Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Close of Business

So I'm switching entirely over to Livejournal from now on. I think two blogs are becoming redundant, and I prefer ElJay's friends system. I will still be visiting my Blogger friends (should any of you miss me... *tumbleweed* ...) but all posting will now be at my Livejournal blog.

If you're already over there, friend me! Then in addition to my sparkling insights on novel-writing, fish babies, and radial nerve damage, you get the added bonus content of Naomi's Endless Angst. See you there!

Urban Legends: The Quiz

Anyone who knows me well knows I'm obsessed with urban legends. The modern fairytale! The cultural meme! The terrible series of slasher flicks!

And now... The Quiz, as provided by MSN.

For the record, I got 10/10.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday Teaser - Wonderland

Okay, so it's Wednesday. That's beside the point. I keep meaning to cross-post these from my livejournal, but I always forget. And it seems a bit quieter on Blogger compared to LJ at the moment. I've been thinking about switching over to LJ completely, but I'm very attached to my pretty Blogger template. Plus there are a few people I follow here that aren't on LJ. Anyway, here's a snippet from Wonderland. Enjoy!

"Two ruby-red points of light appeared from the gloom. A shadowy form shot from the darkness, another bone-rattling howl echoing through the street. Bronte flinched as the creature launched itself up, landing with a crash on a car parked nearby. As if on cue, a glittering shower of magic sprayed over the beast, illuminating it in sparks of red and gold.

A Black Dog. Bronte gripped the windowsill, paint flaking off under her fingers. The great beast swung it's head to the sky and barked, deep and vicious. It was the size of an Alsation, but heavier, stockier. Great fangs gleamed in the magic light, saliva dripping down its maw. It lowered its muzzle and she stifled a scream when its malevolent red eyes locked on her.

Move! The inner voice screamed and she dropped to her knees, heart in her throat. A Black Dog was a traditional omen of death in English folklore. In these post-War times, it was a piece of folklore everyone took seriously.

She crouched against the wall, shivering as the Black Dog growled and barked, claws shrieking against the metal roof of the car. It had seen her – did that mean she was fated to die? She shoved her fist into her mouth to keep herself from whimpering. No need to be scared, she chanted to herself. The War ended twenty years ago, they can't hurt you, they're not allowed to hurt you...

But she remembered the stories though, remembered the tales of stolen children, mutilated bodies. Remembered seeing photos of adults mauled by magic, disfigured and half dead. Remembered with a gut-wrenching nausea her own dad, stumbling home in the wake of a magic storm, turned into some … thing, twisted and ruined and mad. She could still hear her mum's screams and smell the smoke of the gunpowder after she'd shot him. Don't look, Bronte, don't look...

'Shit.' Bronte forced herself to stand, forced herself to breathe deeply, eyes closed. The thought of locking gazes with that creature again chilled her. It had stared at her like it knew her, could see right into her skull and sniff out her nightmares.

But she had to look, had to prove to herself she wasn't afraid.

Even though she was.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I've had another request for a partial of Death for the Born! I only emailed the agent yesterday, so I'm pretty pleased. Just have to put together a submission package now and find a working printer somewhere...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Back to the grind...

Three days back at work after a week off, and my arm is killing me and I've wrenched my left shoulder - again. I don't know when I became so fragile. Laura the Physio says I'm too tense, a lot of which I put down to work/money-related unhappiness. So watch this space while Nome moves to New Zealand and becomes a shepherd.

In writing news, I've sent a few queries out for Death for the Born, one of which has turned into a partial request from a great agent, so yay! Night and Chaos is trying to turn into a novel, and Wonderland, which is actually a novel, is threatening to turn into a sprawling epic of staggering proportions. I know this because, even though I'm still writing chapter one, I've already got titles and plots for two sequels.

Of course whether or not I get round to writing them depends entirely on how soon I get out of this job and into the sheep-herding business.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My word...

Did anyone else fall a little bit in love with Robert Webbe last night?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's not arm cancer

I just got back from my second physiotherapy appointment. I'm in less pain that last time, probably because I haven't been at work all day. Laura the physio thinks it was so bad last week because my arm was already aggravated from general use at work.

Anyway, she did some more tests, studied my posture and decided that it's probably my radial nerve which is causing the problem. As you can see in my scientific diagram, the radial nerve affects the whole arm. Super. She also noted that I carry a lot of tension in my shoulders and neck, and set me up with a heat pack for ten minutes, which was amazing. I need of those for at home.

She gave me a few stretches to do and packed me off. Back next Monday. I think a big step forward in combating my problems would be having a desk. I mean, I do have a desk, but there's a fish tank on it. I think if I didn't do all my writing sitting on my bed or the sofa, my back would probably be less stiff and there'd be less tension all over. I'm not sure if there's room for another desk in my bedroom though, and definitely not room in the living room. This needs careful consideration.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not every story has explosions and car chases. That's why they have nudity and espionage.*

* Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum. This post has nothing to do with explosions, car chases, nudity or espionage. Sorry.

Anyway, I've been thinking for ages I need to write this post on how books are like boyfriends but then I signed up to Facebook and Twitter and the world disappeared... But now I'm sort of overwhelmed by Facebook and Twitter and have stepped back to write the post. So:

Books are like boyfriends (or girlfriends if that's how you roll). Writing a book is like being in a relationship, each one having a different affect on you. I take my own work as examples:

Fire and Moonlight: My first love, the novel I will forever see through rose-tinted glasses despite it's many faults. The one I measure all other ideas, characters, plots, and novels against, despite it's flaws. This is the novel I loved first, and after this I just loved love. Or novels. Or something. Whatever. It's inevitable that I will return to this and we'll kiss in the rain, or I'll write it in the rain or something.

Wild: This is the bastard boyfriend/novel who made your life miserable but you loved him/it anyway and you keep daydreaming about getting back with him/it even though he/it took drugs and probably cheated on you with other women/novels. I'm convinced I can make this book work. It just needs a year of rehab and some anger management.

Death for the Born: This is the current relationship, and whilst everything seems to be going well now and we're having fun and he/it makes me laugh, I have a sneaking suspicion it will all be over soon. Because, you know, I'll finish the redraft and have to send it out to agents. And it's like that whole "if you love something, set it free" and you sit at home and chew your fingernails and wonder what your life would be like if you'd stuck with that drug-taking bastard/novel from before.

Night and Chaos: Now, this is destined to be a short relationship because it's only a novella, and it's like that guy I dated at university where I knew we'd break up when I graduated but I didn't really care. It's fun, it's sweet, but it's not serious and it's never going to take the place of the first love. Or even the drug-taking bastard/novel.

Okay, I'm probably not making much sense. I did put a lot of Baileys in my hot chocolate tonight. But I think I have a valid point in here somewhere. You develop relationships with your WIPs. After all, they're in your life for quite some time and they take up a lot of your energy. And you're always holding out for The One that will be perfect and take you away to Paris for the weekend win you that elusive publishing contract. So here's to promiscuity of the writing kind!

Oh, and this is the first picture that came up when I Googled "nudity and espionage." So, you know ... enjoy ...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Nome: the Interview

Kate Johnson has interviewed me, and when an awarding-winning author interviews you, recurring arm pain takes a back seat.

1. If you had a choice between appearing naked in public or eating a fried insect, which one would you choose?

Really I think I'd eat the insect. I think it would be over a lot quicker and leave fewer psychological scars.

2. What age would you most like to be, and why?

I think I was happiest at age 19 - 20, so I'll split the odds and say 19 years and 6 months. That was the time before university took all my money away forever.

3. If you could go on a date with anyone from history or fiction, who would it be?

Ha, I'm going to be totally generic and say Lord Byron. I couldn't possibly sleep with him on account of the syphilis, but I'd love to gaze rapturously as him while he recited poetry at me.

4. Would you rather be a lesbian or a gay man?

Hmm. I guess it would depend. If I could be a lesbian with Megan Fox, I'd be a lesbian. If I could be a gay man with Christian Bale, gay man. No, okay, I'd be a gay man with Christian Bale. I'd hit that anyway I could.

5. If your TV could only play one channel, which one would you have?

Dave. No contest. 24-hour-a-day Dragons Den and QI and whatever other weird crap Dave shows.