Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Fringe Benefits

Today was a day of high creativity, intense artistic stimulation and positive motivation. That's the effect a day on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh can have on a writer during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

I had lunch with Laura while watching the Space Shuttle come in to land. Always an awesome and exciting event, it takes me back to my younger years when I had a toy one and would re-enact the landing in my bedroom. I wonder will it be the last shuttle landing?

I hope not - it's a craft that evokes powerful images of space exploration for generations and has come to stand for more than just a means of transport. It's a symbol of what can be achieved.

After lunch, I signed Laura up as my official assistant for the day and off we went. We started off westbound through Princes Street Gardens until we came to The Mound Plaza. It was mobbed; loads going on from jugglers to clowns and a traditional Chinese band.

We moved up the stairs towards The Mound, grabbing fliers all the way and passing a band playing lined up either side of the stairway. Eventually we came to near the top of the Royal Mile where the fun really began.

The street was full of people as far as the eye could see. At intervals along the street were small stages and amongst it all the street performers battled for supremacy. Everywhere you went leaflets and fliers were thrust into your hand. There were magicians, opera singers, actors from various musicals and shows, tap dancers, naked men and women (almost), The Simpsons, a man made of gold, a lady made of silver, a man made of fliers, the 118 mob, cowboys, burlesque girls, a man with a tree growing out of his head, ghostly apparitions, statues that smoked cigarettes, police who weren't really police and lots and lots of happy faces.

The atmosphere was terrific; such a buzz around the place and as you moved through it all you constantly found yourself in amongst live acts taking place on the street. It was truly, truly inspiring and I came away with some great video footage and literally thousands of ideas for poems.

I then took Laura to where Jackie McCann spent his time on the streets so I could get some more photographs. She talks about him like a real person, which is strange to hear, but she was interested to hear about his adventures. When she's grown up a bit more I'll let her read the book.

After a Pizza Hut dinner with Gail I got down to some work. Mostly I spent my time on the Edinburgh Festival Ebook. I wrote an unrelated poem as well and made scores of notes about the day spent on the streets of the Fringe.

The video footage I got was only 10 minutes long but when I ran back through it I got some cracking still pictures off it.

Then I did some more work on the 13 Travelling Journals project. I've nearly completed all I am going to do on its pages, which looks like it's going to amount to about a ten to a dozen pages in total. It's all been carefully put together so my entries makes sense (hopefully) and are of interest to others.

Speaking of the which, the poem I wrote about the Fronds of Thought journal has been posted to the project website. Have a read; it's at 13 Traveling Journals Project Site under the August 9th post.

My friend, Devon, recently came third in the Toasted Cheese Midsummer Tale Contest 2005 with her story 'Dog Driving'. Go to Toasted Cheese for more information. Congratulations Devon!

Just as I was about to log off for the night (about 2am), I got an email from my editor at KIC. It seems someone has set up a website and stolen a number of copyrighted stories from KIC. I ran a check and the offender is in Romania and with the contact details gained, a stern email was administered by the Ed. Not sure if it'll have any effect but what it does do is highlight the problem of IP theft.

IP is Intellectual Property i.e. fiction, poetry or other forms of writing and imagery on the Internet. It's a hard thing to stop but there are laws against it. It all boils down to copyright.

However, IP Theft can work in other ways. As some of you know I run The Magnificent 7 website dedicated to the band Madness. A few years ago I was browsing through my site tracker details and noticed I had started to get a lot of hits from - MTV Italy.

I followed the referring link and it took me to the band page for Madness for Italian MTV viewers. It had all the usual stuff; biography, discography, photographs, website link etc.

On closer inspection the official band link was given as MY website (not the official one), the biography was the same as the biography I had written on MY website, and the photographs of "Madness on Tour" were actually photographs of me and my mates on a train to London to see Madness back in 1999!!!

Naturally I was appalled. But just as I was about to place a call to Joe Beltrami I realised that this was publicity I simply could not buy. Overnight my website became "sponsored" by MTV, press releases hit the markets letting the world know that my little fan site had been hijacked by the MTV conglomerate and suddenly my hits increased at a dramatic rate.

It's still there to this day.

If you go here:

You can see the Link siti ufficiali (Official Site Link) is - MY site not the official one.

If you then click on the image of the band at the top (the star shape with all their arms stretched out) a window will pop open with a picture gallery.

There are 5 pictures; click through them using the wee arrow next to where it says '1/5'. Picture 2 is a picture I took of some of the band on stage with my little Canon camera in Newcastle 1999.

Scroll on to picture 4 and you will so NO members of Madness, but from left to right, my friend Wee Stoo, Me, then my pal Craig. We are sitting in between the carriages on our trip to Newcastle to see Madness in 1999.

Picture 5 is another one taken with my camera and therefore further evidence of their theft. The other two images (1 and 3) I can't prove came from my site though they do exist in the same properties so probably were.

MTV versus Colin Galbraith. I may not have won, but I made it work to my advantage. :-)
Colin 2:04 pm


That is TOO funny, Col! You sure did!
Are you doing the Leaflet Trade, so popular at Fringe time?

For every leaflet you accept, they have to take one for HUNTING JACK!

Also, leave stacks in the bars that allow fringe flyers. Last Drop usually has tons of them.
Hi- I hope to have more time after my kids return to school (in about 6 wks) to participate more often in writing blogs.

MTV- lol! The fair sounds fun. Hope it was! As far as space missions, there will be more of them, but that's all I can say other than look to the future. :)

I'll be returning to check out these links. I'm on artshow deadlines. Still, I've managed to write poetry and some prose, but I yearn for more time for both. POsted a new poem recently....
(It's at this site under Poetry, not the link listed on this comment:

SilverMoon Aka Green-Eyed Lady

Tske care!

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