Close down

Well, it didn’t get any less busy and it doesn’t look as though I’ll finish NaNo, but at least we’re finally moving house this coming Friday, so at least that’s another thing ticked of the massive to-do list.

We’re still moving 2 houses really, as the last house hasn’t properly been unpacked. And there’s still stuff over there in the loft that needs collecting. That’ll be a messy job. We also have spare furniture still to give away. And, of course, there’s all the paperwork and admin needed to sell a house, move from a different house and move into a new house.

We’re also moving an office, and a music studio. The studio was packed up last night; the office will be in boxes by this evening.

Unfortunately, the poet has managed to trap his sciatica nerve again (we think). This usually happens at a gig where he’s lifting heavy speakers and other gear. This time it happened while he was packing to come home from Scotland, and he’s still in a lot of pain and can hardly move. So, whereas we were going to hire a van and have help from his 2 sons, we’ve now decided to hire some commercial help. We’ll still need the 2 lads to help with lifting, though, so I hope they’re both still coming.

I’ve cleared the bulk of my work, submitted it, invoiced it and been paid. (Hurrah!)  But I am in the middle of a hard copy edit and I do have some author/proofreader revisions to turn around. I’m doing those today and I’ll continue with the hard copy edit where I can. We’ve been promised broadband and telephone by Monday, so hopefully the hard copy edit will be ready to go back to the author soon afterwards.

After the move, I already have in a 78,000-word edit and 3 x 30,000-word edits. PLUS we’re still awaiting an 80,000-word sequel. That should keep me busy until Christmas. 🙂

Once we move and have settled, I will also be picking my NaNo project back up. I’ve managed around 22,000 words, which is 22,000 more than I had at the beginning of November, and I want to crack on with the first draft. And then I want to have a bash at a run of short material. I submitted a filler on Monday and am waiting to hear if that’s been successful. It will be a nice kick-start if it is.

The office, then, will be closed from this evening until next Thursday morning, 4 December. Next time you see me, we’ll be safely installed in the new house.

Have a great week.

new house 19
From Friday this will be yards from our front door.


NaNoWriMo 2014 Day Fifteen – Sixteen

In only 11 days we move house. I’ve been doing loads and loads and loads and loads of washing which has, sort of, been killing 2 birds with 1 stone: firstly, the majority of stuff that goes with us will be clean and ready to use/wear; secondly, we’re having a right old clear out while we’re at it.

Of course, I had a bit of a clear out in January, and then another one in April. So much of my stuff is already weeded out and down. I still keep finding some things, though, that – actually – I know I’ll never use again.

We’re working our way down the freezer and through the food cupboards too, and anything past its sell-by/use-by date is going too. And anything that has just dregs in the bottom that we can only reach with a long implement. There’s not a huge amount of storage at the new house, so everything that we take needs to have a use.

At the weekend we had a proper blitz on paperwork too. There are some safety certificates the solicitor needs for the other house and we can’t for the life us find them – gas, electric and damp proof course.

So, this weekend alone we managed to fill another 2 charity bags and another 3 dustbin bags. But we didn’t find the safety certificates …

We didn’t do a lot else. On Friday evening the fog that had been lingering all day got steadily thicker and, as there wasn’t anywhere we had to be, we stayed in. On Saturday we only went out to do some shopping. And on Sunday we only went as far as the dustbins. We did cook on Sunday, though. I made the Christmas cake while the poet made bread, cream of mushroom soup, and a Sunday chicken dinner.

I didn’t do much work either. Even with NaNo, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really do resent working at the weekend. And before anyone jumps on me saying I should find time to do my writing, I do. But it is my job and I didn’t give up the rat race to work when I really don’t want to. And, unless there’s a deadline looming, I really don’t want to work at the weekends.

This revelation may have come this weekend because of the poet spending such a long time working away recently. But neither of us works at the weekends anyway, apart from when he’s playing in his band and I go along with them. The weekends are our time, and are already time-pressured with other stuff that needs doing.

So, while I was working through paperwork in the various cupboards and drawers in Abbey Road, I came across a previously written epilogue and author’s note for Catch the Rainbow. This morning, my first job (aside from doing washing …) was to have a go at rewriting these and adding them to the rest of the story. That’s been done now and the grand total of 850 words has been added to the running total.

While I was looking for electronic versions to edit on the computer (I’m such a lazy typist …), I found a number of letters and stories from friends who’d given me firsthand and eyewitness accounts of the key period and night in question. This is particularly welcome as I thought I’d lost one and didn’t even know I had 2 of them. I also found loads of previously planned scene notes and character notes that have all gone into the folder too. When I sit down to do today’s NaNo, I’m going to use some of this material to help. I’m a little behind and need a leg up catching up.

I do have several big editing jobs on the go at the moment, though, and had to turn one down Friday evening because she wanted it back “within the week”. Unfortunately, with a 103,000-word book, an 80,000-word book and a 30,000-word book all to edit before we move house (and lose internet connection temporarily), there was no way I could justify taking on any new work for the next 2 – 3 weeks. I also have snagging to do on 2 previously completed books as well.

I’m off to edit the big one, then, and then do some more NaNo later on. Oh yes, and more washing … Y’all keep nice and busy now.

NaNo hiatus

My NaNo for 2014 has stalled, but only temporarily.

I usually write longhand, and several drafts before committing to first typed draft, but this year, as an experiment, I’ve been drafting straight onto the laptop. This can be difficult when driving and a tad rude while visiting.

On Saturday we drove down to Birmingham and got stuck in some bad traffic, mostly due to squally showers slowing everyone down, but also due to roadworks. While we were in Birmingham, we visited my dad and then we popped to the hospital to visit my mom. Then we had to turn around at 4pm and leave and head back home.

No sooner had we arrived home and grabbed something very quickly to eat than we were turning around and going straight out. We had a birthday party in Leeds to get to.

The party was great but there was just no other time in the day to do any writing.

On Sunday we had our shopping to do and we also started to pack. Two weeks this coming Friday we move house, and we still haven’t unpacked fully from when I moved over here earlier in the year. So we’re moving 2 houses, still.

By the time we stopped yesterday, I was physically exhausted and could hardly keep my eyes open, and – unfortunately – my NaNo isn’t a job the poet can do for me if I can’t manage it.

So I lost 2 days and had every intention of starting again this morning … and then my computer packed up. I couldn’t get logged into it and all of my files are locked away in there. Because I didn’t do a backup last Friday (I really need to start doing this last job on a Friday again so I have the latest versions of everything backed up safely).

We manged to eventually break into the system and collect my files, but 2 of the other laptops we have in the house also failed to load properly, one only had a trial version of Office on anyway, and neither would connect to the internet.

I need the internet to collect work and to send it back. Fortunately, the work I wanted for this week was already saved to my laptop, but we had to get it off there, onto another and then printed. And I couldn’t get either of the other laptops to see the printer either, and I ended up coming back to my own laptop and doing some startup recovery maintenance to it.

Hurrah! I finally got it all up and running again, getting it to look at a previous date when everything worked fine. I think it’s a corrupt Word file that caused the problem, but time will tell.

It’s now gone 4pm and I have paid work with deadlines to catch up with, so NaNo will have to wait again until tomorrow …

… but tomorrow I have to take the poet to the station for his last run to Scotland for a while, and then I have a new mobile phone coming.

It’s going to be busy, but hopefully normal service will resume again tomorrow. Just in case I have a problem again, however, I’ve printed off all of my current outstanding work so at least I have something to work on by hand. I’ve also saved all of my current client and writing files to a memory stick so I can hop onto another (working) laptop if necessary, or go to the library and use one of theirs.

At least one of the laptops tried today is having its hard drive removed and is then going in the skip. The other one may also follow it if we can’t get it to connect to the internet.

What do you do when you run out of time?

current wip

NaNoWriMo 2014 Day Seven

We seem to be having a good week.

The new work that came in is being steadily worked through, the quick one I did on Monday has already been paid for, and the one I delivered yesterday has been acknowledged and appreciated.

The poet managed to come back from Scotland without anything wrong with him.

And NaNoWriMo is still on schedule too. This morning I cleared 11,000 words, and am only 5 shy of 12,000. I think this is the most I’ve ever managed for NaNo and, of course, the novel has taken on a new lease of life with the added contemporary scenes and more narratives from the viewpoints of different characters.

We didn’t manage another fireworks display on Wednesday because that was the day the poet came home from Scotland. Had we not been to one on Saturday, then we might have made the effort. But he was weary from travel and glad to be home. So we watched what we could from the garden, in between telling the dog to stop shouting. The dog didn’t like the fireworks at all, but he’s definitely more fearless when there’s a brick wall between him and them. The cats weren’t bothered at all, just slept through it.

This morning I signed the contract for the sale of the other house. Later today we go to the new house to measure up, to see if our furniture will fit or if we have to do some swapsies with anyone. On the way back from there we’ll probably visit his family in Doncaster. Tomorrow morning we’re off to Birmingham, and tomorrow evening we have a friend’s 50th birthday party to go to in Leeds. On Sunday I think we’ll be chilling and packing.

There definitely seems to be an end in sight to all of this busy-ness. Meanwhile we’ll continue to plod through everything at a steady pace.

Have a great weekend.