Diary of a Tiger: Tue 6 Dec 2022

Image by Jan Barkmann from Pixabay
Chapter 56: Tuesday 6 December (or… I don’t have a book review at the moment so the diary will have to do…)

At the end of last week I wrote to the fan fiction ghostwriting client and offered her my services as an editor instead of a writer. I really don’t feel comfortable writing fan fiction as I feel such a fraud mostly, but also because I don’t know any characters or original storylines well enough to do them justice. It was a big weight off my mind to throw the writing aspect part back and it helped me go into the weekend with a freer conscience.

I don’t think we did anything substantial on Friday night… but on Saturday we did go out to do the weekly shopping. I started a new meal plan book and a corresponding recipe book so that any recipes we use from the (usually) Slimming World magazines can be written down in the recipe book as we use them, rather than in one go.

On the way to the supermarket we dropped in to see the mother-in-law, who’d had a bit of a fall a couple of days earlier. She seems fine, if a bit shaken. Next stop was a post office to send the overseas Christmas cards, but they were all showing as closed apart from one that was only down the road. When we got there, though, the post office counter was closed until Monday. We found another, but it was slightly more of a drive than we’d hoped, and it threw us off for the rest of the day. It was open, though, and then we did the shopping, and then we went back to the mother-in-law’s to take her some fresh bread.

We couldn’t hang around much longer as the poet’s band were playing at a wedding and he had to leave at 5pm to go and set up. He got back at about 8pm to have some tea and pick me up, but it was too late to have any tea. We got back to the wedding and the band were on pretty much straight away, so I went and raided what was left of the buffet so we both at least had something to eat.

It was a great evening and not at all like most weddings Monkey Dust play. The thing is, the bride and/or groom are big fans of the band, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that all of their friends and family are too and most of the guests wander off to join the eating room or the drinking room or the chatting room or the smoking area, and only a handful are left on the dance floor. Plus, of course, the bride and/or groom who is usually the fan anyway has to then go and circulate in all of those different areas, so we don’t often see them for long either.

Not on Saturday. On Saturday, the dance floor was rammed from the first song to the last. It was fab. And both the bride and groom found time to come and chat to both the band and the WaGs (or in this case just the Ws) more than once or twice.

We found out that the entire band had also been ill in the fortnight since their last gig, and all of us bar one did a Covid test, which were all negative, thankfully. Even so, we must have picked up something at the last gig or the last-but-one gig, because we had all been really poorly.

Sunday should have been recovery, but after two weeks of feeling pap, the poet and I really needed to get outside in the fresh air for an hour or so. So I found a 1½-mile walk on our very own doorstep, and one I did alone about 15 years ago. Off we pootled, with the dog in tow, to do this walk, and we all really enjoyed it. When I did it before, though, I suspected it was longer than 1½ miles, but what I had this time was a GPS tracker.

Sure enough, it was 2.8 miles instead of 1.5 miles, which doesn’t seem a lot in the greater scheme of things. But we’re rebooting our fitness after 3 years of Covid, lockdown and hospital visits and I for one needed to start slowly.

The estimated 1 hour only turned into 1 hour and 15 minutes, so that wasn’t so bad, and even before we reached the car again we both said we were glad we’d done it. We think Rufus enjoyed it too, even though his fitness is a bit poor at the moment and, of course, he isn’t getting any younger. The rain held off for much of the walk, with only bursts of drizzle once while we were out and again when we were on the home stretch.

But we had a nice time, we were thankful for the fresh air and the exercise, we took it real easy, and the poet got some photographs too.

While we were out, an email came in from the fan fiction client thanking me for letting her know and asking what my editing rates are.

Monday loomed bright and large with such great plans, and then plunged into a dark hole as the poet had a severe asthma attack. I had to take him to the hospital for a full check up and he was there for the rest of the day. I stayed with him until midday but had to go home to see to the animals, with a view to going back to either collect him or take him an overnight bag.

Fortunately, after checking his lungs, his heart and his blood, they gave him a prescription and told him to arrange to see his asthma nurse to update his meds. I went back for him at tea time and we were home by about 6:30pm. They could see the flu bug he’s had recently on his lungs, and suggested it might have actually been Covid, but as we both tested for that and were both negative, they said it could have been just a bad flu. He’s arranged to see the asthma nurse next Monday, right after our biennial optician appointments.

All of that meant that my week moved along by one day and that today is my new Monday, for one week only. I don’t mind working on Saturday this week, as the poet’s band has their final gig of the year so we’ll be tied to the house in any case. I may as well do something useful. Saying that, I did nip on briefly to send my editing rates to the fan fiction client.

Today I did all of the stuff that I should have done yesterday, starting with Monkey Dust admin for the coming week. I added the gig to Diane’s Gig List and shared the poster for this Saturday’s gig on Facebook. Then I created my multi-project word-count spreadsheet for December, and I transferred the past 4 chapters of the diary to Diary of a Tiger, plus the blog post on planning, adding 6.442 words to the mix. Diary of a Tiger will come to an end this week and the first draft is nudging the 80,000-word mark.

I started the new ghostwriting gig (Book 12!) by first reading through the outline. I’d already thrown this outline back for being factually inaccurate but they asked me to work in one of my suggested fixes anyway. Then I went through and broke the outline into chapters, and then I went to transfer the outline to Scrivener.

I opened my Scrivener template to find that it had somehow saved all of Book 10 on top of it. I must have opened it to copy instead of opened it as a template. So I had to go in and clear out all of the data and save another completely blank version. That took a while and was one job I hadn’t anticipated doing today. And then I tried to import the Word file again.

It’s best to import the files rather than copy and paste as the text then takes on my preferred Scrivener formatting rather than the original Word formatting. I still copy and paste it from the imported file, but it saves all of the Scrivener formatting this way.

This time it worked, and then I had to split the screen and copy each section over to the relevant chapters. I also ensured I copied over the information I’d already thrown back last week (a) as a reminder to the client, and (b) to tell the beta reader why the story strays from the outline.

The book is now ready to go tomorrow and the first instalment is due in next Monday. As that’s our last day of working before the Christmas holiday, I’m aiming at getting the first instalment back to the client on Friday or Saturday. If it goes on Friday, then that means I still get Saturday off.

The only jobs I moved along were the book review from today to next Tuesday and Chapter 15 of Project Management for Writers: Gate 2 to tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a short day, though, as we have a Bad Manners concert to go to.


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4 comments

  1. Oh no…so sorry to hear you’ve both been poorly! I had strep throat last week and wow, did it really take me out. I haven’t gone on a proper walk in two weeks and I am very much missing it. Getting out in the fresh air just makes life better, doesn’t it?

    1. Oh no! On top of everything else, poor you! Hope you’re feeling a bit better. We have strep throat here at the moment. Several children have apparently died and warnings have been issued telling parents what to look for. It looks like their allowing the pharmacists to start issuing swabs and antibiotics, but it will take time to roll that out.

  2. I’m so sorry you’ve been sick! I hope you’re both better soon.

    I wish these programs would stop their constant updates. Or, at least, we should be paid for the time we lose out of our workdays.

    1. We’re both starting to feel better, thanks. I’m already well on the road to recovery, but the poet’s drugs have only just about started to kick in.

      I set the Windows updates to go overnight, but the Scrivener one is always a surprise. I could have ignored it and set it to go later too, but when they come in from Scrivener, I like to do them while I’m not in too deep or up against the wire that a delay will annoy me more.

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