August, the month in review

Thursday, September 10th, 2015 • No Comments on August, the month in review

Kris beach

On the beach at Isle of Palms, SC

Okay, so it’s September 10th and I’m finally getting around to talking about August. It was busy. I have a hard time remembering everything that happened, so I have to pull out my date book and my various to do lists and sales trackers to break it all down. So… August.

I traveled for nearly half the month, spending almost a week in Charleston, SC with the family. I came home for the weekend, did my laundry, packed again and got on a plane for San Antonio. (I wrote a little about that in my July update.) The Charleston trip was part vacation, part house hunting expedition. Yes, we are considering moving back to South Carolina (we lived there from 1993-2000), but it’ll be next year before that can happen. There is still a lot up details up in the air, far more logistics than I’d like to consider, but that seems to be the way we’re headed. I’ll be writing more about it in the coming months, I’m sure, but for now it’s kind of a goal in the distance, with a lot to accomplish between now and then.

The San Antonio trip was a last minute thing– I got to tag along with a friend on her work trip and turn it into a writing retreat of my own. I saw a little bit of San Antonio, including its famous Riverwalk and The Alamo, as well as the notoriously haunted Menger Hotel. I’m planning to write something about the Menger, and work San Antonio into a couple of future pieces. While I was there, I wrote a bunch of new essays (most of which have found homes), pitched a few ideas and reworked a few old essays and sent them them back into the world. It was a productive trip, though I like a little more vacation with my work. Maybe next time.

The rest of the month was spent getting the boys ready for school (older kid started kindergarten, younger kid started pre-K). They’re in a Montessori school, so they started school at the end of August rather than after Labor Day. So at this point they’ve been in school for two weeks. It’s been adjustment, especially for my little guy, but we’re getting there! And speaking of the little one– we celebrated his 4th birthday the last weekend in August. I know the cliche is that time flies, but for the most part it doesn’t seem that way. I’ve been here with them almost full-time since they were born, working only part-time (and when they were very little, at least half of my work time was their nap time), and full-time for the past year. I’m grateful for that time, especially now that my oldest is in school hours than I used to work.

Some days with young kids can seem endless, but most of the time I’m very aware of how fleeting it all is. I think my time with them while they’ve been young has been worthwhile for all of us, especially since they’ve gotten nearly four years of being inseparable. And for me, I feel as if I know them better than anyone, having seen their moods and their developments change and mature. There is something to be said for being a stay-at-home mom, and I’m happy to say I recognized it in the moment and not just in hindsight. Of course, I’m still a stay-at-home mom and my work schedule is built around the 3 days they’re both in school (my little one goes 3 days a week for now), so I’ll be always be here. I hope that gives them confidence to do their own thing and feel secure in knowing I’m right here.

And while I’m right here packing lunches, baking cookies and going back and forth to school (and hanging out with the 4 year old on the two days he’s not in school), I’ve been writing. I have something of a writing schedule again, so I’m not keeping track of my hours, but it varies from week to week from “almost enough” to “not even close to enough,” and that’s okay. I’ve found a way to write fairly regularly and although my to do list is far longer than the hours I get each week, I have enough time to sustain my creativity most weeks. Yay for that!

August bylines included several posts at Mom.me, including one of my favorite pieces about how we gave our oldest son two middle names, one of them being the dog’s name. We lost Henry in 2011 and I still miss him all the time.

I also had some first-time bylines in Cosmopolitan (After a Childhood Spent on Diets, I’m Finally Done) and Country Living (8 Things Not to Say to a Military Wife), as well as another piece in Good Housekeeping (Being a Mom Doesn’t Define Me). Finally, I did something new– an interview piece (with kids!), sponsored by Airbnb for Huffington Post (We Asked These Adorable Toddlers if People Are Good).

Rolling into September, I have filed a couple of my Mom.me posts, tackled another sponsored interview for Huffington Post and I’m working on some fresh pitches. Autumn is my favorite season and I’m anticipating it being very productive!

It wasn’t all work and no play in August. I saw a few movies (Minions with the boys, which was cute, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.– Henry Cavill, mmmm!) and read one of my favorite books of this–or any– year: Megan Abbott‘s The Fever. Brilliantly written. It was the first book I’ve read by her and now I want to read everything she’s ever written. It’s that good!

I think that wraps up August. This summer has been a bit of a blur of fun times, emotional moments and a sense of being in constant motion, emotionally and physically. Always growing, always changing.

Here’s to a beautiful fall season!

 

Posted by Kristina in Books and Reading, Life, Parenting, Travel, Writing
 

See You in Richmond!

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 • 2 Comments on See You in Richmond!

 

JRWC-2015-Logo-for-Banner

My recap of August post is coming soon (probably tomorrow, certainly before October. Heh), but in the meantime, I want to point you in the direction of the 2015 James River Writers Conference being held October 16-18 in Richmond, Virginia. I am thrilled (seriously, thrilled!) to have been invited to participate in this year’s conference. I will be on two panels, one about erotica and erotic romance, the other about creating believable characters.

Some fantastic authors will be in attendance, including Mary Chris Escobar, M.M. Finck, I.W. Gregorio, Valley Haggard, Becky Masterman (whose book, Rage Against the Dying, I’m currently reading), and many more. There will also be opportunities to speak one-on-one with literary agents.

If you’re within driving distance of Richmond, please consider coming to the conference! While you’re in town, drop by my favorite bookstore, the fabulous Fountain Bookstore and Kelly and staff will hook you up with some great recommendations. And if Kelly is there, she’s happy to point you in the direction of one of the many wonderful, eclectic restaurants in the area.

Can you tell I’m excited about this conference? It’s going to be a fantastic weekend! See you there! (And I’m happy to meet up with readers or writers, so drop me a note if you’re in the area!)

My bio from the conference website. Wheee!

Author and Anthologist Kristina Wright  Kristina Wright is a full-time freelance writer and the editor of a over dozen erotic romance  anthologies, including FairyTale Lust and the Best Erotic Romance series. Her short fiction has  appeared in over one hundred print anthologies and her nonfiction has appeared in  publications as diverse as the Washington Post, USAToday, Narratively, Scary Mommy, The  Mid, and Brain, Child Magazine. She holds a B.A. in English from Charleston Southern University and a M.A. in Humanities from Old Dominion University and she has taught college composition and world mythology at the college level. She lives in Chesapeake, Virginia with her husband and two young sons.

– See more at: http://www.jamesriverwriters.org/what-we-do/programs/annual-conference/2015-james-river-writers-conference-award-winning-speakers#sthash.XKxDFE7h.dpuf

Posted by Kristina in Conference, Writing
 

July’s Month in Review, a little (lot) late

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 • No Comments on July’s Month in Review, a little (lot) late

 

Riverwalk, San Antonio

Riverwalk, San Antonio

Greetings from Texas! I’m sitting in a Starbucks next to San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk, taking a little end-of-summer writing getaway before the madness of fall and back-to-school start. Not that it hasn’t been mad, and chaotic, for the past couple of months. Where did July go? How is it August 12 already? Last week I was in South Carolina with the family, this week I’m in Texas. That’s where August has gone so far…

July was a whirlwind. The big, big event was Jay’s retirement from the Navy. We closed out a 28 year career with a lovely ceremony and family and friends in town to celebrate. It’s been a long–and not always easy– road, but the Navy life is now behind us and Jay is a military retiree. And there are so, so many changes coming in the next year. A new career for him, a new home for us, new schools for the boys… a new chapter in our lives. It’s exciting, and a little scary. But I’m ready.

July was a month of grilling out, hanging out and writing when I could. The boys were in art camp for two weeks, which mostly meant an introduction to school for the little one and a chance for them to both torment the teacher at the same time. I’m not sure a lot of art was made, but the end result was a few extra hours of writing time for me and an okay experience for them. My youngest is ready for school, my oldest is happy he’ll be seeing his preschool teachers again for kindergarten and lunch boxes have been purchased.

Sheri (my oldest friend from Florida, we’ve been friends for 27 years!) was in town for Jay’s retirement, so we took to the boys to see Inside/Out. Such a good movie, and one that I think kids can watch again and again and get something new out of it each time (and adults, too). I also saw Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation in July, and there were the usual trips to the park and zoo. It was a good, happy, emotional month.

On the writing front, I wrote some fun pieces for Mom.me in July and had another piece at Good Housekeeping. Best Erotic Romance 2015 was finally released (under the new title Best Erotic Romance of the Year, Volume 1) after a very long wait. My future with Cleis Press/Start Publishing is a game of Magic 8 Ball: “Ask again later” or “Outlook not so good.” I don’t know what to say on the subject, so I simply focus on my writing and keep moving forward and write apologetic emails to authors who would like answers. So would I, dear authors. So would I.

In good news, one of my reverted anthologies has found a home! The title will likely change, but For the Love of a Soldier will be published by Circlet Press. I don’t yet have a timeline for publication, but it’s nice to know this book will find a good home. I wish the same could be said of my other anthologies.

I think that sums up July. For such an action-and-emotion packed month, I don’t seem to have much to say about it. But it was memorable and life-changing. And sometimes a few words is all you need to tell the story. And now here I am in August, enjoying (ha!) the 102º Texas heat for a few more days. Then it’s homeward bound to get the kids ready for school and make lengthy to do lists for those school hours. Fall is around the corner, but I’m holding on to these last few weeks of summer. I hope you’re enjoying every moment.

Hey, look! It's a river in the middle of the city!

Hey, look! It’s a river in the middle of the city!

Posted by Kristina in Life, Writing
 

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

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