We got back from Rome in the early hours of last Thursday morning after a few wonderful days in the Italian capital. I’ll go into the details of the trip starting with tomorrow’s post (including pictures from my new digital camera), as there are a few formalities I need to get through first.
I was quoted recently in an article by Devon Ellington about the problem with characters that just won’t behave. You can read this fascinating article in the current issue of Vision.
My latest weekly SDR article went up on Tuesday while I was away – check it out at The Dog Blog.
Speaking of the Dog Blog, the spring issue of the Scruffy Dog Review is still available for reading. Click the link to read.
Both my current web clients are active but quiet – the holiday season is upon us. No work has come through from any of the gigs I have applied for last month, or from my regular clients. It’s a quiet and scary time.
I’m about to publish the third issue of the Ranfurly Review. There were a few minor edits to make over the weekend, so you can expect to see it out on the “shelves” tomorrow sometime.
While away in Rome I came up with more than enough material for a new chapbook. The book (untitled) is being worked on just now and will be in line with my previous works, in that it will be published in paperback. No idea of a timeline yet for this, so keep your eyes peeled.
I decided to halt work on Love Hurts – for now. I thought about it long and hard, and basically it came down to a gut feeling of it not being the right thing for me to work on just now. It’s not right in that I don’t think I could do it justice, and it’s not right because my head can’t get round not being able to reason with the thinking that stopped it in the first place.
Simply put, there are stronger stories pulling me just now, and writing another Jackie McCann novel just for the sake of it won’t satisfy me creatively, nor do any book I write about him justice.
My immediate concerns are to publish my May GDR Review (see below), and reorganise my workload for the next month and to the end of the year. I need to reprioritise; spring clean my GDR’s just like I did with my work space in the house earlier in the house.
* Begin writing Love Hurts (Hunting Jack sequel) (G1,G2,G3) – abandoned (for now).
* Complete final draft of Slick (G1,G2,D1,D2) – still in progress.
* Write up Slick synopsis, query letter, and blurb (G1,G2,D1,D2) – blurb done; the rest not.
* List up suitable agents and prepare to submit Slick (G1,G2,D1,D2) – not done.
* Write two new short stories that are planned out (G2,G5) – not done.
* Write Love Hurts one-sentence summary (G1,G2,D1,D2) – done.
* Write Love Hurts character sheets (G1,G2,D1,D2) – done.
* Write Gatecrash one sentence summary (G1,G2,D1,D2) – done.
* Query freelance gigs 25/mth (10/25 pitched – Total=44) (G7,G9) – pitched for a few gigs this month, several of which quite juicy. No responses as yet.
* Write weekly SDR articles (G5,G7,G9) – all four weekly columns met despite being away travelling.
* Develop ideas for Scotland’s Treasure column for SDR Summer edition (Jul) (G5,G7,G9) – nothing developed yet, though at time of writing a couple of events have presented themselves.
* Write at least four new weekly articles for DWT (2/4) (G5,G7,G9) – dropped by editor for financial reasons. Looks as though this line of employment is now dead given recent PR comms from the editor.
* Keep on top of article assignments from TLB (G5,G7,G9) – nothing in pipeline. All quiet on the freelancing front.
* Chase work from non-advertised and networked sources (G5,G7,G9) – doing best I can. Seems to be a lull in the market. Need to localise this strategy even more.
* Finish re-branding of CG Freelance to Compass Freelance (website and advertising) (G5,G7,G9) – not done. Finger requires to be pulled.
* Select suitable URL for Compass Freelance and form new company website (G7,G9) – not done. Finger requires to be pulled.
* Prepare cuttings and print off as PDF (G7,G9) – not done. Finger requires to be pulled.
* Create PDF file with skills and examples (G7,G9) – not done. Finger requires to be pulled.
* Create SOR contract (G7,G9) – not done. Finger requires to be pulled.
* Evaluate Quicken as a suitable small accounts package – not done. Finger requires to be pulled.
* Printers – Check out wireless/photo quality/fast (G7,G9) – not done. Finger requires to be pulled.
* May invoices to TLB and DWT – DWT done 15/5 for completed articles in bank. TLB nothing to invoice.
* Keep company accounts up to date – kept accurate and split between web/writing income.
* Send contracts to TLB – done.
* Update TLB Invoice template with new guidelines – done.
* Update contract, pricing, and quote docs for web clients – done.
* Develop and build new website for another Edinburgh photography business (G5,G7,G9) – meeting held and awaiting signed contract and deposit before commencing.
* Complete Silly Poems for Wee People Vol.2 (PSH FFA E-book) (G4,G5) – not done.
* Look at combining SP2 with SP1 and publishing as chapbook (G4,G5,G8) – not done.
* Start writing Poems for Pints (G4,G5,G8) – not done.
* Develop Amsterdam chapbook idea (G4,G5) – not done.
* Develop Bus Stop chapbook idea (G4,G5) – In progress.
* Nothing planned
* Stay on top of RR submissions (G6) – In progress.
* Complete feature for RR issue 3 (G6) – Done.
* Complete layout of RR issue 3 (G6) – Done.
Marketing and Promotion
* Publish May newsletter (G5) – done.
* Prepare June newsletter (G5) – done.
* Publish May GDR Review – done.
* Create June GDR Plan – done.
* Keep website(s) up to date (G5,G8,G9) – done.
* Create RR website on Facebook, Bebo (all others like MySpace) (G5,G6) – not done.
* Create personal website on Facebook, Bebo (all others like MySpace) (G5) – not done.
* Promote RR online every 7 days on MySpace/Facebook/Bebo/BBS (G6) – not done.
* Promote link exchanges for RR (G6) – not done.
* Update CV and press kit with quotes and new images, then make into PDF’s and zip (G5,G7,G8,G9) – done.
Reading and Research
* Continue reading, absorbing, and applying The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman (G7,G9) – In progress.
* Finish The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster – Done (Loved it).
* Read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – In progress.
* Finish reading Hunting Jack and taking continuity/character notes (G3) – Still in progress as regarded as worthwhile exercise.
* Continue diet (16/28lbs lost as at 19/4/08) (R1) – done, few slip-ups.
* Finish the garden – done.
* Begin Stage 1 Italian Lessons – Started.
* Start Galbraith Family Tree project – not started.
Things That Turned Up
* Took on a new web client for two property websites
* New non-chapbook poem written (Rain Without Clouds)
* Boat loads of poetry written while in Rome
* On a Monday Morning published in Static Movement magazine.
* Amount of poetry inspiration and writing
* DWT pulled my column for financial reasons. Found out all other hired writers dropped too.
* TLB has no work coming through at all just now.
* Had to type “Not Done” too many times in this month’s review.
Fiction – 0
Non-Fiction – 23060
Poetry – 200
The Quill 1
Cause and Effect 1
Slow Trains 1
Wheelhouse Mag 1
Drunken Boat 1
Saint Ann’s Review 1
Loch Raven Review 1
GDR Monthly Health Summary
How did I move outside my comfort zone this month?
I never. I spent so much of this month looking to cover the loss of the freelance writing work and worrying over what to do with Love Hurts, I seem to have lost control of my workload and focus entirely.
It’s not been a good month in any respect, other than the publication of my short story, On a Monday Morning.
How did I think big/challenge myself?
I never. Most disappointing end to the month.
Do I feel this was a good month towards meeting my 2008 GDR Plan?
No. June has to be a corker in so many ways – the bar must be raised as it seems to have fallen off the posts.