This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

> > Penny Pepper

Desires Reborn, Dizzy-Crazy life.

A short blog by my standards. Everything is crazy. Me, the world, my cat. Dizzy crazy, implode-explode crazy. The roller coaster up-down and a bombardment of thoughts and wishes and actions.
Because? Coming to you now, my ebook Desires Reborn. This is a revision of  ‘Desires’ which came out in hard copy as part of the Innovate award almost 10 years ago.
I was passionate about the stories not being lost in the turbulent sea of Paralympic furore. Not merely because they are mine, my work created through sweat and broken heart, with commitment and faith. But because I want us to be three-dimensional, to be real, full-bloodied. 
Here is the blurb. These things have to be done, though often I struggle with PR.

"As the London Paralympic Games bring unprecedented focus on disabled people, Penny Pepper releases the ebook  'Desires Reborn' - The explicit loves and losses, desires and disappointments of a group of disparate disabled characters'.

Penny brings, us a collection of stories examining this subject in a serious, sensitive, political and often full bloodied way. As one reviewer, writer Rob Young declared: 'An intelligent examination of love and desire. And why have grey, when you can have scarlet with Penny Pepper's work?'
Available in all ebook formats including

Kindle and for Ipad, Ipod Touch and Iphones via Itunes
Twitter: @PenPep

These stories represent pieces of me, from my heart, my head, my blood, my guts. They are part of my activism, part of what I feel I must do, and love to do.
Maybe lovely Mat Fraser should have the last word. Here’s a review he did:

"Finally a piece of sexy clever erotic fiction from the disabled woman's perspective. Turning negative expectations into post orgasmic exclamations, this is a revolutionary book that will at once turn you on, change your thinking, make you laugh, cry, and most of all realise that this kind of fiction is so long overdue it’s almost criminal. Sex is now in everyone's domain, and Penny Pepper's book could be the catalyst to make that change into the norm. Buy it, read it, enjoy it. I did."

 

Posted by Penny Pepper, 5 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 21 December 2012

Writing, Ruby, madness - and those pesky Olympics.

This week my love-hate affair with writing has me in its thrilling and painful grip.  Writing is like an old friend who sometimes annoys the fuck out of me, and sometimes wraps me in arms of pure co-operative elation. Recently it’s been a see-saw between both and admittedly the ole Borderline has a role in this. But, it helps as much as it hinders. Exquisite highs bring great bursts of creativity as much as the pits of anguish that lead me to unfortunate behaviour and the whole frustrating circle. Occasionally the fast dips into desolation can result in outpourings that stand up to later scrutiny.

It was very trendy to be Mad this last week or so. Mental health ‘poster girl’ Ruby Wax did her stuff in fighting the stigma in the work place. I do get a tad uncomfortable. The portrayal of Mad people (whatever our precise shrink labels) can be saccharine. It doesn’t always feel full bodied enough – is that too scary? Perhaps. I suppose there’s always the danger of it becoming like a Bedlam tour reborn. In a programme most likely made by Channel 5. The Woman Who Sliced Her Skin Off and Made Herself Vomit (et al).

I do acknowledge that generally it seems any kind of PD makes even the toughest mind medic blanch. I told my newest ones as much last week. They tittered and argued this was not true. I pulled a face and went hmmm.

I met Ruby in August 2011, as mentioned in my blog of Oct 2011. I’m down from my high now, not so much disappointed in Ruby as working my thoughts around to a realistic view. She is still new to this. I asked her last year at the audience Q&A if she thought there was anything positive to be found in having a mental health condition. She paused, then said ‘no, do you?’ I smiled and said, I believe it makes me who I am, how can I not?

In one amazing tangential leap I will move to the Olympics. (Tangential conversation and thought is one of my personal hobbies, no apology.)

Controversy alert! I’m enjoying them. Is it the sense of history perhaps? Being a Londoner, and a scribbler? I don’t even like sport much, before we even mention ATOS. Maybe Danny Boyle slipped a subliminal message in the opening ceremony, which I also adored. Music of my youth! The Clash, The Jam, for fucks sake. Irresistible. Made more fun with some close friends over to share the experience.

A couple of us indulged in live Tweeting as we watched, adding another intriguing layer. MP gets the hump at the ‘leftie multi-cultural crap’, tweets swarming to attack him, UK Uncut get an image out there of the arena after the NHS ‘advert’ section, we laugh at the remarks that everyone outside of the UK would think what the damn is this about? But they love it anyway because all Brits are eccentrics. Aww.

Back to the sport. I don’t watch it obsessively, I tune in now and then, entertained for a while, mostly by the personalities and STORIES than the actual winning bit, then I’m bored and go back to my film obsession.  

As for ATOS. Let me be clear. I detest ATOS. I loathe the overt capitalism blatant in the sponsorship of the games and hate that ATOS is part of that. I will join in any protest against ATOS that I am physically capable of. I was there at one of the first demos, I do my online stuff, my local campaigning and will continue.  I don’t see a conflict in supporting the actual participants because it is ATOS who we must fight – and surely this is a great opportunity to highlight their hypocrisy while acknowledging the talents of the individuals who are committed to their sports, art and cultural participation.

Is this bias? I don’t care. A few of my friends are in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics.  I am proud of them and the exhausting work they have put in. They are fully cognisant of the role ATOS plays in the attacks upon us. They see the line, and know where it is.

I will try and go to the Paralympic opening ceremony, when there’s a scandal over unsold tickets… AND to an ATOS demo. I am a writer after all, and if euphoria hits on those days, well, what entries for my bulging, greedy journals!

Posted by Penny Pepper, 4 August 2012