continue the voice Celebration 21/03/2022
A letter to our Readers
inter has come and gone and many people’s favourite season, spring, has arrived! Here’s to picnics in the park, dresses with cardigans, it being light past 4pm and flowers blooming all around us. You may be wondering why on earth we are doing our ‘celebrate’ issue in spring and the truth is that we believe there is always something to celebrate. Spring is all about rebirth and blooming, so what better time is there to celebrate truly? Now I am going to rewind a little, as 2022 rang in we made a decision at Continue The Voice to change our monthly publications to quarterly, so we can ensure that we continue to give all of you the quality you deserve, whilst also expanding beyond this zine – watch this space! This shift has come as a welcome gift to our volunteer team who all do this on top of their jobs that pay the bills and has ensured that we as a team avoid burnout. So this spring instead of getting busy with the spring clearouts and filling every light evening with plans, why not sit down, take a breath and enjoy the light? This issue might just be one of my favourites yet and ‘Challah If You Queer Me’ is definitely one of my favourite pieces of all time that had me spitaking my peppermint tea, so be sure to check it out! That’s all from me just now, so please grab a drink of your choice and a snack if you are feeling like it and flick through the pages whilst you enjoy the lightness and brightness of spring. Kirsty Taylor She / Her
Front cover by Shannon Gardner Magazine Design by Daisy Melnyczuk
Page 06–09 Page 10–13 Page 14–21 Page 22–25 Page 26–27 Page 28–31 Page 32–35 Page 36–41 Page 42–45 Page 46–47 Page 48–49 Page 50–51 Page 52–53 Page 54–55 Page 56–57 Page 58–59
Stravaig: Edinburgh Poetry Corner 1 The Gallery: Maria Giles and Jayne Crow Poetry Corner 2 Visual: Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier Too Much Celebration Interview with an Author: Katie Goh Challah If You Queer Me Small Business Spotlight: Made in Stirling 1920 Things We’re Loving Playlist Coorie Moments How Do You Like To Celebrate? Coming Soon/Call for Submissions: Love Copyright
As the true heart of this zine lives in
day to take the bus in. Walking is how you
Edinburgh, it only felt fitting to give you a
find hidden gems and get to truly enjoy
travel piece on what to do if you visit here.
all of its gorgeous architecture. It is also
I currently don’t live in Edinburgh but I am
the city of seven hills, so it is a must to go
itching to move back and I did live there
up at least one of them on your trip. Most
for five years, which makes this a true
travellers tend to opt for Arthur’s Seat but
locals’ guide! I was also fortunate enough
I find Arthur’s Seat to be overrated as you
to spend many weekends and holidays in
are standing on top of part of the view
Edinburgh growing up as my mum is from
you want to be looking at. If you only have
time to go up one hill, Blackford Hill would be my top choice as it gives the best view
So first things first, Edinburgh is a city
of the city with Arthur’s Seat and the sea
designed to be walked in or on a very wet
in frame. I also highly recommend going
note, if you like astronomy you absolutely
Blackford Pond, Camera Obscura, The Writers’ Museum, Dean Village, and
have to check out the Royal Observatory
Stockbridge. The best places to do
on Blackford Hill.
some ethical and enjoyable shopping are
during sunset one night. As a quick side
Stockbridge charity shops, Armstrongs, You have started your day off by walking, so
Edinburgh’s Natural Skincare Company,
the natural next step is to grab coffee and
Little Miss Katie Cupcake, and Delicate
a cake or even lunch. I have an endless list
Rébellion. Of course, after a long day
of cafes I love in Edinburgh and you never
shopping you will absolutely want some
run out of new ones to try. Some of my top
dinner and drinks. My favourite places for
picks at the moment are Honeycomb and
dinner at the moment are Dough, Ting
Co (for the pricier option), Black Medicine
Thai Caravan, Kalpna, Bonnie Burrito,
Coffee (for the range of choices – so long
Cafe Andaluz, August 37 and Makars Mash
as you don’t mind being surrounded by
House. I must confess that I haven’t tried
lots of Edinburgh University students),
many bars in Edinburgh as I lived there
Lovecrumbs (the cakes are to die for),
mostly as a student and we had our student
Elephant and Bagels (for the bagels
places that we went to. However these
obviously), Hula (for a healthier option),
are a few I’ve tried recently and enjoyed:
and if you are in the mood for brunch then
Panda and Sons, Candy Bar, Slug and
I definitely recommend Project Coffee.
Lettuce, and Biblos. If you really feel like splashing out, the Dome is lovely but not
Naturally, no good trip is complete without
a place for anyone on a budget! So what
seeing some sights and doing some
are you waiting for? Grab your warmest
shopping. My favourite places to wander
jumper and an umbrella and coorie in
around in are the National Museum of
Scotland, The National Portrait Gallery,
By Kirsty Taylor
Poetry Corner KINARA Red – For the blood that Courses through the veins, granting Precious life to an entire people. Black – For the race that Sprang forth from the fertile womb of the Same mother that birthed a whole species. Her many children Erected and made possible the first Civilisations, sciences, arts, crafts, Dances, folklore, languages. Green – For the land. Sprawling jungles and veldts Teeming with wild beasts Teeming with life. Symbolic of hope and re-connection With nature’s splendour and Long-forgotten roots.
Red, Black, Green. Three colours Seven candles set on the kinara Set alight. A shimmering beacon Guiding the people Lost, separated, scattered Back into view of each other. Gathering to acknowledge Seven days Seven principles: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, Faith. Without these, Africans cannot survive. Follow the light from the kinara. It signals that the first fruits of the harvest We need are here. All seven of them. W: Kwanzaa 2007 Kinara; A seven-branched candle holder, usually carved out of wood, to celebrate the week of Kwanzaa [December 26th through January 1st] – a historically American Black cultural [not religious] holiday. It holds three red candles, three green candles and one black candle in the centre [which gets lit on the first day].
By Dee Allen. Dee Allan is an Africa-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. He has been active in creative writing and Spoken Word since the early 1990s. He is the author of seven books: ‘Boneyard’, ‘Unwritten Law’, ‘Stormwater’, ‘Skeletal Black’ (all from POOR Press), ‘Elohi Unitsi’ (Conviction 2 Change Publishing), ‘Plans’ (Nomadic Press) and recently released: ‘Rusty Gallows: Passages Against Hate’ (Vagabond Books).
. . . Parranda Wear a mask and let your eyes loudly express what your mouth won’t. Stand six feet apart while your sentences embrace those you like and love. Then self-isolate. That insulated time is a coat during a life-endangering storm. Start a party within yourself. Don’t let anything silence your celebration. As host of this unrelenting event, always, always, always welcome gladness, your venerated guest.
By Bob McNeil. Bob McNeil, writer, editor, cartoonist, and spoken word artist, is the author of ‘Verses of Realness’ (https://tinylink.net/muF6C). Hal Sirowitz, a Queens Poet Laureate, called the book ‘a fantastic trip through the mind of a poet who doesn’t flinch at the truth.’ Among Bob’s recent accomplishments, he found working on ‘Lyrics of Mature Hearts’ to be a humbling experience because of the anthology’s talented contributors. Copies of that collection are available here: https://amzn.to/3bU8Loi.
. . . THE DAY I WAS BORN IS HAPPINESS the stars coincide in the sky comets record their degree radius while I look at the sky itself its top I can recognise equally as if I had never seen him before somehow, as if everything disappears at that moment when life gained its meaning and on value I give again the maximum of myself for there is nothing more beautiful than what life has only given me happiness is when I wake up every morning with a cup of coffee I laugh at the TV obviously the problem is having a conjunction with the screen display number twelve I can’t reconcile, not to see the diary it relaxes me and my little ones
who fight with everyone around them because, after all, it used to be painful to look at reality which brings celebration to me I celebrate birthdays a little less often now but I know there is a reason for everything because the world has become strange and no-one can be trusted one hundred percent anymore accordingly that love today is replaced by hatred the day I came into this world it best shows my laughter and search for life because it is difficult to survive in a cocoon being withdrawn is an option I don’t like so I celebrate being alive every day I can blame myself for everything just not to lose reality I don’t want to or won’t because I am the lucky one of my imagination of the life I give to my heart with clarity of speech!
Words by Maid Corbic. Maid is from Tuzla, 21-years-old. In his spare time he writes poetry that is repeatedly praised as well as rewarded. He also selflessly helps others around him, and he is moderator of the World Literature Forum WLFPH (World Literature Forum Peace and Humanity) for humanity and peace in the world in Bhutan. He is also the editor of the First Virtual Art portal led by Dijana Uherek Stevanovic, and the selector of the competition at a page of the same name that aims to bring together all poets around the world.
THE GALLERY : MARIA GILES & JAYNE CROW
Maria Giles Maria Giles is a professional pianist and musicologist from Russia. She moved to England 19 years ago to work on her research on English music and now she works at several schools teaching piano and Russian. She started painting several years ago as it was always something she wanted to try, and now she joins local exhibitions and sells paintings and cards online. She loves exploring different mediums and different painting styles. Unpredictability and versatility of watercolour are really exciting for her and currently she has started going into fashion illustration, sketching and portraiture. She is also currently illustrating a book about the Russian composer, Mikhail Glinka.
Jayne Crow Maria Giles is a professional pianist and Jayne connected with her creative side after a long period of illness and decided to teach herself to paint. Painting improved her health and well-being enormously. She has lived in Sussex for over 20 years, but is originally from Australia, which is reflected in many of her paintings. Jayne paints lots of animals and birds and has her own Christmas card collection. She loves to experiment with different subject matter and techniques, each new painting is a positive learning experience. Jayne has been luckily enough to paint several murals locally, she loves the challenge these projects give her. A Note From Jayne: Every painting I do is a celebration for me – when I decided to teach myself to paint in 2017 I had incurable cancer then a year and a half later my cancer had disappeared completely and luckily hasn’t come back so far. Painting brings me so much joy and every time I finish a painting I’m amazed I did that. I celebrate and appreciate every day as I know how lucky I am to still be here, painting.
. . .
Oh, Christmas Tree
Look at you dressed and ready, heavier than before, arms bowed holding memories. A faithful glitter in darkness, fragrant green needles but brittle below your skirt. December still early, New Year’s Day – a calendar flip away. Glamour was a poor defence, and you… still trying to be merry. Published previously by Hypnopomp Magazine December, 2019
Judy DeCroce lives and works with her husband poet/artist Antoni Ooto in rural upstate New York. Widely published internationally in print, online journals, and anthologies, she is a poet, flash fiction writer, and educator who is a regular contributor to The BeZINE, The Front Porch Review, North of Oxford, OpenDoor Magazine, The Poet Magazine, Amethyst Review, and Vita Brevis Press. Judy is proud of being invited, for a second year, to participate in the Waco Wordfest October 2021. As a professional storyteller, she enjoys performing and teaching that genre.
. . . Third Birthday Until I was three I had a pet rabbit. For a long time I took him everywhere with me. He was made of felt and stood upright tall and thin holding a bright orange carrot in front of his yellow chest. I held him by his ears which were dark green like his back. And then my mother decreed he had become too shabby, too dirty to be my constant companion. A wash did not improve his appearance too successfully. So he became my sleeping partner and I still loved him as much.
. . . 23
. . . And then for my third birthday he was allowed to come to tea. I was sick, too much cake, my mother said. Yes I was sick all over my pet rabbit. And then he disappeared. No-one knew where. ‘He’s gone,’ they said hippy hop. I never saw him again.
Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and a Rhysling Award. Find Lynn at: https://lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and https://www.facebook.com/ Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/
. . . White Noise Puddles of galoshes, boots hugging the door, and murmurs from the next room in rising pitches a chorus in Italian, English humming with gossip. A family seasoning the holiday Thanksgiving, Christmas… voices at a table arm-to-arm a dozen conversations knotted one-to-one lulling the half-asleep child on a daybed heaped with coats. Published previously by Front Porch Review October, 2018.
By Antoni Ooto. Antoni Ooto lives and works with his wife, poet/storyteller, Judy DeCroce, in rural upstate New York. Ooto is a well-known abstract expressionist artist whose art is collected throughout the US. Currently, poetry is an additional expression of creativity. His poetry is widely published internationally in print, online journals, and anthologies. Antoni regularly contributes to The BeZINE, Amethyst Review, Front Porch Review, The Poet Magazine, North of Oxford, OpenDoor Magazine, and Vita Brevis Press. His poem, ‘A Year Without Weight’, was included in the 2021 anthology ‘Brought To Sight & Swept Away’ which went to number one in New Poetry Anthologies on Amazon.
Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier is an Indigenous visual artist, writer and photographer. Most recently she’s been a cover artist for Synkroniciti, Arachne Press, Pretty Owl Poetry, Wild Musette, Existere Journal, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Gigantic Sequins, Ottawa Arts Journal and more. When she’s not walking her Siberian Husky, she’s also designing with Art of Where and using some of her artwork on nonmedical face masks, hoping to be a better global citizen. See www.kcbgphoto.com to find out more.
TOO MUCH CELEBRATION
Riots, election woes, and a worldwide
or cheered their selections.
pandemic made for a bleak 2021 winter.
As daylight faded, our son poked his
To make matters worse, in February, ice
head out, ‘Hey, I’m going to get dinner.’
from Winter Storm Uri felled thousands
‘Yeah, our cocktail party spilled past the
of trees, causing severe property damage
dinner hour – best you fend for yourself,
and power outages in our small town of
Z,’ I said.
West Linn, Oregon. A warm sun finally
‘How’s college online?’ asked a guest.
shone on our faces in early April, breathing
His university had shut their dorms
a glimmer of hope to a world turned
because of the coronavirus, so his
upside down. Motivated by a desire to
childhood bedroom was from where he
retrieve normalcy and connection, we
invited neighbours to enjoy a pre-dinner
‘It’s okay,’ he said. Then he left to find
his dinner, leaving us adults to our own
Seven of us gathered outside on our deck,
seated around a lit fire table. A playlist
Our party amped up a notch when I
heavy on the Foo Fighters hummed in the
mentioned Eddie Van Halen, who had
background as we caught up on our kids
died the previous October. When we
and complained about the pandemic.
were teenagers, many in our generation
Our conversation switched to music. My
obsessed over his heavy metal band. The
husband, Matt, and a guest often vied for
guitar legend’s headline-making romance
the DJ job at our neighbourhood parties.
and marriage to the popular actress,
They resumed their familiar banter and
Valerie Bertinelli, captivated us girls.
jockeyed for control. The rest of us booed
The guys wanted to play riffs like Eddie.
We discussed when and where we had
perhaps a primal scream or two pierced
seen the band perform live. We agreed
the forested ravine behind our house.
that David Lee Roth was the better front
A light blinking on and off from under
man but debated over their best album.
our elevated deck just before ten o’clock
Was it ‘Diver Down’ or their self-titled
incited shrieks of laughter.
‘Is that a strobe light?’
‘Hey, we should play ‘Eruption’ and make
‘Is your son messing with us?’
a toast to him,’ I said.
‘Hey, you need to come look!’
‘To Eddie!’ we chanted, raising our shot
I peeked behind the privacy curtain we
glasses while Eddie’s fingers tapped his
hung from the roof on one side of our
legendary sound in the background.
deck. My skin pricked as if I had heard
As his guitar solo morphed into the next
a needle scratch a spinning record. I
song – a cover of The Kinks’ song, on
turned to Matt, ‘We need to go talk to
cue, we all screamed, ‘Girl, you really got
me now, you got me so I don’t know what
He turned down the music. We scrambled
to find masks and met the officer at our
Our son returned and went upstairs to his
corner of the house to play online video
‘You need to shut this down!’ said the
games with his friends.
young officer. ‘It took me too long to get
The music party raged on. We screeched
the lyrics to Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some
‘Yes, we’ll shut it down,’ said Matt. I
Sugar on Me’. Another round of tequila
to the ladies, and we jumped from our
seats, swaying our hips to ‘She’s a Brick
neighbourhood across the canyon. If I
House’. As the fire flickered and the
come back, I will issue a noise citation.’
alcohol pulsed, our bodies gyrated to the
As he walked off, he shook his head,
sounds of our youth. We celebrated our
muttering, ‘Strobe light…’
shared connection to the music and the
Our party fizzled.
sweetness of life. The details are fuzzy, but
The morning after, my husband and I
you think it’s a teachable moment?’
discussed the events.
‘Teachable moment? How?’
‘So glad Z was upstairs with his gaming
‘I want him to know that we don’t keep
headphones on. What if he’d answered
secrets. Adults make mistakes. That we
the door? I’m relieved he doesn’t know,’
can share our highs and lows with each
‘What? We need to tell him.’
Our son’s eyes got big, and his chin
‘It’s embarrassing. Seven middle-aged
dipped down as we told our story. When
parents getting busted by the cops for
we finished, he shook his head and said,
noise. He’s the one who should be at
‘I hope next time you have friends over,
college partying. Not us.’
you’ll make better choices!’
‘Which is why we should tell him. Don’t
By Wendy A.Miller. Wendy A. Miller is a recent empty nester and nonfiction writer/poet from Portland, Oregon. Family life, music, and nature inspire her work. Her essays have been included in several anthologies published by The Personal Story Publishing Project and featured in their 6-minute Story podcast. Other work has been in ‘Sweet Tree Review’, ‘Adelaide Literary Magazine’, and ‘Grown and Flown’, where her essay ranked 14 in their ‘Parent Best Posts of 2020.’ ‘Tiny Seed Literary Journal: Anthology Forest’ (Aug. 3, 2021) and ‘The Weekly Avocet’ (#450) have published her poetry. Her website is www.wendyamiller.com
Photo by Hasan Albari from Pexels
INTERview with aN AUthor
his month we’re ‘celebrating’ editor Beth’s favourite genre, speculative fiction, by chatting with writer, critic, and editor Katie Goh about her new book ‘The End: Surviving the World Through Imagined Disasters’. Part of the non-fiction ‘Inklings’ series from indie publisher 404 Ink, ‘The End’ explores and analyses humanity’s obsession with apocalyptic fiction and film.
Tell us about ‘The End’. What is it about?
later, it felt like the end of the world actually did happen with COVID-19 and lockdown.
‘The End: Surviving the World Through
People were talking about the pandemic like
Imagined Disasters’ is a non-fiction book that
it was a movie, and so many people (myself
explores how and why we imagine, manifest
included) turned to art for answers, like the film
and fantasise about the apocalypse through
‘Contagion’ or the book ‘Severance’. I thought
fictional disasters. It uses the framework of
that was fascinating: why are we turning to
fictional post-apocalyptic stories to explore
fictional disasters at a time of real disaster?
very real social, economic and political crises, and asks why we return to disaster time and
‘The End’ is divided into four sections: ‘The
Pandemic Disaster’, ‘The Climate Disaster’,
In ‘The End’ you describe yourself as having ‘generally apocalyptic disposition’ (which made me laugh out loud in recognition!).
‘The Extraterrestrial Disaster’, and ‘The Social Disaster’. Which was your favourite to write, and why?
Tell us more about that – what inspired you
I really enjoyed writing about extraterrestrial
to write this book?
disasters because I got to write about two of my favourite films: ‘Armageddon’ and ‘Arrival’. In
Since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with the
that chapter I really explore how the apocalypse
apocalypse. I used to have a recurring nightmare
is conceived differently at different time
as a child where I would step on a crack in the
periods: the bombastic 90s asteroid movies
pavement and set off a nuclear explosion, so
versus the sombre alien-invasion movies post-
I’ve always had quite an apocalyptic mindset
9/11. I think extraterrestrial disaster movies,
and been worried about my own complicity with
better than any other sub-genre of disaster
the end of the world. I grew up as a teenager in
movies, really encapsulate how our relationship
the 2000s, when the end of the world seemed
to culture changed dramatically in the last 30
to be everywhere, from pop culture, to politics,
years and how our obsession with the end of
to economics, to technology, to the climate
the world became more common but perhaps
crisis. I think growing up in that specific context
more nihilistic. In that chapter I also explore
has also made apocalyptic doomsaying part of
the alien invasion as a metaphor for personal
my everyday life and cultural awareness.
disaster – like in ‘Arrival’, the invasion is very
I first wrote about my – and society’s –
much a metaphor for grief and free will – and
obsession with the apocalypse for ‘The Skinny’
that was a lot of fun to dive into.
magazine in January 2020. Then, a few months 33
What do you hope readers will take away
‘Annihilation’ is definitely a book I would
from the book?
recommend. And Jeff VanderMeer’s novels, generally,
I really just hope that the book makes people
think about storytelling and how important
environment. I would also recommend Lydia
fictional stories can be to impacting real life.
Millet’s ‘A Children’s Bible’, Jenny Offil’s
The best apocalyptic and disaster stories take
‘Weather’, Margaret Atwood’s ‘MaddAddam’
what’s happening right now and places it in
trilogy and Jessie Greengrass’s ‘The High
a new context. For example, ‘Squid Game’ is
about the personal debt crisis in South Korea, as well as capitalism, reality television and
What would you like to continue the voice
individualism, but the TV show distils all these
ideas into a colourful, violent dystopian ‘what if’ scenario. Having that distance means that we’re
Certainly the climate crisis and the impact
able to explore these big political, economical
that it is having on all our lives already. It’s the
and social ideas through characters, plot and
biggest crisis facing the world and one that is
theme, and I think that helps us to think about
only going to continue being a part of our lives.
our own world with more clarity. I hope that
I think as humans we very quickly acclimate and
the fictional disasters I explore in the book
normalise disaster, and I would like to use my
help people to think more about our real world
writing to help people reimagine or re-think
economic, political and social disasters.
the catastrophes that have become so normal.
A quote I particularly identified with was:
What’s next for you? What are you currently
‘When you’re stuck at home at the end of the world, what else is there to do
but stream movies about the end of the
I’m always continuing to write articles as an
world?’. Which disaster stories would you
arts journalist and am slowly beginning to think
recommend to people who are looking to
about a longer, non-fiction project. It’s very
escape into the apocalypse?
early days and I think I’m still recovering from reading, watching and writing about the end
Recently I’ve been reading a lot of fiction
of the world all year, but stay tuned for more!
books that tackle the climate crisis, which is obviously a huge existential issue. I think that
You can find Katie on Twitter (@johnnys_panic)
fictional books about climate change or the
and read more of her work on her website:
environment can give us an insight into our
https://www.katiegoh.co.uk/. You can also
emotional state around the crisis, rather than
buy her book ‘The End: Surviving the World
necessarily just giving us the facts, which I think
Through Imagined Disasters’ from 404 Ink.
is just as powerful.
Interview by Beth Ralston
CHALLAH IF YOU QUEER ME CHARACTERS Daphne, 21 Judy, her mother Steve, her father While the trio is reminiscent of a 1950s American sitcom-style nuclear family, the cast itself need not be comparably colourless – or even monochromatic. Conceptually, the family behaves a lot like ‘The Brady Bunch’ in the film adaptations: they exist in the present but live in the past. SETTING A bar. TIME Evening, the present. (At rise, JUDY, STEVE, and DAPHNE are seated at a table. Judy and Steve are happily humming the theme music of ‘I Love Lucy’ while Daphne sits seriously and soberly sipping her drink.) STEVE: How’s that hooch treating you, honeybunch? JUDY: Yes, your first big-girl beverage: a Shirley Temple. You need a crazy straw for that kooky concoction. DAPHNE: Nah, I like the straight ones. But I’m glad you don’t. Well, I hope you won’t. Um, Abba, Ima… I have good – no, I have sensational – news to share. (Judy and Steve are instantly and absurdly attentive. Daphne clams up.) STEVE: Uh-oh, Judy. I see Daphne’s wheels turning like Tevye’s mik cart. JUDY: Right-o, Steve. I see Daphne’s forehead schvitzing like an ice cold bottle of Dr. Brown’s cream soda. Come on. Make like a matzo and crack! STEVE: Yeah. (in reference and deference to ‘I Love Lucy’) ‘Speeeeed it up a little!’ DAPHNE: I… I… I want to watch one of my new VHS tapes when we get home! 36
STEVE: Of course, bubeleh. It’s your twenty-first birthday. We expect you to be a Babalunatic tonight. So, which episodes are you in the mood for? DAPHNE: Uh, ‘Equal Rights,’ ‘Lucy Tells the Truth,’ and… ‘Gaycation from Marriage’. JUDY: Is that the one where the gals are quarrelling with the guys and Lucy asks Ethel if she wishes there were something else to marry besides men and Ethel answers ‘F yes!’? (Daphne’s hands fly to her ears.) Or something a little more fifties-friendly? STEVE: No, that’s the one where Lucy and Ethel take a hiatus from their husbands and move in with each other. JUDY: Doesn’t your father have the most chivalrous way of mansplaining? DAPHNE: Speaking of ’splaining – STEVE: Then one night, they get all gussied up and pay a visit to their spouses, and Lucy says she hopes Ricky and Fred have as gay an evening as she and Ethel are planning on having and then… Wait. JUDY: What’s the matter, fruit slice? Your eyes are wider than yarmulkes. DAPHNE: Yeah. And Mom’s eyes are the size of… macaroons. Suspiciously smaller. (Judy and Steve pipe down.) Hey, what’s with the explosion of silence? Silence is sacrilege in a Jewish family. Urrgh, I can’t stand it another minute. I feel like the filling in a blueberry blintz: ready to come out at the slightest provocation. Abba, Ima, I’m a lesbian! (Judy and Steve emulate Lucy Ricardo’s stretched-wide surprise eyes and famously farcical face, freezing in this position. Daphne panics. Suddenly, they snap out of it.) JUDY: Better late than straight! STEVE: Take me to the WC – the water closet being the only acceptable kind – and call me relieved! (Steve leaps out of his chair and commences cavorting.) DAPHNE: Uh, Dad, are you doing the Horah or the Hokey Pokey? STEVE: Both! You see, now I don’t have to compete with another fellow for your attention. I have the privilege of being the only man in my little girl’s life. 37
JUDY: (twirling with equivalent merriment) And I don’t have to fret about you knocking boots and getting knocked up. We have bupkis to worry about. STEVE: (aghast) Nothing at all? JUDY: Don’t worry – we’ll think of something. (Steve perks up pronto.) DAPHNE: Okay, my head is spinning like a dreidel. You’re really fine with this? STEVE: Finer than Nanny Fine. JUDY: What did you think we were going to do, dear? Look at you like schmutz on a schmatte and say: ‘Pish, you’re just farmisht’? STEVE: Offer some verkakte-mamie advice like: ‘Don’t be daffy, Daphne. At least date a nongoy boy before you make it official’? JUDY: No. We are justifiably Jewbilant. DAPHNE: I think you mean certifiably. JUDY: Watch your language, lesbo. DAPHNE: Sorry. Sorry. And I mean, it’s not like I anticipated yelling, but I definitely did not foresee this degree of glee and kvelling. STEVE: Oh dear, I… Oh my, I… This is all our fault, Judy. Daphne, we are so truly sorry. Clearly, your mother and I gave you the wrong idea about the right kind of relationship. JUDY: We did, Steve, we really did. Day in, day out: one man, one woman. That’s all you ever saw. How could we have been so irresponsible? STEVE: Can you ever forgive us for setting too good of an example? DAPHNE: Perhaps, Abba. But you and Ima may have to wait a maximum of… five minutes. STEVE: You’re the most sympathetic Sapphic spawn a parent could ever ask for. JUDY: Oh, Daphne. (suddenly scowling) Sit up straight, my little mezuzah. The one and only 38
thing we expect to be straight about you is your posture. STEVE: And, if you insist, your straws. DAPHNE: I really regret underestimating you guys. I should’ve expected the best, not the worst. I feel terrible. JUDY: Good. You should. STEVE: Guilt: Just Jew it. JUDY: Nevertheless, we’re going to forgive you for your rotten reaction, kiss your keppie… (They take turns kissing Daphne’s head.) …and act like everything’s kosher. Because it is. STEVE: And then we’re going to make a speech. An acceptance speech, that is. You don’t mind, do you, matzo ball? DAPHNE: Actually, I’d prefer – JUDY: That was a rhetorical question, dear, because one… STEVE: …You are and always will be at the Mertzy of the meshugenahs that are your mishpocheh. And two… JUDY: …Parentally-perpetrated public embarrassment is a compulsory component of our religion. STEVE: In our family, we don’t practice Judaism. We practice Judyism. JUDY: Damn straight. (removes a scroll from her purse and unfurls it) This Torah has been in our family – and our closet – for generations. STEVE: (addressing the patrons) Ladies and gentlemen and various and sundry combinations thereof, please join us in our recitation of The Declaration of Lesbi-independence. We hold these truths to be self-evident… JUDY: …That all individuals on the spectrum of gender and sexuality are created equal… STEVE:... That cupid is hardly a straight-shooter… JUDY: …And that being queer is no Sapph-faux pas… 39
STEVE: …In layperson’s terms… (singing, to the tune of the ‘I Love Lucy’ theme music) I love Lezzie – DAPHNE: (attempting to exit) I’m out. JUDY: (preventing her exit) How right – and wrong – you are. (to Steve) Continue, my vivacious Victrola. STEVE: Aw, shucks. (singing, to the tune of the ‘I Love Lucy’ theme music) I love lezzie and she loves me… JUDY: …Queer as happy as two can be… STEVE: …And chaim is heaven, you see… JUDY: …’Cause I love lezzie… STEVE: …Yes, I love lezzie… JUDY and STEVE: …And lezzie loves me! STEVE: (addressing the patrons) All together now! DAPHNE: (severing the sing-along) As you can see, my folks are some happy, peppy, alarmingly accepting people. STEVE: See, Daphne? The bloom isn’t off all the heteros. JUDY: Just because one’s family is nuclear, doesn’t mean they’ll go nuclear at the news that there’s a lavender menace in their midst. STEVE: I only wish we had a surplus of Sapphics. Can you imagine celebrating the eight gays of Hanukkah instead of just the one? JUDY: Each and every one of ‘em would be a red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violetblack-brown-white-baby blue-pink-letter day. STEVE: Oh, Daphne, honey, you’re home… o. DAPHNE: How did my coming out turn into a very special episode of ‘The Lucy-Lezzie Comedy Hour’? 40
JUDY: Because the pilot episode, ‘Wonder of Wonder, Queer-acle of Queer-acles’, was a humongous hit. STEVE: Which led to the episode whose chutzpah was a mitzvah: ‘Lucy and Ethel Put the Lez in Klezmer’. JUDY: Which brings us to the Hanukkah special to end all Hanukkah specials… ‘The Labia Menorah’! (Curtain.)
Bio: Allison Fradkin (she/her/hers) delights in applying her Women’s and Gender Studies education to the creation of satirically scintillating plays, prose, and poetry. An enthusiast of accessibility and inclusivity, Fradkin freelances for her hometown of Chicago as Dramatist for Special Gifts Theatre, adapting scripts for actors of all abilities; and as Literary Manager for Violet Surprise Theatre, curating new works by queer women, trans folx, and non-binary folx. Allison’s auxiliary activities include vintage shopping, volunteering, and tending to her thespian tendencies.
Small Business Spotlight:
Made in Stirling
his month we spoke to Samantha Reid, one of the curators of Made in Stirling – an awardwinning show-and-sell concept store for Stirling’s local creative community. Showcasing the work of over 150 artists from across the central belt of Scotland, the store stocks a range of beautiful fine art, photography, ceramics, jewellery, and food products.
Tell us a bit about Made in Stirling. What’s your story?
like I was there even though I wasn’t, and the joy shown by patrons at how large the store is now is just amazing!
Made in Stirling is a curated marketplace of local artists and makers. We are a community interest company, which means our profits go towards our parent charity, Creative Stirling, to aid in the running of community outreach
What’s the process for artists looking to connect with Made in Stirling? And how do you work with them to promote their work?
projects and helping to support the local talent we have in Stirling.
madeinstirlingstore.com or people can email
Since starting out as a small pop-up project, then moving around all over the city, what’s been your favourite part of the Made in Stirling journey?
info about themselves and their work to firstname.lastname@example.org. We post daily to our social media stories when new work comes in, and showing what stock we’re loving in store that day – as well as giving advice on social
So I’ve only been with Made in Stirling since
media about how we use it for those who are
they moved to 44 King Street and have loved
a bit unsure. We are hoping to have more in-
every bit of my two years here. I think my
depth workshops on such topics in the future
favourite part of the journey so far is where
for our artists.
we are currently. Every day I have customers coming into the store saying how much we’ve grown since whichever location they last visited us in. Comments like that really make me feel 42
Your window displays are spectacular, a real highlight on the high street! How do you create them?
What’s coming up in the Made in Stirling events and workshops calendar? And where can our readers sign up?
Ahh, thank you so much! Our windows are very much a collaborative effort, usually with the
February saw the return of some of our regular
general theme or inspirations coming from our
workshops, including LEGO™ Animation and
director, Paul. He will usually look at what ideas
Art Journeys for children and families; and a
are trending in other store windows and find
special Valentine’s Paint n Sip on 12th February.
the initial inspiration for us to expand on and
We also have a fun new Macro Photography
develop into a Made in Stirling interpretation of
Class for teens looking to develop a portfolio
that. We don’t have massive budgets like some
for further study and those who have an interest
of the big-name high-street brands, so it’s a lot
in photography. All our tickets are available
of problem solving and thinking creatively with
online at madeinstirlingstore.com and we have
what we do have!
a mailing list that people can sign up to to hear about workshops when they come up!
The theme of this issue is ‘Celebration’. What are you celebrating in the store at the moment? We’re
Stirling hub at the moment! Just at the end of last year we were awarded some funding to develop and expand our upstairs space. So renovations are happening now to make over our event space, add more artist studios and build a community teaching kitchen and an industrial kitchen that will be available for hire.
And lastly, what’s next for Made in Stirling? What are your hopes and dreams for the future of the store? Well, the immediate future was mentioned in the last question! We are expanding our hub for more studios and event spaces and are really excited for longer course opportunities this may bring. We’re hoping to continue growing and expanding our collective, and to finally have some fun late-night events
again. You’ll find Made in Stirling at 44 King Street in Stirling, or you can keep up with them online at madeinstirlingstore.com
madeinstirlingstore on Instagram. 44
Interview by Beth Ralston
A ray of sun strikes the copper’s badge and bounces off, lighting up the voting box inside H. L. Drugstore in me South Bronx neighbourhood. Now washed and mended, I wear the same once-blood-splattered and mud-stained dress, patched at the cuff, tattered ‘round the collar. It shows the scars from when we marched down Broadway, I am holding a sign, The Vote For Equal Pay For Equal Work. It had started a glorious spring day, fresh from a night of rain, splendid with the radiance of blooming cherry blossoms. Little sister Annie pestered to come along. I told her, “Stay home with the youngins. You’re too small and there might be trouble.” She says, “I’m big enough and I’m a comin. So there.” And so she did, running along the sidewalk, keeping step with the march. Annie inherited the stubbornness that we McPhersons shared. Hundreds marched. Me arms feeling the ache from holding the poster high above me head. Women clutched banners that stretched the avenue. Coppers on horseback, coppers on foot, looking for agitation—someone stirrin’ the pot. It did me heart good to protest among me own, knowing our numbers was a force to reckon with. Still an’ all, we had to keep going, every day, every spare moment spent on the vote. A man outside Woolworth’s shouted, “Only vote I give you is a kick in the knickers.” Someone threw a rock. Glass shattered. Horses reared. Men broke through the lines. Big oaf of a bloke grabbed me sign, slammed it hard on me head, he did. I fell to the ground. “Lucy!” Annie’s voice had the shock in it. I sprawled in the street until I forced meself up. I looked ‘round for me hat. I got to me feet and when I did something hit the back of me neck, and I tumbled. Slumped on Broadway, staring at the buildings, the raging men, determined women, the world and all its unfairness swirling then dimmed. Sirens, distant on the rim of me twilight, wailed, coming as a call to get meself up. On hands and knees, I was, when a copper kicked me in the chest. With great pain, I grabbed his ankle and raked short broken nails into his flesh. He shrieked. I rolled a ways over. Stood. For the sake of me sisters, I held up me fists like Jack Dempsey, but before I could sock ‘em in the kisser two other coppers pulled at me shoulders, squeezed meaty hands around me breasts. I kicked. Sunk me teeth into their fingers. Their red Irish faces flushed with the memory of booze, their breath foul as the steerage our family sailed in across the sea. They threw me into the paddy. Father brought us here after mum died, for a new start, a better life. Working in a factory twelve hours a day, no windows, low pay, bosses forcing themselves on me. If I’d a had no father or brothers, I might a hated all men. But I and me family could eat. Back home, how can you march with an empty belly? So I wrap hopes and dreams and those of me family in the red, white, and blue. From inside the paddy, I looked over me shoulder for Annie. The riot swallowed her whole. “Lucy!” But
I heard her voice shrill as a whistlin’ tea kettle. Across the aisle from where I was sittin’ a woman with a gash on her cheek bled something fierce. I ripped off me sleeve, dropped to me knees, and pressed it against the stunned woman’s cheek. Through her tears, I saw eyes that kindled rebellion. The woman beside her began to sing, “Let Us All Speak Our Minds.” The others, meself included, joined in the anthem. A copper in the front of the paddy banged his billy club on the grill and yelled, “Shut-up!” With no mind to the brute, we continued to sing. Louder. On the floor, a poster encouraged us with the words, Never Give Up. Our voices united, overpowered our fears, until he unlocked the gate and struck the nearest woman with his wooden stick. Annie appeared, her thin arms waving as she ran alongside the wagon. I yelled through the bars, “Go home.” I, the eldest of six to me parents’ brood, demanded a say in their raising and sending me brothers off to war. Head aching, chest hurting, hair falling ‘round me shoulders, me hat trampled somewhere in the fight. To jail I’d go. A criminal. A dangerous woman. I smiled at the notion and the girl who held me cuff to her head nodded as if reading me mind. The wagon’s siren split traffic with a blaring fright as we drove down Broadway and turned a corner. The Harlem River glimpsed between outdoor markets, shops, and eateries. Fear starting to get the best ‘o me. The jail full of suffragettes, it had nowhere to lock us up. So they let us go. A year passed since the brawl as I wait to vote. I look into the face of the women around me. Pride. A quiet jubilance. The change in our lives happening in this tiny drab storefront. I think of the women who fought before us not having the chance to live this day. Do they know? I reckon they do. I want to believe in something bigger now. That brotherhood will find the compassion to form a union for all of mankind. I’m next. A copper stands beside the ballot box, protecting the case with a scowl and a gun on his hip. He motions me forward. I keep me head high as I stride to the glass box. I write me vote in big letters and slip the paper into the slat as if planting something that one day will bloom. I thank the good Lord for this day. Knowing that so shall life get better for me, it will get better for all.
By DC Diamondopolous. DC Diamondopolous is an awardwinning short story, and flash fiction writer with hundreds of stories published internationally in print and online magazines, literary journals, and anthologies. DC’s short story collection Stepping Up is published by Impspired. She lives on the California coast with her wife and animals. dcdiamondopolous.com
Loving! As winter transitions into spring, flowers bloom and the nights begin to get lighter, our Secretary Hannah shares what she has been watching, listening to and reading this season! The transition to spring always fills me with new energy. As much as I love dark, cosy nights in front of Christmas TV, there is something rejuvenating as the days get longer and warmer, and we can finally start peeling back the layers of winter clothes. What I like to read, watch and listen to at this time absolutely mirrors these feelings of positivity and celebration. By Grace Balfour-Harle
Two recent novels I have adored have been ‘Ariadne’ by Jennifer Saint and ‘To Paradise’ by Hanya Yanigihara. These two novels could not be more different. ‘Ariadne’ is a feminist retelling of the Greek myth Theseus and the minotaur and reminded me of one of my favourite authors – Madeleine Miller – who wrote ‘The Song of Achilles’ and ‘Circe’. ‘To Paradise’, however, is set across 300 years in three distinct novellas, each following the, often tragic, lives of generations of one family. (I absolutely loved this novel but would recommend googling its trigger warnings before reading as it can get pretty dark!). What both books share is their quality. They are both beautifully written and gritty, long novels that you can really get your teeth into. I loved reading them slowly – in the early morning with a large cup of coffee – to savour them properly. For slightly gentler novels, I recently re-read one of my favourite classics – ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. A more modern LGBTQ+ romance I adored equally however was ‘The House in the Cerulean Sea’, a cheesy fantasy about a man summoned to review an orphanage for magical children and unexpectedly falling in love. Like a lot of what I have recommended in this article (and unlike the first two novels!), this book provides a really calm and relaxing reading experience and is ultimately joyful and hopeful – just like spring.
At the start of 2022 I have been enjoying listening to chill pop, indie and blues. Gabriels, Sharon Van Etten, Lola Young, Celeste, Self Esteem, Mitski and Joy Crookes are all current favourites. As we move into warmer weather I also can’t get enough of Lorde’s album ‘Solar Power’ – it’s celebration in a soundtrack. ‘I’m Grand Mam’, ‘The Try-Hard Podcast’ and ‘Shagged Married Annoyed’ are all hilarious comedy or lifestyle/fitness podcasts which are guaranteed to put me in a good mood every single week. As much as I wanted to stick to sunny and happy recommendations, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t mention at least a couple of true crime podcasts. As always, ‘Redhanded’ is enduringly brilliant, but recently I have also been enjoying the American podcasts ‘Morbid’ and ‘Dark History’.
March 2022 brings two of my favourite shows. ‘Bridgerton’ is back! No matter what you think about this – undoubtedly – problematic show, the bright colours, beautiful costume and set design, and the relatively low-scale drama fill me with absolute joy. It is released on Netflix on the 25th of March. The other is my ultimate comfort show – ‘Derry Girls’. The first two seasons are absolutely hilarious and as much as I’m sad that this is its third and final season, I can’t wait to get cracked into it. Like ‘Bridgerton’, at the time of writing ‘Derry Girls’ has not been released, but I know these two TV shows will provide pure escapism and sometimes, we all need that.
Listen R E AD 49
Listen on Spotify
Solar Power Lorde Feet Don’t Fail Me Now Joy Crookes Seventeen Sharon Van Etten I Am Woman Emmy Meli In The Morning The Coral
. . . Ship to Wreck Florence + The Machine Love You So Bad Ezra Furman Blame It On Me George Ezra Freazy Wolf Alice Ho Hey The Lumineers
Coorie Moments As the world opens a little more, we want to remind you to appreciate the little things in life so we are including a monthly feature of Coorie moments written by our editorial team and illustrated by our team’s illustrator. For anyone who may not know, here is the definition of Coorie: a Scots word meaning ‘to snuggle, nestle’. It has been appropriated and positioned as a ‘lifestyle trend’, similar to the Scandinavian concept of hygge, which involves ideas such as cosiness.
When the first flower blooms
The evening light 52
The perfect cardigan weather
Being surrounded by colours on a walk
Words by Beth Ralston & Illustrations by Shannon Gardner
A butterfly landing on your finger
The moment after you have organised a space and everything just feels right
Being surrounded by tall lush green trees The light breeze caressing your skin
A picnic in the park with your nearest and dearest
Reading beneath the trees 53
How do you like to celebrate? I believe technology has damned us, but could save us. Elizabeth Eve Carter
Whenever I host a celebration, I like to keep it free of frustration. That means curating a small but mighty guest list, choosing (and sticking to) a theme, and ensuring that everyone in attendance feels comfortable and included in an atmosphere that is paradoxically low-key and high-energy. Allison Fradkin
My mind was a ping-pong ball the week before my double mastectomy. I craved the chance to release my pent-up anger like a prizefighter going into the boxing ring. A friend helped me channel that energy into planning a boobie-wake at a local pub. Surrounded by friends uplifted not only me, but everyone who attended – hope triumphed that night. My husband and I celebrated our 50th birthdays with an 80s dance party a year later. Guests dressed like Madonna and Slash, we sang and danced, remembering to stay ‘Forever Young.’ It is cause for celebration anytime I’m surrounded by family and close friends. The icing on the cake is to mix in 80s rock music and dancing. Cheers! Wendy A. Miller 54
I don’t know if I like parties and the extroverted celebration or an introverted celebration within my own thoughts. I think that’s why ‘Cupcakes’ is a photo of a person whose face you cannot see. The top hat and cupcakes are also subtle for this reason. The details have to be studied and drawn out of the image. I’m kind of like that, so the image most definitely happened organically. (A happy accident.) I’m quiet until you draw me out. But for me, a celebration always includes something decadent, music that matches the food theme, hopefully people I love and people I will enjoy getting to know. If it’s outdoors that’s even better. Top hats are optional. Jeans are a must! Oh, and everyone must feel free to bring their dog; my husky will be there as my professional guest greeter. Don’t wear black because she sheds. But she’s guaranteed to show you a ‘big summer blowout’! Karen BoissonneaultGauthier
Well, I just returned from my Swimming Club Christmas lunch in Portmeirion which seems as good a way as any! Lynn White
Celebration means for us a new life cycle and a beginning in which we really believe that people should be what they are. The general meaning of our life is to rejoice in everyone around us and to be who we are. We must understand that our existence is the glory of new events and the sphere of new experience that we receive every day. Maid Čorbić
Continue The Voice presents
LOVE Continue The Voice presents Issue 16: Love. Coming to a laptop, tablet or mobile phone near you on the 19th of June 2022 at 12pm. It can be found on Issuu or at www. continuethevoice.com/zine Our summer issue will have all of our features that you know and enjoy, alongside art, poetry, and new writing dedicated to the theme of love! Subscribe to our website to get sneak peeks of features to come, and other exclusive content.
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Head to www.continuethevoice.com for all the details or email continuethevoice@gmail. com with your work/proposal and a short (100 words max) ready-to-print bio. The deadline for submission is April 17th 2022 at midnight (BST).
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