I don’t usually post political manifestos or air these kinds of opinions, but . . . Look, unless I’m trying to sleep with you, I don’t care what your sexual orientation is. Doesn’t matter to me, doesn’t affect me at all, any more than your hair color, your eye color, your height. Whatever. Stash it. Go do your thing, and just . . . As they used to say on Hill Street Blues (I’m not *quite* that old, but my parents used to like it, and then we had to watch it for television class in film school): “Be careful out there.”

I also don’t believe your rights and privileges as a person should be predicated on your being heterosexual. Which means that I personally believe gay people should have just as much right to marry—really marry, more than just a “civil union” or whatever else they think of to call it. You can cry and tell me marriage is a biblical and religious institution all you like, and from a church’s standpoint that’s fine, but from a legal perspective—if we’re talking taxes and children and rights to visit in the hospital and anything else the church doesn’t have any right to dictate—then gay marriage should be legal. Churches that disagree won’t be required to perform these weddings any more than a rabbi would be required to officiate at a Catholic mass. So pipe down those organs already. It’s none of your business outside your own parish.

This is plain sense, isn’t it? I grew up in a religious household, I’ve heard the arguments, but I keep coming back to the simple bedrock of common sense. Personal feelings have nothing to do with it. Emotions have little place in lawmaking. Certainly prejudice has no place.

But that’s just me. And I’m not going to tell you what to think, either. Everyone has the right to an opinion, after all. This happens to be mine.

Bono

I frequently have dreams that feature Bono, the lead singer of U2. But it’s not what you think, you dirty-minded fools. Usually we’re on a basketball court, and Bono is shooting hoops. I just stand there (I’m useless at basketball). Bono does the talking, and I know he’s imparting important information. Unfortunately, when I wake up I usually can’t remember a thing he’s said. Sigh.

Sometimes the god Hermes is there, too. Just to emphasize the communication aspect, I suppose.

But I haven’t had a Bono dream in a while, and then last night I dreamt about being at a concert and waiting for U2 but never got to the point where I actually saw them. I’m thinking there may be too much going on in my life at the moment, externally, and now I can’t hear myself think any more. I’ll admit to having felt confused lately, though what about exactly I’m not sure. Overwhelmed, yes, with the move . . . And I have a lot of projects going . . .

Bono, I need you! Come talk some sense to me and make things clear! Bring Hermes along if he’s available . . .

The Backup Singer

I’ve always kind of wanted to be a backup singer. I like to sing, and I’m not terrible at it, but there’s something in me that prefers a supporting role. Like in school, when I chose to help choreograph the dance team rather than perform. (Though I have truly enjoyed the times I’ve been on stage in theatre productions.)

I took a test once that labeled my strengths as both “service” and “leadership.” At the time I thought those results were at odds with one another, but I know better now. A good leader is a support structure. It’s both demanding and tiring as a role, being a pillar for others to lean against. But rewarding, if you can take the pressure.

The Romantic (or, The Secret Lives of Writers)

I’m a romantic at the core, although a lot of people find that difficult to believe. That’s because outwardly I tend to be honest, practical, logical, and efficient, even to the point of being brusque or blunt. I always realize later that I should temper my blades, but it almost never occurs to me in the moment. I’m still learning on that score.

But writers—and I don’t mean to speak for all of them, but I think many would agree—have vivid internal lives that are often very different from their outward personalities. I hesitate to say one is “truer” than the other; all are parts of a whole, though that whole is weirdly segregated in its being.

It’s tough to catch me in a romantic moment because I have a “shields up” way of dealing with people and situations that make it tricky to get at my core (if you’ll forgive the geeky Star Trek lingo). It can be done, but only through the most deft sleight of hand.

I put a lot of my romanticism in my writing. That’s my outlet, really. That’s how most writers work, I think. It’s almost like slowly bleeding to death, though. Something is going out, but if nothing goes in . . . I need a transfusion.

Hoodies

I am a writer who inhabits places that can become chilly and/or wet at a moment’s notice. So while I’m not proud of it, I do wear hoodies.

I don’t like hoodies. It’s just that they’re so damn convenient for places that may be windy or misty, or for going from cold to warm and back. It’s this convenience that keeps hoodies in my wardrobe. I’m not proud of it. I prefer to wear nicer clothes, and on days when there is a likelihood that I will be seen by other living human beings outside of my immediate family, I do try to pick something more chic. A “summer sweater” or a neat little jacket or whatever. But as a writer, there are plenty of times when I could be dead for three days before anyone realized it because I have been closeted with a project. Under those circumstances, if and when they do find my body, I’ll probably be wearing a hoodie.

On the flip side of this, I do insist on wearing a little makeup every day. It’s part of my morning routine. I’m pretty convinced that if I don’t at least put on some eyeliner and lip gloss the world will implode. It’s not a risk I’m willing to take.

Strange Gravity

There is a strange gravity between bodies.

It is the force that causes two people standing near one another to sway towards and lean in.

It is the force that causes two people facing one another to embrace or kiss.

And like all heavenly bodies, some have more pull than others.

Some spin faster.

Some shine more brightly.

And some collapse inward, pulling everything around them down and into the darkness, the black hole.

There is a strange gravity between bodies. It is the force that causes them to collide, and to sometimes consume one another.

Event: An Evening with BAFTA Winning Costume Designer Ray Holman

From the Drama Association of Wales:

In a couple of weeks time, we will be holding an event that we thought you may be interested in. We have included all the details below:

DAW Presents An Evening with…
Ray Holman
BAFTA award winning costume designer is back in Cardiff for one night only.

BAFTA award winning costume designer Ray Holman whose recent work includes BBC’s Silk, Torchwood, Doctor Who, Law & Order, and Sherlock is coming to the Kuku Club in the Park Plaza Hotel, Cardiff on Friday 3rd February .

Ray will take the audience through how his career began, how he made the choice between acting and design, how he made the move from TV to Theatre and back again as well as winning a BAFTA, working on the socially driven drama adaptation The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper and most recently working on the renowned and cult favourite Doctor Who.

Past credits include Pobol Y Cwm, Band of Gold, Sea of Souls, Peak Practice, Rab C Nesbitt, Born and Bred, Law & Order, and Torchwood.

Join Ray Holman in association with the Drama Association of Wales at the Kuku Club, Park Plaza, Cardiff for an intimate evening with Ray, a question and answer session as well as showcasing sketches, productions shots and the real work.

Ray graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 1984. Since then, he has gone onto work at the BBC, Granada, Carlton, Yorkshire Television and ITV.

Tickets range from £10.00 – £15.00 and can booked via the Box Office on 029 2045 2200 or online*

*online sales carry a small transaction charge

If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact me Harriet@dramawales.org.uk

FAQs

I thought for the last day of the year I’d maybe address some of the questions people e-mail me via the contact link.

Q: What does the “M” stand for?

A: This is the question I most get asked. The truth is, the “M” stands for a lot of things, chief among them:

  1. Methos. A nickname I acquired in college. It refers to a character from the television series Highlander. I’m not entirely sure how I became christened with the name, but the quote, “Now we have Methos, and now we’ll have a plan” had something to do with it, I think. Methos is the oldest Immortal, if not the wisest, but I’m not the oldest of my friends, so . . . Has more to do with his/my cunning as I understand it.
  2. Morningstar. As in “Lucifer Morningstar,” which I think was taken from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics? Basically because I’m the one who gets called in when everything’s gone to hell. As a general rule, you don’t want to ever get to that point, and you don’t want to have to deal with me in Morningstar capacity.
  3. Manda. This is, in fact, my actual name. But very few people use it.

Q: Is Sherlock a Voodoo doll?

A: I’m not sure why I get asked this question so often. I suppose he does look a bit like a Voodoo doll, and the fact that I’m French Creole might lend itself to the idea that I’m doing something nefarious. But no.

For one thing, Sherlock isn’t an actual person, he’s a character. For another, I have no especial reason to want to torment either him (though, if you read his blog you must realize he would probably disagree) or the actor who portrays him. And finally, even if I did want to torment, well, the actor (since it’s impossible to torment the character outside of fiction), there would be much easier ways to go about it.

Q: When are you going to finish “The Hanged Man”?

A: I don’t know. That’s a crap answer. Sorry. Um . . . I have a lot of legitimate work piled on me at the moment, so that has to take priority. If and when I dig myself out, I do plan to finish it.

Q: Which shows/movies have you worked on?

A: I’m not terribly comfortable talking about these things (a) because of the touchy nature of some of the individuals involved, and (b) I’m not authorized to speak on behalf of any of the shows. The industry is kind of a funny place, and it doesn’t take much to upset things, so I stay out of it as much as I can and just try to do my job. That means in large part not talking out of turn. And writers at my level don’t get a turn.

Which is why on this site I focus only on my personal projects.

Q: Is M Pepper Langlinais your real name?

A: If you mean, “Is it your legal name?” then the answer is no. It’s one of a few professional names that I use. I live and travel and so forth under a different name. I sometimes write and work under other names. Though the M is right and true enough.

Q: Have you ever dated anyone famous?

A: I’ve gone out with famous people, a few of them more than once, but I wouldn’t have called any of them “relationships.”

Q: What astrological sign are you?

A: Really? Do people still ask this? I’m a Sagittarius (you can probably tell by my recent birthday posts), but my rising sign is Aquarius. Lunar Gemini, Venus in Scorpio . . . A lot of other stuff I can’t remember . . .

That covers the majority of the questions I receive, I think. If I didn’t answer something you want to know about, you can click the “Contact” button and send me a note.