Using a murder board

My box of murder board bits.

The murder board

My murder board isn’t up yet, but every time I open this tin of bits that go with the murder board, it cheers me up no end. I think it’s all the colours.

The murder board is a large whiteboard that goes on every wall in every office I ever have. Whenever we plan an office, we always choose a place for the murder board.

It’s called a murder board because I write crime and mystery stories, and it’s named after the murder board the police use. One of my writing friends is a retired policeman, and I think he uses a murder board for when he’s plotting his stories too.

There are still a few other things to go up on the walls in my office, such as my dachshund calendar, 2 smaller notice boards and a couple of pictures. But I think the murder board will be the first to go up.

What do I use it for? I use it for visual prompts and reminders for what characters look and dress like (pictures cut out of magazines or grabbed from the internet, for example), I use it to help plot scenes, and I use it for a timeline – which is another thing the police use their murder board for.

What I did yesterday

Yesterday was a good, productive day – at last! I’m still doing a lot of faffy things, such as tidying up the bookmarks and folders on my Edge browser, but I also managed a little housekeeping.

First of all I created my new month spreadsheets – the 10-project planner and the daily word-count tracker. I added the proofreading job for The Life of Richard Cadbury to the planner for September (or this week at least), and I calculated how many words I need to write per day to finish Catch the Rainbow.

I’ve given myself until the end of October for that one now, as August and September weren’t complete months. And that gives me a daily target (on weekdays) of 971 words.

I cleared away everything to do with a client I no longer work for. It was taking up room on both my computer and my internet, and so it was archived and cleared away.

Of course, I wrote yesterday’s blog post, but I also finally did some proofreading for The Life of Richard Cadbury. I’d like that one finishing this week.

I checked the jobs board and tidied away everything on there that didn’t interest me.

And then I got onto the editing agency work I wanted to do. First of all I went through all job submissions to the agency and cleared out everything that was either closed or taken. Then I went through and removed any that didn’t interest me. By the end of all of that, I was left with just 2 potential clients.

One of the clients sent her job request in at the beginning of August, so I thanked her for the submission, apologised for the delay in replying, and asked if she was still interested in seeing a pitch from me. She replied almost straight away and said that yes, she would be interested to see a pitch.

The other remaining client only sent his job in yesterday. So I fired off an email to him too to let him know I’d be working on a pitch for him today as well. He replied overnight saying several editors were pitching to him and he’d be making his decision on Friday, so if I wanted to add mine to the hat, that was fine by him.

What I’m doing today

The dog didn’t get his walk this morning.

I don’t know what I’ve done or when I did it, but it could have been done during any of the heavy lifting for the house-move. I don’t know if it’s a pulled glute, if it’s sciatica, or if it’s just old age and wear and tear. But … I have a really painful buttock. (No sniggering at the back!)

Plus, I also have a bit of a dodgy knee. So I decided to rest my weary bones today, but when the poet comes home from work, we might manage a gentle stroll up to the duck pond and back this evening.

I’ve already exceeded my 500 words for the blog, but I still have my 971 words for Catch the Rainbow to write. This will be the first time I’ve looked at it for a few weeks, so those first few words might be like wading through treacle.

I’ll have a quick look at the job boards to see if there’s anything that interests me there, and I’ll work on those 2 editing agency pitches. I also want to check out a couple of other job boards I discovered yesterday.

And I have a review to write up for NetGalley. I’ll probably schedule that to post tomorrow morning.

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