Heron at Newmillerdam

Heron at Newmillerdam. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Heron at Newmillerdam. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

I may have to do some overtime …

Wow, now there’s something I didn’t think I’d see just 2 weeks ago.  But yes, the hard work has paid off and my diary is now officially full. For at least 3 weeks again.

I need to start shifting the work now and get the invoices raised.

Thursday of this week was a wipe-out as we had another appointment in Birmingham with my parents. So I may try and sneak some work in tomorrow – and that’s something else I didn’t think I’d be doing any time soon. Working at the weekend again.

I now have a fiction in to edit, 3 non-fictions (with plenty more on the way), and a commissioned article to write. I also need to build in the job hunting to my daily schedule plus the other admin stuff like invoices, filing, shredding, decluttering, diary work, blogging, the walks report and the gig list.

In November I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo with The Beast Within (the second Marcie Craig mystery). I also want to prepare a marketing pack so I can start approaching firms for corporate work.

Who else is doing NaNo this year?

Today it’s invoices, the blog, job hunting and one of the non-fictions. Tomorrow it may be the same non-fiction or the fiction.

Don’t forget to hop along to have a look at me on LinkedIn. You need to click the button in the side bar as I can’t post a link at the moment.

Today’s picture was taken on a recent walk around a place called Newmillerdam near Wakefield, and was taken by the poet when we happened across a heron fishing – that’s the heron that was fishing, not us …

Nothing much planned for the weekend, other than just one gig on Saturday. But we shall see. Whatever you’re up to, have a goodun.

Grammar Nazi At Work

Bassenthwaite, where thar be osprey (can you see them?). (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)
Bassenthwaite, where thar be osprey (can you see them?). (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Yes, I’m a bit of a grammar nazi. But I try not to bandy it about too much as not everyone is as bothered as I am about quality, standard or consistency – or just plain being correct. So with emails, texts and social media, I tend to just ignore mistakes, typos and general bone idleness.

However, when it’s a writing organisation or a writing competition, I’m slightly torn. I’m annoyed too when it’s promotional literature that a client has paid for – surely if they’re paying a professional rate, they should get a professional job. Or maybe I’m just old-fashioned like that.

For example, if I see a poster on, say, Facebook, that has anything to do with a campaign or something else I have a lot of interest in, I tend to share it with everyone on my list. But if that poster has any grammatical errors on, I just like it and move on.

When it’s a writing organisation or a writing competition, I really do want to share it … but if there are grammatical or spelling errors … I tell them.

This happened this morning on FB, and I won’t name the organisation as they fixed it as soon as I sent them a private, friendly (I hope) message. Within minutes there was a new poster available that I felt more able to share.

So, today’s question is this: Would you tell them or would you let it go?

Navel gazing
I’ve had a bit of a navel-gazing week. I wasn’t very well on Monday still, following our little flu epidemic last week, and yesterday I just couldn’t get on with much work beyond mechanical-type stuff. I didn’t know what the problem was until I received a phone call from one of my lovely bosses, as I had plenty of work in. But the problem turned out to be, I didn’t want to do it (for various reasons I won’t go into here); I wanted to work for lovely boss.

So we had a chat and he does have plenty of work for me, and this has given me light at the end of the tunnel, if you like. Now that I know I don’t just have this work in I really don’t want to do, but I have more, more enjoyable work on the horizon, I was able to find my mojo again.

Writing bag
I started by upgrading my writing bag to one I can fit the editing/proofreading folder in as well.

I’ve added my Teeline Shorthand for Journalists course to the bag and intend to work on this for at least an hour a day.

The current novel is in the bag – The Beast Within: A Marcie Craig Mystery.

My Kindle is in there, with a few reference books for writing I have open, a collection of stories from Arthur Conan Doyle, and a novel.

I have a journalism workbook in there too, and all of the current short writing work in progress, plus all of my various notepads and a pencil tin.

Current WiP
Today I’m editing a book and tweaking another. I’ve already updated the gig list for the week. Tomorrow I’m in Birmingham to see to a few things with my parents.

Today’s picture
While we were on holiday in Dentdale, we also ventured over to the Lake District. There are osprey at Bassenthwaite, and from the RSPB viewing platform up on the hillside we had a very good view of the adult male and the two juveniles – one male, one female. The adult female had already migrated about a week or so before we arrived.

In today’s picture, taken by the poet, you can see the lake and a bar of sand where the juveniles’ favourite perch is. We also watched the male juvenile have a go at a spot of fishing.

While there we also saw a jay, some finches and a beautiful red squirrel. I’ve never seen a red squirrel before, so that was a special treat for me.

Enjoy the view. 🙂

Stark staring mad – again

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I don’t know. I get a new diary and the first thing I fill it with is this … 45,000 words in 31 days in July, or 1,452 words per day.

On Sunday I picked up some books about steampunk – 1 on writing steampunk, 2 steampunk novels/novellas (they’re quite short), and the complete Sherlock Holmes. Sunday evening I started to read the writing book and the Arthur Conan Doyle – and I fell in love with the Conan Doyle straight away. This is the first time I’ve ever read any Sherlock Holmes, but I think I’m reading it with the current BBC cast in mind, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman – the latter is also a hobbit, of course.

Sunday night was muggy and close, it was difficult to settle, but then my imagination started to go into overdrive. Not only did it overflow with steampunk ideas, it also resolved some plot blockages I’m experiencing with The Beast Within (the 2nd Marcie Craig mystery).

At 1am I was still trying to sleep. At 2am, I was scribbling away. At 3am I was letting a cat out. At 4am I was listening to an owl. At 5am I was fetching in the milk. At 6am I was letting another cat out and the other one in. At 7:30am, I was being woken by next door’s grandson squealing at something as he got into the car outside my bedroom window …

Anyway, I’d started to populate my steampunk world and on Monday morning, when a mate plugged CampNaNo for July, I was hooked and have been looking into it all week. I’ve clearly gone totally and utterly stark staring mad. Again.

On Monday I didn’t get any walk numbers in so I didn’t need to do the walks report for the local papers. I did, however, receive a phone call from the CEO’s office at my telephone and internet provider regarding my interruption to service last Thursday afternoon. Because it’s a residential account and not a commercial one, they were unable to reimburse me for half a day’s loss of wages. As a goodwill gesture, however, they were able to send me a cheque for £50 (apx $75). Result.

Tuesday was a work day, editing the latest historical novel. I also had an appointment in a nearby village, which my nice lady next door neighbour took me to as I was without wheels. I was going to go on the bus and then walk the rest of the way, but once she knew what time I had to be there, and that it was when she was collecting her grandson from school, she said it was no trouble.

After the appointment I walked the 10 minutes to have a look at my car. All the lads were almost ready to go home so we had a nice little group chat around my car while I recovered from the price of the work. At the rate I’m currently going, I’ll have a whole new car built around the shell. It was nice to get my motor back, though, and it’s running nicely again. I’ll have to keep a closer eye on it now it’s 10 years old, until I can afford – or win – a new one.

Wednesday was my do diddle day and while I planned to do diddley squat all day I actually worked.

A while ago I installed my digital transcription kit onto the laptop, but I couldn’t for the life of me get the foot pedal to work. The whole point of audio typing is that the foot controls the tape while the typist concentrates on the typing. I was having to click the PLAY button and then the PAUSE button, sometimes the REWIND button, and so on, and several times at that. And the fact that I couldn’t get my audio foot pedal working was one of the excuses I used for not cracking on with transcribing interviews.

So, as Wednesday was a do diddle day I decided to empty out all the bags in the cupboard under the stairs I’d brought with me from the office when I left work to see if I could find the missing part.

There wasn’t a missing part … but I did find the original installation disks (I think I’d used a copy before) (a back-up copy …).

So I tried to install the program again and it kept saying it was already running. I went into the control panel to delete the original program, but it kept saying it was already running. I couldn’t see it running so I rebooted and it let me remove the program that time. I installed one .exe file and ran it and – voila! My foot pedal works. Result.

I’m blummin good at times, me … and now I have NO EXCUSE other than time (and pathetic excuses) not to get these interviews transcribed and the first sample chapter of the non-fiction book written. And if don’t have the time, I have to make it.

On Thursday it was back to work and back to editing, with a vengeance, as the proofreading boss has decided to send me an editing job this time. That means I’m proofreading non-fiction and editing non-fiction and fiction now for them. Result.

There are also a couple of writing jobs in the pipeline, which I’m quite excited about. I hope they come off because then I’ll be full again. 🙂

I also updated the blog and my ALCS account with a few more books I’ve worked on and carried on with the steampunk research and reading. Thursday is also diary day.

Today it’s raining so I won’t be distracted by hanging washing out or anything. I have a whole day stretching ahead of me in which to work and catch up again. I’m editing today, mostly, but also doing some writing work – planning and prep for CampNaNo.

Have a great weekend – mine’s packed, I’m off to Birmingham tomorrow and the seaside again on Sunday – and let me know if you’re also giving CampNaNo a go.