Star on the Small Screen

 

 

 

Five minutes until the camera starts rolling

my home was not your home too.

they never seem to understand that.

staring at a silver screen doesn’t bring us

eye to eye

i’m not close enough to touch.

there’s distance between us

distance that we can’t make good

not when you’re

just a number on the screen beside

me and I’m

only a walking talking

piece of entertainment for a bored

vapid youth.

i’ll laugh and laugh and laugh

holding up some gizmo to the screen like

a piece of meat for purchase

and you’ll act like you know me

we’ll pretend like it’s just a game.

there’s nothing fun in this

entreating before the camera

as if on scraped knee before an emperor

begging for jewels and pay.

only the steady tic of subscribers rewards me

your views are newfound joy

so please keep watching

pretend you see me and I’ll

pretend I see you.

my home is not your home

i am not your friend

that’s the thing they never understand.

[enthusiastically]

Hi, gang! Today we’ll be going to – 

Screen cuts to black.

##

This poem was probably inspired by a conversation I had with my sister earlier today about the way culture evolves very quickly and how I (21) see the internet very differently to how she does (15). 

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Reading Regularly 2017: Book 5 [The White Princess by Philippa Gregory]

 

It’s been a while without reading for fun, once again, and that’s been weird. I decided to restart my reading adventures with a book I first bought (hardback, more difficult for my hands/wrists, so never got around to it) way back when it first came out. I’d read all of the earlier books in the series, bar the one about Jacqueta, and was eager to give this one a go. I’d loved The White Queen on TV, as well as the many fanvids and fanfictions about the series, so wanted to read The White Princess before that show comes around next month.

I found this one a little slower to get into than the others, perhaps because it is edging closer to a historical period I know things about. I’ve studied Henry VII at university but have always had an interest in English history from Henry VIII onwards, so I had a barebones idea of how this was going to go even before I started reading. It does take away the thrill a little bit, especially when it is written in straightforward prose rather than the ingenious innovation of my beloved Wolf Hall!

I am very impressed though how the author jumps a little forward in history each time through a different character’s eyes. I started reading Three Sisters Three Queens just before reading this and am going to give it a fresh go having read Elizabeth of York’s story (I found the main character of that one a little whiny in the early chapters, understandable given her age).

The development of Elizabeth’s relationship with Henry over time was brilliant and the threading in of the curse that has plagued the series since The White Queen was great, especially since it provides an answer of sorts to the question of who — in this fictional universe at least — is responsible for the death of the Princes in the Tower.

The ending was perfect, as I came closer to the end I wondered if the book was going to deal with the final heartbreak right towards the end of Elizabeth’s life. As far as I remember, It didn’t. That wasn’t the last scene. And I loved the book for that.

Next Up on Reading Regularly: I have a few books I started earlier in the year during the business of university that I might try and finish soon, especially one of them that I was only a few chapters from the end of back in January or February. I’ve also just started reading the latest Sophie Kinsella novel! If anyone has any reading suggestions, do let me know 🙂

 

Public Service Announcement: I’m Back!

                        It’s been a while! I’ve been absent for this blog for around a month and in that time haven’t been writing either, aside from doing some odd miscellaneous exercises at Creative Writing Society meetings. The reason? I’ve been working on my undergraduate dissertation, a 15,000 word monster of an essay, that occupied my every waking moment in some form or another for weeks.

I handed it in on Thursday afternoon, in a complete haze of adrenaline and tiredness. It’s a weird feeling handing over a piece of work that you’ve put all of your energy into for a long while, especially when (unlike a novel) there’s no way to make any changes anymore. What is done is done.

I’m back now, taking a break from essay writing and returning to writing for fun for a little while once again! Excitingly, I now know that as long as my degree goes well I will be studying for a Masters in Creative Writing next year so there’s a lot more writing on the cards.

For the meantime, I’ll be around a little more than I have been. Expect Reading Regularly posts coming soon, updates on Robot Dreams and some posts based on writing prompts.

If you have anything specific you’d like to see posts on, let me know.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend readers 🙂

Emma

Thinking About Not Writing (ft. Uni)

This post is a little bit paradoxical, but I figured it’s something we all struggle with.  When you write, you write and that is great. But when you don’t?

It’s a challenge. Usually I just get on with it but there’s something harder about that at the moment. I’ve been excited to start draft three of Robot Dreams for months and have scarcely wrote since January.

12240293_10204810562775211_3339695456748042426_oWinters are hard for me generally, the lack of sunlight makes creative pursuits a challenge once the joys of NaNo, Christmas and the first snow of the year are all used up. This winter more so than others, with the added difficulties posed by being in my final year at university. My degree takes up a lot of my time and energy and lately I’ve been pouring at least a little of my creative energy into essays and uni projects rather than saving it up for personal projects that, sadly, can’t be my priority right now.

Once my dissertation is handed in, I’ll be able to give writing more of a focus again. Until then, I might be a little more absent than usual, but that’s not really out of choice. It’s out10989957_10203402221967571_1535262925312931192_n of the knowledge that every moment I give to my studies over the next three months matters and is the start of the end of a long journey that began when I was seventeen and applying to universities, or sixteen when I went on a summer school right here.

It’s been five years in the making and once I leave Durham, file away the notes and try and keep in touch with the friends I’ve made, all that will be left will be the things I’ve done here. The memories, the photos, the degree certificate.

Previous posts have shown, I’ve not always been happy here in this city but the closer it comes to the end of my time here the more it feels like the end of an era. I’ve learned a lot here, about myself and about the world around me. I’ve wrote for student newspapers, I’ve spent hours playing board games with friends and I’ve also spent far too long watching Netflix.

There’s something odd about final year. I don’t have the time or the energy to write, and that’s why I’m writing this, but suddenl12342343_1070279186329167_7837411385339136495_ny this post has become an outpouring of emotion. An early burst of nostalgia, before the year is even done. There are four months left before I pack up all of my belongings, wear a gown for possibly the last time and head those few miles down the motorway back home with Durham perhaps feeling only like a footnote in my life.

I don’t know how that’ll feel, when it’s time to leave. I’ll probably be happy, I’ll probably be sad. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

There’s dissertations to write, essays to read for, exams to prep for. The days are getting brighter, less cold, and I can be more hopeful.

Whatever comes next after uni, I know I’ll be ready.

And hopefully, at least some of that, will involve getting back to writing again. More on my future plans when I actually have them set in stone!

For the meantime —

Have a good weekend.

Em x