Tag Archives: writer’s boot camp

Hectic times

We’re having a very busy life here in Baggins Bottom. Both of us have been busy one way or the other, with the poet on his way to Scotland again this morning.

He started to feel better on Friday after a good rest and some medication. Thanks to everyone who sent him good wishes. He was able to come out with me for an hour, and then he had a gig Friday night in Doncaster, which went very well considering.

On Saturday we drove down to Birmingham as we were taking Mom and Dad out to see something. They seemed to like what they saw, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that they’re able to do something about it.

On Saturday evening we had another gig. this time more locally. A few of our friends came to this one and we had a good time.

On Sunday we treated ourselves to brunch out and did some shopping. Once that was put away, the poet relaxed some more on the settee, and I finished off some loose ends with work. He even cooked us a nice lamb dinner.

I finished all of the hard copy edits on the historical novel and today I hope to clear the electronic edits. Then I start the first of a new hard copy edit for the next historical non-fiction on the list.

Other jobs this week include the usual boot camp, which from Wednesday will include practice for NaNoWriMo 2014. Now I’ve got into the swing of allocating 2 hours per day to my own writing, I hope I have a more successful challenge than in previous years. I think I’m going to work on Catch the Rainbow.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the poll 2 weeks ago. The general consensus (87.5%) is that I leave everything exactly as it is with a couple of comments that maybe I could make the pictures smaller or provide a link, and maybe have different topics each day. There was 1 vote for less frequency of posts, and 1 vote for less personal posts. I think I’m going to stick to 3 posts per week, though, as that’s a nice rhythm and fits in with other regular chores. I’ll see what I can do about making them a little less personal.

Mondays, then, will be a roundup of the weekend and the week ahead. Wednesdays will be diary of a scaredy cat, with writing updates. Fridays will be a roundup of the week and the weekend ahead. During mammoth writing marathons, however, such as NaNoWriMo, I’ll try to post the little man with the latest word count. If you like him, please visit Writertopia to see if you’d like one too.

Productive week

Despite being on my own again this week, it’s been a productive one.

First of all I won 2 jobs, and one of them I turned around the same day. The second one is a nice biggie, and it starts today or Monday, depending on how I get on with what I already have – probably Monday, but I’ve allowed 2 weeks for it.

I got a final revision in from a regular client and, again, I turned it around the same day. Some things just work better with the touch-it-once mentality. Had I not just turned them both around and sent them on their merry ways, they would have been thrown into the to-do basket with everything else.

I’ve been plodding through a new edit for lovely-already-boss and I hope to have that one done by the end of today or by midday Monday.

My writer’s boot camp has come into its own finally, with me completing the following:

  • 4 outlines – 3 short stories and 1 filler
  • #1 of a filler
  • #2 of a 1,402-word short story
  • #3 of a Reader’s True Experience (RTE)
  • final draft of another RTE, polished and submitted

The latter one I edited down from over 2,700 words to bang on 1,200 words. The required length? 1,200 words. 😀 The short story needed to be 1,400 words too, so I think I did quite well on those two.

NEWS JUST IN: That RTE I submitted yesterday has just been accepted. 😀

I’d like to do more boot camp today, but I’d also like to finish the current 1st hard-copy edit, so I need to decide which is more important to me.

The next job to do on the short WiP list is the first draft of one of the short stories I outlined. That’s always a hard one for me, and I like most of the story to be inside my head before I start. I think it needs to percolate a little more, but I may just get a burst of enthusiasm when I least expect it.

The next job after that one is a 2nd draft of the filler, so I might just skip to that one for now, just to keep the writing muscle exercised. Further proof that the short WiP schedule is not cast in stone.

I’ll be collecting the poet again from the station at teatime today, so I have until 5:30pm to finish today’s work.

I don’t think we’re doing anything tonight, but we’re shopping tomorrow and going to a comedy show tomorrow night. If the weather’s okay, we may also do a spot of river fishing at some point over the weekend. He’s not done that in a while, and it gives me chance to read or do more boot camp, depending on what I feel like. The dog also gets extra walks, which means I do too.

Or, we may go for a walk or just a day out.

We could also hear from son #1 again this weekend, though, wanting to move that furniture. But we’ll deal with that if and when it happens.

What are you up to this weekend? Hope it’s a goodun. 😉

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The weekend beckons

The poet has just come to the end of his third week working in Scotland, and we’re both starting to notice it now. Hard. He has at least another week to go, but he could still be up there for another month after that. We’re not getting a lot done together during the week as a result, and so we’re having to cram a lot into the weekends.

BUT, it’s part of his job and his job’s what pays the bills. Doesn’t mean we have to like it, though.

So, this week has been busy catching up with work. I’ve sent a book back to the publisher for completion, after rejecting it on Monday (I rejected it), and my writer’s boot camp has finally started to pay off. Next week I should have some new material to send off on its merry way.

Yesterday evening we dropped my car in to have the exhaust looked at (if fell off a week ago last Tuesday). And the battery, and the rear screen washer, and the air bag warning  light, and the bonnet prop catch …

The mechanic has called us with a rough ball park figure to get it all fixed, and we won’t be driving it to the scrapyard just yet. We might not get it back until Monday, though, and even then if they can fit it in between the MOTs they already have booked in. It’s a good job I’m not as reliant upon it as I used to be.

I’ve had a dentist appointment this afternoon (boo!), then we grabbed something to eat and we nipped to the supermarket afterwards, only to be evacuated by the fire alarm. Then we got stuck in traffic coming home.

This evening we may go into Doncaster, as it’s Doncaster Live this weekend, and tomorrow we either go to Birmingham to visit the parents, or we help son #1 move some furniture from the garage to his house.

If we’re still up here, we may visit Doncaster again. If we go to Birmingham tomorrow, we may go fishing on Sunday or walking or anything else we feel like doing. But it all depends on son #1 and what we end up doing tomorrow.

On Monday the poet is working from home, then he’s off up to Scotland again Tuesday morning and won’t be back until Friday night.

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

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Gone fishin’

It was bank holiday weekend here in the UK just gone, and – as ever – ours was quite full and busy.

On Friday the poet had been dragged into a meeting at work, so didn’t get back as early as we’d hoped. We were up early the next day, so didn’t go out and had an early night.

On Saturday morning we headed off, earlyish, to Solihull to see my parents. We had an hour with them, and then drove on to Evesham, where they were having their annual fishing festival. We had to go cross-country because the M42 was rammed, with holiday traffic. But fortunately, as I’m a local lass, we found it in the end, and I was able to show off some of Warwickshire and Worcestershire’s beautiful villages on the way.

We had a few hours there, watching the river anglers battle the elements and the pike (the pike kept pinching their fish). It poured with rain and the wind blew a bit of a gale. But we were able to shelter beneath the heavy canopy of some trees and eat hotdogs and doughnuts.

Rufus found a whole sausage under a table, and he had a good walk down the riverbank and back, and was quite well-behaved, considering the number of other dogs there.

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The beautiful River Avon. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

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The river looks lovely even in the rain. (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

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“Will Raison, fish a bung at this stage.” (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

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“Wayne Swinscoe, river legend.” (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

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“Lee Kerry, willing the tip to fly round.” (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

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“Mark Downs, where’s the fish? This river used to be proper bostin.” (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

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“Fatha, aka Denis White, river god, on his way to a section win.” (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

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“Des Shipp, on his way to victory, a class act on any venue.” (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

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Ferry, ‘cross the Avon … (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Back in the day, the poet would never had entertained the idea of Evesham and back in a day, it being the other side of the world. But since he’s been coming to Birmingham we me once a fortnight, the other side of the world suddenly doesn’t seem as far. So we headed back, on the motorway this time as the traffic had dissipated, bought fish and chips on the way, and had tea with Mom and Dad.

We got back later than we usually do, and the following day we were off again. This time to fish locally-ish – down in Retford, Nottinghamshire. We went to Hallcroft because they’re dog-friendly. They even provide a big bowl of water for the dogs. And after a slow start, he finally got some bites…

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These pictures are a bit grainy as they were taken on the mobile phone. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

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The first catch of the day was apparently a beauty. (Picture: Diane Parkin)

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(Picture: Diane Parkin)

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And this one had apparently never been caught before … (Picture: Diane Parkin)

I’d taken my writing boot camp with me and, once the dog settled, managed to do some work. I have lots of plans and ideas in place now. Now it’s time to start writing.

On the way back we dropped in to see his parents, in Doncaster. And when we got home we watched The Wind that Shakes the Barley. A cracking, thought-provoking film.

On Monday we had a lazy start, but still had some running around to do, which we did in my car to keep the battery charged… for what it was worth… see later. And Monday night’s viewing was that wonderful classic, where the Germans all speak in perfectly clipped English, The Eagle Has Landed, one of my all time favourite books/films.

This morning I had to run the poet to the station again, as he’s off to Scotland again. My exhaust had been blowing since Friday, but he didn’t think it sounded any different. We got halfway to Doncaster when the exhaust fell off… Oh dear. So he had to call a taxi while I called the AA.

They said the AA man would be with me at 9:05am, but he made it at 8:36am (what a very, very nice man…). The poet missed one train and caught the next, and I was back home by 9:30am, after having another flat battery. The car’s now booked in to have the exhaust looked at, the battery examined, a new bonnet prop catch, the airbag light continually being on, and the rear windscreen washer not working… I hope I win a new car soon. (sigh).

So, that’s my weekend and my day so far. I still have lots to do, like author/proofreader revisions on several non-fictions. I have the writing boot camp work to go back to, as well as new work on that. I have jobs to search and pitch for. And I have a walks report to write and submit. I’m also quite delighted to see that I can revert back to the old WordPress editor if I want to. They must have had several complaints about the new interface.

What are you up to this week?

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. 🙂

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