Diary of a Tiger: w/c Fri 17 June

Image by Jan Barkmann from Pixabay
Chapter 24: Week commencing Friday 17 June

I finally did some ghostwriting on Friday, having first got around the real names and places issue that was obviously bothering me. I’ve changed the pertinent names to ones I can work with, and I’ve renamed the location. But if the client wants me to put them all back again, I will do. I just might use mine for while I’m working on it.

We should have done the shopping Friday evening, but it was 7:15pm when I finished work for the day, and we hadn’t had tea yet. So I closed everything down and left it percolating.

The weekend
This, of course, meant I was working at the weekend, but we also still had the shopping to do, and we wanted to go on an outing. I’ve put on all of the weight I lost before Christmas, and some, and so has the dog. But I split the work between the two days.

On Saturday morning we did the shopping. We boycotted Tesco in the end because for something like the 4th week on the trot, the brand-new hand-held scanner system wasn’t working. Oh, and the brand-new petrol station was closed as well. For weeks, in fact since the store allegedly had a *major* refurbishment, we’ve had to make do without many things or settle for replacements we wouldn’t usually buy. So it’s been living on borrowed time for a while.

So we went to Morrison’s where, granted, they don’t have hand-held scanners but, actually, it was a much more pleasant experience and everything worked. Plus, it worked out a bit cheaper than Tesco, even without a loyalty card.

On Saturday afternoon I continued with the ghostwriting. I did give myself the first pomodoro for faffing, though, and created the graphics for Monday’s new story. I also started off today’s blog post. I worked until about 10pm.

We should have been going out for the morning on Sunday and I was going to carry on with work when we got back. That was likely to be after 4pm and I knew I’d have a late one ahead of me. Then the dog started to be ill at 5am, then 6am, then 8am, and we ended up turning the alarm off and we decided maybe going out wasn’t such a good idea after all.

It meant I got to my desk several hours earlier, and while I did some plot work, the poet went to the supermarket to get petrol and a few things we’d forgotten, in our excitement, to pick up the day before. One of his lads came to see him for Father’s Day (the other two sent messages). Then he pottered in his studio while I carried on ghostwriting.

On Monday, another Wordsworth Short was published.

The short story That’s What Friends Are For is a brand-new story that’s never previously been published. It’s one I wrote for a course assignment, but I didn’t like the original title (Dedicated Follower of Fashion), I had to change the name of one of the characters because my sister might have thought it was a story about her, and this is the one, I think, where the tutor told me that you don’t need a new paragraph for a new speaker…

…yeah, right. With a tutor like that, I wasn’t really learning anything. I ended up abandoning the course and this story has been sitting in the e-filing cabinet ever since.

Once I finished polishing it, and I’d changed the title and the name of the one character, this is the story I ummed and ahhed about sending out to one of the weekly fiction markets here. However, I also had a gap in my own publishing schedule, so I decided to keep it for myself.

The story will appear again in the future, at least twice: once in Ten Short Stories: Wordsworth Shorts 21 – 30, and again in Five More Third Age Short Stories. If the Wordsworth Shorts make it to 50, then it will appear again, and if they make it to 100, it will appear again.

For now, though, it’s brand-new.

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.

Monday was a good day. I was up early with the poet, as he was off on another business trip (this time for 4 nights – booo!). The first job I did was the publicity for today’s Wordsworth short, on here and all over social media. I did some diary work, did some gig list work, and allocated the entire rest of the day to ghostwriting.

By 7pm, I’d written 9,143 words and submitted Book 10 Part 1. And bragged about it.

I had a bit of a lie-in on Tuesday. I always seem to need this after a mammoth writing session, but at least I was still up by 9am – probably because the mammoth writing session finished at a half-sensible time rather than stupid o’clock in the morning. I had to be up anyway, as the poet had ordered a delivery and it was coming between 9:30am and 10:30am, but as it happened, it was easy enough.

The plan was to crack on with some of my own work in the morning:

  • add final book review to Amazon (June publication date meant I couldn’t add the review before)
  • daily competitions
  • Diary of a Pussycat revisions
  • draft 1 of a short story
  • Project Management for Writers: Gate 2 – write chapter 4

However, while I managed some of those by dinner time, a message landed somewhere (can’t remember if it was my email inbox or on Facebook/Twitter, probably Facebook) asking if I was taking part in CampNaNo.

Well, I mulled that over while I had breakfast. As usual, this past couple of weeks while I’ve been busy, my own work has once again been pushed to the back of the queue. But, I reasoned, if I could write more than 9,000 words in a normal working day for a client, why couldn’t I write up to 2,000 words for me?

The regular NaNoWriMo in November is 1,667 words per day, to give us 50,000 words to aim at. In CampNaNo, we choose our own project, our own goal, and whether we’re writing or editing or something else.

As I need to bump up my short story writing again (I’m starting to run out of ones I made earlier), I thought perhaps I could use the time to concentrate on some new short stories. I really enjoyed writing the ones I’ve written recently from scratch. They reminded me of when and why I started to write in the first place.

I thought 10 short stories would be a good target to aim at, but would I go for 50,000 words or would I go for 25,000 words? As I have to write around 40,000 words for my ghostwriting each month, I did actually think that without taking the month off ghostwriting then 50,000 might be too much. It would mean 10 short stories of 5,000 words, but still…

So I’ve decided to go for 10 short stories of 2,500 words each, = 25,000 words. And that gives me a (week)day target of 1,250 words per day.

I can do that.

The next thing I did was play around with covers and I think I came up with 2 or 3 that I like:

I’m currently using No. 3 on the website (CampNaNo), but which one do you like the best? No. 1, 2 or 3? I like No. 2 because there’s scope to publish 3 more books: book 2, book 3, and an omnibus:

Of course, if I plump for No. 1 or 3, I’ll have to write a short story featuring the 2 chaps on the cover…However, I really, really like No. 3.

Whichever one I decide to use, I can’t use the NaNo name or logo anywhere on the cover. I’ve asked them if it’s okay to mention them within the text, as so many writers already do that. I’m currently awaiting a response.

Now that’s all decided, I have to come up with perhaps a theme for all of the stories, so that they’re not just randomly thrown together. Perhaps I’ll start a new diary series, but until it’s ready for publication, perhaps I’ll only share that with subscribers…

Anyway, that was enough faffing for one day. For the rest of the day I worked on a client edit. Then during the evening, I created covers for all of my very short stories so far, I scheduled one for publication in July – and if it’s too short for some of the channels, that’s fine – and I uploaded 4 more books to Smashwords.

Yes, I’m adding my books to Smashwords again. It’s true, Smashwords and Draft2Digital have merged and will both be taking advantage of things the other is able to do. However, at the moment, Smashwords is the only one where you can download a mobi file for Kindle without having to go via Amazon.

I had a really bad night due to ears, cats, dogs, barking, and ended up sleeping in. So the day started late and I didn’t get done all that I wanted to. Saying that, I did manage to tidy up the schedule and come up with a plan for the next few short stories I’m writing, and I also wrote the first draft of The Little Orphan Girl, which I may actually rename Dolly Pegs yet.

There’s a story behind this story and one I’ll reveal when this story makes it onto my newsletter. That means, only subscribers to the newsletter – and perhaps the poet – will find out where the inspiration came from.

The rest of the day was editing, but when I took a break, the following email came in from Amazon:

We wanted to let you know that starting August 2022, you’ll no longer be able to send MOBI (.mobi, .azw) files to your Kindle library. Any MOBI files that are already in your library will not be affected by this change. MOBI is an older file format and won’t support the newest Kindle features for documents. Any existing MOBI files that you want to read with our most up-to-date features for documents will need to be re-sent in a compatible format. Compatible formats now include EPUB (.epub), which you can send to your library using your Send to Kindle email address. We’ll also be adding EPUB support to the free Kindle app for iOS and Android devices and the Send to Kindle desktop app for PC and Mac.

My initial response was, “Well, crap!” After forcing us to jump through hoops for years and years, they’re pulling the rug out again. And in these days of new technology, Amazon are tethering our Kindles to our desktops again (we can apparently still move them using a cable).

Then I read it again and saw that, actually, it’s okay. NetGalley seem to have already changed their mobi files to epub and any books I buy will be in epub and I will still be able to send them to my Kindles via email. All I had to do was go in to Draft2Digital and grab epub versions of my files, which I’ve been doing lately anyway to upload straight to Smashwords. I do, however, think it’s possibly another sign of things to come.

At the end of the day it will be about money, and it will be about Amazon not wanting anyone else to make money from ebooks but them. So in order to read books on your Kindle, which is actually a very nice reading experience, you’ll still have to jump through hoops.

So, after I finished throwing my hissy fit, and after reading about some of the problems Kindles are having with epub files, I tested the latest story and, so far, it seems to work. And then I shopped around for alternative ereader apps that can go on the desktop, the tablet and the mobile phone, and that synchronise with each other.

The best one I came up with was Google (Play) Books. The desktop reader is a web reader, but the phone and tablet apps are, well, apps, so I hope we can read on them offline as well. And, of course, the other tool I have is Calibre.

In future, if you would like to buy any of my books, however, I would request that if possible you get them via any of the other booksellers. I’m annoyed that Google seems to be the only feasible alternative, without spending a fortune on another ereader device, as Google already know too much about me. But the sooner we all kick Amazon into touch, the better.

Anyway, that really interrupted my editing flow, so I called it a day.

All of Thursday was spent on the editing job. This is going so slowly at the moment. It’s taking me all day just to move forward a few pages. I did email the author and ask him to send me a replacement chapter separately, so he didn’t simply drop it in over what I’ve already edited, and he sent it back by return… plus another new section for me to insert.

I worked right through until teatime.

Today I check if this scheduled post auto-posts or not. I’m not working this weekend, but the poet’s band does have their first full gig since his operation.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Diary of a Tiger: Out in 2023

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