What Happened, and What’s Next

Hello, my darlings!

So, here’s the story of what happened to me last week, and what ‘our’ plan is – as in yours, as my readers and ‘art’ appreciators; and mine, as the author.

A while ago I’ve starting thinking that perhaps a job/career in childcare is something I should consider. I’ve always been good with children. There’s a popular anecdote in my family (me not included for embarrassment reasons clearly) of the 13-year old me calming down a tantrumy three year old on train, and the said tantrumy kid falling asleep for three hours on my lap, which he ‘never never did’ according to his exhausted mum. I do remember the kid, mind you – but being called ‘sophomoric’ for years wasn’t exactly my cup of tea.

There is another reason why I considered such career. My partner works shifts, and I need a job with regular afternoon hours so I can pick up my son etc. etc. There aren’t that many options for me here, let’s face it.

So, armed with the above reasons, and feeling I was a patient and well-rested person (after a year of writing and drawing, supported by the government Employment Insurance payments) I ventured into a job search.

I won’t bore you with details, but I’ll tell you that I got an interview on the very second day of my quest, right after I applied for a handful of jobs.

I was offered a sub CCA (childcare assistant) position in a daycare facility. I knew from the start that they were obviously desperate. It’s quite a sketchy area, I said to myself. Probably no one wants to bus there every day. It’ll be OK, I said to myself. I’ll get experience, since I have none; I’ll look around and find the best way to acquire the Early Childhood Educator certificate, required for a better job and salary, I said to myself.

The plan was good. The first day – not so much. Needles on the playgrounds, children with parents with restraining orders; social services dropping in, being spat on and kicked.

And then on the second day, my boss came up to me in the morning and said, “I need to talk to you.”

Oh-uh, I thought. I’m going to be kicked out, after one day, I thought.

I wasn’t. I was offered a position of an Inclusion Worker, subsidized by the government, to work with children with challenging behaviour. More hours, substantially more money. And yes, you guessed – substantially more stress.

The children are… wonderful. And scary. And complicated. And lovely. They are human beings, and I think they all latched on me the very first day, because I treated them as such. But it also feels like I’m in a wolf pack, and every minutes has to be spent on proving I’m the alpha there. Being a petite empathic female with an accent doesn’t help much.

So, now to the question of writing/drawing.

It’s hard to predict how (or whether at all, unlike the very first week) I’m going to be functioning once I leave work five days a week, but it’s abundantly clear that only my most interesting projects will survive the purge that’s coming.

Here are my thoughts on what stays:

  1. Wattpad will be the platform I’ll be posting my writing on. If you still want to read my stuff, and crave more of modern Thorin and Wren, here are your options:

Official Town Business (updated on Mondays), cheery cozy mystery/romance/humour – stays because Oakby is this wonderfully unaware version of Thorin/John; and I love Mops to bits;

Jack in the Box (updated on Thursdays), psychological drama/romance/erotica – stays because Jack is more Lucas North than Thorin; Gemma is an ultimate INFJ. The story is close to completion; and once it’s done I’m planning to write another webserial on Thursday, of the same mature dramatic nature. She’s a DCI, he’s invited to consult on the case. He’s more than ten years her younger. I’ve had a similar set up in my head for a different story, but with a prof and a student – but it felt too unethical to me, especially considering my teaching experience;

After the Fall (updated on Wednesday), a romcom cowritten with Virginia McCain, will stay because co-writing is fun;

Under the Wolf’s Skin (updated sporadically), is a fantasy werewolf story, which started as a fanfiction story, and was cowritten with Wynni and RagdollPrincess. I took off my chapters from the FF site, and I will expand and rewrite most of the plot. It’s lashings of fun because I’m creating an unusual for me amount of original characters, and generally I’m enjoying not to take a story seriously.

Please, vote with stars and leave comments for me! It’s endlessly encouraging, and it will cheer me up when another pair of scissors is propelled towards my head.

2. As for fanfiction, I’m planning to finish Thorin’s Wife (there are just couple chapters left) and maybe finish the short story in Another Night, Another Path. Other than that I don’t expect to have any time for FF – at least, not for a while.

Please, let me know if there is a story that you REALLY want to see happen, and I’ll see what I can do. Honestly, your opinion matters. Let me know.

3. The Kickstarter for Hammer Up! doesn’t seem to be happening. There are only 8 days left, and it’s only 30% or so percent funded. It might be my last indie publishing project, so I’m rather sad.

Please, let your friends and relatives, who might be interested in a humorous well-researched greek mythology romance, know about it. And what if we can make this miracle happen – and a very nice person gets a job of editing it, while I get another book to feel accomplished about when I’m old and grey? 🙂

4. Escape from the Woods (Russian folklore based YA fantasy novel) is still sitting in my drawer, and I’m still looking for a publisher. I’ll keep you posted on the subject. As well as regarding Blind Carnival – which is being slowly rewritten into the third person so it’s either postable on Inkitt, or publishable.

5. My art will go on *Celine Dion style wailing* and I’ll be posting it here and there (Instagram, DeviantArt etc.), but there will be two main areas I’m planning to apply it at:

~ my cheery red-nosed colourful illustrations and drawings will go to my Etsy into my Funky Fair Tales; as commissions; and as drawings for purchase;

~ in the same style, I’m working on a children’s book with the working title Peppermint, the Girl Who Didn’t Want to Be a Princess. You can guess what it’s about, of course; and I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

~ and finally, Axolotl Returns!

This project has been long brewing in my brain, and here it is! It’s a steampunk style children’s book about the adventures of clever 11-year-old twins, Unna and Dunn, and their quest to uncover the secret of their Uncle Darius and find the legendary flying vessel Axolotl. I’ve created the Facebook page for the project, which you can follow to get regular updates.

I will be selling the book by chapter + original illustration as instant download PDFs on my Etsy. The chapters will also be available to my supporters on Patreon with the donation of 25$ a month.

 

At this stage I feel like this is as much as I’ll be able to manage (or perhaps, even less, but one can hope.)

So, let me know what you think about the running projects! Hope you stick around! And again, please, consider pre-ordering my book on the Kickstarter and encouraging your friends and relatives to do so as well!

It’s a pleasure to have you all in my life!

K.

Katya Kolmakov
Katya Kolmakov. Mother. Writer. Artist. Fanfiction and Wattpad. First novel on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XJ16W7W.

7 Comments

  1. Please please please finish the mystery at the hunters cottage. Omg I’ve been waiting for months it’s such a cliffhanger

    1. Oh my goodness, that is the MOST unexpected request! 😀 Of all the stories! It was written like a silly smut, born out of a conversation with a friend on how funny marital sex is. It wasn’t supposed to have any plot at all! Are you just waiting for a few chapters of the same, or are you hoping for some plot? A murder in the library? Zombie invasion? 🙂

      1. I’m hoping it concludes, with a proper mystery to it why not, if you have the time. I got a distinctly Agatha Christie vibe off it. Love the time period and prudishness too!!!

        1. It definitely was supposed to have a Christie vibe 🙂 I was writing it simultaneously with the 1920s style webserial for my Patreon that actually has a mystery and a murder in it; but this one was just a plot-less smut. Well, give me a bit of time to think what plot I could possibly stick into it now, since NOTHING has been happening there 🙂 If nothing comes to mind, then I’ll just make sure they do enjoy their… marital duties fully 😉

  2. I think you will be amazing working with children. You are very brave to take on those with challenging behavior. You have the opportunity to make a huge impact on their lives. And I expect you will be equally blessed by having them in your life.

    I’m still struggling with Wattpad, but any effort is worth it to keep up with your wonderful stories. I think you should decide which you enjoy writing the most. I do like “Jack in the Box”, and was a fan of the wolf story. I can’t wait to share Axolotl Returns with my 8 year old great niece. (That’s appropriate, right?)

    You know I’m going to miss Thorin and Wren on FF. But I don’t think you will be able to completely give them up, so I’m not going to despair. Meanwhile, I’ll just re-read my old favorites.

    All in all, I’ll be happy with whatever you have time to share – stories, artwork, whatever! Be well and successful. Don’t give up on Kickstarter (I haven’t).

    Jill

    1. Thank you, Jill! I find your supportive comments so very comforting. I’m not sure whether it was indeed bravery, or stupidity that pushed me to agree on this job (and let’s not forget the dire financial and scheduling circumstances that I am in). The daycare is indeed in one of the most unprivileged areas of the city, and it is endlessly challenging, but children are children. They are wonderful humans, full of potential, but also, already full of anger and resentment. I think I would have already walked away if the cursed empathy didn’t push me to see past the aggression and the swearing and the literal dirt and grime. And we ‘clicked.’ It was an amazing experience, just the second day. It’s heartbreaking how starved the kids are for simple interaction; for someone to just explain to them why they shouldn’t do something as opposed to just yelling; for someone to simply play Uno with them. I think I also ‘bribed’ their tolerance (it’s far from acceptance, but there is a glimpse of hope) with drawing Pokemons. I’m going to start introducing them to dragons and Dwarves next.

      I agree with you regarding Wattpad. It’s somewhat friendlier towards writers than readers. I finally figured out the posting procedure, and it’s better than, say, on FF.

      “Jack in the Box” is heading towards the finishing plot twist. If you want, you could also try “Official Town Business” (updated on Mondays). I feel like it would be exactly your cup of tea. It’s my favourite pick-me-up story these days.

      And yes, Axolotl is very much appropriate for a smart 8 year old girl. I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

      Don’t start missing Thorin and Wren on FF just yet. I have to finish “Thorin’s Wife,” then “Old Wounds,” and then I’m thinking “Four Corners” will become my main FF story (if time allows).

      Thank you again for your wonderful support!

      Love,
      Katya

  3. Dear Katya,
    I’m finally stopping by here. What a big (and surely rewarding) challenge you have before you. I’m sending a ton of good vibes your way. Without presuming to know you, just by the way you come across through your writing and comments, I have no doubt that you’ll make a difference in those kids lives. Just don’t forget to take care of your empathic self in the process. Lean on your family, your art, your writing… I’m sure that you’ll conquer this!
    We’ve been so spoiled to have you virtually all to ourselves this year. It’s been such a wonderful ride. I’m hooked to all your stories and I’m so happy that you’ve decided to keep some of them going. I know that I don’t share feedback as often as I should, but at least now with the stars in Wattpad I can make up a little bit for my sporadic silences. Anyway, for what it counts, be assured that you make a difference in my life, be it because you make me laugh and pick me up with a bit of fluffy Mops-Oakby action on the library floor or because you make me question and expand my views on human interaction through Gemma and Jack’s issues… Your writing just speaks to me on many fronts. And, just so you know, you’ve even tempted me to take a Myers-Briggs test, hehehe.
    Aaaaanyway, I digress… In the hope of getting a laugh from you, I leave you with a silly little song by my one of my favourite artists that reminds me of you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4V7WBq72Gg
    Once more unto the breach, dear friend! 😉

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