21: Earlings Full Stop

Posted in Diary posts on November 24th, 2010 by Peter Baker

24 November 2010

The pivotal phase, in moving our family seat from the Hansel-and-Gretel magical cottage, which – for four decades – had been a vortex of peace, companionship and spiritual harmony, took place across three weekends. Read more »

20: A Brief Lull in my Strategy

Posted in Diary posts on November 18th, 2010 by Peter Baker

18 November 2010

I cope with the pressure through exercise. Since the summer of 2007, with the exception of three weddings and a music festival, it’s been relentless. Weekends are a jumble of competing demands: a creative project with a hundred strands; the tangled challenges of my extended family. Then, at 8.30 a.m. on Monday morning, my head snaps into work mode and a five-day saga begins – the occasional moment of tranquillity in a sea of fire-fighting, everything-that-can-go-wrong and one-crisis-to-the-next.

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19: Post-Production II – Blood and Proof-reading

Posted in Diary posts on October 27th, 2010 by Peter Baker

27 October 2010

Bits of me started going wrong in the summer. This meant seven visits to my marvellous dentist in Bloomsbury, Dr Cline, who plays me Simple Minds and gangsta rap. But the real bummer was tearing my stomach muscles (‘hernia’ lacks romance, so I’ve dispensed with the word). Weird spasms in my leg alerted me to it. I went straight to my GP. He referred me to the surgeon, which led to multiple trips to Newham University Hospital where they prodded me, sucked my blood and decided to operate. Read more »

18: Post-Production I – Outreach

Posted in Diary posts on October 3rd, 2010 by Peter Baker

3 October 2010

Next came the ritual of showing.

Because The Jolly Pilgrim is an around-the-world true story, lots of other true stories intertwine with it.  I met well over 1,000 people, from six continents, through the period it records.  That breadth and diversity of world views is one of the things which facilitates the book’s thesis.  The names of nearly 200 real people appear in the manuscript.  So – for the sake of good form and to minimise the chances of someone trying to sue me – I had to try and track them down.  It was a major job.  Thank God for Facebook. Read more »

17: The Summer Season

Posted in Diary posts on September 26th, 2010 by Peter Baker

26 September 2010

Normally I’m fairly obsessive about having copy quintuple-checked. I draft stuff, sleep on it, look at it again, wait until the weekend (when I’m calmer) then look at it once more. I rely upon the steadying hand of my heroic editor and grammatical protector, Sid McLean, and try not to do anything rash.

When sending out a sample I also send an email containing links to the website. For my first pitches I decided to save a day, lose the front-end copyediting then have Sid look at the website-introduction email retrospectively. He emailed straight back pointing out that I’d said ‘it’s’ when I’d meant ‘its’. Read more »