Diary of a Tiger: w/c Fri 28 Jan

Image by Jan Barkmann from Pixabay
Chapter 5: Week commencing Friday 28 January

Friday last week was another ghostwriting day. I did the revisions for GW2 and I had a look at GW1. I didn’t write any new chapters, but I did transfer the project management tasks to the diary.

The other thing I did was revive my old Smashwords account. When *another* friend told me that more than 200 books that she’d bought from Amazon had simply vanished from her Kindle, I decided I wanted to help people buy my Kindle books from another supplier. We can do that with Smashwords.

So off I pootled to Draft2Digital and I collected their beautifully formatted version of Twee Tales. I downloaded the Word file they have on file plus the EPUB and the MOBI versions, and I uploaded those to Smashwords.

Once that was done, and the Smashwords book had started to appear almost straight away, I went back to Draft2Digital and updated the paperback version of Twee Tales. The paperback was finalised before the end of the day, but it has yet to appear in retailers. Once it starts to appear, I’ll update my Books2Read page with the paperback outlets.

I’m not publishing the standalone short stories as paperbacks. They’re far too short, would be little more than a pamphlet, and won’t be value for money to the reader at all. The collections, however, apart from the flash fiction collections, which will probably still be around the 5,000-word mark, will be published as paperbacks.

The Weekend
Reader, I took the weekend off.

On Monday, a new Wordsworth Short was published.

Martha’s Favourite Doll was a short story I wrote for a magazine. The fiction editor asked me to make some changes, which I did, and then she rejected it anyway. So I reverted back to my original version and published it as a standalone, first in one of the Twee Tales books and then as a Wordsworth Short.

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.

First job of the day was starting Project Management for Writers: Gate 2. I went into the master Scrivener folder for the project management stories, where each of the volumes is already there awaiting population. Then I duplicated the three sections that will be the same in all volumes:

  • the introduction
  • an explanation of the different ‘gates’
  • the end matter

I had a hissy fit on Medium about their recent changes being forced onto us and their total lack of consideration for the people who pay to use it, and I removed all of my stories that aren’t in someone else’s publication and I removed my own publications.

I went to have a look at Simly and Vocal, but I didn’t feel inspired to create an account on the former or write a story for the latter. Maybe another day I’ll feel more like both.

I published another book on Smashwords, via the same route as before. This time it was Twee Tales Too. Within a few minutes, it was already coming up on the searches, and once I’d updated the electronic version on Draft2Digital, first off the blocks with the new cover was Apple Books.

Once I’d done that, I updated the paperback version on Draft2Digital.

We paused work at 3:30pm to watch the prime minister present a statement to Parliament. An hour and a half later, I finally turned it off, and I watched an online lecture.

I updated my multi-project word-count spreadsheet for January. I’d written 77,836 words (against an original target of 104,000 words), and I’d completed 6 projects or instalments. This doesn’t include the full blog posts, only the bits I’m pasting over to the two new books.

The word-counts for the bigger items carry over into February, as did some of the ghostwriting chapters. It’s the ghostwriting chapters I moved that have affected the overall word-count target. I’m a bit disappointed but at the same time, hey – I wrote nearly 78,000 words.

I had a half-day holiday on Tuesday morning while I accompanied the poet to a hospital check-up. He has to have an operation, which we hope will be in the next 12 weeks and we also hope it won’t clash with my jury service. If it does, we’re going to ask one of the kids to help out.

It’s not an urgent operation. They’ve been trying to convince him to manage without for the past four years or so. But he’s decided he’s tried everything, and now he’s going to have the surgery.

When we got back, while he had a couple of back to back business meetings in his office, I had a chat with my sister, who was coming up on Thursday, and then I published another book on Smashwords and another paperback on Draft2Digital.

The Draft2Digital meat-grinder has improved so much that it takes all of the superfluous coding out of the Word files. That means the coding that Smashwords doesn’t like has all already gone by the time it hits the Smashwords meat-grinder. Transferring files from one to the other is actually quite painless now, and so quick.

These are books that already exist that I’m adding to Smashwords, as are the ones I’m creating paperbacks on Draft2Digital for. They don’t form part of the publishing challenge of a book a week for a year, so they won’t be detailed in that particular journal.

I’m going to do Diary of a Scaredy Cat, Project Management for Writers: Gate 1, Mardi Gras, and Night Crawler as well.

The WordPress tech guys came back with an update on the gallery problems in the sidebar, which is great. I suspect they’re half expecting another glitch, though, as they also mentioned a Plan B and a Plan C.

As today was new month day, I created my multi-project word-count spreadsheet for February. Here are the rough target word-counts for this month:

  • finish GW1 Book 8 = 23,000 words
  • finish GW2 = 27,000 words
  • start GW1 Book 9 = 22,000 words
  • weekly write-up: Publishing Challenge ≈ 8,000 words
  • weekly write-up: Diary of a Tiger ≈ 8,000 words
  • write Project Management for Writers: Gate 2 ≈ 30,000 words
  • write 3 short stories @ 2,000 words each ≈ 6,000 words
  • TOTAL = 124,000 words

(The ≈ are rough estimates; the others are contractual.)

I didn’t hit my 104,000-word target for January because I wasn’t disciplined enough to write the right chapters on the right days. I kept on pushing them along until I had a bunch of stuff to write all in one go and some carried over into this month. I really, really, really want to stop doing this and, well, just do it.

I also have the following four books to publish:

  • The Complete Angler – short story (already in the system)
  • Alexandra’s Ragtag Band – short story
  • The Last Invasion of Britain – short story (still to be written)
  • Flash Fiction Volume 2 – very short anthology

And I have the following books to prepare in February for publication in March:

  • Going, Going, Gone – short story
  • Arrivederci Roma – short story

In the shortest month of the year, let’s see how well I do this time.

I had staring-at-a-blank-screen syndrome (SAABSS?) (SABS?) for much of Wednesday, which wasn’t great considering I had chapters to ghostwrite for two books and a short story of my own to outline.

I don’t personally believe in writer’s block, but sometimes I do get so overwhelmed I’m not sure what to write first, then when I do write, Missus Critical Voice kicks in.

When it was clear that I wasn’t going to get any words on the page, I switched to loading more books onto Smashwords and I prepped the next Wordsworth Short, Alexandra’s Ragtag Band.

I did manage to outline the story, then I worked on paperbacks on Draft2Digital. These are all now either available (for order from your favourite store), or they’re in the machine:

  • Diary of a Scaredy Cat (re-issue – in progress)
  • Twee Tales (re-issue – ready to order)
  • Twee Tales Too (re-issue – ready to order)
  • Twee Tales Twee (re-issue – in progress)
  • Night Crawler (re-issue – in progress)
  • Mardi Gras (new! – in progress)
  • Project Management for Writers: Gate 1 (new! – in progress)

That’s all of them to date. Next up, I started to think of covers for collecting ten Wordsworth Shorts all together at a time, but I ran out of ideas with that.

For now. The next two collections are going to be another five flash fiction stories (Flash Fiction: another five very short stories) and the Twee Tales omnibus (Twee Tales More). Then I might call it a day with the Twee Tales series and concentrate instead on just the Wordsworth Collections series.

I cancelled my Medium membership and transferred the payment instead to Duotrope. I’ll keep on the monthly plan for a bit, see if I either get inspired or even send anything off. If it earns its subscription, I’ll keep it. If it doesn’t, I may not.

Then I had an hour browsing the deadline/theme calendars on there and bookmarking any that interested me. The one thing that really surprised me was the number of markets, contests, anthologies, etc, that actually charge the contributor a fee for submitting something to them. Is this normal now?

Thursday was another half-day holiday. My sister came up so we could do some legal family stuff and the local independent solicitor came to the house too.

It was only supposed to be a 5-minute job, once me and my sister had filled in the forms and photocopied the documents that needed certifying. However, the solicitor left three hours later and my sister left more than five hours later!

Before I knew it, the half-day thing had turned into a full-day thing. We didn’t get chance to go out for dinner (lunch), but the poet had bought us some very nice hand-made biscuits to enjoy with our cups of tea. And yes, we did save him some.

The plan *was* to do some work once it was all done and dusted. However, by the time I hit my desk, it was 5:15pm. I managed to gatecrash a writing community chat on Twitter before *looking* at my work, but I was so exhausted, I called it and had another cup of tea and two biscuits.

The poet had to go to band practice at 6pm, which meant he left at 5:30pm. But he got us a takeaway for tea on his way back.

Today, then, I have a lot of catching up to do, and I expect I’ll be working over the weekend. So I’ll write the three chapters for GW2 today, and I’ll work on the chapters for GW1 tomorrow or/and Sunday.

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.