Not a do diddle day today

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Today would normally be a do diddle day and this would normally be the picture that accompanied the do diddle day. However, this month’s do diddle day is going to be on Friday, and we’re doing diddley squat together after having 2 quite busy weekends on the trot. But I like this picture so much I thought I’d use it today anyway. It was taken at one of my favourite places, Whitby, and it’s on the current calendar for November.

I don’t think I’m doing a calendar for next year. I don’t have enough new images, although I do have quite a few I didn’t use this year. But by the time the manufacturing costs have been totted up I think they’re too expensive. There are cheaper alternatives, but I need to spend time checking those out before utilising them. So there won’t be a calendar next year.

It doesn’t look as though I’m going to complete NaNoWriMo again. I got too far behind again too soon and the story just wasn’t working for me. I need to start something totally fresh so that I’m excited about it, and I need to put in the planning time.

In April I very successfully completed 30,000 words in 30 days and I earned an extra £325 for my efforts. I think I’m more likely to just give that a go again and be more successful.

December is going to be a very short month with almost a fortnight off over the festive period. But I have to get into the swing of writing something for me for my first work slot of the day, and I also have to discipline myself to get the paid work shifted in time too so that there’s a steady flow of income throughout the month.

Looking ahead (already) 2014 is going to be another good year for me, an exciting year with one or two changes. The last time I knew I was going to have a good year, it turned out to be an excellent year, so I’m optimistic for 2014. This means I’ll be working on my goals and targets over the next few weeks so that I can post them at the start of January.

I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown, and the summary of 2013 will also be slightly more interesting than usual. I’ll work on the review so that it can be posted at the end of December.

I’ve been asked for more lists, so during December I’ll revive those. It seems that quite a few readers are quite inspired by my lists whereas only a few feel a bit daunted by them. So, watch out for more lists and list alerts.

Last weekend was busy with a visitor and a gig on Saturday and a run to Birmingham and another gig on Sunday. This week I have 2 books to shift and I’m waiting for at least another to get started on. I’ve done this week’s walks report, I have the job boards to surf, and I have the gig list for December to upload.

It’s still a short week, though, with a do diddle day on Friday, so I’d best crack on.

Catch up

This week has mostly been about catching up after having to restore the factory settings on my pc the other week. Fortunately I’d done most of the hard copy work, but some of the recent electronic work had been lost in the system restore. All of that work has now been caught up on and I’m taking new work in again and pitching for jobs.

I’ve caught up with the walks report, which was several weeks’ worth, got that written and submitted to 6 local newspapers. I also had to sort out 2 photographs with captions/credits and I’m hoping the 2 newspapers who have asked for them will both use a different picture.

I managed to keep on top of the gig list, although I didn’t update that until yesterday. Gigs are now coming in for December so that will be my big job on there next week – uploading December.

Altogether I’ve pitched for 14 editing or proofreading jobs this week and 1 writing job. I’ll also have shifted 2 books by the end of today and let lovely already boss know I’m now up to date and ready for more books to edit.

The blog only got posted on Monday (and today), but that’s mainly because I didn’t have the laptop switched on. Much of Wednesday was spent completing forms I’ve already completed but that have been lost at the other end. I hope they don’t get lost again, it takes a lot of time and I don’t get paid for that.

Today, then, I’m finalising the electronic edits on those books and getting them sent back to the respective authors and off to typesetting.

We’re having a lazy evening tonight, entertaining tomorrow afternoon, we have a gig tomorrow night, and we’re off to Brum on Sunday to see the parents.

Have a great weekend.

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Crazy weekend

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This is one of my favourite pictures of Tinker and Holly. I often wonder where Tinker went that day she walked away and never come back. But I have my suspicions. I stumbled across this picture this morning and decided to share it for those who remember when she disappeared. She was a lovely cat.

We had a terrific weekend, crazy but lovely.

On Friday we had a fantastic gig in Doncaster. The band played really well and there was a great atmosphere. It was a very late night, though, as they didn’t finish packing down until 2am. But it was a goodun.

On Saturday I made it to the Leeds write-in to join in with this November’s NaNoWriMo. I met a few new people and it was nice to see some old faces. And I got a few words written too. While I was NaNo-ing, the poet and Rufus were having a wonderful time walking and watching telly and chomping chews … the latter being the dog rather than the man … Saturday evening we were visiting and shopping, and finally arrived home at 9pm.

I went to Leeds on the train from a different railway station. The ticket is cheaper, by about £2, and the journey is slightly slower, with just one train an hour, but the station is closer to the house and I was able to cadge a lift. When we got there we were surprised to see the once-vacant and derelict railway buildings back in use. I did a bit of research and discovered that a café has been allowed to lease the buildings and I thought that was a great idea. All unmanned stations should consider doing that.

On Sunday, the poet went fishing – and came third, well done, sweetheart 🙂  – and I had a really lazy day catching up on sleep (I did quite a lot of overtime last week) and recorded television. Then on Sunday evening we went out to see a new band for both of us, but made it home again by 9pm.

Today I’ve started the week afresh and tried to do everything scheduled in the diary. On Friday I started to surf the job boards again, rewrote my blurb and pitched for 14 jobs. Today I pitched for a further 6 jobs, and I’ve already written the walks report, which was lagging behind due to me being without computer or internet.

I have 2 books to edit, both non-fictions, and I’m in correspondence with the author of the historical fiction I filed last week.

I have a full working week this week so intend to get a lot shifted. I’d best get on …

Things can only get better

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Deer at Calke Abbey park, August 2008. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

After the week I had last week, things really could only get better. And, so far, they do seem to have done just that.

I did think it would be quite simple once I’d restored factory settings to the pc and then uploaded my critical data again. But I’ve also had to install all of my programs again plus printer drivers (and other so-called plug-in-and-play hardware), and, as it happened, both internet browsers. And then my webmail wouldn’t let me in on the pc, though it would let me in on the mobile phone, so I had to sort that as well.

BUT … it’s all done now and everything seems to be running properly and quickly again – touch wood.

I’m still incredibly busy. I’ve had to catch up on all the online and electronic work I couldn’t do, and some of it I had to do again as the latest versions had simply got lost. But I have good support now, i.e. someone to cook tea and see to the animals if I’m working, so I’m getting there.

This week, then, so far, I’ve delivered 2 books, either in their entirety or bits I still had to do. The fiction is with the author, to answer questions and check copy; the non-fiction has been picked up by the client for the last few little bits, but I will see the final pdf for signing off.

I have another non-fiction I need to submit once I’ve done the author amendments and two more that I’ve already started.

I’ve also updated the gig list this week, but I’ve not been on the job boards and I’ve only managed a couple of days on NaNoWriMo. This will change today, though, as I really, really am itching to do some writing, and I’m definitely off to the NaNo write-in in Leeds on Saturday. We also have a gig on Friday night and possible visiting and walking to do over the weekend if we can fit it in.

I don’t think I’ll be on here again before the weekend, so have a good one, and hopefully all will be back on track by next Monday.

Today’s picture was taken a few years ago when I visited Calke Abbey. I think we need to go again and take the dog this time. 🙂

A mare of a week

I have had a mare of a week. Best laid plans and all of that have all been taken over by work, bureaucracy, technology.

Last Friday I should have started NaNoWriMo but instead I got embroiled in workload and ran out of time. We also had a lovely wedding to go to and that took up much of the day.

On Saturday I should have gone to the first NaNo write-in for November 2013 in Leeds, but I totally forgot about it. NaNoWriMo 2013, therefore, still has yet to start for me, mostly because I’ve been trying to do one job that should only take a few days and has actually taken all week.

On Tuesday, an eco-exhibition took out most of the day, but it gave me a chance to practice a little networking, and I got to see the poet during a school day. 😉

I’ve been on the phone to every single nincompoop on the planet who have been asking for forms I’ve already sent or asking me to do things I’ve already done or insisting I pay things I’ve already paid.

And finally, the cherry on the cake was when my internet fell over – again.

I was on the phone to my supplier faster than a fast thing having a right go at them – again. And after several hours, 2 phone calls, being cut off once, and arguing with the script-reading idiot at the other end that no, I really didn’t have the button they were insisting I press, it turned out it wasn’t them!

Oh dear.

Still, at least it gave me the chance to set up my new broadband router …

It turned out my laptop had totally lost its internet connection ability. I couldn’t work out what was wrong, and when I tried to do a system restore, a massive malware thing popped up, blocked it, and stopped me doing any further system restores.

There was nothing for it, I had to do a factory reset … (gulp!)

Cue several hours of backing up critical data – I don’t have a memory stick big enough to do a full backup, but so long as my data is there I don’t care about that – and then the major, major trauma of doing the full factory reset.

It was scary, but I made it through … and now I have a nice, shiny clean laptop again … with hardly anything on it.

I installed a new virus checker and the first thing it clanged bells over was a bagel worm instantly zapped.

Once all of that was done, I started to re-install Office and various browsers (I use Chrome but like Explorer for backup) and today my Chrome fell over and I had to re-install that!

I also had to get onto various clients to let them know that while the work has been done, or is being done, I couldn’t email anything to anyone and I couldn’t work remotely with one of them. They were very understanding and said it was okay to invoice anyway, hard copy (hurrah!), and to let them know as soon as I’m back up and running.

Well, I’m back up and running now and I’m very, very busy.

Aside from all of the above, plus the gig list that I’ve already done, I still have the following to catch up on:

  • a historical novel to complete the electronic edits on, send to the author, and upload to the FTP
  • one non-fiction to cross-check the index and add a few missing details to (dedication page, couple of picture captions)
  • author revisions on another non-fiction, then get that sent for typesetting
  • two more non-fictions to print off and start editing
  • an article to write and pictures to source
  • NaNoWriMo x 8 days to catch up on …
  • job boards to surf and jobs to bid for

I’d best crack on …

It’s Armistice Day on Sunday. Enjoy the poppies. This is a picture I’ve had on my hard drive for a very long time and I have no idea where it came from. If you recognise it, please let me know so I can contact the copyright owner. Thank you.

flanders poppy