Festival weekend

wormy 1
Two faces of the poet – Wormy (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

I know I say this a lot, but we really did have a very busy weekend – and there’s another one on its way this coming weekend too.

On Thursday evening we nipped over to see the poet’s dad as it was his 80th birthday. He’d said he didn’t want anything, so we bought him a fuchsia for the garden. He’d not had it 5 minutes before he was deciding where to put it, so we think we made a good choice.

On Friday evening, at teatime, we had a mad dash over to Harrogate for the 2015 Crime Writing Festival. We were attending an event called “Yorkshire Pride” and thought a panel would be discussing crime novels in and about Yorkshire or by Yorkshire folk.

We didn’t expect to meet Peter Robinson (creator of DCI Banks) or Lee Child (creator of Jack Reacher). We thought they’d just be discussing their work. But they were there and afterwards I was able to have a book signed by Peter Robinson and the poet accosted Lee Child outside and got him to sign another. (Mr Child was supposed to be signing books the following day as he had another event he needed to be at.)

After the event we had a wander around town and decided to have tea in an American-style steakhouse. That was very nice.

Saturday morning we were back in Harrogate and struggling to park, but arrived just in time for the annual “New Blood”, chaired, as ever, by Val McDermid, who signed another book for us. (We’re turning into Val McDermid groupies!)

Because we’d left the dog on his own while we were in Harrogate, we had to hurry back. So we grabbed a sandwich and headed off. The poet wanted to go fishing that evening, but when we got home he discovered that the annual Fish-o-Mania was live on telly and he was having trouble tearing himself away. So we decided to watch that – or he watched it and I caught up on some reading.

Sunday morning we were up-and-at-’em again because the poet’s band, Monkey Dust, were playing at the Wheel of Light charity festival. This was supposed to be at another venue, but less than 2 weeks before the event, the venue pulled out, which was a bit of a disaster. However, while the organiser was on the phone cancelling the bands, Castleford Panthers ARLFC sent a text to say they’d hold it.

Unfortunately the organisers didn’t get as much time as they’d like to promote it (although Diane’s Gig List did their bit to help!), and it wasn’t as attended as it could be. They were also a bit disappointed, to say the least, when they discovered the original venue that pulled out had staged another event instead – on the same day. But the bands had a good time, lots of fun was had, and more friendships forged. Pictures (by Ian and Diane Wordsworth) can be found here on Facebook.

Castleford Panthers have offered to hold the event again next year, so the organisers are going to make more of a day of it and have already started to ask bands.

So that was our weekend. Oh yes, and Rufus came with us yesterday too …

wormy 2
Two faces of the poet – Ian (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

Today sees the start of quite a busy period for me. Do you remember that Cosmic ordering I did the other week? Well, don’t anyone try to tell me it doesn’t work.

Last week I did a small job for a new client and already she is offering me repeat work. I also won a regular gig off another new client. And an existing client sent me 4 new jobs on Friday – and paid for the first one in advance. This on top of the work I already have in. I won’t be trawling for new work again any time soon.

I also have writing work to do, as ever, but not so much admin work this week. I have Thursday off, though. The poet is working in Tipton that day so I’m visiting the parents. We couldn’t see them this coming weekend as we have another 3-day festival to go to in Sheffield.

How was your weekend?

Advertisements

Rocking the Cosmos

IMG_2604
Industrial Oban (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Less than 2 weeks ago, I gave the Cosmos a bit of a kick up the bum and ordered a little bit of good fortune. I asked for Holly to learn how to use the cat flap, and I asked for some work or some sales or a competition win.

Well, I can proudly announce that Holly, that very intelligent cat, who thinks she can blend into the background and hide anywhere, and can open very heavy doors, has finally learned how to use the cat flap … or at least one way she has. She has yet to work out that the cat flap actually flaps both ways, and if she can push a big, heavy door, she can certainly shift a bit of perspex. So, round of applause for Holly, please, and a please-try-a-little-harder to the Cosmos. Thank you.

Last week I received a teeny-tiny follow-up job from a very satisfied client of the week before. I submitted the work Wednesday evening (late, after the fishing match), and he paid me yesterday. He also left me a second 5-star feedback. I LOVE clients like that.

And then this morning, a client I thought I may have lost has contacted me with a Big One. One that may take 3 – 4 weeks. Of course, he still may find someone willing to do the work for less and has every option to go there instead. But he contacted me, and that’s the main thing. I think I’ll be having lots of conversations with the Cosmos today, though.

So, how has the week been? Well, I started a new word count challenge on Wednesday, but as I’m doing it over several projects, I asked the poet to create a spreadsheet for me so I can keep tabs on how much I’ve written per project and how much I’ve written per day/month. He did that within about 10 minutes. I could have done it, but it would have taken me half a day, so I outsourced that work to maximise and optimise.

We had a cracking storm yesterday afternoon. I knew it was coming because the dog was barking at anything, everything and nothing. The day before we’d had a proper, tropical storm, with thunderless lightning and big fat raindrops. That left us feeling very muggy. Yesterday, though, it was a decent downpour that left everywhere feeling fresh again.

I’m back into the swing of CATCH THE RAINBOW, I’ve started a new short story, and I’m still doing exercises for ideas and markets. I’ve been editing 2 jobs this week, one is almost complete the other was filed on Wednesday. Next week I may get time to do some extra work as the poet is off to Germany again for a couple of days on business. So in all, I’m feeling quite positive on the work side of things.

I pitched for another job this morning that I was invited to, another regular proofreading gig. I hope to file the second of those editing jobs this afternoon, and get it invoiced (hurrah!). And then we’re off to the pictures this evening. We’re going to see JURASSIC WORLD. Tomorrow we have a very local music festival to go to. And Sunday … I don’t know yet what we’re doing on Sunday. Perhaps we need to get out and take some new photographs, as I’m running out of older ones not already seen … but I like the Oban picture. I like how colourful it is, yet how industrial.

Have a great weekend.

Burn out!

Phew! What a busy few weeks we’ve been having here in Baggins Bottom. First a holiday, then a music festival swiftly followed by a beer festival, then a trip to Solihull and Tipton, then another music festival including a camping trip in major thunderstorms. And to top it all, I come in here today, and the whole interface has changed. Ooh-er. I think I need to pause and take stock.

In between all of these exciting shenanigans I’ve also been very busy. I’ve been editing and proofreading books well into the evenings to make sure I meet deadlines. I’ve fielded argumentative emails from argumentative clients. (I’ve had some proper bostin clients too, by the way.) And I’ve given my writing a good kick up the backside.

I’ve been reading a selection of books in order to get me writing, and these are filled with lots of positive, pro-active exercises that lead to finished products, rather than being exercises for exercise sake. I’ll share some of the better ones with everyone once I know which ones have actually worked. 

And it is all work. As well as a part-completed Camp NaNo during July, I’ve also started several short stories and even finished the first drafts of a few. Now I need to plod on through, continue with the exercises, and get some stories polished and off into the ether to earn their keep.

So, what have you lot been up to while we’ve been gallivanting around the country? Answers below.