Yet more busyness

I’ve had some work come in this week, and I have older work awaiting revision review. So yesterday I sat back to consolidate, print out and organise the workload.

And my current editing WiP consists of 7 books altogether.

  • 1 new short edit
  • electronic edits on existing non-fiction #1
  • layout checks on historical fiction
  • 2 new non-fictions to edit
  • and 2 non-fictions to collate author/proofreader revisions

And that’s just the editing.

Yesterday I used more than a ream of paper printing it all out, and the best part of a printer cartridge – I never proclaim to have a paper-free office. It’s the work I do, and the clue’s in the editing books part. They consist of paper.

The new short edit is one I pitched for and won on Wednesday. I also fired off an unsolicited application to that ebook publisher and they replied last night that they’d be in touch in a couple of weeks. This is better than a thanks-but-no-thanks at this stage so I remain optimistic.

This morning already I’ve done the short edit and sent it back to the client, and I’ve done the fiction layout and sent comments back to the client. I’m currently in the midst of those electronic edits but I’ve cleared more than 300 pages today.

I’d like to finish the current electronic edits by the end of today and then be ready to start one of the new edits. If I can do that, I have 3 invoices to raise.

I don’t know what we’re doing tonight but we could do with going shopping. It’s a fishing day tomorrow and I haven’t decided what to do. I can’t go to a write-in as the dog will be too long on his own. So I may work, I may bake, I may read, I may take the dog for a big walk, or I may go to the pictures. Or, I may do diddley squat.

On Sunday we’re visiting both lots of parents while also hoping to get back in good time for an annual fund-raising outdoor festival.

So I’d best crack on.

What are you up to this weekend? Whatever it is, have a goodun.

Hump day holler

So how’s this week going for you?

I’ve been busy getting work in again while also trying to keep on top of mundane things like washing.

I’ve pitched for 17 jobs this week, including one that was invited for and one outside of the job boards. And I won one so far. I also have revisions to do on existing work plus a new edit to start.

Writing-wise, I haven’t done much this week, as I’ve been doing other stuff, admin stuff. But I did do the walks report and get it sent off to 6 local newspapers.

The weather’s been very hit-and-miss, but I have managed to get washing dry and the dog has been walked.

And that’s it. More of the same for me this week, and probably into the weekend too.

See you Friday.

D-Day 70 Years On

On Wednesday I managed to get quite a lot done in the end before heading off to the literary festival in Doncaster. We had a bit of a rushed tea and we were a few minutes late, but the talks from both speakers were very interesting, and it was nice to see Kate again.

In the end I also pitched for 3 new editing or proofreading jobs, liaised with 2 of my clients and won a bonus on a job I’m still working on.

On Thursday we had a bit of an unscheduled blog, which in the end netted 3 new followers, 3 new likes and 1 re-blog. So now I know what people are really interested in. 😉 Welcome to the new followers.

I also pitched for another 3 new editing or proofreading jobs, submitted 2 short stories, and edited and submitted 1 RTE. A new editing job came in from lovely-already-boss, and 1st proofs also came in for another of his jobs.

Friday is errand day, but this week all I have to do is put petrol in the car and go for some dog food. I also want to crack on with some editing and pitch for a few more jobs. I’m also trying to create an event on Facebook for tomorrow evening, but it isn’t letting me.

This evening we’re off to see a new band to us in a familiar venue. I don’t know what we’re doing tomorrow during the day, so we might go out. Tomorrow night the poet has a gig in York. Then on Sunday we’re off to see my parents. My sister is taking them to Bletchley Park on Monday and Dad would like to borrow one of our rucksacks. I must remember to put one in the car for him. If we get back in time, we may go to see another band we like.

Just one more thing for me to do on today’s blog … see pic below. Enough said. Have a great weekend. d day

Productive week so far (lists alert)

I had a good day on Monday.

I sifted through the archives and I found 4 short stories and 1 reader’s true experience (RTE) that just needed a quick proofread before going off on their merry ways. I also:

  • found 2 1st drafts of stories
  • identified slots for 4 potential filler ideas
  • started the new WiP notebook
  • brought my fillers markets up to date with what 3 of the red-top magazines are currently looking for
  • proofed those 4 short stories
  • chased an overdue invoice
  • and pitched for 2 new editing or proofreading jobs

The poet worked from home yesterday, which was lovely – apart from him being full of cold again. He got quite a lot done, and much more than (a) he thought he would, and (b) he would have done had he been at work. He’s always said he wouldn’t have the discipline to work from home, but perhaps me sitting there working away helped. Here’s what I managed:

  • started the non-fiction manual edit, clearing 30 pages
  • pitched for 3 new editing or proofreading jobs (and have one reply to reply to already)
  • proofed the RTE
  • and did some banking work

We also took the dog for a walk and nipped to Tesco for milk and something quick for tea.

This morning I took my car in for an MOT.

The plan was to take some work down to the library for a couple of hours, but as I pulled up at the garage, they were waiting for me and they took it down straight away, telling me to wait in the office. Half an hour later they were back, having replaced 2 lightbulbs (front nearside sidelight + registration plate light) and switched off the Air Bag warning light, and clutching my shiny new MOT certificate. With a teeny tiny bill of less than £40 this time (apx $65), I was very proud of my little car and treated it to a smelly new air freshener – last of the big spenders, that’s me. 🙂

It meant the editing work I took with me didn’t really get done, but I did manage some reading. When I got back there were author revisions waiting for me on a historical novel I’ve been editing, so I shifted that and had a late dinner (lunch).

I want to have another look at the job boards this afternoon and maybe do some more of that manual editing.

This evening, though, we’re off to see Stephen Wade (aka the babe magnet) and Phil Whyman at the Doncaster Literary Festival, so we’re going to be in a bit of a rush and I’m cooking tea. It’ll be great to catch up with Stephen and his wife, Kate Walker, this evening as I haven’t seen them for a couple of years.

What a busy week. And there are still 2 days left.

Good news

Yesterday I received some good news. I sold my first piece to a new market, which was actually submitted on spec and acknowledged before Christmas but formally accepted yesterday. I’ll have a filler in tomorrow’s Guardian, but it’ll also be available online. I’ll supply the link next week.

I also heard from the newest client, who is “very happy” with the work I’ve done. I have some more to do on that today.

I was invited to bid on several jobs, but I declined all of them as they don’t really fit my experience or skills.

And today I received payment for a job completed 2 weeks ago. Fourteen days isn’t a bad settlement period, but this particular work I usually get paid for within 3 – 5 days of completion.

This morning I pitched for another 7 jobs, and that brings this week’s tally to more than 30.

The to-do list has been fair again, with just 3 items not done. Everything else should be completed by the end of Sunday, as one is a visit to Brum.

I think I’m also moving this weekend. What are you up to? Hope it’s a goodun. 😉

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Catch up

This week has mostly been about catching up after having to restore the factory settings on my pc the other week. Fortunately I’d done most of the hard copy work, but some of the recent electronic work had been lost in the system restore. All of that work has now been caught up on and I’m taking new work in again and pitching for jobs.

I’ve caught up with the walks report, which was several weeks’ worth, got that written and submitted to 6 local newspapers. I also had to sort out 2 photographs with captions/credits and I’m hoping the 2 newspapers who have asked for them will both use a different picture.

I managed to keep on top of the gig list, although I didn’t update that until yesterday. Gigs are now coming in for December so that will be my big job on there next week – uploading December.

Altogether I’ve pitched for 14 editing or proofreading jobs this week and 1 writing job. I’ll also have shifted 2 books by the end of today and let lovely already boss know I’m now up to date and ready for more books to edit.

The blog only got posted on Monday (and today), but that’s mainly because I didn’t have the laptop switched on. Much of Wednesday was spent completing forms I’ve already completed but that have been lost at the other end. I hope they don’t get lost again, it takes a lot of time and I don’t get paid for that.

Today, then, I’m finalising the electronic edits on those books and getting them sent back to the respective authors and off to typesetting.

We’re having a lazy evening tonight, entertaining tomorrow afternoon, we have a gig tomorrow night, and we’re off to Brum on Sunday to see the parents.

Have a great weekend.

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Crazy weekend

windowsill

This is one of my favourite pictures of Tinker and Holly. I often wonder where Tinker went that day she walked away and never come back. But I have my suspicions. I stumbled across this picture this morning and decided to share it for those who remember when she disappeared. She was a lovely cat.

We had a terrific weekend, crazy but lovely.

On Friday we had a fantastic gig in Doncaster. The band played really well and there was a great atmosphere. It was a very late night, though, as they didn’t finish packing down until 2am. But it was a goodun.

On Saturday I made it to the Leeds write-in to join in with this November’s NaNoWriMo. I met a few new people and it was nice to see some old faces. And I got a few words written too. While I was NaNo-ing, the poet and Rufus were having a wonderful time walking and watching telly and chomping chews … the latter being the dog rather than the man … Saturday evening we were visiting and shopping, and finally arrived home at 9pm.

I went to Leeds on the train from a different railway station. The ticket is cheaper, by about £2, and the journey is slightly slower, with just one train an hour, but the station is closer to the house and I was able to cadge a lift. When we got there we were surprised to see the once-vacant and derelict railway buildings back in use. I did a bit of research and discovered that a café has been allowed to lease the buildings and I thought that was a great idea. All unmanned stations should consider doing that.

On Sunday, the poet went fishing – and came third, well done, sweetheart 🙂  – and I had a really lazy day catching up on sleep (I did quite a lot of overtime last week) and recorded television. Then on Sunday evening we went out to see a new band for both of us, but made it home again by 9pm.

Today I’ve started the week afresh and tried to do everything scheduled in the diary. On Friday I started to surf the job boards again, rewrote my blurb and pitched for 14 jobs. Today I pitched for a further 6 jobs, and I’ve already written the walks report, which was lagging behind due to me being without computer or internet.

I have 2 books to edit, both non-fictions, and I’m in correspondence with the author of the historical fiction I filed last week.

I have a full working week this week so intend to get a lot shifted. I’d best get on …

The reservoir at Langsett

Langsett Reservoir. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
Langsett Reservoir. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

I’m working hard, ticking things off and actually earning proper money. Last night I even allowed myself to daydream about spending some of it.

On Wednesday I chugged through all of my to do list. I edited some photo captions for a non-fiction and got those sent off to the typesetter and I finished author and proofreader revisions on the same and posted that back while walking the dog.

On Thursday I finished the electronic edit on another non-fiction and got the tracked changes document back to the author. That filled most of the day. I also pitched for 2 jobs and communicated with lovely already boss regarding ongoing work that could take me up to 2018.

Today I’m editing a new historical fiction. It’s also invoices day (hurrah!) and blog-posting day. I surfed the job boards but there was nothing suitable this morning.

For the past few days I’ve been suffering with backache and a stiff neck, and yesterday I had a psychological toothache to go with it. The toothache has gone today and so, I thought, had the aching body. But just being hunched over the laptop for an hour or so just now is bringing it on again and I can feel my neck weakening.

I guess I’ll have to do a new ergonomic assessment of my work environment but I think it’s being crunched over the laptop despite it being on a riser. I think I need a desktop pc with a screen at eye-level and at a 90-degree angle to a window, but I can’t really manage either at the moment.

I could probably do with a proper office chair as well, but the current chair is a really good support for my back. It is a dining chair, though, so probably not suited to desk work.

Still lots to think about but I think I’m mentally moving the office now – at least into a different room, if not into a different building …

Today’s picture is another from Langsett Reservoir and one of mine. I liked all of the different lines in this shot.

Nothing planned for this weekend beyond a couple of gigs to go to. I’m starting to get cabin fever, though, so I hope we get a drive out soon. Y’all have a goodun.  🙂

Aren’t friends brill!

As many of you already know I’m really very quite busy, and I’m frantically trying to keep on top of work and on top of getting money in.

Yesterday morning I made a decision that if no money hit my account that day, I’d look for a proper job. This is because I’m starting to tire of chasing people for money. WHY do people hire your services and then fanny around not paying? I think it’s disgraceful, especially when it’s a large organisation that can afford to pay more than others. But even then, if they can’t afford to pay, they shouldn’t hire you. End of. It’s like going to a café, eating their food, and then saying: “Soz, can’t afford it after all – can you hang on a week or so until I get paid?” It’s bang out of order.

However, when I checked my bank account, a reasonable sum had indeed hit it and so I didn’t need to honour the pledge to myself. Phew! Thank goodness for that.

And so I cracked on with work and was doing quite well. I chucked one job back at a client, because it needed a helluva lot more work than what she’d initially suggested and I wasn’t prepared to haggle or do extra hours for the same pay. She agreed that it needed to go to a different contractor and I billed for time already spent.

Then I was in the midst of another job that’s already a bit later than I’d like, and BANG – I got the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH. Eek! My only work yesterday, after throwing one job back, was on screen. And it was already later than I’d like.

So, after it let me in again, I threw a request up on Facebook asking friends to let me know what to do. I started by backing up all of my critical data, which was already going to take a long time, and then, luckily for me, friends did indeed answer my plea. Two tried to help me online, even though both were at work and one was very busy, and then another busy friend, the good old virtual office buddy, squeezed me in for a remote access jobby.

That then also took some time, and so did the scheduled ChkDsk function when the pc was rebooted. In fact, the ChkDsk took hours. He thinks what he did should fix it, but if not then he reckons it’s a memory issue. Fingers crossed it’s fixed.

But aren’t friends ace? I have some brilliant mates. 🙂

And so I lost a lot of time and am catching up today. I’m still doing the electronic edit – I need to shift that one ASAP – I’ve pitched for 18 jobs this week, I have an article I need to write that’s also later than I’d like (awaiting photographs from the subject), there’s the gig list to update today, and that job I threw back? It bounced straight back just as I was going to bed last night …

And I’ve given it some thought and decided that if she’s happy for me to bill for time worked on a weekly basis, then I’m happy to continue with the project. I usually work on fixed price jobs but, actually, I wouldn’t mind an hourly one.

Enjoy the picture below. It’s another one of mine from Saturday’s walk.

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Langsett Reservoir