As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve rethought and realigned some of my goals for this year. I’ve made the adjustments necessary, and now, I announce them here:
Adjusted Goals for 2009
1-Have a major piece of fiction accepted for publication. (Done; STELLA)
2-Complete and submit one fully drafted novel or novella.
3-Write one new novel or novella
4-Write one new poem per week
5-Write one new short/flash story per month
6-Publish a new chapbook
7-Increase my freelance earnings by 50% (Canned earlier in year)
8-Become 100% debt-free
I’ve only changed three goals, the main differences being in the fiction department. By trying to complete all I had before, I was only leaving myself open to having more and more of a back log, and to producing fiction that is not up to the standard I know I can achieve, and therefore, publishable.
Numbers 2 and 3 used to reads thus:
2-Complete and submit two fully drafted novels (Gatecrash, Blood Ties) and one novella (Greener is the Grass).
3- Write one new novel and one new novella (dependent on completing Goal 2)
In other words, after BACCARA BURNING, which will complete goal 3, I will concentrate on focussing on each of the novels and novellas I have in draft, getting them completed, and submitted one at a time. I’ve been trying to work on them all at once. It may be I do manage to complete them by the end of the year but there is no pressure now to do so.
After work I headed up into the centre of town and met up with Laura. She’s reading Coraline just now, so I took her to see Neil Gaiman at the Edinburgh Book Festival.
Gaiman altered the standard order of events. After being introduced by a very nervous young lady—who could blame her, the place was packed to the rafters—Gaiman came to the stage alone and stood before us. He read from his new novel, The Graveyard Book, in a reading that lasted 40 minutes, Normally we get 15 or 20 minute readings, followed by discussion and a Q&A, but Gaiman read the entire chapter 5 for his audience.
Personally, I would rather it had been shorter because while I enjoy his work, it was him I had wanted to hear speak. I wanted to hear more about his writing and his ideas and how his brain works, but as it was, we only got three questions answered before time was up.
Gaiman’s signing queue was the longest I’ve ever seen (other than Jacqueline Wilson’s), and when we left the book fest it was already wrapped round the entirety of the Square. Three and a half hours later and back home, I checked Gaiman’s Twitter (@neilhimself), and saw he was still signing and that they had to move him to another tent! What a stalwart!!
Today, though, is all about one man. If all my book festival events had been cancelled, the one today is the only one I would have been upset about. I’m going to see William McIlvanney, and hopefully I’ll get a word with him about his long lost family I helped reunite him with. I have no idea if he is doing a signing (he’s 73-years old) or if he is even planning on staying on after his event, but if I can grab a quick word it will make my year.
McIlvanney is also a terrific speaker and immensely inspiring, I expect to walk out of his event, which is being recorded for the BBC radio I believe, ready to write the great Scottish novel!
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