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Eroticon 2015: I’m Still Processing

I’m still processing!

2015-08-02 08.32.43
It’s been a week since I came home from Eroticon 2015 exhausted, encouraged, and excited — my head buzzing with
ideas. The thing about Eroticon is that it’s the event that keeps on giving. As much as I needed to talk shop and laugh and joke over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, as much as I needed the company of like-minded folks and kindred spirits all sharing fresh ideas, I needed something to take home with me as well. I needed that most of all, and I don’t think I was the only person who felt that way. This year, I brought way more home with me than just the gorgeous Love Sex Love Toys personalized mug and the swag bag full of naughty, delicious goodies. Here’s what I mean.

I’ve always liked taking piccies I can share with you lovely lot, and the hour I spent Sunday morning in Molly Moore’s photography workshop encouraged me to be bolder, 2015-08-02 11.37.53more adventurous with my photos and to remember that the best photos are the ones I love. As I put the photos into this post, I think of that informative and fun hour, and I smile at the pics of the people I feel honored to call friends and colleagues.

I spent a deliciously naughty hour in Ashley Lister’s Writing Erotic Romance workshop. At the end of the day, it’s always a poetic experience being around Mr. Lister. Reading his filthy pennings over his shoulder at lunch encouraged me – one who is most definitely poetically challenged — to try my hand at a little doggerel. Yesterday I plucked up my courage and sent two poems off for consideration in Ashley’s Coming Together in Verse anthology, and I may very well have opened a whole new world for myself. I was surprised and pleased to find just how much writing a bit of verse, no matter how bad, stimulates the creative juices for the WIP.

2015-08-02 11.36.40If there was a main message I took away from last weekend, it was the need for erotica as a genre to redefine itself and the need for a close community within, of which we had a lovely example at Eroticon 2015. For me, as a novelist, the times are exciting, as well as terrifying, and the journey ahead is definitely through an undiscovered country. I spent some quality time with the lovely M. K. Elliot, who is the go-to-girl for successful self-publishing and, I have to admit, I’m very excited about the possibilities, including some creative play with stories and WIPs on Wattpad. (I’d love it if you’d visit me there and see what I’m up to. I’m new, but hoping to find my way around quickly.) M. K. made me aware of lots of exciting possibilities. Though the world of publishing is a scary, changing landscape, it has the potential to be very exciting and foster new outlets 2015-08-02 09.53.10for creativity.

Most of you know that in addition to my online serial, In The Flesh, my WIP, Buried Pleasures, is completely different from my usual KDG or GM novels, I’m exploring dark paranormal romance/urban fantasy and loving every minute of it. That being the case, I took great pleasure in attending Janine Ashbless’ workshop on Fantasy writing. I’ve managed 10K on the WIP, plus another chapter on In The Flesh since I got home. I was encouraged to find that I was doing a lot of things right and excited to learn new things to make my writing even stronger. Oh, and there is an epic fantasy in the works.

At a time when quality is more important than ever and yet, as we’ve all seen, not required to get works out there, good editing is more important than ever. It was very interesting to hear editorial consultant, Cressida Downing, AKA The Book Analyst’s views and advice on editing, beta readers, reading other writer’s work and hiring an editor.

Yesterday I met with one of my long-time writing friends for a walk, catching up over lunch, and some shared writing time after. During the walk, the discussion turned to the dark elements in our writing, and I found myself telling her about Remittance Girl’s 2015-08-02 11.43.18riveting talk on Jouissance. All week I’ve been thinking about that place of perfection that we long for, but can’t actually get to, that place of excitement closest to the forbidden, and that dark place where I write the most powerful stuff, but the stuff that disturbs me the most. I’ll be thinking about jouissance and its place in my writing for a long time to come, but it was interesting to share it with a writer who often writes from just that place. No doubt she’ll be listening to RG’s podcast when she gets home.

Of course the whole Eroticon experience was made better because I shared it with my partner in crime, fellow Brit Babe, Lily Harlem, with whom I also taught a workshop on Crafting Creativity. Lily’s insights, her enthusiasm and her laughter are always encouraging to me and were a big part of what I took away from Eroticon 2015. Sharing the event and seeing it through other people’s eyes is at least as enlightening and exciting as my own experience of it. The lunches, the coffee times, the drinks at the The panel on publishing
pub, the Cuban food, the planning and scheming in hotel bars, these parts of Eroticon are the real points of connecting,
at least for me. From talking about the brutality of getting fit with Remittance Girl, to planning and scheming another m/m anthology for Brit Boys on Boys; from finding myself outside my introverted comfort zone at Revelation Vodka Bar to getting totally lost in conversation with F. Leonora Solomon and Janine Ashbless; from devouring delicious crepes under a brilliant blue moon with Lily Harlem, to long conversations about where does erotica go from here in the post 50SoG/ self-pub world in which we
now live – my response to it all is I’M STILL PROCESSING! The creative forces – blogger, writer, crafter, photographer, poet, editor, friend and
colleague, partner in crime – are all at work, and as I get back to my introverted 2015-08-01 21.49.57writerly world, it’s very nice to know that I’m not alone in my introversion, and that
the adventure, no matter how harsh and unforgiving it can feel at times, is a shared one and a very exciting one.

 

A very special Thank you to Ruby Kiddell at Write Sex Right, for organizing Eroticon 2015, the event that keeps on giving.

 

Shibari Bondage Demonstration Presented by Fantasies & Realities

shibari 3 Moorita and Harriet F and R

 

The group is called Fantasies and Realities, and it’s the brain child of my dear friend, Paulina Sygulska, and her partner in crime, Harriet Waley-Cohen. And if you are a fan of tasteful kink, as they are, this special event on Wednesday 29 of July at Buddha Bar in London, Knightsbridge, is for you.

The event will highlight a stunning Shibari bondage demo and two talks on sexual awakening from male and female perspective. All of this sensual pleasure will be offered up with scrumptious oriental cuisine at one of the hottest restaurants in town, and topped off with burlesque and anonymous fantasy sharing to wrap up the night. What more could an intellectual pervert ask for?! 😉

Shibari 2 Moorita Harriet F and RBrought to you by Fantasies and Realities in collaboration with the award winning Buddha Bar, this is promising to be a most delicious night, a true feast for all the senses. At just £5 booking fee plus you buy your own dinner on the night (from as low as £30 per three course meal) it’s a STEAL and from what Paulina and Harriet tell me, those already on the guest list are so excited they can barely keep their knickers on 😉

Both couples and singles and all sexual orientations welcome. Book your place: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/shibari-demonstration-erotica-talks-oriental-dining-experience-tickets-17692107570

 

I have to admit, I was totally intrigued by a group that would put together such a delicious evening, so I asked Paulina and Harriet to tell me a little mor about Fantasies & Realities, and here’s what Harriet had to say:

 

‘Fantasies & Realities was created after the first time that I gave a talk on using fantasy and erotica to spice up your sex life and deepen intimacy. Afterwards, many women approached me and said how much they wished that there was a safe, intimate and fun space for women to talk about their sexual desires, secret fantasies and experiences. The group was born and, since then, F&R has met monthly for our members to talk, share and enable each of us to open up fully to our inner fantasy worlds and desires.
‘I absolutely love getting together with everyone; each meet up something often surprising and totally wonderful will come out of it – whether its discovering that one member is obsessed with the fantasy of secretly watching others make love, or that one woman was asked on a first date if she’d indulge his fantasy of putting custard in her pants (yes, really!), or the walking in heels workshop where we all got to perfect our bedroom stiletto wiggle. It’s magical and beautiful and fun, not to mention how powerful it feels that we are all owning our sexuality and what that means for each of us so much more.’

 

 

Shibari1Moorita Paulina and Harriet

 

If you’re in the London area or want to make plans to be on the 29th of July, this is an event you won’t want to miss, a great opportunity to learn something new and share with like-minded people. Don’t miss the fun.

 

If you want to know more about Fantasies and Realities and read some of the fantasies check out www.fantasiesrealities.tumblr.com

 

The Morning After

The Morning After Smut by the Sea 2014:

P1010991It’s been a week since Smut by the Sea now. Can’t believe how fast time flies, and what a roller-coaster ride the week back home has been. But I want to talk about The Morning After today. I wrote most of this post on The Morning After. That meant everything was running late. My brain felt like someone stuffed it with cotton wool. When I sat down to write, I spilled my coffee and woe to anyone who crossed my path wrong. I’d have probably either bitten their head off, or worse yet, I’d have cried. As I walked to the green grocery that Morning After to cheer myself up with some summer fruit, I thought about why The Mornings After are so hard.

This time it was the Morning After Smut by the Sea. Just as I had expected, at Smut by the Sea there was that fantastic camaraderie with other writers. There was the chance to meet readers and encourage new writers to press on. One of the best parts of Smut by the Sea this year was meeting four members of the Brit Babes’ Street Team. Alison ScottDebbie Lowery,  Stephanie Robb and Peter Hill.What a pleasure it was to share the smut-tastic fun with the four of them. I was inspired by Victoria Blisse. I have the P1010956beginnings of a hot new story thanks to her workshop. I was reminded of what editors need and want in Lucy Felthouse’s workshop – always good for writers to remember. I was encouraged by the wonderful reaction and input and snippets share by the lovely writers in my writing workshop. I loved being read to in the reading slam and being intrigued by the stories shared there. Jackie Brocker had me squirming on my seat and my mouth watering with the most sensual description of eating a chocolate eclair I’ve ever heard. Janine Ashbless read some of the hottest, most prickly vampire prose I’ve ever heard. I was in aural heaven.

Beyond the actual schedule of events of Smut by the Sea, there was the wonderful catching up with other writers and talking shop. We writers work in isolation so we seldom get that chance to share with each
SBTS 2014 poster 2other. There was the chance to encourage new writers and the opportunity to meet readers in person. All in all it was a perfect day.

Buuuuuut … the Morning After, back home, I moped around with my chin on the ground. Why is the Morning After so hard? Here is a truth that I share gently and, in small doses, with new writers because I’m always afraid I’ll discourage them. Writing is hard enough and discouraging enough without hearing another writer talk about the hardships of the vocation. It’s a neurotic job we do. We work alone; our work is never done, and no matter how hard we try, we’re never a hundred per cent satisfied with what we do. Then there are the rejections that are just a part of the package and the bad reviews that every writer gets. There’s the wondering if we’ve done the best we can to promote ourselves, to make sure that our babies get the attention we think they so richly deserve. There’s the constant mental battle to decide what tasks we can leave undone so we can spend more quality time writing. And who doesn’t live with the chilling fear that tomorrow morning we might wake up and not a single word will come to us when we sit down to write?

P1020023The Mornings After are those days that follow the highs of being a writer – a good review, times spent
with other writers, a new sale, a nice royalty cheque, an inspired writing session. The Mornings After are the times when we remember that we’re always on our way up a very steep slope and that the pause to enjoy and to celebrate with writing friends — a pause we’ve well earned — is only that, just a pause.

Those last few weeks before and the weeks immediately following the publication of my first novel, I found myself depressed. The publication of The Initiation of Ms Holly raised the bar. Every writer wants each story, each novella, each novel to be better than the one before, and every writer wants to do all she can to see that her baby gets a good start. The Morning After is the understanding that we don’t know what will happen next, we don’t know exactly how to get where we want to be, as writers, and it’s inevitable that we’ll make mistakes along the way. The path is incredibly daunting. Sometimes it’s daunting because of the huge challenge we face. I felt that way when I began writing as Grace Marshall. Sometimes it just feels overwhelming because there are never enough hours in the day to do what we’d like to do to promote, to write, to become better at our craft. Quite often the Mornings After, for me, involves the overwhelming desire to run away and hide someplace where no one can find me until my heart rate settles and I can breathe again and think rationally again.

But when I strip away all that overwhelms me, all that frightens me, all that upsets me – the massive writing image 2need to promote my work, the blog posts that need to be written, the work that needs to be done, the editing, the social networking, the tight deadlines, the fact that I’m never totally pleased with myself and I set my standards outrageously high and I’m tunnel-visioned, and … breathe, KD! Breathe!

Once everything else is stripped away, the bottom line, the bedrock of my life and who I am as a human being is that writing is not a job for me. Writing is not a hobby. Writing is my vocation, my calling. Telling a story is my passion, and I’ll do it no matter what. I’ll do it because I can’t NOT do it. It’s as important as breathing. It’s my anchor to sanity when I feel like running away screaming. It’s both the gift and the curse, and the pull at my centre that keeps me focused and moving forward.

I hope that by writing this, I haven’t scared new writers, or maybe I hope that I HAVE scared them. It’s that perpetual state of fear and discomfort edged up close and personal to the love affair with story, with word, with a vocation that sometimes baffles us, but never, NEVER bores us; it’s that sharp edge that makes writing the story more than just a hobby, that makes it a spiritual journey and a digging down into the meat and bones and grit of the tale we’re compelled to tell and the passion we have for it.

No worries. I got through the Morning After. I always do. The Work in Progress grabbed me by the P1010987collar, yanked me away from my navel gazing and sat me in front of the laptop, and once again I’m  focused on what really matters. I’m a writer at the heart of me, and if I go to the heart of me, I can always get through another Morning After.

A very special thanks again to two of my heroes in the world of smut, Victoria and Kev Blisse. Thanks to you two, Smut by the Sea was the kind of event that make for great memories, loads of inspiration, and much encouragement long after The Morning After. xxx

 

Romance in Edinburgh!

If you’re up north on the 4th and 5th of July and looking for something truly romantic, be sure to check out the Romance Authors and Reader’s Event in Edinburgh. Check out the juicy details!

Friday July 4

Edinburgh 1Attendee registration at Ghillie Dhu

2:30-7:30 PM

2 Rutland St.  Edinburgh EH1 2AD  UK

 

Edinburgh 2+44 131 222 9930 point of contact Eleanor

http://www.ghillie-dhu.co.uk/gallery

*There will also be a registration booth Saturday morning before the signing.

Welcome Party

7:00PM-11:00PM

DJ  & Karaoke

Door prizes-provided by bloggers, authors, and publishers

Cash/CC bar

Ghillie Dhu

http://www.ghillie-dhu.co.uk/gallery

Saturday July 5, 2014

Edinburgh 3Signing at the historic Edinburgh Corn Exchange

10 New Market Rd Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH14 1RJ UK

+44 131 477 3500

Author set up 9:00AM, pre signing 10:00 AM, doors open 11:00 AM

Doors close 4:00PM

71 authors so far

http://www.edinburghcornexchange.com/private-events

 After Party

Edinburgh 4Cabaret Voltaire

7PM-11PM then open to the public

Cash/CC bar available

 

Edinburgh 536 Blair St Edinburgh, City of EdinburghEH1 1QR, UK

+44 131 247 4704

http://www.thecabaretvoltaire.com/club

 

Smut by the Sea 14th June 2014: Come Join the Fun

I’m very excited to give a little advance invite to Smut By the Sea, Year Two! Last year was so much fun, and this year promises to be even bigger and better and smuttier. Stay tuned for more smutty news as the time gets closer.

SBTS image 3When you think of Scarborough, many good things jump to mind. From the beach and many arcades to fish, chips and ice cream but I don’t suppose erotica is automatically one of those things. Well on the 14th June this year for the second time Smut by the Sea will take place at Scarborough library and it’s going to get really smutty.

What is it? Good question. It’s a gathering of authors and readers of erotica and erotic romance. There will be talks on Inspiration from Victoria Blisse, Writing Better Erotica from KD Grace and Social Media and promotion with Lucy Felthouse.

There’s also an afternoon stuffed full of sexy snippets read by the authors themselves, a free lunch and the unique and much loved Erotic Tombola and book stall, to feed your need for smut! If you ask nicely you can get your favourite authors to sign the books for you.

SBTS post1It’s a fun gathering of like-minded folk and if you want to attend you can pick up your tickets here. It’s £20 for all day and that includes your buffet lunch. A complete bargain.  All the details you need can be found at http://smutbythesea.co.uk . There is still room in the reading slam, so if you’re interested in joining in with a 5 min reading (not a moment more or you get spanked!) then drop Victoria a line.  Victoria @victoriablisse.co. uk (no spaces) and she’ll pencil you in!

If you live in a far flung corner of the world and can’t make it to Scarborough you can check out the advertising options so you can be with us in spirit. We’re also still looking for sponsors, if you or someone you know wants some fabulous, focused promotion then check out the Sponsor options.

The smutters look forward to seeing you there!

SBTS2 image

 

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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