I’m writing this sat on my bed in the hotel room I’m sharing with my daughter. It’s a fantastic place on the edge of the moors, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have air conditioning, so I am melting.

It occurred to me the other day that I haven’t updated my But Me a Coffee page for a while. It turns out a while is an understatement; it’s been over six months. So, as I sit here melting, I’m going to bring you up to date.

Let’s start with the personal stuff.

There is no way to describe the first half of 2022. The world seems to have gone even crazier. People are more divided than ever, and it has a knock-on effect on everyday life. Online discussion seems to be a thing of the past, being replaced with polarised views and slanging matches.

As a result, I rarely post online unless it is related to my work or Character Creation Roleplaying. I occasionally break my self-imposed posting ban for other things, including Eliza’s achievements, the death of our beautiful Iggy, and things I am incredibly passionate about.  

Eliza’s achievements include completing a week at Dartmoor Zoo as a Ranger as part of a holiday club. She also has begun running her Dungeons and Dragons games for her friends. South Devon College accepted her onto its elective home ed course, where she starts in September.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, our beautiful iguana, Iggy, past over after a short illness. We are devastated by her loss as she was an integral part of our lives for over five years.

What about me?

I am going from strength to strength in many ways. I have discovered my strength and am trying new things, including running Dungeons and Dragons games for friends. Last Saturday, I ran my first multi-generational game for children and their designated adults.

I’ve spent much of the last couple of months trying to find a new home. Unfortunately, our house has structural issues that the landlord cannot repair with us in the house. As difficult as it is to find somewhere new that will take a self-employed single parent and two dogs, it is a necessary move that will allow us to live closer to Eliza’s new school. It will also give us the fresh start we need. It is strange still living in the house that was our family home.

And work?

Well, I am still plodding along as a freelance writer. I’m lucky to have two long-term clients who love my work and understand my home situation. While I love my work, my aim is still to make a living writing my own words rather than writing for other people as a copywriter.

To that end, I took on a new challenge this year.

Back in March, I took on the 100 Story Challenge on Medium. You can read about my decision here. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I had taken on too much trying to write a story every day for both my Medium profiles alongside my other work and home educating Eliza.

I dropped the challenge for Lorelei_Sands and eventually finished it for my Cathylouise profile. In the end, I did 100 stories in 126 days. I took a break during the challenge to deal with my mental health and the relapse of my chronic illness. All in all, I am very proud of what I achieved.

Now I plan to take some of the stories and rewrite them from flash fiction to short story length. I haven’t decided what to do with them after, but I may eventually publish them through Draft2Digital to open them to a broader audience.

In the meantime, I will be returning to the challenge for Lorelei_Sands and picking up where I left off. Of course, it won’t officially be 100 stories in 100 days, but it will still be a challenge and a chance to put into practice everything I learned the first time around.

I’ve also started editing and publishing a story I wrote an incredibly long time ago. Crisis is a post-apocalyptical story I began in 2006. It’s had great feedback so far, and I’m publishing it in chapters as a web novel. You can find the Prologue and Chapter One on Medium.  

As for my demon fantasy novel, it is still sitting on the sidelines. It will get written and published, but that may take quite a bit longer than initially anticipated.

There you have it. That is my last six months in a nutshell. If you want to help keep the creative wheels turning, you can buy me a coffee or get a Medium account and read my work there. Medium writers are paid per member read.

Either way, have a great day, stay safe, and hopefully, I’ll update a little sooner next time.