Busy day tomorrow

As I have quite a busy day coming up tomorrow, I’ve decided to do some of tomorrow’s chores and jobs today, including this blog post.

First thing in the morning I have to take the dog back to the vet. He seems to have had a nail-bed infection and all of his tablets, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic, run out today. The toe itself looks a lot better than it did, although at first it didn’t look like anything and I didn’t know why he was limping. The infection flared up a couple of days after I initially took him to the vet and we had to make sure it wasn’t a grass seed that had burrowed under his skin.

The next job tomorrow is another of those admin jobs – tax my car. If I can do it online, I will. But now the laws have changed regarding displaying a valid tax disc, it’s all going to be all different on there now, and I may end up having to go to the post office to do it.

I’ll be picking the poet up at teatime, which means my working day finishes at 3:45pm instead of 5 – 5:30pm. When we move house the railway stations we can choose from should be much closer and when I have to play taxi-driver again, it won’t take such a huge chunk out of either end of my working day.

It’s our friends’ 1st wedding anniversary on Saturday, so we’ll be delivering a greetings card. And, if the poet’s train isn’t delayed, there’s a gig we fancy going to Friday night at our most local working man’s club before it’s no longer our most local any more.

In between all of that, I also have work to do.

Today I have electronic edits to do before sending the edited Word file back to the author for him to answer queries and questions. And I have diary work to do.

Yesterday I was asked if I could do another big editing job, but that hasn’t come in yet. So the next job on the list is another Great War book, another biggie. Today or tomorrow I’ll be printing off the next editing job so it can go into my editing folder.

On Saturday I want to go to the 1st Leeds write-in for NaNoWriMo 2014, but they’ve changed the times from 1pm – 3pm (core) to 2pm – 4pm. The later start means a longer lie in, but it also means a later finish, which for me means I’ll be coming into the home railway station at 5:20pm. So the jury’s still out on that one for now, even though I’ve so far said that I’m going.

Saturday evening I quite fancy a bonfire and fireworks display. We missed Bonfire Night last year so I was promised one this year, and we have 2 to choose from. The first one is Saturday night, a paid one, but in our new closest town (after 28 November). The other one is on Bonfire Night itself, next Wednesday, and it’s free, and in our current closest town. BUT … the poet’s off to Scotland again on Monday and it depends what time he gets back Wednesday evening. I think I need to “cash in” the promise on Saturday in case he doesn’t make it for next Wednesday. ;-)

Sunday, for the most part, will be chill time or packing time. NaNo will have also started, so I’ll also need to write 1,667 words for that.

What are you up to over the next few days?

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One I made earlier, in 2008, at the “current local town” bonfire and fireworks display. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

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Diary of a scaredy cat, 29 October 2014

novel in 6 monthsNaNoWriMo
The ONLY writing I’ve had time to do anything with this past week has been my NaNoWriMo project.

With the help of this book on the left, I’ve mapped out more than 80 scenes, 3 Acts, a prologue, an epilogue and an afterword. Instead of writing a chapter at a time, I’m going to write a scene at a time. Each scene may average apx 1,000 words, but I still need to sit down and clear my daily 1,667 words in order to “win” NaNo. I’ve also used suggestions in the book to start to write character studies, but I’m doing those as I go along.

I have an A4 Filofax-type folder that currently holds all of the scene information and a page per character. I think I’m going to try and write on A4 paper and slip those pages in too, as they’re completed.

I’m really only using the practical suggestions in this book as a lot of the other stuff doesn’t really apply. It’s getting me planning and ready, though. And hopefully by Saturday, when I also hope to go along to the 1st Leeds write-in, I’ll be ready to write my first 1,667 words.

This morning I’ve been asked if I can edit another “big” book. I’ve given them the price and an estimated delivery time and am waiting to hear from them. Once this comes in I’ll have 1 big one already in from lovely-already-boss, 1 smaller one already in from lovely-already-boss, and 1 big one that I’m waiting for from him. With another biggie, that should keep me busy until we move house at the end of November.

And that’s it for this week.

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Admin, admin, admin

Admin, it has to be done. And I’ve been doing a lot of it in the past few days.

Last week I had to sort out my car insurance. I’ve gone for a straight renewal, but they hadn’t sent details of monthly repayments, and they’d added a legal expenses fee on my behalf without even checking. So I had to call them to ensure they wouldn’t take the whole premium in one go and to insist that they remove the legal expenses fee. That brought it down a little.

This week it’s the tax return. I should have done it yesterday, but I wasn’t feeling great yesterday and didn’t do any “proper” work at all beyond take the poet to the dentist. Next year’s should be easier, as I changed all of my bank accounts over at the start of 2014, which means I’ve had to collate 3 lots of statements for the 2013 – 2014 tax return. Next year, it should all be in one place. At least I’ve been able to export them all, though, and merge them together in Excel. This year, for the first time ever, I’ve not sat and painstakingly written out all of my expenses by hand.

We had a very busy weekend with a trip to Birmingham on Saturday, a gig Saturday evening and another gig Sunday afternoon. Yesterday, aside from feeling a bit pap, I was also very, very tired. We turned in at 9pm last night, and I got up at 11am today. I don’t feel so tired any more …

Next job is to get out a search party for my tax return form so I can transfer the information from Excel and get it in the post. As I do the return by hand, it has to be in by 31 October. If I did it online, I’d have until 31 January. But if I do it now, it’s done and out of the way and they can work out how much tax I owe them … which isn’t usually very much.

I also have books to edit this week, but so far no author/proofreader revisions as I shifted all of those last week. Apart from the one where we’re still waiting to hear from one of the authors.

The poet is off to Scotland again tomorrow. I thought that was it, but it seems he still has quite a few days to do up there and just forgot to mention them to me.

Right, search party …

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Pulling our horns in?

We received an offer on the house Tuesday evening which, after some negotiation, we finally accepted. We’re moving at the end of November too, so that means we have a lot to pay out in just under 6 weeks’ time. This means we need to pull in our financial horns …

… only last week we needed a new tyre on one of the cars, then the dog needed to go to the vet with a bad paw that seems to have turned into an infected nail bed, so he had to go to the vet again, then the poet broke one of his teeth, which probably means an extraction, and the band wagon needs essential maintenance to keep it on the road, which means band money won’t go very far this weekend either. There’s also road tax due on the other car, and a motor insurance premium to renew.

So much for pulling in our horns!

It’s going to be very tight, but hopefully I’ll clear enough work that falls due for payment before Day One of the new home, which will give the poet’s proper wage a bit of a boost. We have 2 proper pay days before we move, but there’s also Christmas to consider.

Selling the house and moving also, naturally, requires packing. This house needs packing up and the other house has a loft that still needs emptying. And the house we’re moving to is slightly smaller than the one we’re in, which also has its own complications. We may be doing some furniture swapping with one of the kids …

This week I cleared a lot of editing work that’s already been paid for. I also finished one book at the end of last week, and sent the invoice, and I’ve almost finished another that should be back with the client at the beginning of next week.

I have 2 articles with publications. One has been accepted, and will be paid for once it’s been published. The other they keep telling me they hope to include and will get back to me when they can. (Both were sent on spec, but both are simply that kind of submission that I just happened to be quite confident about.)

So, over the next 2 – 3 weeks I have the “little” book I’ve already started to edit plus another “little” one and then a “big” one. We’re also hoping another “big” comes in next week, giving me 2 of each. A week tomorrow, NaNoWriMo starts too, but I’m really going to have to do that after I’ve done the paid work. One day – one day – my writing will come first.

I think we’re staying in tonight, to conserve energy as much as cash as we’re off to Birmingham quite early in the morning. We have to be back by teatime as the poet has a gig tomorrow evening. On Sunday morning, the lady buying the other house is coming to have another look, and then Sunday teatime, the poet has another gig. He’s working down here on Monday (he has his second dental appointment then) and Tuesday, and going back to Scotland Wednesday morning. The dog is due back at the vet next Friday morning, and the poet will be back Friday teatime.

Maybe we’ll get next weekend off … Have a goodun.

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Looking forward to being able to walk around this whenever we want … (Picture: Diane Parkin)

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Diary of a scaredy cat, 22 October 2014

I’m still not on top of this writing lark, but I’m getting there. Things are still up in the air a bit, though, as yesterday we received an offer on the other house, which after some negotiation, we accepted. So now, on top of everything else, even though we have another item ticked off the list (hurrah!), we have packing to do. I still need to earn a living, though. So …

Last week was spent finishing one of the editing jobs I had in, and invoicing it (hurrah!). This week so far has been looking at the author/proofreader revisions and getting those sent back. There’s one I can’t do as there is one lot of feedback still to come in, but the other three are done and gone.

I have a new edit that I’m starting today, plus another that I need to start after this one. The 2nd of the Great War books hasn’t come in yet, but because I sent back 2 of the others, with revisions, I’ve been sent another. So that’s 3 books in to edit, and 1 book awaiting final author/proofreader revisions – but I can’t do anything about that one yet.

Next job today, after posting this blog, is updating the diary so I know when I’m doing what.

NaNoWriMo 2014
One of the books I started to read last week has already started to pay off. The legwork for NaNoWriMo has begun with me trying to plan using a series of scenes rather than chapters. The book planned is to be 80,000 words, and – according to the companion book I seem to be using more – that means roughly 80 scenes, each of approximately 1,000 words.

So far I’ve mapped out over 20 scenes for Part 1/Act 1/The Beginning Quarter, and I’ve started to map out scenes for Part 2/Act 2/The Bit In The Middle Half. This is helping me spot gaps in the plot as well as getting it all straight in my head.

There are 3 distinctly separate threads to this book – the main story, the sub plot and the present day part (its a historical) (and, before anyone dives on me, because I pronounce the “H” of historical, it is “a historical” and not “an ‘istorical”). There’s more meat and more interest with this present day aspect, and I’m itching to get on with it.

I can’t go to the kick-off party for NaNo this weekend, but I do hope to get to some of the Leeds write-ins at least.

Short writing work
With us moving to a country cottage/barn conversion in the next month or so, my head has been going bananas with ideas for articles, profiles and potential series set in and around the area. At some point I need to start writing these ideas down. But, at the moment, I’m enjoying the buzz.

But I still have a lot of work to do, so here’s another picture for your enjoyment.

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Another image from our new home, this time the neighbours. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

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Soon back to normal

There are only 2 more weeks, including this one, of disrupted living with the poet working up in Scotland. He’s shortening his weeks up there to 3 days, then he may just do an overnight the week after next. But there’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

On Friday we just chilled.

On Saturday we took the dog to see if he liked our new home. He loved bouncing through the fields in the long grass and we had a walk around the lake too.

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Sometimes it gets quite busy here … sometimes there might be as many as 3 fishermen … (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

We did some shopping, we half got ready to go out, then we supervised a viewing over at the other house.

On Saturday evening we finished getting ready and then went over to Sheffield to celebrate our friends’ wedding, who got married in Kos a few weeks ago. It really was like a who’s who of the local music scene at their party. We were able to put names to new faces of people we hadn’t yet met via the gig list, and – best of all – I was able to catch up with all of my lovely friends from my Bellhouse Road WMC days (before they closed it).

Sunday was supposed to be a chill day too, but son #1 was starting to get desperate for a half-decent telly, so we took one of our spares and the spare microwave over to his new house, had a look around, then drove him over to the poet’s parents. There he took the dog for a walk while we had something to eat. And then we dropped him back before going home ourselves.

On our way there we went back to the new house again to take some pictures, so we had something to show the family. And we timed how long the trip would take from there to poet’s son #1, poet’s daughter and poet’s parents. We also did the run from his usual work … that was down from 40 minutes to 4 minutes …

This morning I dropped him off at the station again before coming back and doing a load of online/IT stuff.

I have a new book to start editing this afternoon, and I want to grease the writing muscle some more. Once we do move, I’m already getting ideas for articles. It’s nice to see the freelance muscle doesn’t need that much oiling from that side of things.

What are you up to this week?

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Our new back yard …

On Wednesday we received the news that we’re able to move into our new home at the end of November. This means that, all of a sudden, we’re a helluva lot busier than we already have been of late, and we’re going to have a lot to pay out. This, of course, means that we need to preserve and collect as much dosh as we can whilst also packing boxes and bags and leaving this house as clean and tidy as the poet found it.

This will be the second time I’ve moved house in under 12 months. I’m not planning on moving again for a while. But at least it’s one thing ticked off the list of things to do.

Yesterday evening we had a viewer at the other house, and we have another tomorrow evening. If we get an offer over there, it means things are really starting to move or, as the poet says, the planets are aligning. But there’s a whole loft over there still that needs emptying. All of my old self-employment finance records are up there for a start, but a lot of it can be burned. I can’t leave it there, though.

This coming weekend we have relatively free time. It’s my dad’s birthday tomorrow, but as we had him last weekend and took him to Pickering, we won’t be going down. The poet initially had a gig booked anyway. That was subsequently cancelled, but swiftly replaced by a wedding I wanted to go to but couldn’t because he was working.

The poet’s #1 son was coming yesterday to collect some spare furniture for his new house, but his van driver let him down again. We’ve had to tell him now that by the end of November, the furniture needs to be gone as we won’t have access to the garage its all in any more.

We’ve had another fairly busy week. I shifted 3 jobs and most of a 4th for one client, so that meant working into the evening on a couple of occasions. The poet was still in Scotland – he only has 2 weeks left, and those are only part-weeks – but he’s not been very well at all with his asthma.

So we’re going to have some chill time this weekend, the wedding, some packing/clearing time and a visit to his parents in Doncaster.

I’ll leave you with a hint of the view we’ll be enjoying from our new home in just a few weeks. Enjoy.


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Diary of a scaredy cat, 15 October 2014

It’s been exactly 2 weeks since my last diary of a scaredy cat, and not a lot has changed since then.

This is mostly due to feeble excuses, but also due to ill health – with both of us – and lack of time. The poet is still working in Scotland, so I’ve been taking him to the station and picking him up again. We’ve both had “a bit of a throat” for the best part of a fortnight. I had to virtually frog-march him to the doctor. We’ve had company. We’ve had visiting to do. We’ve been viewing property or escorting viewers around property or entertaining workmen. And the poet has had 2 gigs too.

I’ve not managed the walks report even, due to no walk reports coming in. And blogging has been pretty sparse too.

Anyway, enough of excuses. Much of this is still going on, but I also need to earn money.


I currently have in 3 brand new books for editing. One is already started, one was sent to me in June but never arrived. I’m awaiting Book Two of one of the Great War books already in production. And I have in 4 books, all awaiting revision/checking.

This is my bread-and-butter day-job work.


National Novel Writing Month is just 2½ weeks away, so I’m now “in training”. I have the following books loaded onto my Kindle for support, advice, ideas and exercises. Click on the images to be taken to Amazon UK.

Are there any books or courses or websites that you use to help you write a book or a novel? Or do you just sit down, get on with it, and do it?

I’ll let you know how I get along with these. Also keep an eye on the sidebar, where there’s a new picture and a new word meter.

book in a month nail your novel novel in 6 months write a thon novel in 30 days

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40s weekend, Pickering

It’s my dad’s birthday this coming weekend and he’s always wanted to go to the 40s weekend at Pickering. So this year, we decided to take him. Mom was supposed to be coming too, but as she wasn’t really up to the trip, my sister stayed with her and my dad came to stay with us for a few days.

We picked Dad up Friday night, and headed off to Pickering first thing Saturday morning. There we had a wander round before jumping on a steam train to Goathland. We stopped for something to eat and then caught the steam train back.

Rufus didn’t like being cooped up on a train much, especially as he could see all of those fields through the window. But he was okay. We got back home exhausted but happy Saturday evening, having enjoyed a lovely day out.

Here are a few pictures, all taken by Ian Wordsworth.


GI-Phone …

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Dad loved the house and when we took him to see the one we hope to get, he fell in love with that one too.

Sadly, we had to take Dad home a day early as the poet hasn’t been very well. He (the poet) had quite a bad asthma attack that lasted for several days, so we got him to the doctor yesterday, and he’s had it confirmed – his asthma has worsened and it’s not going to get any better. At least he has more medication for it, though, so we should be able to control it more.

This morning as I was driving back from dropping him off at the railway station for another return visit to Scotland, I was chased by a client over a job he sent in June … Only I never received the job in June. Now this is going to be a bit of a rush job, but at least it’s a new job. That means I have enough to keep me going now for a few weeks, with 3 brand new edits and 4 lots of revisions on previous edits to crack on with.

I also have writing to do, with short material needing to go off to earn its keep and NaNoWriMo just around the corner. I’d best, er, crack on, then.

Enjoy the pictures. :-)

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Lots going on

We have an awful lot going on at the moment here in Baggins Bottom, and we seem to be chasing our own tails trying to keep up with everything. But we’re managing, and we know that all of the hard work will pay off in the end.

For example, we’re planning a wedding, and not in this country. We’re also planning the honeymoon – also not in this country. We’re selling a house, or renting if it it doesn’t shift. We’re looking for a new place to live of our own. We’re trying to encourage my parents to move somewhere more suitable, house-hunting for them, and we’re visiting them too – in Birmingham – and the poet’s parents, in Doncaster. My dad is coming for a visit for a few days while my sister stays with our mom. We’re taking him on a birthday celebration weekend, so we’re sorting that too. And Monkey Dust has been busy with gigs just recently as well.

And, of course, the poet is still working in Scotland. I’m still dropping him off and picking him up at/from the station. He’s still spending more time than he’d like away from home doing a job that wasn’t really his career choice and hoping it’s coming to an end in the next few weeks, when he’ll be working locally again. We’re also keeping the gig list going throughout all of this, which can be hard work too.

Neither of us is particularly very well at the moment either. We both have a bit of a throat, but he’s full of cold too. So that’s not helping at all.

BUT, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re so going to enjoy it when it finally gets here.

Aside from all of this, and keeping a 3-storey house running, I also have work too. And I need to be shifting that quickly so that we can pay for all of the stuff mentioned above.

I think we deserve a very nice holiday at the end of it all, but I need to crack on. It’s already dinner time (lunch time) and I don’t seem to have done anything at all, and I have 2 books in to edit and quite a few author/proofreader revisions on books already edited.

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Diary of a scaredy cat, 1 October 2014

I was so disappointed with my lack of writerly progress last week on my own stuff, that I immediately pulled out some of the stops. And I managed to do some writing work every week day. In between, or actually around about, I also shifted some day job work.

Editing work
Most of last week was spent doing the hard copy edits on the 95,000-word historical novel. On Thursday I also had a chat with lovely already boss, and he immediately sent me 2 new jobs to keep me going until his next big one came in.

Last Thursday I pitched for 13 editing or proofreading jobs, and I decided that any job that came in under $50 would be rejected (by me). My minimum rate in the UK is already £50 (apx $80), and the job board work also includes fees and conversion costs. This was initially $30, but it’s just not worth the time to me. I don’t think it will be long before I’m raising it again to $100.

This week I completed the electronic edits on the historical novel and sent it back to the client at 10:20pm last night. Today I print off the first of the 2 new jobs and start the hard copy edits on that one.

Baggins Bottom Best Bits Book One (BBBBB1) ebook
I revisited the Word file of this with a view to strip out all of the formatting so I can start to ebook-ise it. I was delighted to see that I’d already gifted my future self with this job, and it’s already ready for me to start work.

I’ve downloaded the formatting guides for ebooks to my Kindle and have been reading up on that.

Baggins Bottom Best Bits Book Two (BBBBB2)
Last Wednesday afternoon, after my disastrous, non-existent writing progress report, I copied the initial material from the blog into a new Word file and removed all of 2006 from public viewing. I have a lot of editing to do, but it currently sits at 109,378 words, and the first one was just under 43,000 words.

Once I’ve decided what I’m keeping, I shall gift my future self once again with a stripped out raw copy of this file, so when I’m ready to take it to ebook, it’s also ready to go.

Catch the Rainbow
I do keep stalling on this one, and when I realised that once the bombing was out of the way this was just going to be a bit pastoral, I vowed to just do it, get on with it, and play with it once I had a completed product. This week, however, I had a bit of a brain murmur, and I think I now know how to add that extra spark(le). I’ve been discussing it with the poet, and he thinks I’ve come up with a good idea.

So the next few weeks will be spent reading how other authors have tackled what I want to do, and finding out where I need to go for the additional research. I’m not going to do any more research before I actually start. As with Night Crawler, I think I’ll just write the first draft, and then see where the research gaps are, and fine tune it then.

The Beast Within
Some of the foundations for Catch the Rainbow will be set down in The Beast Within, despite the former taking place more than 30 years before the latter. But the idea I’ve come up with for CTR will also provide meat for TBW, so I’m hoping the two complement each other as I work on them side-by-side.

Short writing work
On Monday I polished the final draft of a short filler and sent it off to the Guardian. On Tuesday I wrote the weekly walks report and sent it off to 6 local newspapers.

Publicity and marketing
Last Thursday I spent time creating a new page on the blog devoted to books I’ve worked on other than for Pen & Sword. You can see that page here and I’ll be adding to it just as soon as I have time to hunt down where the books can be bought. I also added a few more books to the Pen & Sword page, which you can see here.

Everything else
On Friday, I republished 2 books to Smashwords as my exclusivity to Kindle is coming to an end. You can see my Smashwords page here.

I’ve also started a new book, which is another collation, this time of published fillers and RTEs all relating to my Memories of a 70s Child, possibly with a few extras that haven’t been published. At the moment, this book stands at 3,563 words, so still a way to go on that one.

There, now. Isn’t that a bit better? :-)

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Hectic times

We’re having a very busy life here in Baggins Bottom. Both of us have been busy one way or the other, with the poet on his way to Scotland again this morning.

He started to feel better on Friday after a good rest and some medication. Thanks to everyone who sent him good wishes. He was able to come out with me for an hour, and then he had a gig Friday night in Doncaster, which went very well considering.

On Saturday we drove down to Birmingham as we were taking Mom and Dad out to see something. They seemed to like what they saw, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that they’re able to do something about it.

On Saturday evening we had another gig. this time more locally. A few of our friends came to this one and we had a good time.

On Sunday we treated ourselves to brunch out and did some shopping. Once that was put away, the poet relaxed some more on the settee, and I finished off some loose ends with work. He even cooked us a nice lamb dinner.

I finished all of the hard copy edits on the historical novel and today I hope to clear the electronic edits. Then I start the first of a new hard copy edit for the next historical non-fiction on the list.

Other jobs this week include the usual boot camp, which from Wednesday will include practice for NaNoWriMo 2014. Now I’ve got into the swing of allocating 2 hours per day to my own writing, I hope I have a more successful challenge than in previous years. I think I’m going to work on Catch the Rainbow.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the poll 2 weeks ago. The general consensus (87.5%) is that I leave everything exactly as it is with a couple of comments that maybe I could make the pictures smaller or provide a link, and maybe have different topics each day. There was 1 vote for less frequency of posts, and 1 vote for less personal posts. I think I’m going to stick to 3 posts per week, though, as that’s a nice rhythm and fits in with other regular chores. I’ll see what I can do about making them a little less personal.

Mondays, then, will be a roundup of the weekend and the week ahead. Wednesdays will be diary of a scaredy cat, with writing updates. Fridays will be a roundup of the week and the weekend ahead. During mammoth writing marathons, however, such as NaNoWriMo, I’ll try to post the little man with the latest word count. If you like him, please visit Writertopia to see if you’d like one too.

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Massive kick up the bum

After writing my diary of a scaredy cat on Wednesday, I was so disappointed that I’d made hardly any progress on my own work, that I gave myself a massive kick up the bum. And, as a result, this week has been very busy.

I’ve been working on Baggins Bottom Best Bits Book 2 as well as looking at the electronic file for Baggins Bottom Best Bits Book 1. I’ve been upping the marketing and self-promotion as well as beavering away at the paid bread and butter work already in. And I’ve been brushing up on my ebook formatting skills.

I’ve added a new book page to the blog, and updated the existing P&S page. I’ve changed the prices on my ebooks and republished them on Smashwords, to find there are a few sales in there I’ve not received royalties for yet. Here’s my Smashwords profile page.

Yesterday too, after a nice chat with lovely already boss, I have some new work in to start as soon as the current work is finished.

Also yesterday I changed the job-board surfing to just 2 slots per week instead of 1 slot per day, I pitched for 13 editing or proofreading jobs, and I raised my minimum rate threshold.

I feel so much better for sorting all of that and finally getting my finger out.

Today I have a poorly poet at home. He ate something dodgy on the train yesterday coming home and was up for most of the night. He’s not gone into work this morning, choosing instead to work from home, and is off to the doctor this afternoon.

NaNoWriMo starts again soon, so I’ll be preparing for that over the next few days.

What are you up to this weekend?

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Diary of a scaredy cat, 24 September 2014

It’s been an interesting and busy week here in Baggins Bottom since my last “diary” post (last Tuesday). I’ve not done as much as I’d like on the big stuff, but I am starting to get into a rhythm.

I’ve had a big job I’ve been wanting out of the way so the new regime can begin. That’s what I spent most of last week doing – and completing. (Hurrah!) And invoicing. (Hurrah!)

On Monday I printed off the next big job, a 95,000-word historical novel, and that’s what I’ve been working on this week. This is a lovely book that I’m also reading in my spare time (editing pen in hand, of course). I love it when I get a job like that. It’s one of my favourite eras too, and one I’m fast becoming an expert in. (Tudor England.)

I’ve also been in discussion with lovely already boss who is waiting for another biggie for me to come in, but is meanwhile looking for something else I can get on with once this novel’s done.

This week I logged back onto the job board I’m a member of, and on Tuesday I pegged 21 jobs I may pitch for later in the week, if they’re still there. Some will go and new ones will appear. But 21 is a good starting point, I think.

Short writing work
There has been hardly anything done on this all week, but on Monday I wrote 300 words for a friend’s interview in a writing magazine, and on Tuesday I wrote a 180-word walks report and got it submitted to 6 local newspapers.

I also wrote a 928-word blog, which included a review of the weekend’s entertainment.

We Also Served
Last week I asked my cousin to ask his dad (my mom’s cousin’s widower) if he’d like to take part in the National Service book. He said he’d ask, but he hasn’t come back to me yet, so either his dad isn’t keen, or it’s slipped his mind. I’ll check in with my cousin later in the week.

Personal development
Yesterday evening I took part in my first ever live webinar. I had no idea how one worked, and though I registered, I wasn’t guaranteed a space unless I was one of the first 1,000 to log in.

The webinar was run by Writers’ Digest, so I thought it would be bona fide. And I really enjoyed it. It was about copywriting, something I’ve read several books on but it’s never really clicked. It’s clicked now, though, and the cogs are turning at the back of my mind.

The only other personal development I’ve considered recently has been learning shorthand. I have the book (Teeline for Journalists), I have the CD, and I have the sound files on my MP3 player. I’d love to allocate an hour a day to that, but it’s not been possible.

Everything else
Everything else has, sadly, been neglected. I’ve done nothing on any of the novels, I’ve not done anything extra for the second short story anthology, and I’ve done nothing about the blog collections.

The Plan
The big plan, therefore, is to crack on and start being strict with my time slots.

Today, for example, I have a slot for the daily competition entries, a slot for the blog (TICK), I have a slot for PC maintenance (that may not get done until next week), I have a slot for my writing boot camp (which will probably be a short story), and I have a slot for the current editing (which will probably run into the evening again).

I’ve also already written 600 words for the blog, so I’m going to call it a day for today. :-)

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