Goodbye my gloomy life as a civil servant, and hello to being a Creative Content Assistant for a great company I already work for!
If you follow my blog then you may remember some past posts sharing my work on Selectspecs.
I was working as a Freelance Writer for the company before they created a role for me to work more on a Full-time basis and I really can’t wait to start!
I’ll be creating content for the website on a daily basis, so let this be your warning some posts could include my work on this blog, but there won’t be a bombardment of them I promise you.
Just a simple, short update sharing my sheer happiness in getting a job I’ll look forward to wake up for.
Sorry for the lack of posts recently – I have in fact been writing my butt off elsewhere, for other websites and publications (as you can tell from a few of my previous posts: Selectspecs, The Metropolist.)
But this week was the first time I’ve been published in my local newspaper – The Herne Bay/Canterbury/Whitstable Times (in all three – not sure about the Faversham one though?). Check it out above, you may have to view image on a separate page to be able to read it!
It’s a really great feeling whenever I get published, when I see my name next to an article I’m proud of, but picking up a paper in the shop and seeing my name in print feels awesome (they even included my second name!)
I really hope this improves my chances of any future job applications (particularly in journalism) and is something I hope to be repeating in the future!
I also have other upcoming projects which may see me as bit of a presenter for Selectspecs! I shall reveal all nearer the time, but for now Selectspecs have a new fashion and beauty magazine for their website which can be seen here. Or my posts can be seen here.
That’s right, I’ve got another little writing job to keep me entertained. This time not paid, completely voluntary, but I’m back on writing about film and my first post was published today about none other than the legendary Sir Richard Attenborough’s – I compiled a top 5 list of his finest cinematic moments oh yes! Enjoy…
And as always, if you want to keep up with any posts I’ll be making on this site, and others, please click on ‘Published Work’ to the right side of this blog (or along the top if viewing through your mobile) where the links will be. Cheers!
[Fan fiction is a very rare thing for me to do, in fact I’ve only done it just the once and that is what’s published below. I decided to post it on here because it was quite a hit at my recent writing discussion group. Enjoy!]
“Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul and faith.”
Sympathy for the devil. After a grueling five or more days of chasing the perfect, exact sound – the Stones unleashed what would open their album, titled Beggar’s Banquet. It was 1968, the band had experienced a whirlwind of events and somewhere in the storm several stories of police allegations, controversy, drugs, sex, money and other disputes flowed out of the band’s camp. Brian Jones, the band’s founder, become a troubled idol of the decade, the press continuously spun wild stories of his party habits and love affairs in America and Britain. A true tragic genius who sadly fell to the wheel of his already rocky tracks…
As soon as Brian woke up the sun burnt a hole in his head. He lifted his hand off of the scorching steering wheel to brush it through his viking blonde matted hair. His muscles ached, his vision was still blurred. He cleared his throat but this only greatened the bursting pain in his head. The mustard shirt he was wearing was sticky in the heat, the deep purple velvet jacket was nowhere near as flamboyant as what it was when he brought it. “Urrrrrrrrgh..” Brian groaned, and then suddenly jumped back in his seat. He looked around, and realised he was sitting in the driver’s seat of a London bus. Its shade of red blazed like plastic under the blistering sunshine. Brian put his head in his hands, then looked up, he was in his luxurious garden of the country-house he’d recently brought. Relieved last night didn’t take him anywhere else other than home, he sat and pondered.
Cotchford Farm, formerly owned by Winnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne, sitting amongst the West Sussex countryside provided somewhat of a sanctuary for Brian after the trial and tribulations of what fame had brought him. Since the drug bust he was lucky to have dodged prison, the judge seemingly taking some sympathy on him “for goodness sake” he said, “don’t get into trouble again or it really will be serious.” For it wasn’t just the judge who could see Brian was in no state to survive prison mentally. People around him at the time say he was deteriorating, his appearances at band practice became erratic and his contributions to music minimal.
What he pondered about precisely could’ve been anyone’s guess. Maybe it was to do with the band, his worries for their change in musical direction away from their R’n’b roots, their strained relationships and their plans to tour America, which strictly required a working visa Brian would almost certainly not be granted. Once he had managed them, pushed them, set up concerts, tours, but now, it seems, the reigns of power had dissolved in his hands, melted, to grains of sand. Or maybe his thoughts fell mostly on Anita. Ah yes, Anita. A flash of pain whenever he heard her name, and now, less frequently, her voice. Munich. They first met. She was on a modeling assignment and he touring with the Stones. “I am…” He began. “Everyone knows who you are…” She Interrupted, she purred, smiling, smoking. But, Morocco. The fight. Screams and tears. Bloody fists and a black eye. That’s where she left me…
Finally the band decided to move on without Brian and made a pact to visit him at Cotchford Farm to deliver the news. Giving Brian the choice on how to break it to the press was their last sign of respect, no hard feelings, for an old friend, who fast become a shell of the man he once was. Despite being known to have both intense paranoia and jealousy it seems Cotchford Farm still had a handful of ‘hangers-on’, some placed there by the Stones’ manager Tom Keylock to keep “an eye on Brian.” Despite this, the house, or more specifically, the swimming pool, was where Brian met his end. His death certificate reading “death by misadventure”, no-one was with him in his last moments.
Any recollection of Brian’s night was dark, he reached for the cigarettes in his pocket and lit one whilst leaning his head back. He decided to keep the bus in his garden, after all, what else was he going to do with it? He exhaled and grinned, and his laugh bellowed through the empty bus.
After Brian’s death the Stones were due to play a free concert in Hyde Park which they dedicated to Brian. Their success from this gig and their North American tour grew stronger and stronger, before they exiled themselves to the south of France to escape the government seizing their assists due to the money they owed in tax. Their album Exile on Main Street was mostly recorded here, however one song written mostly by Jagger, named Shine a Light, started to be written back in 1968, when Brian was still a member of the band and around the same time Sympathy for the Devil was recorded. The song is believed to be about Brian, about his detachment to the band and his substance addiction.
“When you’re drunk in the alley, baby, with your clothes all torn
And your late friends leave you in the cold gray dawn.
Just seemed too many flies on you, I just can’t brush them off.
Angels beating all their wings in time,
With smiles on their faces and a gleam right in their eyes.”
Everyone from my past generation, or the generation before that, bangs on about where they were and what they were doing when JFK got shot. Where were you when JFK got shot?
You know where I was? I wasn’t even bloody born. But when Michael Jackson died? The King (oh and he was the King) of pop, when he died – I know where I was:
June, 2009. London was going through a heat-wave and it was sizzling. The heat swelled far into the evening, yeah it was that kind of heat and I was upstairs, in my bedroom, laying on my queen-size bed with two windows open to try and allow the breeze, if any, to come through from the ever-roaring Leyton High Road below.
I got a call from my friend Akila, oh my good friend Akila.
“Emma, mate, I know this is random but you gotta check something for me.”
Yeah, sure what’s up? Are you okay?
“Listen, yeah, this bloke just came up to me outside the takeway..”
Cue me bursting out with laughter; Akila another kebab seriously??
“Shut up mate and just listen yeah! I can eat what I like yeah, but anyway… he said Michael Jackson’s dead, is it true? I mean I know he could be some psycho or drugged up weirdo but he swore down man, sweared on his life.”
I turned on my TV and sure enough the news headlines read MICHAEL JACKSON DEAD. Shiiiit.
“Noo way, I can’t believe it man. He was my idol as a kid, seriously Emma, how did he die? Does it say? What are they saying?”
Unconfirmed reports, his body had already been taken into hospital and all I could see on the news was the frantic camera shots from the news channel’s helicopter pointing down on a hospital, birds-eye view with a crowd of people surrounding a particular wing of it.
Ending my call with Akila I ran downstairs to inform my housemate Robin, sat just in his boxers and a vest top, watching the same news channel. We looked at each and in a burst of disbelief blurted out simultaneously “Have you seen? Can you believe? Michael Jackson is DEAD!” Only a few months before we were sat in the living room opposite, on our laptops, trying to get tickets for his comeback show at the o2.
There was one thing to do – and that was to call our other housemate Dan.
Dan, when he answered, sounded drunk and cheerful. “Helloooo, how ya doing?”
Dan mate, have you checked the news!?
Dan was down the beach with a group of his friends at the time, tucking into a few cans of beer or cider. I heard the drunken jeers in the background, sounded like he was having a good time. So I laid down the news.
“No fucking way.”
After getting his head around the truth, which after alcohol consumption takes a little longer than normal, he then told all of his surrounding friends who echoed pretty much the same reaction and sentence he had to me.
In no time at all, his friends were calling out to passerby’s the news that Michael Jackson, probably the greatest popstar that’s ever lived and breathed, has died. One bloke walking his dog actually stopped and asked if it was true, I was told later.
Mental. And it was for a few fair days, even weeks after that, the world was in shock. When I walked into the newsagents the next day his face, that famous face, was splashed over every front page and the rain was so torrential outside I had to stick the paper I brought up my jumper to keep it from getting wet.
JFK being assassinated was shocking and it always will be. But the JFK moment of my generation, our generation, has got to be where you were and what you were doing when you heard Michael Jackson died. No argument.