Friday 23 February 2024: Things picking up again

It started to rain during the night on Wednesday. I remember waking up and registering it and then going straight back to sleep. Instead of lying there listening to it! It was one of those rare occasions where I could actually hear it. A few hours later, the poet called to let me know he was on his way home, and it was still raining. This time I made a point of lying there listening to it for a while. And it stopped. Ah well.

When I got up I played a game over breakfast for a while before suddenly realising what a pointless waste of time that was. It’s a game I’d reached maximum earnings on so it wasn’t doing anything other than keeping me occupied. So I closed it down and started to read a book instead. As it was daytime, it was a business book: DON’T READ THIS BOOK: TIME MANAGEMENT FOR CREATIVE PEOPLE by Donald Roos.

I think he’s a Dutch man, and I don’t know if the book was originally written in English or written in Dutch and then translated. Either way, it’s not a bad read, although I can tell in places both the Dutch way of speaking (I worked for a Dutch company for 5 years) (well, it was a British/Dutch company that was taken over by an Indian company) and that English isn’t the writer’s first language. It’s all right, though. The Dutch are excellent speakers/writers of English.

For pleasure, I’m currently re-reading B IS FOR BURGLAR by Sue Grafton. I love Kinsey Millhone and always enjoy reading Grafton’s stories. There was one that was completely different to the rest. Can’t remember which one. But I find all the others a nice, relaxing read. But pleasure reading is evening entertainment. Days are for work reading.

The first job I did when I hit my desk was downgrade my Plottr from Pro Lifetime, Unlimited Devices to Classic Lifetime, 3 Devices. The Pro version is web-based. It doesn’t work offline. And I can’t zoom in on it on any of the mobile devices. The interface is tiny on mobile devices, but I believe a fix is in development.

Everything ran smoothly, with one of the support crew there guiding me through and even sending me backups of my projects I could just upload again to the Classic interface. I’ll be getting a refund for the difference, I think, which is around $100. It’s likely they’ve done this because I upgraded less than 14 days ago. I’m glad I started to have a play sooner rather than later.

I’d had some comments on the story I submitted in January for 12 STORIES IN 12 MONTHS, so I went to thank them. Then I read 4 stories and commented on those. And I confirmed this month’s prompt and wordcount: 1,250 words by 28 February. I had yet to go back to my story and edit it down.

I started a Pomodoro so I could brainstorm a short story I want to send to a call for submissions. It’s due at the end of this month, but I’ve had the idea percolating since the new year. I’m thinking about reducing the number of columns on my power board as more and more often I’m combining brainstorming with planning, and I’m skipping writing and going straight to typing. See more about my power board here.

The power board is already replicated in an Excel spreadsheet, along with the histories of where everything’s been published so far. But I like the power board because I can see it instantly. I’ve been toying with getting a smaller, more compact T-card system to put behind my desk so I can see it when I’m working too, but I need to lose a couple of columns for the system I’ve seen that I like.

In the meantime, I replicated the power board on Plottr. I love the colours on Plottr and I’ll see how that works before forking out on a T-card system. I need to free-up the whiteboard so I can use it for something else. I had my project management process on there before it became the power board, and before that it was a regular murder board to help when writing stories, long and short.

I selected the Hero’s Journey (short story) plot for this one, created an overview thread where I pasted the call for submissions, and then went off to Canva to create my cover. I like to have a cover but I can also load it up to Plottr and to Scrivener. It probably won’t be the final cover, but it’s the visual inspiration I like when I’m working.

If it goes off to the call for submissions and is successful, once it’s published and the licence reverts back to me, it will appear in a WORDS WORTH READING bookazine. When it’s appeared in the bookazine, it will be published as a standalone Wordsworth Short. And when it’s been published as a standalone, it will be included in a themed anthology. If it’s unsuccessful for the call for submissions, it’ll go straight into my own publishing schedule and straight to bookazine first.

That, folks, is how my publishing schedule rolls and one of the reasons I only send my stories to places that don’t grab all of my rights and take my intellectual property as their own to do with as they wish. Unless a market is paying A Lot Of Money, and I mean a LOT of money, everyone, in my opinion, should hold on to their copyright.

Wordsworth Shorts are 1,201 words to 7,000 words. Wordsworth Flash Fiction stories are under 1,200 words. I’ve not yet written a ‘short’ story that’s much longer than 5,000 words, but if I ever write one that’s around 7,001 words to, say, 20,000 words, then I might brand that as a novelette. Novellas are 20,001 words to 50,000 words. And then I’m into the realms of novels.

It irks me a bit when I see some people brag that they’ve written and published 12 novels in a year. If they have, then more power to their elbow and well done. Usually they’re not *novels* at all, but novelettes or novellas. Or even what we used to call chap books. (Do we still have chap books?) Anyway, mini-rant aside…

Back on Plottr, I worked out how many words each beat of the story needs to be and added that to the headers. I sketched out Beat 1 (of 10) and Beat 10, the beginning and the end, leaving 8 more beats in between to fill out. I jotted a note in Beat 2 but had to stop working on it then as there was birthday shopping to be done, both for the poet (Monday) and his granddaughter (today). And reluctantly – yes, really – I tore myself away from my work.

Because we had to go out again later on yesterday evening, I didn’t have a lot of time to do anything else when the shopping expedition was done. It was a good day, though, workwise. Let’s hope today is too.

Have a great weekend! Apparently we’re on flood alert.

2 thoughts on “Friday 23 February 2024: Things picking up again

  1. It was a good day!

    Thanks for the link to remind me about the power board.

    I need to do a lot today, and I just don’t feel like it. I want to faff! Have a great weekend.

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