Hey you! Yes, you at the back! Say hello!

I have no idea why, but Wednesday’s post seems to have been more popular than some of the previous ones as it was possibly shared and re-tweeted much more than any of my posts have ever been shared before. So, all you people at the back, before you read any further, nip on down to the bottom and say hi. No need to be shy, we’re very friendly here.

Have you done it? Go on, I’ll wait …

# tum ti tum ti tum ti tum …

Done it? There now, that didn’t hurt, did it?

So, what have I been up to this week?

Well, so far, without counting today, I’ve pitched for 24 new proofreading or editing jobs, including several regular gigs. I’ve also caught up a bit on the non-fiction editing – I’ve done author and proofreader revisions on a non-fiction book, I’ve edited an essay and I’ve been reviewing another non-fiction book that needed additional work doing to it.

I’ve written the walks report and submitted it to 6 local newspapers, and liaised with a couple of said newspapers, and I’ve caught up on the daily competitions. I’ve also been doing my own writer’s boot camp. I’m working on 5 short stories and have a couple of 1st drafts I want to have a look at.

And a big job I did yesterday was my first critical data backup in 9 months … I’ve done a lot of work in that 9 months, it would be awful if the computer crashed and I lost it all. That took a little longer than intended as it involved tidying up the hard drive anyway to make sure I wasn’t copying any duplicates or anything that really isn’t needed any more.

As part of that backup I found a load of old ebooks that I’ve not been able to read anywhere due to the archaic format. But I think I’ve managed to transfer the majority of those to my new Kindle Paperwhite. They’re all saved on there as “personal”, and if I delete them from the home page they also go from the collection(s) I put them in. But I think I can at least read them.

There are a couple of old magazines on there I’d like to read, Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen. I might try those first.

I still have today’s chores to do – daily competitions, surf for more work and pitch if necessary, invoices to raise (hurrah!), the notes section of a non-fiction to read through, today’s boot camp. And I think I have a hair appointment at 5pm-ish.

We’re having a bit of personal upheaval over the coming 4 weeks, so this weekend the poet and I are having some quality time together. I think we’re going fishing tomorrow, and we may go to the pictures on Sunday. We also have to head over to the other house to inspect it for new tenants and change the locks, but we may do that this evening.

So, y’all have a great weekend – tell us what you’re up to – and I’ll see you on Monday. 🙂

Camp NaNo Day 2

Camp NaNo started very well yesterday with the first brand new story written in ages, and my first target of 1,000 words or 1 hour met. I already know what I’m writing to today, as I copied the prompt out into my notebook while I had a moment. The poet is giving it a go this year as well, so I’m saving today’s for when he gets home so we can work together. I’ll change the little man as soon as I have something to change.

We’ve already had a hectic week. I’ve been plodding through electronic edits while I waited for a new proofread, I wrote the walks report yesterday and submitted it to 7 local newspapers, I pegged 17 jobs this week so far to pitch for later in the week (bearing in mind we have a holiday coming up), caught up with the daily competitions, paid a few bills – with another small debt biting the dust! – changed a hair appointment and, of course, started Camp NaNo.

Phew!

Another thing we did was change our relationship statuses on Facebook, something that we thought would happen quite quietly but which, in fact, turned into a bit of a fanfare and attracted more than 120 ‘likes’ and over 80 ‘comments’. That took a little time keeping on top of acknowledgements, etc.

And here’s a *** truth alert ***

While we’ve never actually done anything wrong – we were both completely and absolutely single and ‘available’ when we started seeing each other, and there was absolutely no one else involved – we’ve not had an easy year. I’m not going into detail, and it wasn’t our doing, but it’s all behind us now.

We’ve known about it for a while, as we had to book it in advance, but we didn’t want our parents or the kids finding out online. So we told them all first. And, well, we’re getting married next year. And we’re going away to do it, so there. Not everyone will be happy but – this time – it’s not about them. We’re just overwhelmed and delighted with all the warm wishes from our friends and families.

*** end of truth alert ***

So that’s what we’ve been up to this week.

Today I’ve been carrying on with the electronic edits, and the new proofread arrived this afternoon. I’ve also been doing my Widow Twanky impression while the weather’s still nice. My eyes are a bit tired with all the close screen work and have gunked up a little over the past few days.

Tomorrow will just be a day 3 update, then on Friday I’ll be back with plans for the weekend.

Flying midweek visit

Since Monday I’ve been working on a new edit. It’s quite a big edit and more than twice as long as these books in this series usually are. In fact, it was more than 4 times as long, but the book has been split into 2 projects. And I’m working on the first this week.

I also have revisions to look at on other books, and a layout to check on the last historical fiction I edited.

So I’ve been a bit tied up doing that.

I’ve been keeping half an eye on the job boards and I saved a few to bid for this morning. Six of them made it through to pitch stage, and those have already gone off.

Yesterday I wrote the walks report, which was more than 300 words this time, and I submitted it to 7 different local newspapers. I think I’m handing this job over in October at the AGM, to someone else who actually attends the walks. I’ve enjoyed doing it, though. It’s exercised my writing muscle most weeks when I’ve been busy editing or proofreading, and it’s kept me in touch with the local newspapers.

I’m ready to start a programme of proper paid writing now, though, and I’m also very busy with the books I’m editing.

In between work I’ve been doing household chores, such as washing and filling/emptying the dishwasher. I don’t think people realise what a chore the dishwasher actually is – you have to fill it, set it, wait for it to finish, empty it, put the crocks away, and then start all over again. Very chore-like.

This morning as well I’ve had to snip away at some of the jungle beneath the washing line, so I can hang washing out. So now I can add gardening to my list of chores. 😉

And yesterday I had to get my own tea! How shocking is that? He’s abandoning me again tomorrow so I’ll have to get my own tea then too.

Here, then, are a few more pictures from Sprotbrough Flash last week to keep you entertained.

Sprotbrough Canal. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
Sprotbrough Canal. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
Sprotbrough Falls.  (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
Sprotbrough Falls. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
Ian. (Pic: Diane Parkin)
Ian. (Pic: Diane Parkin)
River Don. (Pic: Diane Parkin)
River Don. (Pic: Diane Parkin)
Old workings alongside River Don. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
Old workings alongside River Don. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)
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Lord Rufus and Diane. (Pic: Ian Wordsworth)

Enjoy. 🙂

Mad weekend

We had a very busy weekend again, starting on Friday with me frantically trying to finish some work as we were out at a gig Friday night. I got the invoice sent off and into the system anyway, because I’d been pulled off the job I wanted to finish to have a look at something that apparently couldn’t wait a day longer. But I did that too.

Friday night was a great evening with the band, the poet, the sound, the crowd, everything on form. We saw friends we hadn’t seen in a while and, apparently, the pub was the busiest it’s been on a Friday night in a few weeks, so that was nice.

We didn’t get to bed until 3am, though, so had a very lazy start to Saturday. Then when we got up we had to do shopping, we ran a few errands, and we went to do the Doncaster visit. Saturday evening was another gig, a private party this time, so it finished a lot sooner.

On Sunday, after another relatively late start, we headed off to Birmingham and after a couple of hours with my parents we headed back via Kingsbury Water Park near Coleshill (pronounced Coze-‘ill), where we enjoyed another couple of hours in glorious sunshine. We had some proper time off too, and didn’t even take any photographs. Just enjoyed the walk, the scenery, the weather, the fresh air, and the steam exhibition that was going on.

Yesterday was mostly spent finishing that work I invoiced for on Friday and I wouldn’t allow myself to do anything else until that was done. It’s done now, and it’s back to other work today.

So far today I’ve done this blog, but I also want to do the diary and, before noon, write the walks report and get that submitted. Then I have a novel to look at (author’s revisions), a non fiction to proofread and another to start editing.

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The weekend that never was

I had such good intentions to crack on with some work, and we had a weekend of activity planned as well. And then I caught the lurgy off the poet and, as ever, the best laid plans …

We’d already cancelled our camping trip because he was poorly last weekend, but by Wednesday he’d rallied enough to go fishing, and get ready for work the next day (we were on holiday from work). Then on Wednesday evening I started to get a bit of a throat …

Friday and Saturday were my worst days. On Friday I didn’t even get dressed, and that’s very unlike me. I usually make the weekday morning cuppa too, but on Friday I had one brought to me and was told very firmly to stay in bed. So I did. Saturday evening he had a gig to do, and that knocked him back a bit too. So Sunday’s trip to Birmingham was grudgingly cancelled, so that we didn’t share our germs and to give us chance to recharge.

Today we’re both feeling quite a lot better, though we’re both still very full of cold.

I have the diary to update (hurrah!), the walks report to write and submit, a new non-fiction to start editing, and proofreader/author reviews to do for a previous one.

And I also have books to put back onto shelves as the poet did manage to hang bookshelves for me and fetch the bookcase in from the garage.

So, while I do that, here are a few more fishing photos for your enjoyment:

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Greylag geese and goslings. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
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Mallards. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
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Canada geese. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
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Mallard and ducklings. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
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Greylag geese. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
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Angler fishing. (Picture: Diane Parkin)
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Mirror carp. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

Posting weekly

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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. 🙂

Pudding week

Once again it’s been another fun-packed very busy weekend.

Thursday I was busy all day editing a book for a client. It took me longer than I thought it would because English isn’t her first language, so there was a lot of tidying up to do there. I was determined to finish it, though, as I had Friday off, and finally delivered the finished job at 12:30am Friday morning.

Friday was my do diddle day, but I only had a half a one this time as I had to head off to Birmingham in the middle of the afternoon. I popped in to have a few hours with my parents, then I went to collect my friend and we headed off to see GlamRockz, one of my favourite bands, play the Roadhouse in Birmingham for the first time. It started off slow, but the room soon filled up and they had people dancing from the second song in. That’s almost unheard off up here in Yorkshire, it’s like an unwritten rule that we don’t dance until the second set. But in Brum they had no such rule.

I found out at the end of the night that my friend wasn’t really looking forward to it because she’s never really been into glam music, which was a bit of a shock – not that she wasn’t into it but that she didn’t think to mention it. But she loved it too and by the end of the night was jigging on the spot with the rest of us – and she got a tartan scarf.

A few of our friends didn’t turn up, and they didn’t even bother to let us know they weren’t turning up. But we didn’t care. It was their loss and we just won’t ask them again. We had a great night.

I headed back home at the end of the night and arrived at about 2:30am Saturday morning. It was really weird coming home to an empty house. Rufus was having a big adventure at another friend’s house and both cats were out. Both cats came in, but within about 4 hours they were asking to go out again.

I had a nice lie-in and at 11:30am my dog was returned to me. We had a cuppa and a chat, and then we headed off for the 2013 Coalfields festival, for which I had a couple of press passes. The weather was fine but cool enough to sit out in and we had a good 3½ hours there, listening to a few new bands, eating hot dogs and ice creams and drinking pop.

We didn’t really know any of the bands we saw as the ones we did know were all on later and the poet had to get back for his own work that night. But we were impressed by a band from Manchester called Rise and a few others that might be local – Demographic, Path Unknown and Red Rum – and we’ll be watching out for those again. (All links on Facebook.) We also liked the idea of the band Pulp Friction covering the songs from the film Pulp Fiction and we even did our own John Travolta and Uma Thurman impressions on the dancefloor. 🙂

The event was well-planned, nicely laid out and very laid back with a wonderful festival atmosphere. Our only criticism, and it’s a very small one, is that the main stage seemed to overpower all of the other mini-tents. It would have been better had the main stage been facing one way, and the smaller tents placed behind it, because the noise really did taint the rest of the music. But apart from that, we had another wonderful time.

On Sunday I had the rest of my do diddle day and when I finally surfaced, I actually did some work. I did quite a lot of diary work for the next 2½ weeks, as I have work in for next week and the week after already. And this week is the most stupidly busy week I’ve had for a long time. I’m calling it pudding week because it’ll set me up nicely for August. I’m already almost up to budgeted income and I still have 2½ weeks left to fill.

Today I have 3 articles that need to be submitted; 2 of these are for the red-top magazine I already work for, the other is the walks report for the 6 local newspapers. I also have a non-fiction book to start editing and a novel to finalise and sign off. The 2 red-tops are drafted, I just need to get them typed and submitted.

Busy day already.

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