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Sunday, 2 June 2013

May Was a Maybe Month.

It was supposed to be the start, the beginning of the full time writing life. But life has a way of getting in the way of ambition, doesn’t it? Retirement exposes all those domestic tasks that you intended to complete one day. And I’ve been doing some of those. Coupled with the freedom to do what I want when I like, comes some good weather at long last and I felt unequal to allowing the gardens to become even more like jungles for lack of opportunity to care for them. Hedges, bushes and lawns all trimmed and no longer capable of secreting tigers or bears. One of the things I’d decided some time ago was to replace the car when I retired. So, I’ve prepared the old one for my daughter as her first vehicle; she learned to drive in it, so it seems sensible to let her see it through its final few years until she has a job and can afford to replace it. I tend to do a fair bit of research before I go out spending any reasonable quantity of money and, let’s face it, a car is hardly a small purchase, even if it is a used model. So I’ve spent quite a few hours online discovering the most reliable, economic and efficient models before making a selection. I pick up the replacement car on Tuesday.

All the foregoing is, of course, by way of an excuse for not having done much in the way of writing.  I’ve managed to write and post 7 pieces on here. Read and reviewed 3 books, and reviewed on TripAdvisor the hotel, restaurants and holiday cottage we visited whilst away for the week of my birthday.  Posted an album of edited photos of the holiday on Facebook as well. Four times I’ve researched and updated the Writing Contests page. I’ve prepared and published Heir to Death’s Folly on Smashwords, so it’s now available for any ebook format you care to select for it. It’s a good horror read, by the way. It was previously only available on Amazon’s Kindle platform, as an experiment to see whether or not concentration on that outlet would make any difference to sales. It didn’t.

Setting up and getting used to the iMac took some time, of course; in fact, I’m still learning as I go along. And I had to suspend the touch-typing lessons, as the software I had wasn’t suitable for the Mac. (I’ve subsequently sold that, and much of the old PC stuff, on eBay – another time-consuming process). I’ve managed to return to the touch-typing just this week and caught up with where I was when I abandoned it, so that’s a positive. Oh, and I did manage to edit a short story in time to submit it for a contest, so not a complete failure.

The chart of time spent, as you’ll notice, is no longer in the form of a pie – too tempting when you’re trying to lose weight. No, actually, I thought the bar chart gave a better idea of the real differences, except I notice that I've managed to include a label in the graphic. Sorry, no time to undo that now. Also, adding up the percentages seems to make the sum rather greater than 100%! Clearly, I'll have to examine the new Excel in Office 2011 that I bought for the Mac and see where I'm going wrong! Oh good, more distractions!

The chart, explained:
'Writing' - initial creation of stories, blog posts, reviews and longer works.
'Editing' - polishing of all written work to make it suitable for readers.
'Research' - discovery of info for story content, market research, contests and blog posts.
'Reading' - books and writing magazines.
'Networking' - emails, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ activity.

'Admin' - story submission, blog posting, marketing, organisation, learning to touch-type, and general admin tasks.
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