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 proofreading by hand.
The cup is on a coaster that an old friend bought me for my 50th birthday. It has the year on it and it says “Vintage … aged to perfection … Happy 50th Birthday Diane”.
The cup is a favourite I treated myself to. It reads “I’d rather be …” all around the top, all around the bottom, and on the handle. It says “Reading” on the front. And then there’s a quote on the back:
Books are like imprisoned souls until someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them. (Samuel Butler)
The computer is on a riser that the poet made for me. The keyboard, mouse and mouse mat, which he also bought as a gift, slide underneath when not in use. I LOVE the keyboard and the mouse, which are sturdy gaming hardware. But I DETEST the computer and will NEVER buy an Acer again.
The computer is opened up at Scrivener, with the main draft corkboard on display. I changed the title of the story to “Working Title” because this is the ghostwriting job and it’s supposed to be confidential. Act I, BEGINNING is now at “Draft in Progress” status rather than “To Do”.
Behind the computer, on the riser, you can just make out some speakers the poet treated me to. To the right, in the dark, just behind the alarm clock, is the portable hard drive.
The alarm clock and the pen tidy go back yonks. I can’t even remember where I got them from, but they’ve both been with me for probably a good 25 years or so. I do remember that I bought them for myself, though.
The view through the window is of the front garden. I like having my office facing the driveway as I can then see anyone who calls before they get here.
The ghostwriting job was the only job I did yesterday, and it will be the only job I do today and for the rest of the week.
I had to turn the internet off completely before starting work. This isn’t just because of the distraction. The computer is such a pile of pap that if the internet is open then everything else slows down to a snail’s pace and often freezes.
Just as I flexed my fingers and started to drink my ritualistic cup of tea, the delivery man turned up with my new phone … (I saw him coming before he got here.)
Of course, when the new phone arrived, I also had to pause to set that up … and it took ALL DAY.
First of all, I had to download Smart Switch to my old phone. But because my old phone was chock-a-block full to the brim, I had to delete a few apps first. But once that was loaded, most of the apps and other information (including contacts and text messages) moved themselves.
Some apps forbid you to move them, so I had to go and grab those again.
Then I had to activate the new SIM card. Easy enough – apparently. Just download the app, follow the instructions, and wait two hours.
I waited for FOUR hours before giving up and ringing the mobile phone provider. (Three, if you’re interested.) But not one option in the automated system was to activate a new SIM, and not one option was to speak to someone.
So I went through instead to account closures, got a real person and explained the situation to him. He turned my old SIM off almost straight away. But the new one took the FULL TWO HOURS. And by the time the poet got home from work, I’d hardly done a thing.
Back to the ghostwriting
While he pottered about and then made tea, I had a good go at the ghostwriting project. I finalised (for now) Chapter 1 and I completed the first draft of Chapter 2.
I read both chapters to the poet, who is usually quite constructive in his comments. It’s like nothing I ever usually write for myself, it’s more descriptive and, because it’s a Regency, I use proppa English as opposed to the vernacular or the regional. (Apart from for the lower classes, that is.)
And he really, really liked it.
I’ll do more of that today.
Jobs to do today
- blog post = 500 words ✅
- ghostwrite 4,440 words
The word meters will be back once I’m juggling several projects again.