Busy month ahead

We had another very busy weekend with 3 birthdays, 2 guests and 1 meal out all celebrated Friday night. We also visited parents in Doncaster twice, went shopping twice, went to 1 gig, and visited parents in Solihull. (Dad says it’s not Birmingham, which it isn’t, so …)

It was quite the mad rush as we had to tidy the house a bit on Friday and sort out additional sleeping arrangements before even going to collect 2 of the poet’s kids. We saw the third while at his parents, and his grandaughter, and took one of them to the station on Saturday to meet his girlfriend. We had a very nice meal and I got to bring home giant cake, so I was very happy. They also put some gammon into a doggy bag for us to bring back for Rufus. He enjoyed that.

On Saturday, when we got the day to ourselves back (at about 3pm), we did a little more shopping, this time for the cats, and we had a chill night in front of the telly, which was lovely.

P1020451Sunday was a very early start for us as the poet was accompanying my dad to the national service memorial day celebrations at the national arboretum in Alrewas. Ian wanted to have a look around and take some pictures before the service, as it was his first time there. Then they took their places in the VIP seats right beside the national servicemen’s memorial.

We haven’t collected the pictures from his camera yet, but here’s one that I took when I was there in June 2011. The wreath says “We Also Served”.

I had a few hours with my mom, then we collected a Chinese on our way home and had another chill evening.

This morning, before going back to work, we moved the spare “bed” out of Abbey Road again, so that I could get to my desk and work.

Today I have electronic edits to finalise, then I hope to start a new proofreading job in the next few days and a new editing job. My old diary finishes today, so tomorrow I’ll be starting a shiny new one.

Tomorrow also sees the start of Camp NaNo (July 2014) – and I’m ready.

We have a very busy month ahead as we’re off on our holidays right in the middle of it. We have lots to do before then too.

Who remembers this little guy?

Well, he’s gonna be back over the next 31 days, so keep an eye out for him. 🙂

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We have guests

On Wednesday I started to think about how to make Camp NaNo (July 2014) work for me and I began by selecting one of my daily writing prompt books, Four Seasons of Creative Writing. Since then I’ve selected and bought a few magazines that publish fiction specials, to get a feel for what they’re using right now, and I’ve decided my target month.

Because this is happening in July, advance 6 months to January and that’s what most magazine writers will be thinking about – article and short story/serial writers. So my four seasons of creative writing will start in the winter.

I’m usually a planner. I usually start with a theme or an idea or a topical event, then come up with the title, then think of the storyline, and then think of characters to people my stories. And I plan the story, beginning, middle and end. Lots of other writers start with the character. I’ve tried that, but I really need to use all of the above.

But this time, in the spirit of NaNo, I’m going to write by the seat of my pants – be a pantster. I’m going to see if I can come up with around 1,000 words a day, or write for an hour, whichever is sooner – and I can often write 1,000 words in an hour if I’m on a roll. And, technically, that’s 31 x 1,000-word 1st draft stories for January.

However, we do have a holiday in the middle of July. We’re off to Dent again. But because my Four Seasons books is on Kindle, I just need that and my notepad and pen. And on Wednesday I treated myself to a lovely new notepad … well, the poet treated me to it. 🙂

One of the many beauties of Dent (and there are very many) is that I can’t get a mobile signal on my phone. That means I’ll have no pesky internet to distract me from the matter in hand. And, if the poet’s happy, I’ll still try and do my 1,000 words/1 hour a day. So not only will there be lovely pictures to share on the other side of Dent, there will also be a report on how my NaNo has gone. And, because we’re on holiday, it might also feel like a real camp.

It was always my intention to write short stories for magazines and to graduate onto writing serials and then full-length books. However, I found very early on that not only is there a (much!) bigger market for non-fiction in magazines, but I was also quite good at it. And that’s how my writing career progressed – and from there to sub- and then copy-editing and proofreading.

So July will be all about getting back onto that original treadmill and seeing how I get along. No fillers, no articles, no reader’s letters, no novels. Just short stories. Keep everything crossed for me.

Since Wednesday I started the electronic edits on the current non-fiction. A new one came in this week and I already had another one to start. This morning, the novel I’m proofreading also arrived. I’ve pitched for 7 new editing or proofreading jobs already this week and will see if there are any new ones today to go for. And I’ve chased an invoice that’s now overdue.

Today I’ll be doing more of the same until the poet arrives home. Then we’re tidying the house and off to do a bit of shopping ahead of visitors arriving this evening. He has 3 kids and 2 of them (twins) have birthdays today – they’re 25. The other is 29 on Monday. So we’re taking them for a birthday meal this evening for 2 of them (and partner if she makes it), and at least 2 will be staying over. The other one can’t make it so we’re treating her a different way.

I don’t know yet what we’re doing tomorrow, or how long the kids are staying, but Sunday the poet and I are off to my parents as he’s accompanying my dad to the national arboretum in Alrewas, and I’ll be keeping my mom company.

Y’all have a great weekend.

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Happily busy

So last week I disappeared beneath a pile of editing. The pile is starting to go down, but I’m – actually – very happily busy.

I’ve been doing the manual edits on a big non-fiction for a few days, and I took a couple of days off from that last week to pursue other things. The manual edits are now finished, however, and I’ve already started the electronic edits.

Late last week I was asked by a FB friend if I’d like to quote for a proofreading job. So I did, the information was passed on to his client, and his client accepted. I’m expecting this novel to come in over the next few days and I promised to turn it around quite quickly.

I have 2 new non-fiction edits to start and 2 lots of author/proofreader revisions to do. But this week I also finalised the last of the historical novels I’ve edited.

The weekend was as busy as ever, with a gig in Doncaster Saturday night and fishing all day Sunday (the poet, not me). Friday was a chill evening, and Sunday night we went to the pictures to see X-Men 7: Days of Future Past. That was a nice treat and we also had a meal beforehand.

4 seasonsNext week, Camp NaNo starts again, for July. I’ve already started my diary for July – it’s a brand new academic-year diary – and Camp NaNo gets an hour a working day, at least. Here’s my profile.

This is the book I’ll be using. It’s currently free on Kindle, but if it’s any good I may buy the paperback version for the bookshelf.

I may also consider working on Catch the Rainbow, but I feel as if my writing muscle needs exercising and I’d like to complete some short works and get those out in circulation. I’ll see how it goes.

Over the next few days I’ll be browsing the book on my Kindle and getting prepared. I’ll let you know how I’m getting along on Friday.

Flying midweek visit

Since Monday I’ve been working on a new edit. It’s quite a big edit and more than twice as long as these books in this series usually are. In fact, it was more than 4 times as long, but the book has been split into 2 projects. And I’m working on the first this week.

I also have revisions to look at on other books, and a layout to check on the last historical fiction I edited.

So I’ve been a bit tied up doing that.

I’ve been keeping half an eye on the job boards and I saved a few to bid for this morning. Six of them made it through to pitch stage, and those have already gone off.

Yesterday I wrote the walks report, which was more than 300 words this time, and I submitted it to 7 different local newspapers. I think I’m handing this job over in October at the AGM, to someone else who actually attends the walks. I’ve enjoyed doing it, though. It’s exercised my writing muscle most weeks when I’ve been busy editing or proofreading, and it’s kept me in touch with the local newspapers.

I’m ready to start a programme of proper paid writing now, though, and I’m also very busy with the books I’m editing.

In between work I’ve been doing household chores, such as washing and filling/emptying the dishwasher. I don’t think people realise what a chore the dishwasher actually is – you have to fill it, set it, wait for it to finish, empty it, put the crocks away, and then start all over again. Very chore-like.

This morning as well I’ve had to snip away at some of the jungle beneath the washing line, so I can hang washing out. So now I can add gardening to my list of chores. 😉

And yesterday I had to get my own tea! How shocking is that? He’s abandoning me again tomorrow so I’ll have to get my own tea then too.

Here, then, are a few more pictures from Sprotbrough Flash last week to keep you entertained.

Sprotbrough Canal. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
Sprotbrough Canal. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
Sprotbrough Falls.  (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
Sprotbrough Falls. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
Ian. (Pic: Diane Parkin)
Ian. (Pic: Diane Parkin)
River Don. (Pic: Diane Parkin)
River Don. (Pic: Diane Parkin)
Old workings alongside River Don. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
Old workings alongside River Don. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
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Lord Rufus and Diane. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)

Enjoy. 🙂

Lovely few days

We’ve been very lucky and had a lovely few days.

On Thursday evening the weather was so nice the poet decided we were going to spend it out. So we packed a picnic and drove over to Sprotbrough Flash near Doncaster. We had a lovely walk along the canal and then the river to the A1(M) and back. The dog chewed through his lead (leash) – that’s another “indestructible” lead – while we ate our picnic, so we had to do a quick repair. But apart from that we had a lovely evening.

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Sprotbrough Canal. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
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Sprotbrough Flash. (Pic: Diane Parkin)
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A1(M) Sprotbrough Flash. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)

On the way home we caught sight of a swan family we’ve been watching on a lake near home. So we pulled up to take a closer look.

Everybody say ahhh …

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Swans with young, on a lake somewhere near Hemsworth. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)

Friday was very busy. I shifted 3 jobs totalling 404 pages, and the pile went down considerably. But I was tired by the end of the day.

I’d forgotten we were going to Sheffield Friday night to see one of our friends in his band, The Strikes, and one of the poet’s band mate’s sons in his band, Bang Bang Romeo. We drove to Meadowhall and caught the train in. The venue, Maida Vale, was very new. When the bands arrived at teatime, they were still unpacking it. But it was a successful opening night and we came away having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The poet was supposed to be going fishing on Saturday but it was cancelled. We nipped out for some breakfast and noticed they were having a 1980s concert at Nostell Priory later, near Wakefield. Tickets were still available on the door, so we went and did what we had to, walked the dog around Howell Wood, and then spent a beautiful evening in beautiful surroundings, being taken right back to the 80s.

We saw Doctor and the Medics, T’Pau, Go West, Heaven 17, Jason Donavon, Heather Small and UB40. And all in a very civilised manner too, with yet another picnic.

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The poet at Nostell Priory. (Pic: Diane Parkin)
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Go West. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
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Heaven 17. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
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Heather Small. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
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The Doctor (of the Medics). (Pic: Diane Parkin)
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Very civilised. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)

We got back home in time to watch the England football game, then it was off to bed for an earlyish start the next day … only we slept in.

It was father’s day, so we went to see my parents first and dropped in to the poet’s parents on the way back where he also had chance to catch up with his daughter and grandaughter, and he had a nice chat with son no 2 on the way.

Unfortunately we got back too late to do anything else, so we slobbed on the settee in front of a couple of films (The Deadly Game, but with a different title on IMDB, and The Wolverine), and had an early night.

This week I’m very busy again. I have a brand new edit in that’s going to take the whole week. So that’s all from me for now.

Enjoy the pictures. 🙂

Yet more busyness

I’ve had some work come in this week, and I have older work awaiting revision review. So yesterday I sat back to consolidate, print out and organise the workload.

And my current editing WiP consists of 7 books altogether.

  • 1 new short edit
  • electronic edits on existing non-fiction #1
  • layout checks on historical fiction
  • 2 new non-fictions to edit
  • and 2 non-fictions to collate author/proofreader revisions

And that’s just the editing.

Yesterday I used more than a ream of paper printing it all out, and the best part of a printer cartridge – I never proclaim to have a paper-free office. It’s the work I do, and the clue’s in the editing books part. They consist of paper.

The new short edit is one I pitched for and won on Wednesday. I also fired off an unsolicited application to that ebook publisher and they replied last night that they’d be in touch in a couple of weeks. This is better than a thanks-but-no-thanks at this stage so I remain optimistic.

This morning already I’ve done the short edit and sent it back to the client, and I’ve done the fiction layout and sent comments back to the client. I’m currently in the midst of those electronic edits but I’ve cleared more than 300 pages today.

I’d like to finish the current electronic edits by the end of today and then be ready to start one of the new edits. If I can do that, I have 3 invoices to raise.

I don’t know what we’re doing tonight but we could do with going shopping. It’s a fishing day tomorrow and I haven’t decided what to do. I can’t go to a write-in as the dog will be too long on his own. So I may work, I may bake, I may read, I may take the dog for a big walk, or I may go to the pictures. Or, I may do diddley squat.

On Sunday we’re visiting both lots of parents while also hoping to get back in good time for an annual fund-raising outdoor festival.

So I’d best crack on.

What are you up to this weekend? Whatever it is, have a goodun.

Hump day holler

So how’s this week going for you?

I’ve been busy getting work in again while also trying to keep on top of mundane things like washing.

I’ve pitched for 17 jobs this week, including one that was invited for and one outside of the job boards. And I won one so far. I also have revisions to do on existing work plus a new edit to start.

Writing-wise, I haven’t done much this week, as I’ve been doing other stuff, admin stuff. But I did do the walks report and get it sent off to 6 local newspapers.

The weather’s been very hit-and-miss, but I have managed to get washing dry and the dog has been walked.

And that’s it. More of the same for me this week, and probably into the weekend too.

See you Friday.

Finally spotted the ISS

We’ve had another very busy weekend.

On Friday I went and got petrol and pet food. I was going to get 2 bags of dog food, but they’ve put the price up by £2 (more than $3) for a 2kg bag and I  only had enough cash on me to buy them at the old price. So I bought a bag of dog food and a bag of cat food, which is cheaper, but was more than a bit disgruntled as that’s quite a hike in price. I won’t be going out of my way there again as there’s no saving now and petrol isn’t free.

We went out Friday night to see a new band to us, The Supermodels, and we thoroughly enjoyed them. There were 6 of them on stage, plus a sound man, and it’s a very tiny stage. Musically and vocally they were perfect, and that many musicians creates a superb wall of sound.

On Saturday we did a big shop and took the dog for a walk around Phoenix Park in Thurnscoe, one of the pit villages we live near. Then Monkey Dust were on in York and we had to head off quite early to get there. It was a nice club, Acorn Rugby Club in Acomb, clean, tidy, nice toilets, etc, and a good springy stage. The band were received well and the pop was cheap.

On Sunday we headed off to see my parents, and on the way home we dropped into Elsecar Heritage Centre for a picnic. It was pouring with rain, though we missed the thunder and lightning, but it was nice to eat our sandwiches surrounded by a pleasant landscape. When we got home we had time for a quick change, and then it was off to see an old favourite band of both of ours, Here’s Jonny.

We had a lot of fun and were still home in time to see the International Space Station – can you see it? 🙂

Picture of the ISS over Pontefract, nicked from the poet. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Picture of the ISS over Pontefract, nicked from the poet. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

This is the first time I’ve ever actually seen it as I always keep missing it. I thought it would be bigger, but hey. 🙂

And so to today.

I was promised nice weather and had planned to catch up on some washing, but it’s raining here, the cats have just come running in, and Rufus is barking at a shouty sky. So instead, I’d best do some work.

I have electronic edits to do on a non-fiction, a press release to proofread, and I want to kickstart the short freelance writing. I heard that an ebook publisher is looking for editors, so have been in touch with them. I don’t expect they pay very much, but if you don’t ask … I emptied a box of books, mostly into the bookcase, but into the charity box as well. I also want to check the job boards and have a look at the daily competitions.

And it’s already almost midday.