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Courage: Death On Your Own Terms

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 14, 2014 in News & Opinion |

Brittany Maynard has, for some people decided to take the easy way out: she has planned her own death for November 1, and already has the medication to carry it through. She is suffering from cancer and will die sooner rather most people would wish and, if the diagnosis is correct, her death would not be a pleasant one.

No one, I heard recently, has the Right to die. We all have the right to live, as best we can, but are not allowed, in many parts of the world, to choose our own means of death or the date on which we take our lives. Suicide is still a crime, because life is considered precious and, of course, irreplaceable.

Already she has been called a coward, a person who is weak and taking the easy way out of a situation she can have no control over. She should, it has been suggested, hang on in there and simply suffer until the light finally goes out. She should die a gruesome death in a hospital bed or out on the street, with pain.

Suicide can be called a coward’s way out, but not in this case. Brittany Maynard is in full control of her senses, at the moment, not depressed, not facing any major obstacles in life which might otherwise be sorted out, brought back to rights. She has made a considered decision based on the facts, on her limited future, and has decided to die in a controlled, painless manner with family and friends. There is nothing cowardly about this decision. She is a young woman, at twenty-nine, who would otherwise have everything to live for, given the time. Time, however, is not on her side as far as life is concerned, she has a few months before the pain begins, before she begins to lose her senses, before she becomes a burden to someone else.

Not everyone can do it, make such a decision and with care and forethought. Brittany Maynard has, however, done it with bravado and consideration for those around her. She is not a coward, she is someone who has accepted her fate and is stepping in towards it the best way that she can.

  • Viktoria Michaelis.

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Lecrae Moore: It’s A Bad Argument

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 13, 2014 in News & Opinion |

Let me get one thing straight before I even begin: I have no problem when someone wishes to follow a religion, regardless of which one it may be, or no religion at all. Each to their own: we’re pretty much all adults and should be able to make our own decisions. I also have no problem when someone wishes to justify their belief, although I don’t think any justification should be necessary; for me a justification is a sign that the person is not comfortable with their belief and needs to convince themselves as much as anyone else. I do, though, have a problem with those who wish to foist their religion – as the one true and only, barring all others – on everyone that they meet. Religion is not for me, belief yes, but not a dogmatic ritual which tells me exactly what I must believe and how I should go about demonstrating it. Even so, it was with some interest that I read Lecrae Moore’s interview about Christianity, and it brought a few thoughts to mind.

Viktoria Michaelis: Religion

Photo Credit: jaci XIIICreative Commons

In the interview certain portions of what he had to say about his belief have been highlighted within the text. One example is:

It was a win for the culture…

something that I can only agree with in a very limited sense. It was a win for culture, most certainly, allowing some of the most beautiful creations in architecture and art to exist based on the various legends Christianity gives us, many of which are also caught up within other religions too. Without this outburst of beauty we would, indeed, live in a very poor world. But a win for the culture? There, I’m afraid, I have to strongly disagree.

Read more…

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Art: In The Eye Of The Beholder

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 12, 2014 in Personal |

What is it that constitutes art? I have seen so many different installations, paintings, models and sundry other things which are harder to classify recently and where, in some cases, I wasn’t sure whether the work was actually a work of art, or simply something thrown together which the public should accept as art. How do we define what a work of art is and who can be called an artist? Is there a set form, or can anyone who sticks pieces of Lego together be called an artist? Can they, more to the point for the individual, earn money with whatever it is that they’ve stuck together?

Viktoria Michaelis: Art

Photo: Viktoria Michaelis – Syke Vorwerk

Today I was at an art exhibition in Syke which had a very broad mixture of different styles and forms. I can say that many of the pieces were clearly, for my taste, works of art, but there were others where I just wondered. For example: there was a hammock strung between two walls with a fan blasting cold air into the room and three (fake) puddles of water beneath. I can understand this as an installation, where there is some form of explanation, but is it also art? Does it tell the viewer something? Or, in this case, could I string up a hammock in my garden and charge an entry fee for other people to see it, to marvel at it, to seek some form of meaning behind its presence?

Love & Kisses, Viki

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It Seems Like An Age Ago

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 11, 2014 in Personal |

There are times when I don’t recognize my own writing. I don’t mean my handwriting, although that can be hard enough at times, but those things I wrote here, or as a short story, several years ago. Sometimes my writing style, the words I use, the ideas behind a blog post, behind a story or an extract, seem to have stemmed from the pen of a completely different person. Of course we all change with time, we all learn new expressions and we all communicate in a different fashion with the passage of time; we are all evolving, learning from each new day, each new experience. There are so many influences in the world, both good and bad, that it is hard not to pick up something from someone else, a small mannerism, a new word, and especially new ideas.

Viktoria Michaelis: Notebook

Photo Credit: Silvia SalaCreative Commons

When I go back through the many notes I have made, either in my small pocketbook or on the laptop, I see words which are strange to me. I have often just jotted down a thought or two, left out the meaning, hoping to be able to come back to that one moment, have it fresh in my mind again, at some later date. This rarely works. The image that I had then, whenever it was, is no longer fresh, no longer immediate. It is much the same, looking over some of my posts here, when I see a title and then wonder what it was all about. I read through the text and a form of memory comes back to me, but I am often left wondering about the person I was back then, the person who has moved on from these thoughts and experiences and, or so it seems, now has a new life.

Sometimes I come across to myself as having been very naive, very trusting, very simple, even. I remember my joy at coming here, to Germany, and my keenness to experience absolutely everything as quickly as possible. I remember many of the impressions that I gained then, but they are no longer as clear in my mind. Of course the photographs I shot back then, when I was far more active with my camera, help. The words, though, what do they have for meanings now? What are words worth when the memory they bring back is still misty, still clouded by the passage of time? This is what I am experiencing at the moment, as I work my way back into writings I had begun, and then had to drop during my return to the United States. There are new thoughts, of course, new ideas, but the original is no longer there. Time, I think to begin again, from the very beginning of each work, each story, and craft them anew.

That is the good thing about words: they create a picture for someone else, someone who has never been there when used properly. I just wish that I could see those images with the same freshness that another person experiences, and lose myself within the created worlds, the events, the characters as easily.

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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Protection Against Piracy: Worst Case?

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 10, 2014 in News & Opinion |

For those who have campaigned, complained or sworn against the use of digitalized security software on their music, preventing them from either playing it on certain types of systems or copying it for personal use – because no one copies music to sell it on to others online – perhaps your fears are indeed becoming reality. Almost anything can now be protected against copying, against those who wish to use a pirate version or a cheaper version purchased from a different source. I’ve seen it recently on the ink containers I use for my printer – without the key, no printing, it simply refuses to accept the cartridge – but matters have now become considerably worse as some companies use this technology to actively protect their market position.

Viktoria Michaelis: Coffee

Photo Credit: JonathanCohenCreative Commons

Surprisingly enough, it is not necessarily in a niche market that you would expect it to be, the protection is being applied by a company which has, theoretically at least, little to do with technology and more to do with refreshment. Before you give up trying to break another DRM code on your recently purchased music CD or film DVD and make yourself a cup of coffee, read this.

It is no longer a case of trying to protect rights, but more holding on to a share of the market by forcing customers to use one particular brand of coffee pod with their brand new coffee machine. Can this be right?

Well, yes, in a way it can. Not as far as the consumer is concerned, but certainly it makes sense for the company protecting itself from cheaper – or better, or even a wider range of – products. They want to sell their own products, which is fair enough, but at a higher price and without the fear of any form of competition. Competition is, of course, the consumer’s friend, it brings high quality – mostly – but lower prices. Not in this case. If you are strictly limited to only using the products from one single company, thanks to a limiting code on the coffee pods, there can be no competition, the price remains stable, but high.

Personally I will be sticking to my normal coffee percolator: a filter, a heap of ground coffee and hot water. At least I know that I can choose my personal favorite brand and blend without being limited by some marketing guru protecting his or her share of the market at my cost.

  • Viktoria Michaelis.

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As The Weekend Approaches

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 9, 2014 in Personal |

As the weekend fast approaches I am more than aware that I have been neglecting certain things, and that I want – as well as need – to get back into them once more. The break in Baltimore meant that I had to leave many things on my desk, just waiting for my return, no matter in what state they were, and that goes for my writing as much as anything. There are some things that you can hand over to another to be completed, and some which only one person can do. No one can write for me, no one can do my college work for me, so it all waits.

Viktoria Michaelis: Snake

Graphic Source: unknown, via Tumblr

It’s strange going back into a short story – or a longer piece – where you’ve had to leave it for a while. The circumstances have changed, you’ve had many things on your mind, your entire conception of the plot, characterization, even the ending may well have changed in the meantime. So for me now. I have several stories which I have worked on which, because of my absence, have literally been gathering dust. Now, several weeks later, I need to get back into them, to find that moment where I left off and get back into the past. I feel, as I look at the words I had already written, like a snake coming out of its old skin.

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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When Your Mind Turns To Dreams

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 8, 2014 in Immoral Conversations |

I don’t know whether you’ve seen it recently, but it seems almost to be a trend now to Tweet about other people on long journeys. There are those who are unruly, make a fuss all the time, upset the other passengers and, eventually, get escorted off the plane by the local police. Then there are those who discuss political secrets, or exchange insider tips about company stock movements, plans for the future, where a good deal can be made.

On my trip to Baltimore I purposely left both my tablet and my cell in Germany. Not that I had anyone to telephone, more because I didn’t wish to have the temptation there to go online every few minutes and run up a massive telephone bill. I may well have a flat rate – which many do in Germany – but international rates are something else again, and I certainly didn’t want them adding to what I already pay. The temptation to take photographs and then upload them would have been too much, even for me, normally very subdued when it comes to adding to my social media presence, to my Internet footprint.

Viktoria Michaelis: Beautiful Woman, Smartphone, Travel

Photo Source: unknown, via Tumblr

Some people cannot do without there little gadgets, their constant communication. In front of me there was a woman, on the flight back, who insisted on talking on the telephone through the entire flight, or so it seemed to me. She was talking to her husband, having arrived late for the flight and holding us all up. Her husband was two rows in front of her.

No, I had completely different things on my mind, in both directions, as I am sure you can understand. However, a little distraction or two would have been more than welcome, even though having someone with me, someone I love dearly, should have been distraction enough. But it all remained in my fantasy, all just a daydream because, as with most people, such things simply do not happen to me. I am always the one who wins the smallest possible amount on the lottery, the one who buys the best tickets for a concert and finds herself strategically placed behind a pillar, the one who leans over to stroke a cat and drops her brand new cell phone on concrete paving.

Still, a little distraction isn’t too much to ask for, is it?

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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Life Brings Many Changes

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 7, 2014 in Immoral Conversations |

While I was away we went through the two thousand posts mark, something I hardly need mention now really as it is clear I am going to be continuing with this blog for some time to come, and probably staying on in Germany after my course is complete in a few years time. My girlfriend – can I still call her that after so much time together? – is relieved. Not having to place a time limit on our relationship is a good thing, although I had never given much thought to the still distant future and my plans. A long time ago someone told me that my degree here wouldn’t be accepted back in the States, which could have influenced me further, but I think that problem falls by the wayside now. Aside from which, it would have been very difficult to get a good position anywhere – the States or in Europe – with my special disability.

Viktoria Michaelis: Life, Car, Mini, BMW

Photo: Viktoria Michaelis

So now we are looking at a more settled life, and a few things to enhance it. Will we stay in this apartment? Perhaps something more permanent is on the horizon. One thing we do need is a means of transport, I’m not going to have a student pass for the buses for ever, and there are so many places I want to travel to, explore, experience here without having to rely on the good offices of someone else. Perhaps, in the coming week or so, I will decide on that too. Right now I am looking at this beauty and thinking about making a major purchase. Time will tell.

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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Just So Tired

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 6, 2014 in Personal |

It’s amazing what a change in time zones can do to you. You know that I’ve been back in Germany for most of the weekend now, and I thought I’d have caught up with the time difference, the disruption to sleep patterns, by now, but it isn’t so. It was much easier traveling over to Baltimore and then keeping going through a whole day, than coming back here and only having a few hours until bedtime. The remainder of Saturday and then Sunday, I thought, should be enough. Not so. I catch myself drifting off, my head sinking slowly down, my eyes almost crossing as I try to blink myself back into wakefulness. No coffee is strong enough, and taking a nap, which is not my usual way of doing things anyway, is going to have the opposite effect. What I need to do is sleep through one complete night – again – and get my inner clock back on time.

Viktoria Michaelis: Sleep

Photo Credit: BrittneyBushCreative Commons

It’s not going to happen. This morning I was up before dawn had even thought of breakfast and getting ready for college again. There is only so much time that you can take off, and I know I’ve got a whole mess of things to catch up with. Added to which I still have things to do, arrangements to make. My father’s estate has been settled, aside from the necessary court approval, and what remains, in a physical sense, is going to be shipped over here. I don’t have a home in the States any more, my father was the last connection there. Everything that was his is now mine, and I can’t see myself putting everything out in a yard sale, certainly not the books he bought over many, many years.

At the same time I have discovered many of his little secrets, such as his love of poetry. Something he didn’t really share with me while we were reading together in my early years, and history. The love of history I knew about, our apartment back home was lined with textbooks and biographies and everything that goes with the past. Poetry came as a surprise to me, since he always seemed to be a very tough, very masculine man, not the type you associate with verse and rhyme. We never really know anyone, no matter how long we may live with them, no matter how much we may believe we know them. There is always a little secret left over.

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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Intimate, Discreet

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 5, 2014 in Publishing |

Right from the very start of my publishing life, as I was still writing for other Internet sites and planning my first print publication, I knew that erotica would have to feature in my plans somewhere. It’s not just the fact that I am a very sexual woman, nor the fact that I love sex, but more the idea that writing what is in my mind might inspire others too. Of course I was also very nervous, I am putting my name to these works and that, for some, is an area which should never be ventured into. Anyone who wishes to have a career should steer clear of the erotic, and there are enough tales of those who have gone into such dark areas, who have been call-girls or involved with the film industry who, coming back into the more acceptable, civilized world, suddenly discovered that they were tainted forever by one event. Many of the writers of erotica I know use a pen name, hide their real identity, have a life away from their writings, from their films or other activities. For me, however, that choice disappeared very quickly: I published by first erotic tale on this site, my name is right there at the top. It went viral, if you can call several tens of thousands of views viral these days.

Viktoria Michaelis: Intimate, Discreet, Erotic, Erotica, Lesbian, Books
 

My career, if you can call it that, has continued with erotic writings of one type or another, and what some people call the more serious ventures into literature too. An erotic tale published in an anthology, more steamy posts here and, almost as a sideline, the other stories I have written and published. Now it is time to come out in print with two delightfully erotic lesbian tales under my publishing label: Intimate, Discreet: Two Tales of Lesbian Erotica.

I am told that this is an excellent niche market, that there is great demand for well written and explicit erotica. This is my first real venture, financially supported by myself, my first real venture into a market which I hope to gain a great deal from. At the same time, being the unselfish type, I also hope to give a great deal. There will be more titles in the ‘pink’ series – every category we publish has its own cover color – over the coming years. The success of the company no longer relies on my publications, or on future employment. We are here to stay, and erotica, along with the other categories we have decided to publish, will be a mainstay of that future.

I had considered publishing at the end of October but, as sometimes happen, everything came together very quickly indeed and this small book is now ready for the eager readers, who are no doubt waiting for something new, in my Shop.

May you all enjoy reading these two stories as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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