Diary of a Tiger: w/c Wed 1 June

Image by Jan Barkmann from Pixabay
Chapter 22: Week commencing Wednesday 1 June

Last week’s diary should have finished on Wednesday, but I was so busy I didn’t have time to go into detail. I’ll do that now, but as this means this week’s diary will cover an extra few days, I’ll try and keep it short and sweet.

The only things I managed to do on Wednesday of mine were really faffy things. I did daily competitions, and I watched episode 8 of my Lester Dent Master Plot Formula lecture. Before I watched any of these, I opened up the version I have of the plot formula so I knew what I’d be learning about today. (It was about writing the last 1,500 words of the 4-part story.)

The rest of the day was editing. I’ve been having a right problem with the current Word file. It reminded me of why I dislike the program so much. It truly does have a mind of its own. There was a load of corrupt coding that had sneaked in and by the time I found most of it and replaced it with correct, there were far too many changes for the poor thing to track. So it kept freezing.

I tried copying and pasting the entire file into a new document and then stripped out all of the formatting, and then I started the electronic edit all over again. However, it seems I didn’t manage to strip out all of the coding because it just kept on crashing until eventually it repaired itself and I had to go back to the beginning. Again.

This meant the job was taking much longer than it needed to, especially as I had to start it again twice. But by the end of the day, it seemed to be working again.

I shared a currently reading graphic on Instagram and finished up last week’s Diary of a Tiger, but I finished work just as the poet was finishing cooking tea.

Thursday was supposed to be a bank holiday. However, thanks to Word playing up, I ended up working, with the intention of doing some more editing and, if I had time, writing up the first drafts of 2 short stories. I also had a Wordsworth Short to prepare and publish still.

Determined to at least feel as though it was a day off-ish, we got up late and I put some washing through. It was such a nice day, I wanted to get some washing on the line. Then, because I’d decided to work, the poet decided to go fishing. It was either that or go and mess in the garage and I think he wanted to take advantage of the nice weather too.

I still did the daily competitions, and I watched the last episode of my Master Plot Formula. Eventually, I sat down at my desk to do some work and… horror of horrors, my brand spanking new but cheap and crappy keyboard started to type rubbish all by itself, and if I tried to type something, the screen whited it all out.

I have no idea what was wrong with it. I played with the cables, tipped it up and emptied it of all the crud that gathers between the keys, tried switching everything off and on again, and tried a different program. But no. My keyboard wasn’t having any of it.

Worried that it might actually be the laptop that was playing up (also brand spanking new but certainly not cheap or crappy), I dug out my old gaming keyboard. And… voila! It worked. Or it is so far. So before it changed its mind. I cracked on with that work, after first sneaking a watch of the queen’s flypast for the platinum jubilee.

I uploaded another graphic to Instagram, this time June’s publications. Then the outline for the new ghostwriting job that starts on Monday arrived. I’d only been waiting for it for the best part of two weeks and here, on the first day of my short break, it was.

And then it was back to the editing… only it wasn’t. Because for some reason, the last known file that I’d been working on was modified at 15:38 the day before and had been given the suffix ‘(Repaired)’.

I didn’t finish working until 6:30pm at the earliest on Wednesday. Where had those 3+ hours of work gone?

Well, I searched and I searched. I checked my memory stick. I checked the hard drive. I checked the cloud. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Everything I’d done after 3:40pm the day before was gone.

To say I wasn’t happy is an understatement.

Once I’d got over the cursing and shouting and stomping about, I had to try and find out why it hadn’t saved my work. But I couldn’t. So then I tried several different scenarios, saving the file as a .doc, a .docx, a .rtf. But I couldn’t find the work and the file was still taking an aeon to load. I did some work on it, then it crashed and reverted back to that repaired version.

I got stuck in this loop for a few hours until in the end I just saved another version, stripped out ALL of the formatting, cleared ALL of the styles. And I started again… again. This time, with everything gone, I also had to go in and tell it how to do the footnotes, references and text – and this was a 600-page history book. It needs its footnotes.

So… that’s how the first day of my long weekend petered out.

On Friday, another holiday day, I wanted to at least have some holiday. However, before we did anything, I wanted to make sure that the file I’d been working on had survived.

It had. Phew!

So we went and did the shopping and the poet took me to buy a new keyboard and mouse. We went to the pet shop to buy supplies for the pets and the garden birds. And we went to visit the mother-in-law. When we got home, I had a sit down and a breather, and then it was back to work.

The file was still there, exactly where I left it. So now I’m wondering if the formatting or one of the styles had a bug in it. Stripping all the formatting used to be one of the very first jobs I did when editing a book. I think I’m going to revert back to doing that again. I lost far too much time over this.

I let GW1 client know that the outline looks fine and I can start it next week. I fitted my new keyboard and mouse, and then knuckled down to more editing work. This job needs to be gone now. Problems like this cause me to have enough of it and lose my patience. And when I lose my patience, I start to get cross at the silliest of typos or errors in a book.

Every time I made a comment, I had to take a deep breath first and paste an imaginary smile around my words. After all, it’s not the author’s fault that Word can be a complete arse at times. And nor is it the author’s fault that home-computer keyboards are not built to withstand the kind of wear and tear they get from someone like me who uses them day in, day out.

I took my time getting to where I’d got to when it all went wrong, and then called it a day, with the intention of having a good run at it before the end of the weekend.

The Weekend
On Saturday we went out to Spurn Point for a walk and a blow. We were lucky with the weather, although we should have taken proper coats with us. We walked for about 2 miles. It’s a lovely place, but the dog wasn’t allowed right out onto the point, so we had to walk along the estuary first and come back along the beach.

On Sunday, it apparently bucketed down for the entire day, so we chose the right day to go for the weather. On Sunday, we chilled.

On Monday, another Wordsworth Short was published.

Sunnymead Farm is another short story I wrote just for fun. I don’t think I even sent it out anywhere. It was one I did for my own amusement.

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.

Also on Monday, the poet finally had his operation. (See Wednesday’s post.) I drove him to the hospital in the morning (he had to be there at 7am!), and I went to visit him on the evening (it was a 60-mile round-trip both times). In between, I spent the entire rest of the day editing.

I wrote Tuesday off. (See Wednesday’s post.)

On Wednesday I was back at work and the first thing I had to do was make some sense out of my work schedule. I’d missed two days and had to move a lot of things along. I was up late anyway, after two long and tiring days, so the day started late. I wasn’t ready to actually do any work until 1pm, and then it was still mostly rejigging the schedule or catching up on the daily competitions.

I had another read-through of the outline GW1 client sent me for Book 10, but I’d already had a good read when he sent it to me to make sure it was ‘approved’ and that it’s unlikely to be withdrawn after I’ve already written 60,000 words… I won’t have time to start this new book this week, so I’ll be writing 2 chapters a day from Monday (4,000 words per day).

The rest of the day was spent on the editing job.

There was no portable garden again this week due to me catching up on work I didn’t do on Tuesday. I did the daily competitions, prepared another short story for publication, created the graphics for that, and then exchanged several emails with both the author of the editing job and the client. For the rest of the day I was working on that.

Today I want to get the next ghostwriting job set up on Scrivener, and I want to have another blitz at the editing. My own work, from much of this week, has been moved to the weekend. I need to work on that and not on client work.

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.