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Tuesday, 1 May 2018


I'm very grateful for my parents for taking me in and putting a roof over my head while I sort my life out and try to turn my writing into a financially viable career. In theory this means I can relax a little about money and take all the time I need to mentally recover from what felt like a string of epic failures. It's been nice, but I worry I may have to move up my timetable, and we may all need help.

In the last 3-5 years I have learned a lot about the way I want, and don't want, to be treated by future romantic partners. I don't want to be talked down to, I'd like to be appreciated for what I do, I don't want to be controlled, I want to be able to pursue my goals, I don't want to be someone else's cash cow, and I want to feel comfortable being myself.  I also don't want to be cheated on, but that isn't relevant, thankfully, in the situation I'm about to discuss.

It seems that since breaking up with my ex-wife, I've been particularly aware of the way people treat each other in relationships. In a situation where the couple are friends of mine, I haven't been able to just sit back and watch. I've pointed out to one, or both partners, that they are being mistreated, disrespected, and (in some cases) abused. I've caused more than a couple of break-ups. In one heart-breaking scenario, I wasn't able to, even though physical violence was involved, she didn't have the fortitude to leave.

My parents have always yelled at one another, for as long as I can remember. My sister and I used to worry that they would get divorced, and also wonder why they didn't. They came close when I was a teenager. Mum kicked Dad out. We'd already moved his mother into the house next door to keep and eye on her health, so Dad moved in with her. My sister and I put our teenaged crap aside and helped our parents get through the break-up. However, Dad came back. They started dating again. It was actually kind of nice.

Since moving back to the UK and moving back in with my parents, I've learned from Dad that he only came back because he missed us all being together as a family, and he complains constantly about how controlling my Mum is, how little she appreciates how hard he works to provide an income for the household (she doesn't work), how little value she puts in his opinion or input, and how he feels like doesn't really know who he is. .

I also hear from Mum about how stressed he is all the time, how he forgets to do things if she doesn't help keep him organised, and she's always telling him what he agreed to. She takes control of as much of his life as he can. She calls herself a recovering control freak, but I see little evidence of her relinquishing any of it. I'm letting both of them vent and express their frustration with each other instead of bottling it all up. This is healthy and good for them, but if this results in my parents breaking up...

To be fair I don't think I'll be in any danger of losing a place to live, as long as Dad can keep up his job as a Vicar (Anglican Priest). The church provide him with a house that's more than big enough for me to continue to crash in. Mum, however, would probably have to move back to Dalton and move in with her own parents. They are currently living in a bungalow that Mum and Dad own. A house that Dad was hoping to sell when he retires from Vicaring to buy a place in Wales. A divorce would mess up these plans considerably.

I would definitely have to find paying work to help pay the bills, and replenish the portion of Dad's wages that he would no doubt have to pay Mum as part of the divorce settlement, and possibly even help bolster his retirement fund. If the Church in Wales don't allow him to continue ministering once he's divorced, it will be even more vital that I find a way to earn sufficient income to support myself, my mother and my father, or we could all be up shit creek.

Luckily, I've already started a Patreon campaign for 'The Haunted Story', the 'Ubiquicity' team are working together again to write a sequel, and I have a promising lead on a job writing scripts for a radio play style podcast. It's not going to make me rich overnight but they're all steps in the right direction. I'll also keep trying to pick up odd-jobs and local work wherever I can get it.

It doesn't help matters that, since making the effort to respect myself and be honest and open about my needs and concerns, I have found it soul-crushingly difficult to lie. Most of the jobs available in the nearby cities involve having to be dishonest. Whether it be cold-calling people to convince them they need to switch life-insurance plans (I lasted two days), or just selling a product or service I don't care about, I can't do it.

I like doing the odd-jobs. It gets me out of the house for a few hours, the physical work helps keep me from turning into a potato, and I get to help people. I also like creating and telling stories, and getting feedback from my readers. It helps keep me motivated to know that people are engaged and interested in what I write. I need to find a way to make at least £1000 per month. That's my first goal.

I could achieve that with contributions from patrons, but it could take months, if not years, to build up to that. I hope it doesn't all come crashing down around my ears before I have earned and saved the money I need to save us. To get there quickly I'm going to need your help. I'm not asking for money, though that would be nice. If you're willing to help, I'm going to need you to read "Dead Letter" and talk it up to everyone you think would like it. Share my Patreon campaign with them and encourage them to become patrons.

Please. It would help me worry less if I could see that the campaign was beginning to gain traction.

If you really don't like paranormal horror, but you love fantasy or sci-fi, I have a couple of other projects you might enjoy. These ones are just for fun though. Interactive story-telling games. You get to create and decide what they do as the story is told in weekly updates. Honestly, I wish I could do that for a living, but it might spoil the fun! The fantasy role-play game group is called 'The City of Gate', and the sci-fi is 'The N-Viron Network'. Follow the links to check them out and join in.

I'll let you play with us even if you don't help me promote my ghost story. ;)

If you've read this far, I appreciate it. It's probably not as dire as I'm worried it is, but it helps to vent and know that someone's listening.

Have a great day :)

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Impatience and Frustration

I don't use my Blogger account much. I tend to do most of my blog articles on my Wordpress account. However, my Mum subscribes to it and I'd quite like to just vent without worrying her.

We've already talked anyway, but the underlying problem that's bothering me is still there. Nagging at me to succeed, so I can help my family be happy.

My Dad is a Vicar (an Anglican Christian Minister) and he's been put in charge of six churches. He believes it's a spiritual calling, and he's frequently frustrated by the workload. He gets himself so stressed out about it that he ends up with migraines. I see how miserable it's making him and I can't help.

What he wants is for members of his congregation step up and help. Some of the services he has to do have only five or six people in attendance. If they were willing to attend another church it would reduce heating costs and Dad would only have to do one service for ten to twelve people instead.
They could also help by leading their own worship instead of requiring Dad to lead them.

Dad feels trapped and stressed, and I want to help him. I'm not religious, far from it, but I respect my parent's beliefs and if having someone else do the work for him gives him more time to pursue the spiritual aspects of his faith, then I want to do that for him.

I've asked him how I can help repeatedly, but he says I can't. He needs the congregation to volunteer, but they aren't. It occurs to me that he needs to hire people to do some of the clerical work and organisational aspects of the job, but they can't afford that. The Church is entirely funded by the collection plate. There's no government funding. There's not even a tax break like American churches get. One of the things he's stressed about is that they need to organise a fundraising event to get the church hall heating repaired.

Today he told me that he doesn't feel like he can relax. Even when he's home. There's currently six of us living under one roof. Mum and Dad, my sister, her two daughters, and me. Plus my sister's little dog. The dog stresses Dad out because it rarely behaves for him, or my Mum. In fact it tends to growl and snap at them both. He likes me and my sister, and he never hurts the girls, but he sets my parents on edge.

The girls, my nieces, are great. They don't always behave themselves either. The older girl has dyspraxia and will have a breakdown if she doesn't understand what she's being asked to do, or just doesn't want to do it. The younger one is just belligerent and will answer back if she feels that what she's being asked to do is unfair. She often thinks things are unfair because her sister can use her dyspraxia as an excuse, but she doesn't have that excuse. The fights are another source of stress for Dad.

My sister works two jobs to look after the girls and save up towards getting a place of their own. Her fiance is trying to sell his one bedroom place that he co-owns with his parents. It's only a matter of time before they can get their own place. It will cause more problems when they do go because Mum likes having them around, but at least Dad will feel like he can come home to peace and quiet.

I feel like I could solve these problems in one fell swoop if I was half the writer I want to be. I could buy my sister and fiance a place in town close enough for my Mum to visit. I could hire my Dad a staff of assistants to manage all of his appointments and events, allowing him the freedom to visit congregation members that need his personal touch. I could fund my Mum's homeopathy practice, or any other activity she wants to pursue.

I have a plan, but if it works at all it will still take two to three years to generate an income equal to a full-time career, and much longer to build the kind of financial independence necessary to give my family everything they need. I've only been here three months and the electricity bill has already gone up. I'm picking up a few ghostwriting jobs where I can and keeping my eyes peeled for local work while I continue to work on my stories.

I feel like I'm compounding the problem instead of helping, and it's frustrating. I know I just need to keep working the plan, and that I need to let others solve their own problems. I'm just impatient.

I'm not asking for help. We'll all get through it. Like I said before, I just needed to vent.

Have a great day.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Making Concessions

I miss blogging about any crazy thought that came to mind. I may not have always had time to write, but I used to gain all kinds of inspiration when I had a job other than writing. It would be nice to have a little bit of income too.

I think it's time I made a few concessions, surrender a little ground, and lose a personally important battle in order to win the war.

I'm not giving up though. Writing is my profession and I will make a living from it, but I'm not currently. So, in order to maintain my lifestyle and repay some of the kindness done by friends and family, I need to take a second job, preferably only very part-time. I still need time to write.

In addition to earning me a little money to get by, it will also give me things to write about. All the fantastic magic or marvellous technology won't help unless my characters are believable. Experiencing time with people will help me make my characters more real.

Being single helped with the socialising aspect, since I used to get out the house and spend time with my friends. One of my friends was also single though, and now neither of us are. I'm much happier of course, and I still like my other friends, but it feels like I have everything I need at home now, so the only real excuse I'll have to get out of the house will be to take a second job.

I don't want to work for anyone else, but it would be tactically advantageous for me to do so. Besides, I'm still working for me. I'll still be writing, and I'll gain more helpful experience that will help me write better. Who knows what will inspire the next story? It'll be like I'm getting paid to research characters and find writing prompts, which isn't a bad deal.

I'd like to be able to use my phone's QuickMemo+ app to write down any ideas that come to mind when I'm at work. If there's a strict 'no devices' policy, then I would appreciate being able to keep a notepad and pen with me instead. Trust me, I'll be able to focus on my work better if you'll let me get the ideas out of my head.

I don't really want to do retail or call-centre work anymore. I've done it all and it bored me. I'm technically qualified to be management, but a lot of the work I've had to do while being groomed for retail management was also boring. I get how it works. I want to try something different.

If I do sales again, it would have to be a product I care about. I actually enjoy working for commission if I believe in the product, but it's not necessary. I worked for a video game store for years because I loved it. I love stories, particularly fantasy and sci-fi, so video games, and tabletop hobby games are dear to my heart. Sadly, positions available with businesses that sell such products are rare because the jobs are awesome and no-one wants to quit.

I'd even settle for a shop that sells PC components, audio equipment and drones! There is one in town, but I've never seen them post a vacancy either. I may try anyway. I've already updated my CV (that's a Resume if you're an American) to apply for a part time position at the same hotel my girlfriend works at. It would be nice to see her even when I'm at work, but I'm bored of bar-work too. Maybe it'll be something I've never done before.

I'm going to take another look at my cover letter and CV with this new resolution in mind, and tweak it for some other places that I think I may like to work. If I'm lucky one of them will be hiring. I have believed for quite some time that this is the best way to get the job you want, and that businesses that always seem to have vacancies aren't worth working for. We'll see if it pays off, and that I won't have to take some think soul destroying for the sake of an income.

I'm trying to silver lining this and convince myself that taking a part-time job will be good, but I'm still hoping that someone with some cash to throw around will fall in love with my writing and finance my writing addiction. I had hoped that some of the friends I'd made while living in America would become patrons, but all of them have very good reasons why they can't even afford $1 per month.

I'm using Patreon.com to extend my reach. I got two pledges for $1 per month each from fellow writers, both of whom also have Patreon pages. I really should pledge them back, but Patreon takes a cut of each pledge, so it would be a negative sum if I did. It would work out better to sponsor me via a Paypal subscription.

Patron level:

All subscribers will (if they want to) receive a weekly email from me (not a bot) keeping you updated on everything I'd written that week. The higher patron levels entitle you to free writing, from simple personalised greetings at level 2, up to essentially hiring me to write everything for you at level 5. :)

Those of you that already follow my Wordpress page, you'll know that I'm planning on using my future success to make sure my close friends and family are taken care of financially. If I do end up with the house of my dreams, friends and family will be welcome to stay as long as they need, and I will help them get back on their feet and achieve their dreams also. So if you think about it, it's really an investment. Help me out now, and I'll be able to help you later. ;)

Like I said before, I miss being able to write about whatever comes to mind. Instead it seems like all I'm ever writing about is how badly I need to start generating an income. However, to be fair to myself I am still writing Hermes925, which is now much easier to navigate. I'm also working on a story for Project Ubi and a story I plan to submit to either SciFan magazine or Writers of Tomorrow.

I don't really have time for a second job, but since I'm sure this request for sponsorship will be just as ineffective as the others, here goes nothing.

Thanks for reading and have a good day :)

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

On Success!

I was challenged by the rising Facebook star Chris Forbush to write a blog article about success. In fact, the challenge was open to anyone who read the post. What he actually said was: 
As you can see I told him my life isn't a success story yet, which isn't entirely accurate. I've succeeded at quite a few things in life. I've survived school and several different jobs. During my not-so-successful marriage in the US, I learned that I was holding myself back and putting my own desires on hold. By the time I'd come back to the UK after my marriage crumbled,  it didn't take me long to realise that I wasn't going to find success following a traditional career path. 
When I was a child I couldn't make my mind up what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote about being a fireman, or a spaceman, a robot, or a wizard, a pirate, or a palaeontologist, an inventor, a scientist, or a knight. Even as an adult I would agonise over my life choices and write about ways I could achieve my goals and find happiness. It was only in the last few years that I realised I'd been a writer all along.
This rat doesn't like to race!

Even then I didn't take the plunge to becoming a full-time writer until this year. I came back broke so I moved in with my Grandparents. I was trying to hold down a part-time job to bring in some money while I wrote, but I found the work and the people I worked with to be exhausting. I didn't come home motivated or inspired. My mind was occupied with gossip and criticism. It wasn't worth it.
I'm lucky to have family that are able to support me while I make a real go of this. I can write and look for additional opportunities to get paid for my writing without having to worry too much about keeping a roof over my head. I can't just kick back and relax, they're not made of money. I know that their budget has gotten a lot tighter because of me. My next 'success' will be when I start to receive paychecks for the stories I have submitted and will yet submit. 
It's coming, I can feel it!

It would also be nice if I had a few more paying subscribers to my blog, but so far my attempts to encourage followers to pay even £1 per month have fallen flat, but I'm still determined to make this work. So in addition to writing and looking for publications that pay for submissions, I've created a version of my Wordpress website in Blogger and I'm also going to share my work on PatreonWattpad and CoPromote to try and increase my exposure. This should dramatically increase the chance that clients and patrons will find me. 
I will, of course, continue to share every article I write on Facebook and Twitter also. Including every future entry of the Sci-Fi story I'm writing, Hermes925. If you like Sci-Fi (with a little fantasy and dystopia thrown in), feel free to read the story from the beginning via the Wattpad page or the Wordpress Page. If anyone can tell me how to add 'next page' and 'prev page' on Wordpress, I'd love to hear from you.
In addition to spreading myself across the internet as far as I can think of right now, I've also submitted a short Ghost Story to a publication which won't want it published elsewhere if they accept it (so read it while you can), an ezine called Diversions from Drudgery is going to serialise Hermes925, and I'm working with a team of writers to produce short stories to include in the sourcebook for a futuristic roleplay game. 
I have quite a few irons in the fire, and I honestly feel that success is just a matter of persistence and time. Though, for the sake of my family and my girlfriend, I hope it's sooner rather than later. If you'd like to help us, you can either subscribe via small monthly payments, make a single larger donationcommission me to write you a story, impart your expert advice, or share my work with those you think would appreciate it. I'd be very grateful no matter which of the option(s) you choose. 
In the meantime, I'm going to keep working toward my goal every day. I hope to begin reaping the fruits of my labour soon, but I expect there'll be plenty of anxiety and disappointment on the way. I'll try to avoid them by talking to readers, publishers and other writers to learn the secrets of success. I'm looking forward to hearing from you, for any reason you like, but particularly if you can help me achieve my goals.
Thank you for reading, and have a great day! :)

Sunday, 19 February 2017

You made it!

Thank you so much for checking out my website.

Whether you were invited by me, referred by someone else, or you stumbled upon this web page by accident then you are equally welcome.

I hope to have something here for everyone, though it isn't my primary intention. Nevertheless, I encourage you to look around, see what I've written. In particular, I hope you enjoy Hermes925.

If you happen to find an article, a rant, a story, or a literary scribble that you enjoy, please share it all over the place. If you like what you see, please become a patron so I can keep writing as my full-time career.
-Antony M Copeland.
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