Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

January's GDR Review

Edinburgh weather always seems to be more extreme in January and February. By lunchtime today the temperature outside had peaked at -1 and what with the breeze in the air, it felt like -10. When I left for work today at 7am, I had to keep moving purely to prevent my knee caps from freezing to my femur.

Getting to work at 7.30am is good for building up flexitime. What it isn't good for is your back or the fact that by half past three you are totally knackered. Having to read Terms of References for four year-old projects only contrives to put one to sleep.

Alcohol, nicotine, coffee and perhaps the odd Class A drug is what most people in here seem to turn to in order to break up the day's monotony.

Travelling home, it seemed even colder than it was on the way in because of the wind that had picked up. It felt like my trousers weren't even on, such was the cold biting gusts that blew against the material on my thighs. As I waited for the bus, my eyeballs stung as the thin layer of moisture instantly froze to ice. My ears felt hollow, as each gust of wind blew into the canals of my inner ear and froze my balancing fluid.

It was altogether very uncomfortable. But get home I did, and I was thankful for it.

On now with looking back at January's writing ups and downs, as I know I cannot put it off forever.

January's GDR Review

* Query What A Waste to more target markets (BBC R4, paying mags) - subbed to GlimmerTrain Press
* Work on Stella - nothing done
* Complete first refradft of Hunting Jack - 76/81 issues re-read and edited
* Keep on top of submissions list - 5 new subs this month. Some responses (all rejections)

* Write poems as the moment takes - no poems written

* Write story/article for Being Dad Anthology - still pending
* Write four weekly blog entries for TSDR - done
* Write Robert Burns article for Circadian Poems. Deadline 15/01/06 - published 24/25 Jan (2500 words)
* Write and submit another step-dad article for Interactive Dad - not done

Marketing and Promotion
* Continue marketing and promotion of Fringe Fantastic (see s/sheet for details) - always ongoing. Mostly leaflet distribution and card design.
* Chase up FF review/intervew requests - decided to wait until Feb before chasing up
* Print bookmarks (need photopaper) - done. Also using cards as substitutes
* Keep website up to date - done

Reading and Research
* Release Tall Tales and Short Stories Vol.2 into the wild - not done
* Read from my 'waiting to be read' pile - not read anything this month except from papers/mags/trade
* Research The Cold War - not done

Other Projects
* Stay on top of editorial work for TSDR - done. Planned out March issue of Scotland's Treasure

Things That Turned Up
* Started new blog for my fishes! (Colly's Fishes)

* Launch of The Scruffy Dog Review, which included my Ian Rankin feature interview, the first of my Scotland's Treasure columns and a book review for Irvine Welsh's Porno.
* Circadian Poems published Robert Burns article over two days (22/23 Jan)

* Big Ugly Review rejected Heart of a Child 2/1
* On A Monday Morning failed in bid to win WM May 2005 Competition
* Open Wide Magazine rejected Loaded on 23/1

Fiction - 0
Non-Fiction (inc. Blogs) - 21,460
Poetry - 0

Outstanding Submissions
Short Stories:

The Edge (1)
Writing Magazine (1)
The Portable Muse (1)
Glimmer Train (3)
Thirteen Magazine (1)
One Story (1)
Wildchild (2)
Summerset Review (1)
Adirondack Review (1)
Fringe Magazine (1)
Gorlan Publications (1)

Not the best month I ever had. In fact, one of the worst. Coming back from holiday over the New Year period left me flagging in what can only be described as a vacuum. I was motivated; I did have ideas; I just couldn't find the inclination to sit down and write anything new.

I used my blog and work I was already committed to, to get my pen moving. Then I dug out Hunting Jack and started re-reading it and editing it. I'm taking it issue by issue before I push it all together into a novel and divide it into chapters. Then the hard work will start.

Slowly I have managed to pull myself out of this suspended frame of mind. I've had to draw myself towards the light and try to get back to where I was before Christmas came along. I was on such a roll leading towards the end of last year when it all came to a shuddering halt on Boxing Day.

Part of it may be I do not know what to expect of this year after what was, relatively speaking, a successful year for me last year. Maybe I've set the bar to a level that frightens me, but I need to use this to get to the next level. Just like Donkey Kong.

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Colin 11:53 am


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