Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Monday, October 31, 2005

October's GDR Review

It was a most exciting day.

Now that the clocks have gone back it is much darker in the morning and much darker earlier in the evening. No doubt this will come to annoy me if I cannot get out in it much but I do enjoy being out in the darkness, especially during the winter. Everything is so raw and nature seems poised in a state of patience. A clear sky at night when the stars are out remind me of my insignificance and a crisp morning in the dark going to work almost make the destination worthwhile.

It was great to walk into my office (the one at home) and see Smashie in his new position. He looked quite restless last night with the new surroundings and the lighter surroundings he is now in. The light blue walls must make it seem like he's lost in the ocean like that wee Clown fish in Finding Nemo. But by this morning he looked like he was getting used to it and quite enjoying the early morning rays coming in through the window. When he sees his new tank, he'll no doubt feel like the king of the castle, and rightly so. He must be so bored in the wee round plastic effort he's in just now.

I published the front cover of Fringe Fantastic here on Freedom From The Mundane and was about to send the final manuscript to the publisher when I noticed a tiny error on one of the pages. A single letter in the middle of a single word contained an underscore. How incredibly annoying such a small and insignificant marking on a page can prove to be. I had to hold off sending the manuscript until later once I had removed it and reformatted the document back into a PDF file.

Today of course, is Halloween. As predicted, the kids from last night came round again, this time departing with their bags full of sweeties and nuts. Laura had a great time away with a group of kids from the street going round the neighbours guysing, and then on to a party. There were loads left over so I spent quite some time reminding myself how addictive Monkey Nuts can be.

Keep It Coming is supposed to be restarting tomorrow but I have heard nothing despite another email to the editor. I am drawing a line between myself and KIC, which is not easy as I loved the concept and writing for them was a lot of fun. KIC gave me a wonderful opportunity and I gained a hell of a lot of experience through it. However, I think the time is now right to forward an email and accompanying letter of resignation, then when the appropriate time is up, copyright of Hunting Jack will revert back to me and I shall offer it as a serial through my own website.

I spent the evening designing bookmarks and leaflets for the Fringe Fantastic launch and getting the initial website design down on paper. It won't be anything fancy, but it has to be professional and support the promotional activities I have planned. Very soon I will be announcing a competition to win free signed copies of the book, details of which will be posted here.

I also continued reading through Hunting Jack and editing the issues before converting them to PDF. It's so weird to be back in Jackie's world, but extremely enjoyable. I also spent some time reviewing my work for the month, which brings me neatly towards October's GDR Review.

* Final edit on Whisky Snatching and submit to WM (deadline Jan' 06) - done - needs submitted.
* Complete What A Waste and pitch to high-ranking paying markets only - done - needs querying.
* Work out plot to fit the album Stella by Yello - ideas forming - want to write this in November to capture the real essence.
* Keep on top of submissions list - done.

* Complete final edits on all poems for Fringe Fantastic - complete.
* Complete design and layout of Fringe Fantastic - complete
* Conduct photo shoot for front and back covers of Fringe Fantastic - complete.
* Conduct Photo shoot of professional author portraits - complete.
* Submit penultimate final draft of Fringe Fantastic to publisher - complete.

* Chase up query for How-To Create an E-book article and dig out new markets - chased on 17/10/05
* Write four more articles for Great Scottish Authors series (400-600 w each) - Janice Galloway (WIP), Muriel Spark (WIP), Iain Banks (WIP), Edwin Morgan (WIP)
* Write up Ian Rankin interview for Scruffy Dog Review - WIP
* Write up Ian Rankin interview for Great Scottish Author's Series - WIP
* Develop ideas for travel articles I have in mind (Edinburgh, Leith, Renfrewshire, Aberfoyle) - no work done on this.

Marketing and Promotion
* Develop bookmark idea - created Fringe Fantastic, Hunting Jack and Brick by Brick bookmarks. Need ink and card to print off for distribution
* Joint Press Release about KIC status - Will issue if no KIC restart on Nov 1st.
* Begin preparing a marketing strategy for Fringe Fantastic - complete and ongoing. Launch date set for December 2nd. Full spreadsheet developed of activities and tasks until Christmas.
* Keep website up to date - ongoing

Reading and Research
* Read Tall Tales and short Stories Vol.2 for then release - read, but not released yet.
* Get fully up to date with KIC e-zines - complete
* Finish Kidnapped by RLS - complete
* Finish research book for unpublicised future project - ongoing

Other Projects
* The Scruffy Dog Review was announced on Oct 10th. I was proud to be asked to be an Associate Editor and have joined a talented team of writes and editors.
* I have a new monthly column as a result of TSDR called, Scotland's Treasure. It will cover theatre, music and art reviews from around Scotland.
* As well as reading submissions I also have a weekly TSDR blog entry to write, which will be published every Tuesday. Two written this month.
* Started work on the remaining articles for the Great Scottish Author's Series: James Boswell and Liz Lochead.

Things That Turned Up
* Invite to appear on Global Talk Radio's talk show for readers and writers called A Story To Tell. Refused the offer though due to their "sponsorship requirements".
* Approached Steve Van Hekel, owner of Tall Tales Press with view to contributing to an anthology about step-parenting. He is very interested and we will arrange a time to speak about the book.
* Covered Proud Mary gig instead of FGTH for TSDR. Not sure if I will include in final submission for my TSDR column.
* Started reading and editing Hunting Jack for the PSH 2005 Poetry Contest sponsorship prize, then reformatting into individual PDF files for sending out.
* Due to the above, I am now seriously considering offering Hunting Jack through my own website as a serial once I have resigned from KIC.

* Robert Louis Stevenson - Poet and Author, was published at Circadian poems on October 4th.
* Original submission for RLS work was accepted via query for The Literary Traveller. First paid non-fiction piece. Expect to be published in 3-6 months.
* Quick field trip to photograph RLS house in Heriot Row for Literary Traveller.

Open Wide Magazine rejected Heart of a Child

Fiction - 7800
Non-Fiction - 6730
Blog (inc.TSDR) - 19700

Outstanding Submissions

1 short story to The Edge Magazine
1 short story to Writing Magazine
1 short story to Big Ugly Review
1 short story to Barcelona Review
1 short story to The Portable Muse
1 short story to 13 Magazine
2 short stories to One Story Magazine
2 short stories to Wild Child
1 short story to Open Wide Magazine
2 short stories to Summerset Review
1 short story to the Adirondack Review
2 short stories to Fringe Magazine
1 short story to Gorlan Publications
4 poems to Story House
1 non-fiction article to Writer On Line
5 articles to KIC

It's been a hectic month. Most of my time has been spent getting Fringe Fantastic into a state that reaches my expectations for the project; which I set very high. I have put everything into the production of this book right down to every minute detail of the layout and design to each and every word of the manuscript. Even if it is a failure on the eyes of my peers, I have enjoyed it, learned from it and fulfilled a burning ambition as far as poetry is concerned.

Fiction never suffered though as it did last month and I polished up two short stories and began to reformat Hunting Jack into PDF's for distribution in a contest I sponsored. The prospect of taking on the sale of the serial myself is exciting and doesn't seem to be as complicated as it could be. The main thing is getting readers interested so I intend to continue with the marketing plan for Hunting Jack alongside Fringe Fantastic.

The biggest success so far in non-fiction was the sale of an article about Robert Louis Stevenson. This is a major achievement and I am delighted.

Looking to next month, I have three poems being published by Circadian Poems, loads of marketing work to do the Fringe book launch and some exciting fiction work as well. I also have several non-fiction assignments and of course, the 'Things That Turned Up' section always seems to hold loads of surprises and work more and more each month.
Colin 11:01 am


Congrats on your GDR Review! You have been working so hard, obviously, and it really seems to be paying off!

Add a comment