Posted in Ask Jen, Blog, Personal, Thoughts On Writing, Writing

Ask Jen – 16th June 2018

Hola amigos,

Here are the answers to some of the questions you asked me!

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Ari asked: What was your favorite poem from What Ever Happened To Baby Jen? And why did you call the collection that?

My favourite poem from the collection was Cherry Coke. I named the collection, in part, after “What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?” Which is one of my favourite films.

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Nicole asked: You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but with it being Pride month, would you consider doing a video for She’s A Sensitive Girl or Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy? Poems about women who love women are so underrepresented, and the ones we do have are normally very male gaze focused, but what you wrote was so gentle and loving, so it would mean a lot to me if we got a video for one of them. Pretty please? 🙂

I’m releasing a video for one of those next week 🙂

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Anon asked: Will you do more audio collections, or start writing more music to go along with your poems in the future?

Yes! I really enjoyed working on the audio collection, so it’s definitely something I’d like to do again.

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Katie asked: Will you be coming to Scotland soon?

Yes, I hope so!

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Kyle asked: Are you making any more videos for the poems in Kissing Boys, Just For The Thrill?

I’m not sure yet. I have already done nine (ten if you count the alt version of Palo Alto), so I don’t want to keep spamming people with videos based on those poems, in case people get bored, but if people want them, then I don’t see why not.

At the moment, I have videos planned from What Ever Happened To Baby Jen, Drowning In Us and another upcoming collection, but, as I said, if people still want them from the new book, I’m happy to oblige.

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Victoria asked: Will you be singing on the Drowning In Us Soundtrack?

Yes, the vocal versions aren’t used in the film itself, but they are included in the soundtrack. There are two new vocal songs on it, entitled Wildflowers, and Your Heart. There is also a new instrumental of 2AM, but I haven’t decided if I want to add a version with vocals yet, or not.

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Julius asked: What do you think about Simply_Kenna? Would you collab with her on a poetry project some day?

I’m not super familiar with her work, but what I’ve seen is very nice. I don’t know her at all as a person, so I think doing a project together is probably unlikely, simply because I don’t know her in real life, so it would be difficult to arrange something like that, we do also have quite different styles so I’m not sure if we would be suitable collaboration partners, but stranger things have happened, so, I don’t know, maybe?

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Sammy asked: Your poetry videos are really unique, because a lot just feature the poet reading, but you make something so different. What inspired you to make videos in the style you do?

Thank you! One of my favourite films of all time, as many of you may know, is The Ring. When I started making videos, I was very inspired by the cursed video from The Ring. I loved the idea of a series of mysterious, and seemingly unconnected, surreal images, that slowly make more sense, as the message of the poem unfolds, in a similar way to the cursed video from the movie.

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Anonymous asked: Is a return to wrestling in 2018 on the cards?

I wish I could give a straight answer on this, because I’ve been asked this by quite a few people in the past, and every time, my answer is vague and stuff, and I’m sure that is incredibly annoying for people who are nice enough to care and ask me about it.

The simple, and straightest answer I can give is, maybe, with conditions.

There were a lot of great and enjoyable moments for me, in wrestling, and some great people that I really enjoyed working with, but there were also horrible times and horrible people, so, and I swear down, I’m not trying to be a diva when I say this, I would be open to it, for the right people. I don’t want to work with certain people, who have been either directly involved, or complicit in abuse and shady practices. I don’t want to work in environments where I won’t feel safe or like everyone around me is safe.

The key thing to remember here is, I am not actually, by any means, a good wrestler, and I have never pretended that I was, so I’m not sure there is any value in anyone bringing me back, unless it was to work with Jonathan Windsor (who I have no issue working with), or as a manager for someone else.

If I could fit stuff in around my writing projects, and it was for a good place, I’m all for it, but right now, I don’t know what’s happening with it.

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Josie asked: Why is the song in the alternate version of Palo Alto Passion different to the original version?

There are two reasons.

  1. I didn’t want to get a copyright strike on my YouTube channel, so I made two versions, so I could upload one to YouTube that wouldn’t contain music that would get me in trouble.
  2. The poem is about a very specific moment in my life, and in that moment, that song was in my head, because I had watched the movie Palo Alto, while on the train to the date that I was on, when this moment happened.

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Enter The Poetry Competition here

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Posted in Blog, Lifestyle, Wrestling

It’s Time To Talk About EVE (Because Many People In The Wrestling Industry Won’t).

Everybody is talking about EVE lately. Absolutely everyone! That is… except for wrestling media, you know, the people who are literally employed to talk about wrestling. It’s undeniable that EVE have been opened to whole new audiences through literal months of mainstream exposure. Mainstream reporters can’t get enough of them (I don’t blame them), and it seems like every week, EVE is covered in a new article, or they’ve sold out another show (so much for “women don’t sell tickets”) or one of their talents has had huge success. Now, Buzzfeed, The BBC, and Kate Fucking Nash are talking about EVE, so why are they still treated like Billy Lenz from Black Christmas (unrelated but please watch this classic movie, amen), when they’re doing so well?

Let’s have a look at some possibilities…

  1. Could it be that EVE is a female centric promotion? 

Possibly. Acknowledging the success and mainstream attention that EVE have received over the last few months involves acknowledging that women are entirely responsible for this, and you’d have to be delusional to think that there aren’t still some in the wrestling media who have a problem with this.

In terms of content, EVE are undeniably a feminist group, and it could be argued that some in the wrestling media want a women’s revolution, but don’t want one that takes the narrative from men, and centres the revolution around women lifting themselves and others from the shadows, and taking opportunities, instead of a man being generous enough to give them that new platform. If you look at WWE’s alleged women’s revolution, for example, the majority of content produced has made sure to give special thanks to Triple H, as if he did something incredibly generous by allowing women more than two minutes per match on NXT. Not to be harsh, but men really shouldn’t be applauded for investing time and resources equally for their talents. Triple H didn’t do anything amazing, he just did what he, and others in his position, should have been doing for a long time.

EVE is very clear that their revolution, which happened several years ahead of many current attempts, is by women and for women, and it’s very easy to see why some of wrestling media could be intimidated by that fact.

2.  Is it because EVE is determined to make women feel welcome in wrestling? 

I don’t want to hear “not all men!” I know that it isn’t all men. I’m very aware. However, you would have to be either a liar or delusional to say that there isn’t a huge problem with the treatment of women, predominantly by men, in both the wrestling industry and the wrestling fandom.

Female talents are often harassed, some are even abused, and the same is true for female fans. Women in wrestling are often made to feel like they don’t belong, and that if they are allowed to belong, it’s only because “They’re not like the other girls. They’re one of the boys.” A woman, more often than not, can either belong, under certain conditions, or be isolated. EVE say “Fuck no” to that.

Not only do their shows give a platform for women across the wrestling industry to showcase their talent, but their shows give a safe space for women to enjoy wrestling. I know that people are sick of the phrase “safe space”, but honestly, I think we are sick of requiring safe spaces. I don’t think I’ve met a female wrestling fan, or female wrestler who doesn’t have at least one story of being verbally attacked, sexually harassed and even sexually assaulted at a wrestling event. It isn’t enough to say “We won’t put up with it”, when this happens. It is time to say actually show this, by kicking troublemakers out of shows, making sure fans and talent are heard when they have an issue, and generally, making your show a place where people feel safe, which is something EVE do, but many other promotions are failing at, when it really isn’t that hard.

EVE have been vocal in support for abuse survivors, and have made it clear that they will do all they can to make all of their fans and talent feel safe, and they don’t just tweet about it and then ignore their duties, they actually stick to it. Many promotions will talk a good game about making their shows safe, but will still book abusers, and will either ignore fan criticism, or get overly defensive about what is actually a fair point, EVE is not only not doing that, but they’re calling out places that do.

3. Is it because EVE are giving too many women ideas?

I know, this one sounds a bit out there, but hear me out. As I mentioned earlier, there seems to be a great desire, in the wrestling industry, and in many wrestling media outlets to roll with the idea that Triple H, Patron Saint Of Women’s Wrestling, and his wife Stephanie “Philanthropy is the future of marketing, it’s the way brands are going to win” McMahon blessed us with the women’s revolution, and basically invented women’s wrestling, and they absolutely did it because they love us, and not because they could clearly see they were losing money from women’s wrestling fans who were migrating to promotions that gave a shit about women. This is, of course, not true. Stephanie McMahon’s husband, as important to women’s wrestling as he may be marketed, did not in fact, invent or even popularise women’s wrestling. Women’s wrestling has always been there. This revisionist history is to remove the narrative of women doing great things, and to replace it with the narrative of men being nice enough to encourage women to do nice things, but only certain women.

EVE, at it’s core, removes the second narrative all together. It is literally women, saying to other women, “You got this. We got this.”

I remember, from my own misadventures in wrestling, meeting EVE’s poster lady, Rhia O’Reilly, and instantly feeling so welcomed and supported by her. She was somebody who constantly encouraged me, even when I must have been incredibly frustrating to work with, and she never gave up on me. Now, I may not have become the cool wrestler I dreamed of, but I became one hell of a manager, and I would throw a lot of credit for that to Rhia, and women like her, many of whom are a part of EVE, for seeing a girl who was clearly overwhelmed and intimidated, and giving her the confidence to go for it. Sometimes, all that is needed is the simple message of “You belong here too. Please stay.” to keep someone from turning away from something they love, and EVE have done this for countless women, both in the industry and the fandom.

Now, imagine if, with the encouragement of a loud and proud, feminist wrestling promotion, more women took this encouragement and applied it to other aspects of wrestling. Currently, many women don’t find success in wrestling outlets, such as magazines, youtube channels and podcasts, because of the abuse women in those positions face, but what if they had a promotion… like, a female promotion, that backed them 100%, offered encouragement and happily supported women across the wrestling media.

I mean, if I was a fragile misogynist, EVE would scare the shit out of me too.

Find out more about EVE by visiting their website.

Besos,

J x


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Posted in Ask Jen, Blog, Lifestyle, Thoughts On Writing, Wrestling, Writing

Ask Jen – January 15th

Melody Ann asked “What inspired I Love You, Bye?”

The dehumanisation of celebrities. It was originally going to be the end of Querida, with Damien kidnapping her, but I came up with a different ending, so ended up using the idea for a separate story. I think while the majority of fandom is wonderful, creative and respectful, there are people who cross a line and treat their idols as if they are objects that belonged to them, so I wanted to explore the idea a little, and that was what I came up with.

Katie asked “Who is your favourite wrestling manager of all time?”

Either Donna or Vickie Guerrero. I think both really added to matches they were involved in, and really went the extra mile to make the client memorable, without making the entire thing about themselves and leaving the client forgotten, which is pretty much the key point of managing that a lot of people miss. Unfortunately, some genuinely believe it is just about standing at ringside, and clapping/looking dismayed at the right moment, or constantly speaking for the client and doing all the promo work, so they never advance their skills, but there is far more to it than that.

Being a manager is about taking what is great about the client and enhancing it, making sure they are memorable, while giving the opportunity for them to learn from you and improve on what they may currently be lacking, which they both did very well.

They were also both strong female characters who took no shit, which is lovely.

Jack asked “What kind of coffee do you like?”

I don’t. Coffee is far too grown up for me. I don’t even like coffee flavoured things, actually.

Amy asked “What do you think of Youtubers writing books?”

I honestly don’t care to be honest. I know some people get mad about it, but it encourages reading in young people, sells books which brings money back into publishing and helps to fund new authors, and makes the readers of those books happy.

I could complain about Youtubers getting book deals, or I could just keep writing my own stuff, gaining experience and skills and not have an internet trail of trashing other people who have been published, that will make me look bitter, and alienate potential readers when I eventually get a book deal.

I would personally not read many of them, but I’m not the target audience. I think there is a big issue in writing communities in that people genuinely believe that books are only valid if they are the kind of books they will read. It may not be for you, and that is fine, just read something that is aimed at you, and move on. I wrote more on this here, actually.

There is the ghost writing issue, but the fact is, ghost writers decide to ghost write, and they get paid, so it isn’t really something to be concerned about, it is just a part of the writing industry. You could argue that Youtubers should be upfront if their book is ghostwritten, to maintain transparency with their fans, but that kind of defeats the point of ghost writing, because you’re not supposed to know…

TLDR, I don’t care, because I have my own shit to do.

 


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