The Black Cat monthly round-up: February 2021

I looked back on my February 2020 blog post before I started to write this. It was about a year ago that the COVID situation really started to escalate in the UK – I had decided not to go to the London Book Fair, but the local group celebration of the CIEP being granted chartered status still seemed possible. It feels like a million years ago. February 2021 saw me visiting a COVID testing site in Newbury. I had a temperature and was feeling unwell, so I went to get tested. It’s a strange experience, and it was almost impossible not to sneeze when I was doing the nose swab. I had to let one of my clients know I may have difficulty sending back the hard-copy proofread they had planned to send me, but they kindly asked me to take on an on-screen copy-edit for them instead. Fortunately, my test came back negative and I felt mostly back to normal after a few days of rest.

What I’ve been working on

I managed my workload this month despite not feeling well for a while. I did have to put some of my tutoring work on the back burner for a while, but I am catching up with the backlog and my students have been very understanding.
I started February with the proofread of a thriller with a large cast and a storyline that spanned multiple decades. I moved on to the copy-edit of a biography of an early gay rights activist. It isn’t something I would usually take on (I rarely copy-edit non-fiction) but the subject matter is compelling. I also have on my desk the copy-edit of the third instalment of an epic fantasy fiction series. These are both long projects and will take me into March. However, I did finish off the critique I started in January.

Looking ahead

We are nearly at the end of the financial year, and that means I need to think about the continuing professional development I would like to do in the next financial year. The West Surrey and North Hampshire CIEP local group is due a meet-up in March, and I have hope that at some point this year we may be able to have an in-person meeting – even if it still isn’t our much-delayed chartership celebration.

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