Discussion, Freelance, Poetry

Satisfying Clicks: Magic to Marketing

Never have met me, never do,
never be mine, never even be you,
approach from a point it’s impossible to
at a time you don’t have, and by these byelaws
come my way, go yours.

- Glyn Maxwell, Byelaws

 

I have always been one of those people that love magic, mostly up close and personal magic, sleight of hand, when something right in front of your eyes works perfectly even though you don’t know why. I get that warm feeling of satisfaction, a smile across my face because it worked and it’s beautiful in a way I can’t express. Even if I know how the trick is done, when it’s executed well it’s awesome in the original sense of the word because it clicks. It’s just like when you close a door and the latch clicks that satisfying sound so you know its shut.

It’s this same sort of thing that I love about poetry (and language on the whole). Yes you can analyse it and explain it to death, but truly beautiful poetry just fits, it clicks. A writer can show you words you recognise and create something new, explain something complex in a simple and satisfying way. It clicks in your mind, because it just works and fits so perfectly. To me, good writing isn’t about expression of an image or idea, because frankly anyone can express, we do it all day when we talk to each other. We express our experiences, our thoughts and opinions, but this is ordinary language. Extraordinary language is a complexly engineered construct of words, where expression, phonetics, connotation and, in fact, all aspects of the language fall into place and click.

An example that springs to mind when I talk about this clicking is a poem I read a while back by Glyn Maxwell. I had never heard much about him however I picked up the Forward Books of Poetry (Faber & Faber – either 2013 or 2014) and he was in there. This poem made me smile so much I had to read it aloud to anyone who would listen and an extract features at the top of this post.

This is where business is getting more exciting these days. With so many brands and businesses competing for the spotlight, for the likes, for the website hits, the retweets, follows, ratings and ultimately sales marketers have to use better, more creative and more engaging methods to attract attention. The internet means businesses can reach even more people and grow over geographical boundaries, the other side of the coin is there it’s near impossible to be a big fish in a small pond. The internet is a vast and angry sea and competition is fierce.

Yes, marketing has always had to be clever, and yes campaigns have been beautifully crafted before to have these clicks, but now we are seeing it literally all over the place. Small businesses have to play head to head with international corporations, global brands but with less manpower, less money and less time to invest. So to compete they have to be clever, they have to find other ways to appeal. So because of this you can see these clicks in advertising all over the place on the internet.

Design, branding, slogans have become slicker that it’s hard to draw the line between art and advertisement. But then again, does there need to be a line drawn? Marketing can be art, art with a purpose, with a goal, with a meaning; it should make you stop, think and smile. I hope I can bring this in my work. I love writing for pleasure and I love writing for business I just hope I can create clicks for other people the same way I experience them.

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Uncategorized

Inside Hockley Hustle

Today, I feel like a stranger in Nottingham. It’s hockley hustle,  a wristbanded music event taking over the hipster end of Nottingham City. A whole host of venues have truly come alive this Sunday and me and the photographer boyfriend are investigating the life behind all the doors we’ve walked past but never actually gone in. Currently we have found our way into Filthy’s as the programme said something along the lines of… german rave forest, and it sounded too interesting to miss. Waiting for the next act to start, this buzz of people tells me Nottingham has so much more than I ever perceived previously… watch this space.

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Film, Rants

A Film Not Worth Watching

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My boyfriend and I have come to a new arrangement when it comes to picking what movie to watch in the evenings. We have quite different tastes in films so choosing one we both like is almost completely out of the question. Instead, we both chose 20 films, wrote them on little pieces of paper and now we literally pick one out of a hat. Well actually it’s more of a bowl than a hat. The first movie that was picked out was, of course, one of his choices: Berberian Sound Studio. Now, I do not often write movie reviews so I’m no reliable or respectable critic, but it was absolutely one of the worst films I have ever seen.

The premise is fairly simple, and actually sparked my curiosity to begin with. It follows a bog-standard white, middle-class man in a tight grey suit, with a tightly pulled face and heavily receding hairline who works as a sound technician for movies. He arrives in a new studio in Italy to work with these very aggressive and overtly sexual Italians on a horror film. The movie is basically about him and these people creating the sound effects to accompany the horror film. But you never see the film, nor understand it as it’s in Italian or Latin, or a mix of the two. Perhaps we were watching a dodgy copy but there were no subtitles. And half of the actors speak to each other in Italian and half way through the main character, the only English speaker we can rely on, decides he now understands and speaks fluent Italian. But I doubt it would have been much better even with subtitles, it’s hardly a complicated or compelling storyline and I don’t feel I missed much reading only facial expressions and dramatic gestures.

Apart from the heavily stereotyped and badly portrayed characters, the film itself has no story and no original or exciting qualities. The main character seems put out and on edge the whole way through and I suppose there is supposed to be some kind of over lapping between the violence of the movie they are working on and the reality in the movie. But this is not conveyed. It is just scene after scene of different ways in which they make the sounds, the plans and notes for the sounds, but no context to what the sounds mean. Everything is so taken out of context that I could not get into the ‘creeped out’ state of mind that the eerie background music implied I should be in. It seems more like a dramatized documentary of the making of a movie rather than an actual movie.

The interactions between characters have tension but with no real force, no rhyme or reason. The only decent scene was where the main character gets woken up in the middle of the night by someone banging on his door, he gets scared, shouts, gets a knife and opens the door. Upon opening the door he then finds himself not outside his place, but in the studio watching a recording of the events that have just occurred but dubbed in Italian. This is then followed by some strange kaleidoscopic mash of images of him screaming, random colours and god knows what else which ends rather abruptly and cuts to a few minutes of a typical, day-time TV documentary of the English countryside. Boxhill, I believe it was, discussing the rare orchids and other flora and fauna that attract visitors from all around – apparently. This scene had no clear relevance to the rest of the film.

The film had scope to be a good film, but flopped massively. The flashing red “SILENZIO” outside the studio is shown every ten minutes and there is complete over usage of cutting from loud noises to silence to emphasise that they are in a studio. Seriously, am I missing something here? I hope we did just watch a bad copy and no one commissioned such a terrible film to be produced. If anyone out there has watched it and thinks I am being unfair then I implore you to please let me know what on earth was going on. But if you haven’t watched it, please just don’t. Life is short and your time is better spent waiting for a broken kettle to boil that trying to find some good in this abomination.

Hopefully, the next film that comes out of the hat (bowl) will be better. Hopefully, it will be one of mine ;)

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Freelance

Calling All Creative Heads

Alas! My website is taking shape. It actually looks and behaves somewhat like a website. I’m quite ready to release it to the world as there are still pages to write and design elements to tweak but it’s getting there. It’s very exciting.

The website is for my business idea, perhaps similar to other businesses already out there but we have more passion, more energy and more drive. I have numerous creative friends, talented in a range of different skills from writing to designing, each are amazing at what they do but they aren’t really very business-minded people. So my business is to offer all these services in one place, where I take care of all the administration, the website, the marketing and generally representing all the talents leaving my creative cohort to simply do what they do best, create!

I think that finding clients and marketing is the post problematic and daunting aspect of business, thankfully I’ve a fair bit of marketing and sales experience in my short working life (only a young’un you see) and I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. As the services we will be offering will be for businesses, to begin with anyway, I think that it’s important to know WHO exactly you are going to target, doing adequate research and directly offering services to fulfil a need in their business. I believe in content marketing and branding because quite frankly it works. You look at any of the biggest and best companies, Coca Cola, Virgin Media, Apple, they all have a very strong sense of who they are. And that is what we offer.

So I would like to build on our group of freelancers. If you have creative talents but are not sure how to actually make money from them then please contact me and we will have a chat. What can you contribute? What kind of money will you be earning? Upfront and honest. That’s all I’ll ever be. After all, there’s no harm in asking.

It’s perfect for people who are currently in full-time education or employment, have family or care commitments, regardless of what your current commitments are, it’s the kind of job that can earn you a bit of extra cash on the side. The bigger we grow the more business we can offer you and you can decide how many projects you’d like to take on at once. As long as you can deliver high-quality creative content to reasonable, pre-agreed deadlines then you’re exactly what we need.

We are aiming to be live by the end of September, hopefully businesses will have had a bit of a boost with the run up to Christmas and all, so over the following months we can show them that a branding revamp is exactly what they need for the new year to attract new customers and increase sales.

We are looking to build on the types of creative talents we can offer so if you’re not sure how your skills fits in, contact me, I’m sure we can find you a place. Here are some of the kinds of talents we are looking for:

  • Copywriters
  • Technical writers
  • Scientific writers
  • Business writers
  • Journalists
  • Photographers
  • Videographers
  • Graphic designers
  • Web designers
  • Publication designers
  • Typography designers

This is a change for you to make money doing what you love without all the business mayhem getting in the way. Thanks for reading, hopefully we will hear from some of you and good luck in all your pursuits!

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Uncategorized

Syncing

Lines in Helvetica
engineered to attract and dilate
the eyes,

To increase the incline,
to adjust our human cells
slightly.

Red faced and burnt fingered,
glossy pinperfect prints
feel more real than skin.

Forward facing cameras
monitor our expressions and
track how we read.

They make charts
to visualize
impressions.

Code-clicking
the human condition
into an algorithm.

We swallow down
stale bread, sugar coated.
We frantically breed-down

And kill-up the against
the shop front bricks.
A swarm of force fed

Swollen gullets receive
the seamless
wireless drip.

By Elexa Rose

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Poetry, Uncategorized

The Air Vent

The only breeze I’ll know today is
The one thrust down from the plastic grate
Above my head.

I will staple the thin film of skin
That joins my forefinger and thumb
To see if they are watching from the vent.

Coffee gas and steam tea breathe in
And out of yellow teethlines,
Staining the numbers they strain to spout.

Shirt sleeves wipe the slate clean
Of brown and green bruises
For the fast talker, pen clicker type.

A pocket full of holes made by accumulated keys
Robin Hoods my loose change,
For the dogs and drug addicts on the street to find.

The air conditioning whistles and wheezes
Pausing every few moments
To catch syllable of silent sounds.

Elexa Rose

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Plans

A Writers Plan of (In)Action

Well I have been working on a few poems, as mentioned in my previous post, and I wanted to post them on here but having done some more research I have decided against it. As is with all writers, I hope to one day be published, however I have found out that any work posted on a blog still counts as being previously published and could cause problems should I have a successful application with a literary journal or publisher. WELL. It’s a bit sad, because I really want to share my work but alas, I don’t want to hinder myself in the future. So with that in mind, I have constructed a plan for getting published.

 

  1. Finish at least 20 poems that work separately and as a collection. I need to get a proper collection together. And I’m forever reading my poems and thinking, no this is not finished. I also need to learn when enough has been done and to just leave it be. Which leads me onto my next point…
  2. Set up writers forum with writer friends. I have quite a few writer friends which is great! And we’ve long dreamed about setting up our own little forum. I tried, but getting it together is harder than it seems. But we must all try again, we want to get a private forum set up online so we can share our work and get feedback. Once I’ve got 20 poems I am relatively happy with I’d like to relinquish them to my writer friends for criticism. Then work on them and get them to a point where I think, hell yeah these should be published.
  3. Methodically send poems too literary journals. My plan is to start small, send out my work to the lesser known journals and magazines first. See what response I get, if any. And  if do my plan is to rejoice! And tell you all about it on this blog. After I’ve been somewhat successful I will attempt to send work to the bigger journals and cross all my fingers and toes.
  4. During my time of sending out poems to journals I will be working on a second collection of poems, hopefully better developed and what not. This, I will try to send out as a complete collection to publishers. Hopefully by this point my name will have cropped up once or twice in a journal or magazine and this will work in my favour. I will keep going, and with every rejection I’ll send out 5 more applications. And if they all reject me, well then I guess I’ll just have to write better poems.
  5. Publish myself. This is always an option, though I’m not too sure at the moment how I would go about this. I would like to set up my own online literary journal or magazine, something with a twist, something grimy and dark. Something that breaks the rules and makes people feel uncomfortable when their reading it. Like a terrible accident you can’t look away from.

 

However it happens, I just want to write and write and write and push it out into the world with all the might and clamour possible. I want to make a noise and be heard and maybe make a difference. Ah, the dream of every writer. This is why I seriously want to organise a network, meet-ups in local Nottingham pubs with quiet corners. Share work and notes and put our heads together and help each other. There are a number of writing groups in the local area already. One in particular that does quite well for itself, but has the air of being somewhat elitist and ‘money grabbing’. I realise that things cost, but there is no need to charge ridiculous amounts for little bit of service you provide. My network will aim to be as free as possible, or where this is not possible, cheap and affordable. Art is about sharing not about making money. And by sharing I mean the original, honest true meaning of the word. Not something you do on social media accounts, something you do with people you actually interact with face-to-face, the touchy-feely kind of sharing that happens when you talk to someone and see the way the words take shape on their mouth before you hear them. See their expressions and share the experience. I want a real-life, honest art community, and I want it now.

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