Tag Archives: Beech Editorial Services

A Star is Born

28 Aug

Just before I was deluged by proofreading work – Beech Editorial Services – I popped this little flash in the post (i.e. email). You can read A Star is Born here. If you like it, Like It.

I had written it originally for the wonderful Creative Writing Ink prompt, but thought it could do with another outing. I find the photographic prompts on the CWI website really inspiring, but have deadlines money attached to get on with – maybe at the weekend I’ll be able to grab a few minutes to get some writing done.

Recommendation for Writers and Editors

21 Mar

Thought some of you here might be interested in this really great podcast about the editing process The Editing Podcast – useful for writers and editors alike.


Short short list

6 Mar

I’ve been trying to submit more regularly to the Writing Magazine‘s monthly competitions and have made it onto the shortlist again. Big up to Michael Callaghan and Dominic Bell whose names are on almost every list. And of course to the winner and runner-up whose work will appear here very soon, or now in the April edition of The Writing Magazine, which comes with a competition supplement and an advert for Beech Editorial Services (plug plug).


Onwards and Onwards

8 Jan

Happy New Year.

Some stats from 2018:

Didn’t manage to complete my GoodReads Challenge, only finishing 18 out of the 20 books I had challenged myself to read. Unfortunately you can’t count all the half-read ones, although I think there will be a flourish soon as I get some of them finished. Others will languish forever on the shelf with bookmarks at the point where I had had enough. I am going to read more of what I want to read this year, and not follow my book group’s recommendations quite so religiously. Book groups are great at getting you to expand your horizons, but I have hit the buffers too often recently and need to read my own choices for a while. (Though that doesn’t mean I will stop going for all the chat).

I listed 139 possible competitions/submission slots on my Excel Goals Worksheet and submitted on 41 occasions, winning or being published 5 times, so 12% of what I submitted got somewhere – not bad. I just need to get the submission level a bit higher along with the hit rate.

UPDATE: Just found another acceptance in my Junk folder – more info will follow.

I earned a grand total of ( I can hear the taxman getting excited) £229.36 (including 7p in Amazon royalties), less £84 costs bringing a profit of £145.36 for the calendar year, or appox. £2.80 a week (oh, how we writers live). I did get paid in Australian and US Dollars this year, which, added to the usual Euros and Sterling, makes me a truly international (if poor) author.

On the plus side, I didn’t spend any overnights in hospital this year – which means my kids didn’t (YIPEE), though I am still on Carer’s Leave without an end in sight to that.

I also set up my new business Beech Editorial Services, and have been doing a bit of editing and proofreading, although waiting to reap the rewards there.

My Writers’ Group, the G2 Writers, goes from strength to strength, with another published author to our name – Charlie Gracie, and we are just about to welcome two new writers into the fold, which is very exciting.


And so 2019.

I might not be an optimist, but some stubbornness keeps me going. I am trying different things with my writing and maybe one day you’ll see my name in lights (if not there is always Amazon). Keep reading, keep writing, keep hoping, and have a great 2019.


Procrastination, Clutter and the Creative Process

7 Nov

A friend just won a de-cluttering voucher at a raffle, her husband commented, ‘I know what we need to get rid of, it’s doing it that’s the problem.’

Well, I am a fan of clutter, although I am also an ex-librarian and it has to be organised clutter. I tend to know where things are, even if things aren’t quite in Dewey Decimal order. I thought I’d share with you a photo of my very cluttered work space just before I have a bit of a tidy.

My mind can be on about three different projects at once, and this is reflected in the guddle that is my desk. I also know what needs to be read/attended to/filed, it’s just getting round to doing it that’s the problem.


My messy workspace.

Can you spot:

Inspiration quotes and Guardian cartoons hiding the front cover of All the Places I’ve Ever Been;

Dictionaries and grammar books being held straight by Lewis’ chess pieces;

My new business cards for Beech Editorial Services;

My lovely blue sand hour glass, which amazed my teenage daughter as it actually runs for an hour. (She’s more used to egg timers). It’s meant to help me stay focused on the task in hand;

Catalogues that I have browsed through, but need to actually buy from if anyone is going to get anything for Christmas;

Books on Mary Queen of Scots and a printout on the Scottish Enlightenment;

At least four notebooks;

A Bakewell slice;

Files full of information and inspiration for the two novels I am currently working on;

Lots of stationery;

A pile of half-read Writing Magazines?

Amazingly there is no coffee cup (surely some mistake), and I’ve saved you the boxes of magazines and newspapers that hide under the desk, to be plundered for ideas at a later date. And that, really, is the point of all the clutter, to inform, to entertain, to inspire – I sound like the BBC. Organised chaos, basically, a bit like my mind…

Right, on with the de-clutter, I might be here a while.

Proofreading Service – Now Available

4 Sep

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front as I finished my proofreading qualification, and set about starting my business. You can see my lovely website here beecheditorial

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Quote Blog918 for 10% discount on prices during September.

New Beginnings – Kind of

8 Mar

Seven years ago, I decided that it was time to get a wee job, out of the house, but with low stress and few responsibilities. The job I got at the newly opened, local Waitrose was meant to be a stop-gap, after all I am a qualified librarian, and had spent many years working in adult, and then further education. But I’d left librarianship not long after I became a mum for the first time (nearly 20 years ago); and left teaching when trying to juggle a very challenging job with three small children just got too much.  So, working in a supermarket, just down the road from the house, during school hours seemed like just the thing. It was meant to be a two-year max job, but life had other ideas.

Families are highly recommended, but mine has come with a barrel-load of issues, so in the past few years I’ve had to deal with Parkinson’s, Dementia (two types, one person), Scoliosis, and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. Each Hogmanay, we’ve said, surely next year can’t be as bad, but then life excels itself, and so we are in March, and I am about to start on extended Carer’s Leave. My job will be kept open for a year, and then I can reassess where we are (hopefully not in the Poor House). In the end, the decision made itself, after the tragic death of a young person very dear to us, which pulled everything into very sharp focus. I need to be at home, giving my kids (even the one who doesn’t live here anymore), all the emotional and practical support they need.

So, a new start. Illness has dictated that there will be a bit of home-schooling going on here (although I hope there is no trigonometry); and I will be chief taxi-driver; bereavement counsellor; cook; housekeeper; teacher; shoulder to cry on; the list goes on. But I am also aware that I have the chance to spend more time reading, writing and proof-reading. My Publishing Training Centre course in Proof-reading is almost finished (which I’ve been saying for weeks, but you can’t spot errors through tears). And I should be able to start touting for business very soon – Beech Editorial Services. I’m also very aware that this really is my last chance to make a go of being a professional writer. The money is dripping in from various publications, but more of a gentle stream (or a flood – go for it), would be nice.

In case you think I am being a total martyr, I am running away from my family next week, for my annual writers’ retreat – back at Moniack Mhor, in beautiful Inverness-shire. From there, I will keep you informed of my progress.

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I make nice frocks and write average poetry. And there's a bit of embroidery and the occasional rant.