What Is Your Favorite Color?

Saturday, March 10th, 2012 • No Comments on What Is Your Favorite Color?

This week’s theme at Oh Get a Grip! is favorite colors. My piece went in an entirely different direction than I intended:

I learned everything there is to know about color in photo finishing. How to take a negative and print a perfect replica of the original scene. How to add or subtract magenta, yellow and cyan to balance the tones of a photo. How to darken or lighten an image to take the edge off a bright flash or bring a face out of the shadows. I could hold a strip of negatives up to the fluorescent lights and tell you if it was going to be a bitch to print. Outdoor scenes—bright, sunny days with a clear blue sky—were the hardest to print. A cloudless blue sky rarely looks the same in a picture as it does in real life. And dust specks—tiny little things that you hardly notice when they’re on the tip of your fingers—look like giant snakes on a picture of sky.

I loathed summer because the beach parties and air shows would drive me around the bend, trying to get all the dust off every negative, trying to make the sky look the same as it did that sunny day. We always added cyan to sky pictures, making them bluer than they were in real life. People like their memories enhanced and no one never complained. If there were trees or sand (or people) in those pictures, they would sometimes take on a blue hue as well, and we’d have to go back and reprint the photo, subtracting some of the cyan. +3, -1, wasting time and paper on a picture someone was going to shove in a drawer and never look at again. You become a perfectionist in photo finishing—or you find a new job.

I worked at three labs in South Florida over the four or so years I worked in photo finishing and I saw a lot of pictures. A lot. Personal pictures, things I had never seen before then. Some things I haven’t seen since and would have to search for on the internet, if I were so inclined. The photo lab in the upper middle class neighborhood in South Florida was different than the photo lab near Fort Lauderdale beach. The neighborhood customers took pictures of birthday parties and bar mitzvahs, graduations and retirements. The beach customers were usually on vacation and their pictures reflected all of their vacation activities. And I do mean all. People on vacation get… wild. Luckily, I worked in the neighborhood lab before I worked at the beach location, so I had already had my eyes opened by people’s photographic proclivities.

You can read the rest here: The Color of Flesh

Posted by Kristina in Writing

2012 Projects, Month of March

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 • 2 Comments on 2012 Projects, Month of March


Maybe I’m being a little over ambitious this month?

My year of projects got off to a slow start (I didn’t really commit to this idea until mid-January when I realized how many projects I had already started), but it’s working as well as I hoped it would. There is something about completing a project, whether it’s a writing project or something else, that is very satisfying. I still have a bunch of ongoing projects in the works—including


books—so I’m not going to commit to too many new things in March. But here are this month’s projects, the ongoing projects and the projects I completed in February.

I hope 2012 is proving to be a year of accomplishments for you, too!


Nonfiction Book
Start date: mid-February
Finish date: August 1
This was last month’s proposal project (below) and has turned into a full-fledged book project with a shiny new contract! Which goes to show that finishing things, even if they seem like long shots, is a very, very good thing. I don’t want to say too much about this book yet—there will be plenty of time to crow about it—but I will say I’m working with some amazing authors to create a one-of-a-kind book combining nonfiction and fiction. It’s going to be something special!

Patrick’s Room
Start date: Um, last summer?
Finish date: March 31
When we found out we were expecting baby #2, things got a little bit tighter in our previously too-big-for-two-people house. When we had Patrick, we simply converted the third (empty) bedroom into a nursery. Lucas’s arrival meant moving him into the nursery, moving Patrick into the bigger guest bedroom, moving the guest bedroom furniture into the office/room over the garage/storage space and getting rid of a lot of furniture and junk. Because pregnancy is exhausting and things didn’t get accomplished quite as quickly as I would have liked, Patrick’s new bedroom was never completely finished. New carpet, new paint, new toddler bed and bedding (and a very cool window installed in his bizarrely shaped closet to give him a little “secret” room), but the little details—toy storage, paint touchups, art for the walls, cleaning out the top of the closet of junk, gluing the knobs on his dresser so he’ll stop taking them off—never got done. So my goal this month is to give his room a more finished look. It really shouldn’t be too difficult, it’s just one of those projects that keeps getting pushed to the back burner because of time. Now I just need to remember to take a “before” picture to go with the “after” picture.

Teaching Project
Start date: Now
Finish date: March 31
I haven’t taught at the community college since 2009 when I had Patrick and I’ve really missed it. Or some aspects of it, anyway. I don’t have the time (or the energy) to commit to teaching multiple sections of English Composition right now but I would love to teach a creative writing class or two. There is a local literary center that offers a variety of classes and I’d like to pitch a class to them. I’m not sure how open they will be to an erotica writing class, but I do have background in a variety of genres and subjects, so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to pitch something they’ll be interested in. (I’m thinking this would be a summer or fall class, so this month is really just about approaching them and figuring out their needs, creating a proposal and maybe a syllabus.)

Create a Photoblog
Start date: Now
Finish date: December 31
I’m starting a photo blog of my photo project Two Boys, One Picture and so that I can post my daily photos of the boys somewhere other than Facebook (for longevity). The project itself is a continuation of what I’m already doing, but this month’s goal is to create the photoblog and migrate the photos I’ve already posted on Facebook.


80,000 Word Book Project
Start date: January 1
Finish date: April 1
I can’t say too much about this project right now, but I have a contract and I am writing, writing, writing…

Update: Still writing, writing, writing… The deadline is in one month so this is my big writing project for March!

Two Boys, One Picture: A Photographic Chronicle
Start date: Januaryish
Finish date: December 31
I have started taking daily pictures of the babies. I’m calling it Two Boys, One Picture right now and posting the pictures daily on Facebook. I will likely start posting them onto my mama blog, Writer (With Children), too.

Update: I’m having so much fun with this project. Most parents warned me that I will have far more pictures of my first baby than the second baby—and I could see that happening after the first couple of months with Lucas. Now I have a daily picture (actually, it’s usually several daily pictures) of both boys. And other people seem to be enjoying the pictures on Facebook, too. My goal for March is to start a photoblog somewhere (Tumblr, maybe?) and move the photos I’ve taken so far to the new dedicated blog.

Good Vibes Sexy Mama blogger
Start date: January 23
Finish date: December 31 (with option to renew in 2013)
One of my projects for 2012 is to do more blogging in a variety of places. I realize not a lot of people find or follow this blog and that’s entirely my fault. So this year I hope to pursue a variety of blogging projects that I can link to from here. One of them is being a Sexy Mama blogger for Good Vibrations Magazine. The motherhood side of my identity is still one that I’m getting used to and making peace with, so my irregular (in timing, not in writing—I hope) blog posts on Good Vibes will address issues of motherhood and sexuality, either personal or societal. My first piece, Ready to Blossom, went up last week. And if you’re a mom, I would love to hear what you would like to read about.

Update: I’m working on a couple of pieces for Good Vibes right now and should have something new up soon.

Erotica Readers and Writers Association blogger
Start date: January 28
Finish date: December 31 (with option to renew in 2013)
Another blogging project I’ll be doing is over at the Erotica Readers and Writers Association blog. I will be blogging there on the 28th of every month, mostly about writing, editing and reading erotica. I’ll direct you to my first post: How It All Started to explain why I’m taking on this monthly project, but to summarize: Adrienne Benedicks and ERWA are responsible for my erotica writing career and I want to give back to this fantastic community.

Update: You can read my latest post: Building an Anthology from Scratch.

Best Erotic Romance 2013
Start date: Januaryish
Finish date: June 1
The second edition of Cleis Press’s Best Erotic Romance series and my seventh anthology for Cleis Press. I am absolutely delighted to be editing this series and I cannot wait to start receiving submissions. (Submission deadline is April 15.)

Update: The submission deadline for BER 2013 is in six weeks! I’m looking forward to reading the submissions.


The Month of Letters Challenge
Start date: February 1
Finish date: February 29
I am doing Mary Robinette Kowal’s Month of Letters Challenge. (I blogged about it here.) It’s a wonderful one-month project and I’m looking forward to sending (and receiving) “real” mail for the entire month of February. Please do read my original post about the challenge and send me your address if you’d like to receive something from me.

What a fun project. I missed two or three days due to illness (mine, the babies, the babysitter), but I sent 29 pieces of real mail, including cards, letters, postcards and packages, over the course of the month. Hopefully it will inspire me to send more letters and cards all year long.

Book Proposal
Start date: Last summer
Finish date: March 1
This is a proposal that’s been languishing on my hard drive for months. Other deadlines (and having a baby) threw me seriously off course, but I’m ready to finish it. I think I’m about 75% done with it, so I might be done sooner than March 1. Mostly I just want it resolved, so I’m getting it a deadline. I started it, I need to finish it.

I’m happy to say I finished this project on February 10 and was offered a contract within the week. It’s going to be a very fun book!

10,000 Word Short Story
Start date: Januaryish
Finish date: February 6
This is another one I just need to be done with. It’s contracted, it’s started, I’ve just gotten sidetracked in the past couple of weeks. It will be done by Monday, one way or another.

I finished this story in the nth hour and was really pleased with how it turned out. Happily, so was the editor! “Lilith Returns” will appear in an illustrated erotica anthology from Sweetmeats Press.

Posted by Kristina in Life

Politics, Morality and Violet Gordon Woodhouse

Friday, February 24th, 2012 • No Comments on Politics, Morality and Violet Gordon Woodhouse


This week my piece at Oh Get a Grip! is about politics, morality and Violet Gordon Woodhouse.

Just when did women stop being quiet, submissive good girls and turn into outspoken, demanding sluts? Maybe someone can tweet that question during the next GOP debate. I’m sure they will be happy to support legislation to get women back in the home. After all, childless career women are responsible for the breakdown of the family and the downfall of our society. (And here I thought it was all Eve’s fault.) Let’s start by taking away their reproductive rights, shall we? Keeping them barefoot and pregnant should help keep them quiet. Sigh.

Speaking of childless career women, I don’t know when Violet Gordon Woodhouse came on my radar, but I often think about her when I listen to politicians get up in arms about women’s morals or women’s reproductive rights or women’s roles in society. I might have picked up a book about radical women at the bookstore and found Violet there. I seem to recall reading about her along with the likes of Mata Hari and Amelia Earhart. In any case, I had never heard of her until a few years ago. Have you?

Violet was a successful and accomplished musician—some even called her a musical genius—but she had a nontraditional personal life that made her a very bad girl by the standards of her era (she was born in 1872). What’s sad is that she would still be considered a very bad girl today, too.

Read the rest of Violet Gordon Woodhouse (and Her Men) at Oh Get a Grip!

Photo montage of Violet found here.

Posted by Kristina in Writing

I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.