Poem: Learn To Love Yourself

When you hate on me,

Look in the mirror.

Could your problem with me

Possibly really be your problem?

When you see negative

In positives,

Is it really your own inner core you see?

To love others,

At the fear of sounding like a therapist,

First you need to love yourself.

Take some time away

From the lives of others,

It can’t be healthy,

Learn to love yourself.

My Short Story Wedding Bells Appears In This Month’s Bray Arts Journal!

 

On Monday night my sister and I had a lovely night out at the Bray Arts night where the launch took place of the Bray Arts Journal. It is the second volume of the new journal. My story Wedding Bells was in it which was great. 🙂

On the night, there was also a very interesting talk about the Theatre Royal entitled Theatre Royal Remembered by Conor Doyle and Mairin O’Donovan, who sang at the Theatre Royal, was accompanied for a few performances by Retrofix. It was a very entertaining night.

Theatre Royal

 

Conor Doyle

 

Mairin O’Donovan

 

Retrofix

Tall Dark Friend – The Baffled King Review!

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The Voice UK semi-finalist Jordan Gray AKA stage name Tall Dark Friend’s album The Baffled King (2015) is a great listen. It sounds very commercial and yet very new and original at the same time which is quite a difficult balance to get so she did a very good job of that. The album, which takes it’s name from a line in Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, is a mixture of songs which are very different from each other but which all slot very well into their places on the album.

Let’s take a look at each track individually:

When I Do

The opening track is a beautifully pieced together track about her journey as a transgender woman. The music is stunning. The music has this gorgeous theatrical quality. You feel like you are in a theatre. Very ethereal. It’s quite delicate in parts and powerful in others. It’s beautiful and a perfect opening track.

Y.O.L.F.O.

The lyrics in this song about not been able to afford things are very easy to relate to for me as a working-class girl. Outside of that, it is a very well put together song which flows from the verses to the chorus with effortless ease. A warm and vibrant song.

Corridors

This is a stunning ballad with some pretty cool beatboxing in the middle. The chorus is catchy and it’ll stick in your head long after you’ve listened to it.Very melodious. The piano is lovely in it and it increases and decreases in volume at a perfect pace.

Hang With The Happiness

This is one of my favourites. It’s very pop/R’n’ B and has a good beat. It’s so bright, vibrant and feel-good. A wonderful track. And again the chorus is really catchy. Endlessly-playable.

Girl With the Fringe

This song builds and builds throughout which makes it textured and well-rounded. A very unified and upbeat song.

Honey, I’m Home

This is a very soulful bluesy track. Jordan’s vocal is just gorgeous on it. It’s a beautiful ballad which is filled with texture and is very polished, tender and romantic.

Now You Need Me (Now You Don’t)

This song has a good beat to it. Very rhythimic and catchy.

Didn’t You Know?

This is one of my favourites. It’s such a beautiful, stunningly crafted track. Jordan’s vocal is just so emotive and sublime. She has an excellent storytelling vocal across the 14 tracks and that quality in her vocal shows through very much on this song.

Neptune-Tune

This is very catchy. It’s a feel-good, fun song that’ll get you dancing and is highly-listenable.

More Than Mates (You & Me)

This is another one of my favourites. It’s a very catchy song, once you listen to it once you’ll probably listen to it on repeat for ages after, you have been warned. It’s a bit pop and a bit rock and is so layered and so sprawling. Very cleverly-written and dynamic.

Way Back When

After More Than Mates (You & Me) I think we all do need a ballad to relax and that comes in the form of Way Back When. It’s a very emotive ballad that is very passionate and cohesive.

King of Hands

This song is another favourite of mine. The music and Jordan’s vocal combined with the lyrics is very emotive and this track probably will make you cry. Or possibly that’s just me. Yeah probably to be fair. 🙂 An absolutely stunning track, it’s beautifully crafted, just glorious.

See My Bones

A very raw and refined ballad. Beautiful and expansive.

Zero

The closing track Zero closes the album perfectly. It has a dynamic feel to it and also has a theatrical feel so to have that slight similarity between the opening and closing tracks instrumentally gives the album a very cohesive feel. Stunning and dramatic close to the album.

The Baffled King by Tall Dark Friend is currently available to purchase on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-baffled-king/id986138371

 

 

 

Poem: Set Patterns

18,

Off to college.

22,

Finish college.

26,

Settle down.

28,

Become a parent for the first time.

29,

Get a mortgage, own a car.

35,

Be a parent to three children.

If that’s what someone wants,

Fair enough,

In complete support of them.

But doesn’t it seem dull how our lives are planned to such detail

By society,

These set patterns,

These social constructs.

Life’s for living,

If one knows everything that comes next,

Is that living

Or slowly dying?

 

 

Poem: Beautiful Planet

Currently I am also doing another course with the University of Leeds on Futurelearn called Learning Online: Managing Your Identity. We have to create online content for a project so I wrote this poem Beautiful Planet. Hope you all like it! 🙂

 

 

However I came here,

Thank you to whom it may concern.

Although times are difficult sometimes,

Although the world is far from perfect,

I thank you for allowing me to be here

Even just for a little while.

I thank you mostly for my family

And also for writing, for music,

For good people,

For nature,

For allowing me to learn each day.

Short Story: Shakespeare

I’m currently doing a Futurelearn course Learning Online: Reflecting And Sharing with the University of Leeds. As part of the course we have to produce a script related to information online about William Shakesphere. Here is my short story based on my findings. Hope you all like it! 🙂

Our Creative Writing lecture ended for the day and we left the college.
“He is the master of the writing craft. If you can get to his heights you’ve made it.”, my girlfriend Lucy waffled on.
“I prefer a bit of Oscar meself.”, I replied,
“At least I’m sure he wrote his works.”
“No Karen, there is more to suggest William Shakesphere did then that he didn’t. Scholars say that all came from snobbish attitudes.”
“Really?”
“Yeah, because he was the son of a glovemaker, some people didn’t want to believe he had created some of the best and most lasting texts ever created.”
Suddenly been a working-class girl I was on Shakesphere’s side.
“That isn’t right. Why couldn’t someone from our background achieve all that?”
“Well maybe me, not you.”, Lucy laughed.
I tipped her in the arm gently.
“Get out of it you … Romeo & Juliet’s quite good I have to admit.”
“Bit obvious though.”
Oh yes, I forgot Lucy is of the abstract thinking. If it’s popular it surely can’t be good!
“I suppose.”
“Now The Tempest. That is brilliant. It goes deep beneath the surface of human behaviour and emotions.”
I just about stop myself from rolling my eyes. We’ve just come out of a class where Professor Murphy went on about the psychology of characters and my head is spinning.
“That’s the one on the island, right?”
“Yeah.”
“I read a childrens’ version of that once.”
“Well I read the actual one.”
That doesn’t surprise me.
“It’s the 400th anniversary of his death this year. The Royal Shakespeare Company is doing a tour of Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation.”
“I heard there’s a lot going on Luce.”
“Yeah, the BBC adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is coming up too. Russell T Davis adapted the play for the screen.”
Doctor Who and Queer As Folk, now I was more interested.
“Cool. I must take a look at that. Get a takeaway and a few tinnys in.”
I see Lucy smile as she rolls her eyes. I know what she’s thinking: too common for a Shakesphere adaptation. But she’s missing the point. Shakesphere is for all, not just the elite and the abstract. Of course I don’t say this. She wouldn’t listen to me anyway. So instead we go to catch our bus home while talking about Macbeth and debate whether there is a justification for Lady MacBeth’s actions. In short I don’t think there is but Lucy thinks there is “underlying factors” to consider. Jeez, she is complex but that’s why I love her. And I think she loves me too because I amn’t complex.

Short Story: Introduction To Some Geezer Called Meyerhold

I’m currently doing a course on Futurelearn called Physical Theatre: Exploring The Slap from the University of Leeds. It’s about Biomechanics in the theatre. As a writer my piece for it is a short story:

“If the actor remains on the bare stage, the greatness of the theater stays with him”, Jeff said.
“Ha?”, I replied, biting into another piece of my sausage roll.
We were in my boyfriend Jeff’s living-room sitting on his sofa. He rolled his eyes.
“Gorchakov.”
“Ah … yeah. Of course … Gorchakov”
Jeff laughed. He knew I hadn’t a clue.
“Come on Gavin. Stand up.”
“Why?”
“Have you ever heard of Biomechanics?”
“How the hell would I have heard of Biomechanics?!”
“A book maybe babe. Anyway you’ve heard of it now. So come on.”
“Oh alright.”, I replied standing up.
He twisted me into a position facing him.
“Meyerhold wanted to change problems in the theatre and all actors owe him a debt for that.”
“You’re an amateur actor darling. You stepped in once for Tony in West Side Story.”
“I said all actors honey for a reason. Anyway the point is he had three main principles, the laws of space, the laws of movement and the laws of reflexivity. Right Preparation to shake and shake.”
I could hear Shake It Out by Florence + The Machine in my head.
“Firstly Otkaz, intention, a slight shoulder move forward.”
He moved me into position.
“Next Posil, action itself, reaching back for the handshake … no Gav, I’m not over there. Put your hand this way.”
“Like we’re about to dance? Aw.”
“I suppose. Tochka, end-point, a pause at the end of the action. Lift the back of your foot up. Now Otkaz, intention, slightly dip your legs. Now Posil, action, reaching forward and we shake hands.”
“We’re a bit past that, aren’t we?”, I grinned seductively.
He smiled and blushed.
“We are indeed … finally Tochka, end-point, pause at the end of the action. Very good. Now there’s also The Slap.”
“That doesn’t sound very safe! You slap me and I’ll kill you!”
Jeff laughed.
“Gav, I’m not really going to slap you! I want to live!”
“Ok, so what happens then?”
“Preparation to slap, Otkaz, intention, slight shoulder move forward.”
“Oh like the first time.”
“Yeah. Now secondly Posil, action, reaching back and high with the right hand.”
I thought he was going to do ballet or something.
“And Tochka, end-point, a pause at the end of the action.”
Now he was just off in his own world and it was so cute.
“Otkaz, intention, a slight dip in the legs. Bend your leg Gav.”
“When you are bossy it’s quite hot.”
“Thank you. I do try. Now, Posil, action, a slow diagonal move of my right arm which will end on your cheek. And Tochka, end-point, a pause at the end of the action. Right Otkaz, intention, the entire backwards and
forwards gesture of slapping. Now Posil, action itself, the non-contact slap. Now Gav, Tochka, endpoint, pause at the end of the action with your right elbow on your left knee.”
“Now the slap. I’m going to do the motions of a slap. You clap to make the noise of the slap.”
“Oh is that how they do it in the theatre and films?”
“I’d imagine. I only stood in for Tony once in West Side Story.”, he grinned.
“Part of you really wants to slap me for that comment!”, I laughed and he smiled.
“Now Gav, Tochka, endpoint, pause at the end of the action with your right elbow on your left knee. And there you have it. Not bad at all babe.”
“I rather enjoyed it actually. Who’s the geezer again?”
Jeff rolled his eyes.
“Meyerhold. Vsevolod Meyerhold”

The Amazing Style of Diana Ross!

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Diana Ross’s style is simply stunning. She wears a glorious variety of colours and shows us all we should be brave instead of safe with our style choices. Pairing the stunning creations she wears with gorgeous accessories and beautiful, understated make-up she has shown that you can be glamourous and understated all in the one look. Let’s take a look at some of her beautiful fashion choices throughout the years:

Fashion

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TNT Christmas In Washington 2012 - Backstage

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Diana Ross in Gown from

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Make-Up

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Hair

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Diana Ross Portrait Session

 

 

The Amazing Style of Marilyn Monroe!

Classical style that has passed through generations. Marilyn Monroe’s style still inspires many today. The glamour of her outfits filled with glitz and glam are everlasting and beautiful creations in varying colours. She always coordinated her make-up and shoes so well with her stunning outfits. Let’s take a trip down vintage fashion lane and look back at some of her stunning style:

Fashion

Make-Up

Hair