Chapter 59: Tuesday 13 December
When I started to draft today’s post, I wasn’t sure yet if it would be published on Monday or Tuesday. If I finish all my work on time, i.e. before we break up, then it will be Monday. If not, then it will be Tuesday.
I was billing the last episode as the penultimate chapter, but when I saw today’s would be Chapter 59, the OCD didn’t like that, so I started to think about maybe doing 2 chapters to close the year. Then I remembered that I threw in an extra chapter on planning for next year, so the OCD can still its beating heart…
I gave up trying to polish the first 5,000 words to send to the ghostwriting client and instead fired of an email saying they could have them on Saturday if they really wanted them but that I didn’t see the point as there wouldn’t be time to get any preliminary feedback before I continued with the remaining 15,000 words.
Once I’d done that I was able to crack on a little better with the first instalment.
As we’re expecting someone for Christmas dinner who is vegan, the poet made a trial batch of oat and carrot vegan bread rolls. We had to test them of course, and they were lovely warm with a knob of (non-vegan) butter on them (we’ll get vegan butter too).
On Saturday, an email came through saying that he agreed with me and to send the first instalment as previously agreed. If I get a Book 13 (by which I mean both if they ask me to and if I want to), then I’ll have more time to build in this extra 5,000-word requirement. I just didn’t really have the wiggle room this time and I was expending far too much energy on that rather than getting the instalment into a completed standard.
We had a dusting of snow on Thursday evening that had been hanging around ever since. Overnight we had another dusting on top of that, and on Saturday morning it started to snow some more. Already I’m loving this house, but the snow is like the icing on the cake.
The poet nipped out to get some festive accoutrements for Saturday night’s Christmas gig and I wrote out the domestic cards ready for when he brought the postage stamps back. I’m sending them out first class this time, and earlier than usual, as I’ve also included the change of address flyer.
When he got back, he swapped the cars around as it was my turn to drive this time. Then he made us both a cheese roll, using up 2 more of the rolls he baked on Friday. As he settled down to watch the football I gave him the remaining cards for him to write out.
With all of that out of the way, and after starting this post off, I was able to get back to the ghostwriting… in between numerous glances through the window to watch the snow falling.
The band van came to collect the poet at about 5:45pm, leaving me to get on with another chapter, which I did. I finished work just before 8pm and went to get ready to go and join them all.
The band had a great gig and it was good to see some of our friends as well who had come to celebrate the band’s last gig of 2022 as well as another round of Christmas. The venue was rammed with the dance floor packed from start to finish. I had a trepidatious drive out there in freezing fog, but by the time we were on our way home, the temperature had risen by 1 degree. When we got home, it started to snow too.
Due to the late night, Sunday working took off to a late start and I took the laptop into the living room so that we could sit together. He was watching YouTube documentaries and I had my ear phones (ear buds) in listening to thunderstorms. Listening to rain helps me to sleep and often sends me to sleep, but when I’m working it also helps me to concentrate.
I started off by reading through the last chapter I’d written on Saturday, tweaking it as I went along. By the time I was ready to start the next chapter, it was dinner time so we paused for something to eat and I watched some of the music documentary with him, which was an interview with one of Prince’s sound engineers.
We kept half an eye on the weather because snow was falling around us but not quite in the middle of the country. It did clear, however, and blue sky started to poke through. I was sitting on the settee, with the dog next to me, from where I could look up and see through the living room window in between bouts of writing.
While I was still cogitating over the next chapter I went to have a quick look at Chapter 15 of Project Management for Writers: Gate 2 only to find a ‘TO BE CONTINUED’ in big red letters in Chapter 14. So I quickly whizzed through that and completed the chapter. I rejigged my multi-project monthly word-count spreadsheet to take the extra material into account, and spread the rest of the book over 3 days instead of 1 day. If I finish this draft in one sitting, then I won’t need the 3 days after all.
I went back to the ghostwriting, put my ear phones in, and I wrote the next chapter, but I finished working when tea was ready.
As I still had a lot to do on Monday – it was after all supposed to be my last day of working – I cancelled our opticians appointments. I did some gig list admin (very minimal now that I don’t manage it any more), tidied up my diary for the week, and carried on with the ghostwriting.
I’d set myself a bit of a conundrum and needed to do some research first, and I’m glad that I did because I found a new punch to serve at my Regency balls. TWO new punches. Well, obviously they’re not new, they’re both around 300 years old, but they’re new to me.
So I cycled back to make the changes from the beginning (another reason why the first 5,000 words isn’t necessarily ready to go as soon as they’re written) as well as to refresh my memory for the previous day’s work. And then I carried on writing.
I broke off after dinner to go on an errand with the poet, and when we got back we had a chat with a neighbour who was just putting the finishing touches to a Christmas tree and a reindeer in his front garden. We don’t often ‘do’ neighbours, but besides this person being someone the poet has known all his life, this village is certainly more neighbourly than any we’ve lived in before. So sometimes we’re forced to do people when we wouldn’t normally, and I think it’s doing us some good.
By the end of the working day on Monday, I knew I’d be working on Tuesday, so I changed the headings on the blog, fired an email off to the client, and cancelled the walk we were going to go on. Then it was back to the page.
Tuesday was my last hurrah as far as work for 2022 went. Overnight I had realised I may have missed something in the ghostwriting that ought to be included and, sure enough, when I checked the outline first thing, I had. so once again I had to cycle back to the beginning and make sure I included it where necessary.
This left me with just over 9,000 words to write before submitting Part 1. I had to be more careful now, because once submitted, I won’t get chance to change anything until it comes back from the beta reader.
Sometimes, if I realise I’ve missed something major out or committed quite a large faux pas, I will contact the client and give him the choice of letting me resubmit or waiting until the beta reader has seen it. As I won’t be touching this again now until the new year, it needed to be right.
The next chapter was one of the slowest I’ve ever written.
First of all I had to go and check to make sure two poets had actually had poems published under their own names, which was rare in Regency England, rather than anonymously. Then I had to source older versions now in the public domain so that I could quote them.
I have to be very careful when quoting poetry or other literature because what we read today has been edited differently or given a new treatment that’s copyright protected. It take a very long time to write up, though.
I worked late, but not all the way through the night, and I was in bed by 3am.
That’s me officially done for this year, and it’s officially the end of Diary of a Tiger. I will be completing my tax return before the end of the year, and also Chapter 15 of Project Management for Writers: Gate 3 so I can hand that one over to the poet for some input before the polishing starts in January. I’ll also drop in to the blog with updates when I can.
But client work is done.
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