Introducing: A New Stories Blog & Patreon Campaign

Friends, readers, randomers who came here through Google. Let’s talk jobs, writing and money. It’ll be more fun than it sounds.

Last week I got a rejection from a company I really wanted to work for, not because it’s relevant to my career plans but because the job was regular hours, good shifts and relatively well paid. Well, it paid. I’m on one, one-day-per-week internship at the moment, plus an informal one from home and I love it, but I have bills to pay and a mother breathing down my back because you left school three years ago and you haven’t done anything since then, so I’m looking for other work too. When I got that rejection I realised how much I’d been counting on it and how much I loathe job searching in general (you want to torture someone? Have them browse Indeed.co.uk every day for a week. They’ll crack). I’m still looking and early signs are positive, but in the mean time I need something creative to focus on (and preferably something that pays, let’s be honest) or I will go bananas.

I had another look at Patreon, because it’s always been the obvious choice for a writer to raise funds. If you’re not sure what Patreon is: it’s crowdfunding, but on a rolling basis. Instead of pledging, say, $30 once, you pledge $5 a month until you decide to cancel. Like a direct debit, but fun. It dawned on me that the something creative has been staring me in the face. I want to publish some stories and I want to earn some money and hang on a minute why don’t I combine the two?

So I’ve made a new blog, Francesca’s Words on WordPress, where I’m going to upload all the stories I’ve got lying around on a fortnightly basis. I’m really excited to show you all the little stories I’ve been poking around with in the last couple of years, and I can’t think why I haven’t done this sooner. I’m aiming for one upload per fortnight to see how I go, because some drafts need more work than others, but that may well increase to one per week. We’ll see!

Now for the money bit.

Patreon Francesca Burke

If you pledge a dollar per month to my Patreon (which ahem is two stories a month) you’ll get early access to every story and I’ll name a character after you. That’s just the one dollar tier. Depending on your reward tier, you can also suggest story prompts or themes, I’ll write you letters and your name will be in lights forever. Kind of. It’ll be in a blog sidebar. You’ll also have a warm, fuzzy feeling in your soul from directly funding a small, financially insecure writer. You can cancel your pledge at any time, I won’t buy a gold toilet seat with your cash – it would be diamante – and you will genuinely be helping me pay my bills (and if you’re wondering why I need more cash when I run a stationery business: I don’t take a wage from that yet. It’s #startuplife until 2019 at the earliest).

I’m still feeling this all out – it’s been a while since I wrote fiction to a deadline – but I’m tentatively excited. Is that an oxymoron? I’m tentatively hopeful. One of the best bits of my teenage years was uploading fanfictions to the web and seeing what people thought of them – I was a simple kid – and I miss that interaction. I miss writing and knowing people might actually read it. And since this is 2017 and we might all be nuked by Trump and/or North Korea before Christmas, I kind of feel I have nothing to lose by trying. If you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment. The new blog is here and my Patreon, along with a full list of rewards and info, is here. Let me know what you think. Am I shouting into the void?

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New Spooky Story Shack Piece!

I’ve got a Christmas present for you guys! It’s a superduper Halloween story that I wrote in September! It’s illustrated by Daniele Murtas and I think they did an excellent job.

If you liked it (or even if you didn’t) please leave a comment either on The Story Shack or here. I was tempted when I wrote it to make a longer story out of it, but I liked the ending so I wasn’t sure if continuing it would have made it less good…

Anyway, I have to get off my phone and get on with freaking out that it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow. I might do a Christmas Eve post. Hark the herald angels and all that!

Update: this is the last Five Ways to Celebrate Five Years of Indifferent Ignorance celebration, unless I’ve miscounted… which is entirely probable.

Introducing The Little Book of Indifferent Ignorance, Volume I

Yoohoo, snowflakes, this is what I was chatting about on Twitter the other day. I am very pleased and excited to share my first book-of-sorts, The Little Book of Indifferent Ignorance, Volume I!

Look, it's a proper self-help guide!
Look, it’s a proper self-help guide!

Big thank-yous to Ruby, who helped with design advice, and to tabloid-quoting racist homophobes, whose ideals informed this piece rather a lot.

I have put it on Etsy to purchase as a PDF here and it is also available to simply download here:

The Little Book of Indifferent Ignorance

I do not currently have the resources for a proper book, as such, or a fancypants shop on this site, so the PDF is currently available to download; if you have a conscience, believe in compensating people for services rendered or enjoy reading the book, please make a contribution. Together we can tackle the disease of indifferent ignorance!

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

That button will take you to my PayPal, where you can pay either through PayPal or with a card. Just enter ‘Indifferent Ignorance Book I’ or something in the description box so I know what it is you’re paying for; I will soon publish PDF booklets of my other work too. RRP for this particular book is £4.50 on Etsy, hint hint.

Let me know what you think of the book itself in a comment and share it with your friends! Print it out and carry it around if you fancy quoting it and sounding like an idiot! Email me your own examples so I can start to compile Volume II! (I have already thought of more examples but it would be fun to see if you guys have had similar experiences or thoughts.)

This is part two of Five Ways To Celebrate Five Years of Blogging, by the way; you will be pleased to hear that the MCR merchandise reached its recipient, a lovely girl in Italy, successfully.

Happy Friday!

Commissions Open for Business!

Snowflakes!

Commissions Price Sheet 1 copy

So it’s time to get back in the saddle, as the saying goes, and do some w r i t i n g again! As I mentioned in last week’s stupendous audioblog, I’ve done a some commissions already so now it’s time to expand and do stuff through PayPal (it’s legit, I checked). All the information you need should be here but if you have any questions please let me know ASAP so I can update everything!

A Poem About Leaving School

I have graced the hallways of my school for seven entire years, roughly the equivalent of the time it takes to get to the front of a queue in the post office. Typically students bring in notebooks into which other students write farewell messages of good luck and sappy happiness. I forgot to get a notebook so I’m writing this instead, which is way more impressive because it’s in the public domain forever.

So, what was happening seven years ago?

  • Gordon Brown was prime minister and students could attend university without first selling their organs
  • Jimmy Saville was an okay dude
  • North Africa was full of peaceful, dictatorial regimes
  • Benedict Cumberbatch could go out in public
  • People used MySpace
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was waiting to win an Oscar

Well, I never said the world had changed beyond all recognition.

But still. Seven years. Part of me thinks about leaving school and is like this:

from lisce.tumblr.com
from lisce.tumblr.com

Part of me feels like this:

Found... somewhere on Tumblr
Found… somewhere on Tumblr

Since I’m a writer, blah blah blah, I thought I’d write a poem about my time in school.

  • A is for ageing, which we have all done
  • B is for bonkers, which we have all become
  • C stands for lots of coffee… enough said!
  • D is Sunday night and that sudden feeling of dread
  • E stands for examinations, which make us want to cry
  • F are the fuckin’ idiots we’ve all had to put up with in class at least once who make us want to die
  • G is General Studies, ironically my best subject
  • H stands for homework, which you shouldn’t try in public
  • “I is not in ‘team’!” which we learnt in PE
  • J are the in-jokes that make strangers want to flee
  • K finishes ‘okay’ which some days you are not
  • L is in ‘lower school’ when you thought sixth formers were hot
  • M is Monday assemblies, the only thing the entire year thinks is shit
  • N are the notices which make the assemblies such a hit
  • O is organisation which… wait, I’ve lost my notes
  • P is for school pond, where there really should be boats
  • Q is in ‘quiet’ which the quiet study room never has been
  • R is in ‘year seven’ when we were really keen
  • S starts off ‘sleep’ which we very rarely do
  • T are the teachers who are actually humans too
  • U are the uniform rules that have haunted us for years
  • V is the vast amount of bullshit we’ve sometimes put up with from peers
  • W is for websites used to hastily gather information
  • X is in the phrase “surely that doesn’t need another explanation?”
  • Y is for “WHY ME, GOD?” a frequently-asked school-based question
  • Z is for zoo, the place to which we might actually return with begrudging joy when it’s time for a reunion.

And by zoo I mean secondary school. Please never accuse me of lacking in appreciation for the poetic arts, ladies and gentlemen. It rhymed.

Anyway, happy end-of-school! (Unless it isn’t the end of school for you, in which case happy Thursday.)

The Eleven O’Clock News: TV Reviews Are Funny (and so is the fact that this took ten hours to make)

This is so not-at-six-o’clock because every time I went near anything Sherlock-based online I either tried to lift everything from Sherlockology for The Webways or sat watching Benedict Cumberbatch interviews.

Hardest name I’ve ever had to type.

Very interesting in interview.

Anyway, I had so much fun reading reviews that I decided to highlight them instead of just a round-up. Television reviews are a weird and wacky type of writing… the hyperbole and metaphors are like how I imagine Fifty Shades to be.

The Guardian

Guardian1

Guardian2

Den of Geek

I had never previously heard of Dan of Geek but I might go back to see if all the language is as… bright.

DanOfGeek1

DanOfGeek2

DanOfGeek3

The Daily Mail

Here we go.

Mail1

Mail2

Mail3

Mail4

You’re welcome. Now I’m completely excited for Sunday night (best man speech!) and dreading Monday (school! With a day spent  not homeworking but on a fansite or watching the shitty Percy Jackson film! Not you, pre-Charlie Logan. The screenplay. If actual Annabeth could see film Annabeth she’d launch into some moves with her knife. Ugh).

I would also like someone to give Mark Gatiss an award for publically complaining about Les Mis. Holy shit I thought I was one of maybe five people who can’t cope with the child death and utter lack of hope. Or not if you’re a theist/character, but whatever. Happy Friday.

Merry Christmas Snowflakes, Here’s a Delightful Story to Warm Your Bones

I wrote it and everything.

Big thank yous to Lakshmy Mathur for the artwork and Martin who runs Story Shack for sorting out my weird formatting.

Season’s greetings snowflakes!

If you could tell me what you think it would be like receiving a gift from you. As opposed to for you, and let’s face it every blog ever is a gift for you. A badly-wrapped, misshapen Dobby-like gift.

Okay it’s time to hit the Christmas snacks. Happy birthday Jesus!

 

 

“It is a long time since my last visit… I must say, your agapanthuses are flourishing.” (and by ‘agapanthuses’ I mean ‘willingness to read whatever shit I throw at you’)

And by ‘are’ I mean ‘is’.

This may sound slightly unprofessional of me, but I hope you’ll forgive me when I say that my Googling skills have been diminished somewhat because I spent about two-thirds of my half term rereading Harry Potter (which is also, incidentally, why I’m trying to talk like Dumbledore):

Does anyone know the name of the Indifferent Ignorance font? I originally found it on Picnik when Picnik worked, I definitely downloaded it from DaFont and I could have sworn I wrote it down. Alas, the Internet is shitty and I can’t find my notes. I thought it was called ‘Raschundo Erado’ or something similar – there was an ‘R’ and an ‘E’ in there somewhere, I’m certain of it – but either my minor Internet absence has taken with it my ability to talk like Jimmy Urine and be investigative, or the designer’s decided to withdraw usage rights.

I’ve found it. One Google search and I’ve found it. It seems that every time I gain a literary stripe, I lose an Internetz widget… My IQ is going down with increased use though; I’m trying to spot myself.