Filed under: Life
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 • No Comments
2013 has been a very good year for me. To look at my “Year in Review” according to Facebook, the biggest events in my life were all about books, writing, children and getting my kitchen remodeled. That sounds about right. (Plus, I’m leaving 2013 with one less body organ than I started with, as I said goodbye to my bad, baby gallbladder back in March.)
2013 was the year I tentatively added “memoirist” to my resume with the publication of my genre-bending relationship guide Bedded Bliss: A Couple’s Guide to Lust Ever After. I’m particularly proud of Bedded Bliss as it is such a joyous celebration of committed love and lust and a much more well-rounded picture of happy long term relationships than anything I’ve ever seen. I’m so grateful to the authors who contributed their stories to this book and I’m so happy that reviews have been so positive.
This is also the year I sold to one of my dream publications, the wonderful Brain, Child Magazine. I sold two pieces to them: Wanting More Than Enough is an essay on motherhood, marriage, the parent/child relationship and, ultimately, forgiveness and patience. Anchors Aweigh is a blog post I wrote as part of Brain, Child’s “What is Family?” holiday series. It’s a snapshot of my twenty-three year Navy marriage and how it’s changed since the addition of two kids.
Finally in the memoir category for this year, I discovered The Good Men Project this year– a fantastic website for men (and the women who love them). My piece, Committing to It: Making Married Sex the Best Sex, is a reflection of the theme of Bedded Bliss and was very well-received– at last count, it had been shared hundreds of times on various social networks!
2013 was also the year I edited my first short-short collection for Cleis Press. XOXO: Sweet and Sexy Romance is a romantic, flirty, sexy book of almost 40 short-shorts and we’ll be doing a fun promotion for it to coincide with Valentine’s Day!
On the domestic front, my kitchen remodel back in April/May has been worth every headache and going over the estimated date of completion. While it was no fun living without running water on the first floor of the house (especially with two kids!), it’s been a joy to have more cabinet and counter space, and my beloved chalkboard wall. It’s my favorite feature in the kitchen, besides the coffee bar.
This year, I turned 46 and celebrated 23 years of marriage– which means I’ve been married to Jay for half my life now. We celebrated our anniversary with a child-free weekend getaway, but really every day with this man is a celebration. He’s the reason I could write a book like Bedded Bliss with such conviction– I believe in life long love and lust because I live it every day.
In 2013, my sons turned 2 and 4 and I’m reminded of what a wild ride the past four years have been. I wouldn’t change a thing– except I would’ve asked for more help when I needed it and I would’ve taken more naps when I had the chance! But mostly I just try to enjoy every day in this crazy life of mine. I’m a very lucky girl and I know it.
I’m looking forward to 2014 for so many reasons, both personal and professional, but there are a few more hours left in 2013 and I plan to enjoy them with my family and friends. I hope 2013 has been good to you and I wish you all good things in the new year. While I don’t blog nearly as often as I would like, you can always connect with me on Facebook and Twitter. (But mostly Facebook, where I post lots of pictures and other goodies that interest and entertain me.)
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Make 2014 special.
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…