Chapter 15: Week commencing Friday 15 April
It was Good Friday on Friday and, because I’d done all of my work, for the first time in ages I had the entire 4-day weekend ahead off. We pottered in the garden, did the shopping, visited family, and said Happy Birthday to the dog.
On Saturday, we went to the seaside to see the puffins. They arrived about 2 weeks ago and are still at sea, so we’re going to go again in about 4 weeks, in the hope of seeing them on land.
We saw lots of gannets and guillemots, a single kittiwake (on the nest), and about 4 puffins flying across the water. We also saw a grey seal frolicking in and out, and we had company for our picnic in the car.
The poet was able to take a few pictures, so there may be some of those to share by the end of the week.
On Sunday, we pottered in the garden again. I did some cross-stitch and the poet did some music theory. And on Monday we simply chilled, doing more of the same. It was a lovely, refreshing weekend, so nice not to have any work to do, and even the weather was kind to us.
Monday was part of the long weekend, but the book publishing schedule was still underway.
A Stranger at Eight is a story I wrote a very long time ago and it was accepted by Chat magazine – that’s how long ago it was.
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.
Back to work on Tuesday, I had a lot of admin work to catch up with. First of all, those kind folk at Clickup, my new project management system, helped me out with a couple of quick queries and when I tried their suggestions out, they worked! I still have a lot to learn, but so far I’m loving it.
I wrote up this week’s portable garden post. That took a long time because we had two sessions in the garden over the weekend and there were a lot of pictures. Then I posted Tuesday’s publication day post, a day late again. After that, I started to catch up with this one.
There was some gig list admin to do – I had to remind everyone to upload their gigs for the coming week – and then I had Monkey Dust admin to do. They have 3 gigs in May, so I created the posters, shared the first one on Facebook, updated the Monkey Dust profile page on the gig list, and accepted a joint host request for the first May gig. Then I invited a load of people.
After dinner, it was back to work but all I managed was some editing work. Then I collected some wages (yay!), and called it a day.
As I’ve been easing myself back into work gently, there were no pressing tasks on my jobs list today, other than the editing job. So I looked at my new project management system (which the poet upgraded for me, so I get some premium features now) and started to transfer my NetGalley books over.
Starting soon, possibly in May, Tuesdays are going to be book review days. I’m opening a notebook so I can jot things down as I read, and I’ve set up a template, listing the following:
- brief synopsis
- what I liked about it
- what I didn’t like about it
- what I’d do different
- star rating – up to 5 stars
Any reviews I write for books are usually constructive and always honest. For example, if I hated a book, I’m not going to gush about it just because I know the author, or just because the author has Done A Big Thing. People should not be putting their work out there if they don’t want or can’t take honest reviews.
Saying that, I’m not going to publicly share a 1- or 2-star review. If I dislike a book that much, I’ll simply let the publisher know and let them decide if they want to do anything with it. Likewise, I’m not going to give 1 star to a book I haven’t finished. Again, I’ll let the publisher know and move along.
I will, however, share 3-star reviews. And, of course, 4- and 5-star reviews. But I won’t say something is good when I don’t think it is. Can you imagine if I said that about something and someone else bought the book on my recommendation and it turned out to be a pile of pap? That person would never trust another review I write, unless s/he knows me well and thinks it might just have been a glitch.
So, authors and publishers, if you want good, honest, constructive reviews, let me read your books. If you want fluff for fluff’s sake, I won’t get upset if you pass me by.
Anyway, on Wednesday there were 205 books on my NetGalley list. Therefore, for the time being at least, I’ll only be requesting titles that really, really appeal to me while I work down this backlog. I’m starting by moving two of the latest to my ‘currently reading’ list, but I need to keep other books in there too so it doesn’t all feel like work.
The book transfer job took AGES, so I came to a place where I could stop on Wednesday evening, and started again on Thursday morning. Once I’d done my household chores for the day, this was my next priority.
Overnight, however, I’d been accepted for another 10 books. Some of these are books I requested weeks ago, a couple were ones that took my fancy this week (before I decided not to download any more). This brought me to 215 books… That’s a lorra books.
I don’t know yet whether to start with the latest and work my way backwards, start with the earliest and work my way forwards, or a mixture of both. At the moment, I’m just taking two from the top.
After I’d finished (it really did take a long time, I must keep on top of this in future), I went to my reading log on Excel and updated that.
I recently read a timely reminder to go take my dinner break away from my desk. This is something I really ought to do, and it’s not as though I don’t have a choice of places to go. Yes, I may play games or enter competitions or read blog posts (yes, I still do read them, even if I don’t always have chance to respond), but I’m still sat at my desk.
The other day I actually finished work at 5pm and after a few moments of twiddling my thumbs and kicking my feet, I said to the poet: “What do people do when they finish work on time?” He gave me a great long list of things, and I ended up reading a novel on the reading tablet (my fake Kindle).
Perhaps that’s what I need to do during my midday break – go somewhere else. I can still read a book or magazine, or play the games, or read the blogs. I’ll just do it away from my desk.
Today I’m back on with the ghostwriting for GW1 client, and I still have editing to do.
It’s my mom’s birthday on Monday, so we’re going to go and see her either tomorrow or on Sunday. The rest of the time will be spent in the garden (weather permitting).
Have a fantastic weekend!
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.
What a great week. But didn’t it feel good to take a full four days off? Good for you, on the reviewing. I left a review gig a couple of years back because, no matter what we actually thought about the book, we were pressured to give it a good review. That makes the review meaningless.
I had to keep reminding myself that I didn’t have any work to do. It was wonderful.
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