Thursday, 20 December 2007

Brand name copy anyone?

If you’re looking for an alternative to Google News over a lunchtime sandwich try Word of the Day on my website courtesy of This week I’ve enjoyed ‘pari passu’ meaning at ‘equal step’ and am desperate to use it somewhere.

The idea is to step out side your comfort zone and be inspired by new language. Hey I’m not advocating words that can’t be understood. As a commercial writer, I’m well schooled in keeping it simple, but the odd foray into the unknown and unclich├ęd is good for the soul. Another of my favourite words was in the news recently ‘chromophobia’ – a book and a film, but 5 years ago just a word I loved because it had brand name written all over it. My plan? To develop a fabulous website selling only black and white gifts and accessories. I’ve just checked and the dot com domain is for sale. Brand name anyone?

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Fairytale of fine language

How crazy that Radio 1 has banned some of the lyrics of the fabulous ballad Fairytale of New York. As a copywriter I love (and always have loved) the power and energy of song lyrics. This ballad has such beauty and pathos and its earthy language plays a huge part. There's nothing like belting out a bit of Kirsty and Shane on Christmas Day after a few glasses of fizz, don't you think? I'm not advocating bad language, it's just that powerful words sung with passion lift the spirits. It all began for me by writing out The Jam lyrics in my rough book in Mrs Smith’s Maths class. This was so that me and my best friend Jackie could seamlessly impress the mods and scooter boys at youth club on a Friday night. Almost 25 years later (how scary) it's the Arctic Monkeys who move me most with their cute and clever wordsmithery. I love their witty urban poetry and gritty story telling. Or is it that their portrait of growing up in Sheffield in the ‘00’s transports me to the Middlesbrough of my youth? OK, the rough book's been replaced by the iPod but seeing them live made me feel 15 again!

Monday, 17 December 2007

Sad News

I heard this week that Adam died. His Dad popped round to see me today. He was keeping busy thanking people who'd helped fundraise for Adam's treatment which sadly didn't work. How brave and kind. Because I'd used this Blog to raise awareness and to help fundraise I have no idea what is the right thing to do. I didn't know whether I should remove the previous entries. For now I'd just like to say how incredibly sad we feel for Adam's family, his girlfriend and many friends especially at this time of year. They did everything they possibly could.

Monday, 3 December 2007

A story of inspiration...

Spending a very rare Sunday morning in bed with a cup of tea and a good book has to be one of life’s greatest luxuries. My old friend and copywriting colleague Philip Caveney is about to follow his much celebrated first children’s novel, ‘Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools’ with the second in the series, ‘Sebastian Darke: Prince of Pirates’ to be gracing bookshops in February 2008. Having been lucky enough to receive one of the first editions of ‘Prince of Fools’, I’d say if the children don’t love them you certainly will. Look out too for a new series; Alec Devlin whose first adventure, ‘Eye of the Serpent’, is out in paperback in July 2008. You can read a tantalising snippet on Phil’s website. Whilst there you can also find out how a talented copywriter became a successful novelist. There’s hope for me yet!

Pushing the right buttons…

One of my fellow freelancers, Ashley Taylor, has just started his own dedicated screen media studio in Rasen specialising in 3D graphics, multimedia and websites. Following 10 years with a full service agency in Grimsby, Ash has decided to go it alone and also offers top quality film and video editing and photography. Ash can do some truly amazing things with CGI to really take your website to the next level. So if you think of any really challenging applications that you can’t photograph or think how to illustrate then please contact me for more info on what Ash can do. I’d be delighted to give you a personal introduction.


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