May was such a sad month that I was almost tempted to forgo my usual monthly round-up altogether.
After celebrating my birthday, I woke up the following morning to the shocking news that one of my favourite singers, Chris Cornell, had tragically passed away.
I don’t normally find myself too affected by the death of those I haven’t known personally, but it was different with Chris. When I found out, I spent most of the day in a stunned silence.
Shocked and very saddened by Chris Cornell passing away. Incredible talent. https://t.co/XUtPKWvHu2
— Chris Skoyles (@Cskoyles) May 18, 2017
Even new, a few short weeks down the line, I find myself stunned, saddened, and close to tears when I even think about Chris, how talented he was, and what kind of demons must have troubled him as he fought to keep depression and addiction at bay.
I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Temple of the Dog (my favourite Chris Cornell project by a mile) on Spotify and some of his solo stuff on Youtube, and every time I do, I find myself just frozen in time, wrapped in emotion, and mourning the loss of a truly gifted artist.
It was only last month that I was telling you what a fun time I had photographing Manchester from “all of its weird and wonderful angles.”
As part of that experience, I of course shot many pictures around Manchester Arena, a venue that played such a large part of my formative years.
Every major (and many not-so-major) band I’ve ever seen live, I saw at the Manchester Arena. With exception of Pearl Jam at Leeds Festival 2006, all of my favourite gigs took place at the Manchester Arena.
When it comes to my other passion of pro wrestling, a lot of the live shows I’ve attended were at the Manchester Arena.
So you can imagine how distraught I was when I woke up the other Tuesday to learn about the horrific terrorist attack carried out there.
I don’t think I’ve ever cried at the news before, but I certainly did that morning. Once again, I spent most of the day in a state of shock that was at once contradictorily numbing and painful.
Woke up to the terrible news. Speechless. Sending love and light #Manchester
— Chris Skoyles (@Cskoyles) May 23, 2017
Earlier today, I had to write an article for one of my freelance writing clients about the UK election and include a link to a news story about the tragedy.
Even just doing that, the whole thing hit me right in the core of my soul. When I think about those children and young people, my heart breaks, though whatever remains of my broken heart truly belongs to my home city right now.
So, you’ll see why, with everything going on, me writing a couple of articles seems like the most stupidly trivial thing in the world right now, and why I didn’t really feel like posting my usual monthly round-up.
That said, there comes a time when even despite the biggest of tragedies, you have to keep moving, not forgetting the past, nor feeling any less sorrowful about things that have happened, but working on despite them. You have to do this because if you don’t, in the case of the two events I shared above, terrorism and addiction win, and terrorism and addiction should never win.
So, I will simply soldier through and show you a few things I’ve been working on.
I only got round to writing one article on Medium.com this month. It’s this one, about my own personal experiences with using Champix to quit smoking, and how I found that yes, it does help, but you still need to put the actual effort in yourself.
I’ve got quite a few articles planned for Medium in the coming months, and yes, more of them are about my quit smoking attempt.
Copywriting for Construction Trade
When I look back over my old work, it always surprises me that I’ve done a disproportionately large amount of work for builders, architects and quantity surveyors, especially given how little I originally knew about the construction industry before I started my freelance writing career.
Still, all those jobs have served me well, and I am proud of my good working knowledge of the building trade, and especially of my ability to apply it to writing compelling copy for my clients.
One of those is My Build Estimate, a building estimating service who I first worked for a few years back. They came to me again just recently to work on a series of blog articles, the first two of which you can find below.
Retro Pro Wrestling
I have, as always, been busy working on my hobby, the Retro Pro Wrestling reviews website.
This month, I’ve published three pieces covering the WWF’s fall-winter run of 1996, those reviews include:
And that’s all I’ve got for you this month.
Thanks for stopping by my portfolio today. If I can help you with web content, blog writing, WordPress web design or even photography, please do get in touch.