naomi_jay: (where is my mind?)
So, in order to move up to a senior admin position at the University of Cambridge, I must have at least two years' experience in a senior admin role.

But I can't move sideways to similar level/paying job at the University because I am now well over-qualified for the position I'm in anyway.

I contacted the University's temping service today to inquire about doing some long-term temp work, and was told I should check the permanent vacancies page instead.

Outside of the University, all that seems to be available is office junior positions, where I'd be making coffee and photocopying for about sixty million people, something I am also over-qualified to do.

Nobody so far has offered to pay me £18k a year to sit at home minding my own business and not inflicting myself on co-workers.

Man. Forget work. Work doesn't get me. Let's all just drink pina coladas until we can't remember our names!
naomi_jay: (green butterfly)

No more work until October 11th! Huzzahs! That's a whole week of nothing but doing whatever I want to do, and what I mostly want to do is nothing. Well, there are plans. But they're fun plans, so it's okay.

The Plan - Writing

1. Finish my steampunk story, Dr Dewson's Analytical Soul Decipherer, for submission to Static Movement's steampunk anthology.
2. Finish critiquing a friend's novel for her (it's fabulous!)
3. Get cracking on the Scarlett novel, which still needs a title. I've got about 2k already; I'd like to have added to that by the end of next week.

The Plan - Miscellaneous

1. Apparently on Monday we are hosting a Ross Noble/The Human Centipede night. I can't imagine The Human Centipede improves on a second viewing or anything, but it seems I can't stop it happening. At least there will be Ross Noble to make it better.
2.[livejournal.com profile] chaostheory  has cocktail vouchers! I have a great love of cocktails! It's a match made in heaven.
3. I would like to teach Ket not to use me as a toilet. Or at least I would like to teach him he can also use Kyle as a toilet, should he choose. I'm not sure exactly how I will achieve this, but it may involve buying a flute for snake-charming or something. 



Why yes, that is a beautiful silk kimono you're about to crap on, Ket.
 
 And remember, the Anti-Nano Cult is now up and running. If you're interested, check it out and sign up! Everyone's projects sound very cool so far, and I'm really looking forward to reading the excerpts throughout November.
naomi_jay: (dark angel)
I went out for one quick drink after work with Kyle and his boss last night that turned into a five-hour drinking session down by the river. Now that's forward planning! 

In real news, today I must begin the arduous process of packing my books and breakable bits. Most of my books are already packed; I'm down to the last two bookcases. Breakable bits are breakable, and I'm a bit worried about my unnecessarily huge perfume collection. If anything broke or spilled in transit, I'd be devastated. And my possessions would never be the same again. So, lots of newspaper and bubble wrap is in order. I'm meeting [livejournal.com profile] chaostheory  for cocktails this afternoon, so most of the packing will have to wait until after lunch. But I want to get it all done today if I can so I can spend tomorrow working on Demonised.

The plan is to finish Demonised before we move on Wednesday. In theory that should be easy because I now know how it ends. In practise... we'll see. There's still loads to do towards moving. We've finished the garden, but there's the inside cleaning to take care of. And next week at work will be hellish because we've got a conference on. It wouldn't be polite to say out loud how I feel about this conference and all the stress it's caused me, so... Just imagine. Yeah. There you go.

Anyway, at least I have a plan. And if I do succeed in finishing Demonised on schedule, I can then start BAD DOGS in a shiny new house! Yay! I've had the first chapter in my head for months, but I feel compelled to finish Ethan's adventure off before I start on Ayla and Shannon's next one.
naomi_jay: (twilight girl)
So, I split my weekend evenly between burlesque and writing, which seems to be a fair way of going through life. Salon Rouge was on Saturday night, so everyone got dolled up in their finest corsety wear (except the men, who wore suits instead) and hit the cocktail bar (I was restrained - one French Martini and two Fruit Pastels). Lots of photos were taken, but I could only find one of myself that I liked, so:

 
(In real life, I have no head)

It was awesome fun! There was clown burlesque, which I'm not entirely sure I approve of, (where did the balloon go?!) but it was still fun. I'm classing it as part of my birthday celebrations, since why the hell not? I was tempted to keep the dress on all week to signal to the world that the birthday celebrations are a-happening, but then I realised I couldn't go to work like that. Just one more reason I need a new job!

 

Also in honour of my birthday, I'm going blonde again. I know! Kate Johnson will totally think I'm copying her. But I've decided, as much as I like the red hair, it's too much effort in terms of upkeep. When my roots come through, they're pure white so I look like a skunk, and who wants that? With blonde hair, the roots don't show as much, so I won't need to spend quite as much time and money redying my hair. This will also lead to a bathroom that isn't covered in streaks of hair dye, one hopes.

Anyway, on Sunday, once the cocktails had worn off and I'd consumed nachos, I hit Wild again to carry on with those final tweaks. I was amused to discover at the end of the day that, having cut the manuscript down from almost 90k to 69k over the past few months, I added 5k back in yesterday. Editing - I'm doing it wrong? I'm nearly done with the tweaking - just need to add a couple of new scenes and probably two new chapters, so I'm hopefully that pretty soon this beast will be out on submission. I wanted to write more than I did yesterday, but of course my arm started giving me problems, so I had to quit a lot earlier than I planned. But no matter! The end is nigh!

 


naomi_jay: (fault lines)
Yesterday [livejournal.com profile] cathschaffstump was talking about reoccuring themes in her writing. And I thought, I can totally get in on that. I'm deep, right? So I made a list of the ideas I keep coming back to, and yeah... I'm not that deep.

1. Addiction - Almost all my novels feature addicts somewhere. In Wild, the main character is a drug addict who basically lives off ketamine and pills. Drugs play a crucial part in the plot of SILVER KISS. In AFTERLIFE I have Nicomedes, who's addicted to opium (but really that's the least of his problems), and in my Scarlett novels one of the main characters is a borderline alcoholic. I think one of the others is probably a borderline sex addict, but he's cool with that, and so are the girls. I myself have never been a drug addict, sex addict, or alcoholic, so I'm not sure why I keep returning to this theme.

2. Cocktail bars - None of my characters are capable of going an entire novel without having a cocktail. Seriously. In AFTERLIFE, Yasmin is constantly necking cocktails, and Scarlett worked (as a waitress) in a cocktail bar in the second of her novels. Ash from the Scarlett books owns a nightclub and, given his borderline alcoholism, drinks a lot of the profits. Ayla and Shannon visit a couple of clubs in SILVER KISS, and I'm pretty sure cocktails are consumed. Yes, I do love cocktails. Mine's a pina colada, since you're offering.

3. Shapeshifters - Not really a secret that I'm fascinated by werewolves in particular and shapeshifters in general. With the exception of AFTERLIFE, everything I've written has featured a shapeshifter somewhere. I could go all academic and philosophical and explain about the duality of Man's nature in relation to the werewolf, and how it's a great big metaphor and stuff. And it would be true. But basically I just think shapeshifters are awesome.

So there you go. According to this list I am inspired largely by narcotics, alcohol, and animals.
naomi_jay: (glittery)
I intend to consume this many cocktails:



I shall be celebrating [info]j_rah's birthday, the impending release of AFTERLIFE (only five days to go, kids!), and the goods news I hope to able to share shortly. ^_^
naomi_jay: (red hood)
So last night I had the opportunity to dress up in fishnets, velvet, and hot pink mascara, whilst wearing a mini top hat and carrying a fan and watching burlesque dancers. Yes! Is there a better way to spend your Saturday night? Without somehow bringing Matt Berry in on the act, I don't think so. It was Salon Rouge at the Junction, first time I've been, and it was amazing! The acts were incredible (wish I'd remembered my camera) - there was a dancer called Roxy Velvet who did this absolutely mesmerising routine with a hoop. God! These girls are so bendy!



And there were cocktails! I wasn't actually brave enough to have an Absinthe-Minded cocktail, because ... absinthe ... I'm just not gawth enough. I did try some of Kyle's and decided to stick with my French Martinis. And Fruit Pastels. And Ruby Reds. And so forth. I think the thing I liked best was how much effort everyone made to dress up. The men were all in suits and 40s style army uniforms, and the girls just looked amazing. So many corsets and feathers and fascinators. Can't wait to go again next month. :)
naomi_jay: (red in darkness)
I'm having a bit of an ebook buying binge. I decided that buying ebooks isn't as bad as buying actual books, because they don't take up floor/bookcase/desktop space. I promised myself recently (as I do at least once a month) that I wasn't buying any more paper books until I'd cleared my TBR pile, which is currently big enough to keep me going well into 2010. I've managed to stick to this promise for a whole three weeks now without cracking, which is definitely a record.

But ebooks, that's okay, right? I couldn't resist Stephanie Draven's new Nocturne Bite - I loved Midnight Medusa, and [livejournal.com profile] madlee276  recommended me a Louise Allen Historical Undone, so yeah. I've kind of been slow to embrace ebooks because I love paper books so much, but I've discovered some really cool authors through Samhain, Changeling, and Harlequin.

I went out for a drink with Pip last night, planning not to drink because, man, I drank so much raspberry vodka on Friday night, but there were passionfruit and vanilla martinis on offer, so I had to have one. It was pretty good, so that was okay. We ended up bitching about work, as usual, and I remarked that signing the contract with QueeredFiction has changed my mind about leaving the Institute. Not that I'm anywhere near ready to pack up the day job and write full-time, but I've felt much less edgy and frustrated since I got the news. The burning need to escape at all costs has receded a little because I've got the satisfaction and excitement of knowing I can make it as a writer, and that puts everything else into perspective.

I'm going to speak to my line manager about changing my working hours so I can finish earlier and fit more writing time in in the evenings. So the Escape from the Day Job of Firetop Mountain is off for now. Everything else is going too well for me to stay unhappy at work anymore. Hmm. I must be in love.
naomi_jay: (thrilling)

So I'm home from Widnes, where I had a fabulous time with the lovely Leanne and her many, many dogs ^_^ We had ten, count 'em, ten gorgeous puppies to keep entertained. I haven't told Holly yet that I've been staying with other dogs as she is prone to jealousy. I'm sure she'll forgive me in time. I have to say, I freaking love Leanne's dogs. They're all, without fail, beautiful, friendly, happy little darlings, and I miss them all already!

Aside from dog-herding various spaniels and chihuahuas, we also went to a hen night for one of Leanne's friends, which was awesome! I got to wear neon tights and hot pink mascara and drink loads of Apple Corkys and champagne and wine and some other stuff that I don't know what it was but it came in a fishbowl and have a really dignified time. And spend some time in a toilet with a stripper. Apparently Liverpool has unisex toilets now. I didn't know that. (I mean, not in the actual cubicle, we were just in the toilet room as a whole. Should probably clarify that in case my Dad reads this. (Also Dad, I didn't get that drunk. In comparison to some people, I mean.))

Anyway, he was a very nice stripper, and I have some lovely photos of him which I will post at some point, because ... you know, you have to. In summary: neon-themed hen night = much awesomeness.

I got back to Cambridge about 6.30 last night and then had to rush off to my writers' group as SILVER KISS was on the chopping block. I'm relieved to say that the feedback was great - incredibly helpful - and I'm planning to dive back into the novel for a second draft this weekend. And there might be some exciting SILVER KISS-related news around the corner if I'm lucky, so stay tuned for that! 

I got back home again around 9.30 for a catch-up with[info]chaostheory, who was on fish-watch while I was away, and discovered I have an upsidedown catfish in the tank that I thought was dead. So... huzzahs! Ooh, and my mass purchase of BPAL imps arrived, so now I have fifty - fifty! - sparkly new perfumes to try out over the coming weeks and months ^_^ If I run out of blog material, I might do a rundown of my favourites at some point.

So what have you all been up to?

 
 

naomi_jay: (pale girl)
And I'm out to celebrate tonight! [profile] j_rah  has finally got herself a real grown-up job so we're off to toast to her victory with cocktails and Mexican food. Huzzahs! We'll also be toasting to my good news, which I will share as soon as I can. I've recovered from yesterday's mope-fest and I'm looking forward to a peaceful weekend of writing and visiting my grandparents. Can't ask for more than that.

ETA: Just stumbled across another review forQueer Wolf here at Collective Fallout. Once again, there's praise for Wolf Strap!:

"“Wolf Strap” pulls you in fast and hard ... Both mystery and horror, this story tells of the struggle between pack and humankind–and of what some men will do to even the playing field with the perceived wolf threat.  Clark gives us characters that we can understand in a world that we cannot."

Yay!
 
naomi_jay: (Festival)
I went out for a catch-up meal/drinking session with Louise last night, which was much fun and involved a lot of cocktails, of course. For those keeping track:

1 Mai Tai
1 Key West Cooler
3 Cosmopolitans
1 Woo Woo
1 Baileys ice cream smoothie (with bonus mint-chocolate flavour!)

I also squeezed a cranberry juice in there somewhere, but it wasn't mixed with anything alcoholic so it doesn't count.

So today I'm just ravenous and am strongly considering heading to the Co-op for nachos. But since I just ate a fishfinger sandwich, I'm holding off for now.

I started work on that Brand New Idea that was burning a hole in my head, and have about 1k on it so far, which is not very impressive really. The problem is, I had another Brand New Idea yesterday based on a short story I started but never finished last year, one which involves my first love - shapeshifters. So, hmm, yeah, feeling torn on which is actually the better idea. Until I decide (if I do) I may just have to go for those nachos after all.
naomi_jay: (clock)
I've just about recovered from seeing Matt Berry on Wednesday. Other things achieved this weekend (in no particular order):

1. Posted the full manuscript of Death for the Born to the agent.
2. Found Pip a man.
3. Got incredibly drunk on cocktails (one Polish Bullet, one Russian Bride, two Strawberry Woo Woos, one Electric Lemonade and three different flavoured vodka shots for those keeping track).
4. Went on an expletive-filled rant against Stephen Hawking in the taxi home after said cocktails. The taxi driver found me hysterical, but probably quite scary.
5. Got amazing birthday presents from Pip and [profile] j_rah , Rupert, and Kizzy.

Things not achieved:

1. Finding myself a man (here's to next weekend and the Four Man Plan!)
2. Spring-cleaned the house (here's to next weekend and a packet of Flash Wipes!)
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 )

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