Monday, June 13, 2011

Update: There's Even Big Writing News In My Long List Of Past & Upcoming Events

I know I've been rather quiet on the blog but there's been lots of good stuff happening in real life. I'm just going to make a list of them to give you a quick update:

1. Durban was wonderfully relaxing. I left my laptop here at home, so I could spend more time actively engaging with the family and not be tempted to spend too much time online. It was hard... and I did borrow the family computer to check my emails but that's about it.

2. Baby's 13th birthday party rocked. She has made lots of friends in Durban and they all came and they had fun. The party started at 4pm and only ended at 21h30. They felt so grown-up, having a party into the night. But there were lots of adults to watch the kids and they were all very well-behaved ( although they did tease us a bit about pouring vodka or brandy into the fruit punch). I was so proud of them.

3. The trip back to Joburg was exhausting. I thought I was going to be able to just resume my life but I needed a few days of just doing the necessary tasks to keep the business going. Also had a couple of client deadlines, so those had to take priority over blogging here.

4. I'm in the process of signing up with a well-known publisher to take on a big freelance publishing project for them. Basically, my company is going to oversee the writing and publishing of 12 books for them. LOL! That's not a typo - I do mean 12 books. Starting with commissioning the writers, working with illustrators etc. It's a big, big milestone for my company. We sign the contract near the end of this month and then start the work immediately. I'm still trying to work out how the work is going to affect the progrss and scheduling of my self-publishing projects, what capacity I'll gain or lose and whether some projects will have to be pushed back until the commissioned books have been submitted to the publisher. Time lines are also very tight, so I have very little wiggle room. The project takes me in the direction I wanted my career to go for a long time... though I did think it was going to be slow and would have to be one book at a time, not 12 to start with:-). Yeah, I'm very excited.

5. Pam left South Africa on Friday to go visit her family in the US of A. She's coming back at the end of June. I have one or two blog posts from her, and she may send me more.. or not. Anyhoo, don't worry about it if she remains quiet this month. She'll be back.

The newly painted kitchen. The contrast
between the old kitchen & new one is huge!
 6. I spent Sunday working with our local renovation group to paint my neighbour Deidre's kitchen. Zahn Hughes ( friend and neighbour), who's home decor and paints effects specialist, has put together a group of local residents to work on each other's homes. Basically, the home-owner buys the material, members show up on the designated day and we will scrape off walls, prime, paint, distress, work on the garden, sand floors, lay tiles and whatever else one needs to improve their home. Membership is open to anyone who lives in our suburb. The only  cost to the home-owner, other than buying material, is to provide munchies for the tea/coffee break and to work at other members' houses when it's their turn.  The next project is renovating Gaynor's office. My kitchen is also in the line-up to be renovated by the group.

Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to the coming week.  It's going to be a very busy week and I also  have  some guest posts that ended up stuck in my drafts rather than getting published in my absence. Big apologies to the guest writers; I'l publish your posts this week.

And a big thank you to Lori Widmer for her guest post on building a better writing business. I hope those of you who do some freelance writing/ want to go fulltime actually bought her book, so you have something solid to guide you.


Judy Croome said...

Such GREAT news on your big writing job Damaria! Congratulations and I hope this leads to many more big projects.

The new kitchen looks fabulous.
Judy, South Africa

tiah said...

12 books?!!? Eek! Yet fabulous.

Congrads to Baby on her birthday. And good luck to you while you venture into dealing with an offical teenager.

Damaria Senne said...

@Judy - thanks.
@Tiah - Yes, Twelve. And Eek was my first response too. And when I told one of my friends about is, she said," so why don't you sound excited?" Then, I wasn't. I was too busy being scared. But as I finally realised, the opportunity is here and best I take advantage of it and thank God for it.

po said...

Wow, 12 books! That sounds incredibly exciting. I have no doubt that you will manage that no problem. That renovation thing sounds like such a great idea, but my question is, where did you learn how to sand, distress, lay tiles etc?? I have no idea how to do any of that stuff and it floors me that people do that stuff themselves here in the UK. Howwwww? I think I was born in a bubble.

Damaria Senne said...

@Po - thanks. I think some of these things you learn as you go along. In our case, participants don't actually have to know how to do something at the beginning. Part of the process is learning. At the beginning of each project, Zahn shows us what to do to accomplish what she wants, and she checks on us often to make sure we're on track. Last weekend she showed everyone how to use a paintbruch. This weekend, we took a break from painting walls so she could show us how to distress a table, and we took turns working on one, so we could know what to do next time.And some of the participants have done some minor renovation work, so they have an idea, more or less.

po said...

That is brilliant! My boss does all his own DIY, as do all Brits, they are totally DIY-obsessed, and I keep asking him, but how do you know how to do that? He can't even give me an answer. He thinks I am insane. In my experience, in SA people hire other people to do those things. Or like my parents, if they can't afford to, then the house quietly falls apart. LOL.

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