Chapter 21: Week commencing Friday 27 May
There’s no portable garden post this week as we finished yesterday for the extra-long weekend and I’m publishing instead this week’s Diary of a Tiger.
I made it to my desk by 10am and the first job I did was have a 5-minute declutter of my emails. They’re all starting to build up again and I was looking for something in particular that had got lost in the great long list. So I went through and spent just 5 minutes moving emails to folders or deleting them. When I reached the emails I was looking for, I stopped.
There were 3 emails I wanted, two of which contained links to books I received for the last kickstarter project I backed. I saved mobi files of those to my memory stick. I always save the mobi files if I can. That way, if something happens to my Kindle reader (any of them), I can just email them over again.
The other email was from the same kickstarter, but this one was the 10 free online classes I ‘won’ for each of the stretch rewards. I’ve been catching up on a lecture I paid for when there was a sale on at the start of the year, and I’m hoping I’m building the habit. Once I start to watch these pop-up classes, I’ll have assignments at the end.
The assignments are stories I can write if I want to and Dean Wesley Smith and/or Kristine Kathryn Rusch will read them. They might give me some feedback, or they might ask me to submit to one of the publications they’re currently collating material for. Or they might not. But the point is to write a brand-new story each time and they’ll be my first readers.
I haven’t backed the latest kickstarter of theirs because I have this massive backlog, both of courses to complete and books to read. Depending on how I get on, I might treat myself later in the year to one of their full-blown multi-week online workshops. If I can time it to coincide with another sale, then all the better.
Next, I caught up with Twitter. I usually do social media over breakfast, but I get lost the way Tweets are all over the place. I see far too many over and over again, and there are far too many I don’t see at all. Well, I’ve gone back to Tweetdeck where Tweets are in real time. So that’s another quick chore once I hit my desk now. I wish there was a Tweetdeck for mobile.
Then it was daily competitions (<10 minutes) followed by Lecture 5 in my Master Plot Formula workshop. I made notes as I went along, and filed the information away for when I write the next story that’s bubbling.
I turned to writing Monday’s publication challenge blog post, and as I opened it up, I realised that the new contact page I’d added last week didn’t have a clickable email address. Now, I do like to make things easy for people who want to contact me, but not robots. So I didn’t add an email link to the graphic, but I did add a copy-and-pasteable email address.
I finished Monday’s blog post, declined 3 invitations to pitch for work, and then it was dinner time. During my dinner break I wrote up my diary for the following week, synchronising it with my project management planner. (You can read more about my project management planning in Monday’s post about the publishing challenge.) From 1 June, the diary starts at 9am instead of 10am.
After dinner, despite the Depp/Heard case being live on telly, I carried on working and continued with the editing job.
On Saturday the poet surprised me with a trip to the seaside. I was surprised because, (a) we had said that we were stopping in, and (b) when he suggested we go for a walk and some fresh air, he initially said he didn’t want to go very far. As it turned out he was craving sea air and, as it turned out, the sea air did him a world of good. So we went to our closest seaside, Cleethorpes.
His band initially had a gig on Saturday night, but he really doesn’t have a singing voice at the moment (he opens his mouth to sing and, literally, nothing comes out), plus, all of that singing when he does manage it takes its toll. So off we went to Cleggie, where we walked along the front, had a chip-shop dinner (Rufus had some doggy ice cream), and walked back again. We walked 3.15 miles, so that also did both me and the dog a world of good too.
On Sunday, I woke up with a totally new short story completely formed inside my head. I don’t know where it came from, but clearly something had been percolating somewhere. Once we got up and had breakfast, the first thing I did was jot it down… the ‘idea’ went on for 3 pages and almost 500 words. (It’s a small, A5-sized notebook.)
I think this story will be ideal for one of the weekly markets, and as one of them is already on with Christmas submissions at the moment, I gave the story a Christmas theme. At the most, this story will need to run to 3,000 words, perhaps ideally to 2,000 words. And I currently have 500 words already. That’s a quarter of the way through.
I’ll put it aside for a short while, see if it percolates some more. Then I’ll slot it into the short story-writing schedule and get it sent off. Hopefully before the Christmas window closes.
While the poet was in his studio messing with an original song he’s recorded, I started to watch some YouTube videos on how to use Plottr. The tutorial videos are in short, snappy, bite-sized instalments and I ended up going down a bit of a rabbit hole. The screen was so tiny, though, I had to cast the videos to the television. I don’t like to watch telly during the day, but this was different.
The rabbit hole aspect was I also ended up watching 3 other videos, each of around 15 – 20 minutes, consisting of interviews or talks on how other people use Plottr. By the time I’d had enough, the poet had finished too, and we moved to the kitchen where he made some apple sauce out of some eating apples that had gone a bit wrinkly, and we made a bread & butter pudding with some slightly stale bread.
After tea, I finished reading Halloween Homicide by David W. Robinson. I won’t be reviewing this one, not because I didn’t like it (because I did), but because I read it for pleasure rather than for NetGalley. (These books by Robinson are fun to read.) Then I started The Ragged Valley by Joanne Clague, which is a NetGalley book.
On Monday, another Wordsworth Collection was published.
Ten Short Stories – Wordsworth Shorts 11 – 20 is the second collection of 10 short stories recently repackaged or released as Wordsworth Shorts.
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 the poet was supposed to be having his operation. Instead he went to work. The drugs the doctor eventually gave him 2 weeks ago are starting to wear off. Hopefully he’ll be able to last until next Monday, when the operation was rescheduled for, and even more hopefully, they won’t postpone it again.
From Wednesday 1 June, my intention is to be at my desk at 9am. For the first 2 days of this week, I wanted to have a practice run, break myself in gently. I got up with the poet and we had breakfast together before he went to work, and I was almost at my desk. Saying that, I was on my mobile phone collecting wages and transferring them between bank accounts. Banking is work too, so I’m taking that.
First thing I did was the daily competitions. Next up, I watched the next instalment (#6) in my Lester Dent Master Plot Formula lecture. I added the Plottr channel to my desktop folder on my browser for online learning, so those are there to watch at my desk on the computer screen. I updated my reading log spreadsheet with the book I just finished and the one I just started, and I wrote Tuesday’s book review blog post, copying & pasting it to NetGalley and then sharing it everywhere I could.
Before I submitted my book review to NetGalley, another 2 books were approved for me. So I added those to the reading/reviewing project in ClickUp. As I’d already done 2 of today’s tasks, I went straight into date work. I needed the extra time, as I’ve been a bit lax on this lately, and I do need it for writing or releasing topical stories as well as for occasional writing prompt posts both here and on Medium.
I quickly did some gig list admin, then I broke for dinner. After dinner, the entire afternoon was spent on editing, although I did break off every now and then to do old month/new month admin in between.
I was late to my desk on Tuesday, by more than an hour. So I didn’t even make it by 10am either. I rattled through the usual, quick tasks and I copied Tuesday’s book review to Instagram. Once it posts on here, it auto-posts to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but I had to manually post it on Monday to NetGalley, which auto-posted on Goodreads, and Amazon.
The next job I did was write Wednesday’s Writing Prompts. I’m a bit behind on this, but once I was happy with it, I also posted it to Medium, sending it to a publication I hope might still use it. I deleted a load of stories from Medium when I fell out with them at the start of the year, so I won’t be surprised if my story’s rejected. If it is, though, I’ll try another and then just post it to my own page.
I checked through the outline for a story I want to write this week, and I finished editing Diary of a Pussycat.
As I said before, I was right at the end of this read-through and I have no idea why I stopped. I’d come to the end of an exercise book, in which I was writing the weekly exercises for readers, but I had a blank exercise book in with the project, so I still don’t know why I abandoned it.
So on Tuesday I read through the last few chapters that already had exercises written, just to refresh my memory – and boy, did it need refreshing! I can’t even remember half of what I’m waffling on about in there. But… the more thorough read-through will come when I’ve finished this pass, and this time I’ll finish it in as few sittings as possible.
I finished the read-through, wrote the last 2 exercises, and updated the project on my project management planner to do the proofreading over the next few days. Then I ran out of time to do all of my own work, but instead of plodding on regardless, I simply moved on to client work, thinking if I had time at the end of the day I could always go back to my work.
A game I like to play has suddenly introduced ads to its mobile experience. I like this game because they’ve always been proud of being ad-free and I soon tire of waiting for ads to run in order to continue with a game. If this is going to be a permanent fixture, and if its made mandatory, I won’t be playing the game for much longer. Instead, I’ll load books onto my Kindle/mobile phone/tablet and use earphones if the telly’s on.
WordPress.org is still struggling to share featured images on social media. I’ve logged this over and over again and it seems no one in WP is watching, or if they are, they’re not doing anything about it, or if they are, they’re not telling us. I logged another support ticket on Tuesday.
My working week finished on Wednesday this week. This is because we have a long bank holiday weekend ahead and I don’t intend on doing any work other than perhaps noodling with or writing short stories. I was quite busy, though, so I’ll add the details next time. And anyway, I’ve already written more than 2,000 words.
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.