2011 in Review

Friday, December 30th, 2011 • 3 Comments

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The Wrights on Christmas morning. There are FOUR of us now!

In order to write the year in review, I have to actually slow down and think about it. It’s been a whirlwind year—another one, actually—and there is so much to remember and be grateful for and to move forward from.

This year, I saw the release of three new anthologies. Dream Lover hit the shelves in May, Steamlust in October and Best Erotic Romance in December. This editing gig is awesome, I love it. I love getting to work with authors I’ve long admired, I love getting to tell a new author that I’m buying her first story, I love hearing that readers and reviewers enjoyed the books. It’s a joy and a pleasure to do this job and I’m so grateful to Brenda and Felice and Kat and Kara and the rest of the wonderful team at Cleis Press for being so amazing to work with. I signed contracts for two more anthologies this year, Lustfully Ever After, due out in May and Duty and Desire, due out sometime in the fall. I don’t have a contract for the next edition of Best Erotic Romance yet, but I’m looking forward to discovering new stories and authors.

In other writing news, I was invited to join the group author blog Oh Get a Grip! I’ve followed the blog almost since the beginning, and I was truly honored by the invitation. I think I’ve written some of my most honest and real stuff over there and in some ways I feel like OGG has helped me find my true voice again. And I didn’t even know it was lost.

Thanks to Lisabet Sarai, I’ll not only be continuing my blogging at OGG in 2012, I’ll also be blogging once a month at the Erotica Readers and Writers Association blog. That will be fun—and I’m so delighted to be a part of such a wonderful writing community. I hope to expand my writing circles in 2012, both at conferences and readings and also locally.

I can’t say much about it yet because I’m still waiting on the contract, but I’m working on a new writing project. It’s an exciting opportunity and I’m thrilled about it. The next few months will be intense, writing a lot, promoting my forthcoming anthologies, pitching new ideas, expanding my horizons. But I’m not ready to talk about 2012 yet. I’m still taking a look at 2011.

Editing anthologies ate up a lot of my work time this year, between calls for submissions, choosing stories, writing introductions and my own stories, editing the manuscripts, promoting the books, etc. But I did have a few new writing sales that I’m proud of, including the first story I wrote after Patrick was born. It seemed to take awhile for me to bounce back to my writerly self after Patrick, but with Lucas it felt like I hit the ground running as soon as I was out of the hospital. I turned in Lustfully Ever After two days before he was born and was promoting Steamlust and editing galleys two weeks after he arrived.

The year has been a good one in so many ways. New books, new contracts, new writing and editing opportunities—and a shiny new baby and Jay home for the entire year. Patrick turned two at the beginning of the month and Lucas will be four months old on New Year’s Day. Two babies under two! I used to cringe at the idea and pity the women who were going through it—and now it’s me and yes, it’s challenging and exhausting, but it’s also amazing and fun (most days).

It boggles my mind sometimes that I’ve accomplished anything this year besides keeping the babies alive and healthy—and maintaining the bare minimum of hygiene for myself—even while I find myself wishing I had done more. But that’s the nature of this writer thing, isn’t it? Never being content, always wanting to do more, write more, be better. Or maybe it’s just me.

2011 was a year of personal growth—and I don’t just mean my expanding pregnant belly. I have learned to speak up and ask for what I need instead of worrying about upsetting or inconveniencing others. I am giving up on the notion of being superwoman and now I’m simply trying to do as much as I can and maintain my balance. I have learned that the things that are important will get done and the things that don’t get done probably aren’t all that important. Jay and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary.  He is an amazing man and supports me in every way, keeping me grounded and also reminding me I have wings. What a ride it has been with him!

I spent time with old friends and I connected with writing friends, both of which fed my soul. I daydreamed about traveling, though I didn’t get farther than Baltimore this year. I watched my babies grow and thrive and marveled that my almost-45 year old body was able to produce such beautiful kiddos.

It’s been a year of change, of exhaustion, of joy, of frustration, of love. Boundless love. I have been more happy than sad. I have been more excited than scared. I have gained more than I have lost. I am stronger and wiser and more at peace with my life than I have been in a long, long time. It’s been a damn good year.

Onward to 2012.

 

Posted by Kristina in Life
 

December, Almost Gone

Thursday, December 29th, 2011 • 1 Comment

I have been neglecting my blog in that end-of-the-year mad rush to complete everything now so I can start the new year fresh. But January 1 is just a date on the calendar and any day is a good day to start fresh, right? I think I go through periodic phases of non-blogging because I want to start over here, too. Start fresh with a new look, a different approach. Changes are coming, but they might take a little while.

We had three house guests in the span of a month and I had some lovely days with a writer friend and some terrific conversations and some not-so-productive work days because of it. The holidays have come and gone—Lucas’s first Christmas (sniffle) and Patrick’s third Christmas (third?!). I’ve been sick, I’ve been frantic, I’ve been sad and happy. We put up the Christmas tree terribly late and I never did send out cards (though I hope to send them out in January). I still have gifts that need to be mailed, too. I mostly let go of my expectations for the holidays this year—I just had a baby less than four months ago, after all! That’s an excuse for at least a little while longer, right?

I got some good writing news that one day I’ll be able to share. It’s a project I’m excited about and that will translate into some really fun writing days in 2012. I am nearly finished with Duty and Desire after a lot of hair pulling and hand twisting. I don’t know if it was the military theme or the time of the year I was looking for submissions or what, but it seemed like no one was interested in writing military erotic romance even if everyone seems to be reading it. Oh well… I’m really pleased with how it’s coming together, even if it has taken longer than I anticipated.

I’m contemplating New Year’s resolutions, goals, plans and trips. 2012 is this bright shiny thing on the horizon with infinite (or nearly infinite) possibilities… and yet I know time will impact me more than it ever has and I will be frustrated by all the things I want to accomplish that fall by the wayside because I run out of time. Sigh. But I would truly rather have too much on my plate than not enough.

I hope your holiday season has been bright and merry. I hope your new year is shaping up to be a thing of wonder and beauty. I hope I will be back in here in a day or two to report on my resolutions and goals. I have hope.

Keep the faith, okay?

Posted by Kristina in Life
 

Letter to Lucas, 3 Months Old

Thursday, December 1st, 2011 • No Comments

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(A picture of you at 12 weeks, taken by Aunt Sheri!)

Dear Lucas,

Hello, baby boy! You are three months old today! Where has the time gone? The days slip by even as I try to hold onto these moments, not wanting to ever forget how sweet and soft and warm you are in my arms. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago when I was holding your brother like this and now he squirms and wriggles away and I know you will too, soon. Too soon!

Aunt Sheri just left after spending nearly ten days with us like she does every year at this time. She was very excited about seeing you and your brother—her “squishies,” she calls you. You didn’t get to have turkey and sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner this year because you’re still too young to enjoy it, but you did stay awake through dinner! In fact, you are quite the alert little monkey for big chunks of the day. I enjoy your two and three (and sometimes even four) hour stretches of being awake. It’s fun to watch you kick and coo on the playmat and see how you stare at your brother with your big intense eyes.

Two weeks ago at your 2 month appointment (which was a little later than it should have been), you weighed 14 pounds and 9 ounces and you were 24 inches long. You are a big baby! You are healthy and strong, already holding your head up well and trying so hard to sit up. Two days ago, you rolled over for the very first time on our bed! I couldn’t believe it. It won’t be long before you’re rolling over both ways and sitting up by yourself.

Your brother has gotten settled into having you around and he loves your very much. He likes to pat your head and say, “Awwwww!” before running off to play. I have no doubt you’ll be running after him soon enough and I think he will be thrilled to have a playmate who is closer to his size. As much as I am enjoying your infancy, I am looking forward to my two little boys playing together! It’s going to be so much fun to take you both places and plan family trips. Soon, baby. Soon!

One thing I would like to enjoy a little more is sleep! Oh baby, some nights you are awesome and sleep 7 hours straight and other nights… sigh. You had a pretty good stretch for about a week and I thought we’d solved your sleep issues by swaddling you tightly and elevating you with a sleep positioner. But the past week or so—oh my! Two nights ago you were awake about every two hours. I thought perhaps it was because you were too hot in your fleece swaddle in your warm room, so we adjusted things last night and it went a little better. I really can’t complain too much, most nights you do sleep at least four hours straight and that’s not so bad. It will be nice when you sleep through the night every night!

You have been smiling for a long time now and your squeals and coos are a prelude to your baby laughs. I can’t wait! You are fascinated by things around you and you even crane your neck to see what’s on television sometimes. This morning I sat on the living floor with you in my lap and Patrick perched on my knee while we watched Sesame Street. These are the moments I will remember, sweet Lucas. I don’t have as much one-on-one time with you as I did with your brother because he is now an active almost-two-year old, but you are precious and patient and enjoy watching whatever we’re doing. I’m grateful for your good nature and easy smiles. I’m so grateful for you!

The holidays are here and this next month will fly by. You will be four months old on January 1 and I imagine we’ll be starting to try you on solids around that time (if not sooner!). There is so much to look forward to, so many more milestones to help you achieve, so many memories to make! One day at a time, baby… here we go! 

Mama loves you. Always.

 

Posted by Kristina in Pregnancy and Baby
 

Writer Chick. Mother Hen.

Author, anthologist, mother, wife, dreamer, storyteller, coffee drinker. I blog here sporadically, when I'm not writing, editing anthologies for Cleis Press or messing around on Facebook. Welcome! Want to know more?

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