July GDR Review

It’s that time of the month again: the literary dabs, if you will. (I suspect only Scottish readers will get that poor gag). Before I go into my losses and achievements for July, here’s something to make anyone who has to sit in the office of a corporate maze smile, as we slide every gleefully towards the weekend:

Dilbert

Despite British Gas owner, Centrica, making £5m per day in profits, they cheerfully announced gas bills are to rise by an astonishing 35% with immediate effect, to restore “reasonable profitability”. I don’t know about anyone else, but this credit crunch hasn’t really been affecting me much, or at least I haven’t felt it anywhere, except in the area of energy. For the last couple of years our gas bills have been rocketing to the point where I’ve been forced into preserving energy just so I can stay within budget. Which hasn’t happened on several occasions.

But how much can one family do? With the price of gas what it is, about the only thing people can do in order to see some of their money stay in the bank as opposed going to these greedy arseholes, is to rip out your boiler and gas connection and go solar! I’m certainly considering it. Or perhaps I’ll just leave the country.

I caught up on a lot of outstanding tasks today, including a huge backlog of reading in my email. I got some good work done Greener is the Grass, though I had to stop when we popped out to visit more friends with another new arrival. For the third time in two weeks I held a new born baby in my arms. Her name was Ruby, and she has a big brother called Charlie who is 3 ½ to parents Sarah and Rob.

I completed the Bulgaria property website for my client, which he will go through tomorrow. All things being good I’ll send out the invoice for the balance. He’s already talking about more work to come on the project, which at this time of freelance work vacuum is most welcome.

And I made my list of lucky agents who will be targeted for the first round of Slick query letters.

An important bit of news just before I get into my July GDR Review. It concerns my friend and fellow scribe, Devon Ellington: she has a new book out tomorrow called Hex Breaker. Here’s the banner advert so you can check it out in advance. More on this tomorrow when I have the book in my possession and can talk more about it.

Hex Breaker by Devon Ellington – click to purchase

 Monthly GDR Review

Fiction
* Complete final draft of Slick (if not completed in June) (G1,G2,D1,D2) – final draft completed start of July!
* Write up Slick synopsis and query letter (G1,G2,D1,D2) – query complete; synopsis IP.
* List up suitable agents and prepare to submit Slick (G1,G2,D1,D2) – Complete.
* Start A Friend to Die For novel (G1,G2,D1,D2) – scrapped for newly inspired Rhodes novel that developed while on holiday. Got to go with the stronger pull.
* Write new novel: Greener is the Grass (Working title) (G1,G2,D1,D2) – IP.
* Begin editing and reworking of Hunting Jack (G1,G2,D1,D2) – IP; drive for this came with specific market in mind.

Freelance/Non-Fiction
Writing:
* Query freelance gigs 12/mth (2/25 pitched – Total=59) (G7,G9) – Couple of average gigs pitched; one large one being prepared with a full package.
* Stay alert for work opportunities that may come through from TLB (G5,G7,G9) – marketing op suggested; not sure about it though. Assignments slow in the summer.

Business:
* Select suitable URL for Compass Freelance and form new company website (G7,G9) – still outstanding. Not enough free cash to invest atm.
* Evaluate Quicken as a suitable small accounts package (not urgent) – not done; no time.
* Keep company accounts up to date – done. Chased outstanding invoice.

Web:
* Complete Edinburgh property website – complete. Ready to request invoice balance be paid.
* Complete Bulgarian property website – complete. Ready to request invoice balance be paid.

Poetry
* Write poems while away in Rhodes (G4,G5) – wrote 2 poems; formed new novel(la) with working title of Greener is the Grass.
* Continue writing Rome chapbook idea (G4,G5) – no work done.
* Continue writing Amsterdam chapbook (G4,G5) – no work done.

Playwriting
* Nothing planned

Editing
* Stay on top of RR submissions (G6) – quite a lot of subs in, but no reading time dedicated this month.
* Complete layout of RR issue 4 (G6) – nothing done on issue 4 yet.

Marketing and Promotion
* Publish July newsletter (G5) – completed late.
* Prepare August newsletter (G5) – Complete.
* Prepare July GDR Review – Complete.
* Prepare August GDR Plan – Complete.
* Keep website(s) up to date (G5,G8,G9) – done, though not a lot of news happening just now.
* Set up book sites on rest of social media sites (MySpace, Facebook, Bebo) (G6) – Done for Bebo; scrapped for rest since networking going well through social–>mysites–>books. Bebo has dedicated book section.
* Send out SOR sales letter and emails to Edinburgh and Leith businesses – Letters and emails prepared. Need to target businesses and contact.

Reading and Research
* Continue reading, absorbing, and applying The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman (G7,G9) – IP.
* The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – Complete.
* The Bridge by Iain Banks – Complete.
* Black & Blue by Ian Rankin – IP.
* Laidlaw by William McIlvanney – IP.

Non-Writing
* Continue diet (18/28lbs lost as at 1/7/08) (R1)
Things That Turned Up
* New novel idea formed and begun while in Rhodes called Greener is the Grass.
* William McIlvanney called me at my hoose!
Submissions Made
None
Successes
* Completing Slick is the big one for this month.
Failures
Loch Raven Review rejected Whisky Snatching
Statistics
Fiction – 5,900
Non-Fiction – 9,500
Poetry – 200
Outstanding Submissions
Fiction:
The Quill 1
Cause and Effect 1
Zygote in my Coffee 1
Wheelhouse Mag 1
Drunken Boat 1
Saint Ann’s Review 1
Sniplits 1
1097 1
East of the Web 1
GDR Monthly Health Summary
How did I move outside my comfort zone this month?
Since I was abroad on my annual holiday, this was effectively a 2-week month for me. As a result, I never really moved out of my zone at all, although I have laid the foundations for this to happen in August with approaches made to businesses for SOR, the Book Festival, my writing group, etc.
How did I think big/challenge myself?
Nothing really applicable this month with it being so quiet. July is all about the calm before the storm.
Do I feel this was a good month towards meeting my 2008 GDR Plan?
Definitely. Completing Slick and starting a new novel(la) goes a long way to achieving my major GDRs.

Greener is the Grass (Writing)
Greener is the Grass (Writing)

Hunting Jack (Editing)
Hunting Jack (Editing)


PLEASE DONATE – For full details of my Abseil off the Forth Rail Bridge in October for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, please go here:
https://rzss.workwithus.org/Fundraising/Donate.aspx?page=4212


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About Colin Galbraith

Thriller author, music fan, St Mirren fan, fluff chucker, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannoli.
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