|Image: Jesse Bikman|
As the title says, I’m back but not for long. I think I’m just about ready for a break.
My weekend away turned into a bit of a nightmare. Just as things had started off so well after travelling down to Newcastle on Thursday evening, when we arrived in Blackpool, the weekend was turned on its head when we arrived to discover our favourite bars were all closed up. We battled on through extremely hot and sunny conditions, and had a good first day.
On Saturday morning I awoke with what I assumed was just a hangover. I fought through it and we had another great day, though I started to feel somewhat sickish by the end of it. By Sunday morning the realisation of what was happening to me had revealed itself. Our sunshine drinking over the two days had left me with a severe dose of heat stroke.
I was constantly vomiting, my skin was burning yet I was shivering cold, my head was sore, and all I wanted to do was sleep. We cancelled the rest of the trip and I headed back home one day early, and was delighted to see my bed at 4pm on Sunday afternoon. I never awoke again until 7pm on Monday night.
I spent most of Tuesday morning in bed, and only got up to go and see Laura’s P7 school show in the afternoon. It was exhausting and I still felt quite woozy and very dehydrated. I took the family out for dinner to celebrate Laura coming to the end of her primary school career, which was the first proper thing I’d had to eat since Saturday morning.
Yesterday I was back through in Glasgow for my Aunt Rita’s funeral. Rita, my mother’s sister, died last Sunday and was cremated in a small service for family and friends at Glasgow’s Linn Crematorium. It was the first time I’d seen either of my cousins, William and Rhodes, for several years, and while it was good to catch up and swap mobile numbers, it was heartbreaking to see them mourn for their mother only two years after their father had passed.
It was also the first time in a long time I had been with my mum, dad, and two sisters, so we went for a family meal in the Clockwork Orange Pub on Glasgow’s south side. Removing the circumstances of our gathering, it was a pleasant and enjoyable evening on one of the most humid nights I ever remember their being in Glasgow.
In summary, it’s not been an easy few days. I’m on holiday next week and to be honest, it can’t come quick enough now. Here’s my June GDR Wrap-Up.
* Complete writing Baccara Burning – not complete but good progress in a busy month
* Complete 3rd draft of Greener is the Grass – never got started
* Write two new flash/short stories – done
* Re-submit any all rejected/recalled short stories – partially done
* Enter a couple of writing/poetry competitions – done
* Write at least one poem per week (0/4 – 28/52 overall) – not done
* Decide on chapbook to go with and kick project off – done
* Stay on top of RR submissions – not done
* Start preparing RR issue 8 for September – not done
* Complete amalgamation of web design and freelance writing sites – did some work on this; moving in right direction now but not top priority.
* Complete transfer and updates for B&B client – done
Marketing and Promotion
* Publish June newsletter – done
* Prepare July newsletter – done
* Prepare June GDR Review – done
* Prepare July GDR Plan – done
* Keep website(s) up to date – done; lots of updates with Stella release
* Stella Marketing Plan (book reviews, etc.) – done; extremely busy with this!
* Eternal Press Launch Day on 7th June – tiring! seems to have been a success; got lots of extras and spin-offs out of it
* Stella Blog Tour – seemed to be a great success; got lots of extras and spin-offs out of it
* Bring Podcast ideas to life – no time to do, but ideas drafted
* Bring YouTube ideas to life – no time to do, but ideas drafted
* Record MIS sound bites – not done
Reading & Learning
* The Butt by Will Self – IP
* Dixie Dust Rumors by Devon Ellington – IP
* Sisters in Time by Ginger Simspon – IP
* Decide on holiday reading for July – Auster, Camus, McIlvanney
* Keep diet going (-4/14lbs as at 17/3/09) – no idea where I am with this at the moment but feeling ok
Things That Turned Up
* Got several offers of interview and book reviews about Stella out of other promos
* Covered another gig for NotW
* The English Teacher to Enigma Mag
* Middle Age to Poetry Rivals (comp)
Slick – two publishers
Several short stories out on sub
Although slow this month due to other important factors, the work I have done on Baccara Burning was good. The main central event that this month was about was the release and promo tour for Stella, which seems to have gone very well.
Could still have done more. I budgeted a lot of time for promo, but at the end of it al I could always have done more and the writing was what suffered. Often hard to know where the tipping point is.