Today Is A Gift

Today is a giftFebruary 29 – the extra day to bring us back into line – the day that the leap year is all about. I remember an episode of Frasier where he looks at it as an extra day gifted to us, so we should all do something different and exciting, that we’ve always wanted to do in order to celebrate it.

So, I decided to do this also. But what?

I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland, but wasn’t really practical today. Nor was an Arctic cruise, a few weeks on an African safari, or a trip from west coast U.S.A., to the East.

I’ve always wanted to feel what it is like to fly unaided, or to have a six pack and pecs, but they’re all fantasies. As is spending the night with Gwyneth Paltrow, Abi Titmuss, and Diane Keaton – all at once.

I’ve always wanted to have a night out with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., but that’s not going to happen. And as for going out drinking with the members of Madness, well, it’s been done already.

So what then? What could I possibly do today to mark the occasion of being gifted an extra day?

As it turned out, nothing.

Friday Joke #1 – A man walks into a Glasgow library and says to the librarian, “Can I have a fish supper and a can of Irn Bru, please?” The librarian looks up and says, “This is a fucking library, you twat.” So the guy leans over the counter and whispers, “Can I have a fish supper and a can of Irn Bru, please?”

Onto today’s tasks. Send out a batch of emails, wrote the blog out, worked on the Viagogo articles, prepared a cover letter for the What A Waste submission and sent it off to the Playwrights’ Studio. Also sent out this month’s invoices and prepared a crit for a friend. Good day’s work.

Friday Joke #2 – A man walks into a Glasgow library and says to the librarian, “Excuse me Miss, do ye huv any books on suicide?” The librarian looks up and says, “Fuck off! Ye’ll no bring it back!”

 Monthly GDR Review

* Complete final draft (pre-beta) of Slick (G1,G2,D1,D2) – Not complete, but steady as she goes. Prepared questions for meeting grave digger and copper.
* Write two new short stories (G1,G2) – Two new stories laid out. Still to write.

* Query freelance gigs 25/mth (7/25 pitched – Total=28) (G7,G9) – less than hoped, but jobs on-going and in-coming keeping me busy.
* Write weekly SDR articles (5*,12x,19*,26*) (G5,G7,G9) – complete though missed one.
* Start writing Scotland’s Treasure column for SDR Spring edition (Apr) – Swan Lake (complete) Comedy show (Mar 10) Need a gig to review (G5,G7,G9)
* Write at least four new weekly articles for DWT (6/4 done) (G5,G7,G9) – complete.
* Keep on top of article assignments from TLB (G5,G7,G9) – 6 Drug Rehab articles complete and published. 3 Viagogo assigned on 28th will come under March invoice.
* Keep chasing work from non-advertised sources (G5,G7,G9) – Took on work through website promotion. Need to do more locally.
* Set up and wrote articles for Six Nations Rugby Spotlight at

* Re-brand CG Freelance to Compass Freelance – invoices, images, letterheads done (G5,G7,G9) – complete.
* Fax software – Check out alternatives (G5,G7,G9) – not sure I’ll need this but have it there if I do. Complete.
* Printers – Check out wireless/photo quality/fast (G5,G7,G9) – not done.
* Prepare cuttings and print off as PDF (G5,G7,G9) – not done.
* Create SOR contract (G5,G7,G9) – not done.
* Create PDF file with skills and examples (G5,G7,G9) – not done.
* Try and find suitable small accounts package (G5,G7,G9) – Evaluating Quicken
* Finalise standard freelance contract – complete.
* Finalise standard rate card – complete.

* Make progress with client (1 interactive, 1 catering) (G5, G7,G9) – Visited client for talks and info gathering. Left CDs for analysis. Payment issue and logon with hosting company still exists.

* Begin writing Silly Poems for Wee People Vol.2 (PSH FFA E-book) (G4,G5) – not started.
* Map out and begin writing Poems for Pints (G4,G5) – remit changed to Leith only.

* Submit one-act play, What A Waste, to local theatre company. – Proofed and printed. Submitted to FUSE; Playwrights’ Studio Scotland.

* Complete RR issue 2 (G6) – Complete.
* Start laying out of RR issue 3 (G6) – Filling up fast.
* Sort out RR archival copyright issue – Complete.

Marketing and Promotion
* Publish February newsletter (G5) – Complete.
* Prepare March newsletter (G5) – Complete.
* Keep website up to date (G5,G8,G9) – New About Me page.
* Advertise winter book offer on internet every 3 days on MySpace/BBS etc. (G5,G8,G9) – complete.
* Promote RR more heavily online every 3 days on MySpace/BBS etc. (G6) – complete.

Reading and Research
* Continue reading, absorbing, and applying The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman (G7) – IP.
* Read Novel Writing – 16 Steps to Success by Evan Marshall (G1,G2,G3,D1,D2) – not started.
* Read One Day in the Life Of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – IP.
* New book added to list: 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published & 14 Reasons Why It Just Might (Penguin 2005) by Pat Walsh.
* Beta-read of friend’s novel manuscript – complete.

* Continue diet (6/28lbs lost as at 8/2/08) (R1) – Acceptable for first two months.
* Tidy the garden – In progress.
* Stage 1 Italian Lessons – not started yet – can’t find the time.

Things That Turned Up
* Became an assistant organiser at my writers’ group
* Upgraded Freedom blog to WordPress 2.3.3

Submissions Made
4; Regrets, Amanda and Joe, and A Point of View (2x)

* Freelance work coming in thick and fast.
* Got through a lot of important work this month.
* Working well with new editor at TLB, and learning a lot from him.

* A Point of View rejected by Toasted Cheese and Stride (latter within 40 mins!!)
* Grammar problems in TLB drug rehab articles that I missed. Need to ensure QA process is tightly followed and improved upon.

Fiction – 310 (net edits)
Non-Fiction – 36720
Poetry – 0

Outstanding Submissions
The Quill 1
Glimmer Train 3
Drunken Boat 1
Sniplits 1
1097 1
Rumble 1
Wheelhouse Mag 1
Rose and Thorn 1
Roundtable Rev 1

GDR Monthly Health Summary

How did I move outside my comfort zone this month?
I took on freelance work in new areas needing research, and that are totally new to me.

How did I think big/challenge myself?
Purely the amount of work I have taken on is providing me with enough challenges.

What did I do to minimise costs?
Nothing in particular.

What did I do to maximise output?
Wrote and wrote and wrote!

What did I do to maximise visibility?
Stuck with and continued marketing plan and stuck to it for book deals and RR.

About Colin Galbraith

Thriller author, music fan, St Mirren fan, fluff chucker, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannoli.
This entry was posted in Editorial Comment, Freelance, Travel, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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