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I swoon over fictional men

400 followers! 

I’ve just noticed I Swoon Over Fictional Men has hit 400 followers. 

This blog is my baby so thank you for helping it grow with all your support. Starting this blog is literally one of the best decisions I have ever made and while it might not always be the most interesting of blogs, I appreciate all the likes and comments more than you could ever know. 

Truth be told, I’m not always the happiest of people, so thank you for giving me a reason to smile ❤️

Love you all ❤️

Poetry is…

Poetry is…

a ray of sunshine, shining light on the shadowed, forgotten parts of the soul

Poetry is…

a therapy session that accepts only pen and paper as payment 

Poetry is…

tears and heartache, smiles and laughter, immortalized in words everlasting

Poetry is…

cleansing

Poetry is…

release. 

What is poetry for you? 

‘Let Them Eat Chaos’ Kate Tempest

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Let Them Eat Chaos, Kate Tempest’s new long poem written for live performance and heard on the album release of the same name, is both a powerful sermon and a moving play for voices. Seven neighbours inhabit the same London street, but are all unknown to each other. The clock freezes in the small hours, and, one by one, we see directly into their lives: lives that are damaged, disenfranchised, lonely, broken, addicted, and all, apparently, without hope. Then a great storm breaks over London, and brings them out into the night to face each other – and their last chance to connect. Tempest argues that our alienation from one another has bred a terrible indifference to our own fate, but she counters this with a plea to challenge the forces of greed which have conspired to divide us, and mend the broken home of our own planet while we still have time. Let Them Eat Chaos is a cri de coeur and a call to action, and, both on the page and in Tempest’s electric performance, one of the most powerful poetic statements of the year.

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The first page of this poem begins by describing our sun, drawing our attention to the fact that, “amongst all this space” it is nothing more than a “speck of light in the furthest corner”. Kate Tempest then moves on to the planets circling the sun, “held in their intricate dance”, capturing our attention once more with the notion of “our Earth“.

Our. Earth. 

A place that is home to over 7 billion people and yet, despite being nothing more than a grain of sand in the infinity of this universe, is one of the loneliest places to be. This Earth is ours; it doesn’t belong to me or you, or the guy down the road. Hell, it doesn’t belong to Donald Trump, although I’m sure he would like it to. It is ours. This Earth is a gift to all 7 billion of us and yet, looking around , you wouldn’t think that, would you? Tempest talks about the “myth of the individual”, something that has rendered us “disconnected, lost and pitiful”. We’re divided by race, religion, gender and class and there are those who deem themselves above all others and focus only on themselves and their own. The rich get richer and sit glued to their wide-screen TVs, blind to the suffering of the billions of others around them. The world is crumbling around us and we sit by and do nothing, believing that if we’re okay, everything is okay.

In Kate Tempest’s Let The Eat Chaos, her message is simple; nothing is okay. This poem, a piece written to be read aloud and which has an album accompaniment, strikes its listeners down with the brutal honesty of its message. Throughout the 72 pages of this poem, we meet seven seemingly different individuals, all living on the same street and all unable to sleep. They’re of different genders, different ages and different sexual orientations, and yet they are all alike in a way that they cannot imagine.

They are all damaged and lonely and they’re too wrapped up in their own lives to realise that others are as well. The whole Earth, our Earth, is damaged, in fact and we vehemently deny this, “staring at the screen so we don’t have to see the planet die”.

Tempest ominously warns that “a roaring storm is coming” but people – such as the seven individuals of Let Them Eat Chaos – “are too concerned with their own thoughts to think about the weather”.

Delivered in fast-paced, emotive and engaging verse, Let Them Eat Chaos is a stark warning of the dark future we face if we don’t change our ways.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Song: Not so much a song, but check out the album trailer here.

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This book is available on Amazon in e-book and paperback format.

I’m a permanent spam jail inmate

It’s happening again. Why, why, why!? I don’t want to sound like I’m whining, but WHY!? 

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Me right now

A Cup of Tea and a Chinwag with Jazz; Episode 6, ‘I’m a real writer!’

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A topic inspired by my research for the second episode of A Cup of Tea and a Chinwag with Jazz, I’m discussing in today’s episode why it is that so many writers become objects of scorn when they tell people that they’re writers. What criteria do we have to meet for these idiots to class us as ‘real’ writers? The answer lies within the episode (so listen, goddamit! Just kidding. Only if you would like, my lovelies. Pretty please <3)

Check out the episode here and the obligatory blooper here.

‘Home to Roost’ Chauncey Rogers

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When Brad is sent to live with the other chickens, his life of ease is transformed into one of struggle–for friendship, for love, for survival. But when everything he’s accomplished teeters on the edge of destruction, Brad discovers that the true struggle is against evil itself, and it may be a fight that is impossible for him to win.

Inspired by a true story, Home to Roost is touching, beautiful, and dark; a powerful debut novel.

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So, Chauncey emailed me a while back, asking if I would like to read Home to Roost. The epic-sounding blurb intrigued me and this intrigue only deepened when Chauncey told me that people had “cried over” the book’s main character, a little rooster called Brad.

I will hold my hands up and say I was a little skeptical at first. I mean, sure, I’m a vegetarian but would a chicken really reduce me to tears? I wasn’t so sure, but…

I have never been so wrong in my life (well, maybe once or twice before, like that time when I thought cutting my hair when drunk was a the greatest idea ever) 

In fact, I cried at multiple points throughout this incredible book. What starts off as a simple story about a rooster trying to integrate with his new flock soon spirals into something much, much darker. There are so many different elements to this novel. There’s the horror aspect; the creature that howls in the deep dead of night, its mournful call chilling those who hear it down to the bone. There’s the exploration into the societal hierarchies that rule us all and the constant battle each and every individual – including Brad and Red, and Smokey the dog – faces against the powers that try to hold us back, that try to keep us from happiness and diminish the power and control we wield over our own lives. Home to Roost also looks at the seduction of vengeance and how far people will go to exact it upon those who have wronged them.

For a book that is seemingly about chickens, Home to Roost is a deeply complex novel and one of the many things I loved so much about it was the fact it wasn’t written as a parody. Despite Brad being a teeny tiny rooster, I found myself completely and utterly compelled by him and his life. The way in which this novel has been written meant that I could empathize with Brad and could experience the wide range of emotions felt by him.

In regards to the actual written style, Home to Roost is a beautifully-written, easy-to-read novel. The descriptions are detailed and emotive, yet not overly so, so I found the flow and pace of it to be just right.

To use the old cliché, this book is one hell of a page turner. I finished the final quarter in one sitting and kept finding myself staring at the words, seeing the events unfold within my mind, eyes wide and my hand covering my mouth to mask my shock and horror. I won’t reveal any spoilers but all I will say is the final few chapters are intense!

Easily one of the best reads of 2017 so far!

Rating: 10/5…I mean, 5/5

Song: Rage Against The Machine’s Take the power back 

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This book is available on Amazon in e-reader and paperback format.

 

So, I was in the middle of writing a review…

…but I figured to do it justice, I need to finish writing it tomorrow. Not only was the book I finished something of an emotional roller coaster, but I’ve also been up since 5am. I know, I know. My blog, I blog when I want and all that shizzle, but I always feel super guilty when I don’t post reviews when I say I will!

So, please forgive the lack of reviews lately!

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The struggle is real, guys 

I’m sure more than a few of you can relate to this ;D 

Also, on a side note, I’m sorry for my lack of reviews and posts this week. It’s been a busy few days! I should hopefully have a review up by Sunday 😀 Hope everyone is having the most wondrous of weeks! 

Jazz’s top 5 overused character clichés

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The over bearing, ‘protective’ (and ever so slightly creepy) romantic lead. The brooding antihero. The gifted, chosen one…know what I’m talking about yet? Why, I’m talking about character archetypes in literature, of course! (In case you somehow missed the two occasions where I wrote the title of this post in very large lettering)

Every genre – from horror to historical epistolaries – is filled to the brim with character clichéand I, wonderful as I am, have decided to whittle this extensive list of clichés down to what I think are the top 5 most overused.

1. The Brooding Antihero aka the dickhead who needs to get a grip. You know the kind of character I mean. The one with the dark, mysterious past. The one who is often violent and dangerous. The one who is cold and aloof. The one who isn’t actually that nice a person, yet the romantic lead can’t help but fall head over heels in love with. Seriously, while I love my bad boys, this character cliché is so overused. These guys don’t seem to realise that you can have a tough past and be a semi-decent person. You can brood and be dark and dramatic without hurting the feelings of those around you.

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2. The gifted, chosen one. A favourite of YA and paranormal romance novels. The gifted, chosen one is often a young woman who goes about her life quite ordinarily until, one day, something happens that forces her to unleash her powers which is often a cue for a tall, dark and handsome man to enter her life and teach her how to wield said powers. While stories of mental and physical growth are often inspiring, it would be refreshing to read a novel where a woman owns her powers. Hell, even a little bit of gender role reversal wouldn’t go amiss. I would definitely read a book where the gifted, chosen one is a guy and his mentor is a bad ass, powerful woman. If you know of any such book, please do recommend it in the comments below.

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3. The overbearing and protective romantic (and often male) lead. These types of characters are often the ones people tend to swoon over the most. Christian Grey putting a tracker on my phone? Oh lord, please don’t say another word lest my knees give way when I’m overcome by lust for that eligible bachelor! On a serious note, though, stalker-like behaviour is too often passed off as being ‘protective’ and ‘sweet’. There’s nothing sweet about a guy putting a tracker on your phone, or entering your home unannounced and watching you sleep.

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Just no.

4. The Disbeliever. A character often populating the pages of horror novels, the Disbeliever refuses to take any seemingly supernatural occurrence at face value. They pass off moving furniture as shifts in tectonic plates (maybe, I don’t know, I’m not a scientist) and brush off the creepy laughter emanating from the basement, happily informing their family that it’s nothing more than the wind. Their disbelief takes them into dangerous, possibly life-threatening territory when they refuse to vacate the period property they’ve just moved into, despite the messages daubed in blood on the walls and the levitating children. There’s no shame in admitting your new home is freaky as shit and moving out!

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Yep, definitely just the wind.

5. The femme fatale. The ethereally beautiful yet dangerous woman. The one who’s usually an assassin and is something of a loner and doesn’t believe in true love until she meets the one. I love strong, independent female characters but this character cliché makes for a predictable story. We all know the guy is gonna thaw the femme fatale’s icy heart!

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When the femme fatale realises she’s falling in love. 

 

What character clichés do you think are overused? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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