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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Kirk

January/February Round-up

What I’ve Been…

… Working on

January is always a slower month work-wise, so I’ve been taking the time to work on my professional development. I finally bit the bullet and taught myself a little about how to use Word macros (something I had been reluctant to try for months, since I found the whole thing more than a little intimidating!) It turns out the learning process wasn’t too painful, and I’ve already found some macros that I’m sure will come in very handy for future editing projects.

I’ve also joined the Editorial Freelancers Association, and have been slowly working my way through the wonderful free webinars they offer to members.

Work in February picked up, and I've worked on a fantasy romance novella and some short stories.

… Reading

2021 wasn’t the best reading year I've ever had, so this year I’m really working on upping my game. I’ve a huge backlist of Audible credits to use up, so now that the weather has improved a little I’ve been enjoying long walks in the woods whilst listening to audiobooks. One of those was Holy Island by the hugely successful indie author LJ Ross. I first became aware of this author years ago through her appearance on the Self Publishing Formula Podcast, but have never read any of her fiction until now. I've listened to a couple of her books now and I definitely can see why they are as popular as they are.

I also recently finished The Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne. I’ve read a few of his books now, and although this wasn’t my favourite, it was still highly enjoyable and right up my street; a psychological thriller set in an old manor house in rural Cornwall - wonderful! Tremayne is a fantastic writer who has a way of bringing landscapes to life – Devon and Cornwall will always be my spiritual home, and reading this book made me really nostalgic for it. I definitely think a trip is in order soon.

… Doing

I’m currently house/pet sitting in a quaint market town in Surrey, and in between looking after and playing with two lovely kitties, much of my free time has been spent exploring the nearby woods and exploring independent coffee shops. Prior to Covid, my partner and I had been full-time house sitters for three years, but the travel restrictions made it very difficult to continue with it, so we decided to put down roots instead. When the opportunity came up to do this house sit, however, we couldn’t resist. It was the house sit we were at when the pandemic first began and was cut short due to the first lockdown, so it’s lovely to be back here again.

Speaking of Covid (and I really am sick of doing so), my partner, S, and I had a brush with it a few weeks ago. With Omicron running rampant throughout the country, it was only a matter of time. S came home from work the day after my birthday with a fever and muscle aches, and after a quite brutal 24 hours it turned into a mild cold. I was luckier and only ended up with a mild sore throat and a headache for less than a day plus some nausea and a lingering muffled sensation in my ears. The ten days of isolation was the worst part - we resorted to doing laps around the garden, Captain Tom style, just to break the tedium. I'm sure the neighbours thought we were utterly bonkers.

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