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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.