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Happy New Year everybody!
It’s great to be back blogging again. My new year break is one time of the year when my blogging is at its lowest because I down tools completely to spend time with my family and friends. So as far as socialising and partying goes, it’s been quite a fortnight.
Christmas was very pleasant indeed. We got up on Christmas morning and shared our gifts. I got lots of clothes this year (jumpers, socks, knickers, all that garb), a few CDs (Mogwai, Caravan, Dananananakroyd), lots of sweets (almost all gone), music and book vouchers, the complete box set of One Foot in the Grave (wife trying to tell me something), and a Make Your Own Morph set.
We went to my mother-in-law’s for our traditional Chrismas day, stopping off on the way to visit the memorial garden where my father-in-law has his ashes stored. We paid our respects, which was quire emotional with it being our first Christmas Day without Ian.
Carol excelled herself for the meal, by the end of which, I was stuffed. I could definitely consider myself well fed!
Boxing Day, and we had Carol and my own parents over for dinner. That turned into quite a raucous occasion with plenty booze involved and a lot of hilarity.
The days in between Christmas and Hogmanay were relaxing and easy. I spent time out and about in Edinburgh, getting SLICK ready for publication on January 2nd, watching Christmas films, and getting ready to head up north for a few days in the Trossachs with all my friends and their families.
We arrived on the 30th, which has traditionally become the big party night. There were 18 of us in the cabin that night, which saw a lot of booze drunk and a lot of laughter and nonsense. Great fun and a few headaches the next day!
Hogmanay was slower but the celebration started earlier. There were fewer of us this time, but we still managed to get through a fair whack of bevy, as well as a large steak pie dinner with trimmings and two desserts. The Bells came and we celebrated with fireworks and more drinks, not getting to bed until 5am.
We left late on New Years Day and headed back to Edinburgh to yet another party. This one is a traditional gathering of Gail’s family, with the emphasis being on the females. I always seem to find myself shunted into the kitchen with a bottle alongside all the other men, which actually suits us fine because we can hear ourselves talk in there and we’re nearer the bar!
That’s about it really. I’m slowly getting myself back into a “normal” routine, but with another week before I got back to work, I’m allowing myself much more relaxation than I would normally get at this time of year.
That said, I have a lot to do this month, which brings me nearly onto my work wrap-up for December. I’ll post my January plan of work later on today.
* Complete tidy up of SLICK and prepare final ebook formats – complete
* Final edits on BACCARA BURNING with beta-readers’ critiques – complete
* Submit BACCARA BURNING to publisher – complete
* Start work on polishing GATECRASH – IP; ongoing
* Submit and recycle short fiction returns – not done
* Complete LIVING LEITH manuscript – complete
* Submit LIVING LEITH to Leith publisher – complete
* Complete preparation of SILLY POEMS FOR WEE PEOPLE – complete; published in paperback only; Kindle edition minus illustrations to follow
* Publish SILLY POEMS FOR WEE PEOPLE – complete
* Start work on LONDON chapbook for spring release – IP; ongoing
* Continue writing coffee shop poetry book – IP; revised and ongoing
* Publish RR December (issue 17-December ‘11) – complete
* Prepare RR March (issue 18-March ‘12) – IP; interview lined up
* Keep up with subs for issue 19 (June ’12) – not started
* Visit to the SKY Project (6th) – complete
* Development work on GGP Boudoir website – no decisions made by client
* Development work on Driving School website – client still choosing pics
* Gig reviews: Shed Seven (2nd) and Mogwai (22nd) – complete
Marketing / Networking
* Promote Chas Stramash poetry books – complete
- Assemble Soundcloud readings for LIVING LEITH – held off as subbed to Leith-based publisher
- Make video readings for LIVING LEITH as tasters – held off as subbed to Leith-based publisher
- Assemble Soundcloud readings for SILLY POEMS FOR WEE PEOPLE – complete
- Make videos readings of poems for SILLY POEMS FOR WEE PEOPLE – not started
- Update http://www.chasstramash.com for SILLY POEMS FOR WEE PEOPLE – complete
- Advertise SILLY POEMS FOR WEE PEOPLE – complete
* Promote pending release of SLICK and 3 EBOOK DEAL – complete
- Send out advance copies to reviewers – IP
- Seek out blog tour appearances – not started
- Prepare website for launch – complete
- Prepare and issue press releases – IP
* Send out December newsletter – complete
* Distribute QR Codes and TXT advert placement – complete
* Lit Salon on 27th – wasn’t on
Reading / Learning
* AROMABINGO by David Gaffney – IP
* THE FRY CHRONICLES by Stephen Fry – read
* NIGHTCRAWLER by Diane Parkin – IP
* PAYING FOR IT by Tony Black
* ENGLISH SLACKER by Chris Morton
* THE WHITE ROAD by Tania Hershman
Things That Turned Up
Nothing out of the blue showed up last month. There was a plan, I stuck to it, and for the most part it went very well.
Submissions Activity Summary
New poetry submission: LIVING LEITH to Edinburgh publisher.
New novella submission: BACCARA BURNING to paranormal publisher.
* My evening at The SKY Project was a huge success, both as much for me as I think it was for the kids and the project itself. It was a great night, and if I managed to help in any way with the kids and in helping boost the profile of the project, then it will have been worth it in its entirety.
* Volume! I got through a lot, which given it was the holiday month is quite an achievement. I submitted two new manuscripts to publishers (poetry and fiction) and got SLICK ready for publication prior to leaving for my new year break.
I’m probably being a perfectionist, but I was hoping to get a full set of ticks down the to-do list. However, I can’t in any way be hard on myself given the busy month that has just passed.