Diary of a Tiger: w/c Fri 11 Mar

Image by Jan Barkmann from Pixabay
Chapter 11: Week commencing Friday 11 March

Well, would you look at that! Chapter 11 starts on 11 March. (It’s the little things…)

Friday dawned bright and sunny and the first job of my day was more date work. I have a lot of time to catch up with and in March, I should be ‘thinking’ September, ‘writing’ August and ‘submitting’ July. I used to have a ‘query’ slot as well, but as I’m only writing short stories now, that’s gone by the wayside.

I’ve caught up now, though, as Friday’s job was finally the ‘thinking’ part, which was September. I have all of my date sites neatly arranged in my browser tabs.

Some of the topical dates I will use as a base for my short stories, whether I’m submitting them to magazines or publishing them myself. As the anthologies I’m trying to target are topic specific, I won’t be using this date work for those unless there’s something that ties in nicely.

Anything I don’t use, and probably won’t use for at least another five years, will go on the weekly writing prompts post on a Wednesday. Hopefully, this will start again next week.

I started this week’s Tiger post, and then I did Monday’s publishing challenge post. Looking at my diary, I might be adding a weekly writing challenge too: write a short story a week for a year.

See, then I had to go and find a suitable image for the cover that ties in with the publishing challenge cover. However, I decided to use the existing design for the publishing challenge and tweak it a little. Here they both are:

For the writing challenge, if it comes off, ‘story’ will mean short fiction or a short article/feature.

The publishing challenge chapters are running a little shorter than the 1,000 words each that I’d planned for. Therefore, I’ve changed the target to 750 words per week, or 3,000 words for the month. This reduced my overall monthly target to 84,000 word, of which I’d written 36,028 by the end of the day.

After dinner, I did the final revisions for GW2 client.

The Weekend
I took the weekend off. Saturday was all about shopping and visiting. Sunday was chill time, although I did spend the afternoon transferring a load of ideas and prompts into a single notebook, so they’re all in one place, with references to other notebooks or pads for more information.

I have various notebooks and pads all over the place with only a few pages written on. I also have an app on my phone as well as the story plotter on my phone.

I moved ideas from Story Plotter to the notebook app, and I added what I want to work on first to the real notebook. I can do backups for both, but I do panic that I might lose the work if anything happens to the apps.

On Monday, a new Wordsworth Short was published.

I wrote Going, Going, Gone a long time ago and then couldn’t place it in a British magazine. A friend told me about Women’s Era magazine in India, and I sent it to them. They ‘bought’ it and published it, but I apparently needed an Indian bank account in order for them to pay me. So I never got paid for it. I’d already sent them another story, which they subsequently ‘bought’ as well, but I didn’t send them anything more after that.

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.

On Monday morning, I started my new writing challenge. This consisted of (a) brainstorming for a short story I want to write this week, and (b) starting the blog/book for the writing challenge. I started with an introduction and a bit about markets, then I started Week 1: Monday.

I’ve started to compose it into the online Hemingway. I find I can compose these daily diaries really well onto a computer screen if it’s online. I can’t compose them so well in a Word document or straight into Scrivener.

Hemingway highlights my writing style and any poor grammar as I go along. If I find it’s useful, I might buy the desktop version, as I can export direct to WordPress or into Word from there. It’s only a one-off $19.99, which is currently around £15.

While I was writing it, however, I had ideas for two more challenges… They’ve gone into the notebook I reinstated on Sunday.

As it’s a new writing project, I created a new worksheet for it in my multi-project word-count workbook. This bumped my target word-count for the month to 91,000.

I had a play around in Photopea to see if I can change the colour of the question mark in the challenges graphic above. I can, but it’ll be a long faff. I quite like the orange, though. So will see what they all look like together before making my final decision.

I’ve seen a few strange announcements about a certain large book distributor not sending out self-published books that aren’t via them or even books that aren’t supplied by their ‘favourite’ publishers, even when they’re in stock. Last week, I ordered seven of my own paperbacks. At the time only one was out of stock. The others were all in stock. Also bear in mind that I know exactly how many paperback books of mine this particular organisation orders from Draft2Digital.

This morning, I had an email to say that the out of stock book was now in stock and on its way, and it would be with me by this Wednesday. I checked the other six books. They were all still in stock, but none of them had been dispatched.

I checked with the customer services robot and it said, several times, that all of the books would be with me in 3 to 4 days. So I asked to ‘chat’ with a real person. When this real person had a look, another one of the books was apparently out of stock and holding the others up. I said it *was* in stock right before I contacted them, and the real person said: “That’s because the one that was in stock has been sold since you ordered it.”

Er, not sure what information the customer services real people are being given, but just in case, I went to check with D2D and, sure enough, no books had been sold with this seller. So, short of shouting, “LIAR, LIAR! PANTS ON FIRE!” I asked the real person to kindly explain.

Real person then came back with a load of waffle about different warehouses preparing books from different publishers… (erm, they’re all the same publisher…), and how customers don’t generally order several books all in one go… (Erm, really? So how does their minimum order work to avoid delivery costs?)

However, real person then promised to ‘permutate’ the situation and assured me that a communication had been sent. A few minutes later, real person said the books would all be with me before 25 March.

Now, that’s still not great for books that are apparently in stock and will be dispatched within 3 and 4 days. I will be keeping an eye on it, though.

I didn’t get through a lot of work on Tuesday, but I was busy all day. I started the day by writing the outline for the new short story, and then spent time writing about how I worked out this outline.

The outline took a bit of work as I hadn’t as yet decided on a plot formula for these short stories I hope to write over the course of a week each. I had one to play with on Plottr, and I nicked one as well from the Teach Yourself book on writing short stories by Zoe Fairbairns. I merged them together until I had one formula I thought might work, and then saved it on Plottr as a template.

Taking a break in between work slots, I researched and we booked a week’s holiday.

I played around some more with the outline, so the end tied up nicely with the start and with a bit of a twist in as well, and then switched to the book of the challenge, which I’m creating online in Hemingway and saving in Word.

The writing-up part is taking longer than I need it to at the moment. Hopefully that will sort itself out as I get into the swing of everything. For this session I also added an extra section on the actual process. Or my process – the way I thrash things into a sort-of shape.

I wrote up Wednesday’s weekly writing prompts blog post and duplicated it for use on Medium. (I’ve gone back to Medium, but only for reprints.) The rest of the day was spent on the final revisions for GW2 client.

Wednesday was a short working day because the poet was back at the hospital for a device to check his night-time breathing to be fitted. I wrote a blog post for Thursday of this week, and duplicated it for Medium.

I did have ghostwriting to do when we got back from the hospital. I also should have written the first draft of the short story. But the traffic was horrendous, there and back, due to heavy and dirty torrential rain. I was stiff and achy across my shoulders and pretty much worn out and stressed out by the time we got home. It was also a lot later than we thought it would be.

So I closed the office down after all and went to sit in a comfy chair in the front room.

First job of the day was moving everything along from Wednesday on the project management system to Thursday and Friday. Fortunately, the ghostwriting isn’t due in until Saturday, but I’d still like to get it done by the end of Friday if I can as I hate to work at the weekend, and especially if it’s not my own work.

The email came in from GW2 client approving payment for the last instalment. The work has been really interesting and such a change from my Regency Romance ghostwriting. However, it did result in a lot more work than it was meant to, right at the start, and I was very happy to get that part of my working day back for other work.

Another email came in from a potential client inviting me to pitch for an open job. I declined.

I prepared and published the next Wordsworth Short, which will be out on Monday 28 March. It’s a favourite of mine that I had to tweak a little, due to the original inclusion of a very short song lyric extract. It was originally the first line. I kept the title, and included one translation: Arriverderci Roma or ‘Goodbye Rome’.

As I’d just prepared and published the next book in my publishing challenge, I went in and updated the publishing challenge post with the story behind the one that’ll be published on Monday. And I copied and pasted the text of that post to the actual book I’m writing alongside the challenge.

I created a couple of ‘currently re-reading’ flyers for Instagram. Then I cracked on with the ghostwriting for GW1 Book 9 Part 2. The poet was at band practice, and it was takeaway night for tea, so that gave me a little extra time.

Today is wall to wall ghostwriting, by the looks of things. I also foresee working in my weekend…

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.