Camp NaNo Days 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


Camp NaNo Day 7

We had another great weekend.

I was working overtime on Friday when the poet arrived home from helping a work colleague move house, but he was early enough for us to nip out if we wanted to. So we popped to one of our local working men’s clubs and watched another new band to the pair of us.

Saturday was a busy day. I did some more work, then we went to collect the poet’s mother and visited his daughter in her first home. Son #2 was there too and we sat in the garden chatting and drinking squash, enjoying the sunshine.

He had a gig Saturday night, so we had to go early and get ready for that. He headed off in time to set up, but I caught the train later so the animals weren’t on their own for too long. On the way back we collected my car and we went straight to bed as we had another busy day on Sunday.

Sunday was Day 2 of the Tour de France in Yorkshire, and we drove over to Hade’s Edge where we parked at a friend’s house. Some places were charging £5, £10 and even £15 (apx $8, $17 and $25) just for parking, because the roads into Holmfirth were closed. Then it was a nice, downhill walk into the town.

We were lucky with the weather. It didn’t start to rain until we arrived home. Rufus was quite well-behaved, considering the crowds. He was a little warm, a little excited, a little tetchy, but he didn’t bark very much and we were very proud of him. I was quite proud of myself too at the end of it, because I managed the walk back up the hill, pulled along by the dog a bit, and I detest walking up big hills.

The race was due in Holmfirth at 2:30pm. Then it was 2.40pm. I think it was about 2:45pm by the time they got there, and we felt very proud and privileged to have been part of the 2.5 million visitors to the race over the weekend, apparently the world’s largest sporting event and free of charge.

Here are a few photographs from our visit:

This police officer probably received the best cheer he’d ever had. (Pic: Diane Parkin)
Here they come … (Pic: Diane Parkin)
The Tour de France, Yorkshire, 6 July 2014 (Pic: Diane Parkin)
There they go … (Pic: Diane Parkin)
My favourite picture of the day. ♥ (Pic: Diane Parkin)

I didn’t manage to do Camp NaNo for Friday until Saturday morning, and I did it sat up in bed while the poet made and fetched me a bacon sandwich. I can’t remember the last time I had breakfast in bed, let alone made for me. That was a nice treat.

Saturday evening, after he’d gone to his gig, I settled down for an hour and I managed Camp NaNo for Saturday. So I did none on Friday, two on Saturday and, erm, none on Sunday. So today’s will be yesterday’s and, if I get chance, I’ll do today’s as well.

I’ll update little man as I go along.

This week I have a lot of work to get through before we start our holiday on Saturday. I have 3 books to do – 2 editing, 1 proofreading – as well as Camp NaNo and prep for the holiday, and will probably be on overtime.

Camp NaNo Day 4

The sharp-eyed will, once again, notice that Baggins Bottom has had another bit of a facelift. Do let me know what you think of it in the comments below. I love the replies because they’re on crinkly paper.

It’s a bit of a flying visit for me today as my workload for the rest of the month just doubled, and we have a week away in the midst of it.

Camp NaNo has been going well for both of us. I haven’t done today’s yet, as I’ve been hanging washing out, emptying/filling the dishwasher, fetching the bins in, running errands – bit of shopping, paying rent money into bank, buying the biggest lemon on the planet – and I have another to go to at 4pm. So work’s being squeezed in between and NaNo will be done this evening again. (Little man will be updated then.)

I’ve been doing credit control this week, and one payment just arrived. Another is still late and has just had another reminder email sent back. The accounts clerk was on holiday until Tuesday, and that gives me 2 reasons to be concerned: 1. It’s a good job she hadn’t gone on holiday for a month; and 2. If she’s been back since Tuesday you’d think I might have had the courtesy of a reply …

Anyway, another invoice is about to go off to the same firm but, with plenty of work also coming in, I may not be able to do any more for them until they’ve paid what they owe. I really am starting to tire of people thinking I don’t need paying for the time and work I put in.

I pitched for a job last week, and apparently narrowly lost out to someone they awarded it to just as my pitch came in. However, that freelance has now taken quite seriously ill (I wish him a speedy recovery, but little wax dolls have come a very long way … 😉 ), how was my schedule fixed, and did I still want it? Naturally I said yes.

With this, a full-length book, and another that came in this week, plus one that came in last week, plus several author/proofreader revisions I need to check, I think that’s just about me done now for the month. Let’s hope they pay me, eh. 🙂

Here’s some feedback I also received: “Great work and fantastic communication. Highly recommended for editing and book writing assistance.” Five stars. 😀

Late this afternoon, then, I’m off for a hair appointment and the poet is helping a work colleague move house this evening, and we have NaNo. Tomorrow I’m not sure what we’re doing, but think it depends on weather and funds. Tomorrow evening we have a gig in Doncaster. And Sunday we’re off to the Tour de France, to watch from a hillside somewhere near Holmfirth. Apparently the roads are expected to be murder, but we have a friend’s drive to leave the car on within walking distance. But if the traffic is too bad, we may just go to the seaside instead.

Y’all have a great weekend.

Camp NaNo Day 2

Camp NaNo started very well yesterday with the first brand new story written in ages, and my first target of 1,000 words or 1 hour met. I already know what I’m writing to today, as I copied the prompt out into my notebook while I had a moment. The poet is giving it a go this year as well, so I’m saving today’s for when he gets home so we can work together. I’ll change the little man as soon as I have something to change.

We’ve already had a hectic week. I’ve been plodding through electronic edits while I waited for a new proofread, I wrote the walks report yesterday and submitted it to 7 local newspapers, I pegged 17 jobs this week so far to pitch for later in the week (bearing in mind we have a holiday coming up), caught up with the daily competitions, paid a few bills – with another small debt biting the dust! – changed a hair appointment and, of course, started Camp NaNo.


Another thing we did was change our relationship statuses on Facebook, something that we thought would happen quite quietly but which, in fact, turned into a bit of a fanfare and attracted more than 120 ‘likes’ and over 80 ‘comments’. That took a little time keeping on top of acknowledgements, etc.

And here’s a *** truth alert ***

While we’ve never actually done anything wrong – we were both completely and absolutely single and ‘available’ when we started seeing each other, and there was absolutely no one else involved – we’ve not had an easy year. I’m not going into detail, and it wasn’t our doing, but it’s all behind us now.

We’ve known about it for a while, as we had to book it in advance, but we didn’t want our parents or the kids finding out online. So we told them all first. And, well, we’re getting married next year. And we’re going away to do it, so there. Not everyone will be happy but – this time – it’s not about them. We’re just overwhelmed and delighted with all the warm wishes from our friends and families.

*** end of truth alert ***

So that’s what we’ve been up to this week.

Today I’ve been carrying on with the electronic edits, and the new proofread arrived this afternoon. I’ve also been doing my Widow Twanky impression while the weather’s still nice. My eyes are a bit tired with all the close screen work and have gunked up a little over the past few days.

Tomorrow will just be a day 3 update, then on Friday I’ll be back with plans for the weekend.

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.