Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Okay. This looks bad.

A brief summary of the past two weeks of my life.

*blows dust off the blog*

So it's been a while. Almost a month in fact. And yes, I still need to draw a winner for my post for the Evernight Birthday Blog Hop. I will do it soon, promise. Life just suddenly got insanely busy and somewhat...insane...for a while, and a few things had to be swept aside. Kyle and I moved house, for one thing, and are now happily ensconced in the cottage of my dreams. So that was good.

I've been snowed under with perfume orders, to the point where I had to take time off my day job to catch up and then I got snowed under again. So that was good, but time-consuming.

I got a sinus infection which knocked me out of action for most of last week. So that wasn't good.

We had a family crisis which I won't go into details about, but it's still kinda going on, and lots of things are up in the air, so that's not good.

What this combination of things means is that writing and blogging, once again, has slipped down Nome's Priority List. I'm not thrilled about that, for lots of reasons, but apparently life balance is for other people. I was bemoaning this lack of writing to Kyle last week, and he suggested I try Nanowrimo next month to get myself disciplined and productive again.

I'm in two minds about this. I know I really, physically, cannot produce 2k+ a day in writing any more. But I should be able to produce something, and indeed for the past few years, friends and I have done Anti-Nano. The principle of Anti-Nano is that we love the idea of Nanowrimo, but know we can't commit to 50k in a month. So we set our own goals and encourage each other to get there by hook or by crook. It hasn't been discussed this year, but I think I need Anti-Nano, so I'm going in.

Behold! The official sponsor of Anti-Nano.
I haven't decided which project to work on yet, or what my goal will be. I have two many projects floating around in various states of completion right now, and I think I should probably finish off the shorter ones before getting back into the big ones. Beyond that, I'm still debating what I want to focus on. But hey, I have a plan! I didn't have a plan yesterday, so that's good.

Anyone else want to join me in Anti-Nano-ing?

Friday, 3 October 2014

Roll out the Red Carpet ~ Evernight Celebrates Four Years of Publishing! #BDayBashBlogHop

Join authors, bloggers and reviewers as we take a RED CARPET tour featuring Evernight's smart and sexy books. Slip on your virtual stilettos and walk the red carpet of award winning titles, spectacular reviews and paparazzi style interviews.
Be sure to visit every stop on the tour where you can enter for a chance to win great prizes, including a new eReader, gift certificates, swag, books and much more! 
Don't forget to visit the Evernight Publishing website where all eBooks are 50% off through October 13th!
Now I turn the spotlight on my smart and sexy book...An Evernight Readers' Choice Award Winner!

Ayla Hammond has come home. After years as a lone wolf in a self-imposed exile, she's rejoining the pack and trying to mend fences with her parents. She's convinced them to accept her girlfriend, but can a lone wolf change her ways? As if homecoming wasn't hard enough, Ayla also can't help getting involved in a missing person case. With pressure to solve the case mounting from the pack alphas, Ayla is starting to question where her loyalties lie—and if a return to the pack she left behind is really what she wants.

You can buy SILVER KISS straight from Evernight's site for that awesome 50% discount!

As Halloween is rapidly approaching, I thought I might shine the spotlight on one of the supporting characters from SILVER KISS - drag queen werewolf Glory. Read on for Glory's Scary Story...


Midnight. The fire burned low in the hearth. Shannon was half asleep in my lap. We'd all told our Halloween stories except Glory. Cannibalism, ghosts, and witches so far, with Vince throwing in a psycho nurse for good measure. But we all knew Glory's story would be the best.

She patted her beehive and smiled at us. 'Did I ever tell you how I lost my orange Carvela heels?'

'It was a poker game, wasn't it?' Joel asked. 'One seedy night in Vegas, you said.'

'Those were my cerise Louboutins,' she corrected. She sipped her wine and cleared her throat. 'But I was in America. Nevada, in fact. I'd been out for a run and was just putting my clothes back on when I saw the UFO. An eerie green light in the sky, getting brighter and closer with every second, lighting up the night. I was horrified, sweeties, obviously. I could not abide being abducted. All that probing.' She shivered theatrically.

'I wanted to run, but I wasn't dressed and I certainly wasn't going to run across the desert in the dead of night half-naked. Not with aliens in pursuit. So I dumped my stuff and hid behind a rock, hoping they'd go find some redneck hick or something. You know, like they do. But the craft landed just a few feet from my rock and these two aliens... Oh!' More exaggerated shivering.

'Little green men?' Shannon yawned.

'Little red men,' Glory corrected haughtily. 'And the first thing the little monsters did? They started poking through my clothes! With their creepy long fingers and their weird little mouths, just pawing at my clothes.' She clutched her hands to her chest. 'Diesel jeans, people! Covered in sticky alien fingerprints!'

'What did you do?' Vince asked, toasting a marshmallow in the fire embers.

'Well, I wasn't going to let them ruin my jeans! I leapt out and grabbed my clothes and started running like holy hell.'

'Did they follow?' I asked. The image in my head was somewhere between slapstick and tragedy.

'God, yes. And let me tell you, Ayla, aliens are fast as any wolf. They were gaining on me, making this awful high-pitched noise. Probably trying to hypnotise me, but I wasn't stopping for anything, sweeties. And then one grabbed my shoulder.'

Glory paused to snatch a marshmallow, leaving us all in suspense for a few long seconds.

'What did you do?' Joel asked.

'I swung my Carvela heels in the ugly freak's face! Spike heels are a girl's best friend, let me tell you. I caught the alien right in his big, freaky eye. Little creep just keeled over. Eyes are the alien's weak spots, obviously. I battered them both with the shoes and got my ass out of there.'

'And the shoes?' Vince prompted.

Glory wiped an imaginary tear from her eye. 'Probably a souvenir on an alien's mantelpiece now, darling. Such a waste. They clashed horribly with the alien.'

Answer my question in the comment section for a chance to win (be sure to include your email address):

If you could shapeshift into any animal, what would it be? Wolf, tiger, bear...or something less traditional? How about a phoenix or a dolphin? The possibilities are endless, so what would you pick?
* Your choice of an Amazon Kindle Fire HD or Kobo Arc 7
* $100 Amazon GC
* $50 Evernight GC
* My blog prize: A £10 (or dollar equivalent!) Amazon giftcard and your choice of one book from my Evernight backlist!
Hop to the next stop!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

"But, it was a little different tonight. There was a feeling of autumn coming to last a million years."

Ray Bradbury

In 2011 I wrote a piece of flash fiction called Pumpkin Soup, a story about a a woman cooking her dad's favourite dish on the day of his funeral. In October 2012, my dad passed away without warning. I never cooked soup for my dad, but reading that piece of flash fiction back now, I find I am that woman. It's funny how things work out.

I love autumn, I adore Halloween and the folklore that goes with it. I love making autumnal perfumes. I love the misty mornings and pitch-black nights. I used to love October, but now, almost two years on from losing Dad, I just see this month as one long wait. A wait to see how I'll feel on October 27th. Will I cry? Will I have nightmares? Will my family be okay? Will we want to be together or should we try to treat it as a normal day? Last year, the first year, we were together and it wasn't so bad. This year...I don't know. Two years is a long time. For everyone else, the world has moved on and there are no emotional scabs to pick at. Me, I feel like I'll be holding my breath for the next four weeks, counting down to November when I can say, "okay. We made it."

There are distractions, of course. Kyle and I are moving house next Friday and since we've made next to no progress on packing so far, this weekend should be pretty hectic. And being in a new house, making it your own, learning how it smells and sounds and feels, that's all fun. There are stories waiting to be written, perfumes to be sent to people. There is normal life and it doesn't stop whether I want it to or not. So there are distractions.

Whether they will be good enough, I don't know. I slow down in the winter anyway. I'm rather prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder, and that impacts my writing and my energy levels. Since I'm already waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind where I planned to be on all my writing projects this year, I need to find a way to avoid that. I don't want to get to the end of 2014 and not see any changes from the end of 2013.

And honestly I think part of the solution, for me, is the word permission. Give myself permission to feel shitty if that's how I feel. Give myself permission to write badly, or not at all, or on something other than my "set" projects if that's where the mood takes me. Give myself permission to not think about publication or making other people happy or being productive if I can't find the energy.

Usually when I allow myself those things, I'm a happier, more productive person anyway (at least outside the office). And it probably should be obvious advice to give to yourself, but like Alice, I give myself very good advice and very seldom follow it.

Anyway. I don't intend to be maudlin and weird all through the month, but since I found it, and because it made me kinda smile-cry, I thought I'd share that piece of flash fiction.