Friday 30 June 2023: June wrap-up

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I was pretty much up with the poet on Thursday morning. He was off on another longish drive to one of his sites, but it was an hour later than the previous two days. So I was pretty much up with him.

Over breakfast I did my usual social media and email catchup. I exchanged a couple of texts with my sister about the house and about probate. And I read a couple of newspaper articles, one of which had me thinking about all of the unnecessary energy we use in our house.

For a start, we get through a gazillion tissues and boxes of tissues are always on the shopping list. During the pandemic, when the poet was still having a lot of sinus problems, we bought him several packs of handkerchiefs. When the first, cheapest pack got a bit tatty and discoloured, we bought some blue dye and we dyed them all, giving them a new lease of life.

At the time, we were supposed to be getting me some hankies as well, and I even took one of his white ones and embroidered the letter D in the corner. (Yes, I can do embroidery too – if I put my mind to it.) But we couldn’t get any ladies hankies online and, as the shops were shut, I kind of slipped by the wayside.

We also leave lots of things plugged in and switched on, both at the wall and on standby. The article I read suggested we switch off our energy vampires – anything with a red light on that wasn’t telling us the time.

So when I took the breakfast things into the kitchen, I went around turning lots of things off at the wall, like the floor and table lights, the microwave that hasn’t had the clock set on it since the last power cut, the coffee maker that’s used once in a flood. I also unplugged all of the device chargers that are permanently on for some reason, and I switched devices off that aren’t used constantly.

There’s a small tablet on my bedside table that was turned on and plugged in to the charger, even though I hardly use it. So I turned that off, put it in the drawer, and unplugged the charger. Then I unplugged my phone charger and moved it into the living room to where there are other chargers, also unplugged now.

I also read two more chapters of the NetGalley book and one more chapter of the writing book. Then, when I finished with that tablet, I turned it off.

I’m feeling a bit faddy with it now, and once I got to my desk I wondered why I was automatically turning the laptop on when I had hard-copy proofreading to read and hard-copy handwriting to write. I’d already done all of my social media stuff. I’d already done all of my email stuff. And the reason I came up with was to start my blog…

Yup, folks, the only genuine reason I turned my laptop on on Thursday morning was to start writing today’s blog. I have tons of exercise books and notebooks in my drawer that haven’t been used yet. I could write my blog in one of those and transfer it to screen once a day.

But I also have Catch the Rainbow to type up, I told myself. Which is also a job I can allocate to a slot in the day when the computer is on. Or I can take my laptop anywhere (so long as the sun isn’t too bright) and do the typing without being connected to the internet.

And what about my podcast? Well, I can listen to it on my phone, which is always on… even though I’ve decided to turn it off overnight now and charge it in the living room instead of at my bedside. If I need an alarm, I have one on my watch, which is the only thing I now have a charger for next to my bed. It won’t like being too far away from the phone, but I could always move the phone charger closer, just don’t have it in the bedroom.

I also started to think ahead to the shopping at the weekend. Bamboo loo roll, for example. Eco-friendly detergents. We already have recycled toothbrushes. And how will we afford to pay for all of this? Why, by not buying boxes and boxes of tissues, of course. And kitchen roll. We already have kitchen cloths! We can wash them and hang them on the line! Why do we also devour kitchen roll?

So the next thing I did while I was mulling all of this over was see online what kind of ladies handkerchiefs are available… Oh, the irony. I’m trying to conserve energy and here I am wasting valuable working time going down a rabbit hole looking at handkerchiefs I can’t even feel the quality of. (shakes head)

I popped out for an hour with a view to getting some hankies and I came home several hours later with bamboo loo roll and pizzas for tea, but no hankies. Having tried pretty much every single shop likely to sell them, I gave up, came home, and decided to buy them online anyway.

It was late by then, though, and I was determined to get my 200 words down. So I pulled out Catch the Rainbow and clattered out 417 words. Current tally = 20.050 words. Yay! I’ve cleared the 20,000 mark.

June wrap-up

I started June with quite the to-do list.

Most of the plan went, well, to plan. I didn’t necessarily do the jobs on the days I originally intended to do them. But I did do most of them in June all the same. When it became clear that I wouldn’t be able to fit something in, it was deferred to July.

During June the cat went missing, so a lot of time was spent on that. At the time of writing, there was still no sign of her nor any reports of any sightings. Also during June I ended up doing a lot of work for Probate, and that took out a huge chunk too. And then most of the online technology I use took a massive nosedive and much time was wasted trying to sort that little lot out.

I discovered a weekly writing podcast that was started in 2016 and more time was spent listening to those on a daily basis. And I discovered a writing challenge to write at least 200 words every day. I joined that challenge on 13 June and, so far, I’ve not missed a day. It’s even forced encouraged me to write of an evening and at weekends rather than miss banking any words for a single day.

Apart from the two days off I had after finishing Diary of a Pussycat.

On the whole, though, I didn’t digress too much and I still got through a lot of work.

Here’s how it went:

  • finish editing the Taliban book and send it back to the author for comment/responses ✔️
  • write the next short story for 12 Stories in 12 Months ✔️
  • proofread the Vietnam book and consolidate proofreader and author amendments with mine ✔️ (started – it’s 527 pages!)
  • polish Paper Roses and send it out ✔️ (sent and sold!)
  • finish revising Killer Queen and get it sent off as a workshop assignment (should be doing this today)
  • Monkey Dust admin every Monday ✔️✔️✔️✖️
  • finish typing Catch the Rainbow ✔️ (continuing into July)
  • write Fireworks at Killiecrankie (deferred to July)
  • write A Death in the Night (it didn’t get done in time to go off to the call for submissions, so I’ll work on the twee version) (deferred to July)
  • finish revising Diary of a Pussycat ✔️ (yay!)
  • start writing Project Management for Writers: Gate 3 – How? (deferred to July)
  • revise all of the online workshops I’ve already watched and made notes on thus far ✔️ (continuing into July)
  • write a sugarholic blog every Monday (for Tuesday publication) ✔️✔️✖️✖️
  • write an our garden this week blog every Wednesday (for Thursday publication) ✔️✔️✔️✖️
  • finish planning The (new) Fool (deferred to July)
  • attend a yoga class every Monday morning in June ✔️✔️✖️✖️
  • continue planning The Beast Within (it’s a writealong for the project management books now) (deferred to July)
  • serialise Project Management for Writers: Gate 1 on Substack every Monday behind a paywall (deferred to July)
  • post a short story a week on Medium ✖️✔️✔️✖️
  • post the same short story a week on Vocal ✖️✔️✔️✖️
  • finish the NetGalley books I had as holiday reading and write the reviews ✔️✔️
  • draft the June newsletter as I go, and as the pictures come in for the holiday off the poet ✔️

And here are the extras:

  • listen to new writing podcasts at least (week) daily (since 13 June) ✔️
  • revise Autumn Fayre and send it to the next market on the list ✔️
  • apply revisions to Taliban book and return to client ✔️ (Yay!)
  • invoice client for Taliban book ✔️ (Yay!) (Invoiced and paid!)
  • post a writing related article on Substack (free to read) ✔️
  • print off new editing job from last remaining client ✔️ (Yay!)
  • re-verify domain for newsletter provider ✔️
  • spend far too much time trying to sort out faulty technology ✔️
  • playtime ✔️

How was your June?

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