July 12, 2014

Gay Par-ee! ...or, "If Not Now, Then When?"

I leave for Paris in 10 days.

*coughs* Last week I booked a trip to the City of Lights, and I'll spend a month there this summer.

After Nico-kitty died, I was in a pretty big funk. I'd put off traveling while he was sick, and although I'd started doing some job-hunting, nothing really panned out. I still haven't written anything in the last month, and yeah...it was generally a pretty big downer-fest for me.

I got to the point where I felt cooped up and needed a change of scenery. With a LOT of frequent flyer miles accumulated, I had enough for a round trip flight to pretty much anywhere I wanted to go in the world. A search of airBNB led me to Paris and a cute little apartment with lovely views of the rooftops for a relatively affordable price. On top of that, Paris has the benefit of being one of the largest European train hubs, so short trips elsewhere were also a possibility.

I hemmed and hawed for a few days until finally realizing that the opportunity to do this trip -- a month! in Paris! -- was something that doesn't come around often. I still have a lot of money saved up, and I have plenty of free time. If not now, then when?

So I booked a trip. And I'm really excited!

I'll be completely honest, though: it's difficult when the everyday people in my life are not nearly as open-minded to new things. I'm talking about my family, with whom I've been staying since moving back to San Francisco. I made that decision since I wanted to be close to Nico and because I've been without an income for a while.

Even after the kitty's treatments, though, I do have quite a bit of savings still -- enough for a couple more years of voluntary unemployment and finding my own place to rent, to be quite honest -- but that's a topic for another day. Anyway...given the fam's lack of interest in new things, I've tried to keep my excitement under wraps since booking my trip, but now I'm starting to do an inner-squee because it's ALMOST HERE. And hey...what better place to inner-squee than all over the internet??

So...squee!

I'm going to Paris for a month, and it'll be super fun. YES, IT WILL.

I'm crossing my fingers it will be the perfect place to get me out of my funk.

Now let's just hope I pick up some French while I'm there...

Au revoir!
NJ


June 17, 2014

Freebie Alert! Punch-Drunk Love downloads are available!

Hi all! As promised, here's the link to download a copy of my latest free story, Punch-Drunk Love:

http://www.mmromancegroup.com/punch-drunk-love-by-nico-jaye/


Because blurbs are things over which I absolutely agonize when asked to write them, I'll put that off until later and instead let you guys see what the tags are for the story. Yes, yes, I'm lazy. *slaps "lazy" sticker on forehead* Basically, be prepared for serious fluff overload, and...if you've seen the reviews...well, let's just say our boy will be dressed up in a rather UNIque costume. ;)

STORY INFO:
Genre:
 contemporary
Tags: sports, athlete, college, geeks/nerds, public activity, kickboxing, humorous, costumes, Vegas, lots of fluff
Word Count: 16,200


Don't forget to check out the plethora of other freebies that are available through the M/M Romance Group's wonderful event this summer. A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who make such an event possible - from the prompt writers to the authors to the editors to the proofreaders to the formatters and beyond! It wouldn't happen without you folks.

Happy reading, and hope you enjoy!

June 12, 2014

Freebie Story, Now Available!

Hi everyone! Just a quick note that my freebie kickboxing story is now available to members of the Goodreads M/M Romance group. Check out Punch-Drunk Love here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1861722



I'll post another update next week when the free downloads are available on the M/M Romance website. In the meanwhile, hope you enjoy, and here are some NSFW pictures that served as inspiration, after the jump!


June 11, 2014

A Personal Post

Back in January I posted about the difficulties we would face as my furbaby battled cancer.

We lost that fight this weekend.

In loving memory of Nico, from whom I borrowed this pen name.



A personal post follows (after the jump).

June 6, 2014

Lesson Learned

Recently I started writing what I thought would be a flash fic fun sort of exercise--a historical Regency-set secret lovers sort of story--using the new no-outline approach that I took with my werewolf story. Little did I know that my tiny flash fic would turn into a 6000+ word short story. O__O Like the werewolf story (tentatively titled "He's Just Knot That Into You" *grins*), this shortie just kept going and going...and going. Who am I to argue with what the guys have to say? :)

While my werewolf goes through various beta stages, I thought I'd share a small piece of Christopher and Jack's story. Here's a glimpse (very rough and unedited!), and keep an eye out for more news on this one as I figure out what the heck to do with it. ^__^

When Christopher returned to the bedchamber at the time the clock ticked its way past midnight, Jack was waiting for him. As was their routine, they locked the doors to bar any unwanted nightly visitors, such a practice explained to the household as a way to deter Christopher's childhood habit of sleepwalking.
Little did they know he'd outgrown such an inclination years ago.
"A pleasant evening," Christopher said mildly over his shoulder as Jack assisted him out of his well-fitted navy coat.
"Was it?" Jack murmured in response. Setting aside the garment onto the clothes valet, he turned to face Christopher's back and skimmed his hands over his shoulders. His palms, forever callused from years of campaigning, nevertheless picked up the texture of the silver-embroidered brocade waistcoat. Those shoulders were broad, carrying with them the weight of responsibility—for their regiment, for their secret, for their future—well beyond Christopher's twenty-three years.
Lost in his thoughts, Jack startled when Christopher turned around to grasp his wrist gently. He looked up into Christopher's familiar gaze and sighed, his heart settling into place even as his pulse began to race at the sight of the heat in those blue depths.
"It would have been much more pleasant with your company, Jack," Christopher said, his voice warm and low. 
Swallowing thickly, Jack smiled up into that precious face. He listened and heard the sounds of the house going to sleep around them.
This was their time—the time between days when they could be lost in their world.
"You know 'tis impossible, Christopher," Jack whispered regretfully, searching his gaze. He moved to clasp his hand, drawing Christopher's palm to his neck and curling it against the skin there. "But our time is now, and my company is yours. Yours always."
 From A Time for Loving

Hope you liked the little peek into Christopher and Jack's lives!

In the meanwhile, I have to ask: are you a member of the M/M Romance Group?? You can read more about the MMRG here at http://www.mmromancegroup.com and join the group on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/20149. I only ask because the group has a fabulous writing event that kicked off last week!

Love's Landscapes is a very cool writing and reading event featuring free m/m romance stories every day throughout the summer. My upcoming freebie, Punch-Drunk Love, will be coming out soon, and the MMRG is the only place where you can read it first! Otherwise, you'll have to wait for the downloads to be available on their website. :) If you're not a member, then think about it! Highly recommended if you're an m/m romance fan.

Hope you're all doing well, and happy reading!

♥,
NJ

May 9, 2014

"Punch-Drunk Love" has a cover!

Hi all! I'm doing a little traveling right now in Colorado and Arizona, but I couldn't wait to share the cover for my upcoming M/M Romance Group freebie, Punch-Drunk Love. The story, which features two kickboxing boys, is set in the San Francisco Bay Area (with a detour to Vegas...) and full of fluff. I hope you like it!

My super talented graphic designer friend Natasha Snow (http://www.natashasnow.com) created this beautiful cover. To me, she hit the nail right on the head, and it's absolutely perfect for the lighthearted vibe of the story.


*stares*

Oh! Ahem...

Sorry, got a little caught up in the awesome cover. :D

Anyway, hope you all like it, and keep an eye out for more on Punch-Drunk Love! The story, along with a number of other freebies, will come out this summer during the M/M Romance Group's Love's Landscapes event.

♥,
NJ


April 29, 2014

To Outline or Not to Outline

To outline or not to outline...

That is now the surprising question.

Although I'm still learning when it comes to writing (and, in fact, aren't we always learning?), I'd always done things the same way up till now: outline outline outline!

Perhaps it's the need to have control over a process (namely, writing) that in itself is quite creative. Perhaps it's my background as a lawyer that means I like to know what to expect. Or perhaps it's the problem solver in me that likes to think "hey...how exactly do they get from meet-cute to HEA?"

Anyway, up until now, I've always been about the outline. Even if it wasn't a completely detailed outline, it always took me along the main events from Point A to HEA. With every story I've written, there has been some kind of outline.

Well, no longer.

As an update on the kickboxing boys, I turned that in last week. (yay!) So keep an eye out for Punch-Drunk Love when the M/M Romance Group releases it this summer alongside a bunch of other nifty freebie stories. Like my other M/M Romance Group freebies BTW I Love You and Man-to-Man Coverage, it's around 15-20K words of fluff. On a separate note, the 15-20K words mark appears to be my sweet spot when writing, but maybe that's a subject for another blog post. :)

Anyway, I completed the kickboxing boys' story and immediately turned to a new one that had been waving its arms at me for attention. This story has taken up my writing time the last few days, and it's basically giving the finger and sticking its tongue out to my other WIPs.

I had a general idea that I wrote down in a quick paragraph of story direction.

But here's the thing...after that, I just sat down and began to write it.

No outline, no other notes, nada.

It's been so much fun.

The story is about a werewolf (yes, watching Teen Wolf has definitely provided some paranormal writing inspiration), and it's pretty much fluffy lycan office romance fun. :) Let's just say surprise shifting, bad dates, some porn mags, and a charming new personal assistant are involved.

The process of not having a process has been eye-opening. It's quite freeing, and I can definitely see the appeal of how writers favor this approach. That isn't to say that I don't have a rough outline in my head, but it's almost like not putting it down on paper has some kind of psychological effect of feeling no pressure to take things one way or another.

It might be that extra step of writing it down that has made me feel more locked into an idea. While my outlines in the past have themselves been fluid, my decision (or reluctance?) to change major points possibly was influenced by the fact that they were already down on paper in the first place. So maybe having it in writing already felt like a commitment, whereas doing it from the inspirational paragraph and whatever thoughts are in my head instead permit a lot more straying.

I have no idea, but it's making me question how I approach my other WIPs. Which could be a good thing. Or a bad thing. >__>

We'll see, right? As it is, I'm working on my werewolf boy for now and will take the others one day at a time. I've had a lot of fun trying out this new approach, so who knows? Maybe that'll be my new MO when it comes to getting my stories onto the page.

I've heard so many things about how people plan their stories one way or the other. If you have any opinions on how to organize and put together your tale, please share. I'm curious to hear what you guys think. =)

Now...back to my werewolf!

♥,
NJ