Tag Archives: life

Blog Birthday! Writing&Coe is four!

Over the four years, I’ve published 537 posts…70 writing and 67 reviews, and the rest either blog or assorted! I’ve had 8610 views over the past year, and 3756 visitors. It’s pretty good for a small blog about me, writing, books, crafty stuff and anything else I feel like writing about – so THANK YOU FOR READING!

I’ve been so disorganised this year that I don’t have any Kate writing freebies, but I can point you in the direction of some freebies from my publisher, Kristell Ink…there’s a free copy of Amunet (steampunk Victoriana adventure with a lot of mystery, a dollop of magic and some really good characters), and also a Rafflecopter of freebies including an Amazon gift card, easter eggs (just in case you’ve run out) and paperback books. Go enter at ttps://www.facebook.com/KristellInk/?sk=app_228910107186452

Portal Cake

Also have some cake, because…

Well, cake!

By the way, the next Greensky book is out soon – I don’t have a date yet (we’re waiting on cover art) but it’s coming!

A new story: The Thief and the Seer

It was a cold night; cold enough to chill the two figures walking along the lonely road to the bone. One, the smaller and thinner of the two, was huddled against the weather, soaked and cold. The other, taller and lankier, didn’t seem to feel the chill, striding along as if it was a summer’s day.

“Dad, are we nearly there?” the smaller figure asked, her words nearly lost in the wind.

“Yeah.” The man pointed. “Next bend. That’s the tree.”

It was indeed a true hangman’s tree, bent and twisted. The man turned off the road as they reached it, stepping onto a smaller track. “Just a little further.”

“You said that aaaaages ago!” the smaller one whined.

It’s the start of a new story, and you can find the rest of it in my writing section. There’s nothing further, yet – I don’t have a world or a plot, and it’s a bittersweet start. I wrote this on the day Ryan died and sent it to him for comments; he liked the characters that this is based on and read all of the 160k of original story, so I wanted to know what he thought of the new iteration and the world. But he’d already gone by the time I wrote it, and the email will stay unread. I think he would have liked it, but I won’t ever get the comments that I valued so highly. But that’s life.

So I’m picking it up again now, or at least taking another look. It’s definitely going to have to be a fantasy world – I wondered if it would fit into No Man‘s or Greensky, but I don’t think it will. It needs magic and grit, people and politics; the world’s full of mountains and strange paths. I think it may turn out slightly like Neil Gaiman’s Stardust…it’s sort of got that feel, I think.

If I’m putting it into a fantasy world, I want to turn some cliches on their head. I want to subvert the Chosen One trope, and I’d love to play with some of the other fantasy genre cliches. I don’t yet know what the Thing is; I don’t yet know – beyond a few ideas – what the plot is. But I’m just going to let it simmer and see what comes of it!

On things to help depression

I’ve been doing some little things for friends in the past week that are aimed at making them feel a little better; just providing a tiny lift when it’s needed.

sam's bag of mysteryThe first is Sam’s Bag Of Things For Bad, Grumpy Or Miserable Days. My housemate is an unashamed lover of stationery and I have some wrapping paper left over, along with some spare Christmas money. It’s also the sales. Soooo…I wrapped up a heap of things of various sizes and types, and put them in the bag. When he’s having a bad day, or a grumpy day, or a depressed day…there’s a present just waiting to be unwrapped in the bag!

The second is a present for my friend SquirrelMost humans have a habit of remembering the negatives and forgetting the positives, but depression does make this worse – and sometimes it’s really hard to just remember anything good. So this tiny notebook is for Squirrel to write in, and it’s intended to stop him forgetting the little moments, the smiles and the small successes. It’s for “things that you’re proud of, that make you smile or laugh – the moments that you want to keep, share and remember. Write the tiny steps and the huge leaps.” It’s something to be able to look back on when the cloud’s right overhead, and remember that there was sunshine.

And the third thing was something that I was given. My Grandma gave me a “Letters To Open When…” book, and it’s amazing! The pages are folded sheets of lined paper, folded up into an envelope, and there’s things like “Open when you need motivation” and “Open when you need courage”. She hasn’t actually written any of them; instead, she’s added notecards and bits of things, and sealed them all with a paperclip. I’m really looking forward to finding out what they all are and then writing them for myself, so I can get two uses of out of it. It’s such a thoughtful present.

I would also just like to share my favourite Christmas present, from the wonderful Kat Knits Stuff

I laughed so hard. I love it!


On worries and coping

This post’s full of me; if you’re not interested then please go read some of Fox Spirit’s short fiction, considering contributing to the Grimbold Patreon to get more Grim & Bold comics (trust me, they’re adorable), or just give someone close to you a hug!

Well, anxiety is kicking my butt at the moment. I’ve been bad for a few months but over the last week, the not-feeling-great has just gone into overdrive and last Thursday, I broke. It’s the worst I’ve been for several years; I didn’t dare leave the bed because I was suicidal, and I just wanted everything to go away. The worst of it passed after a few hours, luckily, but it was terrifying at the time. I’m grateful to a friend helping as much as he could, but when I’m that bad there isn’t really anything anyone can do because I simply don’t believe them: I’m too far down in the darkness for the light to have any comfort. I’m just glad that it did pass; I’ve been there before and I don’t really want to have to climb out of that again.

Since then, I’ve had anxiety and worry swamping everything; I’ve been unsettled, jittery, not sleeping well and not coping well. I’m second-guessing everything I post – even this took some serious courage. I’m having to force myself onto social media because I don’t want to see what everyone’s saying or doing. I’m feeling swamped and overwhelmed by the amount there is to do on the house, and I’m feeling useless and not-good-enough with friends and writing. In short, my brain is being an absolute idiot, and I’m sinking despite doing my best to stay afloat.

Everything was made harder by a misunderstanding with something I said that I’m still angry and upset about, because it just reinforced my feeling of Saying The Wrong Thing and I Can’t Win. I did what I could to explain, and I’ve just avoided the whole situation since for fear of making it – and myself – worse. But it was a frustrating reminder that even when I try my hardest I still offend someone, and it hit hard when it really shouldn’t have.

Partly the anxiety is work; I’ve been feeling useless for months and having finally made the decision to quit, the thought of trying to do something else has meant 18 month’s worth of anxiety has swamped me. If I’m not good enough to be a simple customer services rep, what chance have I got for anything else? I can’t do enough web dev to be useful to anyone and the IT world has made that clear. I don’t know if I’d cope with another boring admin job. I’m jack-of-all-trades and I’m not good enough to do any one of them.

And partly it’s just life. I’m walking on shifting sands, uncertain of what I’m doing or what I want to happen, feeling useless and overwhelmed by a lot of things that aren’t my fault or I can’t take responsibility for, but that I do feel to blame for. I’ve got too many ‘shoulds’ and ‘coulds’ and arguments in my brain that I have to fight back against every single day for me to be able to work out what I really think or feel, or what the best course for me is going to be. It’s not a lot of fun, and rationality and logic – my chief weapons – will only go so far.

But I’m still fighting.

I’m coming to BristolCon, even though I’m terrified I’m going to get overwhelmed and break and let people down. I’m doing NaNoWriMo, and I’m going to attend events and write all the words. I’m trying to make plans for the house and take that one step at a time. I’m finding things to write and talking to my alpha readers, and just continuing on with projects even though I don’t think they’re good enough. I’m feeling small and ugly and useless and stupid and weak, but I’m fighting back with everything I can.

ManateeSo if you see me and I don’t have much to say, it’s not because I hate you. If I don’t remember something important, remind me. If I haven’t been around recently or you’re waiting for me to do something, let me know. I’m retreating into my own head at the moment because the world’s gotten too overwhelming, and I need a thread sent in to remind me that everything out there does still exist and does still require me to Do Stuff, even if it is just Exist.

There isn’t really much anyone can do to help – if you say something nice to me I probably won’t believe you (thanks, brain) – but if you do want to do ~something~ then pay it forward. Go and compliment someone else, leave a book review for whatever you read last, write a nice comment on a post, or give someone a manatee (guaranteed to cheer anyone up!) I’m too far down at the moment to greatly appreciate kindness, but spread some around, because it will help someone else.