Micro Fiction: Nowhere

There are places in my head that I’ve created. I’d like to go to one in particular.

The walls, the floor, and the ceiling are wet, glossy stones. The air is heavy with the smell of Earth and water.

There is one large window with a view of a deep green field. Wild lavender bushes burst through the green and shake in the breeze.

I perch inside this residential cave upon the bench that surrounds a circular Koi pond. Lily pads float on top of the water and the bright orange fish slither about.

The tinkling fountain vibrates around the room and fills my ears.

I am there and yet I’m not. Just as this room exists but does not.

-Rachel McKee

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.

Picture Pick FriYay: Fall Fever

“This year is growing old gracefully…just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles. We’ve had lovely days and delicious twilights.”

-Anne of Avonlea L.M. Montgomery

 

Methow Valley, Washington Fall

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Methow Valley, Washington Fall

-Rachel & Miles McKee

 

 

My Loyal Friend

“Let’s go boy!”

Rising shakily until you are up on all paws, you hobble to the top of the stairs. Your front paws descend the first step, but your eyes beg for me to do the rest.

I lift your sixty pounds, bending at the knees to save my back.

Leaning against my chest, you shake because you fear the pain of being set down.

I place you in front of the door, you need go no further, the sun is waiting for you on the porch. I run my hands over your glossy black coat and words of love cram in my throat.

I bury my face in your neck. Remembering everything I will miss about you one day when you are gone. How you kiss my tears when motherhood is overwhelming, and the way you lean on me when I need support.

My heart breaks because I snap at you, more than you deserve. My patience level is low, and most of it goes to the toddler.

You were so tolerant when our son arrived.

You gently remind us when we forget your dinner or breakfastthe cat is not so subtle.

I whisper, “I’m sorry.”

Looking up at me and smiling into the sun as if to say, “Being sad is a waste of this day.” I realize dogs don’t want apologies for the past nor promises for the future. They just want to share the moment with you.

 

 

 

200 Followers: Q&A

Here is the Q&A video celebrating 200 followers on Illuminated Literation. I hope you enjoy hearing the answers to your questions. I had fun writing my response. 

I reorganized the questions depending on topic, so some of your questions may be split up in different sections.

I want to thank the following readers for participating and asking me thoughtful questions:

Fab Writings

Paintdigi

The Lily Note Pad

Mystery Date With A Book

The Inked Autist

Evince

The Invisible Moth

Casey Fae Hewson

Cool Beans 4

Wind Blown Words

I Am Miradh

A Note To Huguette

Ben

 

While there are many edits I would love to make, life is too busy to nit-pick. There is one that I can’t let slip by. Ben asked, “Is there any work that guides you? Or a particular author?” I said the novel “Infamous” but the novel name is “Infandous” by Elana Arnold.

Here is the link to the blog The Daily Post. Look for their post called Community Pool. It’s a great way to make new blog buddies.

Thank you for your continuous encouragement and support.

Love and Cheers,

Rachel McKee

#AmWriting

I have been focusing on my YA novel and the characters are starting to feel authentic, so that’s very encouraging. I’m trying to get the first draft written without beating it up too much with my grammar hammer.

I have been using Twitter more and I’m having fun meeting other writers there (hence the hashtag name for this post). I have also been learning Photoshop (see cover image above).

The cover image is a quote from my YA novel. I’ve been wanting to create images with text for a long time so for the last few weeks I have been experimenting with Photoshop and I’m learning a lot. I have experienced a lot of trial and error, but that’s all part of it right?

So if you are wondering what little ol’ me has been up to, well that’s about it. Other than throwing first birthdays, chasing a one year old, wrangling a dog, appeasing a cat, and attending a wedding.

Have a fantastic week!

♥R♥

 

One Year

You kicked and squirmed, I shifted uncomfortably and smiled at my big belly.

I sweat, I cried, I pushed, you pulled.

I squeezed my eyes and clenched my teeth, you saw the light for the first time.

We saw each other and we cried.

I pulled you close and you held on tight.

I talked, you nuzzleddrinking your fill.

You cried the first night, I was weak, Daddy’s arms were strong.

I learned, you taught, we got to know each other.

You needed me, I needed sleep, we were tired.

You laughed, and I understood pure joy.

You rolled over and turned my world upside down.

On all fours you moved away from me, and I scrambled to catch up.

In a high-pitch voice you said “Mama” and I came running.

You looked for “Dada” to come home, and I was just as eager.

You pulled yourself up, and I caught you when you fell (almost always).

You went to sleep a baby and woke up a toddler.

You are one. You are smart. You are sweet. You are brave, and we love you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pic Pick Friyay: Port Townsend

Miles took these incredible photos while visiting a friend in Pt. Townsend, Washington. He took The Kingston Ferry from Seattle to Pt. Townsend. The photos were taken at sunrise.

The black and white cover image I chose for this post is one of my all-time favorites. I love how the photo conveys both motion and placidness.

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Can you spot the Space Needle in the above image? Hello, beautiful Mt. Rainier.

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Happy Friyay!

♥R♥

ALL IMAGES ©MILES MCKEE PHOTOGRAPHY.

Living With A Speech Impediment

I have an undiagnosed speech impediment. According to a speech and language professor at WWU, it’s some sort of tongue thrust or (orofacial myofunctional disorder). My tongue feels too big for my mouth and I can’t control it. Sometimes, I swear, it wants to fall out of my mouth when I talk. My impediment gets worst when I’m nervous. I’m lucky it is slight, and not everyone even notices it.

You would think my speech would have had a major impact on my life especially during childhood, but it didn’t. I wasn’t teased (too often). I grew up in a very small town and interacted with the same 50-or-so kids since age 5. We saw each other every single day until high school graduation. We knew each others faults, scars, bumps, and lumps as well as our own. The way I talked, was just the way I talked. My peers were aware that it was different, but thought, “That’s just Rachel.”

Have you ever noticed it’s the adults that tend to point out and notice the “differences” in children? I was sitting in my third-grade class one day when a man, (we will call him Mystery Man) stood awkwardly beside my desk and asked if I would come with him. I looked skeptically at my teacher and she told me that Mystery Man had a few questions to ask me and that I should go with him. After getting the “go ahead” from my teacher, I followed Mystery Man into a room I had never been in before. He introduced himself and said he helps children speak “correctly”. This was the first time someone had pointed out to me that I speak differently.

He asked me to read a few simple words off of some flash cards, “Dog. Cat. House.” I was a third-grader that read at the eighth-grade level, so I was offended that someone doubted my reading capability. I remember blatantly asking, “Why am I here? I read very well.”.

He responded, “You have a different way of talking and I’m here to help you. If you would like the help.”

I looked around the room, and then I looked Mystery Man in the eyes and said, “No I don’t want your help. I would like to go back to class now.”

Poor guy. Rejection from an eight-year-old, that’s rough. He accepted my answer and walked me back to class.

I went home and told my mother what had happened at school while she was sitting in the bath tub shaving her legs . I told her, “A strange man pulled me out of class today…” I think that’s as far as I got before my mother jumped out of the tub, threw a towel around herself, and stormed out of the bathroom. Her fingers of fury dialed the  telephone faster than anyone has ever dialed.

I could hear her ask, “Why did nobody contact me to tell me she was going to be tested and evaluated? The school was very out of line…if my daughter doesn’t want to work with him, I support her decision.” Slam! I was impressed the phone didn’t shatter. That’s my mom, always my defender.

She turned to me and asked, “Do you want to work on your speech? Does the way you talk bother you?”

I just looked at her and said, “I didn’t know I was different. I don’t want to change.”

She nodded her head, and that-was-that.

There was the occasional teasing, but it never bothered me, especially when I knew the other kid’s weaknesses toosmall town remember?

It wasn’t until I graduated from high school and went to college that people would comment on the way I talked. For some reason the guys I dated really wanted to discuss it. I was 19 when a guy told me, “I like the way you talk, I think it’s cute. I know some people probably find it annoying as fuck, but I like it.” Mmmm okay. Thanks. He was such a gem.

Other guys made similar comments, “Oh it’s cute.” Sometimes they would mimic me (that was pretty annoying). The only time my rebellious tongue ever bothered me was when I had to speak in front of a large audience.

My friends and family are accustom to my speech. I haven’t had to lead any meetings, or give any presentations in over a year. When my job did require me to present, I just battled my wayward tongue and said what I had to say. My husband doesn’t bring it up because according to him, he doesn’t notice it. I hadn’t thought about my speech impediment for a really long time.

Then I posted THIS video that I made to celebrate reaching 100 followers and to explain the progress on my YA novel. I watched and listened to myself trying to talk around my fat tongue and some insecurities arose. I asked my husband, “Do I really sound like that? Do I really LOOK like that when I talk?”

He conceded, “It’s a little more pronounced in the video, but it’s just because you are nervous.” (He is always honest, and I love him dearly for it.)

I dwelt on it for a day, and thought about not posting the video, but then I realized that what I needed to say was important. I wanted my viewers to hear me say, in my own unique voice, “Thank you.” for following my blog. I was scared of the trolls who could potentially find the video and make fun of the way I talk. Then I realized that there are trolls everywhere and if I let that fear control me then I wasn’t being true to myself or my dreams.

So far no troll comments, just lovely encouragement from you, my dear readers. I’m so glad I went ahead and posted the video.

Remember to embrace who you are, and don’t view your “differences” as your enemy. Think of them as a magnifying glass to spot the trolls in your life.

♥R♥

THANK YOU MILES MCKEE PHOTOGRAPHY FOR LETTING ME USE YOUR PHOTO.

Happy Father’s Day

There literally isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t thank God for my husband. His gentle touch calms our family, his patience and forgiveness humbles me. He is our hero.  The look of adoration on my son’s face when he sees Miles confirms that I picked the best man to father our son. I will forever be grateful that our paths crossed and we walk the road of parenthood together.

Thank you Miles for being the incredible example our son deserves. Thank you to all of the fathers and father-figures in the worldthis day is for you.

♥R♥