In Support of France, and a Reminder…

As we’re all still reeling from the horrifying and utterly horrendous attacks in Paris last night, I’m sure a lot of us are going to be changing our profile pics and doing our bit to clear away the racist remarks on our social media pages…

Just something to consider. These attacks have a clear purpose in mind, and that’s to widen the current gap between Islam and ‘the West’. To spread fear and contempt of each other, and to spark an Islamophobic reaction that brings out the very worst in humanity. Don’t let that happen.

By staying united in all of this, we can avoid giving the terrorists exactly what they want: to reinforce the idea we’re at war with each other over race, religion and whatever other differences we share as a people. Support each other through this, and don’t let fear and hatred win.

That’s all I have to say right now.


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Writing for Our Lives

My name is Bronwen Winter Phoenix, and I’m a writer (What were you expecting, alcoholic? Impossible, considering I don’t actually drink). Yes, I’m writer. I’m one of the many, and I’m an adaptive one at that. I’m one of the many writers in the UK that live solely off writing, and therefore, it’s an unfortunate fact that I have to be adaptive. It’s not a fact that we all discuss, but it’s a true one.

Are you a writer? Are you perhaps sitting there, agreeing with me? Perhaps not. Let me elaborate on the point above; many people can choose to be many kinds of writer. They could be an author (tick), a journalist (tick), a copywriter (tick) or a screenwriter (tick). Whether they choose to be a scribe, or a blogger (tick), perhaps a critic? (tick) –  in order to succeed as a writer, and continue to grow and sharpen your skillset, you need to write as much as possible. Oftentimes, in order to be able to survive and feed yourself, you need to write about as much as you can possibly find on offer. Sometimes, you’ll get tired of one form of writing and aspire to something else entirely.

All of the above apply to me. I’m currently venturing into screenwriting, and have so far written a TV pilot, and am, at the moment (between other projects, of course) working on my first screenplay. It’s exciting. It’s a whole new world of possibilities, even. But that doesn’t mean I’ve turned my back on all other avenues; I’m writing away as I always have, and that’s how I live. I’m sure if you’re a writer, you’re probably the same.

There’s something about human nature though, which often prevents us from doing new things; which keeps us stuck in routine and makes us afraid to try anything new. There’s a tipping point, but what does it take to push it? Boredom? Lack of success? No other available avenues left? Who knows.

I’ve always preferred writing fiction, and venturing into my own  mind at any available opportunity, but it’s certainly taken me quite a while of longing before finally venturing into the world of screenwriting and buying my Final Draft software. What a revelation! Did you people know that it does things such as capital letters AUTOMATICALLY?! Apparently I can use it for novels, too. Sceptical, but I’ll consider transporting Meredith into there and seeing how that helps me complete that (Meredith’s my fourth novel). I may not like it.

I digress. Writing is my profession, and my game. And when people ask me what I do, I simply call myself a writer, when really I do all of those above-mentioned ‘ticks’ and perhaps even more. Some of them I’m happy about, some less so, but at least I’m doing the one thing I’m good at, which is writing. The truth is, I enjoy it, and I’m sure a lot of you do, too. Isn’t that all we ask for?

Today I’m Wearing: Not Enough Love?

I’ve recently joined a website/app called Today I’m Wearing. It’s a site mostly aimed at women, and allows them to post their looks online for all to see; they can take items of clothing, say where it’s from, how much it cost etc. — and also, opening themselves up to be openly judged. Users can log on and view all the recent postings, and choose to ‘love’ looks, and follow users.

So far, so good. But I’m beginning to think it’s true what they say about women being ultra critical of each other… Browsing down all the recent postings, photos and photos of (mostly) pretty young ladies posing in the latest fashions, trends, casual tees and glamorous dresses, I’m noticing a worrying pattern; there’s not enough love there, really.

And I’m not just talking about my postings; I’m seeing some lovely outfits, displayed on some beautiful, perfect creatures, and most of these have maybe one or zero ‘loves’. There’s the occasional winner that’s got about four, and the editor’s picks that get a lot more attention, but… where’s all the love for the rest? Where is the love, damnit?

Maybe this thing will catch on and more people with start interacting with the app, but right now at least that aspect of ‘Today I’m Wearing’ doesn’t seem to be doing too well. Question is, are we too critical of each other? Let’s get into the spirit and encourage some love all around.

My Top 5 Favourite Foxes

Yes, what with all the terrible events going on in the world recently, I’ve decided to blog instead about my top 5 favourite foxes. Ever.

1. @GusTheFox

Since I found him on Twitter, @GusTheFox has quickly become my favourite fox in the world, ever. I’ve been reading his tweets for a while now, and they really are quite genius. Things like; “Licking porridge off Noel Edmonds’ anti aircraft cannon”, and “I just punched a woodpecker called Dennis Yeast in the throat because he kept talking bollocks about test driving F1 cars for a living”. He also has a very funny agony column. Apparently, he also murdered his Gran.

2. The Crack Fox (Mighty Boosh)

Disturbing and funny, I really hope we see more of this character if there’s any more Mighty Boosh stuff in the pipeline. Here’s the story, told by the Crack Fox himself, from episode 4, season 3 of The Mighty Boosh:

“Once upon another time, there was a fox, and he was called Jerome. He lived in the woods, in Elderberry Wood. His friends were Nicholas the Tennis Rat and Dante the Racist Badger.

They spent their days punting down the lazy rivers of Cambridge town. Occasionally would eat a cucumber sandwich and sit under Mr. Willow the Tree.

One day, whilst relaxing, he found a copy of Cheekbone Magazine. It was in the bush. And he read an article about London life. He read it over and over, and over, and over again, and over. And then, decided he was gonna go to London! His friends said, “No! You can’t go!” But he decided he was gonna, ’cause he was a willfulll little fox, and he set off to the town.

Three days later, he was off his tiny face in a gay club. Woohoo! The fun, fun times for him! But the party lifestyle took its toll. Eventually he ended up on the streets, begging for cheese in Dalston.

That fox, my friend, was none other than me, the Crack Fox. CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Definitely one of my favourites of Julian Barrett and Noel Fielding’s creations. “Fiddle-de-doo, fiddle-de-dee, fiddle-de-DIE!”

3. Basil Brush

We can’t miss out old Basil, can we? He’s cheerful enough, but I think he might be a closet masterplan terrorist. “Ha ha ha, Boom! Boom!” — there never were any explosions tracked back to that happy chappy, were there?

4. Foxy Bingo

Is his name actually ‘Foxy Bingo’? Because I think that would actually work. Anyway, most of you ferals, at least in the UK, have probably witnessed the Foxy Bingo adverts. I mean – it’s a fox in a snazzy suit, what more can you ask for? And, well, he’s just so jaunty and happy-go-lucky, he’s like a pied piper for women in their 40s waiting to go on the school run. Admittedly, as a 26-year-old single lady, I would most definitely follow him down the street — I mean, it’s a talking fox in a SUIT! (For the rest of you, Foxy Bingo is, of course, one of the leading Bingo websites in the UK. Well, they can afford talking foxes in snazzy suits, after all.)

5. The Fox from ‘The Animals of Farthing Wood’

He had a really sexy voice. That is all.


Andrew Lincoln’s Acting Career

If you’re not a Britski, you probably won’t remember Teachers, where Andrew Lincoln starred as Simon Casey. Nowadays, he plays Rick Grimes in the hit zombie TV show The Walking Dead, and that’s funny because as Simon, he was the most irresponsible, immature, whiney, petty, obsessive, neurotic sod, and now he’s the responsible one in charge of protecting everyone from zombies. He’s come quite a way, and the American accent throws me a little, too. Kudos to Lincoln, and I’m looking forward to Season 3.


‘Phobic’: Just a Thought

Transphobics, homophobics… I’ve got a bone to pick about the use of the word ‘phobic’…

Normally when you refer to the word ‘phobia’, it’s something people can’t help; it’s something they just have. They don’t choose to be agoraphobic, or arachnophobic, or chirophobic… I don’t like how bad attitudes are lumped with the word ‘phobic’ as it gives the completely wrong impression. If people were going around hating and being mean to spiders, or dogs, or say, disabled people, they wouldn’t be called phobics. They’d be called arseholes. Right?

The word ‘phobic’ sounds far too lenient, in my opinion, for a person who is filled with unadulterated and inexplicable hate for something they either don’t properly understand, or have developed through other social issues – maybe not all of them their fault, but still. It’s not something we should generally tolerate, and fastening the word ‘phobic’ onto it just sounds… more tolerant than it should? It’s not a phobia, it’s bigotry against transsexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, Muslims, Jews… the list goes on. Am I wrong about this?

Just a thought. Feel free to argue.