Jan. 15th, 2011 04:19 pm
naomi_jay: (gothy butterfly)
Night and Chaos, that is. I've been through the manuscript with a fine tooth comb and am convinced it's as good as it can be. I've messed around with the cover a bit more and think it's better - certainly I think it'll stand up against other covers out there - although ideally I'd still like to replace it with some professional art in the future. *deep breath* Which means the next step is formatting it and uploading it to the Kindle. Wow, that scares me a bit actually. I'm still worried about the cliffhanger and people hating it and feeling cheated out of the entire series. I'm going to make it as clear as I can that it's part one of three, but you just don't know how people will react to things. 

Anyway, thanks to everyone who gave feedback on both the story and my cover art attempts! Hopefully before very much longer, it'll be up on Amazon and I can see if this indie thing is all it's cracked up to be *chews nails*
naomi_jay: (apple)
But good and insightful, so thank you, Whipped Cream Reviews.

Thank you too, to everyone who offered hugs and cheer yesterday. I want to hash things out in my head before I start blogging about them (and heaven knows people get enough emo blogs from me anyway), but I am okay. Nothing bad has happened; I'm just struggling with some work-and-writing issues at the moment, and it's making me a bit dark and neurotic. And I can't comfort myself with chocolate right now, which isn't helping, lol.

But normal service will resume shortly, I'm sure.
naomi_jay: (halo girl)
 ... It's to know when I'm beaten. And as far as BAD DOGS goes, I'm beaten. I thought I'd figured out my problems with this book, but it turns out I haven't. Simply put, my heart is just not in it. So I'm scrapping it completely and moving onto the idea my heart is in. The plot I was originally saving for a potential fourth book in the Urban Wolf series will now be book two. BAD DOGS is dead, and BLOOD HUNT lives in it's place. Ta da!

1791 / 70000 words. 3% done!

I'm annoyed at how much time I've wasted, and I hope that I will be able to write BAD DOGS eventually, because there are elements to the plot I love. But right now I just can't do it. I don't know why and I don't want to waste more time examining the matter. Luckily for me, writing BLOOD HUNT now instead of later in the series won't affect any of the overarcing plots, and writing BAD DOGS later won't either. So Ayla and Shannon are going to Paris and I get to write about sewer monsters (OR ARE THEY???) instead of court cases, which frankly appeals to me a lot more right now.

On the plus side, I wrapped up all the loose ends with Demonised, and it's now out on submission. So that's at least one thing achieved this weekend. And my boss is back at work tomorrow so I can beg her for some time off asap before I go stark raving mad.
naomi_jay: (ana cruz cassie)
 So, I've got this story I want to write. It's a YA about a girl called Cassandra, repressed memories, some Satanic ritual abuse, and a whole shedload of angst. I've had it floating around my head for a while now - well, years, actually, but I kinda feel it's become a bit more solid recently, and I'm ready to actually write it.

I just can't decide on my hero. See, this is going to be an urban fantasy with great fat lashings of occultism, but I don't know yet how far I'm going to take the devil-worship aspect of it. As is, are there going to be actual demons at work here? If yes, I'd love to bring a fallen angel in If no, then my first choice for hero is a mysterious psychic, because mysterious psychic  = win! But fallen angel = win! too, so... I don't know. Quite possibly I'll just make it all up on the fly and end up having no angels or psychics and making the hero a mutant lizard from the sewers instead.
naomi_jay: (cliff red woman)
*I'm sure I've used that as a blog title before.

Anyway. My arm freaking hurts. I was really good all weekend, doing nothing more strenuous than lifting a wine glass and the occasional piece of chocolate to my mouth. I may have been online yesterday, but I swear I did all my surfing one-handed. And despite this I am in a world of pain today. I feel really fuzzy-headed with it. Clearly I have not yet recovered from the Wild marathon last week, and thus will not be getting back to work on Demonised tonight. Or indeed, for the rest of the week.

I've yet to discover anything that really, completely gets rid of the pain. I have exercises, as provided by the physiotherapist I saw last year, and I have various work-break programmes on my computer, wrist braces, balms, gels, creams, and pain killers. But none of it works for long. I know that. The therapist told me this was not a curable problem, only a manageable one. That doesn't stop me being frustrated! Because it's not just typing or writing that's the problem; it's lifting, carrying, having a bag on my shoulder, reaching out to hand things to people, sitting with my arms crossed, sitting with my arm straight out, standing with my arm at my side, etc etc... Basically everything I do hurts. I don't do anything that doesn't involve my right arm, except possible wangst about how much it hurts.

Ugh. I hate how much I whine about this.

I'm leaving work early today, since there's somebody here to cover the desk, and planning an evening of little-to-no movement. Hopefully tomorrow it'll be better. Le sigh.
naomi_jay: (looks like lizzie)
A pretty big opportunity has come my way. I don't want to say much because it's all very much a long shot, but it means I need to whip Wild into shape, fast. For those who don't follow my obsessions religiously (you should, I'm fascinating), Wild is my epic tale of heroin addiction and werewolves in Liverpool. Or rather, it is now. Back in 2007 when I started writing it, it was an epic tale of heroin addiction and werewolves in America. I finished the first draft sometime in late '07/early '08, I think. It was a particulary difficult book to write because A) it's one of these gritty labours of love that breaks you in half and B) I was with The Ninja at the time, who you might remember as the clingy boyfriend who refused to believe I'd broken up with him and started hanging around my house in the middle of the night talking about the Mafia. Being with him was not conduicive to writing. At all.

So, once I'd finished the first draft (finally! After all the blood, sweat, and tears it bloody took), I emailed it, full of hope, to my now Ex-Agent. She was... lukewarm about it. Liked the writing, thought the plot was lacking. So I immediately began ripping the plot apart, throwing in some werewolf gang warfare and LSD-abuse for good measure. Then I grew incredibly disenchanted with my agent, my writing, and myself, decided I hated Wild and everything to do with it and never wanted to look at it again. So I wrote the first half of AFTERLIFE instead and pushed my junkie werewolves to one side.

And then I got my writers' group to look at it. They suggested I move the story to Liverpool and keep trying with it. So I started rewriting it again, got half way through, decided I hated it, everything to do with it and never wanted to look at it again, again. Then I finished writing AFTERLIFE, left my agent, decided my writing career was over anyway and seriously contemplated never writing anything ever again.

Then in 2009 some other stuff happened, like WOLF STRAP selling to QueeredFiction, and them contracting me for SILVER KISS and its sequels, and AFTERLIFE selling to Damnation Books, and suddenly I was feeling like, man! I'm not going to let Wild beat me! It may be the literary equivalent of a puddle of vomit that makes my headache just to think of it, but seriously! I'm going to damn well finish that book.

And then I didn't because some other stuff happened.

And then something else happened. Something I can't go into details about, but something with potential. Nothing I want to put too much hope in, but something that's sent me back to Wild like a ... I don't know, demented writing junkie masochist of some kind. Because I need to finish rewriting this book and making it as good as it can possibly be. This is always a problem for me - I never believe anything I do is good enough, but with Wild I want to try and do the story and characters justice. And I want to do it before next Monday.

I've got roughly 100 pages to go. Half the book is still set in America rather than Liverpool, and the first half of the plot has nothing to do with the second. One character is called Grady for 200 pages and Lennon for the next 100 or so. One character is a witch for the first twenty chapters and a werewolf for the next ten. It's a great, nasty sprawling mess. But I will tame it. Oh yes, I will tame it.

The Fear

Sep. 25th, 2009 04:36 pm
naomi_jay: (arty girl)
I'm still clawing my way through the second draft of SILVER KISS (optimistically hoping to finish off this weekend), and have reached a point where I'm adding in entirely new scenes. I rewrote a chapter last night, adding 2k to the novel as a whole, and am now working on blending this rewrite with the original material. And it's hard, man.

I get The Fear. I worry that the new writing jars with the old, that it's inelegant and sticks out like a sore thumb. I worry that the material I cut out in the first place was better than the new stuff. I worry that I'm making the story worse with the rewrites, not better. I worry that the end product will be a gargantuan mess that will take me years to wade through and set straight (in other words, I'm worried it will turn into Wild). And I worry so much that in the end I have to made a choice between stepping away from the laptop before I spontaneously combust with angst, or screaming "sod it!" and carrying on anyway like a British soldier at Rorke's Drift, only with werewolves instead of Zulus. So nothing like a British soldier at Rorke's Drift, in fact.

Last night I chose to step away. I had to remind myself that I've done this before. I've written fourteen novels now, and I've gone through this process with every single one (still am going through it with Wild and expect to be doing so for many years to come). I had to remind myself that I can do this, and do it well if I stop angsting long enough. Over the weekend I'll be digging in again and trying to ignore The Fear. And, failing that, fighting it off with Meatloaf and chocolate. Maybe wine. We'll see how bad it gets.
naomi_jay: (Shadow woman)

So the lovely and stylish Leanne has departed back to Leeds, and in honour of her time here, I offer some stats from the past four days:

Cocktails consumed:

Mudslides x 2
Polish Bullet x 1
Strawberry daquairi x 1
Strawberry Woo Woo x 1
Liquid Gold x 1
Grey Goose and cranberry juice (there ought to be a name for that) x 8 (I think, I lost count after a while)
Baileys and chocolate ice cream smoothies x 2
Mint Baileys and chocolate ice cream x 3

Books bought:

In Great Waters - Kit Whitfield
Creature Conversations - Collette (What a find! I dig charity shops)
Bone Song - John  Merney
Blood Calls - Caridad Pineiro
Familiar Stranger - MIchelle Hauf

Seasons of The Mighty Boosh watched:

One and a half

Weird food consumed:

All-day-breakfast pizzas (pizza! With egg and baked beans! Seriously!)
An assortment of steamed and fried dim sum, included fried cream buns (I know! Fried cream!)
Many, many, many varieties of cakes and chocolates.

All of which is most awesome.


cut for angst )
naomi_jay: (philosoraptor)
So once again Naomi must do something about her weight. I've been comforting eating since January when I realised how thoroughly miserable I was with certain aspects of my life, and I haven't quite stopped yet. The result being that my weight has slowly crept up again and now I'm miserable with that too.

I've started keeping a food diary, rather than going for counting calories and weighing myself, because I'm exactly the kind of person who would get obsessed with calorie counting and then feel shit when she went over her daily limit and stuff an enormous pizza down her face to make herself feel better and... well, you get it. A food diary seems much friendlier anyway. I don't think I need to lose much; I'm aiming to go from a size 14 to a size 12. I don't want to be one of those lollipop models, but I do want to be able to fit into my jeans comfortably.

Give my propensity for comfort eating, I think I also need to address some of those my-life-is-shit aspects. Some of them are out of my control. I had a huge dip in confidence when I left the Ex Agent, managed to convince myself that signing with her in the first place was a massive fluke and that nobody will ever want to take me on ever again because my writing is hackneyed and crap. The only reasonable thing I can do about that is keep querying other literary agents and keep writing.

The other big thing has been work. I can so do something about that - I found a job I really like the sound of (even though it involves manual lifting, which is forbidden by Laura the Physio, and children, which is just ... scary). It's at the Fitzwilliam Museum, where I would love to work, and it's a couple of grand more than I'm currently on, which would be nice. Must get application form in this week.

There are other issues too, but I think some of them I'm just going to have to learn to live with for the time being. So, I'm giving it a go. My bag is full of grapes and cereal bars, and I'm pretty confident I can shift the weight as I have in the past. Wish me luck!
naomi_jay: (lost)

... Lurks the black-hearted, alienated soul of a sixteen year old emo kid. This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. I spent a lot of time earlier this year dealing with my many and varied issues, but I realised recently I haven't actually overcome many of them. I'm still constantly punishing myself for what I "should" be doing but aren't. I'm still berating myself for not living up to other people's standards - standards, I should add, that I have created out of thin air and exist entirely in my own imagination. To some extent, I've managed to sap the joy out of the things I love by setting all these goals for myself and then failing to achieve them. Writing being the biggest one. Every time I open my laptop and try to work on something I get this huge sense of "why bother?" and pack it in again.

Something has to give, and usually it's me. I'm determined that this time it won't be. I had planned to spend the Christmas holidays finishing the first draft of Death for the Born, but now I think I'm just going to do nothing instead. I mean, I'll still do stuff. I'm critiquing (and loving it, I might add,[info]goth_huntress) and I'm not boycotting writing entirely, but I think I need to relax and stop beating myself up over how much I'm doing, and just write what I feel like. I'm going to read lots and recharge, and eat chocolate and generally loaf around my parents' house like a total slob. I'm going to get my hair dyed. I'm going to actually put into practice some of the stuff I learned this year and take some of the pressure off myself. I want to enjoy next year. I want to send a novel to my agent that she thinks will sell, and that means I need to be loving what I'm doing. At the moment it's just a chore and that's no way to go about anything.

Except chores, I suppose.

Anyway, I do solemnly swear this is my last emo, soul-wrenching, angst-ridden livejournal entry of 2008. In 2009 I'm going to be totally candyfloss.

naomi_jay: (Default)
Goddammit, [personal profile] dwg, I read your blog and now I've got "Mama" stuck in my head too! *shakes fist at you*

So, I had the Ninja show up at my house last week. This weekend he called and texted me relentlessly, all along the lines of "why aren't you answering my calls/texts etc?" Mostly I wasn't answering because, as usual, my phone was in a separate part of the house to me. But obviously he doesn't know that. Argh. Why did I give him my phone number? (Okay, I know why, it was because I was totally freaked out to find him lurking on the doorstep and I panicked and did it to get him to go). Still, dumbass. When we finally talked, it was like the most awkward thing EVAH and I realised that everything I used to find endearing about him, I now find squeamishly uncomfortable, and I quickly hung up with many a lame excuse. Why can't I ever stand up for myself? Why do I have to be so worried about upsetting other people that I let myself get upset first?

So, the next text I get is "I miss your love," to which I replied (I paraphrase) "it's over, move on." His reply? "Let me give you a clue: anything is better than nothing."

Not for me. I don't want to be someone's last resort for happiness, and I certainly don't want anyone to be mine. I sent him another "Please let it go," message, and received a rather random response to the efffect that he had let go, months before, and it was me who lured him back in at Christmas and made him think there might still be hope.

WTF? The ONLY thing I sent him at Christmas was a message saying "there's no way we're going to get back together" AFTER he'd phoned me and begged me to give things another go. Where's the hope in that?! How have I lured him back in?! Why do I feel guilty over this?!

I haven't heard from him since Sunday, but my parents are freaking out. Dad wants me to change my phone number, he's insisting I get lifts everywhere and don't leave the house after dark, etc... It feels ridiculous. I'm not changing my number; why should I have to? I'm not going to act like a victim because I picked another crazy boy to go out with. This isn't like Richard; I don't feel scared or threatened or anything. But I'm fed up. I always do my best to play fair and be honest with people, and it gets me nowhere.

naomi_jay: (<lj user="arewar">)
Sort of anyway... It would take a lot to induce me to leave my bungalow and Pip on a permanent basis. I'd have to cook for myself for one thing, and who else would appreciate my vast collection of She-Ra, Carebear and Bucky O Hare DVDs as much as Pip? Possibly nobody.

But in July I will be venturing out of Cambridge and going to the RNA 2008 conference! Yay, I'm going to a writers' conference! Or at least, I assume I will be; I haven't actually posted the form yet. But I plan to go, if only to see my extraordinarily talented friend, Leanne, bag herself an agent with a well-practised book pitch ;)

naomi_jay: (<lj user="scarlite">)

Me and Pip went and saw Order of the Phoenix last night. It's been aaaaaages since I read the book and I'd forgotten how much Angst!Destiny!Tyranny! there was. Also not buying Dumbledore's exposition scene at the end. "Sorry I've been completely ignoring you all year, Harry, but I assumed not telling you about the horrific dangers awaiting you would keep you safe from them. PS, sorry your godfather iz ded."

Anyway, I'm sending Fire and Moonlight back to Ricia today, with much nerves and woe. I'm hoping the changes I've made will work and bring this book in line with the darker tone of the second one, but I don't feel I can be objective enough about it to tell. I suppose that's what agents are for. Wish me luck!


naomi_jay: (Default)
Dirty Little Whirlwind

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