Tag Archives: nanowrimo

A Tale of Two Captions.

11 Nov

Isn’t it odd sometimes how something that had been personal to you becomes a subject of discussion overnight!?

I found out today that Essena O’Neill, a young “Instagram Model” with a huge social media following but who I had never heard of, has also quit the ‘numbers’ game and is drawing attention to the faker aspects of the ‘Instagram lifestyle’- a brave thing to do when “real” has been the buzzword of the past few years! (see rant here)
Essena had made a living from posting on Instagram to her million followers tagging a designer or company, while charging the company $100+ per photo. If you’re business-minded and have a lot (and I mean a LOT) of followers, you can make a living this way.) The problem is, it takes a hell of a lot of time and fakery to keep up the illusion that the photos are natural candid shots. No business involved- this is just your life.

As I realised back in September, judging the quality of your life on how many followers, likes and comments you have is no way to measure your happiness. And I don’t even make a living from my social media! I can only imagine what it must be like to spend fifty hours a week carefully constructing your facebook ‘persona’. Knowing that you are no longer being cast for your personality or talent, but for how many people have clicked ‘like’ on your page is soul destroying and it *is* happening.

So why the hell do we obsessively watch the numbers?
Perhaps it is harder to trust our memories these days- maybe we feel a hundred likes on a photo reminds us that we had a good time at that moment instead of merely remembering it, no photos taken. Has the joke “pictures or it didn’t happen” become the truth after all?
It’s easy to play the numbers game in the short term but in a few years I want to remember the things I’ve done, not the things I’ve done to get ten more followers. The adventures, the joy. Whether I can quantify it or not. Respect to Essena for learning that at eighteen- it took me a decade longer! πŸ˜‰ ❀

So I have the perfect shoot to illustrate my philosophical rambling! Kitty Wood is an awesome photographer and there’s not much I wouldn’t do during a shoot with her. Including, it turns out, jump into an unheated outdoor swimming pool in October…

BUT… this is what I’d say if I was a “social media model” (this term is used throughout this post and is not meant in a derogatory manner):
Just chilling in the pool in a unique latex/lace bra and samba pants by Lady Allura.” (hashtag “ilovemylife”)
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Now, if you don’t know already, I’m more road warrior than screen siren but one thing I love about modelling is still getting to play in the dressing up box as a grown-up! BUT… the caption implies that this is what I wear on my days off… and that the pool is warm! (and mine). The closest thing I have to a pool is the canal and I’m not going in there for a shoot. Not even for Kitty. πŸ˜›
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Despite the inevitable discomfort, I loved this shoot. I always get into crazy adventures with Kitty and also got to work with Alivya Free– a model/designer whose work I have admired for a long time. We got on like a house on fire so I hope she’ll make an appearance on this blog again!

“Being Ophelias together with a beautiful model friend. I love the water…” (hashtag “waterbabies”)
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We were clinging together for warmth while trying not to smudge our make-up. πŸ˜›

“Nothing like a palm tree and a poolside photoshoot to get you in the mood for SUMMERRR! (hashtag “blessed”)
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*cough* October *cough*
Seriously though, I love this behind-the-scenes shot.

We warmed up with hot chocolate and snacks, then as Alivya is a similar size to me and had brought two outfits from Kaori’s Latex Dreams, we did a latex set together! Then while Alivya switched outfits, I put on another Lady Allura bra and brought sexy back. πŸ˜‰
I actually can’t think of a silly status to put here as what you see was what happened. With girl chat and gurning in between. πŸ˜›
p.s. The red lips on Alivya’s dress are 3D rubber! Mwah!
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I often work with Louise Ferdinand– designer of lingerie for curvy girls like me. This time, I’d been sent a set to photograph with a natural look.

“I guess I should get up but my bed is just soooo comfy!” (hashtag “nomakeupselfie”)
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This is indeed a comfy bed but it isn’t mine. πŸ™‚ We also picked this room as the pretty jewel blue bedcovers would contrast nicely with my hair and the background was cool and minimal. I took my make-up down to a natural look so that the focus is on the lingerie not my honking great bazookas. Being curvy, I have to think ‘soft’ rather than ‘sexy’ on this kind of shoot, otherwise things can get a bit “lads mag” and we don’t want that here.

The headdress was designed and made by Alivya herself!
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After all three of us had shot all we could shoot and were worn out, we plonked ourselves on the bed for gossip, jokes and general awesomeness before Alivya headed home and Kitty and I went pet-snuggling, pizza eating and disturbing documentary watching.

That’s a wrap, folks! Unless you want m ore? In which case, check out Kitty’s video of the shoot!

Obviously, I do not mean to imply that all of us active on social media (myself included) are faking everything about our lives- just that there is often a lot of work involved in even the most natural-looking and effortless of photos. I’ve seen a lot of bitchiness towards Essena for her lifestyle choices- remember she’s eighteen! Besides that, social media models don’t sit around all day taking a spontaneous selfie or three of their idyllic lives- there’s a hell of a lot of branding and time spent on what is, after all, a business. No matter what the caption suggests. πŸ™‚

Now, I just hit 10,000 words on NaNoWriMo but I’m still behind so I’m going to slam into the writing for an hour, then it’s bedtime (6am call time tomorrow- eek!)

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. I’ll leave you with this…
Who watched America’s Next Top Model, where the girls had to be celebrity couples? This is Melrose Bickerstaff doing Donald AND Melania Trump. And here I am doing my impersonation. Maybe we can start a trend? πŸ˜›
HASHTAG TRUMPFACE!!!

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Samhain onboard

1 Nov

Happy Halloween to all and Blessed Be to fellow pagans.
For the first time in a few years, I am not working on Halloween weekend so have had the chance to chill out onboard my boat drinking spiced apple tea, reading spooky stories (there are some horrors in Neil Gaiman’s “Fragile Things”) and burning the green skull candle I’d been saving. I even found a “Day of the Dead” page in my colouring book. (Yes I have a colouring book. Actually, I have three- and they rock.)

I had loads of errands to run in town so braved the scariest thing of all- Saturday shopping in Milton Keynes. BUT, as I get phone reception there, it turned out to be a good thing I did- I accidentally visited the Gothic Manchester festival while on tour last weekend and entered a raffle in aid of S.O.P.H.I.E. to win a knitted Cthulhu. As I want my bathroom to be sea monster themed, I’ve wanted one for ages. Well, I got a phone call and… look!!! The white one is mine!!! ❀
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Also, the reading rooms at Manchester’s library are amazing. There has to be a secret portal in here. Right?

Samhain (aka Halloween) is the pagan new year- marking the end of the ‘light’ half of the year. The Celts believed that days began at sunset and so the new year begins now, at the dark half of the year. It’s a time for remembering the dead and celebrating the lives of ancestors. Though I love a good party and making costumes, I also find the season a time for being still and meditative. Especially losing someone at this time, it was even more important to me that I had my alone time.
As I know very little about my ancestors, I thanked them for the fact that I’m alive thanks to them and lit an extra candle, and wrote messages to the friends I have known who have died. (Luckily, there have been few.)
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One of these friends died while I was at school, still living with my mum. That night, I stuck this little plastic stained-glass-effect butterfly on my bedroom window for her. It sat there for fifteen years and after I left home a decade ago, my mum tried to remove it. It resisted all attempts at dislodging it and now that my mum is moving house too, she assumed it would stay there but had one last try at pulling it from the window. It practically fell into her hand. ❀
Looking at it now, it reminds me very much of some tattoos on another very close friend. I don’t know what that is supposed to ‘mean’ but things seem to have come full circle in a way, like so many things in life. All I can do is hope that in the same way, we’ll be reunited with our loved ones who died first.

My little space on the hearth, with candles, tea, notepad and snuggly carpet. See the skull candle?
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I didn’t dress up this year but as I dress up every day (even when I’m naked, I’m being a wood sprite, goddess or strange sculpture), that’s fine. I have some beautiful photos from an Autumn photoshoot with Shannon Swift and Orchid Corsetry, in which I think I look rather vampiric! πŸ˜‰

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It’s the first day of NaNoWriMo, which I’ll tell you about soon- so for now, I’m going to get writing. πŸ™‚ Wish me luck!

ROSWELL xxx

Yesvember!

5 Nov

It has been a manic couple of weeks but most of it has been positive, uplifting and very happy! I’ve learned to light a fire in my cosy wood-burning stove so am snuggled up in my lounge with to-die-for gingerbread latte cooling on my tree-stump coffee table, and dinner roasting in the oven (butternut squash with basil butter).
It’s hard to know where to start…

I’m featuring in Kirameki Magazine this month, with an interview and an article! It’s the Girl Power issue and will focus on strong women, feminism (read my article before dismissing it as a dirty word- I promise I’m not a man-hater!) πŸ˜€ I just read that as ‘man-eater’, I’m not a man eater either. πŸ˜› There will also be some photos I’ve been sitting on for ages- if you’re a leather or Mad Max/post-apocalyptic clothing fan, you need to see this!
Here’s a behind-the-scenes I took during the shoot:
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I was honoured to do an interview for Radio Vienna last month, covering my life and work so far- as well as opinions on model safety, fetishism and other bits and pieces too. If you want to hear my very, very English accent (the interview is in English), follow the link and start listening at the 22:00 mark.
It was my first radio interview (other than a very brief publicity chat I did for an event in 2008!) so was nervous to say the least!

Though voting is now over for Miss Fetish Europe and the event is this weekend, I have just been told I’m also nominated for the award of “Fetish Model of the Year 2015”! If you would like to send a vote my way, follow this link and scroll through the ladies until you get to me, then give me any number you feel I’m worth! Preferably a 10… πŸ˜›

I have some new sets on Zivity, with the very lovely Andrew Shiels (and help/lookout duty from Georgia!) I have a teaser here with Yummy Gummy latex but head on over to my Zivity page for all the sets. If you aren’t a member, that’s no problem- you can unlock sets for about $3!
Andrew had also commissioned a surprise for Georgia- I’d secretly been drawing one of their gorgeous horses and sneaked it in my suitcase. It has been delivered now so I can show you! Here she is! I’m setting up a mini-site for my drawing work but if you would like to see more or commission a portrait of your own, get in touch ASAP as I can still send things out before Christmas.
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I’m off to Dominatrix this weekend, have a month full of latex shoots, possibly my first shoot on my boat(!) and so many articles on my list, so I decided to do something else too. Now I can confirm I’m not only bats, but a total masochist as well, as I am doing NaNoWriMo this year again. For those not in the know, it’s National Novel Writing Month and participants pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
Look: it’s official!
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I’m using the month to give my crime thriller “The Ferryman” a kick up the ass! I actually published an extract on a friend’s blog a long time ago. Though I’m already itching to edit it, you can have a read by clicking HERE! The book will be about some post-mortem examiners playing a very sick game, and one will be a woman not motivated by revenge or money (a rare thing in any genre). That’s all I’m saying for now.

I hate going without blogging for so long, as news just piles up and I couldn’t not mention Shoshana B Roberts’s video of street harassment in New York. It makes my blood boil and it’s a whole other blogpost but I hope more women do this (video the abuse). One of the biggest problems I find when talking about this issue is men having no idea why it is so threatening and frustrating. (And it is hard to explain. Constant looks and comments about how attractive you are sounds great… until you hear the tone of voice for yourself. Until you see the leers with your own eyes.) This video helps explain. While I personally answer the ‘have a nice day’ types with ‘thankyou, you too’ unless they are said in that creepy leery way, the kissy noises and long stares, not to mention the guy walking beside her are utterly unforgivable. You know what? I’m getting shaky and angry already so I’m going to save it for a day or so, so that I can compose a proper blog about it rather than a segment of this catch-up. Certainly, I encountered so much this summer that I kept a diary of the comments and stares with the intention of publishing it online. I’m glad this issue is finally getting the attention it deserves.

I’m back from Belgium, where I met some lovely fellow models, ate a lot of Belgian chocolate and shot in some beautiful places. I even tell a funny story about the trip during my radio interview so do have a listen… πŸ˜‰
Here are just some of the places I’ve been:
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as it’s been a busy varied month, I’ll show you some busy varied pictures from my studio evening with Gunther Frans:

Pictures by Gunther Frans:
Pink latex bodysuit by Pandora Deluxe
Latex skirt by Yummy Gummy
All styling by me
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And this one’s by Hugo Deneweth

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Back to the murder and mayhem! πŸ˜‰

ROSWELL xxx