a love story. It is also about politics, dating, breaking taboos, and about self- discovery.

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A reader wishing to be sexually aroused would be disappointed.

And that is a good thing!

My Plans:

I am thinking about editing my first book a bit, making it shorter, and then publishing both parts together, maybe even dividing it all into a trilogy.

I am parting company with Authoright, but the action from their side is painfully slow.I am getting a bit impatient. But it will happen.

I am going to Prague, my native city for two weeks, so won’t have time for writing anyway.

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Losing prejudices is hard, but I have managed to lose one

Ever since June, I like groups of other women more.

This summer, I got a revelation. I never liked being in a group of other women, I always had female and male friends, but if it was a group, I always preferred to be with men, or in a mixed group. Somehow, I found men easier. They seemed more direct, less manipulative, nicer.

Then I joined Women reading aloud Writer’s retreat in Greece in June.Apart from me, they were all American ( one Canadian). Are the Americans nicer?

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I blogged about it, remember?

https://luciemuses.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/i-am-starting-to-think-i-am-a-writer/

Those women were different. It was not the fact that they were all smart and educated, most of my friends are. It was the fact that they were kind, non-judgemental, tolerant, and such fun to be with!

Last week, one of the writer’s group, Joanie came to visit me. She was coming to Europe, and asked if she could “pop in”.

She left today.

I had three days of company of a quirky, smart, nice woman, and we felt as if we were old friends.

We talked almost non-stop, but we also listened.

I listened to something she wrote, she started reading my book.

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I feel  really close to all those other women from the retreat. I cannot wait to go again next year.

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One of my prejudices- against women’s groups is gone.

Losing prejudices is always a good thing!

Thank you, all!