Beauty Regime (poem)

I stand naked facing the mirror
getting ready for the night ahead
I rake the curls back from my face
that’s outlined with dread
because I know I’ll feel bad tomorrow
but it will be worth it in the end

I remove foundation covering
my grey and dehydrated skin
ignoring the bruised temple
that slammed against porcelain

revealing the flaked scales
hidden by too sizes too big clothes
I carefully cut my nails
so I don’t scratch my throat

then I grab my pillow
to rest my poor bones
sharp brittle fragile
protruding at every angle

I’ll sleep on the bathroom floor again
because the

two

step

dash is still too far
so I take my usual spot
the taste of Senokot and diet Coke
already making me wretch
and count down the hours until
120 laxatives take effect

By Kimberly Jamison

Things I learnt from my father

The other day I had to fix my laptop, a mundane task. However, throughout the process I heard my dad’s voice telling me what to do and how to fix it and even to back up everything just before I wiped it accidentally. A lucky escape! This got me thinking, my dad taught me how to fix a laptop but he also taught me many other things that have shaped my view on the world and how I conduct myself. I never really acknowledged some of these things until now but it seems appropriate to make a post just over two years after his death to show how he really did affect and teach me things that would last a lifetime. This is a list of things my father taught me and that I am still trying to use in my everyday life.

Things I learnt from my father:

  1. Never make excuses. You either have a good reason or you don’t.
  2. Don’t bullshit anyone and eventually they will stop bullshitting you. Only do this if you are willing to take people’s true opinions.
  3. Respect yourself completely.
  4. Even the longest and darkest nights end.
  5. Earn people’s respect. Then work to keep it.
  6. Never break a promise.
  7. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
  8. You will end up where you need to be, just trust yourself and enjoy the journey.
  9. Don’t tempt fate.
  10. Friends are common, good friends are rare and enemies are earned.
  11. Stand up for what you believe in even if you stand by yourself. The buck stops with you.
  12. You’ll go through hell…
  13. but sometimes life is very very good.
  14. The world doesn’t owe you anything. Work for it.
  15. If you love someone, show them.
  16. Offer no context. The people who matter don’t need it and no one else will listen anyway.
  17. Always apologise for your temper, especially when you lose it.
  18. Love what you do.
  19. Follow your dreams while you are young, while you can.
  20. Stop worrying.

Kimberly

Perfection is overrated, I’d rather pretend to be a lion any day…

I’ve had a very interesting few months. I have been writing a novel and working hard. I have moved into a new house and been catching up with my amazing friends. I even went to the South. I know right.

I can honestly say, that although the last few months have been very stressful for me due to family illnesses and moving and general life issues, I am content. I have reached a point in my life where I can honestly say I don’t worry as much about things, I don’t get as angry about things and I have let go of a few of my inner demons.

A few are still there, of course. I wouldn’t be me without them. And that is the crux of this post. I have thought a lot about perfection recently, or the strive towards perfection and how it can benefit and harm us.

I was talking with an amazing friend recently and a few quotes from our conversation were:

Everyone dislikes part of them self. Humans strive for perfection, that’s why we accomplish great things but we’ll never meet the finish line. We can’t be perfect. It’s like an endless race. And you might think what’s the point if there isn’t an end, but to me I just think what’s the point in being on the side line. Might as well go forward and get a better view. Learn to love your flaws because they make you, you.

Being in recovery for an eating disorder has made me think a lot about my imperfections.

  1. I’m very short.
  2. My hair is a mess constantly.
  3. My eyes are weird.
  4. I have truly terrible skin due to eczema and psoriasis.
  5. I store all my fat on my lower stomach.

and many more.

Another quote was:

They do though. Imperfections are what make you overcome things, try new things, find ways around things etc. Imperfections are brilliant. Why be another mould of someone else. Have dents and scratches.

So let’s try that list again.

    1. My eyes are weird. I like heavy eye make up, I get an excuse to wear it. Also I can see, even if I need glasses. I actually have eyes. I also like the colour of them quite a bit and it isn’t even noticeable. Stop comlaining, Jamison.
    2. My hair is a mess constantly. I quite like dressing like Bellatrix Lestrange, my hair is PERFECT for this. Also I can dress like a lion. As everyday wear. I think this is an acceptable thing to do, so I shall do so. I am eccentric, I don’t even care. Also curly hair can get away with mess and frizz a lot more, just saying. Stop complaining, Jamison.
    3. I’m very short. I may be short but I don’t need to duck under low branches and quite frankly I have kick ass calves from all the reaching for things and wearing heels and jumping and such. Also I am afraid of heights so… Stop complaining, Jamison.
    4. I have truly terrible skin due to eczema and psoriasis.I have skin. I am not burnt, I am not contagious, I am not actually that bad. Although this is propbably one of my worst points, I know I could be a lot worse, because I have been worse. It is mostly contained to my hands, sometimes feet and no one can actually see my psoriasis even when naked and I doubt most people even knew about it. With moisterizer and a good diet I can live mostly normally with my skin with only minor issues. Stop complaining, Jamison.
    5. I store all my fat on my lower stomach. In the grand scheme of things it is not that much fat and it is healthier than upper stomach. Also I no longer look starved. And I have boobs again. And a few crunches would make it look better. Stop complaining, Jamison.

So there we go. Flaws help us become who we are. I am a Bellatrix Lestrange fanatic who can flip her lion mane hair franticly in frustration after she has failed to reach something on the top shelf and I can stalk off under our plum tree wearing heels without having to duck the branches.

FAB-U-LOUS.

Yes, I am being silly, but you get my point. I love my flaws even though I dislike them. I guess they are like some family members. Heh heh.

We then said:

That’s why you should always have friends who are flawed. Polished stones just slide off each other. Rough pieces can fit together better

That and perfect friends would be boring as hell and probably make you go insane. The reason I love my friends is all their weird quirks and habits, admittedly I am probably weirder, but still. It is their flaws that make them…not perfect… but PERFECT FOR ME. I wouldn’t change any of them, not one single one. Love ’em. To bits. Tiny little lovely bits. Sorry, going overboard again.

So go forth and love yourself, all of yourself including your flaws. Be who you are completely and utterly. Strive forwards and find great adventures behind those obstacles you overcome. Again, like family, you are stuck with them. You don’t have to like those imperfections, but love them and you will become so much happier.

Kimberly

The childhood eccentricity of a budding novelist, a kick-ass blade wielding protagonist, and The Legion of Dark Angels.

And here it is! My anthology is doing a blog tour with posts from contributors and editors. Everyday running up to the launch on the 12th there shall be a new post! Get reading. Get excited! Get to Nottingham for our anthology. It will be amazing.

EnDearing Minds

I have always found it so incredibly difficult to pinpoint the exact moment a story comes to me – at least with a fair amount of my stories. The transition between initial idea and development happens so fast it’s unnerving. I can zoom from A – Z as though Chris Hemsworth is waiting for me at the end, (I reckon as soon as I finish the novel he’ll come knocking on my door to whisk me away via magic carpet, courtesy of Aladdin.)

I can’t exactly remember how I even developed The Legion of Dark Angels. I have this vague memory of the title manifesting through a dream, but I do know that the protagonist Rex was conceived from a multitude of sassy dialogue badassery coursing through my mind – making me crack up with laughter in random places – until they morphed into the one and only Rexulana Dubois.

View original post 486 more words

Work experience, writers and the big wide world

This week I have been doing some work experience for Nottingham Writers’ Studio. It is the first time I have had a proper working day. I have had freelance jobs but never a nine to five job for five days a week. Man, I am tired.

Working at the studio, I wrote some copy for blog posts, edited webpages and copy, did some research to create some writers’ resources. That was very fun because I got to think of things that I would like and need, and then create them for other people. I thought of ideas for FAQs and forum ideas for the studio to help with their new website.

Since they had moved premises, into a bigger and better studio, I put some flat pack furniture together and helped give ideas of where to put the rest of the new furniture. I shadowed a meeting with a councillor talking about a UNESCO bid for City of Literature title for Nottingham. It was brilliant to meet someone so passionate about culture and culture in Nottingham. I helped proofread a copy of the brief for the bid.

I attended a branding workshop, which was actually extremely helpful. It was like a little crash course in branding and marketing and I learnt a lot of skills I will be able to take forward into the future and my future projects. I also went to Waterstones to help an author, Sarah Dale, to advertise an event helping to launch her new book. I got to talk to people and heard many interesting stories and saw how an author has to market their book in person in this new changing industry.

This week was also leading up to a coursework deadline on the Friday, and then another in a week’s time as well as other social commitments. I really had to learn how to organise my time and use the time I did have effectively. I had to make sure I was productive.

I know a lot of you are reading this and thinking, “yeah welcome to the world of work,” however it is hard when it is something you have never had to do before. To clarify, even though it was was, it was rewarding, I learnt so much this week, it was exciting and I did so many different things. I am looking forward to finding full time work now because I know there are enough opportunities out there to keep me busy and occupied and, although working really hard, having fun as well.

It is true it is a lot easier to go through everything when you are doing something you love. I was surrounded by amazing writers and interesting people, I got to write and be creative, I got to organise and make the best out of myself and I thrived. Even though I had my coursework deadline coming up, and almost no time to complete it except very late in the evening which lead to a few all-nighters, because I picked a course I adore it was fine. The base part of myself was still pushing myself forward because this is the world I want to be in. This is why everyone should try and do what they love.

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

I partly agree. You will work. However your motivation will be so much higher, you will be able to push yourself further than you thought and you will achieve more than you ever dreamed of. The work you do in the day, no matter how bad it even gets, you will be able to get through it. After the day is done, you will look back and know it was worth it.

I enjoyed almost every second of my work experience week and I didn’t have any bad days because I am lucky. However, the fact that I didn’t sleep for over 72 hours at one point this week, was the hard part. But it was brilliant. And I would do it again. I will do it again. I owe a big thank you to everyone I met this week, it was fantastic and I hope to help you as much as you helped me one day.

By Kimberly 

 

So far so good… OR New Year Resolutions UPDATE

Things I want to do this year:

1) Finally get rid of the ‘friends’ who keep dragging me down. I have some brilliant friends and some ‘friends’ who frankly by calling them friends I’m insulting my true ones.

2) Be more positive. I need to stop looking at the dark side of things.

3) Finish my novel. Self explanatory.

4) Finish the short story collection I have started.

5) Get high grades at university.

6) Be a better friend.

7) Lose weight. I need to stop piling on the chub chub.

8) Finish looking for houses. Such fun that. I hate house hunting. Ew student houses. Eurgh.

9) Win some form of poetry/ short story competition. Please. Pretty please.

10) Finish Game of Thrones dvds.

11) Read 100 books.

12) Write 100 poems.

13) Be a better person all round.

Independent Publishing… Help!

One of my modules on the BA Creative and Professional Writing course requires me to write a research essay about publishing on the topic of my choice. I have chosen to do the advantages and disadvantages of independent publishing in the current publishing environment. I chose to do this topic because I really prefer the independent publishing market, and am interested in pursuing a career there one day, so thought as I have to research something I’ll do the thing I am passionate about!

I would like to hear about experiences of publishers, so if anyone happens to be one, or knows one, then please feel free to come have a chat!
These were my questions.to begin with.
Now, my readers by now know how much I value their opinion so even if you are not a publisher, if you have an opinion that is strong enough to want to share, please do so in my comments or email me at k.e.jamison@hotmail.co.uk

1) What do you think the advantages are for you being an independent publisher rather than traditional?

and 2) Have you faced any major challenges being independent ? For example, maybe with competition with traditional publishers, marketing books, or staying afloat in the economic climate.

Feel free to think and debate and write. I need the opinions for my research.

Thank you my lovely readers!

Kimberly