Featured

First blog post

I’ve spent the last two years writing, partly as a means of coping with life (I have PTSD and a few skeletons in my closet that I’ll come to at later dates). But in writing to cope, I have found the thing I was born to do. That’s a bold statement, I know. But it’s true. Days that I don’t write, I feel twitchy and unsettled. Writing is a drug. Only, not a dangerous one. It’s my lifeblood. And so, I want to share it with you.

Advertisements

Welcome to my first official blog. I thought I’d start with a little background information into me. As a child, I wrote stories all of the time. I was an only child with a passion for Enid Blyton, so most of those stories were boarding school related. All of them were about friendship and adventures.

As I got to my teen years, the only things I wrote were angsty-type poems: the kind a lot of teenagers wrote and still write today. I then got a BA Hons degree in Literary Studies, graduating age 21. Somehow, I then worked in the insurance industry for the next thirteen years (I know. I can only apologise. Please don’t judge me on that!).

When my Mum became completely bed-bound in 2010, I gave up work to become her sole carer. I spent her last precious two and a half years looking after her and learning that she was the strongest person I ever knew, or am ever likely to. I miss her every day, and her death influenced my writing greatly.

Which leads me to this blog. I’ve spent the last two years writing, partly as a means of coping with life (I have PTSD and a few skeletons in my closet that I’ll come to at later dates). But in writing to cope, I have found the thing I was born to do. That’s a bold statement, I know. But it’s true. Days that I don’t write, I feel twitchy and unsettled. Writing is a drug. Only, not a dangerous one. It’s my lifeblood. And so, I want to share it with you.

I hope you like it.

i want

My headspace has not been good this last week or so. I mean, it’s rarely great, but right now, it’s crippling me. I decided to try to write it out, as this sometimes help. It made me cry, which I hate. So, I’m sharing it with you guys because I know there are a lot of you who understand ~ Rachel.

       i want

a-mothers-hug-shaz-aslam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i want my Mum
(spoken from a middle-aged waste-of-space),
someone to hold me,
say it’s okay,
a moment of feeling
i am enough—
no matter what
(even when i know i’m not)

lavender hugs,
able to stabilise the most f r a c t u r e d
of hearts . . .
i want her arms,
no matter how out-of-shape,
tears sting my
cheeks,
blasting trails through the dirt and
p a i n,
my branding lays me   b a  r  e,
and i wait to be flogged for my sins

fear swallows me,
snuffing the lights that
have been keeping me
from letting go,
i don’t know what to do,
nails broken, faith stolen,
his voice
his voice

so sick of fighting
when here is where my destiny lies,
he took me then, and
he takes me now

i hate the dark

 

 

Sagittarius

Saggitarius

 

Sagittarius ~ A Haiku Chain

Sagittarius
the Archer with sling and bow
never tie them down

flitting to and fro
travelling continents wide
wanderers searching

innate need to know
information gatherers
sponges soaking facts

thoughtfully watching
as questions of universe
frolic in their minds

enthusiastic
eager to try out new things
nothing is too much

no need for worry
things will always work out right
life the adventure

honesty valued
inability to lie
tactless comments made

conviction of thoughts
speaking views and stating facts
argumentative

keeping bodies trim
physical strength important
sporting prowess rules

playful with partners
keeping lovers on their toes
fun-filled and content

Final Betrayal

FINAL BETRAYAL

A Tale of Friendship Told Entirely Through Dialogue

Ski Lift

 

“Isn’t it beautiful, Lacey? It’s gotta be . . . what? . . . a mile down to the tops of the trees , or something. Woah, wait a minute. Did you feel that?”

“Shut up, Dani. That’s not funny.”

“No, seriously. Shit. We’re stopping.”

“Oh no, no, no. Why aren’t we moving? Is this supposed to be a joke? Because, okay; you win. I’m scared. Now let’s get moving along.”

“Why would I want to scare you? Geez, it’ll be a backlog up ahead, or something equally boring. Like an axe wielding maniac taking over the wire.”

“Shut up.”

“Haha. The look on your face! C’mon, we’ll be moving again any moment. Take advantage of this down time to check out the scenery. It’s beautiful. You must see that.”

“I could see it better if I was stood on the ground, in amongst the trees.”

“I can’t believe you’re such a baby. How did I not know this about my best friend of twenty years? I mean. You really are scared of heights, aren’t you?”

“Not scared. Just prefer to be underneath them. Not dangling from a zip wire fifty feet off the ground with a pair of skis attached to my feet. Skis, Dani. I can’t even stand in them, let alone land from a fifty foot drop. I can’t believe I let you talk me into this.”

“Excuse me? I didn’t lock you in my suitcase and smuggle you through customs. You jumped at the chance to holiday in Italy. You’ve always wanted to go to Italy, you said. I would have been just as happy with a week in the sun. But we all know Lacey gets what Lacey wants.”

“What are you talking about? You’ve been a bitch ever since Jackson’s party last week. What gives?”

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just focus on hoping this lift starts up again before it turns dark.”

**********

“Stop! For the love of God, Dani, stop!”

“What? I’m not doing anything.”

“You’re swinging your legs. This whole seat thing is swaying.”

“What’s the matter? Afraid I might swing us right off?”

“Stop it. For Christ’s sake. I don’t know what’s going on with you, and I don’t really care, to be honest. Just stop swaying the sodding chair. I do not wish to die like this.”

“Fine.”

“God, I don’t know what your problem is, but you’re right. This holiday was a bad idea.”

“You would know all about bad ideas.”

“What?”

“Or maybe not. Maybe you wouldn’t understand there are things you don’t do, places you don’t go. Maybe you’re oblivious to everyone around you. So long as you get what you want.”

“Seriously, Dani. What the hell are you talking about?”

“You want me to spell it out?”

“Ugh, yeah!”

“You’re unbelievable. I’m talking about Jackson.”

“Wh—what? I d—don’t understand.”

“Oh yeah. Not so confident now, are you?”


“I have no idea what you’re speaking about, Dani. You’ve always had a vivid imagination. Why would I sleep with Jackson? He’s my best friend’s—“

“So you admit you slept with him? How many times?”

“Well, just . . . just the once. C’mon, Dani. I was drunk. You saw how wasted I was that night, right? I would never do that if I was thinking straight.”

“Oh. Well that’s okay then. I’ll forget about it. My best friend and my fiancé. No biggie. It’s all right because you were wasted. That’s fine.”

“Okay. I think you need to calm down. You’re rocking this chair. Shit. It’s a long way down. Calm down, breathe, and I’ll explain.”

“Has it not occurred to you I don’t give a shit what excuse you want to tell me, Lacey? Maybe I just want revenge. Maybe I know the person running the ski lifts, from my holiday with Jackson last year. Maybe he agreed to stop the lifts just as our chair reached this point. Maybe I know how to lift the safety bar just enough to push somebody out. Somebody who betrayed me. Somebody I hate.”

“No no no. You’re crazy. You’d never get away with it. Everything about me and Jacks would come out, and you’d hate that. No. You wouldn’t dare.”

“Haha. Really? You are amusing, Lace, I’ll give you that. Haha. Now. Which button do I need to press?”

“HELP! You’re insane. HEEEELP!”

“No one can hear you, Lacey. We’re all alone up here. Haha. Oh. Here it is. Pop. Oh, look. The bar moves.”

“Stop it, Dani. This isn’t funny. Stop!”

“Ummmm, no. Are you ready to fly?”


“Okay. Here. You push me, I’m taking you with me. I’m not letting go of your arm. I die, you die.”

“Yeah. I kinda thought you’d say that. But, you see, the problem is I don’t care. So are you holding on nice and tightly? Ready? I’ll hold you, too. Just in case . . . go!”

“Aaaarrgghh! Nooo! Aaarrrgggghhh!”

“That’s the last time you betray me, Lacey! Hahahahahaha.”

A Haircut To Die For

Scissors

 

My prompt for this was to include the words hair, flower, and mail and write a piece of flat fiction of 300 words or fewer. This is the result. I must point out this hairdresser is in no way based on any hairdresser I’ve ever used!

A Haircut To Die For

I should have known there was something odd about Darren when I caught him licking the scissors before he started to cut. I assumed it was simply an eccentricity. My friend Lola told me he was different. “Different, but brilliant,” she said.

Hairdressers have a tendency to chat while they are performing their art. They dissect the state of the weather, which celebrities are sleeping together, the frivolities of life that nobody really cares about. Not Darren. I watched his face as he snipped at my hair. It was like he was on another plane. One which he seemed to inhabit alone.

“How’s it looking? Not too many split ends, I hope?” I had to say something; the silence stifled me.

“What’s that?” Scissors crashed to the floor, making me jump out of the chair.

“I . . . I just asked if I have many split ends. Sorry.” My heart thudded, and a rash of fear spread across my chest.

Darren’s face twisted, and I didn’t dare move. When he spoke, his voice was tight. “It’s okay. Not too many split ends. Sit back in the chair, my pretty flower, and I’ll continue.”

My pretty flower? I gulped as I sat back. It took forever for him to finish my cut. I peeked in the mirror, with one eye closed, and was surprised to see he’d made my listless, brown hair radiant.

“Wow. I love it.” I beamed. “How much do I owe you?”

“Ahh, let me see. If you give me your address, and I promise not to send you anything strange in the mail, £10.” He was serious. No trace of a smile.

“What if I don’t give you my address?”

He tipped his head back and guffawed. “Oh, my dear, it’s best you do!”

 

Perfect

Just a quickie post today. I’m sharing my Soundtrack song, which is ‘Perfect’ by Alanis Morrisette.

 

This song is taken from the 1995 album ‘Jagged Little Pill.’ Which is my favourite album of all time, and I could have shared any of the songs from it today. This one, though, always brings a lump to my throat.

The album reached me at a time when I really needed to know that women are allowed to get angry about the way they’ve been treated. I needed strong female figures who weren’t perfect, subservient doormats, and this album gave me that in spades. I loved (and still do love) Alanis Morrisette’s balls. I love her honesty and her uniqueness. The only other artist I can ever compare her to is Bob Dylan. I know, I know. Nobody ever gets that analogy. But, they are both incredible musicians who write songs that are “wordy” and honest. Both of them have slightly unusual voices, both of them appear fearless in expressing their views. Both of them, I love.

I chose this song because it’s one of those that the moment I heard it, I felt it could have been written about me. Every inch of it seemed to be talking about my relationship with my Dad. The line that really gets to me is where she (almost) screams, “Why are you crying?” God, the amount of times I heard that as a kid. This song understood me, and I understood it. I discovered it at just the right time: a time when I had the chance to get away. A chance for a clean break. Of course, the best laid plans, and all that jazz . . .

Just

This is my song for the Soundtrack of My Life today. It’s a little (okay, a lot) more depressing than my previous picks, but that’s how it goes, right? I really recommend watching the video to the end. It’s fascinating.

 

JUST by RADIOHEAD

 

 

I have been a fan of Radiohead ever since I first heard Thom Yorke wailing his way through ‘Creep.’ I bought the album ‘Pablo Honey’ and loved it. So, when the album this song was taken from came out, I bought it straight away. ‘The Bends’ came out in 1995, and to this day it’s one of my all-time favourites.

I could have chosen any song from this album because they are all fantastic. This one isn’t my favourite (that would be the title hit, ‘The Bends’) but the video for this song is brilliant. I love the mystery. I love the way the viewer is hooked into the man’s story. It’s clever and it’s different. The question, at the end, of what the man says, is a great way to end it. I’ve wondered for twenty years what it is! I’ve come to the conclusion now, though, that putting so much thought into it is kinda the point the band are making: people overthink everything because there has to be some kind of deep meaning. But, in the end, they’re wasting their lives. They will probably never get the answers they crave.

When I first listened to this album, I was at a low point in my life (one of the many!). I had been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder for the first time (although I’d been depressed forever) and this whole album spoke to me. I connected to Thom Yorke’s haunting voice and I managed to make every song a little bit about my own situation. It gave me comfort. I listened to this album non-stop, along with the Manic Street Preachers’ ‘Everything Must Go,’ which I also connected really strongly to. These two albums were like friends, in a way. They understood me. They didn’t judge me. They had been where I was. They got me through some tough times. But, that’s always how it had been for me. Music and writing kept me alive when everything else failed. The chorus is the part I related to the most:

You do it to yourself, you do
And that’s what really hurts
Is you do it to yourself, just you
You and no-one else
You do it to yourself
You do it to yourself

I can’t leave this post without saying I love the guitars in this! Apparently, Thom Yorke once said ‘Just’ became a competition between him and Johnny Greenwood to see who could fit the most chords into the song. The result: sublimity.

Almost Half of Cancer Related Deaths are Due to Modifiable Risk Factors

This is so positive. There are things we can all do to help prevent this terrible illness. I know it’s not new news, but it’s worth being reminded of it every now and again.

Dr. Lisa Vislocky - LiVe Nutrition

Please help spread the word.

According to newly published research, approximately 42% of cancer cases and 45% of cancer deaths are related to modifiable risk factors such as cigarette smoking, diet and lifestyle, and viral infections.

Modifiable is important because it means alterable – we can reduce our risk significantly by changing these “factors.”

This is good news! These results suggest that WE can significantly reduce our risk of developing certain cancers. 😀

This newly published study investigated 1,570,975 cancer cases, 26 cancer types, and 17 modifiable risk factors.

The top risk factors related to cancer diagnoses and deaths were smoking, overweight, and alcohol consumption.

BUT, of the 17 modifiable risk factors investigated, 8 were related to diet and exercise. These 8 risk factors accounted for approximately 20.8% and 18.1% of newly diagnosed cancer cases and cancer-related deaths, respectively.

The diet/exercise risk factors and the percentage of cancer diagnoses attributable…

View original post 170 more words