Hello, Finningley!

For the past two weeks we’ve been moving house (again!), and now we’re in the village of Finningley, which used to be in Nottinghamshire but is now in South Yorkshire. It’s amazing how borders can change like that. There’s an airfield here that used to be RAF Finningley and for 35 years the airfield hosted a famous air show. During the Second World War, Finningley was briefly associated with RAF Bomber Command where the air crews finished their combat training. […]

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I published a book

I didn’t get around to writing any of Catch the Rainbow yesterday, but I did sort some of the rest of the material into some sort of order. This one may not get finished before the end of August, but then again, it might … The Life of Richard Cadbury was also neglected. I need to get on with this one. We’re still awaiting the foreword, but if I get on with it and have done it by the time the […]

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It’s okay to take a sick day

Ever since the poet went back to work on 1 July, we’ve both had cold upon cold upon cold. And yesterday, I was finally flattened. Unusually, it seems that the poet is a couple of days behind me this time. Also unusually, it seems, if I wake up and I’m not very well, I generally take a sick day. I’ve always done this, even when I “worked for a living” (aka “had a proper job”, aka “had a day job” […]

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August 2020: Plan for the month (lists alert!)

After basking in my Camp NaNoWriMo winner glory for a moment or two, I finished work late on Friday. It was about 9pm here, so about 11pm for my client. The work was mostly late because Word had a bit of a hissy fit and took it upon itself to remove ALL of my tracked changes. It left the comments in, but everything else was gone. And I couldn’t get them back. I did some internet research, and I eventually […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 16

Oops, skipped a day … From this week, my 10-project writing planner has a new project attached. It’s a proofreading job, and I want it finished by the end of Friday. Next week, I add a different project to my planner. This week’s proofreading job means I’ll have 2 projects on the go at the same time for the first time since I started to properly use the planner. Next week’s proofreading job means the same, as this week’s should […]

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Lockdown easing

For more than 3 months, this country has allegedly been on lockdown. Although, if you see how many people have been walking past our remote bungalow and how they walk right at you when you’re out, it’s understandably difficult to believe that anything changed. My work didn’t change. If anything, I became more busy. But wages did slow down in some areas. Fortunately, the poet was furloughed and has been doing all of the household chores, allowing me to just […]

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I too should be writing …

I’m really getting the itch to be writing again. I keep booking it in, but then I keep running out of time. I have clients that all have deadlines. And I manage to meet all of their deadlines. To the extent that the work keeps on rolling in – but I’m not complaining about that. I’m complaining about my own inability to adhere bum to seat. There are so many projects I could be working on. There’s the sequel to Night […]

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Back to (writing) work

Earlier in the year (gosh, is it still only March?), I had to take a bit of a sabbatical from my writing as I needed to replenish all of the work I lost while I was writing the latest non-fiction book. The book took me longer than I expected to write, and that meant by the time I was ready to take on editing and proofreading jobs again, many of my clients had found someone else to do the work. […]

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Writing diary

I want to get back to blogging on a regular basis, with at least an update of what I did “yesterday” and what I intend to do “today”. I’ll still interpolate all of this with the diaries (of a novel, of a pocket novel), my fat year updates, weekly reports from the writing group, book reviews, etc, and I really, really, really ought to finish my 52 Books in 52 Weeks posts (reading and reviews) – I’m so close to […]

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Fitting my own work in somewhere …

We had another long weekend, this time for my birthday. And this time, it was more of a chilled, relaxing time. We saw the poet’s mum on Friday evening, and we saw my mom yesterday. On the way home from seeing Mom, we nipped to Brueton Park in Solihull, where we had a picnic and took the dog for a quick walk around the lake. Once again, I have been very, very busy. On Friday I worked until almost midnight […]

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Have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

It’s been a fair week where I’ve finally organised myself and my work again. I’ve managed to write at least one blog post a day, and on Thursday I spent time on two blogs as well as some gig list work. I’ve given the blog a bit of a facelift, and I’ve learnt how to use some of the new features before the new interface becomes mandatory. So far, I’ve not upgraded to a premium account. I’m still getting used […]

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I can see the end of the year from here … (*list alert*)

Looking back, it seems to have been a busy year with not a lot achieved. But then I remember that I had a book published in November, which I was still writing in April and indexing in October, we moved house (in the hottest summer on record for England), we lost 4 of our chickens and gave a cockerel away, and we suffered a close family bereavement. I also wrote a new draft of a novel for NaNoWriMo, and I […]

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NaNoWriMo comes to an end once more

Congratulations to all of my fellow NaNoWriMoErs who hit their target this year. Commiserations if you didn’t reach your target, but don’t worry. I failed for far too many years to mention before finally finding my NaNoMoJo, and now I’ve won 4 years on the trot. Well done to everyone who took part. It can be a big decision and it can take a lot out of your working week – or even your personal time. Here are my own […]

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Clearing the decks

Before I start, please hop on over to the alphabet adventurers to see the latest post. There’s still time to enter a competition there, with a closing date of midnight (UK time) this coming Friday, 28 September. It’s been a while since I published a to-do list. This is mostly due to me trying to find an alternative publisher for my paperback books, but also due to me clearing other work, which has been going great, by the way. However, […]

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Domestic weekend

We manged to have another weekend off, an entire weekend to ourselves without any obligations to anyone else. And we got quite a lot of work done too, both around the house and on creative stuff. On Friday evening, the poet continued to edit the ‘G’ is for … video for the alphabet adventurers. By the end of yesterday, he’d finished the video – apart from the voice-over, which I think he’s hoping to do tonight – and he edited […]

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It’s all so complicated!

The news that Amazon’s CreateSpace is being swallowed up by Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing spurred me into action yesterday, a little. The first thing I did was contact KDP with a few questions. While I awaited their reply, I set about researching an alternative. CreateSpace was always the paperback arm of Amazon’s self-publishing platform. KDP was what morphed out of their Kindle-publishing platform. Some time in the past year or so, CreateSpace offered the ability to also publish on Kindle […]

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New reading badge

In May I joined NetGalley. This is where authors and publishers may list their books, for a fee, which are then requested by professional readers and reviewers who, if accepted, review the book(s).  Fiction and non-fiction. I joined as a reader/reviewer. The readers/reviewers are selected by the publisher/author based on: the requester’s biography, where they post their book reviews, and how many reviews they’ve already written. I decided to join NetGalley for two reasons: because I’ve been reviewing writers’ guides over […]

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Diary of a novel: The Beast Within (Week 1) – planning work

I didn’t have a lot of time in week 1, which I already knew about. I had two appointments in the midlands that took out two complete days, and I had editing work to do on the three days I was in the office. Saying that, I did manage to do some planning work in week 1. Monday The first job was to gather together all the materials already started. The next job was to decide which planning system I’m […]

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Logging time, and a thunderstorm

The time-logging app worked on Monday, very well – to an extent. So too did the “no housework” thing. I say to an extent, because on Monday afternoon we had a thunderstorm. Only a little one. There was one distant rumble … and then the internet dropped out. It took several hours to re-set itself too. But the time-logging app I was trying out was internet-based and it fell over. As soon as the signal came back – it came […]

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Writing and editing and planning, oh my!

I only have a three-day week this week. This isn’t because of any actual holidays. It’s because I have two appointments in Solihull, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday. And as it takes around 2 hours to get there and 2 hours to get back – on a good run – plus the time to get ready (me, the car, the dog) and the time there, that’s two days wiped out completely for me. On Thursday we also have […]

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Thanks for listening, Cosmos

Yes! The Cosmos listened. At last. After several rain dances, we finally had our storm yesterday evening, overnight and this morning. And there’s more to come. The rainwater is sitting on the ground surface between showers, but it’s going into the ground eventually. We had several storm-bangers, which the dog didn’t appreciate very much, and now the temperatures have dropped slightly. I know people love the sunshine, and I like a proper English summer with the rest of them. But we’re […]

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Back in the Saddle

It’s been a bit intense, but I’m starting to make some calm out of the muddle that was my backlog of work. I’ve caught up on a few things, dabbled in some new projects and continued fielding phone calls. The biggest job this week is the editing job for lovely already client. But I’m on track to finish that by the end of tomorrow and get it invoiced. I’ve caught up on a couple of book reviews for NetGalley, including […]

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Good start, Cosmos

Yesterday, I had a quick word with the Cosmos. Yesterday evening, this ( ←) popped up on Amazon. Yes, it’s my book on the history of Cadbury. The one I’ve been working on for the past year. No, it’s not published yet, but it is on pre-order, due out on 30 November. That was a lovely surprise, and a very nice start. But do please keep it up, Cosmos. Thank you! I managed some catching up yesterday too. I wrote two […]

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Slow day yesterday

When we moved house, we treated Rufus to 2 new baskets. One was for the living room, the other was for the bedroom/office. This is the one currently in the office. Do you think he likes it? I didn’t get a lot done yesterday. I didn’t feel like doing much anyway. Here’s how it went: daily admin hour ✓ write a blog post for Words Worth Writing ✓ more reading for Net Galley (1 of 19) ✗ more reading for 52 Books in 52 […]

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Sad day

Just over 18 months ago, in December 2016, we rescued 6 ex-cage chickens otherwise intended for slaughter. We named them Aggie (the Agoraphobic), Baldy (she literally was ‘oven ready’), Blondie, Lara (the Adventurous), Pauline (Poorly Poorline) and Pink. At Christmas, 2017, we lost queen of the coop Aggie. And today we lost the lovely Lara. Lara was the first to disappear overnight so, when she returned the following morning, we named her Lara the Adventurous. She could hardly wait to get back […]

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It’s going well

This is my writing bag. Once upon a time, when I *worked for a living*, I worked for the National Grid in Coventry. We were quite close to Warwick University and, in fact, did most of our banking and shopping there. As it was a university, there was – naturally – a university bookshop. And one day I was browsing, as you do, when I spotted a load of these tote bags, or bookbags, with shoulder straps. I’ve had a […]

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Fair start to the week

This is my current writing work in progress pile. The A5 book with the touchy-feely cover of pink flowers on a foliage background is the ideas book. This is where I jot down words, titles, scenarios, plots, outlines of short material, topic lists for non-fiction, market information. This book is where the magic begins … until it’s full, and then I start a new one. And yes, I do believe very strongly in treating myself to really nice notebooks and then […]

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The best laid plans … again

It was just starting to go well, with everything dropping into place. I had a great list of things to do. We were going out Friday evening. And we were taking the weekend off … … and then the dog disappeared. For three hours. He’d escaped from the garden and I was certain a car that stopped in the middle of the road with three lads in had taken him. However, thankfully, he’d only made it as far as the […]

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Decisions made (*** lists alert ***)

I spent much of yesterday trying to prioritise my workload and putting jobs into some sort of workable order. I even did a little writing, which was very good. Yesterday Following my navel-gazing, here is what I finally accomplished: I wrote 479 words (against a 1,000-word target …) ✓ I continued reading a book for NetGalley (1 of 16) ✓ I continued reading a book for 52 Books in 52 Weeks (1 of 12), which will also count towards my NetGalley tally ✓ […]

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To-do list (*** list alert ***)

So, it’s all over bar the shouting. Well, actually, it’s all over. We’ve moved the last scrap of wood over from the old house to the new house. We’ve handed over the keys. It’s taken us two and a half weeks, but everything we own is now back under one roof. This means I have to turn again to work … and what a massive pile of work I’ve come back to. I’ve not done any job-board searching as I […]

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Life on the farm: all good things … (*** list alert ***)

Well, it’s been about as busy as ever here on the farm, with not a lot of actual words being produced. And it’s about to get even busier. I feel like a broken record, but it really is true. So, what have we been up to? Where do I begin? First off, the poet changed his job in January. The new job involves quite a lot of driving to get to whichever site he’s working at on a particular day, […]

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Round-up and to-do list

I had a lot to do again last week, and I didn’t manage to do them all. daily writing exercise write a blog post every day I only managed one of each of these last week, and they were both on Wednesday. Saying that, I’ve done both already today, but it’s unlikely I’ll get any more blog posts done this week. read through Catch the Rainbow and send next instalment to beta readers sort out all the bits for The Beast Within (a Marcie […]

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Round-up and to-do list

I’m a bit late with this, this week, but I have been busy, just not necessarily busy doing what I was supposed to be doing … I did some work on Saturday last week, at the front end of the week not the tail end. Here is how I did for the rest of the week to last Friday: write to family member for a foreword for the history book Yes! I wrote him a letter telling him he could […]

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Round-up & to-do list

I had quite a hefty to-do list last week, one that even made me gulp, and only 4½ days in which to do everything. However, I got through pretty much most of it in the end. In fact, I had quite a good week. Here’s how I did: choose illustrations for history book write captions for illustrations for history book Yes! I did both of these, and by Friday evening I was able to send the caption list to the […]

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A time-management experiment

On Sunday I pre-scheduled Monday’s blog post (round-up) and I worked on my diary for the coming week. I stuck to my original plan of having an hour for morning chores, an admin hour, three hours of writing, three hours of client work and an hour for dinner (lunch). On Tuesday and Thursday of this week, I also have an hour of yoga scheduled in, replacing 30 minutes of morning chores time and 30 minutes of the admin hour. But […]

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Round-up & to-do list

I had a much better week last week. I knuckled down, kept track of where I was and how much I’d done, and just got on with things . Here’s a reminder of last week’s list followed by how I did: write a blog post every day YES! Every day last week I wrote a blog post. In fact, every week day since 7 March I’ve written a blog post. They’ve all been for this blog, they’ve all been about […]

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Update: Busy few weeks

It’s been a whole month since my last post (before this morning’s 52 in 52, that is). I haven’t been lax, I’ve been very busy – as usual. First of all, there was a bank holiday weekend. Then there was a full week’s holiday, followed by another full week’s holiday just one week later. Fortunately, all holidays are now over … for the month, at least. The biggest reason, however, was that I came to the rescue (I hope) of […]

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Update

Once again I have been very busy and I’ve neglected both of my blogs. I’m waaaay behind on my 52 books in 52 weeks, but I *am* still reading them, I *am*still digesting them. And there’s another finished one I’m about ready to review too. I’m trying to get a bit of cash in, though. There are a few things I’d like to clear and I’m looking at buying a new car – this is the new car I’ve been […]

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Update

March has been a bit busy … apologies for going AWOL. Nothing has been wrong, all is well. I’ve just been really, really busy. The month began with the tail end of an editing job finally delivered on 7 March.  It was followed almost immediately with two new editing jobs from lovely-already-boss, and a proofreading job. The first of those editing jobs has been completed this morning and sent to the author for review (and, actually, acknowledged just this instant […]

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February round-up

January wasn’t a great start, and that continued into February. This is mostly because much of the time was spent editing other people’s work while the rest of the time was spent eating birthday cake. The month began with a contribution to a friend’s article on writing plus the return of a lovely job to a lovely new client. I did a quick catch-up with some book reviews and a couple of short stories. And then I sat down to […]

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January round-up

January has not been a great start to 2017 for me, work-wise. I’ve been lazy, unmotivated and easily distracted. I think the biggest problem was I didn’t set myself a total word-count target for the month and, as a result, I’ve written hardly anything. I have had one book each in from two clients, one to edit and one to proofread. I’ll be finishing both of these today and tomorrow, so January won’t have been a total washout. The other client […]

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