Happy 4th of July to all of my American friends and readers. Have a super day.
On Saturday morning I hung out some washing, wrote our meal plan for the week and the shopping list, and off we went to get the shopping. We started at the butcher and moved on to the supermarket.
When we got home we found a large branch had blown down across the public footpath and it looked as though someone had been in the garden. That wouldn’t have been a big surprise as the poet is having deliveries daily for his next small project. We only had one delivery, though, and that had come through the front door.
It turned out that not only had the wind blown a branch down, which we cleared away, but it had also blown our side gate open, and unclasped and unbolted it too! We had something to eat, put the shopping away, and he went to fix the gate. It was blowing a hooley and he did his best to secure it.
We put the dog in the car and took him to see the mother-in-law. The poet took his tools too because she had two panes of glass that needed fitting to her greenhouse. He did that while we watched telly and had a natter.
When we got home, we put the dog in his bike and went for a walk around a bit more of the village to deliver missing cat leaflets to a few more houses. And when we got home again. I sat down to write my 200 words while the poet had another go at our gate, making a much better job of it this time.
It’s going to need something a bit more substantial, but for now the gate is safe and secure again.
I hand wrote 502 words for The Fool. Current tally = 7,086 words. I also started tapping out today’s blog post on one of the tablets.
For tea we had gammon steaks with pineapple (and egg and chips) followed by strawberries from the garden and ice cream.
The poet decided he wanted a rest from cooking for one day and we planned to go out for dinner. Son #2 had said he and his fiancée were dropping by, though, so while we waited we had a quick tidy up. We also bagged up the pillows we replaced a couple of weeks ago and pushed those into the loft.
They arrived at about 2pm and were on their way home from a weekend away. Their dog was so excited when he saw our house, he jumped through the car window! Then he waited patiently at the back door for me to let him out and he went bananas. He loves gardens he can run around in.
After a while we let Rufus go outside too. Rufus is a bit temperamental and he doesn’t like black dogs much. So we thought he’d need restraining. He didn’t, and in fact was so excited at having a friend to play with, we got his wheels out, and the two of them had loads of fun tear-arsing around the garden.
By the time they went, Rufus was shattered. (We can’t say knackered anymore.) He was ready for a snooze while we went out. We both had burgers (I did order chicken salad, but they’d run out of Caesar dressing) followed by a gorgeous pudding each (Kit-Kat sundae for him and Cadbury’s Crunchie cheesecake for me). When we got back the dog was fast asleep on the living room rug.
After a cup of tea, the poet went into the garage to work on his project while I sat down and worked on The Fool. I added 535 words, by hand, bringing the current tally to 7,621 words.
I updated today’s blog on the tablet again then settled down to read for a bit, until the poet came in to watch telly.
The new week dawned with the usual social media and email catchup over breakfast as well as reading another chapter of the NetGalley book.
I didn’t go to yoga because I want to find a proper yoga studio. If I was enjoying the class I’d joined, I would have been chomping at the bit to go back there after the instructor’s two-week holiday. But I wasn’t. Instead I thought of all the other things I could be doing instead, which included the proofreading job from Hell. So that kind of said everything, for me.
I started the day with a secret sugarholic catchup and once the blog post was done, I started to mess with the sidebar. I’m gradually learning and accepting the block editor, and the sidebar for the secret sugarholic blog is in blocks. So it took me a few goes, but I rearranged it and added some pictures. You can’t see the sidebar from the main page, you have to open a blog post to see it.
Today’s blog post over there will appear approximately one hour after this one.
The next job I did was a quick one. I shared a gig list post on FB. The new managers of the gig list have finally done what I tried to do: they’re now directing users to the actual gig list site to both add and view gigs. Twice a week, though, they issue reminders on FB that the page there will no longer duplicate what everyone can see for free on the website. This will no doubt now fall off my regular jobs to do, but I’ll still share their posts when I see them.
I created the new month word-count spreadsheets. The total number of words I wrote in June was 15,489. My target for July is 40,000 words. While I had my dinner I listened to podcast episode 13 and when I ran out of food to eat, I did this week’s diary because I ran out of time on Friday and didn’t get around to it over the weekend.
After dinner it was back to the spreadsheets. I’ve been working with them half-functioning for ages and it always takes a lot of time to bring them up to scratch for the coming month. So I spent much of the afternoon fixing that so that it’s all automated and all I have to do is plug in the numbers. I have four spreadsheets in all:
- a word-count tracker for all projects across a full year
- a word-count tracker for every month will all the projects in for that month
- a 10-project short story planner with word tracker for a full year
- a 10-project longer works planner with word tracker for a full year
Once I plugged in all of July’s short stories to the planner, I filled the planner. So I renamed that one BOOK 1 and opened a new one called BOOK 2. In Book 2 I went in and removed all of the data so that all I have to do in August is add in the short stories from 1 August that aren’t already in progress.
It took a lot of time, but it should also save me a lot of time in the long run – and technically much more time in the long run as it’s all already automated… said she hopefully.
The completed spreadsheets for June went into the calendar folder I have. This is the one with all the topical anniversaries in as well as deadlines and plans of work. I asked the poet to have a look at the completed June spreadsheets and the blank planning spreadsheets for July to see if it made sense. If there’s an even quicker way of doing it, he will find it. But he’ll have to cogitate on it for a bit and leave it to percolate.
He came back to me virtually straight away as he’d already finished work and had settled down in front of the telly. The process can probably be streamlined, but at the moment we need to see if it works.
It was too late for me to make much of a dent in the process for Monday, so while he started to make tea (I was making it, but as he’d finished work first…), I brainstormed The City of Glasgow for 12 Stories in 12 Months, and then I bashed out 378 words for Catch the Rainbow. Current tally = 20,428 words.
The power board this week
Diary of a Pussycat moved from ‘cooling’ to ‘proofreading’. One short story has been given a title (The City of Glasgow) and it’s moved from ‘percolating’ straight to ‘planning’ as I already did the brainstorming. And three new story ideas landed in ‘percolating’:
- The Haunted House
- After Tomorrow
- Terrors from the Toy Box
Everything else is pretty much in the same place as it was last week.
Sign up for my newsletter
If you would like to receive my newsletter, please follow this link or use the form below to sign up and receive your first free short story.
Join my Substack
If you would like to join my Substack newsletter and receive writing tips and articles straight to your inbox, please follow this link or use the form below.
And don’t forget, you can unsubscribe at any time.