Merry Christmas and December GDR Wrap-Up

Merry Christmas and December GDR Wrap-Up
Image: Smiling Pug

Well here we are again – Christmas Eve. Does it seem like a year since the last one? No – nor does it seem like twelve months ago I was wrapping up my 2007 GDR before the holidays. But it is, and here I am; older, but no wiser.

I struggled to know what to write about today, not because my vocabulary sack is running low, but because – – em – – see what I mean?

The weather wasn’t bad for Christmas Eve; no rain, not much wind, but cold – typical Scottish weather, really. Only once can I vaguely remember there being a white Christmas and that was when I was quite small, which leads me to think I may have imagined it. But there is something in the darkest recess of my mind, perhaps a year when I got a bike from Santa or something similar, that meant I couldn’t go out on it for the snow on the ground, and later on, when I went with my Dad to collect my Gran for the Christmas meal, there was snow by the side of the road. Could just be me, though. My Mum would be able to verify.

My childhood memories of Christmas are fond. Yeah, the whole Santa thing was great, but the memories that stick out for me more than anything else are the ones involving the family; small and meaningless to most, but mean a lot to me.

An example would be reading the latest Oor Wullie annual while my Grandparents sat about drinking sherry, or getting over excited at the Christmas meal – all day in fact (even now) – and ending up in trouble with Mum. A great memory is getting up on Christmas morning and going through to wake up my sisters. We’d laugh and carry on until the waiting became too much and we just had to go through to our parent’s room to wake them up. My Dad would make us wait there while he went down to switch on the Christmas tree lights and “check that Santa had been”. Great stuff, and I do the exact same thing with Laura now. Some traditions can’t be let go of.

The memories being made now are all very different. Now, I’m a Dad and the whole Christmas shebang means something else. Gifts don’t mean much to me. I don’t mean that in a bad way – I like giving them out and I sure like getting them – but I’d give that bit all up if I could go back and have another Christmas with all my Grandparents there. To help my Rhodes Gran in through the door one more time, or watch my Gran and Papa’s wee brown Toledo tottering down the road as they left after their visit, are all memories one wishes had paid more attention to at the time. Those people are all gone now, and so Christmas is a time, for me anyway, when I like to think about them and the others in my family or circle of friends who aren’t here any longer.

And of course, tomorrow will see my niece, Charlotte, spend her first Christmas with the family; a memory that thankfully I’m old enough to cherish as it’s made, and not twenty years later.

Right now I’m about to sit down to a lovely roast beef dinner with all the trimmings with the family and a friend who would otherwise be sat in a cold flat in Leith on her own. The wine will soon be open, talk will flow, and then before we know it the time for hanging up stockings and yelling up the chimney to Santa will be here again. As I said earlier, some traditions just aren’t for stopping.

Before I go I’d like to wish everyone that reads this blog, my associates, advertisers, and all those who pop in by accident looking for something else post-Google search, a very Merry Christmas.

Love to all … see you on Monday for my final and full 2008 Goals, Dreams and Resolutions Review. Meantime, here’s December’s wrap-up.

 Monthly GDR Review

Fiction
* Write to 75% complete of Blood Ties (G1,G2,D1,D2) – not written to 75%, but edited and developed from the start before continuing on, to ensure consistency and character integrity.
* Submit new batch short stories (G1,G2,D1,D2) – complete.
* Re-submit rejected/recalled short stories (G1,G2,D1,D2) – complete; all short stories now out on submission.

Freelance/Non-Fiction
Writing:
* Query freelance gigs 31/mth (31/31 pitched – Total=120) (G7,G9) – complete.
* Complete Scotland’s Treasure column for SDR Winter edition (Jan) (G5,G7,G9) – complete; due to publish Jan ’09.
* Remain flexible for any TLB assignments that come through – one batch of five in and completed on time.
* Prepare for new client’s work portfolio – 1st draft sent in; second (and final) drafted and sent for feedback. If negative, ditching client.

Web:
* Updates to photography site pending – no changes this month. Removing until there is.
* Millburn House updates – mostly done; one small fix left and alignment problem only showing up on their PC. Waiting for more info.

Business:
* Keep company accounts up to date – complete.
* Continue work amalgamating web design and freelance writing sites to compassfreelance.co.uk – IP; several more pages added; need more content and search engine.
* Send out all invioces – complete.

Poetry
* Nothing planned or written.

Editing/Publishing
* Stay on top of RR submissions (G6) – complete.
* Launch RR issue 5 (G6) – complete.
* Start laying out RR issue 6 (G6) – complete; laid out as much as acceptances can allow.

Marketing and Promotion
* Revamp newsletter for 2009 (G5) – complete.
* Publish December newsletter (G5) – complete.
* Prepare January newsletter (G5) – complete.
* Publish December GDR Plan – complete.
* Publish December GDR Review – complete.
* Publish 2008 GDR Final Review – complete unless late news comes in.
* Prepare 2009 GDR Full Plan – complete pending addition of 1 more resolution.
* Prepare January GDR Plan – complete.
* Keep website(s) up to date (G5,G8,G9) – complete; new dates added for 2009.

Reading & Learning
* On-the-job research and reading for writing of Blood TiesIP, but not a lot. Most will come after.
* Closed Doors by Ian Rankin – IP.

Non-Writing
* Final month of diet (15/28lbs lost as at 15/9/08) (R1) – final weigh-in due 27th.

Things That Turned Up
* Asked to record poem written last year for MIS (Madness): Turning the Page.

Submissions Made
The English Teacher 1/12 & 21/12
Regrets 14/12
A Bond of Faith 21/12
What a Waste 21/12
Citizens Arrest 21/12
Whisky Snatching 21/12
Water of Leith 21/12, 23/12
The Big Taff Affair 23/12

Successes
* Completing the 2008 Inkthinker Query Challenge: 120 queries in a single year.
* Clearing the work slate and developing new plan for 2009.

Failures
Trespass Magazine rejection 14/12
East of the Web rejection 14/12
Stride Magazine rejection 21/12 (same day as sub again!!)

Statistics
Fiction – 0
Non-Fiction – 12,500
Poetry – 0

Outstanding Submissions
Novels
Slick with 3 agents & 1 publisher
Hunting Jack with 1 publisher

Novellas
Stella with 1 publisher

Fiction
Wheelhouse 1
Saint Ann’s Review 1
Virtual Tales 1
Contrary Magazine 1
Drunken Boat 1
Inscribed 1
Lyrical Ballads 1
GUD 1
Roundtable Review 1
The Beat 1
One Story 1
Toasted Cheese 1
Neon 1

GDR Monthly Health Summary

How did I move outside my comfort zone this month?
See 2009 GDR Full Review (publishes on the 29th December)

How did I think big/challenge myself?
See 2009 GDR Full Review (publishes on the 29th December)

Do I feel this was a good month towards meeting my 2008 GDR Plan?
See 2009 GDR Full Review (publishes on the 29th December)

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About Colin Galbraith

Keen runner, thriller author, Madness fan, Mets fan, St Mirren fan/owner, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannolis & espressos. #LFGM
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