Posts

7 ways to cope with hot weather when you work from home

Image
Summer is here. The birds are singing, the grass is rampant and the temperatures are rising. Joy, joy, joy.

Well, not if you work from home like me. Weekends are wonderful but my working week is dominated by the heat. My husband moans about how cold the air conditioning at his office is, while I melt as I type away at home.

So, how do you cope if the weather is gloriously hot but you're a home-based worker?

Stay hydrated

I'm a big coffee drinker but in this weather that amount of caffeine really doesn't help. In hot weather, I limit myself to a mug of coffee first thing (for me that's around 6.00 am before the rest of the household stirs). After that, I stick to water.

Now I know what you're saying, "water is boring". I can't completely disagree with you there. It doesn't taste of anything. I add a little variation by dabbling in sparkling water on occasion, and if you like you can add a dash of lemon juice, but it's the water bit that's g…

Choice Words for June

Image
One of the dilemmas that many unpublished, or even published, writers fall into is how to cope with differing advice. One agent says this about your manuscript, another says something completely different. One publishing company expresses their slant on what is market-worthy fiction, while a competing publisher disagrees. Even editors and writing coaches don't see eye-to-eye.

Who can you listen to? For me, the answer usually lies with other writers, the people who have gone through the grindmill and hammered it into submission. One such writer is Chuck Wendig, novelist, screenwriter, and game designer.

For me personally, his website terribleminds is a delight to read and darn-right useful too. A recent offering - A Hot Steaming Sack of Business Advice for Writers is just what I needed at the moment. Have a read.


Have you heard of CreativeMornings?

Image
The writer Iain Broome first drew my attention to 'Creative Mornings' when the CreativeMornings chapter in his home town opened.

Have you heard of Creative Mornings before? I hadn't.

Here's what it says on their website.

CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community. Our free, monthly events feature a short talk and breakfast!

CreativeMornings are held in over 170 cities all over the world, from Sheffield (Iain's hometown), to New York, to Barcelona and Johannesburg. Click on the links to see the chapters for those cities.

What is CreativeMornings?
Now, unfortunately, there isn't a meeting near me but what's great about CreativeMornings is that each lecture, from all those cities, is accessible through the CreativeMornings website.

Here's a recent lecture, by Mr Bingo, that I love - 37 things that I have learnt.

Each month there's a theme. The theme for June is 'Survival'.

What appealed to me most about CreativeMor…

What I'm doing this month - June

Image
Tick tock, tick tock. It's going to be a busy month for me this time round which isn't a  bad thing. It just needs a whole load of preparation and many many cups of coffee.

That Work-y Thing

The Murdering The Text website is still undergoing a lot of changes and my deadline is to finish them all by the end of June, in time to start on a new play in July.

The copywriting work is still ongoing. I'm learning so much with each piece I write, both about the writing craft, what kind of copy sells, and how to work to client-imposed conditions and deadlines. I can already see that what I've learnt will benefit Murdering The Text.

Novel

With my latest murder mystery play out of the way last month, I can concentrate on writing my novel on an evening. This will be the final draft and I have definite plans about what to do with it once it's finished.

What else

June is the birthday month for both my son and my husband two days apart (one of them's due to become a teenager - g…

My inspiration walk

Image
At the end of the road where I live is a fenced area of grass. It isn't very big but it houses a family of immense oak trees and a scattering of bushes and rowan trees.

Most mornings you will find me there, walking my dog, perhaps talking to other dog-walkers, or just on my own with my pooch.

There are roads on two sides of it, houses on the other, and I can hear the traffic and the airplanes from the nearby airfield. This is no countryside haven but it's one of the places where I go to think. It is my inspiration walk.

As I follow my dog between the grey trunks of the oak trees, I think. Sometimes, I don't purposefully think. I just let my mind run away with me or I listen to the birds in the trees. I breathe in the air and allow myself to be.

More likely than not, an answer will come to me when I'm walking there, or an idea, even if I'm not thinking about anything.

I know that not everyone has such a place to go to. In fact, not everyone likes being in nature. W…

What I'm doing this month - May

Image
It's almost summer. How did that happen? I'm not complaining. My dog walks are more pleasant when I don't have to drag the pooch through the rain, and it's nice not to be bundled up in jumpers and big coats.
Last week, I finished the murder mystery play I was writing and that'll soon be winging (or whatever emails do) its way to its client. More news about that later this year.
This month, the copywriting continues and, after the month and a half of murder mystery-ing, I can return to my novel. 
The birds are singing, the air is sweet, and life is good. What are you doing this May?

Choice Words for April

Image
Although I'm working on the latest draft of the first novel in a series, I'm aware that I really need to finish the plot for the whole series. I've even bought an A3 pad for this purpose.

Shaunta Grimes of the Writing Co-operative has come up with a different approach - a plot board. Have a look at her article, How to make a plot board, to find out how she did it.