The Twelve Month Success Challenge – UK Edition – April Progress Report

by WordChazer

Success Challenge defined: a good month for achieving things. Whether at work, in editing or writing, it was a month for unexpected meeting of deadlines, by luck or good judgement.

So, the end of the financial year is upon us, the first quarter has been and gone, but the figures still need to be crunched and the targets met. The editing is ongoing, so is the writing. At speed and in quantity at present, which is always good for the soul. The decluttering will enter a new phase next month with the chance to have a spring clean during my week's leave (around yet another retro festival...) and I have further plans around that side of things too.

The Day Job

In the day job, some of the larger outstanding invoices were paid and odd entries resolved before year end kicked in, so the figures will look good this month. I received notification that one or two of the long-outstanding debts had also been paid, so now I need to find the money and have it allocated correctly. I spent a couple of days sorting out my paper filing and a day on my inbox, which resulted in both the filing pile and the inbox looking a lot better. We had the meeting with the branch manager and he was going to talk to his staff to see if there was anything else they could help us with in terms of having some of the invoices paid quicker. As hoped, I chased all the customers listed as outstanding and found many of them had already paid and the money was in transit to us.


Elance is still quiet, although I am going to be working on the final part of the report, as the client came back yesterday to say he was ready for that. I’m hoping to be able to fit in some bidding too. Can’t ever have too much work... 

I completed my mature student’s essay as well as Paul A Rice’s editing. That was a marathon eight hour stretch, as predicted, as once started, I couldn't put it down. The book, Dangerous Games, is available on Kindle and will shortly be out in print, as it is currently with the publishers.

I am still working on editing the content provision work as needs be, and apart from this week’s invoice, everything is submitted and I’m just waiting for payment.


My Wizzley content list is still growing apace, as I’ve submitted three articles with one more in planning so far. My rating is now at 98%, with three articles at 100% and one at 99%. 

The owner of the summarising project I’m working on through elance has applied for start-up business funding, so he has paid me in advance of completing the project and asked me to continue to write for him. I have submitted several more summaries since and will continue to do so whenever possible. The forum posting project appears to be no more, as I have not heard back from the client on that for around six weeks. I was asked to create content for the site, but haven’t been given access to upload it, so that’s just too bad, really.

I hope to be able to expand my writing portfolio again, having been invited to write for a new site which is just starting up. The pay is good, so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and being able to have my work read by a new audience. I hope to find a new home for some of my legacy work as well as providing new pieces, just as I do with Wizzley.

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Housework and Decluttering

One box of excess left last week to the trade-in site. There’s also one less box of clutter in the lounge as the contents have been filed, shredded or returned to my husband. As it was his birthday on Sunday, I spent Friday and Saturday morning running round with dusters, mops and the vacuum in preparation for the open house party after church on Sunday afternoon. Saturday lunchtime brought our friends – who stood as best man and bridesmaid at our wedding – over for the weekend and we started the celebrations early, by decluttering the freezer to the tune of a dozen cartons of assorted curry and sides on Saturday night. We also killed several innocent bottles of wine and a few drams of whisky (Scotch) too. Meantime the half-defunct cheapie vacuum cleaner I have done my best to exterminate over the last few years was donated to the Centre for Computing History and left in its new home on Saturday afternoon when we made the latest visit, friends in tow.

On Sunday, we decluttered the freezer a bit more, serving six further visitors a buffet meal fit for kings, we decided. One of our senior church couples contributed a home made rice salad and pork pies, while another senior member brought a quiche and a third a family sized New York cheesecake. Great minds think alike, as I had already bought both quiche and cheesecake. There was a selection of nibbles, crisps, cocktail sausages and cheese too, most of which disappeared over the course of the next few hours.

Money Saving – Discounts and Coupons

Another area where I am currently having some success is in the finding of bargains on food and the use of coupons. I am a notorious penny-pincher and refuse to spend money if I don’t need to, so in months when the bills are higher (as they are this month, thanks to having actually had a long weekend away over Easter) I tend to become even more assertive in my need not to spend what I don’t need to.

Bargain of the day today at the store was finding a 4-litre box of wine for half price because it was going out of date tomorrow. Now, wine does not last long in this house – it’s our one luxury – and to find a box available here at Continental prices was a chance not to be passed up. And I know it will last longer than the date indicated as it isn’t yet opened.

Our Dutch friend is willing to trade us a whole Gouda cheese for jars of Branston on my husband’s annual trip to meet with him, and said round of cheese divides easily into 8-12 portions for use in pasta sauce over the following months. Now that’s what I call a bargain. Proper extra-mature Dutch Gouda makes a delicious pasta sauce when melted down with added Tabasco for a kick, so we will be very happy pasta-heads for the next few months.

The local grocery superstore is one of the biggest in the UK, and as such has some of the best arrays of bargains I have ever seen. The daily yellow label on-date Reduced to Clear and Tear, Scratch and Dent food items are quite often the makings of a meal for us, and we can save around £100 a month just by looking for the yellow labels. Buy it on-date, cook it that night, if needed, freeze it, and ‘Robert is your mother’s brother’, there’s a meal in the freezer ready for one of those days where you just can’t be bothered to cook.

The Bank Holiday month is upcoming in May (two extra days off the day job in a month) so I’ll be using the time to get out in the garden, write and edit, sort out some of the clutter and maybe bring some work home from the day job too, who knows. In the meantime, the ironing mountain awaits.

Updated: 12/25/2013, WordChazer
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WordChazer on 05/06/2013

Thanks Joni! My Wizzley scores are now even higher - as will be revealed in this month's update (which I'm writing as I go along at the moment) and the other site is just kicking into gear. I need to go and find the email from the owner in a minute to ensure I get paid. For the cheese sauce, one piece of Gouda (up to 350g) chopped into manageable pieces, four heaped teaspoons of flour, blob of butter, half a pint of milk, over the heat, stir until everything is melted in, add a dash of Tabasco, chili, brown or similar spicy sauce, pour over cooked pasta. Eat. I add veges and mushrooms to the mix, also pieces of precooked chicken or bacon too. It goes well with cauliflower, broccoli, sweetcorn, pepper, you name it really.

JoniR on 05/06/2013

Fabulous progress Paula! I really enjoy reading your updates as they often bring a big smile with your colourful descriptions.

Great that your Wizzley scores are so high and that you've found some other sites for your writing - you have been busy!

Melted gouda as pasta sauce? How is that done? Sounds decadent :)

And you would be horrified at what we pay for wine in Canada. It is a luxury for sure - especially a good bottle.

I also loved the image of your freezer stocked with a smorgasbord of goodies :) I too like to have a few freezer meals stored for days when I don't feel like cooking.

WordChazer on 05/06/2013

Made me smile too, Paul. I know I have an eye for a bargain but that was special!

pkmcr on 05/06/2013

Just read your March update and good to read of your ongoing success - the story of the cheap wine made me smile :-)

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