Monday 1 May 2023: May Day Bank Holiday

Image by NoName_13 from Pixabay

Apart from it being our wedding anniversary today, it’s also a bank holiday in the UK and I try to take all of the bank holidays off, just so I don’t feel cheated by being self-employed. I have to try to stop using the term ‘freelance’ because I’ve read that ‘independent’ looks and sounds much better. I’m not sure, although I do agree that ‘indie published’ does sound so much better than ‘self-published’, because ‘self-published’ still has throwbacks to the term ‘vanity publishing’, and I do prefer ‘writing consultancy business’ to ‘writer’. So perhaps all of my vocabulary needs a good overhaul in this matter.

I don’t work bank holidays unless I’m chomping at the bit to do some writing. At the time of writing this, it was still last Friday, so I have no idea yet what I’m doing today. So without further ado, here’s how last Friday went.

The dog woke me up at just before 6am again to go out. The poet was up early again for another early start at one of the plants he covers. And when I got up the first thing I had to do was go and collect his repeat prescription because he wouldn’t be back before they closed for the weekend. I’m getting better at the walk down the hill and on Friday the walk back up the hill seemed easier. Saying that, when I let the dog in and out at 6am I did use my inhaler and now I don’t know if I’m just getting better at the walk or if the inhaler helped.

At my desk at a fairly reasonable time, I then rattled through the jobs board (no pitches), I attempted about three surveys before I qualified to complete one and then stopped, and I entered a couple of competitions. The weekly tech scan and backup was next and while the backup was running, I made a cup of tea and had that with a biscuit (or two).

As I munched and drank, I came up with a solution to the short story dilemma from earlier in the week: how to keep track of stories and ideas. I reverted to hard copy and opened up a ring-binder with ten subject dividers, and I started by printing off several unfinished short stories plus a new spreadsheet for up to ten short story projects.

The rest of the day was dedicated to short story admin for the coming month. I have three short stories already drafted that need tweaking and sending out, and I have five brand-new short stories to write from scratch, including May’s submission to 12 Stories in 12 Months. Two of these are for assignments. Two are for regular magazine submissions. And four are in response to calls for submissions.

That’s eight short stories in May (some of these are working titles only):

    1. Autumn Fayre (rewrite/tweak)
    2. The Long, Unending Day
    3. The Great British Bake Off
    4. Intrepid and Overcoming
    5. Paper
    6. The Kite Festival (re-write/tweak)
    7. Killer Queen (rewrite/tweak)
    8. A Death in the Night

Eight stories might be a bit too much to do in a three-week month, but if we take away the three already drafted, then it’s only five all together. And now that I know what order they need to be written by, I thought I could perhaps start noodling for the five new stories over the weekend.

Tomorrow’s post might be the first of two writing prompts posts for May, so the update for how I got on at the weekend will be on Wednesday.

By the end of Friday, after all of that work, my eyelids were drooping and we still had the shopping to do. And before we could do that, I had to do a meal plan and a shopping list. The poet came home and went straight to bed for an hour or so. When he woke up, it was too late to do any shopping. So we decided to do that on Saturday instead and we settled down to enjoy the long weekend.

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