Diary of a Tiger: w/c Fri 21 Jan

Image by Jan Barkmann from Pixabay
Chapter 4: Week commencing Friday 21 January

On Friday I had wall to wall ghostwriting booked in. I was busy doing other stuff as well, though, such as making a cover for the next book in the flash fiction collection series.

Here’s the current volume, and the image for the next volume:

I also fired a support ticket off to Draft2Digital about having to have the new interiors approved for the Twee Tales books. Once I’d done this, I realised that I only also have stories online that are in the first volume, so that means there shouldn’t be as many issues when I upload new interiors for the other two.

Volume four is a new one and it’s going to be an omnibus edition of the other three, plus two new short stories. Here are the new covers for that series:

I did manage to crack on with some ghostwriting after that, but it was slow going because I kept on making a mistake. I kept missing the space key with my thumb and had to keep going back to fix it… then I realised that the space bar on my brand-new keyboard was actually broken, and I wasn’t missing it at all.

Mad much? Oh yes. The up cursor key was already sticking on this brand-new keyboard, and now the space bar was bust too? It was too late by then to go and get a new one, or even find the box and the receipt to take the other one back.

By this time I managed to limp to the end of one chapter for one of the clients, but it had taken so long to type that chapter with a space bar I had to bash a few times to get it to work that I had to call it at the end of that chapter for the day, and the poet had to go and find my old keyboard, which he’d stashed away somewhere in the garage.

I loved my old keyboard. He bought it for my birthday a couple of years ago and it lit up in the dark. More than that, though, it was substantial. The keys were heavy duty and it made a nice loud tapping sound. The problem was I’d rubbed off the letters E, A, S, N and M, and also half of the space bar, and the lights were showing through like massive blobs.

One of the reasons I started my typing practice was because these letters rubbing off showed me how reliant I have become on looking at the keyboard when I should be touch-typing. My typing teacher would have had heart failure!

Anyway, he went and got a permanent marker to try and put some colour onto the keys, so I could at least get in touch with the clients, and by the end of it all I had black ink all over my fingers and, for some reason, all over my face!

Unfortunately, it meant that I was working at the weekend… just as soon as I replaced the keyboard.

The Weekend
Well, as with most people, at the weekend we have weekend stuff to do as well, and last weekend wasn’t any different. We didn’t get around to finding the box for the new keyboard or the receipt, so we didn’t go to get that changed.

We did, however, have the weekly shopping to do and they had a wired keyboard there on offer at £6. For six quid I wasn’t expecting anything fantastic, but it would allow me to get on with work a bit quicker than (a) a keyboard with a deficient space bar, or (b) a keyboard with missing letters.

By the time we’d done all of the weekend stuff, though, and put all the shopping away, it was already 4pm. That didn’t leave me a lot of time. I did get on with some work for GW2, though, before calling it a day.

Sunday was a late start, but more ghostwriting. This time for GW1. However… before I started, I wanted to paste last week’s Diary of a Tiger into the Word file. The Diary of… blog posts go straight into a Word file as I’m not using Scrivener for the structure or planning.

Anyway, I digress. So I went hunting for the Word file for the Diary of a Tiger so far, and I found an entire file for Diary of a Cool Cat. This is an entire new book that I’d forgotten I’d collated. And I didn’t have a cover for it yet… which might be one reason I’d forgotten about it.

Of course, the first thing I did was go and find a suitable picture of a cat, and then I made the cover. And… here it is.

While I was in Canva, I thought I may as well update my flyers for the January publishing schedule. Then I went into the sidebar on the blog and added the new images and replaced the old. Finally, I caught up with my publishing challenge blog posts.

Then I got on with my ghostwriting. I finished the current instalment at something like 2am. Five minutes later I’d submitted it.

On Monday, a new short Tarot tale was published.

The Ace of Cups is the second instalment in the short Tarot tales series. All of the minor arcana in the Tarot are short stories in my series; all of the major arcana are novellas.

You can find all of my books on the BUY MY BOOKS tab on the blog, or you can go to www.books2read.com/DianeWordsworth.

Following my late night on Sunday, Monday didn’t start until 11am gone.

First email of the day was from the GW1 client, approving payment for Book 8 Part 3, and sending the contract for Book 8 Part 4. He also asked me for my availability going forward, as he has Book 9 waiting in the wings.

Exchanged a few emails with the Yorkshire editing client. I have a new MAHOOSIVE gig in that will keep me busy for a good few weeks.

Did some admin, shared Monday’s blog post to Medium, posted some publicity flyers on Instagram and on Twitter, and updated my multi-project word-count log sheet for the month.

The target word-count for this month is around 104,250 words. As of Monday, I was at 65,471 words and I had just over a week to write 38,775 more. 🙄 The pie chart looks good, though. (The big bit is the ‘done’ bit.)

Spreadsheet taken from https://wordtrackers.gumroad.com, with gratitude.

This is one of the reasons Words Worth Reading had to be put on ice. I simply didn’t have enough hours in the month to write an extra 45,000 words.

By the time I had a late snack, I was running less than 2 hours behind. After eating, I cracked on with GW2. I finished work at 11pm.

Two late nights on the trot meant another late start, but this time I was only an hour behind.

I’m trying to be more disciplined with the time/project management so that it works properly. The diary’s split into hour-long segments with some things, like the typing practice or brainstorming a short story, taking only 30 minutes. I’ve given myself one hour to ghostwrite 2,000 words for the Regency romances and two hours to ghostwrite 3,000 words for the other book.

Once that hour-long slot or half-slot is up, I must move on to the next one, regardless of whether or not the previous job is finished. This is the only way to learn how long each job or chore actually takes, and possibly one way to ensure I’m not working past midnight or finishing a ghoster at 6am.

By the time I got to my desk, for the second day running it was too late to do the typing practice, so I moved all of it to Monday again, to start again. I’m a bit odd in that I have to start things on a Monday and I’d already lost two days this week by getting up late.

There was still time to brainstorm a short story for one of the paying markets I’m going to target. So I made a cuppa and went and sat in my reading chair. The reading chair doesn’t get anywhere near enough use, other than by the cat as her bed in my office.

After noting several things that might be topical in May (my target month this week), I also spotted something that will be very topical in five years’ time. It’s also a substantial story with several ‘what if…?’s. I got so carried away with that one that before I knew it, it was dinner time (midday meal).

My client time for Tuesday afternoon included revisions for GW2. However, as those hadn’t arrived yet, I moved it to Wednesday afternoon and brought one task forward from Wednesday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon. And that meant that all of Tuesday’s client work was for GW1 in the end.

On Wednesday I made another executive decision. I decided to delist all six of my short stories that are currently on Medium. I’m fed up of the hassle it’s causing, and I can change my order of doing things so they appear online last of all. It’s a nuisance, but I don’t have the energy or the time to keep dealing with this single issue.

I’ll have to contact the editor of the publication where they appear. I hope it won’t affect my acceptance rate in the future.

Following my brainstorming for a short story suitable for May publication, I didn’t come up with anything that might fit a magazine. But I did come up with three other story ideas, one of them a novel or a novella. I closed down the May magazine project, and set the others to percolate (made a note, left them to work in the back of my mind).

I tried to settle down and watch one of my online workshops, but there were so many distractions and interruptions I had to abandon the idea. The dog wouldn’t stop barking for one. Then the poet didn’t realise how loud the original song was he was listening to in his studio. I invited him downstairs to listen to it, just in case he couldn’t hear it upstairs…

The next short story went off to publication for Wordsworth Shorts. Then I did some admin for GW2 and I wrote a draft blurb for GW1 Book 8. And I finished at 6pm. (Shock, horror.)

The morning post brought with it a jury summons, my first ever. So before I did anything else, I had to move everything around in my diary. Some I brought forward, some I pushed backward, and some I deleted.

While I was changing the pictures in the side bar on the blog, I noticed that the drag and drop feature wasn’t working in the gallery. I closed everything down and rebooted, but it was still broken. I cleared the image cache, but that didn’t work either. Then I went in search of an answer on the WordPress forum.

Well, it took me ages to work out that there weren’t any current support requests, so I tried starting one. And I couldn’t find the topic starter either. Don’t know what happened there, but once I hijacked someone else’s post, suddenly, there was the topic starter. So I apologised, edited my original reply, and started a new topic.

At the exact same time, someone else started a topic on the exact same thing. We replied to each other. Then I went off on another bear hunt. Eventually, I found out that the gallery drop and drag fault is a known issue after the update to WordPress two days earlier. So I found the ticket and shared the link with my thread and the other person’s thread.

Hopefully it will be sorted in the next update, and hopefully that will be soon.

All of that took up most of the day. But I was determined to watch my online workshop video. So that’s what I did next… despite the cat trying to walk all over the keyboard and the dog getting all shouty again.

Today is ghostwriting again. Revisions for GW2 and three chapters for GW1.

Have a great weekend.

Diary of a Tiger: Out in 2023

Note: I’m not including links because they take forever to edit out when I’m preparing the final version of the book for publication.