Monday, 22 July 2013

Second Week of Self-Employment - Not Broke Yet!

Don't worry, I don't intend to always go on '101st week of self-employment'. However, so many good things keep happening that I just have to tell you.

So, last Sunday I said I wanted to get the following things accomplished:

1. Edit Dave's book - Tom Grafton Vs. The Environmentalists
2. Format and publish my aunt's short story - A Mother's Story.
3. Set up my aunt's author page on Smashwords, Amazon and Good Reads.

1.  Start WIP - A Little Bit of Leaven. A manuscript written by my great-grandfather.
2. Turn my short story - John Verry - into a free ebook and upload to Smashwords.
3. Upload The Five Day Writer's Retreat to Smashwords and Amazon.

How did I go with all that?

Workwise I sent my aunt the cover for approval, and she has requested a number of changes, so need to redo it all. I also edited the first 1/5 of Dave's book.

However, the rest of the work got slightly sidetracked because...

Other exciting news:

On Tuesday I received an email from the Woodend Neighbourhood Centre, whom I had sent a query to about teaching a course though didn't expect an answer (it was my mother's idea. 'You need to follow up every opportunity.' Don't you hate it when your mother is right? Though also love it because good things come into your life because of it?) They loved my idea of a course on An Introduction To Self-Publishing, could I come in for an interview?

Luckily was already up visiting Mum and Dad, so went around that afternoon. After a discussion about what would be involved, and the possibility of getting some Government funding for the course, Jill the Co-ordinator asked me to write up a proposal and lesson plan for a 7 week course, of 3 hours/week! (I was thinking I'd probably get a 5 week course of 1 hour.)

So madly spent the rest of the week writing up a detailed plan of what I would do, the learning outcomes, how they would be acknowledged etc. etc. (To get the Government funding, I had to write it all up in terms of their particular framework.) But got very excited about the course and how much I would have to teach. Finally sent it off Friday morning.

Have just heard back today that Jill likes it, and is sending it to her government counterpart, but wants to run it all the same starting in August (aka about two weeks from now.) She's going to start advertising it through their social media.

a) this is awesome! I love teaching, and getting to teach about self-publishing somehow makes me feel much more authentic about running a company offering self-publishing services.

b) something might actually bring in some money! (only slightly worried as I watch the savings dwindle and I keep getting these great projects that require work now and only promise possible income in the future.)

c) I have two weeks to get ready to teach a course on something I'm only just learning myself! Argg! (good arg, but arg nonetheless).

So that was pretty much all the 'work' I got done, though I also spent all weekend at a writing conference, and managed to get my Buffy Group business cards printed up. So, small wins.

As to my writing...

A Little Bit of Leaven: 
With my great-grandfather's manuscript I started typing it up by hand, but realised it was going to take me about 20 hours to type it all up (and some serious neck injuries). So I have taken it to a company that specialises in digitalising historical records, and they are going to scan it all and do the OCR reading so I can edit it. So that's going to take a few more days, so haven't been able to do more on that yet.

But just to give you a taste of the work, here is a little wippet. (snippet from a WIP - work in progress).

The Reverend Mathew Selkirk put down his pen with a sigh of relief. He had just completed putting the final touches to his sermon that he intended to preach on the following day. He relaxed in his chair, and allowed his mind to wander for a moment or two. A light tap at the door broke in on his reverie.
‘Yes, Mrs. Nelson?’ he replied in answer to the knock.
‘Will you have a cup of tea before you go to the station?’ enquired his Housekeeper.
‘I would certainly appreciate a cup of tea.’ Replied Mr. Selkirk, as he rose from his table and opened the study door. ‘Writing sermons can be very dry work. I do hope they don’t sound as dry as I feel at this very moment.’
‘There is no fear of that,’ replied Mrs. Nelson confidently as she led the way to the dining-room. ‘Sometimes I feel that they are a bit soft though. A bit of Hellfire and Brimstone is what some of your Parishioners are needing. Especially the ones in the shops. They would steal you blind if I didn’t keep a good eye on them.’


 She looked at the clock. ‘I think that you had better be on your way now. Mark’s train is due in, in just over twenty minutes.’
‘But it is only a three minute walk.’ Protested Mr. Selkirk.
‘A three minute walk for a normal person,’ said Mrs. Nelson. ‘But knowing you, I am sure that twenty minutes is barely enough time. A few words to this one, and a few words to that one fair runs away with the time.’
‘I’m on my way,’ replied Mr. Selkirk, rising to his feet. ‘I do want to call in and see Mrs. Hopkins for a minute or two, on my way to the station.’
‘Twenty two minutes later, Mr. Selkirk arrived at the station.

As I grew up in a small country town where my father was the local Anglican minister, this gives me a warm sense of nostalgia. We were always running late for things because Dad just had to pop in and see so and so.

I've only read the first two chapters, and while it is not a great piece of literature, there is a sweetness and old-fashioned homeliness to the writing which I find greatly appealing. I don't think it will sell well to anyone younger than me, but those who remember a slower time I think will find some enjoyment in it. However, my great-grandfather loved dialogue but was not so great on the description. So will have to see if I can even it out a bit.

My Photoshop skills continue to develop:
I've now been playing around with GIMP (an openshare program like photoshop) for 2 weeks. In this time I've gone from creating this:
To creating these:

(Okay, for the Five Day Writer, I was using some images already created by my last graphic designer, I didn't make the pen myself, but still).

So I'm pretty proud of myself.

Further, as you can tell from the cover, I've turned John Verry (my short story which was on the blog) into an ebook which you can pick up for free from Smashwords.

I also changed the tagline after your great advice to 'making self-publishing easy' as it gives a more direct indication of the services being offered. 

Relaunch of The Five Day Writer's Retreat:
You might also have noticed that I have relaunched The Five Day Writer's Retreat. It's on Amazon and Smashwords for 4.95 US, and I am currently trying to build up some reviews. (subtle hint?)

I've also entered it into the Smashwords' holiday catalogue, so you can currently buy it with a 75% discount.

So if you think you would like to try it, get it before the end of July.


So, goals for this week?
Possible to get some sleep, which I seem to have been missing out on!

My 98 year-old grandmother now lives with my parents. I've decided to do a series of recorded interviews with her about her lifestory, with the hope of collecting material for a book or series of short family stories. She's just starting to get frail and a bit forgetful, so really feel a need to record as much as I can. However, I'll have to see how well it goes. But I've come up to my parent's house for the next few days to see what I can do.

My brother has decided he wants to re-write parts of Tom Grafton Vs. The Environmentalists, so I'm going to pause editing that until he's finished. I'm also struggling with his cover, as the graphic designer who was working on it has flaked off. I think I want to do a bit more research into cover designs in the genre, and then will probably have to find a new graphic designer. 

However, I will edit and hopefully upload his military short story for Tom Grafton - Babylon by Day and get that for free on Smashwords. 

For my aunt I'm going to try redesigning the cover of A Mother's Story, as well as do the work I said I was going to do last week. 

I also need to go through and start preparing my first 3hour class, and making sure I can do all the things I want to teach them!

Because I won't be working on A Little Bit of Leaven this week, as it's with the scanners, I'm going back and editing Castle Innis, which I did as one of my first drafts in September last year. It's a historical romance/adventure set in 18th century London/Scotland. I started going over it this morning, and it's not as bad as I remember (which is always a relief). I would love to have the majority of it roughly edited and finished by the end of the week, but it just depends how the week turns out.

So, that's me for another week. But overall, despite the fear of not having any money, I love what I'm doing right now. I love that I get to focus all my time on writing and helping writers. I also love the variety of things I'm doing, and how much I'm accomplishing. I'm working much longer hours, and getting less sleep, but it's completely worth it. Though, I'm glad I've gotten the opportunity to do this while I'm single, so I don't have anyone else to be responsible for. The lack of finances would then be way too stressful.

Thanks for the support!


1 comment:

  1. That's not a little wippet...

    ... damn wordpress won't let pictures be posted in the comments!...

    ... THIS is a little whippet: