Back on target

My daily target, writing-wise, is at least 1,000 words per day over all projects. Last week was quite up and down but looked like this:

  • Tuesday = 977 words
  • Wednesday = 1,127 words
  • Thursday = 1,041 words
  • Friday = 321 words
  • Saturday = 325 words
  • Sunday = 1,067 words

For my first week of the year, of a potential 6,000 words, I managed 4,858. I suppose that’s not too bad considering I spent 3 days in bed. Even so …

This week is going a lot better with 1,107 words on Monday, 1,650 words on Tuesday and 606 words so far today. As this week is a 7-day week, my target this time is 7,000 words.

We shall see.

I finished the proof-corrections for Baggins Bottom Best Bits and ordered a new version. As soon as that comes and I’ve checked it, off it’ll go to Jackie.

The dog also got his first proper walk in a few days yesterday, and I did the shopping on the way back as I’ve not done a proper shop since before Christmas.

When I got home I settled in front of the telly for the next 5 hours, a real slobfest, but was disturbed twice during the night, first with a nightmare and then Rufus wanting out at stupid o’clock. If I have just one more nightmare, the dreamcatcher’s coming out of the spare room and into my room.

Despite then sleeping in, however, I managed to hang some washing out this morning before settling down to a few hours of work. (Note to self: Go and fetch it in …)

I still have lots to do today, but was happy to spend some time with Ace of Wands earlier. I’ve been doing some character work for this long short story and they’re starting to come to life.

There are a few jobs on my watch list at the moment, but I’m not bidding for any because they all want them doing now and I’m busy just now, and for the next 2 weeks at least. If newly promised work continues to come in, I’ll also be busy until mid-February. But I’ve learned, the hard way, not to rely on promised work. I’ll clear the current decks and then see what’s still going before applying for any. I’ve also learned not to have a too-full in-tray, although an empty in-tray is to be avoided at all costs.

Here’s what I already have in or am already working on:

  • crime novel to proof-read
  • non-fiction to proof-read
  • historical novel to edit
  • historical novel to proof-read

And here’s what’s promised:

  • 7 fan-fictions to proof-read

My own job list for the month of January also consists of:

  • write 13,834 words for Catch the Rainbow (3,336 words per week)
  • write 1,400-word short story for fave market
  • write 4,000-word story Ace of Wands
  • arrange interviews for We Also Served
  • write sample first chapter for We Also Served

That’s a total monthly word count of 19,234.


Index cards

ace of wandsWho has used index cards when plotting/planning a book or story? I never have before, but I did find 4 packs of “brand new” (aka still in their cellophane) 6″ x 4″ index cards, 2 of plain white and 2 of assorted colours. (See how old they are? They’re not even metric.)

I’m starting the first of 3 x 4,000-word short stories for a 14-story anthology and the first is loosely based around the Ace of Wands. So I sat down with my Tarot deck, my Collins Little Gem of Zodiac, my old faithful Guinness Book of Names and my Tarot Bible.

And the first card I drew was … the Ace of Wands … What’re the odds?

I shuffled the cards and drew the first of 4 cards I wanted to base my characters against, and the first card out was … the Page of Wands.

I do a yes/no/maybe spread too and when I checked whether or not this was the next small project for me, I received 3 resounding YESES, one after the other, including my own personal favourite HELL, YES the Nine of Cups – the other two were majors, so quite strong, and they fell out of the pack, which is doubly strong …

I’m listening to my Tarot and doing this. After all, this is what the Ace of Wands is all about – follow your instinct and JUST DO IT! (And don’t panic, I am ensuring I’m not taking on too much as well, which is what the Ace of Wands also warns against.)

So yesterday, my writing 2 hours were spent planning this story and starting the characters. Theme and narrative are currently on white cards, characters are on yellow cards … but I haven’t decided how to use the green, pink or blue yet.

So, how do others use their index cards? Don’t forget I’m a longhand worker/writer so anything I can easily carry with me and still work on in a power cut (when batteries have died) or with no power is always a bonus. Please use the comments box for this one, thanks.

Please note: This version of the Ace of Wands is apparently from  the original deck and out of copyright. Later versions and amendments are copyright protected. If anyone knows how I can get permission to reproduce the cards, please let me know. If I’m contravening any copyright laws by reproducing this card, I’ll take it down immediately. But as I’d like to use them – or an artist’s impression of them – in future, I’d like to get permission. Please use the contact form for this one rather than the comments box. Thank you.

(Yes, the FBI have arrived in Baggins Bottom before as they treat this subject very seriously.)