Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Monday, July 03, 2006

Falling Down

I was totally shattered after my weekend of exertions. Happy, but shattered. There's going to be no rest either, because I have to go through to Glasgow this week for my contact lens check-up and then it's up north for my sister's wedding at the weekend.

The July issue of The Scruffy Dog Review has been published. In it you can find some wonderful poetry and fiction, the fantastic column, The Literary Athlete by Devon Ellington and of course my regular column, Scotland's Treasure, this month featuring reviews of the Fizzers Exhibition at the national Portrait Gallery, Rik Mayall's return to stage as Alan B'Stard and a mention about open top bus tours in the Capital.

I collected my first rejection for Stella by email. Piper's Ash said that although they publish lots of short novels, 16k is just too short but I should keep them in mind for longer pieces. Onwards and upwards.

I began work on A Friend To Die For, hereafter known as AFTDF. After a quick scan of the chapters I think it still holds up. It is very fast moving and the characters are still vividly strong in my mind - some more than others.

Not surprisingly, I suppose, is that the writing is pretty poor. I began work on this back in October 2003. It is the biggest measure available to me that reflects how much I have come these last two and a half years.

There are so many mistakes in grammar, structure and the difference in my writing voice is quite incredible. At times it was like reading someone else's work!

I read up to chapter 3 and made changes to the more obvious mistakes as I went. When I get to the end point - if it feels right to do it - I'll keep writing and finish the book. The other option is to lay the book out on paper and restructure it if necessary. We shall see when we get there.

I worked through both my writer's manuals this evening, listing other possible places for Stella to be submitted and for agents to start submitting Hunting Jack to. Out of the extensive list of literary agents in the UK, only a handful are based in Scotland. I happen to know there is more than that in reality, so I'm surprised they aren't listed in the Writer's and Artist's Yearbook.

I'll get letters and synopses prepared tomorrow and get the first batch of Hunting Jack pitches sent off to the Scottish agents before the end of the week.

Preparationa for my sister's wedding appear to be building to a coordinated conclusion. Everything seems to be in place yet all the women are getting strung out over hats, shoes and all the other stuff that women seem to worry about at these occasions.

So far as our own preparations go, I think we've got it all covered. Travel arrangements, presents, hotel bookings, Laura's clothes (she's bridesmaid no.2), my kilt and Gail's outfit. But nothing can go this smoothly surely - not with a Galbraith wedding.

And so it transpired that this evening, while out checking the rabbits and guinea pig were all going to be fine for the night, I met with an accident.

I was on my way to refill Milly's water bottle when I put my right foot forward. It met with the step leading to the conservatory, but not as fully as it should have. My ankle buckled and to compensate for the weight imbalance I fell forward and landed had on my left wrist and knee.

I'm sure I heard someone yelp in pain. Couldn't have been me, though, 'cause I'm a hard Scottish bastard by the way!

I rolled onto my arse and sat up as the shock from actually falling gave way to the pain throbbing in my knee and ankle. It was bloody sore.

Gail, of course, missed the whole thing while talking on the phone. When I limped back into the house, the words, "You're a pillock," rang in my ears. I admit I probably am, but I could have done with some tender loving care from Nurse Galbraith to make me feel 100% fit again.

It wasn't to be and when I retired for the evening I wiped the blood from my knee and contemplated the wedding pictures from this coming weekend; my prominent scabby knee showing from under my kilt and me having to limp around the dance floor thanks to a dicky ankle.

I may take Wednesday night off the snooker to give my ankle the best chance of recovery.

Here's July's GDR Plan.

* Write a new short story
* Begin agent query process for Hunting Jack
* Continue publisher query process for Stella
* Begin writing A Friend To Die For where left off
* Give A Friend To Die For a better title
* Keep on top of submissions list
* Work out general ideas for Hunting Jack sequel

* First read in public of Love Is at sister's wedding
* Write any poems that come to mind

* Work on Scotland's Treasure for September column
* Write story/article for Being Dad Anthology

Marketing and Promotion
* Step up marketing and promotion of Fringe Fantastic for this years Fringe
* New round of press releases for Fringe Fantastic with this years Fringe in mind
* Keep website up to date
* Follow up on PR received

Reading and Research
* Release Tall Tales and Short Stories Vol.2 into the wild
* Re-read A Friend to Die For - (print off for hols?)
* Finish reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Other Projects
* Stay on top of editorial work for TSDR - done. 2 stories outstanding
* Gather submissions and work on ARS Anthology - done. Need to contact writers who said yes, but no sub made
Colin 3:09 pm


Many agents don't fill out the form to be included in the handbooks, because they already get so many submissions.
Hey, Colin, long time no see! So sorry about your knee. Hope you have a wonderful time at the wedding. Pretty cool that you are wearing a kilt. Will check back again soon.

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