Healthy diet

Image by diapicard from Pixabay With the possibility of being allowed out again in public looming, I really, really want to lose some of this excess weight. I’ve tried every diet going, apart from the very expensive ones that seem to be wholly US-based. So now I’m just going to reduce everything that might make me fat. fat sugar carbs all-day grazing snacking inactivity The weather is getting milder, so that means I’ll probably start eating salads again. We might […]

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#AmWriting

Image by John Conde from Pixabay Friday morning dawned bright and sunny after the storms of the previous couple of days. The working day began with some Monkey Dust admin and half an hour of date work – July is finished and the Monkey Dust diary is filling up nicely. Next up was the cosy mystery ghostwriting. This is a very long chapter, but I did get a bit carried away with the time. That is good, yes? After dinner, […]

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Stormy night

Image by janrye from Pixabay We had a heavy storm overnight on Wednesday. It was more windy than rainy, but I liked this image above as soon as it popped up. Wistfully we said it was good that we didn’t have to worry about any chickens or the greenhouse blowing away. But I do think it spooked the animals a bit. They were both very restless, and that meant that so were we. By yesterday morning, it seemed to have […]

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Getting into the swing … almost …

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay A massive thank you to all who sent me birthday wishes on Tuesday. Much of the day was spent acknowledging and thanking people individually. Unfortunately, I had work to do, and we’re still in a semi-lockdown, so any birthday trips or outings are something to look forward to once we’re allowed out again. Tuesday The first job of the day was an hour of date work. However, as I get into the swing of […]

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Wednesday writing prompts

Phoenix, Arizona. Image by samuriah from Pixabay This week we have one story idea for next year and two evergreens. With the new regime, I don’t have a lot of time to go into detail, but I think you have the gist of things by now. Simply choose one of the topics, and then brainstorm. Fiction and non-fiction; topical and evergreen. The Phoenix Lights Twenty-five years ago next year, on 13 March 1997, some strange lights began to appear in the sky […]

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Happy Birthday to me!

Image by Jeevan Singla from Pixabay It’s my birthday today. I’ve had some very nice presents, including some useful software for work. And we have birthday cake for tea. We like birthday cake, and we’ve decided that birthday cake shouldn’t be just for birthdays, much like we’ve decided that pancakes shouldn’t just be for Pancake Day. I still have work to do and the new regime to stick to, but at least the poet is working from home today, which […]

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New regime

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay After all of my planning work last week, the new regime starts today. Before I started any of it, however, I had some admin to look after. First of all, the poet’s COVID jabs letter came through and he booked both of his appointments. Both of those went into my diary. Then I had a new appointment come through from the hospital. I thought the next time I was there it would be for the […]

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Brain chaos

Image by ElisaRiva from Pixabay I’ve been a bit preoccupied this week. Not navel-gazing or anything like that. Just trying to sort everything in my head into some sort of workable order. It’s been a bit chaotic in there of late. Mostly I’ve been working on the new book series. It was very much in the inspiration stage at the beginning of the week, but I think it’s smoothed out into something workable by now. At the start of the […]

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Wednesday writing prompts

Image by Carrie Z from Pixabay I couldn’t find anything very cheerful to write about this week, so here are two dark topics and an evergreen. Texas trial: Andrea Yates Twenty years ago next year, on 7 March 2002, the defence rested in the Andrea Yates trial in Texas. She was found guilty of capital murder, for drowning her five children in a bath. However, the jury refused her the death penalty. Four years later at her retrial, she was […]

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Project management

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay I find that I am using quite a few of this particular artist’s images from Pixabay. The style obviously works for me. I’ve even chosen an image by this author for the cover design on my next series of books. Yes, that’s right. I’ve started not just one book, but a series of books. I’m not going to go into a great deal of detail until I know whether or not it has legs. […]

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Planning in Scrivener

I love using Scrivener. I think it’s an ace tool for all aspects of your writing, including if you decide to self-publish and/or produce book bundles. Once I have my outline, I transfer it to the index cards on Scrivener. The index cards are in chapter order, the chapters are in beat order, and the beats are in Act order. In the above illustration, though, I’ve changed the beats to sequences. In the ghostwriting, they’re beats. Often I find myself […]

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A good & solid week

Image by hudsoncrafted from Pixabay It’s been good and solid week, work-wise, as I’ve plodded through the ghostwriting gig. I even did some writing on Sunday, and I hardly ever work at the weekend. I wrote 2 chapters in the afternoon and just under 4,000 words. Monday On Monday, I stacked up a load of blog posts to schedule, using odd pockets of time I found when I was having a bit of a break. I completed one book review, […]

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Book review: The Adventures of Maud West

This feature is in association with NetGalley. The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective by Susannah Stapleton Many thanks to both NetGalley and to Pan Macmillan for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of this excellent and amusing biography. When I was first sent this book to review, I could not open it. The publisher very quickly rectified this and sent me another version. However, it was still difficult to read due to layout problems, and so the publisher […]

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Wednesday writing prompts

Yellowstone Park Image by David Mark from Pixabay Here’s another one for next year, so you have plenty of time to research it, pitch it, write it, and submit it. One hundred and fifty years ago next year, on 1 March 1872,  Yellowstone National Park was established by President Ulysses S Grant. What can you find out about this park? What is it known for? What wildlife can be found there? What else is there of interest? Following a very […]

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The pop-up office

For a long time I have maintained a home office. For a while this was in the corner of another room, but I’ve been known to build stud-partitions in a bedroom to keep the office space separate. I don’t believe in having my work space in the same space as my home space. I think it breeds the habit of never switching off. If I can close the door to my office, that’s even better. So whenever I can, I have […]

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Coming soon!

Image by Rana Hadi Hassan from Pixabay As we slowly creep towards 1,000 followers of this blog, I’m thinking about a competition to celebrate the landmark once reached. What do you think? Would you join in? (Answers below!) Some of you have been with me since the very beginning. Some of you have stumbled across me more recently.  And now I’d like to thank you all by offering a prize or two. The 1st prize will consist of at least […]

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Job searches

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Thursdays are always tired days for me. I don’t know why this happens, but it always has done. Even when I ‘worked for a living’ you could usually guarantee that Thursday would be the day I turned in late. I didn’t ‘walk to work’ because by the time I realised what time it was, it was almost time to be at my desk. The walking workout is 15 minutes, so I should be able […]

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Time management

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Tuesday afternoon was more ghostwriting. I was late getting started with it, due to date work and scheduling a couple of blog posts in advance. But by the time I got around to it, I’d run out of steam. I was left with a choice: Stare at a blank screen for the rest of the day, or do something else and pick it up again the next day. So I did something else. I […]

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Wednesday writing prompts

Image by Jörg Petersen from Pixabay Here’s one for next year, so you have plenty of time to research it, pitch it, write it, and submit it. Fifty years ago next year, on 17 February 1972,  the VW Beetle overtook the Model T Ford as the world’s bestselling car. What was it about this little car that was so popular? After all, the boot (trunk) was under the bonnet (hood), the engine was in the boot (trunk), and it was […]

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Latest mock-up

This is my latest mock-up for publicising both of my chocolate-related books. I quite like the colours in this one. I hope the covers don’t get lost against the background. I forgot to add a title to yesterday’s blog post. I had to go in and add it after it had published. Apologies if your notification came in with 6734 as the title … although, that’s a lot of posts! I did my ghostwriting stint yesterday afternoon, taking me up […]

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Writer at work

This is the last of the latest reviews for A History of Cadbury. Another sneaked onto Amazon after I created these, which is good, and nice, particularly as it was another 5-star review. But this is the last of the review flyers – for now. Weekend As it was Valentine’s weekend, we did the shopping on Friday to get it out of the way. We didn’t go out again for a takeaway as we bought the makings for cheese burgers and fries. […]

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That was the week that was

I didn’t have a great start to the week due to a rough night on Sunday and a long lie-in on Monday. However, I did manage to get some things done. Monday One of the things I wanted to do was see if there was any other editing or proofreading work coming up. I checked the job board, and of the 5 jobs I selected, 4 had already hired and one wanted a Canadian/American English speaker only. I can do […]

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Wednesday writing prompts

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay Twenty-five years ago today, on 10 February 1996,  world chess champion Garry Kasparov apparently lost the first game of a six-game chess match against an IBM computer called Deep Blue. Although it is too late to write this one up as an anniversary piece for this year, chess can still play a big part in both fiction and non-fiction. There’s even a play about it! And a TV film. And it doesn’t matter if it […]

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I did it!

It was a big ask, but I did it! By the end of Thursday, I had 11,500 words to write in order to submit the second instalment of the ghostwriting gig before the end of Friday. On Friday, it was the only thing I worked on, taking mini-breaks in between chapters and reading chapters out loud. I like to read my work out loud as it helps to spot inconsistencies, repetitions, clumsy or awkward sentences, and correct breathing breaks. Saying […]

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Ghostwriting

Much of yesterday was spent catching up with the ghostwriting. Saying that, as usual I was distracted at first. Writing this particular story for Greece is giving me all sorts of ideas for stories of my own, and I thought about opening Scrivener files for two of them at least. However, I stalled when I went searching for images for use on the mock cover Scrivener allows us to add. There were so many to choose from, for both ideas, […]

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Publicity

I was having a bit of a rummage through NetGalley to see if there were any new reviews for The Life of Richard Cadbury. I couldn’t see any for that one, but there were a few new ones for the first book, A History of Cadbury. First job of the day for yesterday, then, was collecting 5 of these reviews and creating flyers out of them. Number 1 is above, and the other 4 will follow when I can’t find a different […]

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Back to work

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Our laptop is quite old now, and a bit too heavy to work with on my lap. But while I was waiting for my Covid test result to *not* come in (and to see if they would let me into the hospital), I really didn’t feel like opening up the office. And it was cooler at the dining end of the room than it was at the sitting end of the room. So I gave […]

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Plodding along

Image by 🎄Merry Christmas 🎄 from Pixabay Apologies for going AWOL for a few days. I’ve been plodding along, working steadily, and then by the end of each day, I’ve realised I haven’t blogged yet – usually right after switching everything off. We had the entire weekend off. The only errand I had to run was to the supermarket, and I had to go on my own due to Tesco ramping up their social distancing rules. It’s probably just as […]

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Getting on with it

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash Yesterday was a long day, but despite not managing any writing, it was a productive day all the same. Ghostwriting The ghostwriting revisions took much longer than I would like, and as I’m not paid for that part of the job, I need to reduce the possibility of it happening again. Speaking of payment, payment for the first instalment landed in my bank account yesterday, so that was very nice. The changes I made to […]

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War of the antiviruses

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay I had a good day on Tuesday, I finished the pdf edits for the proofreading job and sent that back to the client. By return, she asked for my invoice, which I sent, also by return. The next job should have been editing, but I was distracted. While I was amending the pdf, my computer kept on juddering so that my manual (freehand) “pencil marks”, aka ticks, were wavy at best. Something was running […]

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Wednesday writing prompt

Image by shedreamsinpink from Pixabay Okay, this one’s a good one … or I think it is at least. Fifty years ago next year, on 24 January 1972, a Second World War Japanese soldier was found hiding on Guam, an island in the North Pacific. There is so much information available about this event if you do your research and dig deep. Article and non-fiction book ideas include travel, history, military, etc. Short story and novel ideas are limitless. So, you […]

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Slow n steady

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay I had a slow and steady day yesterday. I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to, but I did get through quite a lot of stuff anyway. I had dinner at my desk, and I finished work at about 6pm. Just in time for tea. Proofreading I finished the hard-copy proofreading job for England. (Yay!) I do enjoy these books, but they do all result in a massive Yay! when I’ve finished. The entire […]

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Busy bee … again!

Friday was a very, very busy day. The biggest job was the ghostwriting gig, as the first instalment needed to be in by the end of the day. However, I like to take a bit of a break in between chapters, and so I alternated between writing and proofreading. The other big job was the proofreading job. I also had in an editing job. There was no firm deadline on the proofreading job and no deadline at all on the […]

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