Thursday, January 26th, 2012 • No Comments on A Month of Letters Challenge
A small sample of my stationery collection
I love stationery. I mean, I really love it. Pretty sheets of paper with matching envelopes, sentimental cards, funny postcards, fold-and-mail letters with matching seals… sigh. From the time I learned to write, I had pen pals. Cousins in other states, friends who had moved away, the grandchildren of elderly neighbors, high school friends away at college, soldiers in the Army, sailors in the Navy (including my husband)… I wrote to anyone with an address. I miss those days of spending a few minutes, or an hour, writing a letter. I also miss the thrill of opening the mailbox and seeing a hand addressed envelope just for me.
Over the past decade, email has slowly replaced handwritten correspondence. Jay’s grandmother was my last real pen pal and after her death I wrote an essay called “The Last Letter” that appeared in Megan McMorris’s epistolary anthology P.S. What I Didn’t Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends. It was my goodbye to Julia and a way to honor our very special relationship. It was also a reluctant goodbye to a form of communication that is fading away into history. I still send cards to friends and I love putting something in the mail just to let someone know I’m thinking about them, but I don’t do it nearly as often as I would like.
For the month of February, Mary Robinette Kowal has issued a Month of Letters Challenge. The goal is to send something through the mail every day in February, with the exception of Sundays and holidays (which leaves 24 days). Mary’s Month of Letters Challenge appeals to the lifelong letter writer in me. I can do this. Between babies and books and life (oh my!), I don’t have a lot of time these days to write letters and cards, but I want to do this. I have the stationery (not that I won’t buy more), I have the stamps (because I never sent out holiday cards), I have the motivation. What I don’t have is your address. Yes, you.
It doesn’t matter if you live around the corner or around the world, just send your mailing address to [email protected] and I will send you something in the mail. And if you are so inclined, tell me something about you: do you like cats, dogs, the color pink? Did you just have a baby, get married, move across country? Are you an aspiring writer, a crafty knitter, a football fan? Just something about you. I will be sending cards and letters and postcards, but also a few books and pictures. Maybe a bit of sparkle or a twinkle of magic. A trinket or a nibble. Who knows? February is made of red hots and pink hearts and fuzzy groundhogs and American history and snowy days and warm mittens. And now February is made of special deliveries. Send me your address, won’t you?
If I already have your address, you may very well get something from me whether you request it or not. Also, as part of the Month of Letters Challenge, if you write to me, I will write you back. So if you want my address, just ask. And if you already have it and feel like taking up Mary’s challenge as well, I hope to open my mailbox one fine February morning and see my name written in your handwriting. Anticipation… don’t you love it?
The official website for A Month of Letters Challenge
P.S. This is for you, Julia. I miss your letters.
Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 • 2 Comments on New Call for Submissions: Best Erotic Romance 2013
Best Erotic Romance 2013
Editor: Kristina Wright
Publisher: Cleis Press
Publication Date: December 2012
Submission Deadline: April 15 (earlier submissions preferred!)
Payment: $100 per story and 2 copies of the book, on publication
E-mail: [email protected]
I have the honor of being the editor of Cleis Press’s Best Erotic Romance series, which features the finest erotic romance fiction by some of the best authors in the industry. The inaugural edition in the series received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and a 4-star review from RT Book Reviews and I will once again be looking for the very best stories in the genre for this second collection.
According to Romance Writers of America, a romance must include two key elements: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying, optimistic ending. In erotic romance, the sexual component is critical to the development of the romantic relationship. To get an idea of what I’m looking for, I strongly recommend reading the first edition of Best Erotic Romance.
The collection will be primarily heterosexual with a female audience in mind. However, stories may include bisexual or lesbian encounters as well as polyandrous relationships or group encounters. I have a preference for realistic stories with contemporary settings for this series, but any time period will be considered. No incest, nonconsensual sex, bestiality or underage characters, please.
Please be sure to follow all of the submission guidelines: Unpublished stories only, no simultaneous submissions. The desired story length is 2,000-4,500 words. Double-space and indent the first line of each paragraph. Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs. Include your full contact information (legal name/pseudonym, mailing address and phone number) and a bio of 50 words or less written in the third person. Please paste your story into the body of your e-mail and attach it as a Microsoft Word .doc file. Send your submission to [email protected] with Submission: Story Title in the subject line. Please direct any questions to the same address. The deadline is April 15, but earlier submissions are very much appreciated.
Payment will be $100 per story and 2 copies of the book upon publication. Contributors retain the rights to their stories.
About the editor:
Described by The Romance Reader as “a budding force to be reckoned with,” Kristina Wright (kristinawright.com) is an author, editor and college instructor. She has edited the Cleis Press anthologies Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women; Dream Lover: Paranormal Tales of Erotic Romance; Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance and Best Erotic Romance. Her forthcoming anthologies include Lustfully Ever After: Fairy Tale Erotic Romance and Duty and Desire: Military Erotic Romance for Women. Her first anthology, Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women was nominated for a Reviewers’ Choice Award by RT Book Reviews and was a featured alternate of the Doubleday Book Club. Kristina’s erotica and erotic romance fiction has appeared in over ninety print anthologies and she received the Golden Heart Award for Romantic Suspense from Romance Writers of America for her first novel Dangerous Curves. Her work has also been featured in numerous magazines and e-zines and her articles, interviews and book reviews have appeared in dozens of publications, both in print and online. She is a member of Romance Writers of America as well as the RWA special interest chapters, Passionate Ink and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal. She has served as the book club moderator for EdenFantasys Naked Reader Book Club and is a book reviewer for the Erotica Readers and Writers Association (erotica-readers.com). She is also a regular blogger at Oh Get a Grip! (ohgetagrip.blogspot.com) and Good Vibrations Magazine (magazine.goodvibes.com).
Friday, December 30th, 2011 • 3 Comments on 2011 in Review
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.