Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Poetry Progress and August GDR

Knackered, but enjoying all the hard work. That's how I can sum up this week so far. If I could look into the crystal ball one week, I know the chances of me being twice as tired next week are pretty good. I'd give them evens, in fact. Gail is leaving on Saturday to fly to the Greek island of Kos for a week with her friend. Not bad for some, I hear you ask, and you'd be right, for I am stuck at home as the weather slides towards autumn.

Luckily, I'll have Laura to look after me. Don't laugh, because that's how it will probably be. She'll try and take advantage and more than likely get away with it, too. She'll drag out the last five minutes before bed, and hope that I am writing and forget about her still watching the TV ay 10.30pm. She'll laugh as I forget to pack her sandwiches for lunch and she'll make sure I don't forget about the Pizza Hut delivery and movie I promised her.

I'm missing Gail already.

Didn't achieve much before work or over lunch. Spent some time building my review for August's GDR, (which is bloody awesome this month!!), that you can find below. Made a few updates to the website to include a bigger Scruffy Dog Review promotional area. I'll upload this soon. The new issue is due out tomorrow - go check it out - it's a fab one this month:

The Scruffy Dog Review

I called my mother in the evening. Told her I was sorry for all the shit I'd put her through during the last 30-odd years. After she stopped laughing she asked, why, and I told her about the story I had written and of the weird set of emotions I felt as it came to its conclusion. Apparently I'm not "all that bad," which I suppose helps.

I made good progress with the poems for Poolside Poetry. Most of them are nearing the final stages of polishing, but quite a few are still in need of some major reconstruction if they are to be good enough for the book. I reckon, all things considered I could be looking at a January/February release date, but that will also depend on how NaNoWriMo goes and the availability of a photographer. Sarah - if you're reading - get in touch.

And so to August's GDR Review.

* Type up and complete Wide Awake
- not done
* Continue with Hunting Jack
submissions - will allow to run out. HJ not complete by 30/40k.
* Continue with Stella
submissions - catch-up email sent to Yello to see if they want to be involved.
* Complete editing A Friend To Die For
to point where left off [read/edited to end of ch.17 (30740/40000 words)] - nothing done
* Give A Friend To Die For
a better title (if one comes up - already got few ideas)
* Keep on top of submissions list - submitted some poetry and one short story. Still waiting on the rest.
* No new submissions made

* Work on new chapbook, Poolside Poetry
- WIP. No date set due to being busy - don't want to rush it.
* 5 poems submitted to the Poetry Super Highway

* Work on Scotland's Treasure
for September column - Fringe review complete (900 words)
* No new submissions

Marketing and Promotion
* Full effort made to promote Fringe Fantastic
at the Fringe - Worked the streets during Fringe (Press releases/postering/leafleting/networking/selling)
* Complete cross-promotion with Fife B&B for Fringe Fantastic
- books waiting to be sent out
* Keep website up to date - complete
* Follow up on PR received - pending. Will combine with new PR from the Fringe

Reading and Research
* Finish reading Catch-22
by Joseph Heller – WIP
* Bought and read Elements of Style by EB White
* Re-read all of Rick Lupert's chapbooks
* Re-read Hidden Capacity by Frances Macaulay Forde
* Re-read Pilgrim Heart by Brooks Carver

Other Projects
* Stay on top of editorial work for TSDR - done
* Work on ARS Anthology - Need to contact writers who said yes, but no sub made. No work done this month.

Things That Turned Up
* Two of the street performers in my book bought a copy of FF
* Networked with street performers and other writers at Fringe and Book Festivals
* Attended six author/publishing events at the Book Festival
* Attended performance poetry workshop at the Book Festival
* New short story written based on DE's TSDR blog exercises. Regrets
* Piece of flash fiction written called Spawning
(200) based on DE's TSDR blog exercises
* Outlined novel synopsis for Slick
- NaNoWriMo effort in November (900)
* Started writing short story, Amanda & Joe
for third of DE's TSDR Blog exercises (900)

* Met a lot of great people and made contacts this month through the festivals
* Gained bag loads of confidence through networking and Book Festival workshop
* Gained bag loads of knowledge about writing and the business at the book Festival
* Had a lot of fun promoting my book
* Wrote a lot of fiction, much of it in 1st person
* Realised just what I need to do to sell my book - perform my poetry live

* Never sold as many books as I thought I might. Bloody hard work!!

Fiction - 3,700
Non-Fiction - 15,100
Poetry - 0

Outstanding Submissions

3am Magazine 1
Barcelona Review 1
The Portable Muse 2
This Is It 1

Forward Press 2

Interactive Dad 2

Stella still with
4 publishers
Hunting Jack
still with 6 agents

I don't think I need say much about this past month (from 10th August). When I landed back in the country from my summer holiday in Cyprus on the 9th, I knew it was going to be busy and I also predicted I would get little done in the way of new writing, as opposed to promotional work. Ok, so I still need to be writing more fiction every month as far as word counts go, but still, it was always felt August would be a slow month.

How wrong I was.

Not only did I have a wonderful time meeting new people, interacting with other writers and promoting my work, I also embarked on a new confidence-fuelled journey of fiction. I have lots of exciting projects that I am working on; short stories, novel planning and so on, but on the poetry front things have taken a giant leap. Attending a Performance Poetry workshop at the Book Festival has given me an educational boost in writing verse, but it has also given me a massive boost in my confidence, both in my own abilities as a writer, but also in the place I have within the writing community.

Ok, so I didn't sell many books, but all that has happened this month far outweighs that in the short term. And in the long term, I know will prove invaluable when it comes to pitching them. I actually feel like a writer and that is an achievement in itself. I have reached a place - pushed there by my own self-determination - and although it was scary and wobbly, I came through it a better person and a better writer.

This has been the best month, as a writer, I think I have ever had.
Colin 11:21 pm


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