Pumping up the busy

Image by David Bruyland from Pixabay Phew! This one’s a long read. I’d go and get a coffee if I were you… I’m back at work today, after a week’s holiday and a week of part-time working/recovery before that. I had a lot of time to think about how I want to take my work forward, and I think I’ve come to another shift in my working life. I’ve decided not to go chasing editing and proofreading jobs for a […]

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The week so far

This is how my Scrivener binder for the project management series was looking when I started work on it on Tuesday. Tuesday I had a lot to do on Tuesday, so while the intention was to write at least a chapter, I only managed part of Chapter 4. In fact, I wrote 843 new words. And I updated the binder … My next job on Tuesday was to carry on planning The Beast Within. I’ve discovered from my ghostwriting that I […]

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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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Jobs are like buses

So my book is still “temporarily out of stock” on Amazon, both here in the UK and in the US. That’s very odd for a book they’ve had on pre-order for weeks. They’re billing it for release in January 2021 in the States … Hmm. The Beast Within I struggled a bit yesterday with The Beast Within, not least because I wanted to write something for Catch the Rainbow. I think, though, it’s because I was writing the murder scene, which is […]

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Progress

Monday went by in a bit of a whirl. In case you didn’t notice, my book The Life of Richard Cadbury was finally published. There then followed a frenzy of marketing activity that mostly consisted of creating flyers and mockups in Canva and Photopea respectively. Then I went through Facebook, Twitter and MeWe and added links and images to all the groups and pages I belong to on those. I also made sure to respond to every single person who wished […]

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Hatfield Moor

WordPress was having a bit of a hissy fit today. First of all, it wouldn’t let me create or edit a post in Edge, and then it wouldn’t let me preview a post in Opera or Edge.  However, as I pay for the personal plan, I was able to contact support and they seem to have fixed it for me.  Or at least on Edge they have. Opera may take a while longer, but I’m not using that as much […]

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Again, I write

The picture shows my current workstation.  The lectern on the left currently holds some notes for Catch the Rainbow. These notes relate to the arrests of the Birmingham Six on the night of the Birmingham pub bombings. I think I got the information from Hansard or somewhere like that, as they are the men’s statements. I have the lamp to the left because I’m right-handed and it doesn’t cast a shadow when I’m writing anything by hand or editing or […]

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One job at a time

I don’t have any pictures to hand today, and I don’t have time to sort one out. So here’s one courtesy of Pixabay.  Today I am not a happy bunny as WordPress have finally taken the classic editor off the WP admin posts page. Perhaps it’s an October thing. It’s not all bad, as there’s a classic editor “block” now. But I have yet to discover how to position pictures where I want them to be and not where they want […]

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Writing and proofreading and indexing, oh my!

The River Torne is a river the poet used to fish when ‘e worra lad (when he was a young man). In those days, the lads used to wait until the river had been dredged, usually around September time, and the reeds and weeds removed from the edges. Apparently, that was the best time to fish. We went to look at the River Torne a couple of weeks ago to see if it was a viable venue for him now […]

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Writing with gay abandon

I managed to hit my desk by 9am yesterday morning, so that’s something. We’ll ignore the fact that I then went to get dressed … At least the garden wasn’t swarming with work people by the time I was ready to start work … ha! Famous last words … I’m trying to share some pictures from our new surroundings. If they have anything to do with the blog post, all well and good. But often, they don’t. They’re just decoration. […]

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And she’s off … well, sort of …

Yesterday didn’t start as planned and by the time I settled down to work, it was almost time to start the ghostwriting gig. Scrivener I’d already tried and failed to open the Scrivener file for this work on Sunday. I’ve reinstalled Scrivener to my computer and I failed to copy across the templates I’ve generated myself, and I wanted to use one of them for this work. So as I was opening up Catch the Rainbow, I was reminded to go […]

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As busy as a bee 🐝

Image by chezbeate from Pixabay After watching the weather, the poet decided to go fishing on Friday. So I put together an editing bag and took the work with me that came in on Thursday morning. By the end of the afternoon, I’d finished the hard-copy edits. By the time we got home, a new proofreading job had landed from the Greek client. And the plan was to finish the screen edits of the Hong Kong job on Saturday or […]

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Oops, forgot to give it a title!

Dog walk The dog and I once again attempted to find the circular path the three-legged dog and its humans had used, this time armed with the poet. Last week, it was just the dog and me, and I gave up and turned around when I thought the path between the houses and the old airfield was getting a bit … creepy. This time, we explored where I thought the path might come out, right next to a little parking […]

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Proofreading and writing

This picture is a magazine mock-up that my Smoggie snapper (Teesside photographer) made for me when I left Corus/Tata. The front cover image is of a blowout and I wanted to use this image on the front of a live RD&T Magazine. I was the editor and I thought it was a fantastic picture. But the powers-that-be didn’t think we should be promoting blowouts in the steel testing industry, and so I was over-ruled and the picture lay on the […]

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Using a murder board

The murder board My murder board isn’t up yet, but every time I open this tin of bits that go with the murder board, it cheers me up no end. I think it’s all the colours. The murder board is a large whiteboard that goes on every wall in every office I ever have. Whenever we plan an office, we always choose a place for the murder board. It’s called a murder board because I write crime and mystery stories, […]

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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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Clearing the decks

I realised that we get the keys to the new house next Wednesday. That’s just over a week away. So I’ve decided to close the office on Tuesday. I won’t be able to concentrate properly after then anyway, so I may as well. The first thing I did was notify all of my regular clients that my last day of business will be next Tuesday and to tell them when I expect to be back up and running again, which […]

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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 20 (last day)

With me finishing the revisions of Twee Tales Too on Wednesday, I already had an extra hour today. Then when I checked in to the content-editing workroom, there was no work, so that was another extra hour today. I hoped that would be enough to finish today’s work. First of all I had the last 3,106 words to write for this month’s instalment of Catch the Rainbow. Then I had about 90 pages to finish proofreading for a client. I went […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 19 of 20 (in the end)

So this great plan of mine to be at my desk by 9am and write for 4 hours was foiled before I even got there. The poet was working from home and he had a Skype meeting (or a Team meeting) at 8am. For 4 hours. (FOUR hours!) I fannied around for a bit, doing what chores I could, making us both breakfast and cups of tea until I felt the urge to just get my earphones (earbuds), find some […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 18

As well as arriving very late to my desk this morning, I then got distracted. Three times. First of all, I saw that Martin Lewis, our money saving expert, has helped produce a textbook for schools, designed to teach kids about personal finance. The pdf for this book, and the teachers’ guide, are both free to download. Hard copies of the textbook are available to purchase from Amazon. I have downloaded this book and the teachers’ guide already. I’m not […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 17 + How to calculate your hourly rate

Although technically I wasn’t at my desk at quite 9am today, I was still working. I was doing my daily email declutter, responding to emails and turning down work. I had around half a dozen work invitations in my inbox this morning, and not one of them was suitable. Apart from being topics of no interest to me when an interest in the topic is a requirement (cosmetics, poetry, ninja kids …), and apart from being quite busy already, thank […]

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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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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 14

After quite a bit of rigmarole (see yesterday’s post) I finally started work yesterday afternoon. I was keen to do some work for the client as well as some writing for myself. So I allocated us both at least an hour each. I wrote 1,908 words and my average speed stayed at 26 words per minute. I couldn’t spend a lot of time on any of the work because we had to go and do the shopping last night. But […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day off (rant alert)

Time was already tight this week with so many errands and deliveries booked in, so when the internet fell over – yet again – yesterday morning, I was not a happy bunny. Every time the internet crashes, which is around twice a day at the moment, it takes time out of my already busy schedule. It takes time while I wait to see if it’s going to come back up again. It takes time while I run around the house […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 13

On Saturday we managed to get out for another bit of a drive. We ended up in Lincoln, as I’ve never been before. We had a lovely meal at a pavement table, as we had the dog with us, and even the slight drop of rain didn’t spoil it. We’d managed to sit at the only table that was sheltered. Everyone else dashed inside. The rest of the weekend was pretty idle, to be honest. I didn’t manage to keep […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 12

After all of my bluster about starting the day writing, on the very first day I failed spectacularly. Friday was a Very Busy Day. The poet’s car was due in for its MOT. I had a hair appointment. And it was deadline day for the Greek client, and he’d asked for an early submission if possible rather than a later one. The first thing I did was check-in with the content editing site, but once again there was no work […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 11

Leaving my own work until the end of the day doesn’t work. It doesn’t get done. Especially if I’m busy on client work that has a solid deadline. Soft deadlines work for other people. They don’t work for me. So I need to do my writing work first – or at least ‘my own work’, whatever that may be – and then do everyone else’s next. This is what I’ve been trying to do. But when that client has a […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day Off

The day started on time yesterday, but much of the morning was spent on admin. I checked in with the content editing job first thing, but there was no work waiting for me. They did this a couple of weeks ago too. I checked in at the start of my designated time, three times in the week, there was nothing for me, and then they started to post work at about 4pm on Friday. And it all had to be […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 10

The poet went back to work on Wednesday 1 July, his furlough over for now. Within 7 days of him mixing with people again, we both had signs of a cold. I’m about 2 days behind him. I work from home anyway and have done for a long time. This means that I’m not mixing with many people, catching their germs, or building immunity to various seasonal bugs for most of the time. He’s susceptible to infections anyway, but this […]

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Day 9

After a weekend that didn’t feel like a weekend, I was hardly raring to go yesterday morning and I was later to my desk than I would have preferred. It wasn’t so bad, though. My Monday morning check-in didn’t have any work for me, so there was an hour saved. Before I started writing, I checked the job board and deleted all new jobs since the last time I looked. Most of them were too cheap anyway, but the ones […]

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