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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Two Months In: Where Are We?

February has been a full and interesting month. I’m fortunate to live in a part of the UK that rarely has heavy rainfall, so no flooding here: the eastern half is much dryer than the west. But we’ve had our share of high winds and a few very wet days. I had to spend an afternoon repairing wind damage to the cladding at the eaves; just grateful it’s a bungalow!

My wife was invited to take part in a TV quiz programme, and that took us away for 4 days down south, which made for an interesting interlude. I’d never been to Borehamwood, home of Elstree Studios, before. And, as Sunday was a day off, we took a trip up the road to St Albans; an interesting old town. As always, when I visit new places, I contributed reviews of the various places visited on TripAdvisor, since I use such reviews to make my own selections and think this is a useful service for other visitors. (You'll find my reviews under my real name, Stuart Allison, should you be curious).

Our daughter had a couple of day-long interviews relating to her future studies, so another 2 days out. Only one, in York, resulting in further reviews, since the other didn’t necessitate a stay.

So, what have I managed during this truncated period? 4 books read and reviewed; I’m halfway through a fifth. 7 blog posts written and edited and 5 posted (the other 2 were guest posts on other people’s blogs, one of which hasn’t yet appeared). 2 short stories written and 3 edited. One of these hasturned into a sci-fi novelette, so I’ve done the 8 character sketches for that and made a few notes. A bit of further research and I should start writing it shortly. Had a couple of research sessions to bring the Writing Contests page up to date, and actually entered 4 of the contests myself. And I also contributed a new short piece to Readwave. But, most of the time has been spent editing volume 3 of the fantasy trilogy. For the technical aspects, I’ve been using the very comprehensive online editing suite, ProWritingAid, which I fully recommend. Managed 11 chapters, since the process is a deep edit, requiring some beta reading. Book 1, A Seared Sky: Joinings, is due to be published by Fantastic Books Publishing very soon. But that’s a topic for another post. Watch this space!

Quite a busy spell all in all, and relatively satisfying from a writer’s point of view. How’s it been for you?

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, Google+, and comments.

Admin - story submission, blog posting, marketing, organisation, tax, and general admin tasks.
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