Tag Archives: life

Rebellion and change

Otherwise entitled, “Kate, just freakin’ settle down and pick one job in one city.” Although actually I’ve been doing this job for four years now, so…I’m just adding a company?

So. Uh. I’m moving to Oxford after Easter, and changing my job (sort of) because I’ve been offered a position as an editor at Solaris/Abaddon, an imprint of Rebellion. They publish awesome fantasy and sci-fi, the sort I want to read, and it’s with an awesome team of people in an awesome city, and…

I might be just a little bit excited.


Guys. Guys. It’s a proper paid editing job. (Much as I love Grimbold, we’re a small press. Editors do get paid, but most of what Sammy and I – and the rest of the editorial, production and marketing people – do is unpaid, because it has to be. Money goes to the authors first, and at the indie level that leaves little to nothing for the behind-the-scenes teams. It’s why we all have day jobs!)

And I just…I may have squeaked. And burst into tears. And jumped up and down. I’m very excited, and very nervous, and it feels like validation.

The whole application process was a series of coincidences and I-nearly-didn’t and then I thought I’d messed up both interviews – my brain was doing the whole, “You know that thing you said? SO STUPID. And you gave that answer, they’re going to take it this completely wrong way. You’re such an idiot. You’re a failure. Of course you don’t have the experience they want, and you haven’t read enough books, and you’re waaaay down their shortlist. They’re only bringing you back for a second interview to have someone to compare the best candidate to. Why did you even try for it?”

Thanks, brain.

Well…they want me. Apparently I am well-read (SUCK IT, BRAIN WEASELS!) and my editorial experience is good and I got 100% in the copy-edit test! And I know enough random history facts to have been able to have a conversation with the CEO (trust me, that’s necessary)…

This is a job that I LOVE. I’ve only really been doing it – and even really aware of it as a job that I could do – for the past 3-4 years. Sammy at Grimbold Books took on the GreenSky series, taking a chance on that as the first novella series – and then, when I asked if there was anything I could help with, took a chance on me for proofreading. And then editing. And then website updates. And then formatting. She’s been a rock of support and I am so grateful for the things she’s offered – not that, y’know, it was without self-interest….as obviously it helped to have someone helping with everything!

But I don’t have training – I’m only just doing the official basic proofreading courses for the Sfep, and that’s only because I have to have official training despite having the work hours already. I don’t have a degree. I don’t have a piece of paper that says I can do this. I don’t have anything except multiple books out there that I’ve helped shape, and authors who are levelling up because I’ve supported them. I’ve read and commented and helped and been annoyed and frustrated  and happy and tired, and I’ve worked my ass off in between other proper jobs doing something that I love and someone’s just told me that, yes, that’s worth something. Yes, you can do this.

I can do it.

It’s gonna be a tough couple of months settling in, and I’m going to be working out how to balance everything – I will still be doing work for Grimbold and my own writing, but I’ll be stepping back a little while I get sorted. The blog’s definitely one of the things I want to keep up so I’ll still be posting here, but if I’m not around as much elsewhere, please forgive me – or give me a kick!

Grief: one year on

Wolf by Paul in Seattle
From http://wolvesbystrangers.com/images/from-paul-in-seattle1.jpg

I don’t think it ever fades. It heals, but even as you run your fingers over there’s always a scar. The memories are woven into my fabric and I can’t ever forget, not completely.

I’m still angry. I still want to scream at him. On the bad days, it’s why did you get to do that and I didn’t? Why did you take my chance away? How could you stop fighting, when I can’t? On the good days it’s why couldn’t I help? Why didn’t I see? Why didn’t you just come back one last time?

And every time, there’s a heartbeat of uncertainty. Did you know? How long were you planning it? Did you lie to me?

I miss him. It’s not every day, now – I’m somewhere different, in a different life, a different place and time. In many ways, it now just feels like another strand to the loss. It’s not as biting, it’s not as fierce; it’s just another tug amongst many others. I usually think of him when I find things I want to share – a board game, a place, a joke. I recently discovered that there’s crossover Dresden Files and My Little Pony fanfic, which I’m not sure if he would have loved or hated, but I would have liked to find out!

I haven’t played Dresden – or any other rpg. I haven’t touched the files. I can’t face those worlds again; I can’t pick up the stories. That’s a scar that I don’t dare touch until it’s healed a little more, even though the loss stings bitterly.

I’m still in touch with his mother almost every day; there’s going to be a memorial tree in Cirencester Memorial Gardens, and Claire and I went down to the lock gates a few months ago so that she could see come on our favourite walk. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we spent several hours sitting on the gates and talking! But I’ve moved away and he’s not here, much as I’d like him to have been; I think he would have liked Salisbury.

It’s been a year. I’m still angry. And I’m still hurt. But it’s slowly, slowly healing.

2017: The Year of Shit

love 'em shoot 'em front coverSeriously, this year has been crap, on a personal level as well as a political level.

I lost my best friend, separated from my partner, moved house and city, started a new job, left that job, started another new job (as a freelancer, ARGH), had a few family stresses, and I miss my cat. I’ve had a nice wallop of depression, anxiety and insecurity as well as imposter syndrome, and frankly, I’m feeling pretty shit about it all. On a wider level, current events are scaring me; I feel like the world is spiralling out of control, and everyone seems so bloody horrible. It’s hard for me to understand the sheer level of hatred that seems to be the norm, and the wilful destruction of so much of the world just seems insane. I’ve had to back away from the news for the sake of my sanity, even though I want to do something – I just don’t know what’s going to help.

On the writing front, it’s been pretty shit too. I halted NaNoWriMo as the book I wanted to write wasn’t ready to be written; I’ve shelved No Man’s Land after twenty failed subs; there’s been a delay in publishing the next GreenSky book thanks to factors outside my control; and I haven’t been able to write the books that are sitting in my head, or even the short stories that I’d love to get out there.

But *takes a deep breath* that isn’t everything. I know it isn’t.

I’ve got a lovely new home, and an incredibly supportive family. I’ve landed on my feet with a job and time to just recover; even with the double wallop of depression and life, I’ve still been blogging, talking to people and managing to work. I’m reconnecting with old friends and working on making new ones. I’ve been watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, started yoga, found a kitten and gave him to a good home, read a bunch-load of really good books, and I’m still doing new things, little by little.

empty skies and sunlight front coverAnd on the writing front, Empty Skies and Sunlight was published, along with several short stories. I’ve edited one anthology (Terra Nullius, out next year) and assisted with more edits, proofreads and beta-reads than I can count. I’ve signed a three-novella deal under another name (no, I’m not going to tell you about that under this one, sorry!) and written & edited those novellas, and I’ve had several short stories published, both under this name and the other.  I haven’t got as far as I wanted to, but I’ve kept going. I’ve kept writing.

I’m feeling incredibly lost right now, and incredibly low. I can’t find my path; I’m just wandering, unsure of what to write or what to do. I feel like I’m making constant wrong decisions, and I’m still filtering through everything that’s happened in the past few years. I’m watching the world burn and trying to find something to do to let people know that not everyone thinks like the headlines, and that there are people who disagree with the current trend of events, but I feel like one tiny voice in the mass and I’m not strong enough to get heard. I’m scared for the future, both my own and the wider world; I’m trying to piece back together everything that I want to keep, without knowing exactly what’s going to help me in the future.

But I’m going to make plans for 2018. I’m going to spend a few months just getting myself back on my feet, pushing myself forward. I don’t know if it’s the right direction, but at least it will be a direction. And that’s all I can do.

I’ve had a Year of Shit, but I’ve got through it alive. I’ve taken it one day at a time, and I’ve reached the end. That is the biggest thing I’ve achieved this year. I’ve got to the end.

I’m going to do a post in a bit about my aims for 2018; at least if I put them down, then I might work on them!

5 Happy Things: December 2017

Mid-December, so we haven’t yet reached Christmas – which tends to be a mix of STRESS ALL THE STRESS and Actually This Is Quite Nice for me, so probably wouldn’t make the list anyway…

1.My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It’s ridiculous, saccharine and completely twee, and it made me laugh so much. It was one of Ryan’s favourite shows and I really wish I’d got to watch it with him, but it’s been fun anyway. I’m only a few episodes in but it will be continuing this week!

2.In the same spirit, friends! I’ve been sending Christmas cards out and trying to interact more with my online friends, and also seen more of my friends in Swindon (we went to see The Last Jedi, which was 50/50 good and ok in my opinion – it set off my editor and cliche alarms but it was a good film) and even though it’s still a struggle sometimes, it’s good to have people around.

3.Decorating! I haven’t really done major decorating for a while, so when my parents went away for a week, I hauled the boxes out of the loft and went to town. They came back to some actually quite tasteful decoration (we live in a beautiful 19th century red-brick house, so it doesn’t really suit flashing lights and blow-up snowmen) and even my father was complimentary. It was really fun to do, too – although I have left the tree for my sister to decorate, otherwise I don’t think she’d forgive me!

4.My Grandma. I’d always thought the expression, “Waking up with a smile” was exaggerated, but she does! I take her in a cup of tea in the morning, and I always get a beaming smile as she wakes. In many ways I envy her; I can’t imagine being that happy and carefree, and she just ambles on through life in complete acceptance of everything – she’s in good health but her short-term memory is starting to fail, but she doesn’t let it bother her. It’s humbling and inspiring, and I’m really valuing the time I’m getting to spend with her – even if our conversations do consist of the same four questions in different orders…

5.Writing! I’m still working on The Necromancer’s Charm, trying to get the damn voice right. Adrian has given me some pointers, so I’m going to see how I do with those…

That’s it for December so far – I hope you are all starting your slide into jolly, mistletoe and holly, and…other things ending in olly…

A brief hiatus

I broke.

I was hoping to get to the end of the next two weeks; finish at my current job, have a trip to Croatia for a couple of days, move house, then catch up on the stress from the last few months. Unfortunately there’s been a couple of additional stresses recently, and it’s all just got too much.  I’ve been trying to do one step at a time, and there’s too many steps, and I’ve run out of energy to keep fighting.

I’ll be able to start up again, I’m going to keep going – just I need some time to get up out of my hole first. I’m going to take a couple of days to just relax and let everything hit, and then I’ll start dealing with it.

I’m going to try to keep posting on here (because it’s a nice schedule, and I can write what I want, damnit!) but I might not be around on social media as much. I’m ok, I’m just Hermit’ing for a bit, as one of my friends says. Hopefully I’ll shortly be back to Human’ing. I can’t promise Adult’ing, because that’s just scary, but it’s something to aim towards!

Internet hugs to everyone as well – the season’s changing, the world’s shit and life is pretty stressful right now. Remember to take care of yourselves!