‘Romeo, Romeo, where are you Romeo?’

I read the other day that the average deposit for a home in the UK is currently £80,000 and as my reactions were limited to either throwing myself into work or jumping off the QEII bridge, I’ve been writing a lot. I don’t want to show it to any of you yet (for a staunch non-spiritualist I am ridiculously superstitious about sharing work before it’s done) but I’m quite quietly pleased with myself for having picked up a pen.

It got me thinking about that other great writer great pieces of literature, and I wondered if any of you have been watching Upstart Crow? It’s on BBC2 on Monday nights should probably be required viewing for every student studying Shakespeare. It was written by the same guy who co-wrote Blackadder, so maybe we should just appoint him head of schools and be done with it.

Imagine the exam papers.

 

A Really Tenuous 6 Degrees of Separation feat. GotG & Troye Sivan

I GOT A NEW KEYBOARD AND LIFE IS GLORIOUS.

It’s been about a thousand years since I did a music post and this week I bought two new records so let’s, like, music video and chill.

Awesome Mix Vol. 1 by assorted people who existed circa 1970

The other day Mum and I saw that X Men/Sky advert and said ‘that tune is in Guardians of the Galaxy. Let’s watch Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Then we said ‘these tunes are the best tunes. Let’s find the soundtrack.’ For the record (ha) I will personally not rest as a screenwriter until I can write anything as good as this:

Neither of us have seen the new X Men yet, but we definitely won’t get Sky.

Blue Neighbourhood by someone who definitely did not exist in the 1970s

The other day I was in New Look and thought ‘this song about youth and partying sounds like it could be by this Troye Sivan guy I’ve heard about.’ Then I spent several days suffering through YouTube ads before cornering a guy in HMV to find Troye’s record. Lil tip: check you can spell an artist’s name before requesting the staff search them. Also, there’s a chance you couldn’t find the CD yourself because you were too short to reach the shelf and didn’t want to upset your takeaway coffee by tiptoeing.

Someone pointed out that this video is basically what Tumblr looks like:

and they ain’t wrong. My favourite songs on Blue Neighbourhood don’t have videos, but they are the same colour as my soul in the same way My Chemical Romance is the same colour as my soul. I’d forgotten what it was like to hear that sort of music for the first time so to celebrate I dyed my hair again and nearly committed to adding more metal to my head. I’m reliving my teenage years. Oh and you should watch these.

Okay I’m gonna go make my pets dinner and dance to the Piña Colada Song. 10 points to the first person to state the six degrees.

Behind the Scenes, Friday 13th Edition

So it was on this very day, sort of, that I released my Ghost Stories zines last year. If you haven’t read them – and you should – they’re full of short stories, advice columns, quirky advertisements and art all pertaining to death, the afterlife and magic. And I hadn’t even heard of Maggie Stiefvater then. Anyway, I don’t have a Volume IV to share with you all, but I have made even more ridiculous death/the afterlife/magic work since, so I thought I would take today to share a bit about how and why I ended up with so many macabre-ish, funny-ish arty-ish things in my portfolio.

Ghost Stories

A couple of years ago I wrote a (very) little story for The Story Shack about something that in retrospect sounds suspiciously like the church watch on St Mark’s Eve. It was sitting by itselfie on the internet and last January I noticed that 2015 contained three Friday 13ths. I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth and it’s useful to have solid deadlines, so I thought I could do a project to practise my Photoshop, actually write and maybe have a laugh. My friend Ruby, who proofread, had less of a laugh. By 13th November I had three relatively well-formed zines, a more thorough understanding of the YouTube playlist format and a healthy respect for the black and white filters on Photoshop. I kind of love Ghost Stories – I mean, I also hate it because I read it back and think ‘ew’ – but it’s the first thing I made after I finished school for the hell (ha) of it, and it reminded me why the term ‘black humour’ warms my soul. Now go warm your soul.

Ghost Stories Volume I by Francesca Burke

 

Hell’s Belles

You know that feeling when you’ve recently quit a job, rediscovered supernatural YA novels and decided to dye your hair pink and commit to being a full time eccentric? Last autumn I tried to supplement my income with waitressing, which to cut a long story short was not the career for me. When I rejiggled my freelancing so I could afford-ish to go back to marketing full time, I realised how much I valued being my own boss, muttering swearwords, blasting Fall Out Boy and making ridiculous things because I could. There’s a stall in Southend high street selling home accessories that say things like ‘eat glitter for breakfast and shine all day’, ‘life’s a journey’, etc.; I always wanted to paint them black and ad lib… so I did.

I even made stickers. Hell’s Belles – which was also influenced heavily by the pastel goth tag, 9 years of listening to My Chemical Romance and the exact colour I wanted my hair – is one of my favourite lines on my Etsy. It’s weird, either offensive or funny depending on your sense of humour and made of everything I’ve been interested in over the last couple of years: magic, cynicism, cursing, cynical cursing and inspirational Instagram posts.

I have a suspicion I’ll make more of one or more of the above. Look out around Halloween.

Dropped Mic at the BAFTAs

Who else inhaled audibly on Sunday night when Peter Kosminsky mentioned John Whittingdale? Who else wants to see his full speech plus a lil interview with some awkward filmmakers?

I am one hundred percent done with any and all British and/or world politics at the moment but the BAFTAs made me sit up a little straighter, pick up a pen and write some things because who the fuck is a one term government to dictate what viewers can and can’t see? I’m not a fan of everything the BBC makes (like what the hell was the actual point of The Voice except to see Tom Jones be lovely?) but British television collectively is the best in the world, goddamnit, and I want to work in it someday and even if I didn’t I would defend public broadcasting to the death because commercials are the bane of my life and if the only shows available were TOWIE and that talent one, I would move to Australia.

Dear god they have the talent one in Australia.

That’s my ranting done for the week; I’m off to make something that might annoy 50 year old Tory secretaries of state…

Mild Life Appreciation feat. Dogs

I noticed that I’ve been blogging at the end of the week a lot and thought about doing an Election Flu miniseries with the local/police crime commissioner/London elections. What do crime commissioners do when they’re not commissioning crime? But voting day fell on the same day as the funeral for one of my family, and the thing with funerals is that they make doing everything else very unappealing, so my election leaflets are in the bin and I voted for candidates I know even less about than usual.

Still, both the elections and the funeral are now over so I’m going to work my day around the sun’s placement in the garden – because what the hell is the point of being freelance if you can’t take advantage of fifteen minutes of summer – and realign my life’s priorities. That’s the thing with funerals, isn’t it? You start realising that a) one day it’ll be yours, and b) that day might be sooner than you think so why the fuck are you spending so much time watching shitty television.

It is nearly time for my first sun appreciation session of the day and I have a sneaky feeling I have real work to do so I’ll leave this here and maybe come back before next Friday. Maybe I shall realign my blogging priorities too… bring back that luminous green font from 2010, or try my hand at fashion blogging. Maybe some how-to videos about the different types of writing pencil, or on ways to pretend you have lots of friends but actually most of the stories you tell involve your dogs.

Dogs playing GIF
I don’t know where I found this but I’m glad that I did.

‘Speak now or forever hold your peace’ feels like a pertinent parting statement. Happy Friday!