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Cathy Coley

Projects, Nuts and Bolts

Projects Nuts and Bolts

I often speak of being in a long fallow period with my writing, that I'm not really writing, or that I'm frustrated by it when I do write, and can only maintain for brief stints. But that's a lie. Kind of.

In the years since I wrote Felix, the reality is I have been writing in fits and starts, bits and pieces throughout. I have also been dealing with traumas, their fallouts and recovery, losing a parent, a major move, a surgery, and getting off really mentally interfering pain meds since a car accident in 2013. That was no small feat, and isn't to say I am off of medication, but I found one that is making me much more functional in life in general. That is a huge relief. I feel much more my old, enthusiastic and quickwitted self. I also still have two neurodivergent spawn who take extra care and handling and family and school management. Add two dogs and two cats. I am fortunate to be married to the primary income for our family, but his long hours leave the bulk of home management affairs to me, and, frankly, I am operating at a much diminished capacity since the car accident. Like many families these days, we are stretching paycheck to paycheck, which adds additonal layers of mental fill. So that leaves little mental and actual time and space for writing. But I have been doing it regardless, moreso daily in recent months.

At this point, I have amassed a number of projects and am organizing them and flushing out the many starts.

I have a ton of poems and a good number of short stories. I am in the process of revisiting them to edit and compile into collections.

I have at least two more viable children's books. One is a side project of Felix about his best friend Kelsey, the summer following the events in Felix. I'm not sure how I am going to manage to finish that one without visiting Ireland, since she is spending her summer there, and is where the bulk of her coming of age story takes place. It would be nice to have a more visceral sense of place to inform the narrative. The other is a little more magical realism/fantasy that I really do want to finish, though I got sidelined after reading Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which has the same premise. Eventually, it occurred to me that it is a pretty common one throughout imaginative literature, I can work with that.

And then there is the Memoir/Social Commentary of growing up a woman in the later half of 20th century to now, and all that means, personally, and in society at large in these times, how can we all do better in the times to come, and how are we changing that now. This one has about 12 openings that I really need to find the through line to piece them all together. This is the most consuming, and most difficult writing of my life. It's wrenching, and also amusing stuff; striking the balance is key.

Screenplays I started are taking the back row of this production bus for the time being. Of them there are three, and to mix metaphors, which is apt, they need to stew a bit longer with the lid on anyway.

Now to the business end, nuts and bolts:

Our printer is defunct. I am a very hands-on writer and editor, lines and margin notes work for me, having drafts to scribble on works for me. My laptop is slower than molasses, about five years old, and is beast to get anything done on. That's two major pieces of equipment that need replacing. Especially now that I am knuckling down to finish multiple projects, it would be infinitely easier to do so. My goal by the end of this year is to put out into the world, a poetry collection and a short story collection; possibly one of the children's books, and to make good headway into the memoir. I really need to replace the printer and laptop to make that part happen.

I have a patreon site I haven't set up yet, because it felt disengenuous when I had all these loose threads dangling. I'm almost feeling like I can get things going there, but not quite yet.

I recently set up a Ko-fi site. It's a start toward replacing equipment. Every little bit helps, and if you'd like to help out, you can donate a $3 "coffee" there, and share my link with friends and other artists through social media. I am eternally grateful to those few who have already donated, and will be eternally grateful if you'd help spread the word.

Thank you. Or send people to my Welcome page where there's a Kofi button, or my links page, where you can also buy a copy of Felix the Comet! if you'd like a signed one, I still have a few copies on hand, please email me from the Contact page in the header.

I'm in a much better place now as I work on these projects than I was even a year ago. I am puttering away daily on some writing, editing, and organization of the projects. You can really help me work more effectively, and faster to get my work out into the world.

Thanks for stopping by,