Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Headswell of Ideas

I woke up feeling tired, but like I had earned the sleep after a lot of hard work. And I have been working hard, but enjoying every minute of it. Then when I staggered to my office and turned on my PC (purely by habit) to check my email I got a lovely little surprise.

For some time now I've been participating in surveys run by The Scotsman. You know the kind of thing; you fill out a form and are then elegible to win 50 quid of Amazon vouchers or something in a random draw.

I didn't think anyone won these things, but it turns out they do. Because this time, it's ME!

I have no idea what survey it was, but a lovely lady from the paper had emailed me to say I had won and could I confirm my postal address. Here's what prize is on it's way to Chez Galbraith:

The Scotsman/Orange Prize Anthology 2006

Various authors including Janice Galloway,Duncan McLean, Brian McCabe ISBN 1904598838

Well-known names and talented new writers are all to be found in this volume of the very best entries to Britain's biggest and most prestigious short story competition - The Scotsman and Orange Short Story Award. Entrants were given a single word - work - to trigger the imagination.

Twenty of the best stories from the competition sit alongside specially commissioned stories from Janice Galloway, Duncan McLean and Brian McCabe. Last year's winner of the £7,500 first prize was Kirstin Zhang with her story, The Enemy Within, a subtle, multi-layered story about the deceptions that affect an Indonesian worker's life. Over one thousand entries were received in 2005.


And now for something completely different.

As most of you probably know, I used to write for Before its untimely collapse it was a serial fiction provider, and it was through this medium that my novel, Hunting Jack, came to be born.

I have also mentioned my recent epiphany regarding this work of fiction, where I have come to realise it is being circa 40k words short, despite it being on the submission cycle.

Now, it occurred to me last night that as I have decided to leave Hunting Jack alone for a while - possibly about a year - I could reinsert it into the serial fiction market. Virtual Tales (set up by ex-KIC authors), approached me a while back to see if I wanted to join them and they seem like the obvious choice.

I'm still unsure, though. It's all there waiting to go; the blurbs, the issues (almost a years worth), the artwork, so maybe I should let it go out to work for me while I let the characters rest in my head. I wouldn't have to do any work for it - just promote it. Then, when a year of the issues is up, I could go back to it and complete the remaining story with a fresh mind.

But I'm not sure if this is a cop-out, either to me or the story. I feel like it might be a good thing to do, for the CV and for the exposure it would give me. But then, promoting takes up a lot of time and I'm worried about the long-term problems it might cause when it does come time to begin "novelising" the final part. It just feels a little weird after having worked to move it away from the serial format.

I think, maybe, when I came across the Virtual Tales website, it was possibly the idea of writing another serial that appeals. I love the "not knowing where I'm going" aspect of the writing, the adventure the characters took me on and the excitment of the deadlines. So maybe I do want to do another one, but it's just that Hunting Jack might be the wrong choice.

This won't be a quick decision. I think I'll sleep on it more.

I've been in correspondence with a wonderful woman called Frances Macaulay Forde. She hails from Perth, Western Australia, and not only is she a wonderful poet and author in her own right, she is also the first official owner of a copy of Fringe Fantastic on that particular continent.

Frances mentioned the impending start of the WA Spring Poetry Festival and National Poetry Week, where she will also be reading some of her poems. She suggested I come over next year for the festival, as they usually have a number of Irish and UK poets over to stay at the FAWWA's accommodation close to Cottesloe Beach.

How do they get there? By way of a writing grant, which allows them to attend the festival and promote poetry through readings etc.

Sounds interesting, and maybe something to think about! Check out Frances's her website at:

I made a few changes to Regrets and made a few submissions in the evening. Five poems to The Poetry Super Highway, and an interview request to someone I met at the book festival recently for The Scruffy Dog Review.

It was a reasonable hour when I went to bed. But I couldn't sleep for ideas buzzing around in my head. I ended up getting up just after midnight and sitting in the lounge with a glass of milk and the TV on low.

I wrote down notes for more changes I need to make in Regrets,and more importantly, I wrote several pages of a synopsis for the novel I intend to write for NaNoWriMo.

The basis is the story is sound and I think I can make it a thrilling crime novel out of it. But one never knows what can happen during the writing of a novel.

Earlier, I re-registered on the NaNoWriMo website (I'd tried it before but failed drastically), set up my profile and joined the Scottish Lounge discussion lists. Hopefully there will writers from Edinburgh taking part who might want to get together. Fingers crossed.
Colin 10:41 am


Definitely go to Australia. They love writers -- attending the Adelaide Fringe with my play was one of the best, but most exhausting experiences of my life, in a totally different way than Edinburgh is exhausting.

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