Today, in the latest installment in my series of blogs inspired by Fat Mum Slim's post on 50 things to blog about, I am writing my obituary.
I had no idea how to go about doing this, so I've taken advice from this site, which walks you through writing an obituary (which has got to be a handy thing to know).
I may not have taken it as seriously as I might. However, I have received complaints that I do not 'big myself up' enough in this post. So I've revised this post (first published 25/10/13, republished 29/6/15), in an effort to put this right. If you can't crow in your own obit', where can you?
Obituary: Cara McKee
Cara McKee, 41, of Seaside Town, Scotland, died peacefully today, while eating a particularly good Nardini's sandwich.
She was born in West Yorkshire (the West bit is important as it shows she's a bit posher than those from the other bits of Yorkshire), on 29th October 1973, to Margaret and Tony (both from Lancashire - controversial).
Cara went to Ilkley Grammar school, but left after completing her GCSEs to do her A-levels at Bradford College. This allowed her to spend a lot more time in the pub, although, as she was 16 she would not have been drinking, because that would be bad.
Cara briefly left education to give being a teenage bride a go on the Isle of Man. There she learned that it's not a good idea to get married at 18, but that there was traa dy liooar to do other stuff. She also learned more than you might expect about divorce law and taxation, and that living off soup is not much fun.
She left the island with the help of her Dad (who hid in a wardrobe when the landlord turned up), and went to Edge Hill College of Higher Education (then part of Lancaster University), to read for her BA (Hons) in Applied Social Sciences and Women's Studies. She came to regret this as it's a pain to fit on application forms.
After a series of rubbishy admin jobs, Cara managed to save up enough money to study for her MA in Social Research at the University of Leeds. She saved money by working as a Warden in a Hall of Residence (Bodington Hall), where she met her future husband, Kenny (known to the students as 'the Scottish guy'), who was studying for a PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry. As well as studying, Cara ran a weekly pub quiz, managed a debating society, and drank more cider than can be considred healthy.
Cara started her research work at the University of Leeds in Midwifery Research, but then moved to work for the Scottish Government, on Antisocial Behaviour Research. She packed all that in though on becoming a mother, and focused instead on spending time with her children, singing songs about spiders in church halls, and being taken for granted.
While she lived in Suffolk she was the Chair of b.a.b.i.e.s (Babies and Birthing in East Suffolk), which was an incredibly awesome way to spend some time helping women have happier births, and supporting them to breastfeed.
However, when she moved back to Scotland she became more focused on her writing. Her blog, 'Oh we do love to be...' became more popular than she had imagined, and that, and her local newspaper column were what she was best known for in the end.
However, writing as Cara L McKee, she was also an award winning* poet, and wrote short stories, as well as working on a trilogy which was not finished in her lifetime, but which is being finished by her friend, the author, Steven Weaver, and is also being optioned for a TV series by HBO, who are keen to follow up on the success of Game of Thrones with more High Fantasy. The first book in The Chapter series is currently scheduled for publication in December 2015, and is already being prepared for filming, with rumours that Kit Harington (who played Jon Snow in Game of Thrones) is likely to be cast as the male lead, with Beyonce in talks over the female lead.
Cara had also been working on a children's book, set in the same world as The Chapter series, and this is also due for publication in December, in collaboration with her brother, the emerging illustrator, Eoian Lewis.
She was survived by her husband, the boy, the big girl, and the little girl, all of Seaside Town, and lots of other family.
The family are holding a private purvey next week, with a Humanist celebrant. Cara will be buried in a woodland plot. No flowers please, but donations can be made to the Scottish Book Trust who will be distributing 'Dobbin the Wonder Horse' by Cara L McKee and Eoian Lewis to children throughout Scotland for free in 2016.
What would be in your obit? And what would be unfinished?
* Placed 1st in the 72nd edition of the Writer's Umbrella