Because I’ve been so lax with the blog posts just lately, you’re getting a bit of a double whammy this time. Nothing huge, though. We weren’t at either place for very long and it wasn’t really photographing weather.
Back on 8 April, we ventured back to Bempton Cliffs because we’d heard the puffins had arrived. We didn’t plan to spend too long. The poet wanted to try and take some pictures through his spotting scope, but it was so windy the tripod simply wasn’t substantial enough to support the extra weight of the camera.
We didn’t really see many puffins either. We saw 4 in flight, 1 on the water, and 2 in a cliff cave – but they kept bobbing in and out of view.
Meanwhile, a few days later, he picked himself up a right little bargain as he walked through the market. He saw a sturdy tripod on one of the second-hand stalls, and he told himself if it cost 20 quid, he’d buy it …
Well, it was £2! So he snapped it up and was delighted to see that it even came with a box.
So now we can go back again as soon as the weather is right and we have the time …
… possibly this weekend, actually, thinking about it (though if he reads this before I mention it, it may be a bit of a surprise to him).
A couple of weeks later, on 17 April, we paid a visit to Langold Lake, one of the poet’s old fishing haunts when he was a kid.
He was surprised to see that it had been given “country park” status, but it was much as he remembered it – apart from the diving boards on the lake no longer being there (health & safety, we presume).
He enjoyed the trip down memory land and was proud to show me the spot where he caught his first fish there, and told me how he had to go to the pay phone down the road to ring his dad and ask him to come and take a picture of him with said fish.
(I think it was the first fish he caught there, not the first fish he ever caught, but I daresay he’ll happily correct me later.)
He pointed out where he used to jump in the lake and swim … and I pointed out the dead, diseased fish floating in the reeds … not very healthy water. No wonder they took the boards down.
And finally, before we left, we enjoyed an ice cream beside the lake. It was a bit cool and blustery, but we were able to warm up in the car.
No MapMyWalk this time – we forgot to set it at Bempton, and only remembered at Langold halfway around.
Short and sweet! 🙂
Today is a busy day as we both break up for a long weekend. That means we won’t be around to do anything vaguely work-related – or gig list-related. We’re taking some time off.
It also means my monthly word-count target of 22,000 words will come down to 20,000 words, and I’m already over halfway there. I plan on writing around 1,000 words per working day, and as this long weekend starts tomorrow and runs right through to the end of Monday, that’s 2 days down.
In November, I won’t be having any time off. I’ll be working very hard on both my usual writing work, and a brand new project for NaNoWriMo. My usual target for November would be 21,000 words, but with NaNo, I have to add another 50,000 to that.
So that’s 71,000 words. 😮 GULP! That’s a whole novel! Well, nearly.
In December we have another long weekend booked, right at the start of the month. I think I may be ready for that. We’re having one day at Lincoln Christmas market and another day Christmas shopping. So I hope everyone who owes me money by then has paid. Of course, we also have a whole fortnight off in December too, the Christmas break, which I always love. I think I may be ready for that one too.
So, this weekend, what’re we up to? Well, tomorrow, the poet may be going fishing. I was going to go with him, but looking at the weather, and with a bit of a cold tugging at my sleeve, I may stay home instead. I have a lot of reading to catch up on and plenty of writing work to keep me busy. I just won’t be at my desk. Thanks to that wonderful new Scrivener gadget of mine, I can work on NaNo prep on the notebook/switch downstairs now if I want to. Or I could take it fishing. Did I mention that it also tracks your progress in any one session and counts words written?
We may manage a nice day out somewhere, or a walk. Or we may finish off those cooking apples. On Saturday the poet has a gig to play in Doncaster and on Sunday we’re off to see my dad for his birthday. If the poet doesn’t go fishing tomorrow, he may go on Monday. Or he may just do diddley-squat. Just like me.
What would you do? Whatever, have a goodun. 🙂
Last week I disappeared beneath a mountain of proofreading. It was a big book for a new client and the deadline was today. So it needed to be ready by the end of Friday in order to catch Special Delivery Saturday morning and guaranteed delivery today. It meant I didn’t even turn on the computer Thursday or Friday, and the poet had to do all of the gig list admin at the tail end of last week. But I did it, and I got it to the post office on time. Now I just hope they’re happy with the work.
At the weekend we decided to go fishing, and I packed a nice writing bag. I’d done hardly any of my own writing during the week and wanted to remedy that.
But when we got to our chosen fishery (Worsbrough – pronounced wuzz-brough), it was all matched out and the only pegs left were on the very, very windy dam head. So we decided to go and look somewhere else … but the car was making the strangest of noises and everyone was turning to stare at us …
The poet had a look but couldn’t see anything, but he decided he wanted to get the car home. There was a garden party happening at the manor that we’d been invited to, and the lane was busy with cars and visitors. But we’d declined due to the fishing … and when he got on his hands and knees, he found the problem. A plastic drinking cup had wedged itself under the chassis and it took him a few efforts to get it out.
By now the weather had changed and we decided against trying again. So he didn’t get any fishing, the dog didn’t get a proper walk, and I didn’t do any writing.
The next day we were off again. He phoned 2 other fisheries, one in Retford and one in Doncaster, but they were both matched up too and if we didn’t get there in the next half-an-hour, we probably wouldn’t get a peg. That’s a shame because both fisheries are very dog friendly – so many of them aren’t. So off we pootled to Worsbrough again … only to find it fully matched again, and this time the whole reservoir was closed to pleasure anglers.
We headed off to find another reservoir, Wintersett, which is supposed to have disabled access, and so plenty of pegs where you can park your car behind you … only we couldn’t find a way in. We contacted Leeds & District Angling Association to find out how to get in, but no one answered any of the numbers we tried. So we asked at the Angler’s Rest, a visitor centre on another of the lakes there, and they said there was a gate at the end of a lane that we needed a key for.
We went in search of said gate to find that yes, indeed, we did need a key. But even if we had a key, we could’t get in because some selfish cow had parked her horse-box in front of the gate and gone off riding. (We’d seen her earlier as we tried to find a way in, and she was spending more time getting ready than her horse.)
So we aborted another trip and headed back via town, when the poet remembered another lake he used to fish, Fleet’s Dam. When we arrived there was, once again, a match going on, but only down the one side. We were able to pitch camp on the opposite bank and spend several hours in this hidden gem in the centre of town (or tarn, as the locals call it). The poet was happy, he even caught some fish, and we’re certainly going again.
Rufus, however, got quite bored. I took him for a walk around the lake and took some photographs, but when we got back he wouldn’t settle unless he was on my lap, and we couldn’t have him barking when there was a match happening on the other side of the lake. So, as a result, I still didn’t get any writing done. But we did have a nice few hours in the fresh air.
It means I’m a bit behind on my word count challenge for August, but first job this morning was the diary (which I should have done last week but didn’t get chance), and I’ve scheduled in several writing sessions this week. I do have Friday off, it’s a jolly day for 4 of us, so a short week.
I also have amendments to an edit I did 2 weeks ago, so that can go to print, and more work to do for another new client. On Wednesday I start another new edit for a regular client.
What’re you up to this week?
It was another heavy weekend.
Much of Friday was spent completing the electronic edits on one client book, sending that back to the author for checking, and invoicing the client (hurrah!). In between, I also managed my first 1-mile dog-walk from the doorstep and back.
Friday teatime was a mad dash. We finished some savoury mince the poet had cooked a couple of days earlier, with a baked potato each, and then it was off to Doncaster for a private party his band were playing at.
On Saturday we did a bit of fishing shopping (he wanted some new line for his reel) and we replaced one of the hosepipes I managed to break while filling the bird bath. I’d pulled it, thinking the hosepipe was unreeled, but it wasn’t and the water supply feed thingy snapped and it was cheaper to replace the whole thing than it was to replace the little gadget-thing that snapped. After my complaint to B&Q a few weeks ago, we were sent a gift card, so we used that to help pay for the new kit.
When we got back, and he’d done what he does with his reel line, Rufus and I showed him the walk we’d been on the previous day. We went a bit further, disturbed a roosting little owl, spotted a kestrel on a fence post, and generally explored just one of our many footpaths cross-country, and we clocked up just under 2 miles. Then it was another dash to have tea and get ready for another gig over in Doncaster. We finally turned in at 3am Sunday morning …
… but had to be up again as we were visiting both lots of parents. First we were back in Doncaster, to see the poet’s parents, then we headed to Birmingham to see my parents, via Morrison’s in Sheldon where we bought them some cakes. We got home at 7:30pm, had a takeaway, watched some telly, and had an early night.
And then it was another new week again. We were both still very tired this morning.
This morning’s pre-breakfast chores included filling and starting the dishwasher, and feeding the pets and the garden birds. I’ve done a little gig list admin (1st job ticked), this blog post will be my 2nd job ticked, then I’m definitely spending a couple of hours on writing work. I’m a bit behind on the wordcount this month so far, mostly due to editing deadlines, but I start another new client book this afternoon, when I’ve done today’s dog-walk.
It’s a full week at work this week, even my replacement hair appointment from 2 weeks ago is after hours. But we do have a totally empty weekend looming, apart from a birthday party we’ll probably show our faces at. I foresee someone keeping half an eye on the weather forecast …
I’ve run out of pictures again. I know there are some on the camera, but the weather was quite bad when those were taken and I’ve not had time to transfer them over to the pc and look at them full-sized. So I’ve nicked one from an earlier jaunt this year, and flipped and cropped it (so it fits nicely). We need a few more jaunts out.
Oh, oh, but one exciting thing is, at the weekend we booked a short camping holiday for later this month. It coincides with the Evesham fishing festival, so we can fit a bit of that in with a bit of sightseeing. That’s a nice little break to look forward to as Evesham is beautiful and we enjoyed the short time we spent at the festival last year.
Another exciting thing is that we spent much of the driving time on Sunday discussing what to do with the garden over the winter. We’re planning a proper little kitchen garden with raised beds and crop rotation and fruit and vegetables and rhubarb patches and everything. But we’re keeping everything quite low-growing so we don’t spoil our gorgeous view. I’d love fruit trees, and I had a right old brain murmur on Friday when I remembered an old eighties novelty, the stepover fruit tree. We can still get those, so they’re being incorporated too.
Because, of course, we’re not already busy enough … 😉
What a week! I don’t feel as if we’ve stopped – and we still haven’t. There’s more yet to come.
On Wednesday I worked right up to teatime editing a book that had already been paid for (although I hadn’t yet touched the money). Then it was a mad dash out to catch draw-time on a fishing match.
It wasn’t such a successful evening as before, the poet is still familiarising himself with the fishery and I didn’t start anything that can be completed other than 800-odd words of notes and writing exercises. There were also only about 5 anglers there.
On our way home we turned into our lane and were very privileged to see a roe deer and a fawn disappearing over the walls on either side (Mum went one way, offspring went the other). We walked back down after parking up to see if they were reunited, but there was no sign of them. It was lovely to see, though, and a total surprise.
Yesterday was a very busy day. The poet was in Tipton and I was in Birmingham and when we headed back together, it took us nearly 4 hours to get home. And then we had another mad dash to get the poet to band practice. Three of the 4 band members were late last night, and the drummer was on the phone when we got there making sure he had the right night.
I went off to do the shopping, then we got back and had hotdogs for supper.
Today I’m still very, very busy. I have 5 short stories to edit and a technical paper – all by the end of the day. And in the middle of it all I have a dentist appointment. (Boo!) Then it’s going to be another rushed tea as we’re off out to Sheffield to another music festival this evening, followed by 2 more days over the course of the weekend.
So, just a shorty today. Even though I keep getting distracted by a new (free) book cover creation package I’ve discovered.
The water lily was another of the pictures I “ordered” the other week. Isn’t it pretty? 🙂
What’re you up to this weekend?
On Friday our last fruit and veg boxes (for now) arrived, and we were determined to use it all up before it perished. We didn’t get much chance to do that Friday because we were going fishing after collecting my car and didn’t get back until gone 9pm. We both had a good session: he caught 65 fish (yes, really – he didn’t “keep-net” any but he did count them); and I wrote 1,094 words of the short story I started last time, ending up with a 1,972-word story.
On Saturday we were supposed to be going to a local music festival but decided to stay home. I read quite a bit and the poet did some good fishing prep work he’d been putting off and putting off but that really needed to be done at some point. Son #2 has decided to take up fishing again, now he’s home from London, and he’s after spare gear from his dad and his grandad.
Before we went out the poet prepared a Lancashire hotpot in the slow cooker, using meat from the supermarket, potatoes, carrots, onions and mushrooms from the veg box, and fresh chives and rosemary from our own garden! I think the “from our own garden” bit was by far the best bit, and, of course, the tastiest! We finished off the strawberry flan, which was made with partially set jelly in the end and worked very nicely, but failed to find a replacement flan sponge for the one I ruined anywhere.
Sunday was a trip to Birmingham to see my parents. We made very good time and had a nice couple of hours with them. On the way home we dropped off a birthday card at his parents’ house and had an hour with them too. I asked the mother-in-law if she had a sponge flan dish I could borrow, and she did – but she told me to keep it, although she wouldn’t mind her glass pie dish back we’d had for several months by now! 😀
When we got home, while the poet made a cheese, mushroom and courgette omelette (mushrooms and courgette from the veg box …), I made my first ever sponge flan. I also made 4 small jellies and kept ¼ pint for the glaze. I still had strawberry yoghurt with mine, but the poet doesn’t really like yoghurt so he’s pushing the boat out still with single cream. What a scrumptious tea!
And so another week ends and a new one begins and, once again, it’s a fairly busy one. I have the usual writing work scheduled in, the usual job-surfing work, the usual editing work, but I’m also doing the tax return this week. Then, at the end of the week, we’re off to Harrogate for two events (one Friday evening, one Saturday), for the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival. And, on Sunday, the poet’s band is playing at a charity music festival.
What are you up to this week?
So I was still feeling a bit sorry for myself when the poet started to spout statistics at me, reminding me that in order to win it, you need first to be in it. He pointed out that as I’ve been so busy editing and proofreading other people’s work I’ve not really had much time to write any new work of my own, and all the stuff I’ve been submitting is stuff that was written a while ago – in the main.
When he started to ask me for figures, I decided to check my record. And he’s right. Not only have I not been writing very much new material recently, I’ve also not really been submitting very much either.
When I checked my record of submissions, I worked out that in the past 24-month period I’ve actually had a success rate of 26.6%. Some were fillers written and submitted on the spot, and pretty much instantly accepted; some were older stories still doing the rounds, although there are also 3 brand new stories in there since January of this year. I did it over 24 months because, as he says, I’ve hardly submitted anything recently so that’s the latest I have to go on.
I suppose, then, that 27% isn’t really a very poor return. It’s more than a quarter. But I am keen to change the ratio of work in favour of my own in the coming months.
Back on the wagon, then …
We went fishing on Wednesday evening. The poet had a chance to join a match and we’d already spent several hours there on Saturday in quite pleasant surroundings so I wasn’t adverse to doing the same again. I took some work with me, and some reading, and we both actually had quite a successful time. I managed to write a 50-word flash-fiction story and almost 700 words of stream of consciousness; he just missed out on a prize by coming 5th – not bad when he was up against around a dozen anglers who regularly fish the lake.
It wasn’t a flash in the pan either, or not so far. Yesterday I ticked all of the jobs on my list and in the middle of it all managed:
- 677 words on CATCH THE RAINBOW
- an hour of study work (fiction writing course)
- 21 hard copy pages edited
Today I sneak in a swift editing job – just one chapter revisited of a book I edited last week – and hope to do more work on CATCH THE RAINBOW. And all those books on the Kindle? Weeded down to:
- 5 mystery magazines – 2 x Ellery Queen; 2 x Alfred Hitchcock; 1 x Sherlock Holmes (market study)
- 7 how-to-write books, complete with exercises (kick up the bum + exercising the writing muscle)
- 3 collections of short stories – Arthur Conan Doyle; Teresa Ashby; Della Galton (market study)
- 1 non-fiction book on the IRA (research)
- 3 novels – Peter May; Robert Tressell; Jack Higgins (R, R & R – rest, relaxation & research)
I’ve just added another freebie on habits, but I’ve not looked yet to see if it’s a keeper, a saver or a deleter. But there’s plenty for me to dip into there, and the how-to-writes and the fiction writing course are keeping the ideas coming.
What’s on your Kindle/TBR pile this weekend? Y’all have a goodun!