Saturday, 15 July 2017

Web-logging July 2017


My irregular round up of what's going on with me and mine.


Right now I'm:


Sitting on a train into Glasgow (like I was last time I wrote a weblog!). This time I'm off to meet my Dad, and I've bagged myself a table seat. Across the aisle from me is another woman sitting by herself at a table seat. I'm all in black with red hair, she's  colourful and on trend with blonde hair and well shaped eyebrows. Her makeup is way more careful than my slapdash effort, although I'm happy to be wearing my new favourite makeup product - Studio 10 Glow 2 Go Youth Lift Glow-plexion (terrible name, horrible price, great product) and a red eyeshadow. I love red eyeshadow.


Today I don't know anyone on the train, and I spend the whole journey writing.


Currently reading:


I'm coming to the end of How to be a Woman by Cailtlin Moran, which I am mostly enjoying, although I think I must be a different kind of woman.


I've brought my next book on my journey for while I'm waiting in the station, and that's Bitch Doctrine by Laurie Penney because Moran's book has made me get my Women's Studies vibe on again and because feminism remains essential IMHO. I've only read a few pages of it so far, but there was so much to inspire and intrigue in those pages.


Listening to:


Every day on the news there are more people (mainly, but not wholly, men) doing terrible things which I do not have the power to do anything about, so why stress myself with the news? I will trust in those who can take action to do so and I shall keep voting for and talking about a brighter, less-hate-filled future. Meanwhile, I'm very excited about Game of Thrones arriving on Monday and listening to lots of fan chat about that as well as Behind the Scenes stuff.


I've been listening to lots of pop music with the kids being on school holidays. So my brain is full of that nonsense. Our current giggly favourite is Attention by Charlie Puth because of mishearing the line "throwing that dirt all on my name" as "throwing that turtle on my knee". Honestly, check it out!




The most recent tracks that I've downloaded are:

video
Having fun:

We had a gorgeously lovely day over in Millport - a wee ferry ride away and perfect for an old fashioned beach day. We've been having a chilled summer holiday so far, hanging out with friends, and having family to visit.


On Instagram:


I tried taking part in Allison Sadler's #freeupmyinsta challenge, although I've not managed every day. However, it's been so nice to get back to using Instagram for fun. It was starting to feel like a chore. I'm thinking of just dropping the prompts and doing what I feel... maybe!




and here are three accounts I'm loving at the moment:

  • @mrsconstancehall Constance Hall is a contentious Australian blogger and a Queen (she says so so it must be true), and I think I'm a little bit in love with her. I am definitely in love with her style, her grace, and her attitude 👑
  • @georginagrogan Georgina Grogan runs the fantastic She Might Be online magazine. She's lovely, collaborative, and she has absolutely superb hair. Plus the lass can write.
  • @terribletumbles Em is my favourite fashion blogger because she's tall as well as plus size and she makes everything look amazing, plus she's from Yorkshire so she's just brilliant.
Perving over:


I Love Dick on Amazon. Oh my word! This story raises so many questions and really makes you think, plus it is so very very very sexy. I must admit I've never fancied Kevin Bacon (still don't) but I was certainly caught up in the story arc. Also, Roberta Colindrez was absolutely gorgeous Devon, and that dance at the end! Fabulous.


Planning:


I have a list of days out which the children refuse to go on, but we're managing so far, and we're getting things in place Miss 6's birthday party next week. After that I'll panic about our holiday in the Lakes.


Discovering:


This month seems to be about rediscovery. Rediscovering:

  • the joy of doing very little
  • Pimms
  • the motivation to do 10,000 steps a day for the prize of a tick in the Google Fit app

We have also been looking after a friend's pets and have discovered a love of guinea pigs. 



A post shared by Cara McKee (@caralmckee) on

Watching:

  • I Love Dick (see above, and trailer below)
  • Can't wait for Game of Thrones
  • Watched Girl on a Train last night which was actually surprisingly good and interesting, but Jeezo I'd love a film with less 'beautiful' people in it.


Creating:

I've had a few poems published lately (see an up to date list here), and I'm sticking with the poemy stuff, I might not be following the FMS Photo a Day prompts for photos, but they're still in my calendar so I'm trying to write a tanka a day using the prompt. Today's prompt is 'out the window' and it's making me think of Girl on a Train, so here's my tanka for today:


She watches for them

out of the speeding window,
searches for a kiss,
a kiss she can remember,
one to take her breath away.

Ⓒ Cara L McKee 14/7/17


Why am I equating a kiss with a hit in my head? And will anyone else get that? Do you get that?

I've also been debating with myself about some poems I've written using the idea that God is a fictional and oppressive character. I am worried about causing offence but feel like perhaps I shouldn't censor myself so much. I guess it's because the God I believe in is a fictional character, and not worse for it. Again, what do you think?


Parenting:

Sometimes my kids are awesome. We bumped into my MIL and her friends the other day, and the kids were friendly and polite, impressing everyone (apart from me - I didn't even notice! 

Mostly though I am letting them stay up too late and have too much screen time (because seriously Scotland, you're a lovely place to live, but you could have WAY less rain), anyway, I like staying up late and going on screens - I'm on screens now! But too much screens and too little time equals lots of strops. Sigh.


My lovely husband is away for work a lot at the moment, which makes me realise how much I appreciate his input while he's here, even his annoyingly neat tendencies!




A post shared by Cara McKee (@caralmckee) on

Anyhow, how's it going with you?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Barcelona: a poetry post


Last summer we gave our neighbours a gift and swapped homes for a little while with a lovely family who lived in Barcelona. They had a great time exploring Scotland and getting to know our neighbours while we enjoyed being hot in Barcelona.

It was incredibly hot, there was a reason the Barcelonians wanted to escape to Scotland, but we enjoyed making friends with their kitten and chilling out in their gorgeous home in the day time, going out in the evening when the heat was more tolerable to explore gorgeous Barcelona.



Things we loved most were: 

Seeing La Sagrada Familia - we didn't go inside because the kids didn't want to, but there's a great play park behind it where we watched parrots fly and admired the building.


Shopping around Las Ramblas - so much fun and lots of silly little shops. The area has a reputation for pickpockets but we were fine with our purses tucked away.


The CosmoCaixa museum - this was a fantastic visit, we adored the museum which had so much to do and to interest the kids and us. BTW it's a science museum with some awesome live animals too.



Anyhow, with all that time that we were hanging out in the house waiting for the temperature to come down a bit I did bucketloads of writing, including writing Sonnet 404 which appeared in the first issue of 404 Ink's Magazine, and writing this poem about our experience of Barcelona which appeared in Allegro Poetry's travel special in December last year.



Barcelona
Cosmo Caixa


Clearly a mistake
to leave the cool green,
admittedly wet,
summer of soggy,
beautiful Scotland.
Exchanging our home for another
in August heatwave-heavy
Barcelona.

We lived like vampires.
Hiding in shuttered rooms
from infernal sun.

Emerging at dusk
to a city alive with people:
hearts beating fast
as sweat evaporates
in sweltering dark.

A gorgeous mistake.
Catalonian colour and vibrant lights.
Layers of truths told
in art and architectural splendour.
In the light of the fountain
the kids danced
for wind, for green,
for the rain's sweet kiss.
Home.




Thinking about it now, I'm wondering how I managed to get all that writing time. There's always more time when you're in someone else's house! Today I've been trying to write this and get the house tidied up and I've been distracted by one thing or another all day! Tomorrow will have to be the day we get the house tidied up... or I could just pretend that I'd tidied it and the kids have trashed it again - it's going to happen anyway!


I'm sharing this poem with Prose for Thought (I'm afraid I can't find the picture link thing), because I haven't joined in there for ages (for so long that I've lost track of when it is!) and with The Prompt, because although our Barcelona experience was odd, it was very happy indeed, and happy is the word of the fortnight.



mumturnedmom

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Crash: a poetry post


I gave a workshop yesterday about poetry, about inspiration and communication. I talked about being part of this thing here in the wonderful world of online wherein different people can come together to write their responses to a prompt (I use the prompts set by Sara at Mum Turned Mom) and encourage each other, inspire each other, big each other up.

I love it. 

After the workshop I realised I hadn't found anything for the latest prompt yet. This morning I sat down and thought about crashes, about women being told they're a car crash waiting to happen, about my beautiful friend with her dangerous decisions, which I must admit I resented. But I was there anyway.

This poem is for her.


Crash

You turn, twirling
and I hold on to your petticoats,
layers of tulle rendering you
the only woman worth seeing.

You spin, darling, dancing,
all eyes on you

and when you crash down 
in some strangers room
it is I who will guard you,
who will barter over bodies.

I carry your flat shoes
for the slow walk of morning.


Ⓒ Cara L McKee 25/6/17




mumturnedmom

Friday, 30 June 2017

Embrace: A poetry post


Hello there, I'm sharing a little poem today which was written for #theprompt back in February. I seem to spend a lot of time messing about with paperwork and submitting work to places, and not enough time doing other things, you know, like writing. I'm trying to write a little poem every day, usually a haiku or a tanka just so my brain stays in the zone, and I love this haiku type thing.

It might seem a little bit miserable, but actually I wrote it after a lovely day, walking with friends in the morning, and busying my brain with preparations for poetry events that were coming up. I guess it's speaking to the importance of self care. Something I've been doing again today, going for a massively long cycle ride which was just gorgeous (although if anyone has some spare knees or a bum I'll take them).

Good news today too - one of those poems I've been submitting has been accepted. I keep the poetry tag up to date with what I'm getting published where, so have a look there if you're interested. I'm now including the date I last updated it in the title so you know if you've missed anything (and I put the most recent at the top for you).

mumturnedmom

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Even Though: a poetry post


Happy New Year! I hope you've had a great Christmas and New Year. We did, although it was a bit quiet. The last week of the holidays dragged, mainly because I got a stinking horrible cold on January 1st, which is making me feel totally rotten. Ugh.

Anyway, things are going pretty well on the writing front. I had two poems out last month, and I also got shortlisted for the Great British Write Off, which was totally unexpected, and kinda lovely. I've also had lots of things rejected, and failed to get placed in my local writing group's competition. I worked really hard on that poem and I'm annoyed with myself for not doing better, I'm trying to tell myself it's all subjective, but the usual suspects got placed again. Maybe it's just not my audience.

I am slightly gutted that Maddy at Writing Bubble is going to be too busy to run the What I'm Writing Linky this year, but so glad that she's got lots of interesting things on. However, Sara at Mum Turned Mom is still doing The Prompt, which I love for giving me weekly inspiration, and an online writing group of sorts. Her prompt this week is: Start and seeing as I've been despairing about getting to be a really good writer this week, while I've been ill, and constantly getting the not-good-enough feels, I thought I'd give myself a talking to... Here it is, complete with a voice recording. 




Even Though

And even though the earth rises mountainous
and even though I am tiny and do not know how small
and even though the way is shadowy
and clouded and to me unknown
I know this: I know the way is up.
I know there is a way.
And if I go wrong I can try again
and the more I try the more I'll know.
And even if I cannot go up beyond the shadow
and through the cloud to the summit
I know this: I can try.
And if I do not know where or how the path will end
I know where it starts...

                                ...with this first step.


© Cara L McKee  8/1/17


Obviously, I am not going to be climbing any real mountains, because they're really quite high up and I'm afraid of heights, but you get what I mean, right?



Prose for Thoughtmumturnedmom

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Land: a poetry post


Land

This is not my land.
This waterlogged clay soil is not my rich loam.
I am the incomer, comeover, the offcomeden;
not from 'round these parts.
We do not share a history,
I do not know your tales,
and you are unprejudiced, but
I don't fit in.
And yet, I find, on returning
to the green-grey valleys of God's own county
this now too, is not my home.
Not my land.


© Cara L McKee, 26th November 2015

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Wearing our colours: a poetry post


The prompt at Mum Turned Mom this fortnight is 'Colour', and I've been thinking about what to write and keep coming back to political allegiances, thinking of all my friends with their red and yellow backgrounds to their Facebook posts, to the conversations I keep having about who the hell it is that keeps voting Tory. On the morning after the latest general election I went out for coffee with a friend, to celebrate the Tory humiliation, and mourn the fact that they're still in power. I don't know if that couple were Tories, the poem was originally about a friend, but I've changed it to bad mouth people I don't know. Sorry about that!



Wearing our colours

We went for coffee to celebrate,
to commiserate, to pick over the bones
of what was won, what lost,
of who let us down
and we wished that everyone
had to dress in the colours
that showed what they did.

Then we would know who it was
who didn't bother,
who hid amongst us,
for there had to be someone we knew.

And the black dripped from my dress
which filled with Scotish yellow
buttercup yellow reflected
below my friend's chin
as her clothes turned yellow as well.

The couple by the window
were bluer than the sky
and the yellow-clad waitress
glanced at them askance
coming to our table.
More coffee ladies? On the house.



mumturnedmom