Diary of a Tiger: w/c Fri 13 May

Image by Jan Barkmann from Pixabay
Chapter 19: Week commencing Friday 13 May

I was so busy on Friday I didn’t even realise it was Friday the 13th.

The first job I got out of the way was the daily competitions. Next up was Monkey Dust and gig list admin.

Monkey Dust had a gig on Saturday, but at band practice on Thursday night, the poet opened his mouth and nothing came out. He tried again and again, but it was just a croak and they had to finish their rehearsal early. We then had the job of contacting Saturday’s venue to let them know that the band couldn’t make it.

On Friday we were still trying to find a replacement band, for which I created and posted adverts on both the Monkey Dust and the gig list FB pages. We also had to try and get hold of a doctor who could give the poet a prescription.

He’s up for his operation at the end of the month. The last thing he wanted was an infection that might block the surgery. He couldn’t get a prescription, and instead decided to soldier on through the weekend.

I started to work on the ghostwriting, but an email came in asking if I could send them the blurb first.

I hate writing blurbs and I usually write them right at the start of Part 4. However, for the previous book, Book 8, the client was so surprised when I sent it in unbidden that I wondered if perhaps they didn’t need them from me any more.

Nah. I wouldn’t be so lucky. So I broke off the rewriting so I could write the blurb and then spent far too much time simply staring at a blank screen – that’s how natural they are to me.

I fired it off eventually, and settled back down to the ghostwriting, but the well had run dry. The blurb and the recent rewrites had taken it out of me.

For a while I faffed around with the website and blog, going in and removing a load of images from my media library. It’s been taking longer and longer to load, so I’ve been clearing things down and adding plugins. I decided to remove all of the book images from the sidebar as I don’t think many people even see it these days as most viewers seem to be using mobile devices.

When that was done, I did some more staring at a blank screen, trying to summon up inspiration to write, and I drummed my fingers on the desktop for a while. However, rather than sit and do nothing for the next several hours, I thought I’d do something else instead. Something I didn’t have to think about too much.

Copy editing.

I plodded through a lot of the editing job, but felt as though I’d barely made a dent in it. The book originally came in at just over 600 pages, and I only had one ream of paper when I went to print it. So the first job I did was remove a lot of the white space so that it came in at 437 pages instead.

Even so, those pages still took a long time going down.

I worked late and we didn’t do the shopping.

The Weekend
On Saturday we did the shopping, stocking up on over-the-counter drugs while we were there. The poet found a £20 note on the floor (yay!). It wasn’t quite the competition win I’d asked the Cosmos for at the start of the week, but it wasn’t a bad runner up.

We did some visiting, ran an errand, and came home. When we got home, I moved the editing onto the dining table so we could at least be in the same room while I worked and he watched the FA Cup Final on the telly.

Again, I didn’t make a massive dent in the work, but I was still working at the weekend. I thought about the ghostwriting, but couldn’t come up with a single thing to write. So I stuck to the editing.

On Sunday we ventured out to watch the Lancaster bomber fly over Doncaster. It’s part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and was commemorating the dambusters. We waited and waited, in the sunshine, but there was no sign of it. Then news trickled up. There had been a fault and the plane had been grounded for repairs.

We drifted back home, where I carried on with some work. In quiet down times, I continued to read Listen to Me by Tess Gerritsen for NetGalley and I finished it on Sunday night.

On Monday, another Wordsworth Short was published.

After the Storm is another story I wrote a long, long time ago. It went off on its rounds, but the only feedback I had was from one market who asked me to tweak it a little. I did the tweaking, but it was still rejected. I do like the story, though.

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.

I didn’t even switch on the computer on Monday. Instead, I sat at the dining room table and carried on with the editing. We had to pop out at about 3pm and were gone until getting on for 6pm. I carried on working while the poet made our tea, then we went out again at 7:30pm, back at about 9pm.

The poet tried again, several times, to get a phone consultation with the doctor so they could give him the prescription they’ve been giving him every 6 months. Our GP couldn’t see him, and they didn’t have any phone consultations left, so they referred him to the same day health centre.

The same day health centre called, but said they needed him to go in and see them. So off we pootled for an 8pm appointment. The person he saw said she couldn’t give him his full prescription because she couldn’t see it on his record, which went down really well… (Not.) We did drop by the hospital on the way back, but there was a 2½ hour wait in A&E, so he said he’d try our GP again in the morning.

Once we got back, I set up a light at the desk in the dining room. I was determined to finish that copy edit, now that I’d got my teeth into it, and I wanted to send the author something on Tuesday morning as I’ve had the job for far too long now.

I finished work at 10pm and then seemed to flick a mental switch, because that’s when the ghostwriting job started to percolate again at the back of my mind. At the end of the day I started to read the next book on my list, a David W Robinson Stanford 3rd Age Club (STAC) mystery, for pleasure. I’m currently on Book 3.

The poet called our GP first thing and *finally* found someone to talk to. They arranged for the practice nurse to call him back, who did so but she asked him to go into our GP’s sister surgery. There, the nurse said he didn’t need a face-to-face at all and she gave him the prescription he needed without a problem, showing him on screen all of the instances where he’s had this prescription over the last 2 years.

By the time he got home, he had everything he needed and he suggested we call the sister surgery in future rather than waste time at our own surgery.

First job on Tuesday was the small file I wanted to send to the author. It wasn’t as easy as running it off and sending it, though. I still had to do some work on the file and it took me the best part of the morning.

Once I sent it off, I rejigged the schedule, moving everything to ‘today’ and removing all of the times. This gave me a long, clean list of things outstanding that needed doing. I did the same with tasks for the rest of the week, moving a lot of them to next week.

Then, as I worked my way down the list, I filled in the times I’d done them by and ticked them off, so they all look nice and tidy. I updated my reading log spreadsheet and my multi-project monthly word-count tracker.

An email came in from NetGalley with another book approved, bringing the current total to 225. At the moment, I have 2 reviews to write up.

I settled back down into the ghostwriting. This too has been a long time coming, but I really did hit a brick wall with it. I could foresee late night working over the next two days, but at least I seem to have that particular mojo back again.

I worked through the evening but didn’t do a ghost shift as I knew it still wouldn’t be finished in one sitting. I called time at 10:30pm.

I was up with the poet on Wednesday and did all of my social hour stuff before breakfast. I still didn’t make it to my desk by 10am, though, as I had a couple of chores to do, including opening and watering a delivery of plug plants for the portable garden. (See yesterday’s post.)

With a long day ahead of me, though, I made sure the *only* job I had to do all day was the ghostwriting, and once started, I didn’t want to be interrupted. I opened Scrivener, started my Toggle timer, and switched on key-tapping sound. Bit of a weird process, I suppose, but it all helps me to get my head down and just go.

The poet had to go and do a pre-op swab thing at the hospital, but I didn’t have time to break off and go with him. So he went straight from work, rather than come to collect me on the way. (It gets me out of the house, plus if I drive and there’s a parking problem, he can just hop out and not miss his appointment.)

I settled down to do some ghostwriting, but when I came in to update this blog post, I found I couldn’t do fractions. Off I went to submit a support ticket, and I was informed that the theme I was using has been retired now, and I had to choose another…

So that wasted several hours I didn’t really have, and I plumped for a theme I’m not over the moon about, but at least I can do fractions. (Spot the fraction, anyone?) By then it was dinner time and the poet was back from the hospital. He quickly planted the plug plants and I came back to the page.

In the afternoon I finally got back to the ghostwriting and I worked at it solid until 6am the following morning. It was daylight when I finally went to bed, and had been for at least an hour. I didn’t finish all of the work. I still had the bonus short story to write, but the well was empty and I was struggling to put one letter in front of the next, let alone get them all in the right order. But I did send the client what I’d done, and he sent an acknowledgement an hour or so later.

I didn’t even see the rest of Thursday morning. By the time I got up and had some breakfast, it was almost dinner time. I still had to psyche myself and write that final 3,000 words for GW1 client. It took some time to get the creative juices going again, so until the muse returned, and a little bit of creativity, I faffed doing easy things.

First of all I took the photographs for the portable garden post this week. I transferred the ones I liked to the computer, edited them, and wrote the post. This should have been done on Wednesday and scheduled, so once it was finished I posted it straight away. And yes, I did notice typos twice after I’d published and updated it.

Then I updated my word-count spreadsheet to find I’d written 16,080 words during Wednesday’s stint. I printed off the small job for GW2 client, and I responded to three invitations to pitch for jobs on Upwork. I declined 2 ghostwriting jobs and sent a proposal for 1 editing job. These are the kind of jobs I go for now on Upwork. They don’t cost me any ‘connects’ (credits), and I’m already ahead because the client has come to me.

I’ve pretty much decided that I need to have a rest from the ghostwriting. The well has well and truly run dry and I need to recharge and refill before doing another one. Hopefully, the break will not only refresh me, but it will also enable me to get on and do a lot of work that’s been neglected over the past few weeks, with these ghostwriting rewrites. I don’t know how long I need yet, but I think at least a fortnight.

The rewrites weren’t on my side. It was the ‘approved’ synopsis that hadn’t actually been approved at all. As a token of goodwill, I did it this time, but if it happens again, I *will* be asking for more money.

I continued with the rejig for the work schedule, removing all of the times again, but keeping the due dates. While I’m scaringly busy, I’m going to carry on adding the time I completed each task as I go along, right before marking it as complete. This should help with time management in the future. But I have moved some jobs along. Some by a day or two, others by a whole week.

Then it was the bonus short story I owed GW1 client. I sat and stared at a blank screen a few times, with sagging shoulders. Then I just went for it.

I’m still taking it easy today, but I also still have work to do, some of it pushed along from earlier in the week. I have the GW2 small job to do, plus I need to collate and format 10 short stories for the next short story collection. I have Monday’s blog post to write and schedule, which will be merged with the one I should have posted on the Monday just gone.

Monkey Dust currently has another gig booked in for tomorrow, but it really does depend on the poet’s voice (which we will already know about by the time this post is published). We also have the shopping to do (if we didn’t do it Thursday night, after scheduling this post to publish…).

Have a fantastic 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.