Tag Archives: Magazines

The Last Few Weeks In Pictures

Regular readers of Jemm Frances Says So will have noticed the absence of my Week In Pictures posts over the past few weeks. I haven’t abandoned this weekly feature it’s just that as of late I haven’t had much to post in the way of pictures as I have been pretty much house bound for the past three weeks. After I had my operation at the end of May I haven’t been mobile enough to get out and about, hence the lack of pictures to post. I’m not really sure when normal activities will resume so you will have to bear with me for a while, as soon as I’m back on track the weekly Week In Pictures posts will return as usual. 

Being stuck within the same four walls for the past three weeks has been dire and extremely boring, and hasn’t really offered much in the way of photo opportunities but I’ve collected together some pics over the last few weeks that represent The Last Few Weeks In Pictures. 

Click to enlarge

From the top, L-R: The Primark skirt that I’m coveting, Get Well Soon balloon, The magazines that are keeping me company (no pun intended), BBQ Chicken pizza, Dotty Nails, One of my tattoos considering getting another…, Perfect snack Philly on toast, My current read The Distant Hours, The all the colours of the rainbow bruise, Poached egg & tomatoes on toast (I’m having a lot of toast lately), It’s Always The Quiet Ones post, Gorgeous new Miss Selfridge skirt I’m dying to wear, Breakfast obsession: Teacakes, Jemm Frances Says So featured as ‘Blog of the week’ over on Le Beauty Girl, My two for £12 Essie voucher as if I need encouraging, Macarooooons!, Bean bag beans: Dad told me to count them I told him to get lost, Cake, Chocolate Pot, Galaxy Nails.

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Jemm xoxo


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Shine your light.

It’s fair to say that over the last year or so my life hasn’t exactly played out according to plan. By now I should have a fabulous magazine job and be living the high life in the big smoke. I haven’t. And I’m not. So saying life hasn’t gone according to plan is a bit of an understatement.

You see I didn’t pencil in any time for a medical problem to come along and bulldoze all my plans to oblivion. Life’s kinda sneaky like that. So a broken femur, a metal leg cage and 5 months later I’m back on the quest for magazine stardom. With (hopefully) just over a month to go before I’m released from the cage of doom I’ve been preparing for my freedom by indulging my OCD tendency of making lists.

Now the majority of these things are simple pleasures to most but for the best part of 6 months they have been somewhat of an impossibility for me. Here’s the list:

Most of these things will be easily achievable once I’m free of (what feels like) the ton of metal on my leg. However there is an anomaly on the list. Can you spot it?

It’s something that I know, with a degree of certainty, will not be as easy to achieve as the rest of the things on the list. If we had the time I would ask for answers on a postcard but as we do not I’ll give the answer away:

The pesky point of ‘Look for/Get fabulous job/Live in London.’ Now the act of looking for a job isn’t so difficult thanks to the internet, newspapers etc it’s the getting one that could well be a problem. While I’ve been hold up and homebound with my leg propped up on a pillow I’ve been keeping my eye on the job front. Checking daily the journo job websites and keeping abreast of what’s available. And the answer is not a lot.

I’ve had a lot of thinking time on my hands recently and I have to admit that the uncertainty and competitiveness surrounding my chosen career is just a smidge frightening. Nowadays it’s only once in a blue moon you get an interview, never mind a job so am I worried? You bet your ass I am.

What worries and frustrates me is that while trawling the media websites an obvious catch 22 situation was apparent.

Experience, I know it’s important. I totally get that, but what baffles my brain is that even for unpaid internships/work experience, you know placements that last a couple of weeks, a month or whatever you now need experience to get experience. WHAT?!

Surely the whole point of someone applying for experience placements is that they have none and would like some. But how are you ever going to get experience if you need experience to get it? Shit, I’m confused.

To get your foot in the door of a paid, entry level position such as an intern or assistant you need a lot of know-how under your belt. I know at some point if you want to work in the media industry you’ll have to work for free. I’ve done bits myself. I’d love the opportunity to intern at a magazine for a year to soak it all up and learn the ropes. Hell I’d do it for free if that’s what got me a chance. But wait, what’s that noise? Oh right, its reality knocking on the door.

Please tell me who can afford to live in London (where the majority of these positions are) for a year, living and working full time, on NO WAGE? Despite its importance to your career, you could go ahead and try and pay your rent and bills with ‘experience’ but I doubt it would get you very far. But without this amount of experience how am I ever going to get my start?

More often than not these days, in terms of the creative industries, it comes down to the adage: It’s not what you know, but whom you know.’ I think this is a shame because inevitably talented writers who aren’t BFF’s with the editor will be overlooked.

But despite my chosen career path and its obvious potholes I’m still going to give it a bloody good try. Because I love what I do. I want to write. Maybe it will happen for me, maybe it won’t but in 40 years time when I look back on my life I want to be able to say that I tried.

I recently gave some advice to a friend. She really wants to be a nursery nurse, but due to issues of experience and one bad interview had herself thoroughly put off the idea. I told her to play to her strengths and do something she loved, that life was too short to spend it not living your dreams. That if nursery nursing was what she wanted then she should think balls to the bad interviews and the people that say it can’t be done. Unconventional though that advice may seem the next day she text to say she was going to give it another go. Atta girl!

It’s about time I started to practice what I preach. No doubt about it, it’s going to be difficult but life is not a competition. There is no point to me feeling down because my plans haven’t been hitting the life markers, such as getting a job, moving away from home, living in London etc. This past year those things were taken completely out of my control. But now that I’m on the brink of getting my life back, perhaps I should stop worrying about them not happening and then maybe they may just start to happen on their own. Comparing where I’m at in my life to where my friends are in theirs is also not helpful. My life will happen at it’s own pace. By concentrating on other people’s lives your not living your own.

Don’t be a victim of circumstances, or other people’s negativity. Life doesn’t happen to you, you happen to life. So go out, do your thing and shine your light.


Jemm xoxo

P.s ‘It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.’ – Theodore Roosevelt. Keep that in mind.

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I ♥ Celebrities!

Celebrities. You either love ’em or hate ’em. Some can’t get enough of them, others quite frankly wish they would piss right off. I have to admit to falling into the previous category. I love ’em and can’t get enough of ’em.

Now I’m not crazy enough to want to be one of them but I am nosy enough to be a journalist (pot, kettle, black?!) so it’s fair to say they pique my curiosity. I’m partial to the odd gossip mag, my fave for years being Heat (I now find it impossible to go to London without changing my status too “I’m going to London… to buy Heat magazine) although some of the other weekly gossips are now just as deliciously scathing. I also confess to being a regular visitor to Heatworld.com and PerezHilton.com where the latest news and gossip is never but a refresh button away. Thanks to Twitter (and to celebs not being able to resist yet another avenue to display themselves to the public) it is now possible to stalk or ‘follow’ famous folk and get constant updates regarding what they’re doing and thinking. Who can resist? Not me.

Due to the copious amount of gossip mag reading, website surfing and Twitter stalking that I undertake all in the name of ‘research’ I like to think that my extensive knowledge of the world of celebrity is second only to that of Perez Hilton, who seems to get where water can’t. Within my circle of friends I am known as the go-too for celebrity news, whatever you need to know, when you need to know it. You can bet you can rely on moi.

Now I know there are some, who hide behind their broadsheet papers and roll their eyes at the mere mention of celebrities, because of course there are far more important things going on in the world. I mean who wants to know if LiLo is going to back to prison for the fifth time? What country Paris Hilton has been booted out of this week on yet another drugs charge? Who wore it best: The Hollywood actress or the British Pop Star? Who’s dating/cheating on who? Who’s star is on the rise and who’s career is on the skids? Who’s got malaria this time? Who wants to know?

Well, me actually.

OF COURSE there are more important things in the world and YES I am aware that the world of celebrity is about as real as The Hills, but as a form of entertainment this stuff is gold. Even the Eastenders scriptwriters couldn’t make up this drama and we all know that show is as far fetched as crap from Cairo. As long as it is taken with a pinch of salt, with the understanding that it’s all just a bit of light hearted fun, I don’t see any harm in being an avid follower of the Celebrity Soap Opera.

Now, professionally and journalistically my interest lies more with the women’s monthly glossies rather than the gossip weeklies as the monthly mags would give me more scope to put my features writer ambitions to use, however if opportunity knocked in the form of a job I definitely wouldn’t slam the door in the face of a weekly.

While I was interning with the features teams at Sugar & Company mags earlier this year I was present and involved while the writers organised interviews, brainstormed questions and researched various stars to include in the magazines. I have to admit that being a part of these tasks made me a teeny tiny bit excited at the thought of all these famous folk, especially when the acting features editor at Company trotted off to interview Christina Aguilera.

So no matter the glossies or the weeklies, if my life plan of becoming a ‘Jazz-handed-magazine-journalist-extraordinaire’ all goes smoothly (fingers crossed!) I will at some point in my career get the opportunity to interview and chat with the odd celeb or two. This got me thinking as to whom, in a professional capacity, I would like to interview if given the chance and I have to confess to being slightly disappointed as to what was on offer. There are not that many celebs at the moment that I would love to meet. Celebsville seems to be a bit thin on the ground where actual real celebs are concerned. Nowadays the term celebrity can be loosely applied to just about anyone if they have done a stint on a reality show or are prepared to turn up to the opening of an envelope.

But, I racked my brains and here are the ones that made the list:

Audrey Hepburn

I know she is dead, I wish she wasn’t. A true icon

J K Rowling

From depressed single mum on benefits to one of the worlds most celebrated authors and one of the richest women in England, all because she had an idea of a boy wizard called Harry Potter while on a delayed train from London to Manchester. Would love to sit her down and ask her about her work and life and where she found the inspiration and determination to change her life, and that of Harry fans the world over, forever.

Peter Kay

What can I say? He’s northern, he’s funny, I him.

Julia Roberts

My favourite actress, loves her movies coz she only makes good ones.

Michael Caine

Legend of an actor and he’s in two of my all time favourite films. The Prestige and A Muppets Christmas Carol. Enough said.

Zac Efron

This one is for my friend Christopher. I promised that if I ever interviewed Zac I would take a picture so that Christopher could replace the one on his Facebook profile of the cardboard cut out Zac for one of the real thing. Known more for his looks than his acting ability I would probably ask about his beauty routine. And lets face it, it doesn’t exactly hurt your eyes to look at him.

And last but certainly by no means least is the starlet that I would most want to meet: Cheryl Cole

The highest honor had to go to Cheryl. You know I heart her. For those that don’t know go back and read my blog entry: ‘The nations Tweedheart’ Interviewing her would be well scary. But I’d do it then die of happiness later.

Even those celebs you love to hate bring some form of entertainment into your life. I defy anyone to pick up a trashy mag and not find at least one person within it’s pages who you can spend a happy couple of hours taking the pee out of. There are countless ‘celebrities’ that I would be happy never to meet here are an example of just a couple.

Katie Price & Kerry Katona

The question I would ask is: “Isn’t it about time you got a proper job?”

Megan Fox

Absolutely nothing against this girl apart from the fact that I seriously doubt my self esteem could handle sitting in the same room as her.

There you have it, my celebrity wish list & my wish I never list.

Taking an interest in the celebrity world is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s glitzy, it’s crazy and it’s a million miles away from our day to day lives. Who can blame you for pressing your nose against the glass to get a better look? I’m sure that everyone at some point has had a celeb that they would love to meet. Following the famous folk is a good bit of harmless fun (unless your a stalker, then your crazier than they are.)

What’s your opinion, are you a celebrity lover or hater? Who would make it onto your wish lists? Get in touch and let me know.

Jemm xoxo

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Cash 22

It’s a universal truth that is widely acknowledged; having no money sucks. Big time. I hate the words ‘I can’t afford it,’ and I hate not being able to have the things and do the things I want due to lack of funds. I hate having to say no to things I, ok, don’t necessarily need, but want all the same. I hate not being able to go anywhere because of my cash flow issues. I hate owing money to my parents and I truly DETEST window shopping. It makes me jealous. Most of all, I totally abhor the fact that being down in the dough dumps means I can’t move out of my parents house and get on with my life. I want lots stuff but I cant have it, and this quite frankly pisses me off. As you can see there are quite a few things about my current penniless situation that I don’t like.

That's me, a money free zone

At this exact moment in time I don’t have a job due to an ongoing medical condition, pending operations blah, blah, blah. I won’t bore you with the details, but (hopefully) this problem will get sorted out pretty sharpish and I can get on with conquering with magazine world. Right? Hmmm not so fast.

I graduated from the University of Lincoln with a very respectable 2:1 after studying journalism for 3 years. After leaving I hit the ground running in terms of securing some work experience, because if you want to get started in magazines that is what will get you noticed. I applied for internships, some paid and longer term, some unpaid and shorter term, I applied for junior writers positions and assistant positions and so far so unlucky. You wouldn’t think it would be that difficult really, I am educated and qualified as well as hard working and determined.

Yes, I did actually graduate!

The problem is, I graduated straight into a recession, as did all the other students that year. This of course put me in the same boat as lots of other recently graduated twenty somethings in the country. There are some who have been lucky enough to secure wanted positions as soon as they graduated, but for the vast majority of graduates employment has been elusive. Despite the fact that I/we, are highly educated, we are forced to take on jobs that hold no interest to us and that we are way over qualified for just to get a wage. And then there are those that can’t get a job at all. It’s currently estimated that one in ten graduates are unemployed. However we have been told that things are getting better and that the worst is over, and I for one would like to believe that this is true. On the other hand, this new budget and all the cuts that go with it has seen job opportunities and available positions dwindle. (Thanks Tory government!) Job freezes, salary freezes and no chances of promotion don’t really paint a pretty picture for my future prospects.

The medical problem I am having to deal with has got me incredibly frustrated as essentially I am standing still on the job front. I see all my friends moving on and applying for jobs and I am grounded by this issue. I would love nothing more than to be able to apply for job, and go to work everyday knowing that I have worked hard and earned my wage. I would love to be doing something that I loved even if that meant I was working as an intern making the tea, fetching the sandwiches and doing all the shitty jobs no one else in the office wanted to do. I honestly wouldn’t care. I’d love it, because at the end of the day it’s still a job in an environment I could progress in.

I would work for Miranda Priestly if it meant a wage.

Since graduating I have interned at two popular magazines (unpaid unfortunately) and loved every second of my time at each. And yes, I even loved it when I was making hot beverages for the features team and fetching and carrying for the fashion department. It’s all experience. So trust me when I say I am not jobless for want of trying or due to the fact that I am unwilling to work my way up.

At this moment in time applying for jobs is futile. No one will employ me due to the fact that I cant walk properly, I would constantly need time off for hospital appointments and a considerable amount of time off for operations etc. So I am in a bit of a tricky situation as I would love nothing more than to be employed. As soon as I possibly can, thanks to the trusty journalism job website Gorkana, which keeps me in the know, I will be applying for as many journo jobs as they are advertising. Ideally I will be looking for a paid internship or junior position at a magazine, and while the pay might not be that great, a jobs a job at the end of the day and it will also be my foot in the door. But what worries me is how easy will these be to a.) find and b.) get, as due to factors already discussed people are not getting promoted and therefore not creating any space for newbies like me.

My cash strapped situation is the worse it has ever been. Never before have I had to worry about money (mainly thanks to my parents.) Now, more often than not, I find myself saying those dreaded words : I can’t afford it. I have started watching what I spend with an eagle eye and if I do go anywhere or buy anything I feel incredibly guilty. I haven’t spent anything in Topshop for AGES. They must be missing me because their profits must be down. But on a serious note the situation is bad. As mentioned my parents have done a lot for me in terms of money. While I was at uni I never had to pay my own rent and if ever I needed helping out I knew I could always ask my folks. Be that as it may, this just doesn’t sit right with me anymore. I am now at a point where I want to be independent. A proper grown up. I don’t want to have to ask my parents for cash. Case in point: I have just had to borrow money off my mum to upgrade my phone and renew my contract, I’m going to pay her back but that isn’t the point. I didn’t want to have to do it in the first place.

My ridiculously generous parents

Unfortunately for my parents they are going to have to put up with me for a while longer as I am one of the 1.7 million twenty-something kids who have boomeranged it back to mum and dads. After graduation as much as a glamourous apartment share with friends in London sounded, it just wasn’t realistic. Instead I headed back home to check into hotel mum and dad. With no job, no wage and £20,000 worth of student debt there wasn’t really much in the way of choice. I blame the credit crunch and it’s dream dashing ways. It’s just lucky for me that my parents were (and still are) so generous, and I truly am grateful for the roof over my head and the food in my belly, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the independence I gained while living away at uni.

Hi mum! I'm home!

Quite rightly, since they are supporting me financially, I’m back abiding by the ‘while your living under our roof you’ll do as we say’ rule. At the end of the day my parents could have told me to find somewhere else to live, but I miss the fact that when living with friends at uni there were no rules. No one nagged, bothered or got on my case, I was pretty much left to my own devices. On the up side (always look on the bright side and all that jazz) I get on really well with my ‘rents. I am super close to my mum and 99.9% of the time we get on like a house on fire. Having her around is not only good fun, it’s also kind of useful (maybe I will take her with me when I move out.) Me and my sister on the other hand is a whole different story. We have got too good at getting on each others nerves. I mean as twins (she has been in the same boat as me) we have been stuck together for 21 years, it’s about time we had our own space and got out of each others faces.

I will be the first to admit I am a little bit anti-social, I like spending time on my own and being left alone and being back living in a house with your mum,dad and twin sister  is not conductive to this. I pretty much feel like any independence I had, I left at the door when moving back home, I mean I’m 21 for Christ’s sake! I want to live on my own! I will reiterate again how grateful I am for what my folks have done and continue to do for me. They have done so much for me that payback is definitely going to be a bitch. All I can do is promise that one day I will make sure they go into a fabulous old peeps home. 😀

What I want more than anything is a little London apartment, nothing grand or fancy, just something cosy and neat. That would suit me down to the ground because over everything else it would me mine. A place of my own. The reason this is totally unachievable to me right now is due to the fact that I don’t have any money, why? Because I don’t have a job. Which brings me full circle back to the beginning of this post.


Frustrating much?

If I had three wishes here is what I would wish for:

1. A magazine job.

2. That nice cosy London apartment.

3. A Lottery win. (Don’t roll your eyes, you’d wish for this too.)

So here’s to everyone else in a similar situation to me, boomerang kids and all (and I know that there are a lot of you.) I am sending out good vibes, positive thoughts and lots of (desperate) wishing that our luck changes or at least that someone takes pity on us and that jobs, apartments and (lots of) money come our way soon. Oh and that we do manage to be actual, proper, independent grown up’s before we leave our twenties. Good luck!

Jemm xoxo

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Ok so here we go. Blog post numero uno. I have perviously written a blog before if you can call a random bunch of not very often posts a blog. I promise not to neglect this blog and I promise to update it often, as to be honest, I really quite like it. Previous attempts have looked a bit rubbish compared to this so I found it hard to muster up the motivation to keep them going. However since this blog is more attractive I solemnly promise to make an effort. I’m shallow like that.

Right, now the formal bit is over and done with I will introduce myself. I’m Jemma Smith but my friends call me Jemm so please feel free. I am a 21 year old Journalism graduate from Doncaster (that’s a whole other post, all I will say is please don’t hold it against me) I learnt my trade at The University of Lincoln where I scored a 2:1 (almost a 1st!) so hopefully that means I possess some talent for this writing malarky.

My ultimate ambition is to become a Features Writer for a women’s glossy and a General-Jazz-Handed-Magazine-Journalist-Extraordinaire 🙂 And what better way to flex my writing skills and put me on the road to success than a blog? I’m not very technologically minded (so excuse the odd cock up) but I heard blogs are all the rage these days. In this blog I will be writing about anything and everything and generally just having my say. From my quest to success to my opinions on books, fashions, music, telly and life to my love for celeb’s (esp Cheryl Cole!) to me ranting about things that I hate, expect it all. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Introductions and explanations over with lets deal with where I’m at with becoming a General-Jazz-Handed-Magazine…ok you get the point. Since leaving university I have done some work experience at Sugar Magazine, a mag for teen girls in London (Loves!)

Sugar Mag, my 1st magazine experience

Since this was my first foray into the world of magazines I was more than a little nervous. Having seen films like ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and ’13 going on 30′ and also being more than slightly obsessed with ‘The Hills’ I had high expectations of magazine offices being full of fashion obsessed glamourzon bitches who would rather stab you in the back than have a conversation to your face. Either that or they would be full of pretty reality TV stars making me feel insecure. I am, however, pleased to report that neither of these stereotypical scenarios are true. The girls (and guy) at Sugar were amazingly lovely and helpful. Never before had I experienced the pleasure of actually enjoying being at work. By the end of my Sugar experience I knew my JoBros from my Zefon’s, my R-Patz’ from my T-Swizzle and my Twilight from my True Blood. I also knew which colour matched each JLS boy. Beat that.

Right now I am sat in my London hotel room, writing this, my very first blog the night before I start a month long internship at Company Magazine. COMPANY FREAKING MAGAZINE!

Company Mag, my bible!

My absolute dream is to one day write for Company, so getting this experience is nothing short of a-ma-zing! Getting this chance is a dream come true (corny perhaps but honest.) Slightly nervous but my time at Sugar has taught me that nothing is ever as scary as it seems and even if it is a bit scary, it’s worth it in the end. If you don’t go for it you’ll never get it, right? So tomorrow I will be going for it and giving it my all.

I will be diligently obeying the rules of a magazine workie: Always smile, never complain, do as your told and always smile.

So here we are on the eve of it all. Wish me luck.

Jemm xoxo

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