This Writer is Sponsored by Herself

This is an interesting topic regarding money and writing. I never thought about it like that. It was always me that had to support myself no matter what I do, and having a man occasionally invading my life didn’t change that. Either they didn’t have the money for such endeavors as sponsoring their loved one to become a writer, or they had money, but I didn’t want them to do a thing like that. It was always a normal thing for me, that if I needed money, I would go and get a job and earn it myself. Basically people would call it pride, but I call it a normal thinking due to the fact that I am the only one who took care of myself and learned how to do it since I left home at 18. I’m 32 now, and have gained valuable experience so far in that field, at first financing my MA doing the job that I hated but that somehow stays with you because working behind a bar in my country is basically the quickest job that you can find and it pays well, when they decide to pay you. Wild wild West out there. But still, it is an experience that you learn from and you learn about people, management, even politics and sometimes the forbidden things. Well, often. That mixture of learning everything about it over a period of time, and all the other perks that come with the territory, encouraged me to start writing again, and I am really happy about that. Just to be clear, I am my own sponsor. Like this article says, I am not looking for a man for his money or sponsorship, I am looking for a man who will be brave enough not to do it, and respect my decisions about it, brave enough to handle me for a longer period of time. I’m being optimistic:) And if he is dark, tall, handsome, intelligent, one word, special, it would help;)

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

the-lovers-tarot-card So I now look for partners with a job, a car, a driver’s license, and a good sense of humor.

Kelly Sundberg, Brevity‘s managing editor, responds to recent posts here and on Salon:

For almost nine years, I was married to a man who was our family’s primary source of income. During this time, I finished my undergraduate degree, had a baby, completed an MFA, and wrote the first draft of my memoir. You could say—I guess—that my then-husband sponsored me during that time. Still, although he was the primary breadwinner, I didn’t spend my days lounging around sipping mimosas in puddles of sunshine while lazily scrawling my manuscript. Things were still tough, and the day that I walked out on my marriage, I said firmly and clearly to anyone who would listen: I will never be financially dependent on my partner again.

Judging by my Facebook…

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All the world is a stage!

Recently I went to a Circus of Horrors show, which was an interesting experience. There were elements of Grand Guignol, well, as you know, if there is bllod, gore and/or monsters, it has something to do with this French horror theatre. I posted a review on The Gothic Imagination Blog, which I recommend to all of you interested in Gothic and horror, as it deals with articles, blog posts and reviews of literature, films and events of this kind. It is a great source of different and interesting information, so be sure to check it out. I am posting my review of the show here as well, so let me know your thoughts and would you go and see the show after reading it.


Review: The Night of the Zombie, The Circus of Horrors, Albert Halls, Stirling, February 1st, 2015


The lights inside the venue suddenly went out. Darkness was holding each and every member of the audience in its strong grip. Vague shapes on the dark stage started to move, accompanied by unfamiliar noises that caused shivers going down my spine. All of a sudden a deep, howling and ominous voice started telling the story of terror that is about to happen in front of our eyes, the story of “a decrepit corpse ridden London, plagued by Zombies, a city ruled by the undead and climaxing in an awesome flaming apocalypse”. The Night of the Zombie has begun. Set in 2020, “the story twists and turns with grisly murders and sensational shocks – all interwoven with some of the greatest and most bizarre circus acts on earth, sword swallowers, knife throwers, daredevil balancing acts, astounding aerialists, a demon dwarf, a Guinness World Record holding ‘hairculian’ hair hanging beauty, Sinister Sisters, gyrating & fire limboing acrobats & much more”. And much more it was. The Circus of Horrors exists in the deviant world of horror performance for over 20 years, and it is the only circus show of this kind. It has amazed and shocked Britain’s Got Talent, and as of recently, the West End Theatre, with their talented performers, great music and horror driven acts. There was sex, there was blood, extraordinary hair suspension act and good humour all in one night of extreme entertainment. I couldn’t help thinking about how the concept reminded me of Grand-Guignol, the French horror theatre, which I introduced in my previous posts here. The programme is conceptualized around the ever popular zombie narrative, and accordingly, performers were in the roles of the Undead, exercising a range of different and extraordinary circus acts that even the Freaks (1932) director Tod Browning would find very interesting. The narrator, Doc Haze, spectacularly introduced the audience to the blood, gore and explicit scenes that they are about to witness in this three hour long show, held at the Albert Halls in Stirling. A strong theatrical figure like Doc Haze made us jump out of our seats with every song he sang during the show, and although he met his doom by the end of this event in a very realistic portrayal of beheading by guillotine, the melodic line of his voice as well as the choice of classic heavy metal and other popular songs combined with the rock and roll music by The Circus of Horrors resident band, The Interceptors from Hell, drove the audience to ecstatic excitement and shock during the show. The fourth wall was breached with the sudden appearance of numerous zombies crawling their way to the stage through the rows of seats of the Albert Halls venue, scaring the audience members in the process. The interaction with the audience during the whole show was present and vital for this show to make an impact on the minds of the viewers, as the horrors from the stage came to life and reached the world of reality. Eroticism filled the space with the presence of beautiful gore zombie ladies dressed in gothic and s&m clothes, who dragged some of the chosen audience members on the stage to help further build a story of the Undead lurking in the dark corners of the venue in a historical and Gothic town that is Stirling. Some of the regular acts is Captain Dan, who shows us that love has no boundaries in his presentation of an unconventionally funny and erotic relationship with his “civil wife”, Henry the Hoover, and that humour is an omnipresent and important part of the show, which Grand-Guignol directors also recognized in building a reputation for this theatre, using the exchange of horror and comedy during one night of entertainment. Another thing hiding in the dark corners of The Circus of Horrors setting was none other than Nosferatu incarnation, Drew Blood, the second character who is a part of The Circus of Horrors since its beginnings, fang to fang with the already mentioned Doc Haze.

Drew Blood made Nosferatu go through slight change from the monster of the silver screen as we know it and the monster, theatrical circus performer; he’s not a shy, misunderstood creature anymore, instead he is freed from the chains of suppressed sexuality, with the burlesque-like allure, but still attaining vampire features. Pretty grotesque! Or is it? Maybe that would be something that is expected from a creature who is damned to eternal darkness, if he wasn’t damned to roam the world alone as a character who helped build our vision of creatures of the night. On the downside, if one can consider it that, from the promotional aspect, I got the impression that blood will flow in buckets and that it was going to be more in-your-face and all-over-your-clothes grand-guignolesque circus show. However, there was no room for disappointment, especially considering the limits of the venue where The Circus of Horrors performed in the first place.

Finally, using the popular culture references throughout the show and presenting the talent of circus performers and musicians to the audience, The Circus of Horrors is a must see show for fans of horror genre, and if you are not one of those people, after this show you will be. Guaranteed. A night of horror and terror became an expected night of great fun combined with talented circus acts and horror elements which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Quotes taken from The Circus of Horrors website:

The Circus of Horrors tour:

P.S. You can see my photos that go with the review here: AyaGravesPhotography

Back from the dead!

It has been a long time since I posted anything. Even though January is my month, we didn’t get along this year, being ill, lacked focus, working hard…but we’ve come to an agreement in the end, and I am so glad that my focus is back. I started reading again a lot, which helps me focus on the tasks I need to finish. I am really grateful for writers like Neil Gaiman, because his quote: Finish things!, was an encouragement enough to start doing it. I wrote a couple of reviews, abstracts, stories and I am currently launching my own freelance photography business!The excitement is back, and so am I 🙂

I came across this quote today:


…and that is exactly how I feel, regarding my writing and all my academic and non-academic activities. When I was younger, I always had something to say, but I was too shy (imagine that!) to do anything about it. As I was growing up, and because of different experiences and events that shaped my personality, that shyness changed into “I want to tell stories, I want to encourage and inspire people, I want to make a difference!” I realized that I was already doing that, by staying true to myself and being brave enough to change my life for the better. After I left Croatia to pursue my future elsewhere, people were messaging me and saying that I inspire them to make that hard step toward changing their own lives, and it was a beautiful feeling!  It still is, no matter the problems or obstacles I often encounter, but then again, I don’t think I know how it is when life is simple for you, because for me it has always been to choose, unwillingly at times, the road less travelled. But that is how you build your own character, your own identity, by making choices, by trying hard and by not giving up. Lesson learned. Onto the harder Level. I always did love a challenge 🙂