Catherine Vaughan – Hereford’s Millenial Poet and Author

ūüíĚ My first ever review about my ūüé§ ūüĒä 1st Solo Poetry Performance ūüĒä ūüé§ on 03.03.16 @ De Koffie Pot Cafe.
Written by the M Cuadra from the fantastic culture and events website: HerefordCityCentric.com a wonderful website about places to eat/visit/and do on in my Hometown Hereford. Visit their website today! And who knows maybe it will inspire you to visit the quaint city of Hereford located in England near the Welsh borders. ūüíĚ

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Catherine Vaughan Book & Poetry Reading at De Koffie Pot March 3, 2016

Arriving slightly late to the reading by Catherine Vaughan,  I can’t help but feel anxious that I missed out on of some of this lady poets carefully crafted outpouring, and the whimsical and energetic approach in which she passionately read through her material.

I arrived to an aptly poetic atmosphere; the room was beautifully lit with candles illuminating the oak beams on the ceiling, and the tables almost completely packed with humans keenly hanging on to every word. Catherine had reeled them in, I would be next. De Koffie Potholds many events in this room on the first floor of the converted stables nestled alongside the River Wye. A charming setting difficult to parallel in the city unless you boast any sort of river front property.

Reading from her poetry book ‚ÄėThe Quarter Life Crisis Poet: A Collection of‚Ķ

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Facebook Event Listing for Poetry Night this Thursday 3rd March

FB event listing

Hey guys!

If you’re in Hereford this Thursday¬†check out this event on my official Facebook page. If you can come please hit the going button.

And while you’re on Facebook why not click L I K E to show your support on my fan page.

Thank you!

– Love Catherine xoxo

 

On writing about darkness:

A lot of my writing from poetry to prose explicitly or indirectly talks about pain and darkness. This is unintentional. I just can’t control it sometimes. I have a new novel coming out this spring it is called “Welcome to Wonderland.” It is a Bohemian Love story with many beautiful but equally devastating plot twists.

They say write about what you know and the only thing I know and have experienced about life are good fortune at times and devastating, unimaginable lows.

There is a passage is this upcoming book that says how a couple of the villains in the book are so twisted you would be lucky if they paid to have you beaten to death. Their punishment of choice? Driving their enemy to commit suicide. Initially I felt unease. This is dark stuff. Notably there is no violence or disturbingly graphic scenes.

But that line: drive an enemy to the big S word we never talk about. That is deep. It may seem outlandish or cruel but we forget to acknowledge reality. In the book it is a certain wealthy character that has this dark drive.

My focus in my writing is to tell a compelling story with beauty, culture juxtaposed with the sadness and pain of life because we don’t just have the former alone. There is always truth in what I write, I can’t help it, it just comes out. I’m pretty perceptive and intuitive. Some mistake my sharp, deep and terse writing for deliberate infliction of distress. It is not. I could never do that. I’m just accurate in identifying the universal strand of truth and suffering. My brain automatically assesses or creates information/content from first principles thus there is always maximum coverage/depth from the simplest idea I merely think of. I can’t help it. If you think a villain uttering the words that he’d rather drive an enemy to suicide is too dark: let’s take a detour. This following analogy came after I wrote the dark passage. I know that what I write is more that what is typed. It is universal and it’s powerful to utter the stories we don’t dare speak up. It is hard but it must be¬†told, the only acceptable form to do so is fiction.

Imagine an 11 year old boy who has just moved to a new town and has started high school.

boy

His parents have split up, he is the new kid, he lives in a block of flats; no garden; no park to play in. His father works full-time and has a new girlfriend so there’s not much one-on-one time with his son. He’s finding it hard to make friends. He’s the shortest boy in the class and a little skinny. One kid in gym class picks on him as he is partnered up with the prettiest and tallest girl in class. More boys join in on the teasing. They say he’s short, he’s ugly. He goes home and hardly sees any of his old friends on social media because they’ve forgotten about him by now. So he adds some people from his class in an attempt to make new friends. Some reject the “friend request” others accept. He’s not great at sports- just Maths. But it’s not cool to do your maths homework so in a bid to fit in he stops too. At first the boys kinda let him in a little subject to him letting them copy from him for homework and future tests. The kid that first picked on him adds him on facebook. He’s kinda relieved, maybe he wants to be friends. So he accepts the friend request, but the boy is no different online.

Now he just has more fuel to bully him. He finds old photos of him wearing glasses and calls him ugly. They make sly comments about him not having any friends. They label him gay. It gets worse and worse. He tells his Dad who just says “hey don’t worry about it.” He’s torn between even finishing his homework because the cool kids don’t and he wants to fit in. His grades slip, teachers bemoan about the slip in grades. They don’t acre to ask why he’s gone from an average ‘B’ to ‘D-‘. They just label him as not bright and non-compliant with school work. He confides in one teacher that it’s been 6 months and he has not made one friend, teacher’s dismiss his pain say he just needs to be more confident- to stop worrying. His Dad says join the weekend football team. Sadly those horrid boys from school are already on the team and he’s crap at sports anyway. He wants to take up the clarinet again but Dad can’t afford the fees. He has to have a special free lunch for¬†school because he is from a low-income household. He has an aunt nearby but she’s got three kids under 10 and is always busy. She does love her nephew but she has too much on her plate. So he stays indoors after school and the weekend. He starts a little blog on Warhammer and games like that. But before you know it the kids at school have found it and take the mick.

Every possible route to a supposed ‘normal kid life’ is blocked or mocked: his Dad, teachers, friends (or lack there of), hobbies, family etc. So what is that 11 year old child supposed to do? He can’t just pack up and move to his Mother’s who is 4 hours away with a new man. He could face even more rejection at another new school and what would his Dad think of him for choosing his Mum instead. He feels trapped. He is trapped. There’s only so much an 11 year old boy can do.

Then on Facebook someone at school calls him a “loner” that he would be better off dead. He thinks this over. He believes it is true. So tell me does that scenario by all¬†those¬†people¬†surmount¬†to someone being driven to suicide?

You think suicide is selfish and depression is indulgent. Sometimes it is the only logical state of mind and state of being a person can feel given their circumstances. Obviously people are not always intentionally driving someone to that state but others are even if they do not notice it.

Ergo my writing is not unnecessarily dark it coneys truths. The truths we do not want to face or hear about. Unfortunately these dark circumstances happen everyday. The least we could do is be pleasant to people. So yeah my writing may upset people but it has to be written, it is not what you originally think and finally I could never write something to maliciously hurt someone. Never. But my writing ends up bleeding truth whether I want it to or not. All I intended was to write a sweet love story with Bohemians, creatives, billionaires and poets and something bigger than myself came out, darker than I ever imagined. I’m never trying to be political or take a dig at society. That’s not my intention. My writing is deep and sophisticated it can satisfy superficial¬†whims alongside one’s propensity towards depth and meaning. Ultimately my next book is a moving, deep and pensive book. It is also an enjoyable read, it will be an emotional roller coaster but you will have been glad to have read it and it ends on a most intriguing, beautiful and heartfelt scene.

Copyright © Catherine Vaughan 2016.

 

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The On The Road Bohemian: Jack Kerouac

 

 

Here we have the King of the Beat Bohemians. Don’t label him a beatnik as that is semi-pejorative: a play on sputnik and a media stereotype. In the face of being labeled the term he responded: “I’m not a beatnik, I’m a Catholic.” *Swoon.*

Reasons why I ‚ô° JK:

  1. He’s handsome
  2. He’s athletic
  3. He’s poetic
  4. He’s a great writer
  5. He’s Catholic

Literally my Dream list of what I want in the opposite sex. Sometime I get in a dreamy state and feel we’re star-crossed lovers lost in time, I’ll always hold in my mind that I was supposed to be with someone like him. It is so rare for a soul to embody good looks that are superficially satisfying plus depth, sensitivity and intellect and a somewhat morose life tainted¬†in darkness that only make you fall more in love with them even more…. His life sometimes parallels with mine in some ways a la Big Sur minus the booze. I ran out to California just as he did…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve known of him since I was 15, before On The Road became a movie. I think I was the only kid in my school who knew he was.

In the Spring of 2015 his work raised from the dead- kind of. The Haunted Life was a lost Novella of Kerouac’s. I wish I could say I’ve read all his books but I just can’t face it, some them are too intense like Big Sur and his co-written book with fellow Beat Burroughs And the Hippos were boiled in their tanks.

Film adaptations of Kerouac’s book and life:

 

Life in the Shire iPhone 5 case

iPhone5Scase

iPhone Cover available here.

Extract taken from the poem titled: Luxury: Part 1 found in the d√©but poetry collection “The Quarter Life Crisis Poet” by Catherine Vaughan.

QLCBookCover

Ignore em’, trash em’. Rolling with Rowling…

“You’ll never make money writing children’s book,” said an Authors agent. Then you’re faced with 12 rejections of your manuscript. What now? What next?

Why bother?

What now? Hand your book proposal to another Publisher. What next? Get your book published. Why bother? Because you have worked hard to craft and polish your children’s book manuscript, you feel compelled to get the story published, and why not just go for it? Hmmm 12 publisher rejections is a lot. Maybe you won’t make any money with this book, maybe the children’s genre is not a safe bet?

It’ll never succeed, this was all a wasted effort. I’ll stop. That’s it, enough is enough. Maybe the agent and publishers are right. My book is pointless, it won’t sell.

What if J.K Rowling had ended her thought trail on the above sentiments? 12 manuscript rejections, the utterance of children’s book not making money by her own literary agent. This all happened to the author of the multi-million selling Harry Potter books. What if she never got past no, never got past the disbelief, past the disappointments? She’d be just like the rest of us. Nothing¬†wrong with that. But think of all that she would have missed out on: the film and franchise of her beloved¬†Harry and becoming the World’s 1st Billionaire Author!¬†She still is like the rest of us: enjoying family, taking the bus with the same insecurities and same desire for happiness in life.

So sometimes we have to ignore the critics say eff-U to those lacking faith in your genuine brilliance and trash the insecurities to do what you were born to do, even if it just means getting it outta your system and completing a goal.

Sometimes so called experts o the highly experienced are wrong. Sometimes you have to get their opposing views outta your head because they are just plain wrong and they are more than opposing you they are oppressing you. True leadership and brilliance is rare and sometimes a Ph.D is meaningless other times not. It’s a constant weighing up and making black and white what we do and what we hear.

First analyse and rigorously dissect the good, bad and ugly of your work or goals. If it is truly good enough go for it. Focus on it:

Follow

One

Course

Until

Successful

And then you meet the gatekeepers they say no. Plough through or find another passageway to get into. The CEO, the project manager or the publisher says no. Is it true what they are saying? Sometimes it might not be. You cannot disregard specialist’s. But other times you may have to. That’s the hard part, having to efficiently identify that distinction. Sadly all the titles, qualificatiosn and experience can be futile, and their opinion is simply an abyss into Hell if you follow their ‘advice’.

Ignore them and you may be taking the Stairway to Heaven or Highway to Hell. That’s a distinction to figure out later when you hit the Big Time!

Copyright © 2015 by Catherine Vaughan All rights reserved. This article or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the blogger except for the use of brief quotations in non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.

Hay Festival 2014: Travel Tips (Part 1)

Hay-On-Wye is a magical and whimsical little market town on the English/Welsh borders-near my hometown. Plenty of charming bookshops, cafés and gift shops. And once a year there is an inflow of literary and artistic minds gathered to educate, entertain and inspire.

Ironically for the past 5 years I had not attended an event because I was too busy working in a bookshop or always seemed to book my annual vacation in Malta on the exact same week!

Jpeg

I was fortunate to get a Monday afternoon off and scoured the pages for events to attend. Of course nobody around me gives a damn about reading, the arts so I knew I would be riding solo yet again.

I was very nearly going to attend Mr Hook of Sotheby’s talk on the Art World and his book but then there was a picture book panel with three illustrators/creative extraordinaire’s so being as ridiculously frugal as I am I figured it’d be a three for one which would be a more efficient use of my time.

JpegJpegAs you can see the festival like many other literary ones are a series of connected maze-like tents. The entrance to the festival can get very muddy and you would not be out of place to wear wellies particularly as our British Summer may decide to drizzle on us or worse! My Clarke ballet flats fortunately got over the very unbearable though brief exposure to wet mud.  JpegIt does understandably get very busy and jam-packed as you walk around the tent but it is not that gigantic, you will not get lost and the loos are onsite and easy to get to though the queues for them can be enormous. JpegFor some reason I did not eat a thing that whole afternoon so have no idea what the onsite cafés and food stalls are like. There is plenty of seating area in some open café areas.

A note on travel:

Because I live nearby I simply hopped onto my local 39 Hereford to Hay-on-Wye bus. It is an hour ride possibly ¬£9 return ticket if my memory serves. I did notice that the special Festival Bus link last year were¬†late. From what I heard from other festival goers the Festival bus was an hour late and it’s route were delayed (on the Monday¬†I¬†went.) So a lot of people that previously purchased festival bus tickets paid again to use the local 39 Yeomans bus. This Yeomans bus¬†is not in service during the late evening.¬†Anyhoo the drive/ride from Hereford to Hay is beautiful, scenic and quintessentially¬†British. Once you arrive at Hay there are buses going back and forth regularly to the festival site and it’s ¬£1 return to and from Hay and the site. It’s a very quick journey 10 mins max. I hope that helps!