Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Monday, September 05, 2005

Catch-up And August GDR

I'm still shattered. I feel like I'm wearing an internal balaclava. Although I had today booked off as a holiday in case the flight home was delayed or a late one, I went into work. I had nothing better to do anyway and it means I saved a day holiday for later in the year when I might need it.

I'm feeling the same way about New Orleans that I felt after 9/11, only it's been slower to sink in. Watching the personal tragedies on CNN is sickening because all the networks seem to be treating it like a fictional drama that is a viewing-rating extravaganza.

And Larry King has to be the biggest half-wit in the history of the media. I watched his programme, Larry King Live (though it's not live), a few times this week and when talking to victims on air, he says the most ridiculous and stupid things. Of one woman who lost her home he asked, "and how do you feel about that?" How do you think she feels, you utter dick!

Then he says to another victim who lost all her pet dogs, the only family she had, "does that upset you?" No, I bet she's relieved to have gotten rid of them, you arse!

The creme de la creme from this dinosaur of the American TV network was this one. He was interviewing a woman on air who had lost the lot - home, family, possessions - we're talking total devastation of this persons life and who knows how many others round her. He actually said to her, "I understand how you feel."

If that woman had not been so much in shock, I would have loved to see her turn round and say to him, "No you don't know how I feel. You think just because some reporter found a colostomy bag in your bin and told the world, means you know what it's like to lose everything you ever owned and loved? Go back to your swanky mansion and your six-figure salary and go fuck yourself you insane twat!"

Reading the blogs of normal people who live in the States is more heart wrenching and moving than you'll ever find on programmes anchored by the likes of Larry King.

I feel guilty that I can't do more than offer words and money to support organisations. I feel pain for my writing friends who, because they can express their own pain so eloquently, make it all the more real to me sat here. Some of them have connections with the city and the people living in it and I really feel for them at this time.

I feel guilty that my country hasn't demanded to be more involved, yet bemused the US Government feel so big for their boots they can't put aside political differences and accept the help offered to them. Bush has shown his true colours and it makes me sick. He's not fit to run a nation the size of the US.

Britain has stacks and stacks of nutritional food packets, blankets, tents and other life-preserving products stored in warehouses in North Yorkshire that could be sent to the Gulf Coast. We have them stored for wars in places like Iraq and there are thousands of them lying unused, so why can't they be shipped out to where they would be received with open arms and would help to keep innocent people alive? This is aid that we can provide, nation to nation.

We also have Air Craft Carriers out near there on routine business tours. Surely we could use one or two of them to help either ship people out or drop the provisions to where they can be best utilised? Another example of aid the UK could provide and is not being taken advantage of.

The whole thing makes me feel selfish as I watch from a distance and think, "I'm glad that's not me," or "I'm glad nobody I know lives there." I find it all very disturbing and if ever there was a time to reach out to your fellow man, surely now is it. Now nobody in the UK should take their freedom for granted after what happened in July, and with Hurricane Katrina, nobody in the UK should take for granted where we live. We should all realise how lucky we are where we are.

If it makes you feel better then at least donate a tenner. If you do nothing, can you live knowing you never even tried to help?

Back to the writing.

My latest press release was made available on Sep 2nd while I was away. This one focuses on my extended 6-month contract with KIC. You can view by clicking here:
Latest PR

Confirmation came back from the next person on the list to whom I sent the Fronds of Thought journal. With all that's happening in the South of the US I was worried it might never get there, but thankfully the new custodian is safe and has the book safe also.

A parcel, which was delivered while I was away, contained the five chapbooks of poetry I ordered from Rick Lupert. I'm a Jew Are You?, Brendan Constantine is My Kind of Town, Up Liberty's Skirt, Lizard King of the Laundromat and Mowing Fargo are all on my 'To Read Immediately' list.

I worked on my September GDR in the evening. It's a hard month to plan out for some reason. I am trying to fit in more solid fiction writing as well as the commitments I have made to other projects. But I am also including more planning for the final run in to the end of the year. I'll publish it here tomorrow. I also messed about with some ideas for the layout of the Festival chapbook.

I read Lizard King of the Laundromat. A superb example of how to create superb poetry from the most mundane of locations.

Finally, it's late, I know, but here's my August GDR review;

* Submit On A Monday Morning to WM competition - ready - need to post with cheque
* Final edit on Whisky Snatching and submit to WM - still WIP (due Jan' 06)
* Final edit and submit War Generations - Complete, renamed to What A Waste

* Write poems about the Edinburgh Festival - WIP (18 poems typed. Loads still WIP)
* Collate best and most appropriate ones - WIP
* Film/photograph images of the Festival to go with the poems - circa 300 taken
* Design an e-book of the above - WIP

* Pitch and submit article on RLS to intended market by 5th August - Small edit made, query sent 6/8. Needs chasing up now.

Marketing and Promotion
* Look at getting business cards made up - done! 200 cards delivered
* Press Release for last six months of HJ - done. Released 2/9/05
* While doing the Festival poetry e-book, leave Hunting Jack leaflets around Edinburgh.

Reading and Research
* Read more poetry and fiction - ordered 5 Rick Lupert chapbooks (I'm a Jew Are You?, Brendan Constantine is My Kind of Town, Up Liberty's Skirt, Lizard King of the Laundromat and Mowing Fargo).
* Keep up to date with KIC e-zines - done though problems with subscriptions.

Other Projects
* 13 Travelling Journals Project - Entries complete. Sent to next Journaler 18th August

Things That Turned Up
* Read Treasure Island by RLS
* Read several essays by RLS about writing
* Started Kidnapped by RLS
* Researched self-publishing chapbooks
* Wrote 2 non e-book poems, 6 haiku on Leith
* Made list of possible markets for each short story on submission then narrowed to ones that accept simultaneous subs.
* Pitched idea of series of Great Scottish Authors articles for the KIC Newsletter - accepted
* Great Scottish Authors series - RLS published 24/8. Robert Burns waiting to be published. Several others WIP.
* RLS article expanded to 800 words for Circadian Poems - still WIP

Everything that I wanted to get done this month got done as well as a whole load of things that turned up. All the fiction and non-fiction I had/wanted to get through, I did. The work on the Fringe chapbook is well underway and I'm happy with a lot of the poetry and photography going into it. I achieved all of my marketing goals, which enabled me to capitalise on the attraction of the Fringe festival. I got through a load of reading - more than I normally fit in. the 13 Travelling Journals Project arrived and was completed. And of the things that turned up during the month, the highlight has to be getting the KIC articles on Great Scottish Authors accepted. All in all, it has been a superb month.

The Oasis, rejected by One Story

Fiction - 7500
Non-Fiction - 3700
Blog - 24,700

An excellent month for creativity and PR. Just look at the Successes paragraph above to get a taste of it. If this can be brought forward into September and through the autumn the lead up to the end of the year could be a special one.
Colin 10:46 am


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Thanks for all your kind words and I agree, Larry King is a twit.

Your GDR's amaze me!
Larry King is a moron of mammoth proportions.
I agree with the above - you are so kind to be concerned about all this. And I agree with your remarks.
And congrats on your press relase and GDRs - wow!
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