In Which I Have Been Blogging Ten (10!) Actual Years

Today I have been blogging on here ten years. My first ever post wasn’t today, it was sometime in November, but Halloween always felt like a good day for a birthday. I’ve thought about writing something long and heartfelt, or doing a big old retrospective where I comb through old posts ripping the shit out of 14-year-old me. But to be completely honest, I can’t be bothered. Ten years is a lot of posts to go through. Although I’m fully expecting a shitty teen to dig something up and cancel me in the near to medium future and would prefer to cancel myself as a precautionary measure, I’ve got other things to think about.

Ten years is quite a while though. What’s changed in my life? Most things, since I was 14 a decade ago. What has changed on this blog? The quality of my writing has improved, mostly. I know what alt text does now, I credit my images and I’m less of a dickhead, mostly.

In terms of the wider world, I’m fairly sure we still had a new Labour government in 2009. Nigel Farage was just a bloke with a few weird opinions. Donald Trump was still a badly dressed businessman. Game of Thrones was merely a nerdy book series. Ugh, what a time.

Congratulations to me, I guess, for sticking with a project long enough for it to reach double figures! Huge props to you if you’ve been reading since the good old days of 10-long comment threads and arrogant teenage ignorance (oh the irony). Hi if you’re new – welcome aboard! Don’t look at anything from earlier than 2017.

I could say something about plans for ten years’ years time, but I am not where teenage me thought I’d be at 24, and it feels like too big a topic when I’m not even sure what I’m doing over Christmas. I mean, I hope Brexit’s bloody done or has been cancelled completely by 2029. I’d like Donald Trump to have been impeached and consigned to history, although since he’s not the picture of wellbeing, I’m not convinced he’ll actually be here in a decade.

I like to think I’ll be financially and mentally stable enough to have a dog, but beyond that (and the Brexit thing) I’d rather not look too far ahead. Wait, no, I want The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes to be an ebook. And to have written some other stories that are strange and kind of funny and a bit magical. I also like to think I will still be chatting away on here about whatever takes my fancy. Realistically about the dog and the stories. Maybe that’s the direction I should take Indifferent Ignorance. Dogs and books. Although now I think about it, it’s been about dogs and books more than it’s been about anything else, except maybe My Chemical Romance.

Frank Iero fuck off gif
still my favourite gif of all time. Found somewhere on Tumblr in 2017, @ me if it’s your work of art

I wanted to commemorate this almost-momentous day with an photo or sketch also I know why images are important for SEO now but in the spirit of looking forward, not back, I decided to make one instead of sharing something old:

Sharpie sketch of a sad looking ghost with the words 'I can't believe she's been doing this for a decade'

It’s clearly a gem, so I’ve signed it. I think it might outdate the little Boozy ghost Frank Iero draws on merch, but do ghosts even age.

What were you doing a decade ago? What would you like to be doing in a decade? Tell me what we should name the little ghostie, or I will be going with Little Ghostie.

Happy Halloween!

Update: I can’t fucking believe some band stole my birthday thunder.

There’s Snot in My Hair, and You Really Needed to Know That.

My body’s 21st birthday present to itself was to catch a cold, so I’m interspersing work with those violent sneezes where you projectile snot over your hair/clothes/arm/phone. I watched that Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs programme yesterday, which was also the first time I’ve taken more than one paracetamol at a time for months, so I’m debating whether just to fill a mug with hot water and some honey (we have no lemon and I can’t taste anything anyway), curl up and read about witches in Essex. The perks of being freelance, blah blah blah.

I was going to take more photos for Etsy – why hello, Halloween – but with the snot situation I think I might be better off just doing inventory… there was a point to this blog as well but I’ve already forgotten it. Maybe I will go and write thank you cards next to a box of tissues, and pray my reactions are good enough not to accidentally infect everyone I’m writing to. There’s an anthrax joke there somewhere.

Sod it, I’m going to find the honey and work out when I can safely take more paracetamol. And the witch book is for work, so I will see you when I’ve crawled back out from under a blanket…

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.

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.

Goats in the Road…

I can see tourists looking at goats. Goats are good, they are very relaxed and like to walk down the road with you.

IMG_5390.JPG

Quietly reflecting today about how a) I am never running a contest again, lazy sods and b) it’s almost Halloween, and there is no evidence of it except for an olive tree I saw earlier which was decorated with a pumpkin. It was also decorated with bits of coral, so don’t get your skeleton outfits out.

Speaking of ‘holidays’, I suppose I am on one a bit since I’m sitting in a restaurant roughly 50% of my waking hours and not getting paid. But I am also planning for another one…

CHRISTMAS!

Not celebrating (Jesus, it’s not for months) but regarding my Etsy shop. I’ve been brainstorming, as they say in school, and if things go to plan there will be very cool things there soon. Think physical items, snowflakes.

But not actual snowflakes. Bit fiddly. Quite excited to get back and put my plans into action (and endlessly talk about them here) but then, England does not have goats in the road unless there has been a motorway accident involving a lorry and livestock.

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!

 

 

Popcorn Versus Pumpkins

So it’s November, and we’ve got men growing creepy moustaches and writers attempting to put together an entire novel together in thirty days and I’m pretty sure the Stoptober failures victims not-quit-people have bought their weight in tobacco in the last few days. The last of the Hallowe’en sweets are being eaten/discarded and Strictly‘s getting sparklier.

I don’t have a moustache (hopefully), my novels are never, ever going to be done in a month (I’m not that dude from that Bradley Cooper film) and I don’t smoke. I think we threw out the gross popcorn. Eh.

Anyway, the second half term of the year started today – which means lots more essays, woolly gloves and crawling home to read a nice book in bed, nursing my arthritic joints like the old lady I will someday be. Ahh, hot chocolate. Mist. Christmas shopping. MSI show really soon. Here is a video of a porcupine eating a pumpkin to help with the “Brr, it’s getting cold” blues. The porcupine’s name is Ted.

Blog Years/Dog Years: Fun Indifferent Ignorance-Based Activities for Your Half Term

Tomorrow is four years to the day that I started Indifferent Ignorance, which makes her a decade older than me in dog (and, I think, Internet) years.

Yes, she is a “she”.

Halloween isn’t traditionally a time for reflection, but we’re at the point now where this site is A Part of My Life. As in, I cite her (okay it is weird) on job applications since I’ve spent most of my teenage years doing Interwebz stuff. Ah, the joys of youth.

Anyway, snowflakes, this is not a time to be sitting idle. Well it sort of is because it’s half term and I’m tired – but one must not rest on one’s blogging laurels, even if they are pretty damn shiny. So, some news:

  • There are custom email addresses for this site! If you want to email me about a potential blog topic, such as a story for The Six O’clock News, or if you think you’d like to utilise my knack of typing way too much, email transmissions@indifferentignorance.com. If you’d like to send me marriage requests, cutesy photos of small animals, letters detailing the positive impact my site has made on your wellbeing, etc., email tobequitefrank@indifferentignorance.com. I’ll reply unless you come under the category of “fucking creepy” and/or “fucking irritating”, and of course will never share your private details (unless you’re so fucking creepy that I think you ought to be investigated by Operation Yew Tree).
  • Some of my more art-based, er, art, is now for sale on Etsy! The money raised will go back into Indifferent Ignorance for its upkeep since I am dirt poor. Hopefully in the future I will be able to make physical site merchandise and/or art available, but until then some of my stuff’s available for digital download for about half the price of the average coffee. Please let me know what you think about the products and price, since there’s not much point in the whole venture if you lot don’t care!
  • I have acquired an Instagram account so I can pretend to be MCR and tease y’all with sometimes-filtered images pertaining to projects I’m doing. I’m only sixty per cent sure how Instagram works so it’ll be… interesting.
  • Formspring has rebranded itself Spring.me and since I’m too lazy to make an ask.fm account I’ve revamped my ‘Spring’ profile. Let’s get philosophical, snowflakes.
  • I’ve got a new semi-serious story up on FictionPress. It’s in its very, very early stages – as in, I’m already working out how to edit the published chapters – but I would really, really appreciate it if you could take the time to have a read and leave a review. It can be anonymous and you can leave a review per chapter or just one when you’ve finished, but this means more to me than Etsy or email addresses or anything like that, because I’m only going to improve as a writer if people leave feedback. Art is a two-way street and all that…

Happy Halloween!