Saturday 7 August 2010

Making stuff

I just started my day with putting together a cupboard. To get that thing delivered, I spent 2 hrs in a phone queue from hell, so no doubt this will become one of my most cherished pieces of furniture.

It's (fake) beech and fits neatly with my desk, giving me some of that coveted storage space for contracts and nicknacks. Also I could push my printer from my work desk and over to the cupboard. It's all still within reach, but frees up some space for planning and plotting to the side of the computer, so that makes for a much less crowded desk overall.

Now I have to decide what goes in there and how, but that's a question for another day. I've been coveting some acrylic stands and holders to complete the desk, but I'm also wary about crowding it up again. Authors can be funny about their work environment. Right now I have plenty of space to keep my couple piles of things mostly organised (usually, they are printed manuscripts and notes, where I "think"). Luxury worries if you have nothing else to worry about.

Meeting the estate agent last week was great. I'll have to do some financial planning on Thursday, but looks like all this house was an even better purchase than we thought. It's still something of an ongoing process, and with the economic data likely to get worse again (the "double dip" might just be here), we're moving very carefully indeed. People I'm talking to seem to expect things to get better in about 2-3 years... if China holds up and we don't see the real estate bubble in China explode (at the moment, my vote is, stay the hell away from China... but I'm not an economist).

The cool thing about my job is, I do get a great view on the global economy and get to talk to some seriously smart people (some of whom are scumbags). Which creates investment ideas. So I'll pretty soon start investing - the aim is to beat my pension pot in terms of performance, and the cash ISA and/or inflation at the very least. I reckon 5%/year should be doable without being a money whiz. Or doing nothing else.

And this weekend I'll work on TCaS. First steps will be to collate all the feedback I got, print out a fresh copy of the manuscript (one chapter at a time), put it all into folders, then go through it, pen in hand, identifying the things that need rewriting and improving the bits that are good.

Gritty groundwork. My least favourite bit. But the big goal is to finish this before "First Blood" comes back from Dreamspinner. Which might be very soon. Hopefully, it's all wrapped up by end of the month.

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