Friday, 10 January 2014

Maintenance - fixing those cracks

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Today, I've got some maintenance tasks to do both physical in my surroundings, and to do with my writing. 

A few days ago, I discovered a crack in my bedroom wall behind the built in wardrobe which was installed around 20 years ago. A crack on this wall is not really so surprising since once upon a time there used to be a real coal fire in my bedroom, that part of my house now almost 200 years old. Well before we moved in around 25years ago, a previous owner had blocked up the chimney and removed the fireplace in the bedroom. I have no idea who, but what I do know is that the chimney stack still exists behind the wall, although a 'granny' is meant to block off the top of the chimney. That keeps out any straying birds. We have a lot of crows and blackbirds who like to rattle along our roof and TV aerial, and make a lot of clatter. We've had a couple of instances in the last few years where birds have fallen down the adjacent chimney, down into our lounge, but since we still sometimes use that fireplace to burn coal and wood for cosmetic reasons, we've managed to get the birds out of the front door largely unharmed. Not an easy job as they flutter around the place in a disorientated panic.

What has happened now is that general cold and wear and tear is happening to the wall in my bedroom which in a sense is still open to the elements of cold and damp on the chimney side. Some might say ignore it? No. There are streaks of nasty black dampness showing and I've no intentions of letting my wardrobe contents get mouldy and horrible. So plastering up the cracks will be my first physical task of the day...after the clothes are removed to another room.  I love mindless decorating tasks so this crack repairing and re-painting the whole room job, while I'm at it, won't be a hardship to me. Just some time I’ll have to allocate to it.
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However, I also have some crack repairing to do in my writing as well. I now have two editing tasks to look forward to and to get done as soon as I can - though not rushed since I HATE sneaky errors marring my work. How do I equate editing with cracks? I've never yet found that I've had a perfect manuscript returned to me by my editors for the first round of editing. It's fantastic to say that the more novels I've submitted the better I must be at doing those tidy-ups myself since I'm doing fewer 'acceptances' of changes. My fifth novel- After Whorl: Bran Reborn (published Dec 16th 2013) had few actual editing changes to accept if the situation of using italics is taken out of the equation. In Books 2 and 3 of my Celtic Fervour series, I've used both Latin words and Gaelic phrases. This meant an editing decision as to which of those would be italicised. After the Latin was chosen for italicisation, it meant some work for Maureen Vincent-Northam, my editor. At that stage, she also removed the 'Red' font I'd used to highlight the Gaelic phrases.

Since I submitted Book 3 of my Celtic Fervour series, After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks, at the same time as Book 2, the Latin italicisation, and Gaelic, has also had to have the same treatment, giving me some more of those ‘acceptances’ in the round of First Edits which I received from Maureen last night. Hopefully there won't be many other changes to the manuscript that I'll need to accept, but since I've yet to open it today I'll tell you later about what's what!

I'll also be much more prepared when I write Books 4 and 5 of the Celtic Fervour series and will do the Latin italicisation immediately, so that it won't need editing later! I've started Book 4 but only a little progress is made so far.

I'm also making my last editing changes to the manuscript for early teens- Dabbling With Time- which I intend to self- publish very soon.
Find the cracks and make those repairs.

I've also got a few guest blog posts to write for places I'm visiting soon, and interview questions to create for my visitors in the coming weeks.

Have a lovely day. I know I'm going to be busy.
Slainthe! 

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