You're probably thinking that I'd abandoned this place.
Probably, I'd also considered it several times too in the last few months as it's gradually become somewhere I feel that I only come to share what I consider to be my most 'weighty' thoughts about me, my situation and my life.
The attendant peril is that that very 'weightiness' starts to assume its own significance until it begins to feel almost suffocatingly impossible to overcome that weight in order to actually write something.
But really that sense of weight's a bit fake. If I look back through the posts here, there's lots of trivia and matters of no consequence.
But now I have my Tumblr where I tend to share the ephemera of my life in the same way I used to here and this place started to feel a bit redundant if truth be told.
But I do have am emotional mass invested here so I always meant to come back and write some more.
Elsewhere, I've started to refer to this as my 'long form blog' and that is what it will be from now on. Just a place where I write at length about anything and nothing.
So here I am...
I do have some plans to do some more writing about things that interest me and also some more creative writing here. It will all be quite far apart and irregular but this place is definitely still going.
However for now it strikes me that I've not done one of those "about me" type posts for a while so I'll kick back off with one of them.
Well, you all probably know this but I am often referred to online as "Miss K", an old stage name from my time in the band Six Inch Killaz. Those of you who know me will know my real name and I do go by that on many of my other online presences, so I won't elaborate further.
I entertain a plethora of different identities and they stretch across the gender, creative, professional, cultural, ethnic and most probably a bakers's dozen of other spectra. Let's just say that I am a deeply indeterminate person, and from the point of view of this blog, one of the relevant areas where I am indeterminate is in my gender identity.
My gender status has been in flux forever. From as early as nursery school age I was often mistaken for a girl and I recall feeling really happy about this even then. In my late teens and twenties I experimented at times with living full time and it was during this period that I began what turned out to be an aborted transition. A few months into my hormone regime, I began to feel strongly that I was making a mistake and so I pulled back and am happy to have done so.
I am now sort of androgynous, sort of transgendered, sort of this, sort of that. I call myself transgendered for want of a better term. I guess genderfucked or genderqueer also work for me, but really I find the endless squabbles over terminology tedious in the extreme so I don't really care what I am, or by what pronoun you refer to me.
I'm happily in a long term relationship.
Over the years I've developed this sexually provocative and highly styl(is)ed feminine self-image which is the subject of much of my photography, and which I know attracts many of my visitors here and to my Tumblr blogs. "Photographer" is certainly one of the most important hats I wear, but there are many others.
Hats. Yes, let me guide you through the millineria of my life.
This is my most important hat and the one I would wear all the time were I able to make a consistent living from it, which is pretty much a non starter with the skills and experience I have right now.
I'm beginning to study two things at the moment which I hope will open up more commercial and creative possibilities - music theory and audio engineering. I've dabbled with both before but I feel for two reasons that it's now time to get more real with this shit. The first is my age, which as those who know me is, let's say no longer in the 'spring chicken' category. The second is that I feel less and less fulfilment from my main source of income (see "Design" below) and I daily desire to slide over into a more hybridised earning model (earning in both creative and financial senses).
I guess my main goal over the next five years is to move into a situation where I'm in a live/work space, probably (not too far) outside of London, where I can record and mix my own stuff as well as record other artists' work for fun or for hire. My own stuff by then will be a mixture of more experimental rock music and also scores for film and tv.
Well, I can dream.
Currently, I write and perform as member of dark psych/alt/gaze/post-punk (we have as much trouble categorising ourselves as the journalists) rock duo Deathline (2006-present). We released our second full length album NOVA last year to some acclaim and are have just released a follow up single, Every Dying Breath (video below). The plan is then to write and record another set of songs, tentatively for release sometime in 2014.
For reasons which are explained later in this post, we are unable to play live at the moment but we do have plans to do so again in future.
No doubt you will hear plenty more about us should you continue to follow my adventures online. You can connect further with Deathline via the following links.
- Like Deathline on Facebook (everything)
- Follow Deathline on Tumblr (news, pics and other stuff)
- Buy Deathline stuff on Bandcamp (music and merch)
- Deathline discography / merchography with links
- Listen to Deathline on Soundcloud (demos, releases etc)
- Watch Deathline on YouTube and Vimeo (er, videos)
- Follow Deathline on Twitter (mainly repeats all the above)
- Add Deathline on myspace (if you must)
Previous to Deathline, I met my musical partner Jennie in the five piece garage punk band Electric Shocks (2001-2005), with whom I played lead guitar and she played bass. Deathline was partly born from frustration at not having the opportunity within Electric Shocks to explore the heavier, darker, more textured music that we were both into.
However Electric Shocks was never less than 100% fun. We were all great friends and only started to drift when the second album proved elusive to complete and the audience and critical attention started to wane. We played a lot in London and all over Europe, with bands like The Darkness, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Electric Six, Art Brut and more and had a moderately successful album and single in 2004 on Artrocker Records.
There's more informaton and links below. The album still appears to be available on CD via Amazon.
Electric Shocks links
Before that was my first band of any significance, the protozoan and protean Six Inch Killaz (1995-1999). It was an apocalyp(s)tic and pre millennial car crash of a five piece trash punk band in all conceivable ways.
Our tagline was "five trannies on the verge of rock n roll chaos" and that was putting it mildly. Six Inch Killaz suited my transitional, edge existence in the 90s perfectly, but it became harder and more painful to continue as the decade wore on and I began to grow up.
Six Inch Killaz self destructed magnificently in a fireball of drugs, alcohol, feedback and apathy in 1999. You can read more about us below.
Six Inch Killaz links
- Long and subjective story of Six Inch Killaz by me: Shoot to Kill
- Equally subjective retelling of the start of the band by bassist Luis Hatred Six Inch Killaz: The Beginning
- Guitarist and songwriter Mona's early manifesto like piece on the band: Six Inch Killaz and the Pop Moment
- Mona's musings after the band's demise
- Videos: Trashola / Jackie / P.I.G.
- TV appearances: Shift (ITV London, 1996) and The Warehouse (ITV London, 1998)
Photographer / model
My photography is very important to me but definitely falls into the "hobby" category. I have sold a couple of pieces but that is the exception rather than the norm.
My interest in photography staretd while studying fine art at Goldsmith's College in London, where days locked in the darkroom became an integral part of my studio practice. I loved the empty interiors and wide open landscapes of William Eggleston, the savage glamour of Helmut Newton and Ellen Von Unwerth, the sublime colour and form of Sarah Moon, the unflinching eye of Nan Goldin, the stark human geometry of Nobuyoshi Araki's work and the unselfconsciously mundane beauty in the self-portraits of Hiromix.
My work is a pale echo of these photographers' oeuvres, but I love to learn and with photography there is always more to learn.
Most of my photography features landscape and nature, cities and objects, but photography is also an important way for me of expressing my self-image so self-portraiture plays a big part in my work too.
I've written about the lengths I go to to capture interesting images of myself, and even attempted to reason why I find myself such an interesting subject. I very rarely model for others, and I very rarely have others model for me. I like the solitary process of arranging myself in space as though I am an object to manipulate. I feel detached from myself when modelling in my own photographs, literally almost feeling like I have split into two.
The photographer and the model.
My photography links
- 500px (my pick of my best photos)
- instagram (mobile and square stuff)
- DRAGNET Tumblr (a wider selection of mainly self portrait images)
- DRAGNETFINDS Tumblr (scrapbook of photographic and artistic inspiration)
- transeroticx Tumblr (scrapbook of trans-erotica and other trans inspiration - NSFW)
- Flickr (no longer used)
Writer / artist
Another hobby. I write very infrequently and it is hard work. Everything I consider of note that I have written has been published on this blog. I appreciate any words of encouragement. I also occasionally draw, and am in the process of reserialising an old comic book I wrote and drew over about 20 years (!) starting in the 90s.
I have a few ongoing pieces that I intend to finish - they will go up here as I complete them.
Writing / art links
Finally, I pay for all the self indulgence I've described above by working as a freelance web designer. For the sake of my soul, I decided a few years ago that I would no longer do pure marketing work for brands.
I tend to work predominantly now for 3rd (charity and voluntary) sector organisations, public sector and public service clients, music and arts companies and organisations and startups with products and services that I find interesting.
If you're interested you can contact me via my website, which needs updating!
2013 - where are we now?
2013 has been a tough and varied year of transition for me.
I have bored my friends endlessly with tales of my woes and I won't go into massive detail here, but my life was turned upside down to such an extent that the year started with me living happily with my partner in London, and working on new material with my bandmate, yet by the end of April, both my partner and my bandmate were living overseas and I had been forced to move back in with my parents in a semi-rural small town whose atmosphere and people I've disliked since I came to feel that I was "different".
While I knew the changes were coming, it's still had a profound psychological effect on me. The actual move out of London was logistically extremely complex and physically exhausting on top of that. As a result I feel constantly tired, lonely and depressed a lot of the time these days. I find it extremely difficult to sleep at my parents' house - it definitely plays into the fact that I am insomniac at even the best of times.
I find I have to escape so I try and go back to London as often as I can, staying with friends, and, on two very desperate occasions, actually checking myself into hotels for a few nights at a time.
It's not the end of the world - the job my partner has is only for a year and we've managed to spend time together fairly regularly, but every time we part it is painful for me. Jennie, my bandmate has just been over to visit as well, and we continue to work together, though as mentioned above, we can't easily play together anymore which is a wrench.
I'm trying to fill my life by doing chores - I made a list of things I wanted to achieve whilst living here with my parents, much of which is to do with getting rid of a huge accumulation of junk from my youth that still clogs up the house. I'm also going to learn to drive, and we're in the process of putting in a new kitchen for my mum which I'm managing for them.
All this is to keep me busy as otherwise I find the sort of half life I'm living a bit overwhelming. When I explained to a friend a couple of months after the change, she said, "you must be very lonely". I am. Jennie my bandmate, who has her own problems adjusting to her change of country, sympathised too. "The problem is you've lost your freedom as well," she said, on top of being suddenly alone. I have.
Certainly I do feel alone and trapped. I console myself that at least I'm living cheaply and it's only for a year. But I'm barely half way through. It seems like an eternity still to go. Moving back into the home I quit as a teenager has made me feel old. I think I've visually aged a lot this year.
This probably all seems like a bourgeois problem to those of you who are really struggling materially, physically or psychologically. I know it is too. In the cosmic scale of things, my problems are trivial.
So it doesn't even feel better to write about it. Ho hum. I thought it would. Sorry to go on. I do, I know.
Where I'm at
If the above whinge hasn't put you off permanently, I hope you'll stay with me as I rediscover what this blog is for, and hopefully write some more on an ongoing basis.
If you are interested in my other activities, by all means please follow the links I presented above. I also inhabit the following online places.
Where I'm @
Where I've been
If you'd like to support me in any way, you can do one of two things, both of which would be a great help and most appreciated.
1. Buy my stuff
This really helps me and my bandmate Jennie out financially and helps us keep going with our creative endeavours, musically and otherwise. You can buy our stuff from the usual retailers, but Bandcamp is where we make by far the most margin as they take far less of a cut than anyplace else.
2. Buy me stuff!
Obviously it's lovely and much appreciated to be sent stuff on my birthday (19th December) or at any other time!
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