Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

It's Cool To Support Scotland Again

A cooler start to the day and it was such a relief. No late summer warmth, no sweating on the way to work. Just cool breezes and fresh air. About time too.

I struggled to concentrate on anything today. My meeting with Ian Rankin on Friday is taking up most of my thoughts now. All my research is done; reading up on his literary life, his work, previous interviews etc., and all that remains is for me to make sure I am mentally prepared. I have all I need to take with me, planned how I'm going to get there so nothing can go wrong and run through it all in my mind.

I spent some time today reading a friend's manuscripts; two short stories for critique, which was good fun and both were excellently written. It's interesting to read short fiction from other parts of the world because it not only gives you a sense of location but can also help you form a connection with the author; how they live, their opinions, their challenges etc. It's also very gratifying to be able to offer an opinion on their work and talk about writing, which if it weren't for the Internet, I probably would never be able to do.

I updated my publisher's listings to keep them up to date. Over the course of time I've collected other markets, mostly online e-zines and literary journals to consider for submission, but I've yet to check them out and add to my official list. I had just got to this stage when all our web servers crashed so had to put this on the back burner until they were back up and running. I did eventually get most of it done and my list is now quite substantial. So I sorted them again into those markets that are very suitable, suitable and last resorts.

I joined yet another online forum. It's more a showcase kind of place and it was more out of boredom than anything else. I'm a member of five forums now but there's only a couple I visit on a regular basis. Three are general writing forums, one is purely a critique forum for fiction and one a poetry forum.

Didn't do any writing after work, only reading. I read Mowing Fargo, the final of the five books recently arrived from Sherman Oaks courtesy of Rick Lupert. Another excellent read. I also read more research material and typed up my plan of action for Friday.

Snooker was cancelled so I watched the Scotland match. We beat Norway 2-1 in Oslo and what with Saturday's draw at Hampden against the Italians, somehow, Scotland are playing well again. The sound of Scotland fans singing and celebrating in the stands after the game could clearly be heard, replacing the sound of trudging boots and cursing we have become so very used to over these past few years.

Could the glory days be about to return? Could Walter Smith be the man who will take us back into the top 20 footballing nations in the world? Once a bitter opponent of mine, I'm prepared to let bygnoes be bygones if he continues to inject a passion and pride not seen since the days of, erm, Ally McLeod? Andy Roxburgh? Who cares - we're winning again. And we're winning the fans hearts and imaginations once more. That's what's important - engaging the support of the Tartan Army and hearing the lion roar. Suddenly, it's cool to support Scotland again.

I watched a programme on TV later on about a bloke called Danny. He's started his own country; passports, constitution, declaration, flags, everything, and he's trying to get international recognition and get admittance to the United Nations. His quest has obviously been going for a while until I caught this programme, but it has seen him in the EU HQ, 10 Downing Street and the UN HQ in New York. I will check out his website tomorrow with the full intention of becoming a citizen of The Nation of Lovely.

I had one of those nights where every time I was about to drop off to sleep another poem would pop into my mind. Light on - notepad out. It happened about a dozen times before I finally fell to sleep. Some of them are workable for the Festival chapbook and a few were just nice poems.

I like poetry. It's the biz.
Colin 8:29 am


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Hi Big Man,
the game was fab, wasn't it?
"How to Start Your Own Country" is one of the coollest wee programmes to come on the box for ages and I noticed that it is being repeated from the beginning of the series on BBC1 at 01.50 on Thurday mornings! It is worth setting you're VCR for.
I am a citizen of "Lovely" and proud of it. Except when Scotland wins at football, when I switch my allegiances back to my former country!
Bobby Mackerel

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