Filed under: Life
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 • No Comments
January is slipping by with a chill in the air to inspire both writing and baking (see above). After a relatively mild month, temperatures are dipping down into the teens here in southeastern Virginia, making me long for spring. Ah, but there's so much to do before then! And so many delicious treats on my plate to enjoy! Here's just a bit of what's going on in my world…
Best Erotic Romance 2013 is on the shelves– and now available for Kindle! I have been downloading more books lately– it's such instant gratficiation, especially on a cold night. I will always love bookstores, but nothing beats being curled up in bed at 11 PM on a Sunday night, downloading a shiny new book! Right now I'm reading Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer and I just finished World War Z by Max Brooks.
Speaking of various formats for books… Doubleday Book Club (and their affiliates) picked up the bookclub rights for Duty and Desire: Military Erotic Romance, which means their subscribers can get the book in hardcover! And Lustfully Ever After: Fairy Tale Erotic Romance is my most recent anthology to be added to the Audible.com collection of audiobooks. Whee! I'm rarely in the car for longer than it takes to hear two songs on the radio, but I know a lot of commuters who swear by audiobooks.
Speaking of radio… I'll be doing a radio interview– probably next week– on KPCC 89.3 FM, an NPR affiliate out of Southern California. I'll post details when I have them!
My upcoming in-person February events include moderating a book discussion on the Fifty Shades of Grey Phenonmenon at the Chesapeake Public Library on February 11 and a lunchtime booksignging at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond on Valentine's Day. And looking ahead to March, I'll be in Washington, DC for CatalystCon! I'm participating in two events coordinated by Rachel Kramer Bussel: a panel on How to Become a Successful Erotica Writer and her very special In the Flesh reading. I can't wait!
Rachel has a new anthology hitting the shelves in March– and, for a change, I have a story in someone else's collection! (The problem with editing my own anthologies is that I rarely seem to have time to write for other calls for submissions.) Serving Him: Sexy Stories of Submission includes my very-first-ever coffee shop story, “The Coffee Break” and it's steamy hot! (The pun was just begging to be used, sorry.) You can read an excerpt of my story, as well as the other stories in the collection, on Rachel's Blog: BDSM and coffee in “The Coffee Break” by Kristina Wright.
Also in March, I'll be teaching a class at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, VA. Behind Closed Doors: Writing the Love Scene will be a two session workshop focused on writing believable, authentic sex scenes, regardless of genre. I'm very excited to use my fourteen years of erotica writing experience in an academic setting.
In personal news, i seem to be on my second (or is it third?) cycle of a cold so far this month. I'm sure some of it is allergies due to this wacky weather we're having– the Virginia weather rollercoast, which has fluctated from highs in the 70s to lows in the teens! But the babies are healthy, I'm plodding along with coffee and cold medicine, and still very excited about this new year, sniffles or no!
I've been in full-on nesting mode since the holidays started, wanting to bake and read and just hang out at home with my boys. It's been lovely to breathe… since I had the boys, I've felt like a slacker if I wasn't working every minute between when they went to bed and I stumbled exhausted into bed myself. I don't know why I've internalized the idea that parenting isn't “work” and I'm fully entitled to a break after a long day of kid duty, but it's been a startling discovery that I can actually have some downtime and also keep up with my deadlines. We'll see how that works out for me as I move into a very busy spring and summer. But for now, I'm enjoying these winter nights.
Oh, oh, oh! And for the first time in over three years, I'm not only giving contact lenses a spin, I'm also going to get new glasses! I'm looking at Warby Parker because they not only have a great price ($95!), they have gorgeous styles and you can try them out before you buy them! It's going to be lovely to replace my last wobbly pair of glasses (my spare pair succumbed to the strength of a sixteen-month-old last week) with a shiny new pair with the proper prescription!
That's all from me– for now. I hope to be blogging more frequently, especially since my website is about to get a minor overhaul by Moxie Design Studios that will hopefully make it more convenient for me to post. In the meantime– what has your January been like? Are you enjoying this new year as much as I am? I hope so!
Monday, December 31st, 2012 • No Comments
For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. ~ T.S. Eliot
With only eight hours left in 2012, I find myself contemplating new projects and goals, considering resolutions, making plans (at least in my head) and generally getting ready to say goodbye to this year and greet 2013 with enthusiasm and excitement for what is yet to come.
The past few years have been a whirlwind of pregnancy, babies and deadlines. At this time last year, I had a two-year-old and a four-month-old, a couple of book deadlines and I was so, so tired. The previous year, I had a one year old, was a few weeks pregnant with the new baby, had a book deadline and I was so, so tired. The previous year, I had a newborn, a book deadline, a deployed husband and I was so, so tired. This year, I have a three-year-old, a sixteen-month-old, no impending book deadline for six months and I'm not nearly so tired.
I have copyedits and proofreading and promotion to do for several anthologies over the next several months, but I find myself in the unusual position for the first time in a few years of having a) real writing time and b) the energy to write. This is a precious and rare combination and I dare not waste it. By my estimates, I have about four months to spend the majority of my twenty-ish babysitting hours a week writing whatever I want to write.
Whatever I want to write.
I feel drunk just writing that sentence. And, also, panicked. Because I do not do well with those kind of open parameters. I need structure, I need deadlines (even self-imposed deadlines work better for me than no deadlines at all), I need projects. And so I'm still hammering out some thoughts for the next few months– thinking I might spend some time writing things I've had on the backburner so long I've forgotten about them– or perhaps working on some new ideas. My short list right now looks like this:
–Nonfiction essays for some of my favorite websites and magazines. I was told this year that I have a “lovely, gently encouraging” narrative voice and I want to explore that in new ways.
–Write and submit to more anthologies this year. I've been so busy writing for my own books (a good thing!) that I've had fewer bylines in other anthologies.
–Write a book. A real novel. I was very excited to have my first full-length book published this year (well, the first book since my romantic suspense in 1999), but I long to write another novel– or maybe more to the point, have it published. So this year, at least in these early months of the year when I have time and energy that I might not have as I roll into summer deadlines, I'll be working on an idea.
–More stuff, new stuff. Yeah, I don't know what this means either. Just that I've been in a familiar, happy rut for a few years now– a rut where most of what I write is already contracted and rejection doesn't happen nearly as often as it should if I'm working at being a better writer. So I guess the goal is to get rejected more in 2013, in the hopes that I'll be a better writer for it. I'll keep you posted.
I'm still working on resolutions, but I know it will be a year of looking inward, focusing on my strengths, spending my time on the things that matter most to me, saying no to things that neither benefit or interest me and paring down the clutter– both mental and tangible. Focus and balance. Good goals, yes?
And what are your goals for the new year? Whatever they are, may you have a year that brings you everything you wish for– and a few happy surprises that maybe you weren't even anticipating.
Happy 2013! Here we go…
Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 • No Comments
Last summer, when I was pregnant with baby #2, people told me it would be hard to have two kids under two. Over and over again, I was told, “The first year is the hardest, but it gets easier after that.” Baby #2 was born when baby #1 was 21 months old. We rolled into 2012 with a just-turned two-year-old and a four-mont-old. They were right– it is hard. But maybe I just have too good an imagination, because it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it might be. And here I am, twelve months later. I survived!
In truth, I did more than survive– I thrived. It was a challenging year in a number of ways, but for the most part it was a good, good year. One of the best. It was a bumpy start– I spent the first several weeks of 2012 in a an exhausted, slightly depressed fog after a bout of mania that kicked off with the birth of the baby and continued with back-to-back houseguests for three weeks, then Halloween, Thanksgiving, Patrick's 2nd birthday and Christmas. By January 2012, I was ready to crawl into bed and not come out for six months.
But, of course I couldn't do that. Not only did I have those two babies to take care of, I had contracts and deadlines. And so, I set off on a path this year that kept me very busy, brought many good days, the occasional emotional breakdown, a few awful days and a stronger sense of what my limist are and what is truly important to me.
So what was 2012 all about? It was about babies– the developmental milestones of a fearless two-year-old and watching his healthy, happy infant brother grow. Patrick and Lucas taught me a lot this year about patience, tolerance, juggling and prioritizing. They adore each other– Lucas is starting to talk and says “Bruh” for brother and Patrick calls him “Baby”– as in “Baby's awake!” and “Here you go, Baby!” when he's sharing his toys. I love these two boys. My babies. They rock my world hard.
This year was also about books. There were three new Cleis Press anthologies, Lustfully Ever After: Fairy Tale Erotic Romance; Duty and Desire: Military Erotic Romance and Best Erotic Romance 2013:
There was also my first full-length book for the new HarperCollins Mischief imprint, Seduce Me Tonight
I celebrated my 45th birthday and Mother's Day in the same weekend, taking the boys away for an overnight close to home and then taking a day for myself later in the week. I attended Book Expo America in New York City in June and got to meet several of my favorite writers and editors. Jay and I went to Washington, DC in September to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band– the first time we'd been alone overnight since Baby #2 was born. Then we took a roadtrip to Charlottesville, VA for our anniversary in October– the first two whole nights we'd spent alone together since Baby #1 was born in December 2009! (We have some very, very amazing friends.) I spent a couple of weekends in Richmond, VA for work and fun– and I dreamed of farway trips that I hope will come true in the next few years.
I got both a new vehicle and a new dog in 2012. It's my first new car in twenty years and our first new dog in over sixteen years, after losing our beloved Henry in June 2011. The Jeep doesn't have a name, but the dog is Clementine and she's settling into our family, with a few bumps, and rides happily in the back of the Jeep. She adores the boys and they adore her, so that makes her a very good dog as far as I'm concerned (though I wish she'd stop chewing my shoes).
The babysitter we'd had since Patrick was nine weeks old moved on to a full-time job in her chosen field in July, which left me in a bit of a panic for a couple of weeks. But we quickly found a new babysitter, almost as if by fate since I had known her for awhile, and she has been a wonderful addition to our family. We still have our original sitter for date nights and our new sitter part-time during the week. I discovered how much I'm able to do with the 20-25 hours of babysitting time I have each week– and I envision becoming even more disciplined in 2013.
The last third of the year has been one continuous celebration, with Lucas's 1st birthday, our 23rd wedding anniversary, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Patrick's 3rd birthday, and now Christmas and the New Year. So much joy– and I suspect this is the way things will be for many years to come. It has also been a year of new anthology contracts, with my announcement earlier this month of three new calls for submissions, including Best Erotic Romance 2014, A Princess Bound: Erotic Fairy Tales of Dominance and Submission and Three of Hearts: Erotic Romance for Women. I have other projects in mind for 2013– essays and books I want to write. So many goals to prioritize, but I know my head and my heart will guide me down the path I'm supposed to walk.
I wrote a lot of words in 2012. Probably close to 150,000– which boggles my mind. There was the 80k Seduce Me Tonight, another 30-35k for my forthcoming Cleis Press title, Bedded Bliss: A Guide to a Lifetime of Lust. I'm very proud– and very excited– about this book, though it won't be out until fall 2013. I just wrote some copy to describe Bedded Bliss, and it goes something like this:
Bedded Bliss: A Guide to a Lifetime of Lust takes a peek behind the closed doors of married and committed couples to find out what makes long term lust last. Award winning author and editor Kristina Wright curates a collection of sexy and powerful erotic fiction and memoir from some of the top authors in the genre, all of whom are in committed relationships ranging from five to over thirty years. Wright contributes her own thoughtful insights and advice gleaned from her twenty-two year marriage and successful career tapping into the erotic fantasies of readers. Bedded Bliss entertains, educates and encourages couples to remember the reasons they fell in love and lust—and reminds them of all the reasons to stay there, lustfully ever after!
Bedded Bliss was the hardest project I worked on this year– perhaps the hardest ever. There is a lot of me in there– my experiences and advice– and this book took me down a nonfiction path I rarely explore. I can't wait for it to come out.
There were the other writing and editing projects, as well. I turned in XOXO: Sweet and Sexy Erotic Romance a couple of months ago and this fun, sexy short-short collection will be out in the winter of 2014. I wrote short stories for several anthologies and dabbled in some essay writing about sex, relationships and motherhood. I did a fair amount of blogging over at Oh Get a Grip!, including one of my all-time favorite blog posts: Be Fierce, You Special Snowflake, as well as a post for the Erotica Readers and Writers Association blog that's as much a reminder to myself as it is advice to others: What It Means to be a Full-Time Writer. in the years before I had children, I couldn't have imagined writing as many words as I did this year. But now that I know I can do it, and do it with two little ones, I have set the bar pretty high for myself in the year(s) to come.
In 2012, there have been good days and bad days and going half-mad days– but mostly very good days. I'm not nearly as tired as I was a year ago– and I am really, really happy. Those two things tell me it's been a very good year, indeed. Yes, the first year of having two little ones was definitely a challenge– and I imagine this next year will bring its own set of challenges, as well. But I'm looking forward to 2013– how about you?
Here we go…