Mired In Translation – #WeekendWritingPrompt

In some cases, the letter won’t translate.

Specified language is always a little tricky,

not like asking

for directions to the swimming pool,

or how much for the loaf of bread

behind the counter.


You craft an art-form of assumptions.

Cut loose the odd words,

ones which clearly don’t fit

in the rigid confines of business,

ones surely not meant.

Leave a framework of mundane.


Puzzle a meaning from the scraps,

a rhythm for the found poem

butchered out of miscommunication.


Send a response in English,

cringe a little for the recipient,

know they will likely do as you

and turn to an app,

a browser tab,

punch in the words,

frown at the nonsense.






Afternoon Shallows

I found the pip between my teeth

an hour after the bitter bite

of garden currents

had faded from my tongue.


In the middle of a meeting,

too close between collegues

to spit or pick

the pith from my mouth.


Instead I chased it

from cheek to cheek

along the ring of my lower lip

to the hollow beside my molars.


The presenter lost his place,

tapped again at his laptop,

muttered a word ,

asked someone to call IT.


I swallowed by accident.


drew a worried glance,

waved it away with a glass of water.


Outside the cleaner checked bins,

roll of bags at her hip,

quick, quiet between the desks,

she whisked any evidence away.


The Summer heat has been making it difficult to sit down and write. Nowhere feels comfortable and I’m constantly shifting position to try and ease that sticky, gross feeling that comes with trying to do anything at all during hot, summer days.

I’d really love to hear people’s thoughts on this poem as it just sort of took shape this evening and I can very rarely tell if that makes it a good poem or a really bad one. Either way I enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoyed reading/listening to it.

Close up bunch of fresh raspberries

Close up bunch of fresh raspberries

#IWD – What It Means To Me

Until five minutes ago I had no idea that tomorrow was International Women’s Day. I knew that the day existed, but it has existed on the periphery of my consciousnesses and I haven’t paid it as much attention as I should have done. Especially as being a woman impacts on pretty much everything I do.

Take for instance my ten year plan. Please ignore the tea stains and the ripped edges, this is very much an ‘under construction’ version of plan.

Ten Year Plan – Commencing June 2015 [Graduation]

  1. Get a Job. [Tick! Working as an Accounts Assistant.]
  2. Finish my AAT Level Two Accountancy Qualification. [Tick. I decided to do this to help with my job and to add another string to my bow so to speak.]
  3. Buy a house. [Tick. The boyfriend and I did this last June.]
  4. Finish my book Shadow Dawn. [62,000 words in and going well.]
  5. Get and agent and a publisher. Publish book.
  6. Get married June 23rd 2018. [No. 5 and No. 6 overlap timewise.]
  7. Try to make enough money as a writer to work at that full time.
  8. Maybe do the ACCA qualification to become an fully fledged Accountant.
  9. Have first child by 25/26? [Before I’m 30. Let’s go with that.]

Having children is number nine on my list not because it’s the least important thing for me to do, but because it’s perhaps the most important thing to me. I’ve never had any doubt that I would be a mum at some point, and it’s one of the things that I’ve built my life plan. But equally, I want to be successful in my career to the point where I can say ‘Yeah. I’m awesome at what I do and I’ve achieved my goals.’

Recently there’s been a flurry of articles, videos and stories about empowered women owning the business world and I love seeing that, but I’ve watched my mother proving that women can be formidable in business since I was a child. You just have to watch her battling it out at the side of the auction ring at Leek Market to see that she can stand toe-to-toe with any man when it comes to getting what she wants.

As a result both my sister and I have always tried to take every opportunity we are given and make the absolute most out of it. At the moment my sister is studying Mechanical Engineering at Southampton and is building robots that can follow paths laid out for them and pick up objects. Something that my great gran told her she couldn’t do because only men were engineers. Her goals?

Jo’s Goals

  1. Work for as a mechanical engineer for a Formula One team
  2. Own a Ferrari/really fast sports car that her sister can’t remember the name of
  3. Be awesome. [Already achieving this to a much higher degree than her sister]


npg_catharinemacauNo doubt she has loads more on her list, but my point is she aims for the highest point she can see and doesn’t stop working until she makes it happen.

That is what’s International Women’s Day is to me. A reminder that I don’t have to settle and that the only limits on me are the ones I set myself.

During my history degree I loved finding those women that turned their noses up at the assumption that men were the ones in charge and proved themselves just as clever and inventive.

Catherine Macaulay, who I’ve written about on this blog, was one of those women. She carved out a reputation as a respected historian and intellectual, despite living in an age where academic educations were not considered important for women.

Throughout time we can find example of women proving themselves to be fierce, intelligent and powerful. Take for instance the women’s marches that took place recently. Whether you agree with them or not, they reminded me of the same dignity and ferocity that you see when researching the suffragette movements.

There are times when I bemoan my body. I poke at the bits that I don’t like, fall out with the mirror when my skin misbehaves, and sometimes even wish I was someone else. But in truth, I wouldn’t ever want to be anyone else. I love my body, I love me, I love being a woman.

I can have it all if I want. I just need to work hard enough.


Thank you for reading. If you have a moment, tell me about your goals? Are there any crazy dreams that you’re chasing despite the odds being against you? I’d love to hear in the comments below. Let me know, what does IWD mean to you?

This post was kicked off by Today’s Daily Prompt: Ruminate

I’m Back!

So as you may have gathered from my last post, I’m back from my little absence in the blog-a-sphere.

Basically I just got busy. Really, really busy.

This summer I decided that I wanted to do the following:

  • Take a summer module.10170953_633548943406713_3883140424478222773_n
  • Volunteer at my local museum.
  • Run Race For Life 10K
  • Start researching my dissertation.
  • Continue working at Hawkstone Park Follies.
  • Continue working for my parents.
  • Finish writing at least one novel.
  • Start a new poetry collection.
  • Publicise my poetry collection ‘Before The Words Run Out’
  • Continue my 100 book challenge on Goodreads!
  • and…
  • Work out a blogging schedule.

Guess which one fell through.

I am doing Camp Nanowrimo and I’ll stick up a widgety thing so you can see how that goes. [Not so well at the moment.] But anyway, my point is that things are moving forward and next week I have a bit of time off from work so I can write and study like a fiend! If I can get at least 10,000 words down for Henry Granger then I will be happy. [I am changing the title I have decided, I just haven’t decided what I’ll change it to yet.]

As far as a blogging schedule goes things will pretty much stay the same. There will probably be more posts like these over the next month and less snippets of flash fiction and poetry though I will try and give you one piece of creative writing a week at least. There will also be some more book reviews on the way…

I have literally just lost the only pen in the entirety of my boyfriend’s room. It was here a second ago and now I need it to jot down a name so I can type it up here, I CAN’T FIND IT!


… I was sitting on it.

Anyway, as I was saying… The lovely Chantal Bellehumeur has sent me a copy of her feelgood book ‘Not Alone’ which I should be reviewing at the end of the month. I’m going to attempt to put up a new book review on the last day of each month from now on so if any of you have books you want reviewing then don’t hesitate to send me an email at caroljforrester@hotmail.com and throw them my way.

Oh, and as a final note, I managed the 10K last month so boyfriend has suggested another. All we need to do is find one. Here’s a picture of some cows.

photo 3