Tuesday 10 Jan 2023: 10 January already?!

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Can you believe it’s 10 January already? Time flies ever quicker with each passing year.

The dog didn’t get his twilight trot on Friday, or even his moonlight stroll. We did the shopping and bought a readymeal because we didn’t have the energy to go to the takeaway on the way home, and if we’d ordered a delivery, by the time it arrived we would have been already in bed most probably.

Saturday turned into a really lazy day. We had a long lie-in and when we got up the most I did was make a jelly (aka pour hot water on some sugar-free jelly crystals). The poet had a splurge of energy and went into the garden to dispose of the Christmas tree and incinerate some garden rubbish before he crashed again. We had bangers, mash and beans for tea (colcannon mash), with jelly and ice cream for pudding.

On Sunday we were supposed to be going out for the day, but it was cold, wet and windy and we decided against it in our wisdom. A good blow of sea air might have done us both the world of good, but not with an icy cold wind blowing. So I sat and read while the poet watched football on the telly, but he did make a roast beef dinner, and we had jelly and ice cream again for pudding. I did get some pears out of the freezer, though, so we could make a pear crumble on Monday, which usually lasts us for four days.

Pomodoros

Don’t forget, these pomodoros are 50 minutes each rather than 25 minutes each, short breaks are 10 minutes, and long breaks are 60 minutes.

Pomodoro 1

The first pomodoro of the day this time consisted of social media catch-up as well as checking emails and starting today’s blog. We’re not used to getting up early yet and I need to work a bit harder at getting to my desk on time again. Once I’d started the blog, I then went off in search of a suitable image to illustrate it, and I added the newsletter subscription to the end again.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do so to receive a free short story every issue. The next newsletter is due out on Thursday 26 January, as I’m trying to be consistent and bring them out monthly again.

Pomodoro 2

I made us both a quick cuppa and jumped straight back into the next pomodoro, which began with a rattle through the daily competitions (FAFF). Once those were out of the way, it was straight into my motivational Monday workshops (PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT). I only managed one batch again this time, and this time they were about consistency and planning.

In the last few minutes of the pomodoro I checked the current kickstarter I’m watching.

Pomodoro 3

After another quick break, I looked at the calendar and rejigged two projects about. I was supposed to be doing the revisions for Project Management for Writers: Gate 2 this week, but as I’ve not yet had the contribution back from my expert, I’ve swapped it around with Diary of a Pussycat. This means the project management book will be published at the end of February, and the pussycat book will, hopefully, be published at the end of January. (NON-FICTION BOOK.)

I retyped the next scene, Scene 7.1, for Catch the Rainbow and updated the wordcount spreadsheets – 1,468 words today (EDITING). And before I knew it, it was dinner time.

Pomodoro 4

After dinner, aside from catching up with blogs, I also had to do some WordPress admin. (ADMIN.)

First of all that JetPack issue: Turns out they’ve moved the goalposts without telling anyone (or me, at any rate) and now we’re only allowed to auto-share blog posts 30 times in any 30-day period. Unless we upgrade to pro. But this counts each share. So if you auto-share to say, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, that counts as three auto-shares per post…

To be honest, I’d be more inclined to upgrade to pro if this very feature didn’t break so often. If I have to upgrade, then I’ll just turn the auto-share off. I’m quite capable of sharing to multi-platforms myself. Plus there are those neat little social share buttons at the end of each post.

Akismet Anti-Spam sent me an email too, saying that my website is for a commercial organisation and therefore doesn’t qualify for a free account. Now, I’d understand that if I monetised the blog, but I don’t. It’s a personal blog. But it seems that because there are links to my book and editing pages (I’m guessing), then this is suddenly a commercial website. They threatened to suspend my Akismet account… so I deactivated it anyway, to save time.

I found loads and loads of other anti-spam plug-ins that don’t charge for basic comment-spam protection, and I chose one of those. I’d be interested to know that comments will still get through, though, if one of you wouldn’t mind obliging…? (In case it gets mangled up and thrown out completely, if you could let me know on social media that you’ve left a post too, that would be great.)

Knee-jerk reaction: Of course, if this kind of thing continues, my knee-jerk reaction is to deactivate and just switch off the blog, which surely defeats the object of trying to get more money out of people. I already pay for this blog, I already pay for the domain name, I already pay for my hosting. I also pay for loads of other things I think are really important. And because of all of these things I’m paying for, I don’t make any profit from the blog at all. In fact, I’m paying to have the blog.

So please make sure you’ve signed up for the newsletter in case the blog disappears. Ta.

Pomodoro 5

For my fourth pomodoro of the day, I settled into some editing for the history book client. (CLIENT WORK #1.) I didn’t have any Monkey Dust admin. At the end of the pomodoro I did suggest we take the dog for a twilight trot, but we decided to go later after dark, as I wasn’t on my own.

I still didn’t see anything from Akismet, so I replied to the email they sent threatening to suspend my plug-in informing them that I’d deactivated it while I await their response to my ticket.

Pomodoro 6

The poet finished his work and disappeared to make tea (I did say we started the day late again…). While he made a Slimming World crustless quiche (no Syns) and a Weight Watchers pear crumble (… can’t remember how many points), I opened up the ghostwriting and refreshed my memory again by reading the story so far… (well, there was a weekend in between). (CLIENT WORK #2.)


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6 comments

  1. I have had nothing but problems with JetPack and that spammer thing. They both suck. I can’t even have a decent comment form on my websites because of the issue. What anti-spam plug in are you using? I’m irritated that most scheduling tools also want to charge, but only upload to FB, Twitter, and either Tumblr or Insta, and not anything else. If I’m going to pay, I want ONE tool that uploads to any platforms I have. They’re all scam artists at this point.

    1. When Akismet replied to me, several times in the end, all but one of them also had Jetpack in the sig… Apparently, all three – WordPress too – are all connected, somehow. The original Akismet developer and the original WordPress developer are one and the same, according to some of the official Akismet responders on the forums.

      The new one I’m trying is AntispamBee. It’s free and WordPress plug in page claims it’s not yet been tested on the latest WordPress version, but the AntispamBee page says it has been. I’ve had it a day so far and already it’s caught spam comments. Time will tell if it also cleans the Contact Form spam.

      I’ll be looking for an auto-share replacement too. Jetpack want $10 a month… That’s $120 a year. Hosting costs less than that! Why do they think people will be happy to pay that?

  2. Whenever I’ve challenged that kind of pricing, I always get, “well, you can write it off.” Sorry, that doesn’t make up for it, especially when the tool doesn’t serve my needs in the first place.

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