Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Saturday, August 12, 2006

July's GDR

I was up early today despite the slight effects of a mini-hangover. Last night we were at a 50th Wedding Anniversary Dinner Dance for one of Gail's Aunts. We had a nice meal followed by a ceilidh (not my favourite form of dancing) and caught up with many of Gail's family. Gail comes from a VERY large family. Her mother was 1 of 9 which means she has numerous cousins and aunts, making it very confusing when an outsider like me enters the family and tries to remember all the names and things I should say/not say, do and not do.

Naturally I floundered on several occasions, so I spent most of the night with Ben, boyfriend to one of Gail's cousins and a kindred spirit when it comes to these types of evenings. We sank a couple of bottles of wine and a few beers to move the night on and talked about this and that.

Anyway, the night ended and I knew I was already getting up early because Milly, Laura's Guinea Pig, is not well. I found her in the garden this afternoon bleeding from her bottom. I called the vet who said to take her off vegetables and make sure she is taking plenty of dried food and water.

By this morning, there was no bleeding and she had cleaned all the blood from her coat. She was behaving normally and eating well so we decided to give her time to see if she can recover on her own. She's well into her adult life but we don't want to lose her yet. I'll keep a close eye on her and any reoccurrence or changes in behaviour and I'm whipping her in to see the vet.

When I was on holiday I couldn't help worrying the about animals, the rabbits in particular. It's quoite ridiculous how fond I've grown of them. I even had a nightmare that the rabbits had eaten each other and that I returned to find two rotting corpses in the hutch. Thankfully, when we got home they were fine, as was everyone else including the fish.

Mind you, Ian went overboard with the rabbits. They will eat constantly if you let them and it can be misleading when each time a bowl of food is put their way, they scramble to it and wolf it all down. You need to monitor and ration all their food but I think Ian let them get under his skin when I discovered he had fed them 6 weeks worth of food in the fortnight we were away. Mopsy and Pippin are both looking on the tubby side and so I'll have to cut back for a few weeks and give them exercise to get them back to their proper weight, but do so without harming them.

I spent a lot of the day catching up on correspondence (electronic and paper), organising my office and preparing the press releases for the new wave of promotion. I need to get to the printers first thing on Monday after a small alteration to the current leaflet and then it's out and about to promote. Tuesday I have off so Laura will be coming with me. Should be fun.

I booked my wedding anniversary celebration for this Wednesday (meal and show) but for obvious reasons I won't be revealing those details just yet as they are a surprise for my wife.

I then remembered I had still to wrap up July's GDR and prepare August's. So here goes!

* Write a new short story - done - first draft penned in book - Wide Awake (3k)
* Begin agent query process for Hunting Jack - listed Scottish agents. Letters, synopses and Lit CV done. 11 Scots agents approached.
* Continue publisher query process for Stella - listed more publishers to approach
* Begin writing A Friend To Die For where left off - read/edited to end of ch.17 (30740/40000 words)
* Give A Friend To Die For a better title - not done
* Keep on top of submissions list - done
* Work out ideas for Hunting Jack sequel - WIP. Came up with another idea for NaNoWriMo.


* First read in public of Love Is at sister's wedding - complete. Not happy with the speed I read it though.
* Write any poems that come to mind - circa 70 on holiday in Cyprus.


* Work on Scotland's Treasure for September column - Hope to visit Van Gogh show in Edinburgh and some kind of a Fringe review.
* Write story/article for Being Dad Anthology - not done. Can now bin this as book complete.

Marketing and Promotion

* Step up marketing and promotion of Fringe Fantastic for this years Fringe - Letters to ed's and new fliers complete
* New round of press releases for Fringe Fantastic with this years Fringe in mind - ready to go
* Keep website up to date - done
* Follow up on PR received - WIP

Reading and Research

* Release Tall Tales and Short Stories Vol.2 into the wild - not done
* Re-read A Friend to Die For - WIP
* Finish reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - WIP

Other Projects

* Stay on top of editorial work for TSDR - done. 2 stories outstanding
* Work on ARS Anthology - Nothing done. Still need to contact writers who said yes, but no sub made

Things That Turned Up

* Excellent feedback from my crit partner for Stella. Re-write complete and on submission.
* Had idea of cross-promoting with Fife B&B and Fringe Fantastic. Accepted - details being worked out.
* New book penned on holiday in Cyprus. Chapbook to be called Poolside Poetry and Other Tales of Cyprus
* Read Oracle Night (Auster), Death Is Not The End (Rankin) and The Outsider (Camus) - again - while on holiday.

1 partial request for Hunting Jack. Subsequently rejected though.


One Story rejected Loaded and What a Waste, 4/7/06
Stella rejected 1x. No address 1x.
Hunting Jack rejected 2x. Non trading x1.
1 partial request for Stella from Neil Miller Publications (Black Cat Books) - not being followed up due to charging policies


Fiction - 3,000
Non-Fiction - 12,800
Poetry - 5,000

Outstanding Submissions

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

Forward Press 2

Stella - 8 sent, 1 partial, 3 rejected, 4 waiting
Hunting Jack - 11 sent, 1 partial, 4 rejected, 6 waiting


Despite the early finish to the month in front of my PC I was happy with the amount I got through, both on the editing front and new writing. The idea for the new chapbook made my holiday more enjoyable and allowed me to keep in touch with the writer inside me. A new challenge to go alongside the Fringe was most welcome. August is going to be mega-busy but I feel refreshed after my holiday and having read another Auster novel. I always feel so much better about my efforts when I read his work.
Colin 3:27 pm


Hi Just dropped in to say hello and to wish you luck in the New Year with your writing...
You have amazing Blog


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