The Kingfisher moment, Or Why I don’t support the MRAs.

azure-kingfisher-ct280-280x220Today, as with most days, I spent an hour walking in one of the pockets of bushland near my home, just trying to take a breath and remember that not everywhere is concrete and steel, and that beauty is still around me. It gives me a chance to think, to create, to dream and to contemplate this crazy world we live in. This morning however I observed something about myself that I felt I should share
As I walked along a track, surrounded by grevilleas, Tea trees and gums, the sound of birdsong in the air, I heard the familiar sound of crows up ahead, calling to each other and I knew they were talking about somebody up ahead on the track. Soon I saw a woman, I’m guessing in her 40’s, walking away from me.
Now I walk quickly, a product of bushwalking with my brother as a child, his motto being, “Keep up or get left behind.” At my less-than-leisurely pace I would catch up with her quickly. Then this conversation happened in my head.
“Slow down. Your in the bush, alone, and having an old fart come up behind you could be a little frightening to a woman on her own in the bush.”
I slowed and stopped, and spent a few moments just watching a kingfisher going in and out of its nest, having tunnelled into a termite mound up a tree nearby.
After this I continued on my way, never seeing the woman again.
Did she notice? Would she ever realise I had given her space so she’d not feel uncomfortable? Almost definitely no, but that’s not why I did it. I did it because at the cost of a couple of minutes watching a royal blue kingfisher in it’s natural habitat,(Not really a cost at all), I ensured I didn’t perpetuate the air of danger that has become commonplace for women today.
Now the MRA brigade would howl, “Why should I have to change my habits just so some uptight woman doesn’t feel threatened. It’s her hangup not mine.”
To the members of my gender who still don’t understand we live in a world where the next President of the US can laugh about sexually assaulting women. If you can’t see that kind of world puts all women on the defensive, then I don’t know what will. To you I say, who the hell made your feelings more important than anyone else’s? When did giving up a minute or two of your precious time become more important than ensuring others feel secure.
I think a lot about this world we live in, and as an observer of people, I find it’s important to stop sometimes, take a breath and step into other people’s shoes
Who knows? In the space of that breath, you might find your humanity.


Splitting my Blog A Question for my fellow authors.

End the violence.

Its time. The discussion on Women’s equality recently here in the land of Aus, has prompted me to start a second blog, (where will I find the time?) called somewhat appropriately Not All Men Are Bastards.
This will leave Part Time Lunatic for my more creative pursuits and my take on the writerly game.
So here’s where life stands at this moment in time. I’ve been sick for a couple of weeks and as a part timer no money’s coming in from my side. (No this is not a call for donations LOL) My writing has suffered though I have been learning a few new tricks for editing book two Immortal Darkness, still aiming for Christmas release.
Learning lots about Past Perfect and Simple Past, and I can see some of your heads nodding off so I won’t bore you.
Book two is looking like running to about 90k words and I’m mostly happy with the way its gone.
Now here’s a big question to the female writers and readers out there. There have been discussions out there about female tropes used in spec fiction, and one caught my eye because I am skating very close to that particular edge with an event in my book.
So here’s the thing, (possible Spoiler alert) A character, female, imprisoned and experiences abuse that only happened in her mind, a false memory implanted to break down her psychic barriers. A complete and terrible violation that is only alluded to as I am still aiming at the PG rating, so to speak. The focus is on the people in the false memory who perpetrate the abuse, including the main character. Shifts the reader from the act of violation to the relationship fallout that follows upon freedom. The PTSD is played out over the subsequent Chapters, bringing out the emotional and the psychological impact of the interrogation. Questions are raised including reality vs illusory reality but the plot revolves for a time around her struggle with it. She does recover and return to her butt kicking self, stronger and ready to face the next challenge. With some help from the elves she overcomes the burden of the memory after all she knows what’s real.
Here’s my question. Is this an overused trope?
Personally I’ve known a number of women who had been abused, and witnessed the long term damage that it does and the power of a woman who survives such a thing. For me this subplot allows me to express some things that are close to my heart and I’m hoping that it is a shared emotion with the readers.
Any thoughts, Ideas or Abuse?
Please comment below.

Chris Kneipp
Part Time Lunatic and full time human being.