Eat the Cookie

I don’t want to be the woman who has to lose 10 pounds. I’ve known women who “want to lose 10 pounds” for 10+ years.

I don’t want to deprive myself a cookie.

I don’t want to pinch my midsection in the mirror. I won’t do it.

Yet, here I am, skin between my fingers.

I won’t pull on my face, this way, that way. Watching the history that’s written on my face disappear for one superficial moment.

Most of the time I am not that woman, but I am not entirely immune to societal expectations. But, what are my expectations?

We must be skinny. No, no, no that’s not “in” anymore. We must be strong. Strong is the new skinny. Curvy, but not too curvy. Healthy, yes, healthy. Anyway, I definitely should not eat that cookie.

Has social media really made self-image worst? No, it’s our heritage, tradition, culture. We inherit our body obsession like the fattening family recipes we serve our husbands but never and I mean NEVER should eat ourselves.

Both of my grandmothers were thin, elegant, and beautiful. One had five children, the other six. Even after all of those children their waists still looked corseted. They made delicious pies, but I don’t recall them ever taking a bite.

Scrambling around the dinner table was the woman’s place. Never eating there, getting her fill. No, my grandmother would drink her coffee black. No sugar. No cream. Smoking a cigarette. This was expected.

I want my portion. Most of the time I take it. Sometimes I take more than my share and I’m back to measuring my sin with pinching fingers.

I remember a time when I had such restraint. Such control, but there was always a hunger.

How do I navigate these murky waters and lead a life where the scale doesn’t measure my worth? More important how do I steer my daughter away from an inheritance of self scrutiny?

If I talk about food and weight am I preaching? If I don’t broach the subject am I neglectful? What of my son? Men too are not immune from the warped looking-glass.

Everything in moderation I suppose.

-Rachel McKee

Micro Fiction: Michelle

The black lace that covered her arms was a vain barrier between her skin and the draft in the bar. Her stomach and jaw were clenched from the chill and concentrating on the task-at-hand.

Said task, was sitting in a corner booth directly in front of her own. Peeling the label of some micro-brew and clenching his jaw while listening to his comrade’s escapades from the previous night. Either he didn’t approve or he was cold too. (That clench was intense.)

Fortunate for her, the Seattle bar boasted modern, mid-century decor with low-back seating and moody light. Perfect for blending in and snooping on her current assignment as he dropped bits of beer label onto the table.

Invisibility was Michelle’s super power. No, she did not possess actual magical abilities, but she was an expert at going unobserved when it suited her. She contributed her chameleon abilities to her looks. Her sandy blonde hair, average height, thin figure, and unremarkable brown eyes meant people didn’t find her overly attractive or horribly ugly. To be honest, she didn’t have one outstanding or striking trait that made people remember her for better or worst.

When she was younger she used her bland appearance like a security blanket. Now it was her money-maker.

Nobody from the small logging community where she grew up ever thought much of Michelle, that was fine with her. Never would they suspect she would become a private P.I. with her own, highly successful company, yet here she sat, watching some millionaire’s husband throw back a few beers with his bud.

Rather a boring job by this appearance alone, but the “devil is in the detail” and Michelle was a pro at sniffing out sin. Actually, she was the best.

Mac and Cheese Meltdown

Mac and Cheese Meltdown

Staring at the pot,

willing it to boil.

Give me a bubble, a sizzle,

just cook.

He’s flailing on the floor,

screaming, “I want It now!”

He makes a dash,

I lunge.

Those skinny legs are fast.

He beats me to the box, noodles rain down.

Boiling water.

Turning off the stove,

I sink to the floor.

I curl up among the hard, yellow shells, and close my eyes.

His wails turn into the cry of a seagull.

Lying on the beach, I’m younger.

My name isn’t “Mama”.

My breath aligns with the tide.

Push, pull.

In, out.

I allow myself this moment,

to escape.

I open my eyes.

He is watching cartoons,

The Mac & Cheese forgotten.

-Rachel McKee

So You Want to Be an Indie Author

Thank you for detailing many of the aspects to consider with self-publishing. Your posts are always so thoughtful and detailed, it’s really wonder how you do it all Daley.

You do? Huh, what’s wrong with you? Completely kidding. Total snark. Yes, come back here! Considering that I’ve successfully made it through my first year as a self-published author, I think a post with some advice for those hoping to enter this field is appropriate. And, really, you can approach me on Twitter or something, […]

via So, You Want to Be an Indie Author… — The Invisible Moth

Magic: Age Isn’t Relevant

People of all ages love books about magic. (I also understand that people of all ages dislike books about magic.) Today we will focus on the former, and not the latter.

I remember when publishers redesigned the Harry Potter books to look more “mature”. I picture a man in a business suit, hunkered down with The Sorcerer’s Stone. On his way to close a multi-million dollar deal. Hat pulled low, in an airplane seat, giving the person next to him the side-eye, praying they don’t recognize what he’s reading.

Pardon the digression.

Anyway, I was just sitting here thinking about why adults continue to love fiction and magic. Here is what I came up with.

Escapism

Escapism is an appealing part of magic for everyone. Living in a world where there is still so much to discover. We can leave our assignments and jobs behind and live through the characters. How wonderful is that?

Possibilities

In magical realms there is an abundance of possibilities. Many of the rules from our world go out the window: gravity, time, travel, death, etc. In the magical realm anything is possible, but that’s not to say these worlds are without rules. As we know, there are still always rules to be broken. The rules in the magical realm are exciting, but they aren’t OUR rules.

Innocence

Innocence may be the strongest driving factor for adults who read books cpntaining magic. For those of us that still peak a little further into the back of a closet, or poke our heads into the attic, or who still hold on to the tiny shred of hope that our invitation to Hogwarts is on the way, we are reluctant to let our innocence vanish.

In a world that feels uncertain, it’s comforting to allow ourselves to believe. Not only in the possibility of magic, but that people can rally a together and beat “the bad guy”. That the good guy CAN get the girl, and that maybe, when we are challenged, we too will rise.

What keeps you reaching for those books about magic?

-Rachel

Wintertide — anotetohuguette

I’ve followed Kimberlee on her blog, anotetohuguette for a couple of years now. From her prose, to her thoughtful, lovely comments, she is just a beautiful soul. I am honored to be blogger buddies with her.

Give ‘Wintertide’ a read and experience the magic of Kimberlee’s writing.

“ It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. The crisp winter air is full of it.” – John Burroughs The sound of the city, the siren, makes its presence known no matter how sacred the day – my garlands of […]

via Wintertide — anotetohuguette

-Rachel McKee

Night Baby

Close your eyes little one.

Shut out the world for tonight.

Tomorrow you can roar at the sunrise,

shake the trees.

Wail long and loud.

Kick those chubby legs.

Stretch your graceful, dimpled hands.

Reach high little beauty.

As for tonight, my love, sleep, just sleep.

-Rachel

Give It Away

Artists take their heart and give it away.

Pouring out their soul, they give it away.

Nobody buys it, they give it away.

They can’t help themselves.

The expression of humanity, essential to their being.

The drive to beautify and unite the world, they give it away.

Free to the public, but there is always a price.

Just ask the artist.

Obligatory New Year Post

I wasn’t going to post about the new year.

I don’t have a resolution. I guess Time Square wasn’t the only thing that “dropped the ball”.

I slept while this year ticked into the next.

Is it Easter yet?

I did dust off my two children book manuscripts and began rewriting…again. That was three nights ago, so nothing to do with the new year.

Well, maybe I should have stuck with my gut and not do a “new year” post.

Oh wait, I do have something to say about the new year…

Happy New Year to YOU! Thank YOU for following. Thank YOU for reading. Thank YOU for engaging.

2017 has blessed me in so many ways. My husband has shown me grace every day. I’m so blessed to call him mine. My son began talking and it’s music to my heart. My beautiful, sweet, funny, baby girl was born this year. My friends and family continue to humble me with their love and generosity.

2017 was great and at times chaotic, like most years. The milestone years, such as my wedding, or birth of my babies are hard to see go. I’m greeting 2018, resolution-free, wrapped in a soft blanket with my Irish breakfast tea.

I’m just going to sit here and keep reading about your plans. If you wrote about the new year, please post a link in the comment thread below so I can share in your excitement.

Happy 2018.

Love,

Rachel

Everyone Is A House With Four Rooms

Image result for everyone is a house with four rooms

I came across this quote about a year ago and I reflect on it often. I do tend to dwell in one room most of the day. When I was more active with writing, I was pacing back and forth in the mental and the emotional rooms. Lately, though, I have been spending most of my time in the physical.

I have started working out daily. I’m also exhausted from taking care of the baby and my toddler. Working out has done a lot to make me feel better about my post-partum body but I do find that I miss walking through the other rooms: the mental, emotional, and the spiritual.

We need balance in our lives, but how do you find your equilibrium when most often we are pulled in one direction?

Which room have you been standing in when you look out the window?

-Rachel

Quote found here.