Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Monday, June 05, 2006

I'm Back (with May's GDR Review)

I realise my unannounced absence from cyberworld may have caused some of you some unexpected symptoms of withdrawal, sporadically interrupted with bouts of sickness and runny stool water. Take one day off the blogging, and the rest follow very swiftly. Apologies for any discomfort caused.

I've been busy. The first day of my absence - Last Wednesday - was planned. I was out all day with Mikey P and Craig as we toured the bar taps of Auld Reekie. Thursday was a scheduled day off and Friday was the first of my unscheduled days off, when I had to take time away from the office to look after Laura.

During this time I got little done on the way of writing. I had planned to, but being the caring dad I am I resorted to keeping the little one amused. By Saturday she was still poorly but it was such a gloriously hot day we donned sun tan lotion (yes - it was a scorcher) and we sat out all day in the garden. Day turned into evening and eventually we dragged ourselves back inside the house.

Sunday wasn't quite so hot, but still humid enough to be able to sit out back again. I worked on the garden making it spick and span for Gail's brother and his family when they visited later in the afternoon.

And so to today. I completed the second read-through of my friend's manuscript and am now putting the response together. I finally got down to reviewing last month's GDR but I feel like I have been away from the PC for ages. My PC was hardly on at all over the past few days and while I was too busy to miss it, I'm aware of a loss in momentum.

Here's May's GDR Round-Up.

* Complete Stella - done
* Complete second redraft of Hunting Jack (Edited upto and including Chapter 30 - 72,750 words)
* Complete new chapter of Hunting Jack - WIP
* Write a new short story - not done
* Keep on top of submissions list - done

* Write poem for reading at my sister's wedding in July - WIP (Love Is)
* Write any poems that come to mind inspirationally - 2 new kids poems written

* Commence work on Scotland's Treasure for July column - WIP
* Write story/article for Being Dad Anthology - not done
* Write four weekly blog entries for TSDR - taken a back seat with this

Marketing and Promotion
* Step up marketing and promotion of Fringe Fantastic for this years Fringe - done
* Keep website up to date - done
* Follow up on PR received still to be actioned - not done

Reading and Research
* Release Tall Tales and Short Stories Vol.2 into the wild - not done
* Finish reading friends novel WIP and prepare crit - almost done
* Prepare for Extra HJ research - work completed

Other Projects
* Stay on top of editorial work for TSDR - done

Things That Turned Up
* Prepared and distributed PR for Silly Poems e-book
* Kicked off idea for an anthology with everyone in my writing group. Have taken on editorial responsibility for it.
* Re-wrote and submitted Daffodils to This Is It Mag, themed issue.

* My poem National Portrait (from Fringe Fantastic) was read out at a Scottish Festival in Tennessee by the band Albannach, who the poem is about.

Espresso Fiction rejected Heart of a Child, Daffodils and On A Monday Morning

Fiction - 3,600 (half in edit, half in new chapter)
Non-Fiction - 14,000
Poetry - 200

Outstanding Submissions

Insidious Reflections 1
Writing Magazine 1
3am Magazine 1
Barcelona Review 1
The Portable Muse 2
This Is It 1
One Story 2
Adirondack Review 1

It was a superb month. Ok, so the word count was slightly down but that was predictable given that all of my efforts were put solidly and squarely into the editing and reworking of Hunting Jack from serial to novel. It's working well. The break from the characters has done me a lot of good, allowed me to see them in a fresh and enlightening way.

The emphasising of what the story is about has triggered more research and a whole new chapter. This new chapter has led to a rippling effect that has reached out to the farthest edges of the story. A net total of 1800 new words during the first 30 chapter edits and a further 1800 on the new chapter, which still a work-in-progress by May's end. I'm very pleased.

Elsewhere I completed the final draft on Stella linking everything together to a most satisfactory state and hopefully giving it enough mystery and suspense right to the last line. I really couldn't care if this sells or not, it was a labour of love and something I wanted to do for years.

I squeezed out a couple of more kids poems. Too late for the e-book but who knows how far away volume 2 is. No new short stories written although plenty of ideas have been forthcoming. I really have dedicated all my time to Hunting Jack and once it is complete I sense I will feel as accomplished after I did after writing it for the serial. It has changed a lot sine then, the writing has improved and the characters more defined, flawed and humorous.

And that's about it. May was all about fiction, which was my goal. So from that point of view I have met everything I aimed for. All I need to do now is put Hunting Jack to bed and begin on my other projects.

Colin 11:18 am


What a great month! And yes, I had some serious "Mundane" withdrawals! Glad you're back.

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