Monday 19 June 2023: New bed, new bedding

we have a new headboard too

We had to get up early on Friday because our new bed was coming. I asked if they could give me an idea of what time, and they said any time between 8am and 5pm, adding that it might actually be 8:30am onwards. So we got up early, stripped the bed, hung the bedding on the washing line to try and attract the cat, dismantled the bed and disposed of most of the double bed bedding.

I kept a brand-new mattress protector and put the other one in for washing. And I kept all of the plain pillowcases. The plain pillowcases are useful for putting on a pillow in one of the dog baskets. He’s a chewer and the covers often need replacing. We also kept the headboard in case we want to use it in our new project, and the poet wanted to keep the drawer runners too for the same reason…

When we moved the bed we saw some black mould on the wall behind the headboard down by the skirting… No wonder we’ve both had cold upon cold. I went outside to investigate why there might be damp there, and it’s an air brick. Which means that the rain is probably coming in through the air brick and penetrating through to the inside wall.

There’s a rainwater downpipe as well, but that looks sound at the moment. We are in the throes of a new drought, though, so we’ll have to check again when it rains.

The poet’s going to have a look at the air brick to make sure there’s nothing blocking it. Then he’s going to get some kind of weather cover. Once he’s addressed the cause, then we can think about putting a damp-blocking paint on the inside wall.

While the poet had his first and second video meetings of the day, I stayed in the living room. I went through social media and emails over breakfast, and then I read two chapters of the NetGalley book. By the time he had his third video meeting, I was at my desk and wondering why my newsletter provider wants me to verify my domain.

I verified my domain when the provider was SendInBlue. Now it’s Brevo, they’re asking again, but this time they want me to add some code to my website. I don’t know how to do that when the website is hosted by Dreamhost. I’ve asked Brevo the question. If it gets too complicated, I’m changing provider and have already downloaded my contacts list.

Brevo apparently only allow you to download your contact list once, so any new subscribers I’ll have to make a note of and add them in if and when I move everything over. The problem is, I knew how to use SendInBlue/Brevo and I’d already set in motion all of the automatic emails when there’s a new subscriber, etc. I’ll have to learn it all again and set it all up again if I move. Honestly, they can’t leave anything alone, can they?

Talking of subscribers, my secret sugarholic blog has it’s first subscriber. Yay! I don’t even know how this is happening. I must be using keywords that these recent likers use.

The new job arrived that the editing client promised earlier in the week. I had a quick look at it and it’s both an interesting subject and nicely written, which makes a change. The pay is slightly more than the job I returned, but it’s still less than what I’d usually charge a one-off client. I don’t mind, though, when the client sends work regularly. And, more importantly, pays on time.

I did my weekly tech scan and backup. While the backup ran, I edited Autumn Fayre down to 1,800 words, and sent it off to market.

Brevo replied to my support ticket. I have to go into Dreamhost and edit my DNS there, apparently (said she, trying to uncross her eyes). I’ll look at it when I’m in a techy mood one day, and I emailed to let him know I’d never had any issues before. He emailed back with another, quicker, less techy fix, and it worked. So I might be staying with them for the foreseeable after all.

The poet saved our holiday pictures to my portable hard drive, and when he went into the garden to start hacking the old bed to bits, I sifted through and chose around 16 pictures to illustrate the next newsletter. I can start to draft that now I have the pictures and now I know I’m not changing provider.

The bed delivery men called at about 2:30pm to say they were 30 minutes away. The poet moved his car so they could park at the end of the drive, then he watched the dog while I watched the bed delivery men assemble the bed. When they went we made the bed and then noticed that the ottoman we bought last year is broken. So I carried on with work while the poet tried to fix it.

The bed and the new bedding is very nice, and the bed seems comfortable enough but time will tell. We’ve tried several beds over the past ten years and not one has helped my back and hip aches and pains.

I got back to my desk, updated my record of submissions for Autumn Fayre, and picked up Diary of a Pussycat. I revised three chapters, added the exercises for three weeks, and added 573 words. Current tally = 43,057 words.

Catch the Rainbow was next and I had a bad case of the don’t wannas. It was late in the day, we’d been up early, we’d stripped a double bed and made a king-sized bed, and I was tired. But… my intention is to show up at the page on a daily basis and if I don’t, it won’t ever get finished, and it’s already taken far too long. So I did a bit more butt-kicking and decided to type up just one scene.

I’m counting these words, whether I’m typing new ones, copy-typing old ones and invariably adding more in, or handwriting new ones. They don’t necessarily count towards any one project’s figure because, well, I ain’t doing NaNo at the moment. But they are all new, physical words on a clean, white page. And they take work. And concentration. And I do revise as I go along. It’s like an extra pass. So yeah, I’m counting them.

What I’m NOT counting is blog post words or email words. Those are different. Those are chatty. But to paraphrase something Dean Wesley Smith says in one of his workshops: If I can sit down for 15 minutes and bash out 500 words in a blog post or an email without thinking much about it, then I can darn well bash out 500 words on a short story or a novel or another writing project in any one day.

I think he’s right. You can disagree with me if you like. But I think he’s right.

Anyway, Catch the Rainbow… (Prevaricate much? Moi?) The first few paragraphs of the first scene of the second act became the last scene in the first act. It still didn’t give me as many words as I’d like in the first quarter of the book. But I felt it ended the act on a much more suitable note. I want the reader to want to carry on reading and Act I (Part I) fizzled out a bit. Now there’s more of a bang.

I carried on, and wrote the first scene of the second act for real. It might not stay the first scene of the second act, but it’s the first one I’ve done. I only added 385 words, over two scenes. So the scenes will need fleshing out. But, current tally = 16,024 words.

I exported the file so far to Word, so I have a backup of it, and I emailed it to me and the poet. Again, for extra backup. But when I was saving it I saw that the series is called The Cider Chronicles. Only the first book in the series, which I’ll be writing last, is about cider. The other four are about snooker, football, Irish terrorists, and something else I’ve not yet decided.

The first book is set in Worcester. The second book is set in Kidderminster, The fourth book is set in Birmingham. And the fifth book, which I’m writing first, is also set in Birmingham. And they all follow the various descendants of the original family who will appear in Book 1 (in Worcester). It’s Book 3 I haven’t given much thought to, but I doubt very much that it will have anything to do with cider.

Either I have to include cider somehow throughout, or I have to come up with a different series title. So I sent that out into the ether to percolate in the back of my subconscious. I do like ‘chronicles’…

By the time I finished working on Catch the Rainbow, I was hungry and I’d had enough. I sent a link to the podcasts website I’ve been listening to via email to myself, and I moved into the lounge to sit with the poet while he watched the cricket.

We didn’t see anything of the cat before calling it a day on Friday.

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2 thoughts on “Monday 19 June 2023: New bed, new bedding

  1. The books sound like a lot of fun.

    SendinBlue would redflag and dump my entire contact list if I didn’t get a high opening rate within THREE MINUTES of things being sent. I had a terrible time with them. I ended up having to print out the contacts. I had them already in gmail, and was able to import tham into MailerLite, but the whole thing was a nightmare. Sorry you’re going through it.

    1. SendinBlue worked fine for me, and then they went and did the merger. I’m hoping Brevo are just having teething issues, but I am already looking around for an alternative.

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