Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Small World

Finished reading Lifeless by Mark Billingham. I thought it was an excellent read; superb twist and management of a complicated set of characters, loved the way he intertwined the 1991 Iraq War into the present day, and I particularly liked the way he approached the homeless issue in London. This made me feel a connection with Hunting Jack, though Billingham gave it more of a community feel, whereas I approached it more from the solitary angle.

Started reading Ian Rankin's first novel, The Flood. Written about 20 years ago well before Rebus was on the scene. First impression - very different.

Applied for 4 new freelance gigs.

Worked a lot on Poolside Poetry. I edited and re-edited all the poems, polishing and re-organising, re-reading and standing back. Finally got them all to a high standard and began the task of inserting them into the final manuscript.

I'm using the format of FF but with different fonts etc. It means I don't have to re-format the entire document, which is what took up most of the time to produce FF last year.

The problem is with 68 poems, one has to decide on what order to put them in. Obviously the poems relating the going and coming home form the beginning and end, but you also have to be aware of the mix in between. There is an overall story to be told and it has to be told in a funny way but make sense at the same time. There is no point just chucking the poems in randomly - that won't work - so this, to me, is the hardest part of laying out a chapbook, and the one area that I can never seem to decide to a stage I'm happy with.

All that is left now though, is to write the acknowledgements and notes to the text (don't think they will be needed though), as well as the preface and the cover photography. I want to get the book out before December but that may come down to getting the cover organised and the time it takes to get the draft copy sent out.

Forgot to mention a programme I watched on Sunday night. The South Bank Show featured Melvynn Bragg in interview with Irvine Welsh. It showed him walking about Leith and talking inside the Leith Dockers Club with acted inserts portraying his new novel, Bedroom Secrets of the Masterchefs.

Obviously, seeing the streets of Leith on the TV was exciting, but listening to Welsh talk was as interesting as it was curious. He was very open and came across as very intelligent and articulate, despite the fact his expression hardly ever changes. Clearly, he has thought far more about the work he is producing, loves what he does and totally changed my opinion of him as a writer.

Before seeing it, I feared he was relying too much on the drugs culture and reliable characters to see him through, but hearing him justify his reasons for it all and why this latest novel is again set in Leith, I found his argument flawless. Couldn't argue at all and found it all very inspiring.

I've become more and more inspired by Leith and Edinburgh, and as a result have this nagging feeling that whatever I write will be compared to other Edinburgh writers. I might be seen as copying in some form by using the same geographical muse. Hearing Welsh talk about it gave me renewed confidence in this particular issue.

The highlight of the programme was the revelation that Welsh wrote Trainspotting in a flat only a hundred yards from my old Leith flat, and only half a mile from where I now live.

October's GDR Plan

* Complete as much pre-research and synopsis for NaNoWriMo novel, Slick

* Continue with TSDR short story exercises
* Take a look at Stella
to see if revisions should be made
* Re-write On A Monday Morning
* Finish typing up Wide Awake and make edits
* Follow up on Stella submissions
* Follow up on Hunting Jack submissions
* Submit Water of Leith
* Keep on top of submissions list

* Work on new book, Poolside Poetry
* Write more poetry
* Keep checking listings for performance poetry nights

* Complete work on Scotland's Treasure for November column - Blockheads gig reviewed. Van Gogh exhibition?
* Plan and begin work on January's Scotland's Treasure column
* Interview Scottish poet for TSDR
* Continue actively seeking work in specific markets
* Continue looking for freelance gigs, but not for during November

Marketing and Promotion
* Prepare new press release for NaNoWriMo
* Create new standard Fringe Fantastic leaflet and poster
* Re-analyse promotion of FF based on new information gained at Book Festival
* Complete cross-promotion with Fife B&B for Fringe Fantastic
* Keep website up to date
* Follow up on PR received

Reading and Research
* Read more poetry
* Read more fiction - completed reading Lifeless by Mark Billingham. Reading The Flood by Ian Rankin

Other Projects
* Stay on top of editorial work for TSDR
* Work on ARS Anthology - send out emails as no work will be done on this in November
Colin 11:52 am


Add a comment