Should’ve done this yesterday …

Look what the poet found across the River Dove ... (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Look what the poet found across the River Dove … (Picture: Diane Parkin)

It was a very busy weekend in the end starting with an emotional gig Friday night. It was emotional for several reasons, but the main one was to say farewell to someone off on a university adventure the next day. Also, someone I thought was a friend surprised me quite disappointingly … so they’ll probably be going into the next novel …

On Saturday we were at a charity boxing match helping to raise funds for several charities. That started at 11am for us, and finished close to 4pm. A quick rest and then we were off to Leeds to surprise another friend in his band. We had a good night and enjoyed dancing along to some less familiar tunes that aren’t done to death on the gig circuit.

Sunday was another day of rest.

Yesterday I started the new week with a vengeance and got quite a lot of bitty work done, admin work, diary work, planning work, those kinds of things. I also reviewed a book edit that really needs to be signed off now, but there are still tons of problems with the layout and with someone keep tinkering. If this book comes back with more work I’m going to need a new fee. I don’t mind correcting my own mistakes, but I’m not really responsible for everybody else’s too. Or a faulty system.

That job took longer than I intended, and so today I’ve done the walks report, and submitted it to 6 local newspapers, and I’m just doing the blog I should have done yesterday. Other jobs today include more admin work, surfing the job boards and starting the next historical fiction edit.

This Thursday would normally be a Do Diddle Day, but because I’ve already had quite a lot of time off this month with flu, along with a couple of unexpected, unscheduled Do Diddle Days, I’ve decided to cancel it and work. I need to catch up with some work and I need to get the invoices out.

Today’s picture was taken along part of the Dales Way long distance footpath. It’s the River Dove, just above Dent, and it’s one of mine. I love the mist in the background. Enjoy.

Another bridge?

Another bridge - Ribblehead Viaduct (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Another bridge – Ribblehead Viaduct (Picture: Diane Parkin)

I had a lovely weekend.

Once again I knocked off for the week fairly early and spent Friday evening watching someone else’s telly.

On Saturday I made it to my first Leeds write-in in a while, and while I didn’t get a great deal of writing done, I did manage to sort everything out, organise my workload and come up with some more topical story or article ideas for the coming months.

Saturday evening was spent watching my favourite band.

Sunday was a proper doss day. I decided not to take my germs to Birmingham, but to save them for this coming Thursday when Mom and Dad would like me to accompany them somewhere. Instead I was treated to Sunday dinner out once we’d done the shopping, and then we just chilled on the settee in front of the telly. We’re both still a bit rough and didn’t fancy anything strenuous – like a massive dog walk or anything.

Because of germs and still feeling slightly under the weather, plus a bit of a restless night, I’ve lost most of today catching up on sleep. But when I reached my desk I did quite a lot of online stuff, so that I can sit downstairs, in the warm, and concentrate on some editing I want to shift.

I also have some tiny tweaks to do to a book I edited last week, I’m awaiting the go ahead to do some other author revisions and check layout, and then it’s on to normal work for this week – the walks report, the gig list, surfing the job boards, writing.

Today’s picture is another from our holiday in Dentdale, a famous image on the Settle to Carlisle railway, but one of mine this time. Enjoy.

The bridges of Yorkshire Dale country

We took a lot of pictures of bridges while we were on holiday. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Well, I remembered to come back in and post, but it’s been another busy week.

Aside from battling flu x 2 – but winning, we hope – I’ve also finished editing a non-fiction, submitted it to the author and had two responses already, with very minimal comments other than replies to my questions (three of them) and a couple of author-error corrections. Basically, he’s happy with my work. 🙂

I carried out the revisions on the other edit, only to find that the software isn’t working, so that’s on hold again until they fix it.

I had a meeting with a new financial management company, updated the gig list for this week, and I’ve pitched for 15 jobs so far.

Today I start a new edit, it’s another historical fiction, and I’ve already raised this week’s invoices. (Hurrah!)

I’ve also started to do the daily competitions again, while I have a tea break.

The weekend is still a bit up in the air, mostly due to the flu. If I’m still coldy, I won’t be very welcome at my parents’ as my dad is likely to catch it. But we do have at least one gig to go to on Saturday.

What I’d like to do, now I seem to back in the swing of paid work again, is get into the swing of writing – fillers, short stories, pitches, books, novels. I’m starting to itch and I need to scratch it and it’s driving me mad not having any time to do it. And yes, yes, yes, I know I have to find or make the time, but just now everything else seems to be wanting attention.

Finances for a start. I need to build credit control into my working week, as well as marketing, sales and promotion. So, while I’m on the subject, please visit my book pages. Proper books are here, ebooks are here. 😀

If I stay home this weekend, I’ll either try to get ahead on the guaranteed paid work, or I’ll have a potter with the writing. Which would you do?

Today’s picture is another from Dentdale. We saw a lot of bridges while on holiday and liked them. Very much.

Have a great weekend.

Posting weekly

Wordsworth’s garden – come on in … (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Isn’t this a lovely picture? Makes me want to wander in, settle down and daydream. It was taken at Grasmere, at William Wordsworth’s house, and it’s one of the poet’s.

Last week just got busier and stressier. I took my car in Thursday morning, which took a chunk out of my day. I had intended to do some work at the library, but lovely mechanic man said they wouldn’t get around to it for hours, so he took me home instead.

The car wasn’t ready until midday on Friday, but I had a lift there and was glad to get it back. It’s running a lot more smoothly, but I just can’t rely on it any more. This is a massive problem, as I can’t afford a new one either.

I started a new non-fiction but revisions came in for a fiction and it seems I have to drop everything when that happens, regardless of workload or work queue. If I don’t act on them immediately, I get nagging emails. Some clients do need to know that they’re not the only ones I have, but obviously I make them feel very special …

The revisions were done but by about 3:30pm on Friday I’d had enough of last week and called it a day. Then it was a really busy weekend, with a gig over in Doncaster Friday night to see a favourite band, then a long session at Doncaster Live on Saturday, culminating in the Buzzcocks – free of charge! – at the end of the night. And on Sunday we were back again to see another friend’s band I’d not seen until then – and they were really good.

This week has been busy again, with that non-fiction edit to finish. I did the manual edits on Monday and started the electronic edits on Tuesday, and I wrote the walks report and sent it on its merry way. But I’m not really very well at the moment. Neither of us is. I don’t know if we picked something up in Dent and it’s been incubating or if it’s something else, but we’re both very fluey and feeling very sorry for ourselves.

Despite this, while I worked yesterday, I did have cups of coffee appear, as if by magic, on my desk, and I did have dinner (lunch) cooked for me. The poet was having a Do Diddle Day! But by teatime we were both really flagging and today I think we’re worse.

This doesn’t get the work done, though. And no work means no invoices and that means no money. So I have to shift that edit, get it invoiced. Then I have to do another revision. Then I have a new edit to start, a novel this time. I also have an article to write.

I seem to be posting weekly at the moment, but that will change again – just as soon as I get back into a swing of things.

I’d best crack on – enjoy the pic. 🙂

Burning the midnight oil

blog thumbnailAt the start of this week I was roughly 5 days behind in my work due to the flu. After a few days spent burning the midnight oil, I’ve caught up on 2 of those and by the end of the weekend I should be back on track.

The flu has definitely gone and there is just a cold lingering now. The deafness is only in one ear. I do feel a lot better, but, after a slip on the stairs with the dog yesterday, I am feeling a bit achey today.

My main worry was the dog, and I really need to train him to walk down the stairs by himself as I won’t be able to carry him forever. He’ll do it, reluctantly, on the lead, but panics if he’s on the landing, let alone any steps. I did manage to keep hold of him until my rump hit the deck, but I think he had a bit of a bump too and he was quite bewildered by it all – to the extent that he ran straight to his basket when we got downstairs (after first making sure I was all right, bless him), and he only ever goes in there if he’s been naughty.

My second worry was the mirror on the wall directly opposite the bottom of the stairs, but once I knew I was coming in under that rather than into it, I relaxed and enjoyed the ride – so to speak.

I escaped with a grazed elbow, in 2 places, 3 sprained fingers and a sore bum. And a few muscular aches. But apart from that, we’re fine. Domino scarpered down the stairs before us; Holly stayed safely at the top watching us. So the cats were fine too.

Isn’t it amazing, though, how much work your middle finger on your non-dominant hand does? I had trouble unscrewing bottle tops, holding flat objects, typing, picking anything up that requires the whole hand, opening door handles, walking the dog on his lead … So I tried not to do any work with it, but kept moving so I didn’t seize up. Witch hazel is also brilliant.

Anyway, as I say, I’ve worked late for the past few nights – until 1:30am last night – and I’ve done quite a lot of catching up of work. I even bagged another interview for the National Service book. This morning I sent author queries off for a book I just finished editing (hard copy) and I’m ready to start proof-reading the next job, an autobiography.

It means I may have to work at the weekend so that by Monday I’m back where I want to be, and that means I’ll miss this week’s write-in in Leeds. With a cold still lingering a bit, I shan’t take that to my parents’. Instead I’ll go next week when I would have gone anyway.

So, that’s me sorted for the weekend. What are you doing?

Have a goodun.

Flu packs bags

blog thumbnail Following a second drug-free night, although granted another unscheduled lie-in, I’m finally starting to feel better. I can breathe. I’m not drowning. And the fog has left the cavity between my ears. Here’s hoping the flu is packing its bags and will soon be gone.

Yesterday turned into quite the admin day, a steady plod getting me back into the swing of work. I didn’t clear any jobs, but I re-set the body clock (nearly) and made several inroads.

Today I want to edit a manuscript and get it sent back to the author so he can see my suggested changes.

I’ve already done this week’s walks report and filed it, with 6 newspapers. I’m not seeing these papers but other members of the group are and we’re apparently getting some good coverage with quite a few walkers turning up after reading about us. Listing the walks for the next 2 weeks has reminded me that it’s Moonraker Festival time at Slaithwaite and we have a walk on the 23rd. It’s a 6-mile walk but an easy one, and the dog can come with me. I’m fancying joining that one …

I also have an appointment in town today at 2:30pm, which will cut the day in half but at least I’ll have some fresh air.

On the way home I want to get some lemon juice so I can have a go at pancakes this evening. I forgot to get the lemon juice when I surfaced at the weekend and went to do shopping. I’m not very good at pancakes, I have to concentrate really hard, do everything by the book, then close my eyes and cross my fingers. I love pancakes with sugar and lemon and would eat them all year round if I had the knack.

The dog will also need a walk at some point and I’d like to make a dent in the next job.

Happy Pancake Day. 🙂

Tight month

I don’t really have much to report, mostly because I’ve spent vast quantities of the past 7 days in bed. I’ve done hardly any work because I just haven’t had the energy. I didn’t go to the Leeds write-in on Saturday, I’ve not been to any gigs, and I didn’t go to visit my parents – mostly because we don’t want them catching whatever I’ve had.

And I’m hoping it’s the past tense now.

The over-the-counter drugs have been working hard for about 5 days, including night time tablets to help me sleep (not sleeping tablets). But yesterday, when I surfaced the first time, I was so woozy I spent several seconds staring down at the doorstep wondering why the milkman hadn’t been … (he might be good, but he doesn’t deliver on a Sunday, unless snow has been forecast the following day, and then it’s Sunday evening rather than Sunday morning).

So last night I went without the night time drugs … and when I woke up at 10am this morning, I felt as though I’d slept the sleep of the dead. The animals were all shut in the bedroom with me and I have no idea if I’d ignored any of them wanting out, but as they were all fast asleep and snoring … perhaps they have me on when they do manage to wake me and don’t want out at all.

It means, of course, that now February – an already short month – is tighter than ever. I have a good month’s-worth of work in. I just need to plod through it steadily:

  • edit historical novel #1
  • edit historical novel #2
  • proof-read historical non-fiction #1
  • proof-read auto-biography
  • pitch paranormal feature #1
  • weekly walks report
  • finish and submit short story for fave story market
  • finish and submit filler/reader’s letter
  • write and submit RTE (reader’s true experience)
  • arrange interviews for non-fiction #1
  • write press release for Feb book publication
  • write 1,000 words a day …

We didn’t get much snow this time, by the way, despite it being forecast last week and this week. It did snow, but not enough to stick. It’s nice walking the dog when it’s snowing because nobody else does. (Bunch of big girls’ blouses!)

In other news, I am reading quite a lot, World Without End by Ken Follett (and watching it on telly), and I finally finished the polo-necked aran jumper I’ve been knitting for about three years. So that’s something.

However, I’d best get on …

Well hello, Mucus Monkey …

blog thumbnailOnce again, good intentions have gone down the drain, mostly due this time to a swift bout of head flu.

When I let the animals out yesterday morning I thought I was feeling better, but I went back to bed (it was only about 5:30am) and woke up 6 hours later. I got up and got dressed, and just that act of getting dressed totally exhausted me.

So I sat around, reading, feeling sorry for myself.

I did start some work, but kept being distracted. And then I found out that nuisance neighbour isn’t just fixating on me any more. He’s started on the lovely young chap on the end, a serving soldier, for daring to challenge him over driving through his washing.

Numerous times nuisance neighbour has done this, knocking washing on the floor or just dirtying it so it has to be done again, without apology or anything, and when soldier neighbour complained, nuisance neighbour apparently reported him to the police for parking his car in the way of nuisance neighbour’s van.

It seems the council and the police have both said we can all park our own cars on our own properties at the back, but if our way is blocked by someone else doing the same thing, tough. There’s no right of way, just an etiquette thing.

So now nuisance neighbour has, apparently, reported soldier neighbour for vandalising his van by throwing down nails and stingers to puncture his tyres.

Well, I walk the dog around there every single day and I’ve never seen such a thing. But nuisance neighbour has also apparently told the police that I’m filming the back of the house so will provide them with the necessary evidence.

Erm, I don’t think so. Apart from the fact that I’m not yet filming the back of the house anyway, what makes him think I would want to help him?!

What a deluded idiot.

Anyway, I await the police visit with interest and, meanwhile, will pass the information on to my solicitor.

The head flu isn’t much better today. Well, the stuffiness has gone from behind my eyes, but the mucus monkey has settled into my sinuses and I have a barbed wire throat. I’m not as tired, but I still don’t have much energy.

So far today I’ve updated the gig list, which was already late for February. And that’s it. Next job, the job boards I think.