A Myriad of Musings

•April 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’m realising, as I sit to type this, what an age it has been since my last post and how bloody staid and pretentious it sounded. I really think that’s what has put me off writing anything for so long. Well – it’s that – and the fact that life has taken a few surprising and beautiful twists and turns in the last six months. All for the better. But this delicious chaos has resorted in my poor blog languishing in the HTML clad ether. Or something like that…  grin

I’ve always been one for self-expression and introspection. Maybe a smidgen of self-deprecating reflection. I’ve kept diaries on and off since the age of nine. Believe me, it still makes amusing reading today. As a teen I kept an Open Diary, as did many of my friends until they migrated to LJ or Blogger. Sadly, despite the joy I got from regular pourings forth, it had its cons – mainly my lack of emotional censorship and general transparency which led to the usual teenage peer angst. That’s the main thing that’s made me shy away from going back into the online journalism and blogging fray. But I think I’m ready now.

Quite frankly, the sentiment that a writer writes is enough to give me a whole bonfire up my proverbial backside. Over Christmas my parents got me a whole year’s subscription to the absolutely fantastic women’s writing magazine Mslexia. I’ve picked up the odd copy in our local Borders for the past five years now and I heartily recommend it to all you artsy literary type girls such as myself. It’s immensely inspiring and the latest copy has really given me a creative boost. Their ethos is very much empowerment mixed with a sheer love of words and literature and they have an amazing listings section which keeps you up to speed with the latest competitions, lit festivals and readings and publications asking for submissions. Without sounding like pure advertorial, I suggest you give the Mslexia website a whirl here.

I’m thinking of writing and submitting a short story for the next issue’s “New Writing” section. It’s a huge step for me as whilst I’ve had plenty of articles published nationally, my heart has always been in fiction. The little girl in me demands an answer to the question she posed at age eight: “When am I going to get published?” I think it’s high time I gave her an answer. I’ve approached my fiction writing with far too much insecurity and trepidation since I graduated nearly two years ago. It’s time to break the cycle and see what wonders come out of my imagination or at least what rocks I can polish up into diamonds with some good editing. Wish me luck!

In terms of the weird and wonderful directions life has taken me in recent months, all I can say is they have all made me happier and more optimistic about the future than I have felt in a long time. Life has been a steep learning curve since I graduated in 2008 and may I add, my timing was impeccable, as we entered the biggest recession the UK has seen since the 1930’s. So far the “School of Life” has dealt me some knocks, but I seem to be bouncing back in a big and sassy way.

In terms of my personal life, last Autumn brought sad, but welcome upheavals. I finally mastered the courage to end a relationship with a sweet guy with whom I was just terminally incompatible. I’m not a callous person and if anything that made me stay longer then I should have done. It was very clearly a rebound relationship coming off the back of what I can only describe as the “car crash” that was the demise of my three-year relationship with my University boyfriend. At the end of the day when it comes to the big question of who you love and want to spend your life with (or at least a good part of it), if you are not utterly enamoured and thrilled at the mere idea of spending time with them; if your heart doesn’t leap at the mere thought of seeing their face, then it might be best to call it a day or at least sit down and work things out.  Sadly, said guy was the casualty of a year I’d rather forget; full of disillusionment, disappointment, bereavement and sharp learning curves.

The plus side is I could not be happier than I am right now; financially, romantically and socially. I have many friends far and wide that I hold deeply dear, that remind me who I am and challenge me and enrich my world with their thoughts, their own individual takes on life and their unique and beautiful ways of being.

I have someone in my life who makes my heart sing. I never thought it possible I would find someone such as my Edward, who seems to get me completely on a deep emotional level. He makes me laugh so much and he’s incredibly intelligent, playful and kind. I am truly blessed.

My goal for the coming year to enroll myself on a NCTJ (National Council for Training Journalists) fast-track course in my home town has started to bear real fruit. I’ve been working very hard in various temp. jobs for the last six months in order to pay off my University debts and then get the money together to apply for a place. That looks like it’s finally becoming a reality, which is unbelievably gratifying and exciting.

I guess what a Canadian song-writer once said is true:

“Life has a funny way of helping you out when you think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up in your face.”

Having the courage to end that bad relationship and do something about the rut I’d gotten myself into changed everything. Life will right itself, if you work with it. The break-up snowballed into me getting a full-time temp job until February of this year. This allowed me to pay off my overdraft that had loomed over me for the best part of two years. That, and a blossoming new romance have worked wonders on my mood and confidence. I feel like myself again. Not the lost and lonely person, I had allowed myself to become.

I think the point is to trust your intuition. If something isn’t right, change it. If there’s something you want to be, work to become it. Even the tiniest step in the right direction can work miracles. I’ve seen that first hand and I see it even more with every passing day.

I started this blog so formally, but ultimately I want it to be a window into my mind. A reflection of my off-beatness, my quirkiness, my shame, my fear, my ponderings, my news and my views. A distillation of my own unique voice. I hope you will feel that shining through with every new entry in their most likely eclectic and diverse ways.

I hope you’ll stay and sit a while.

All my best.

Kelly x

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First Impressions

•September 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s been often said that they count.

That in the brief moments  in which we are introduced to an individual, a turn of phrase, a mannerism or opinion expressed, perhaps even a mode of dress can be all we need to make up our minds on whether someone is worth our while or  not “our sort of person.” We assign labels.

I have had many labels assigned to me over the brief twenty (and some change) years I have been attempting to fathom the human condition. Some, happily of my choosing; others unhappily placed upon me. Some I’m coming to terms with in my own heart; others I am working to earn the mantle of.

So in the interests of impressionism, of a more personal kind, I will endeavour to illustrate both myself (It’ll probably be a rough pencil sketch, possibly some watercolours) and more importantly, the purpose of this blog.

The first label I acquired  and quite possibly the most dear to me is that of Writer. Although I have had little fiction published as of yet beyond a University undergraduate anthology, the handle of writer has been deep in my heart since at the age of seven, when I precociously told my parents I wanted to write and illustrate my own books when I grew up. I’ve never wavered. Stapling booklets of paper together, concocting my narratives with careful penciled illustrations. Self-penned story books of my childhood. This eventually led to a three year degree in Creative Writing (with a side order of English Literature).

Yes, I’m one of those dreadful writer/graduates and whilst I personally believe that writing ability cannot be taught, only techniques; I’m immensely grateful for the experience University gave me and will never regret one second of what it taught me, both on paper and in the myriad memories that have left their impressions on my being forever. This blog represents a further outlet for my writing and creativity.

The second label I am working on acquiring is that of Freelance Journalist. I say freelance, simply because I haven’t yet achieved my sought-after goal of my first staff writing position. It’s elusive in what is an immensely competitive, but highly rewarding industry. I have done a lot of work experience on the editorial staffs of national UK magazines, which I will not name for the time being, simply because I wish to keep an element of anonymity in my blogging. I have had freelance articles and reviews published in various national magazines and on websites over the last five years and I’m working to increase my web presence and portfolio.

Hence my use of the comic book pseudonym “Lois Lane” which perfectly combines my love of pop culture and geek subcultures with my aspirations as a female aspiring journalist with a healthy dose of idealism and enthusiasm on her shoulders. And whilst the Daily Planet is not yet in sight and I certainly don’t need a Clark Kent to save me (although gorgeous, bespectacled young men, please feel free to stop by), I do need a guide as I navigate this brave new world of  multimedia journalism, particularly in a time where this profession is enduring and adapting to innumerable changes in both its job structure and story-telling methods.

I’ve started this blog simply to chart my progress in the bright shiny world of global journalism, as a young trainee and also comment on aspects of the industry and it’s progression and the challenges the global media faces as it fully enters the 21st Century.

However, it doesn’t stop there. I also want to use this blog to address personal issues, ideas, thoughts and feelings. Hence, the “Diaries” of the title.  My interests are diverse and I intend to fully comment and question always everything from religion, spirituality, art, music, literature, feminism, sexuality and politics to popular culture, current affairs and aspects of my personal life and general philosophising.

A true jambalaya of thoughts, intentions, opinions and digressions of an young aspiring writer/journalist. A documentation of a life and a reflection of the wider picture. A melting pot of musings.

Part commentary, part confessional.

This path is mine to walk and you, dear reader, are welcome to journey alongside me as I navigate this unpredictable entity they call life.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride. And this first impression will leave an agreeable mark.

Much love

– Lois