Words worth writing

Woolacombe Beach (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

The time is near (again!) for Baggins Bottom to pack itself away. It has served me well, since 2005, across Blogger and WordPress. But things change, move on. And so have we.

I have two new blogs that will probably cover everything that Baggins Bottom used to. One of these is words worth writing, and many of you have already found your way there. The blog is a couple of years old now, and everything to do with writing and my working life has morphed onto that one.

As we can categorise posts now, I’ve also decided to include other posts on words worth writing, such as life on the farm, general lifestyle posts, I won! and a brand new category, book reviews, which reduces the amount of content that would otherwise appear on Tales From Baggins Bottom.

The other blog is discussed here.

Please consider following words worth writing if you enjoy news of my writing and stories from both my life and my work, please like and follow the Facebook page, and please do consider changing your links and bookmarks.

Thank you so much for sticking with Baggins Bottom for this long – you know who you are. 🙂

 

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Heavy edits

IMG_3392
Memorial, Moreton in Marsh (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Apart from being in the midst of another very heavy edit, yesterday I also disappeared beneath a fug of faff and almost let the entire day run away.

It all started when I tried to tidy my pictures on Facebook, and I was going so fast that FB suddenly stopped letting me update the captions, saying my “behaviour” was intolerable. (Or words to that effect.)

Well, FB, enjoy them while you have them. Because when you start to dictate to me what I can write and what I can do with MY OWN PICTURES, I start to back them up elsewhere and they start to disappear from your platform.

Anyway, once I got over my little tantrum, I left the computer (and FB) on the office desk and moved downstairs to finish the heavy manual edit. I should be doing the electronic edit on that next, but I need a rest from it so will do a quick proofread for the same client instead, and get that back to them either tonight or tomorrow night, overnight.

Last week got a bit busy as I had another 4-day week (it’s 5 days this week, I hope I can cope). All of Thursday was pretty much written off with appointments, but I did manage more editing in between at least. I just didn’t manage anything else.

At the weekend we had a Monkey Dust gig Saturday night, and we visited both lots of parents – one on Saturday, and one on Sunday. I also had a baking day, making a cherry fruit cake and some cherry buns (we needed to use up the cherries), and I made a strawberry trifle. And on Sunday the poet left a pork casserole in the slow cooker while we were out.

I have at least 2 books I need to clear and get back to the client this week (the 2 already mentioned), but we have a meeting Wednesday evening too for the one piece of “pro-bono” work I’ve taken on. I don’t do work for free very often, but I do like to help out a good cause where I can and this one’s to do with some friends of the band, and it is a charity thing. The band will be doing something too.

Friday is back to being an errand day this week. I usually still work in the morning, but try to arrange any appointments for late afternoon onwards. This week I had to make one appointment in the morning, at 10:30am, and I already had one late afternoon, at 4:30pm. Hopefully there’s still a big enough gap in there for me to crack on with some work.

Extra homework
Today’s picture is another one from our long weekend in Evesham over the bank holiday. We had a day showing the poet some of the Cotswold villages, and this one is Moreton in Marsh. Have a look at it and see if you can come up with a story – either around the memorial or about the people who live (or do they work?) in the little house immediately behind. With Remembrance Sunday less than 2 months away, some speculation – or good, honest research – around the memorial might make something interesting. But so might whoever you decide to populate the house with.

Don’t forget to report back. 😉

Social media cold turkey?

On Wednesday we saw this article in The Guardian about Game of Thrones author George RR Martin in which he explains how he can write so much so quickly. Basically, his computer isn’t connected to the internet and he uses an old DOS (disk operatiing system) version of WordStar, which also doesn’t suggest spelling or grammar alternatives to him while he types.

Brief aside
First of all, who remembers WordStar?

I remember WordStar well. It was the first word processing package I ever trained on or took exams in while I was working for the Industrial Society in Birmingham, back in the day. I was Admin Officer for their IT department and had only ever used an electronic typewriter up until that point, or the very archaic data-processing system they used to have at Birmingham City Council (Engineers Department).

Yes, I had proper jobs long before I gave up the rat race. 😀

Back to the point
So, in this article, this author reckons that without the distraction of the internet and all that entails, he can quite happily bash away at his keyboard to his heart’s content.

And, well, the evidence is there to support this.

A challenge?
Now, I’ve long said that if I just hammered away at an old typewriter, or even scribble in a notepad, I’d get a hell of a lot more done without the distractions of the internet. I even have an old portable typewriter, although granted it’s still in the loft at the other house … I think.

However, every time I try it with just my notepad and pen, the mobile phone still distracts me.

But, would I be able to go cold turkey? And would the poet?

Not as easy as that
Unfortunately, I have a lot of work via the internet. I get work via emails. I get work via social media. I sell books via the internet. I surf job boards online.

Aside from that, Facebook was a great lifeline for me when I first left my husband and kept me in touch with lots of friends, family, colleagues, all over the globe. I still use it to keep in touch with the people who were there for me; I still use it to wish people a happy birthday; I still use it to try and support others.

Also, let’s not forget that blogging comes under social media/internet activity, and Baggins Bottom is a blog. The gig list is also a blog, and the gig list has a Facebook page too. So does the poet’s band. YouTube is the same. As is Twitter. And LinkedIn. And SoundCloud. And GoodReads. Plus ALL of those I never, ever use or even look at.

Cold turkey
And so the poet and I are kind of agreeing that we may go cold turkey for a while. Probably just a day at first, see how we get on. Maybe just Facebook or Twitter or YouTube. And hopefully the gig list and the blog and the pages won’t suffer as a result. Or my work.

But, saying that, the poet said he’d not been on at all this morning, while I was sending an email to lovely-already-boss via the mobile phone. However, he does get FB notifications to his phone (I don’t), and he’d apparently received a Twitter message … and read it …

It can be done, though. Theoretically. We both have laptops without internet connections. And batteries are supposed to last longer when they’re just used as laptops. Or, I might just haul out the old portable typewriter. And mobile phones can have applications turned off and auto-notify deactivated, etc.

Disappear
So, if we do disappear, that’s probably why. And we won’t be gone for long. Just to see if we can do it. And, if we can, perhaps we’ll both also make progress with our respective writing projects.

The blog and the gig list will still be there and updated. I’ll still surf the job boards and send and receive work by email. We just won’t have FB or Twitter or YouTube or LinkedIn or anything else constantly running in the background.

Or I won’t. Could you?

Have a great weekend.

Typewriter Keys

Giddy kipper

bluesA friend who shares my birthday asked me last week what I was doing for mine – he’s in a band and has gigs even further oop north than I currently am so that wasn’t an option.

I realised that our birthday was almost upon us and I didn’t have any clue. So I started to have a think and decided if Birmingham City were at home I’d see if another friend wanted to come along.

They were and that friend (yes, I have more than one) said it sounded like a good idea and to leave it to him.

Within hours he’d bought our tickets, actually quite good tickets, posted a pic to my Facebook, and I’ve been wandering around with a stupid grin on my face ever since.

As I’m going to be down there anyway now, I also asked a couple of other mates if they’d be able to make it out for a drink with us on the evening, and one has already come back to say yes. I know there’s another birthday that weekend back home, but I’m hoping a few more can make it as well.

Then the gig buddy sent me a message asking me if I’d like to go out the night before. It’s Mother’s Day in the UK on the Sunday, so me and Rufus might spend the night at Mom’s and Dad’s. So, after not having any plans at all, the weekend is now fully booked.

And I’m getting a bit good at weekends too.

The one just gone I took off. We didn’t make it to the Moonraker festival on Saturday, but we did go walking locally instead. It was nice to see Carol and for Rufus and Sam to meet each other. I think they got on all right, even if Rufus was a bit naughty at times.

Yesterday I went to visit Mom and Dad. We’ve not been down there for a month, thanks to snow and flu and stuff. They think Rufus is “growing up” a little now.

I’ve already been working today, but now I need to stop grinning and get on with it. My work is a lot more spread out this week after last week, and I intend to stick to the schedule if I can.

I’m editing a novel today. And probably tomorrow too.

Am a proper giddy kipper now, though. 😀