I’m Published! The Wicked Young Writer Awards // London 2017

wicked.png

As briefly mentioned in my mid-year review post, I was super lucky to have made it into the top twenty finalists for the 18-25 category of the Wicked Young Writer Awards 2017. Last Friday (June 23) I attended the award ceremony at the Apollo Victoria theatre in London and got to share the stage with a wealth of truly inspiring writers.

Vlogging Failure

I did attempt to vlog the day but like an idiot I used up all my space before  we even arrived at the venue. I did, however, manage to catch a couple of snaps.

 

 

Poetry Workshop

At the event, workshops were organised for the various age categories. In ours, we took the opening two lines of the Jeff Kass poem ‘Underneath’ and produced our own self-analytical pieces. Here’s what I conjured:

Under my shirt is my skin,
Under my skin is my heart,
Further still is a world torn apart.

Beneath that, an image lingers on
Like the words to a forgotten song.
Between the lines a scene forms,
One of despair and raging storms.

Like a magic eye, the image clears,
Allowing me passage through the clouds.
Patterns morph, distorted by tears –
My skin keeps it all in, tight like a shroud.

An extract from Paths

Although I did not win, I am honoured to have made it so far and had the opportunity to share in such a brilliant experience. My piece ‘Paths’ was published in the official anthology, making it my second creative writing piece to have been published in a physical book.

I smiled, but it was not returned. My old friend registered my presence, but did not really see me. Instead, she stared solemnly through me and into some internal abyss, making no attempt to stifle the heavy raindrops that tumbled over the curve of her eyelashes and down her porcelain cheeks. If she had have smiled, I thought to myself, the fragile surface would have surely crumbled.

Allowing my own smile to slip and be replaced by a look of uncomfortable concern, I offered her shelter beneath my umbrella. She thanked me, but declined the invitation, instead opting to pull back her hood, allowing the weather to corrode her further, gradually saturating her dusty blonde hair and turning it black.

Worried, I asked her if she was feeling OK. Our paths had not crossed in a long while, yet I was all too aware of the abnormality of her actions. I pointed out that she was likely to catch her death if she did not accept my refuge.

Shrugging disinterestedly, she explained that umbrellas are untrustworthy. They are liable to break, leak or get turned inside out by the wind. Then when the rain hits it is more of a shock since you have grown accustomed to staying dry. She argued that it is far more sensible to embrace that which could potentially bring us harm than to be betrayed by that which is designed to protect us.

Until next time, *clicks fingers poetically*. 

WYW

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In Memory of Anton

anton yelchin

A year ago today (June 19) yet another flame was snuffed out by the unforgiving year that was 2016. Anton Yelchin’s death was so sudden and bizarre. With such a wealth of achievements already under his belt by age 27, one can only imagine the greatness he could have gone on to accomplish later in life.

Though the subject of my latest Movie Pilot piece was a sombre, the tone is a celebratory one. Read my full piece Remembering Anton Yelchin, One Year On and join me in remembering a fantastic young actor.

When the Worlds of Music and Movies Collide

a hard day's night

“Musically historical movies are the best when it comes to reliving some of our favorite musical moments of the past. They help bridge generation gaps and open up a whole new audience to music that they might have regrettably missed out otherwise. One can only wonder what the next iconic music scene to be immortalized in film might be.”

Be sure to check out my full Movie Pilot piece – Dance To The Video: 8 Movies Based On Iconic Music Scenes.

Mid-Year Review!

I’ve done so much so far in 2017, yet I’ve documented very little of it. Here’s a brief little update of the books I’ve read, the concerts I’ve attended, some fresh finds, what I’ve been up to in terms of writing and where the rest of 2017 is set to take me.

Literature

Currently reading: Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

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I’m falling a bit behind on my reading schedule lately due to all the writing I’ve been doing, but I’m still determined to complete 60 books this year. Some of the books I’ve read so far this year have been the best I’ve ever read, particularly the works of Graham Greene – who is fast on his way to becoming my favourite author.

Books read:

  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Trial
  • To The Lighthouse
  • Brighton Rock
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and other stories
  • An Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln
  • Bit of a Blur – Alex James
  • Howards End is on the Landing: A Year of Reading From Home
  • The Pat Hobby Stories
  • Tales of the Jazz Age
  • Mr Manchester and the Factory Girl: The Story of Tony and Lindsay Wilson
  • Crash
  • Scorched Earth, Black Snow: Britain and Australia in the Korean War, 1950
  • The End of the Affair
  • Old Goriot
  • Autobiography – Morrissey

Also, I’ve had a Great Gatsby essay stowed away since the start of the year which I plan to polish up and post, so keep an eye out for that.

Music

  • Gigs

Taking Back Sunday / Muncie Girls / Frank Iero and the Patience

Creeper / Milk Teeth / Energy / Puppy

All Time Low / SWMRS / Waterparks

  • Fresh Finds

Waterparks ~ SWMRS ~ Cabbage

I wasn’t so sure about Waterparks at first, but after hearing Royal I fell completely and unashamedly in love with them. Seeing them support All Time Low also helped further cement this adoration.

I had tried listening to SWMRS a while ago but for some reason they didn’t take back then. However, since seeing them the other month, I have been completely won over, and I can’t understand why I wasn’t instantly sucked in.

There has been some controversy surrounding Cabbage lately, but standing aside from all that, their music is beyond solid. I love their general aesthetic and the themes they cover in their songs.

Writing

  • New Job!

I have recently started writing for Movie Pilot – a film/popular culture website powered by the Creators.Co blogging site. I have just been promoted to Verified Creator which means my work is able to reach a wider audience and I get to make a little money in the process.

Give my profile a gander creators.co/@TETurner96

  • Wicked

In other big news, I thought I’d give this year’s Wicked Young Writer Award competition a go and entered a new piece I had written entitled ‘Paths’. I was pleasantly surprised and chuffed to bits to find out that I had made the top 20 finalists! I can honestly say I will be content whatever the outcome, but I will find out the results at an award ceremony in London later this month.

Still to Come

  • London – for the Wicked Young Writer award ceremony. Expect a vlog of the day.
  • Green Day – Dreams do come true.
  • University – I’ll be trying my hand at being a student again this September, but at a different uni. I already have a great feeling about it this time around.

Long Live English Pop-Punk!

Son of Dork

There is definitely a pattern when it comes to naughties English pop-punk bands, it is just a shame that, due to their short lifespans, such fallen heroes have become fossilized and neglected in our memories. However, given the success of the Busted reunion, perhaps we might start see more bands making a comeback. If not, at least we will have the internet to feed our nostalgia.

Head over to my Creators.Co post and allow me to refresh your memory with 7 sadly short-lived English pop-punk bands.

4 Backmasked Messages in Popular Songs

Backmasking is a recording technique that artists have been using for years in order to hide secret messages within their songs for fans to discover. Most of the time, said messages are humorous or are included ironically in order to rattle critics’ cages, though sometimes the results can be pretty unnerving.

#4 Iron Maiden – Still Life

iron maided

London born heavy-metal pioneers Iron Maiden are no strangers to controversy. All throughout their career, they have suffered accusations of devil-worship and satanic tendencies brought on by the dark themes that encumber their music and image.

Drummer Nicko McBrian explained that the band were ‘sick and tired’ of such accusations and so decided to incorporate the hidden message as a direct attack on their critics who tried to look for meanings that weren’t there.

The aforementioned message can be found on the band’s fourth studio album ‘Piece of Mind’ at the beginning of the sixth track, ‘Still Life’. When played backwards, the phrase “what ho said the t’ing with the three ‘bonce’, do not meddle with things you don’t understand” can be heard spoken by McBrian and punctuated with a burp.

In it, Nicko is mimicking a line from the satirical 1975 John Bird and Alan Coren album ‘The Collected Broadcasts of Idi Amin’ in which Bird speaks the line in an impression of Idi Amin. It is undoubtedly an epic middle finger to those who read too deeply between the lines.

#3 Pink Floyd – Empty Spaces

The Wall

‘The Wall’ – the epic rock opera by English prog-rock band Pink Floyd released back in 1979 – tells the tale of the fictional rockstar known as Pink and his subsequent descent into madness.

By the time the album’s eighth track ‘Empty Spaces’ comes around, Pink is contemplating the completion of his emotional ‘wall’, which he is constructing in order to shield himself from problems within his marriage. Right before the vocals kick in on the track, a garbled message can be heard that, upon first listen, comes across as completely nonsensical. However, when played backwards, a hidden message can be clearly deciphered:

“Hello, hunters… Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the Funny Farm, Chalfont…”

“Roger! Carolyne’s on the phone!”

“Okay.”

The message is said to potentially depict one of two things: either the foreshadowing of Pink’s eventual descent into insanity, or an allusion to former lead singer Syd Barrett’s stint in a psychiatric hospital. Either way, the numb tone in which the phrase is delivered

#2 Marilyn Manson – Tourniquet

Marilyn Manson

‘Antichrist Superstar’ – the second studio album by Marilyn Manson – has been the subject to heavy criticism over the years due to its controversial content and nature of Brian Warner and his band themselves. However, the album’s second single ‘Tourniquet’ deals with a surprisingly tender topic, depicting a character trapped in a merciless state of sorrow.

Within the opening few seconds of the track, the presence of a backmasked messaged is made known. When reversed, the phrase “This is my lowest point of vulnerability” can be heard.

With the topic matter of the songs on ‘Antichrist Superstar’ supposedly having been influenced by the dreams endured by Manson, such a message can be seen as slightly unnerving. The delivery of the line itself with the low, barely audible murmur is enough to send shivers down your spine.

#1 The Beatles – Free as a Bird

The Beatles Anthology

The Beatles’ 1995 single ‘Free as Bird’ was originally a home demo recorded by John Lennon in 1977, three years before his death. The studio version came into being twenty-five years after the band’s demise, when the surviving Beatles decided that they wanted to put out something new as part of their Anthology project, but were hesitant to do so in the absence of their band mate.

The solution saw Paul McCartney approach Yoko Ono in the hope that she might have some unreleased recordings by her late husband in her possession, with the intent of using them to build something new around as if Lennon was still alive.

Contributions from McCartney, Harrison and Starr were recorded in early 1994. Subsequently, a brief outro was added to the track, featuring Harrison on the ukulele and the ethereal voice of Lennon played backwards. McCartney stated that the reasoning behind this was “to give all those Beatles nuts something to do”, referring to those who had found none-existent meanings and messages in previous releases.

When flipped the right way around, Lennon can clearly be heard saying “Turned out nice again”, the catchphrase of George Formby, whom the Beatles were big fans of. However, in a touchingly eerie twist, the backwards version of the phrase sounds a lot like “made by John Lennon”, which McCartney has since said was completely unintentional.

 

Synths: Futuristic escapism or relic of the past?

Incase you aren’t already aware, I’ve started a separate blog dedicated entirely to music.

Aiming for Extinction is blunt, hypercritical and fiercely passionate. It’s about regurgitating all the music we have crammed down our throats, both past and present (maybe even future), and re-analysing the undigested nuggets.

Check out my most recent post exploring the reasons behind the creation and the rebirth of my beloved Synthpop.

Source: Synths: Futuristic escapism or relic of the past?