Stairway to…?

This post is mostly going to be a pic dump showing the progress/process of painting a client’s staircase.  It was a fun project, and a little different from the way I normally work. Instead of charging by the hour, I was asked to provide a quote for the materials and labour. Which I did, and they were happy with my quote! 🙂

Technically my client was the landlord, rather than the home’s resident, though I’ve worked with the resident before to mow her lawn and do some other bits and bobs. She and I had already figured out how she wanted the staircase to look, and the landlord was happy to let us be creative.

20181010_110901The first thing I had to do was fill the gaps in the wood. The workmen that put the new stairs in used the original banister rails, and they weren’t quite compatible.20181010_110924There were also some MDF pieces, that weren’t quite flush with the pine steps. More filler to the rescue! We would definitely need to use paint here.20181010_110938Then we started masking off the parts that we didn’t want to paint. The majority of the step would be stained later.20181010_124822I used both ‘Frogtape’ masking tape and masking film to prevent as much splatter-related mistakes as possible before I started applying the white paint.20181010_14084320181010_14084920181010_15390920181010_15392220181011_115610When the white parts were all done, I started adding the violet details! Once again I masked off as best as I could.20181012_10282020181012_102826Then took the frogtape off again afterwards to make sure it looked right.20181012_10331820181012_103321Sometimes there was a little bit of ‘bleeding’ despite my best efforts. Where I could I cleaned up these edge afterward with white paint and a small brush.20181012_112312Before we could start staining the new wood, I would have to clean up the dirty paw prints and spills. Some sandpaper took of the surface dirt without having to get the wood wet.20181012_11423520181012_11424120181012_11461220181012_114616After they were dirt free again, then I applied the woodstain. A nice warm yellow tone to compliment the violet.20181012_17343620181017_104258[1]After a couple of coats of varnish to keep the wood looking nice and make future cleanup easier, it was time for final touch-ups and the tile-effect stickers on the risers. They were easier to keep bubble-free than I expected!20181017_114756[1]20181017_114802[1]I was pretty pleased with the finished staircase, and the resident was overjoyed! 🙂

Technically there are still some carpet pads to put on there, and the resident would also like to put mirrored mosaic tiles on the violet not-quite-triangles, but the work I was commissioned for is all done. 🙂

I really enjoyed doing this. Hopefully I’ll have more DIY, painting and creative projects to keep me occupied as the gardening work drops off.

Would you like to see more posts like this? Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Have a great day 🙂

 

The New Plan – Operation Freelance!

After talking it over with a very smart friend I’ve decided to offer blog articles for £100 each, and £50 each for short ones.

I’m offering Ghostwriting and Co-Author services too. If you have a great story idea but don’t think that you could do it justice, then I can help. You may even have started writing it yourself and got stuck. You can hire me as a Ghostwriter, in which case the book has your name on it, and you get to keep the royalties, but you pay me for my time upfront. Or, you can let me take a Co-Author credit, both names are on the cover, we split the royalties 50-50, and it costs you nothing.

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I’m hoping to build up a client list as quickly as possible. I need to be a full-time writer. I’m going nuts. I’ve been trying to build my profile, and my reputation. Take my time. Do this right. Work wherever I can to survive while I make myself look great online. The problem is that the job I’m doing for money is taking all my time, energy and motivation.

I didn’t realize when I started working nights how lonely and depressing it would get. I needed some time to think, but now I’m ready to rejoin the world. I could just get another shitty job doing bar-work, retail or call centre customer service, but I really don’t want to have to. I want to write. It’s all I want to do, and I’m good at it.

I got my start as a blogger writing geek-culture articles for a WordPress-based website. The articles I’ve written for them seem to have gone, but I saved a few of my favourites and re-blogged them on Games ‘n’ Geekery. A geeky website of my own I created using all the skills I learned while working for them, and a few tricks I’ve picked up since.

They didn’t pay me anything, but the experience was invaluable. I learned how to use WordPress, how to make a good-looking blog article, and that I could churn out an original 500-1000 word article, including research, links, pictures and video, every single day.

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I used what they taught me to create this blog, and others. The Hermes925 serialized story that I’ve been posting to this website attracted the attention of Tod Foley, who recruited me for the UbiquiCity project. The writer team would video conference online to talk about our ideas and world-build together, then we each wrote a short story that fit into the world we created. My short story, and the others, are now available on Amazon as part of the UbiquiCity anthology. The accompanying RPG sourcebook will be out soon. It was a fun project. 🙂

I got the opportunity to ghost-write a story for someone, and that was fun too, but the client put the project on hold before I saw a penny for the work I did. I definitely learned a lesson there, but it put me off the idea of ghost-writing for a while.

I submitted a short story or two to contests and publications that offered a cash prize or payment if you were accepted, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that writing short stories for submission, especially if they don’t get accepted. Too much time and effort, for not enough guaranteed reward. If I write a good short story, I want some guarantee I’m going to get paid for it, and I certainly didn’t want to have to pay someone to publish it.

It’s about that time I got distracted by the Creative Writers group. It had only 32 members left, no admin at all. It occurred to me that I could test some of the things I’d learned about social media management and audience building, and also create the kind of supportive community I wanted to find. The group now has over seventeen thousand members.

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I even created an opportunity for group members. I’ve always been a ‘learn by doing’ kind of person. I learn best when it’s a necessary means to accomplish a desired outcome. In hindsight the Monolith project was probably a little too ambitious, but that was kind of the idea. Set the bar high and see if I could pull it off. I didn’t, but I learned a lot along the way.

The idea was to create a series of large anthologies, containing well-written stories, all conforming to the same theme. There would be no charge to submit and we would review the stories as they were submitted. That way we wouldn’t have to try and deal with a huge pile all at once after the submission deadline, and the writers would get feedback right away instead of having to wait. This also gave them an opportunity to try and improve their submission and try again.

We ended up with a lot of great stories, and a lot that could have been good if the writers had been willing to improve them. The project became a logistical nightmare, even with help from other admins in the group, and so the project was abandoned. However, I decided to test self-publishing anyway with one of the short-stories I had written. It sold pretty well for a short story, and I’m currently writing a longer story, hopefully a novel, inspired by the short story. It’s called The Haunted Story.

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It’s taking longer to write than I wanted though. I enjoy writing stories, but they’re harder than blog articles. I have several work-in-progress story-lines that I will to turn into books. A few of the ideas have already been mentioned in this blog. I know I can manage my time better, and be able to spend more time and energy writing my stories, if I can write full-time. The night porter job is an inefficient use of my time and wastes my creativity.

I could replace the hotel job by securing enough clients to write an article a day, just like I used to do. I’m a good writer, as you can see from this blog and my published stories. I’m more than happy to negotiate, especially if I can gain something else besides money, like cover-art, editing, or marketing.

I can do blogging, and it comes easily to me, but I’d prefer to write a book with you. I know from the previous experience that I write better and faster when I’m working for someone, and it gives me something to look forward to each day. Unlike my current job. At this point I’d welcome any opportunity to write for a living really.

So, want to write a book with me? If you don’t have any ideas, I can help with that too. I’m aware that some people just want to see a book on the shelves with their name on the cover. I can arrange that. I can also go to the opposite extreme and help you polish up and revise a story that you’ve mostly written already (and that wouldn’t cost as much). It’d be much more fun to bounce ideas off each other and come up with a great story together, but I’m flexible.

Please email me: antonym.copeland@gmail.com or leave me a comment if you have any questions, advice for new freelancers, or a project for me. Whether you’re a fellow writer with too much on your plate, a website manager that needs more content, or just someone that wants their name on a book, I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day 🙂

 

So Much To Do

I finally had an idea for a story for Project Ubi (the team working on the RPG Sourcebook). We’re supposed to be discussing the draft at our next meeting. The draft will definitely need a rewrite before then because I began writing it just by describing the key character to myself. It’s not much more than notes.

I haven’t finished the pen and paper version yet, and the next meeting is March first. So I have 15 days left to finish it and rewrite it. I’m not terribly worried about it being shorter than I wanted it to be at this point. I will no doubt have to add to it, and perhaps rewrite it completely, to incorporate more of the game lore we’re creating. Plus it should get written quicker if it’s short!

In addition to that, I also need to get the short story I’m calling “Before the War” finished. I’ve decided that when I eventually write “The War on Magic“, this story will act as it’s prelude. This is a story I intend to submit to the “Writers of the Future” writing contest, which gives me a chance of winning $500, $750 or $1000 if it’s one of the top 3 stories submitted that quarter.

If I miss this quarter I can submit it for the next one, but I’d like to enter as soon as possible. I may even try for a different publication, such as “Diversions From Drudgery” who are already serializing Hermes925. DfD will also let me publish items that have already been published elsewhere, while a lot of the other publications don’t. It seemed to me that it would be smarter to submit each story elsewhere first (before it’s been printed), and then to DfD after.

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Am I making things overly complicated? Should I just keep writing for the publication I already have a relationship with, and quit trying to game the system? I’m just thinking that, if it works, I could potentially be getting paid twice for every one-off story I write (providing that it’s accepted).

I also need to keep making time to write Hermes925, and make time to find additional opportunities to write for money. I’m really getting sick of being broke. I would appreciate it if you became a paid subscriber if you haven’t already, so I don’t need to be so dependent on being accepted by magazines to make money. I’m still waiting to find out if my Ghost Story for an upcoming publication called “A Horror of Words” has been accepted.

It would be awesome if I could post the stories I’m writing to this website, send an e-reader copy to my paid subscribers, and make enough money to help my family pay the bills and save up for a place of my own. I’ve considered also offering to write unique stories on commission.

I’ve considered also offering to write unique stories on commission. This would be a story that only you have. I will never post it or submit it, it would be just for you (or your intended recipient). As a result, you can be a character in the story and include your friends and family. You could also make it a comedic story in which the characters have odd flaws and quirks, whatever the client (you) want.

Off course, paid subscribers would get a discount, and may even get short stories and flash fiction for free. It seems smarter to get paid directly by fans than hoping a third party would like my work enough to pay me and publish me. Particularly since I’ll then have to promote their publication, for free, to my fans or you’ll never get to read it.

I seem to have a real problem with working for other people! I want to sell direct to the reader and cut out the middle man! At least that’s how I feel today. On other days I want to have a well-known publisher printing copies of my book and putting them on bookshelves all over the world. Today though I’m just seeing dusty volumes that don’t get read. Let’s save some money and resources and just deal directly and electronically. 🙂

Anyway, I got to get cracking on finishing the Project Ubi story!

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And have a great day! 🙂