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Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

To See the New Year Coming

Happy New Year everyone! No navel gazing today. There are always more than plenty of that to go around this time of the year. I saw a meme on Facebook yesterday that said something along the lines of ‘I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I’ve become a better person.’ ‘Nuff said! No lectures, no reflections, no romps down memory lane. This year I’m beginning a new New Years Eve tradition because everyone deserves the gift of bad poetry from their friends. And if it’s bad poetry you want, well I’m your girl. And my wish for you all is that you see the old year out with whatever your version of a good hearty navel gaze may be, and after that’s all sorted,that you see the New Year coming.

 

Seeing the New Year Coming

 

You kissed my lips on New Year

Standing by the sink

My hands were wet and soapy,

We’d had a few to drink

We stayed at home this New Year

To give us time to think,

We stayed at home to navel gaze and

indulge in some New Year kink.

You kissed my lips on New Year,

Well that’s where you began

Then you kissed my neck and ears

Made me drop the frying pan

Splashing water on my breasts

and right up on my cheek.

You didn’t really mind that though,

And you gave my nips a tweak.

You pushed and shoved my skirt up high

Until my ass was bare

It didn’t half surprise you

To find no panties there.

To start the New Year right, you said,

A woman should be wet

And one grope reassured you

I was moist as I could get.

Then I reached behind me and

Grabbed you by the schlong

I like to party hard I said,

On New Years, I like it long.

You’d seen to my Christmas stuffing

Then ate me for Boxing Day Lunch

And you had a plan for New Year

One I would like a bunch.

You kissed and stroked and shoved right in

Alde Lang Syne you were humming

Then you took me from behind so I could see

The New Year coming.

 

Predictions from a Muddy Walk

IMG00118-20111113-1422“Lets take the route through the woods,” I said. “It’ll be safer, less muddy,” I said. Gawd, am I glad I’m married to a man who isn’t into ‘I told you so,’ cuz Wow! I think I actually came home with mud in my ears yesterday after our annual New Years Day walk. Although having said that, the downpour that we walked in the last third of the walk might have washed the mud out of my ears as while. It did wash most of the ten pounds of extra weight off my boots en route. Nice, easy cleanup that way.

As we got closer to finishing our walk — and we did manage a little over eight miles — I got to thinking that if I were a fortuneteller, I might consider how the first walk of the year goes to be an indication of what’s to come in the year ahead. And, actually, as a fortuneteller, I might do okay in this respect. Here’s what I figure.

 

Prediction One: Sometimes things won’t go according to plan

We approached the walk with enthusiasm, chatting about which route to take, because living in Surrey, as we do, we’re spoiled for choice. However England in the winter means LOTS OF RAIN and many of the paths turn into mud baths from December through to April. Prediction: Like every new year, like every new beginning, we approach with enthusiasm, we plan and scheme and take into account as many variables as possible, but there will be times in 2016, things just aren’t going to go according to plan. My logic for the choice of paths we took was sound. It made perfect sense to both of us to take a flatter path rather than a steeper, more treacherous one. We might have been safer, but we worked four times as hard just to stay on our feet. Never mind! We managed with lots of laughing and joking and a minimal amount of blue language from yours truly.

 

St Martha's Hill 2 23 novPrediction Two: Sometimes things will get messy

Prediction Two is very closely tied to prediction number one. Things will get messy. It’s a given. Might as well get used to it now and not let it get under my skin. I always let it get under my skin. I like things to go according to plan. I like to keep the mud off my boots, so to speak. So here is the warning sigh for the muddy bits. Be prepared K D! Take a couple of deep breaths, think peaceful thoughts because you know, as sure as you’re sitting here pounding out a blog post, that things will get messy.

 

Prediction Three: This too shall pass

Eventually, we came out of the woods onto solid ground – a paved road, actually, a part of a route we’d not walked in a while. We abandoned our original plan in favour of just getting out of the mud and then we remembered why we had enjoyed this particular forgotten route so much. There were great views of the Downs and solid footing – even a bit of cover by the trees when the rain properly set in. Our ordeal in the mud had put us in a reminiscing sort of mood, remembering all the walks that we’d had in which the weather or the circumstances were less than ideal and yet, when we ended up at the pub at the end of the day celebrating over a pint, some of those walks were the best ever. We decided we could write a book about those walks that went wrong and then turned glorious. Which leads me to prediction four for
2016.

 

raindrops 3Prediction Four: 2016 will result in new war stories

The best walking war stories we have are the ones from the most difficult walks. We never get tired of talking about them, and we always laugh and smile when we do. The best walking stories come from the most difficult walks because the most difficult walks challenge us and test us; some have made us really dig deep to see what we’re made of. Those are the ones that make us earn our pint. That goes with most of the challenges we face every year, and this year will be no exception. I have war stories from 2015; I’ll have them for 2016 as well. In fact, the very first one is a walking in the mud story from January 1st! Nietzsche might have said ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” but I say what doesn’t kill us will be worth a good laugh about over a pint when we get through it.

 

 

Prediction Five: Even if it gets messy, it’s gonna be good!

I’m basing that little prediction on the track record of the past … well … whole bunch of years of my life. I have to admit, I can be a bit of a ‘glass half empty’ sort of a girl from time to time. Fortunately I’m married to a ‘glass half full’ sort of guy so we balance each other out, and it’s good! Even at times when I’m up to me ears in the mud and the rain, it’s all good. That’s more than just taking into account that this too shall pass and that there’ll be beer or coffee or both waiting at the end of the tunnel. That’s the fact that all things being equal, I expect lessons along the way, and I also expect that some of them I’m not going to like very much. Usually those are the ones that I learn the most from. I don’t come out unscathed. I always come out with a few new battle scars and war stories, and I always find myself, at the end of the year, astounded that I made it through at all! What are the chances? I mean really? What are the chances of any of us really being here, and yet we are, and we laugh and we cry and we love and we fight and we squirm and we angst and we struggle through the mud, and we get there and we shine, at least a little, and that’s what we remember. That’s what matters. I have to say, I’m with Edna on this one!

 

 

 

Sun through trees NDW Nov 2011

 

My candle burns at both ends;

It will not last the night,

But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—

It gives a lovely light!

Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May there always be a nice pub and a pint at the end of your muddy walks in 2016.

 

New Years Resolutions: Sneaking Quietly Through the Back Door

182Well what do you know? Here it is the 4th of January already! 2014 is well and truly under way. The gym is overflowing with New Years Resolutioners; all around the world new diets have been begun as soon as the New Year hangover wears off; people stop drinking, stop smoking, begin learning Spanish or French, people promise to take better care of themselves, spend more time with good friends, waste less time in front of the telly, and the list goes on. On January 4th the universal urge to be ‘better’ in the New Year is nearly palpable in the soggy English air.

It happens every year, that urge to reflect on what has been and plan how the New Year will be better. 266Hope and excitement at new beginnings is so much a part of our human nature that the end of a year and the beginning of another one can’t help but be the time when we anticipate, plan change, and dare to dream of what wonderful things we can bring about in the next year. In fact there’s a heady sense of power in the New Year. I think it’s the time when we’re most confident that we can make changes, that we really do have power over our own lives. It’s the time when we’re most proactive toward those changes, those visions of the people we want to be.

Before I actually began to sell my writing, back when I dreamed of that first publication, back when there seemed to be a lot more time for navel gazing than is now, I was a consummate journaler. I filled pages and pages, notebooks and notebooks full of my reflections, ruminations and navel gazes. And nothing took more time and energy than the end of the year entry, in which I reflected on how I did on the year’s resolutions and planned my resolutions for the next. This was a process that often began in early December with me reading back through journals, taking notes, tracing down some of what I’d been reading during that year and reflecting on it. Yeah, I know. I needed to get a life!

By the time New Years Day rolled around, I had an extensive list of resolutions, each with a detailed 191outline of action as to how I was going to achieve it. I found that some of those resolutions simply fell by the wayside almost before the year began — those things that if I’m honest with myself, I know I’m never gonna do, no matter how much I wish I would. Others I achieved in varying degrees-ish. But sadly, for the most part, a month or maybe two into the year, that hard core maniacal urge to be a better me no matter what cooled to tepid indifference as every-day life took the shine off the New Year.

It was only when there stopped being time for such ginormous navel-gazes and micro-planning that I discovered I actually had achieved a lot of those goals that were my resolutions simply by just getting on 183with it. As I began to think more about how different my approach to all things new in the New Year had become the busier I became, I realised that I had, through no planning on my part, perfected the sneak-in-through-the-back-door method of dealing with the New Year. The big, bright New Year changes I used to spend days plotting and planning no longer got written down, no longer got planned out. Instead, they sort of implemented themselves in a totally unorganised way somewhere between the middle of January and the middle of February. They were easy on me, sort of whispering and smiling unobtrusively from the corners of my life. They came upon me, not in a sneak attack so much as a passing brush with someone who would somehow become my best friend.

I’m my own harsh task master. I’m driven, I’m tunnel-visioned, I’m a pit bull when I grab on to what I want to achieve with my writing. No one is harder on me than I am – no one is even close. And yet from somewhere there’s a gentler voice that sneaks in through the back door of the New Year and through the back doors of my life and reminds me to be kinder to me, to be easier on me, to find ways to rest and recreate and feed my creative self. I’ll never stop being driven. The time I’ve been given, the time we’ve all been given, is finite. And that gentler part of ourselves must somehow be a constant reminder of comfort and gentleness, of self-betterment that comes, not from brow-beating and berating ourselves, not from forced regimentation, but from easing into it, making ourselves comfortable with it. We, all of us, live inP1010083 a time when life is snatched away from us one sound-bite, one reality TV show, one advert at a time. Often our time, our precious time is bargained away from us by harsher forces, by ideals and scripts that aren’t our own, and the less time we have to dwell on the still small voice, the deeper the loss.

So my resolution, my only resolution every year is to listen more carefully to that gentler, quieter part of me, to forgive myself for not being able to be the super-human I think I should be, to settle into the arms of and be comfortable with the quieter me, the wiser me who knows how far I’ve really come, who knows that the shaping of a human being goes way deeper than what’s achieved in the outer world, and every heart that beats needs to find its own refuge in the value of just being who we are, of living in the present and coming quietly and gently and hopefully into the New Year.

 

A Very Crowded Room

writing image 2It’s crowded room time again, and my room that is 2013 is unusually crowded, surprisingly crowded, in fact. I’m sure I’m not alone in my fascination with the last week of the year. It’s completely different from the rest of the year. It feels more like there are actually just fifty-one weeks in the year, then there is a week that’s really the crowded room at the end, a place not unlike my grandmother’s living room was, jam-packed with the bits and pieces and memorabilia of eighty-three years of living.

The last week of the year is a mental version of that living room, a room that we all have in our head. No matter how expansive the previous fifty-one weeks have been, this final week is the tiny space into which we crowd everything that has happened in the year. Then we mentally pour ourselves a glass of our favourite, settle in to the one comfy chair that’s not avalanching with memories and emotions, and we reflect.

Every item in my grandmother’s living room had a story — a gift from someone, a souvenir from some marked event in her life, something someone had made for her or she had made for herself. My grandmother’s living room was a book full of stories I only ever experienced through her eyes, stories that were lost in the mist to anyone but her.

This time of year, in this last week, we all sit in our mental story book living rooms and tell ourselves one last time the stories that have been our life for the past fifty-one weeks. We laugh at our joys, we mourn our losses and we nod our heads in satisfaction at our successes, promising they’ll be even bigger next year.

There was a finality about her over-crowded living room. It spoke of endings, of past events, of P1000885treasured moments. That last week of the year room we all occupy right now has its own finality. After midnight tonight, we can crowd no more into that room. We leave it as it is, papers strewn, boxes open, bed unmade, cup of tea half finished. Mind you, some of us spend our last hours in that room frantically trying to crowd just a little more into it. That’s me, sitting in the recliner madly tapping away at the computer trying to get another chapter written, another short story out before I have to leave this room and lock the door behind me.

It doesn’t matter though, if we’re sitting reflecting on all that fills this room, or if we’re frantically trying to fill it fuller, at midnight tonight, we’ll all take a deep breath, open the door and walk out into the empty room waiting for us that is 2014. All we’ll take with us is our memories of the room we left and our hopes for how we’ll fill this bright new room that stretches promisingly before us. Some of us make New Years resolutions, some of us just plow in without a plan of action, but one thing is for certain, this time next year, if we live that long, we’ll be sitting in the full room again reflecting on how the experiences of 2014 have shaped us, anticipating how we will take the experiences into the next empty room. With that in mind, here is a very brief tour of my 2013 Room.

Empty Room New Year postMore Books in My Crowded Room:

This has been the year I had three novels published, finishing two trilogies in the process, along with a collection of my short stories.

Elemental Fire, the final novel of the Lakeland Witches paranormal trilogy came out early in the year.

Identity Crisis, book two of Grace Marshall’s Executive Decisions came out about the same time.

The Exhibition, the final book in the Executive Decisions trilogy came out in November.

Gracefully Aroused: The Best of K D Grace  a collection of my short stories, came out in the middle of the year.

First Drafts and Works in Progress:

medusa_bernini2013 was the year I collaborated with the fabulous Moorita Encantada on a burlesque play, Eye of the Beholder, a kinky, quirky twisting and retelling of the Greek myth of Medusa and Perseus. There’s more work to be done on that, and I’m looking forward to the rewrite and the next steps with Moorita in 2014.

With two days left in 2013, I finished the final read-through of the proofs for Fulfilling the Contract, the sequel to The Initiation of Ms Holly, which will be out in February 2014.

I’ve written two short stories I’m very excited about, that will be coming out in 2014. I’ll be crowing about those when they happen, and I’ve written numerous blog posts. I’m not even going to mention the pages of new ideas for future novels!

Did I Do Anything other than Write in 2013?

Yes! I did! I made two major trips abroad for research as well as for fun. I spent five days in Las Vegas in March, along with ten days in Oregon. Both Vegas and Oregon figure strongly into novels I’ve written and ones still to come.

I just got back from a fantastic week in Rome, where book three of The Mount series, To Rome with Lust, will be set. I came home truly inspired.

This was the year of the allotment. I spent many long hours spent digging and planting and harvesting some of the most delicious veg ever grown. My back still aches and my mouth still waters at the thought.

This was the year I temporarily gave up long walks for time spent at the gym with a personal trainer. What started out as rehab for a gimpy knee ended up to be a different kind of challenge for me and one that I’ve truly enjoyed. As for the knee – it’s very much improved and I look forward to taking on some long crow-country walks in 2014.

555019_495828133815487_910474558_nThere were lots of readings this year, several at Sh! Women’s Store, including two Reading and Poetry Slams. Sh! is always a delight.

This was the first year of Smut by the Sea, a fabulous gathering of writers and readers organized by two of my heroes, Victoria and Kev Blisse. I’m elated to say that we’ll all be returning to Scarborough for year two of Smut by the Sea in 2014! If you get a chance to attend, please do. I’d love to meet you there!

This was year two for Eroticon – held in London in 2013, and expanded to two full days this year! Once again, Ruby Kiddell organized a totally stunning event. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to lead a workshop for the event – my first ever. Thought my knees were knocking and my hands were shaking, it was a wonderful experience. I can’t recommend Eroticon enough, and in 2014 it’ll bet returning to Bristol. I hope to see you there!

The Birth of the Brit Babes:britbabes_sidebar

One of the most exciting things that happened at Eroticon this year was the birth of the Brit Babes. In 2012 at Eroticon, we put our heads together and schemed the fab Seven Deadly Sins anthology. In 2013 all that creativity became the creative force behind the Brit Babes, a group of eight British erotica authors dedicated to promoting quality and varied erotica and helping readers find just exactly the erotica that works for them. To learn more about The Brit Babes and their plans for world domination which very well could include you, please check out the Brit Babes Site

After a year’s hiatus, this was the year Erotica came back to London and Smutters organized a wonderful table selling books and promoting authors. I was very proud to be a part of the event, even for one day, and I’m still in awe of Victoria Blisse and Lucy Felthouse who organized the Smutter table and readings. You two rock!

This was the year I got nominated, along with the fabulous Kay Jaybee, for ETO’s Best Erotic Author of 2013. Kay and I went and celebrated at the event in Birmingham. We lost out to some chick named E.L. James. Can you believe it? But we still had a fantastic time catching up with old friends and making new ones. We came away winners anyway.

Writers spend so much time living in our heads, in the worlds we create and, at least for me, that forces me to live in the moment most of the time when I’m not writing. I never think much ahead of the next scene to be written, the next chapter to be finished, the next blog post to be put up. As a result, the room that is 2013 has, like the ones before it, filled up without me paying too much attention to what’s around me. And then I reach this day, this last day of the year and I look around me. I’m stunned at all P1000814that’s happened. As I think back, reflecting on the stories, the experiences, the laughter, the sharing and camaraderie, the joy of seeing my stories in print, it seems hard to imagine that I could possibly fit so much into only 365 days. And all the neurotic struggles and self-doubts and fears, well they take up such a tiny space in the room of 2013 that I wonder now why I let them take up so much of my energy.

Once again I come to the end of the year, pick up the key, and stand with heart racing, head full of ideas and plans, with hand resting on the door knob to enter that new room, the one that is bright and shiny and labeled in spangles and glitter, 2014. I am moved by all that has been, by all that is crowded into the space of one single year and by how it has changed me. And I anticipate newness, challenges, more neurotic episodes, adventures, times with friends, and writing – LOTS of writing. That’s the part I anticipate the most. How could it be otherwise?

My wish for you is that your reflections in your full room of 2013 be good ones, satisfying ones, and encouraging ones. And at the stroke of midnight, may you enter that bright empty room of 2014 with hope and joy and anticipation of how wonderfully you’ll fill it up.

 

 

The Grand Tour of A Very Full Room

writing image 2Every year I mention my fascination with the last week of the year, and 2012 is no exception. The last week isn’t like the rest. It’s almost like there are actually fifty-one weeks in the year, then there’s the crowded room at the end, a place not unlike my grandmother’s living room was, all crowded full of the bits and pieces and memorabilia of eighty-three years of living.

The last week of the year is a mini version of that living room, a mental version, a room that everyone has in their head, no matter how expansive the previous fifty-one weeks have been, this final week is the tiny space into which we crowd everything that’s happened in the past year. Then we settle in to the one comfy chair in that room that isn’t avalanching with memories and emotions, and we reflect.

It’s that time again, the last day in our overly crowded room of 2012. We have to enjoy it now while we can because we only have until midnight on 31st December, and then we’ll have to leave this room, lock the door behind us, never to return, and walk into the brand new huge empty room of 2013.

IMG00329-20120523-0945I’d like to take you on a very brief tour of my crowded room because I’m taking one last inventory of Room 2012, and what a crowded room it is! Careful there, don’t trip over all the gardening tools, and can you just step over that bag of compost. Yep, this was the year we got the allotment, weeds, rickety blue garden shed, asparagus patch and all. Hey, yoohoo! I’m over here, squished in the corner behind the four novels, one novella and three short stories. Yep, that’s me! I know, I know, I look a bit tired. Well it has been one of the most challenging years ever, so that’s not terribly surprising. There’s somewhere in the neighbourhood of 450,000 words in all those pages! Oh and then there was all the blog posts, and you know me. I’m noted for being pretty wordy.

That’s it, that’s it, careful there, just squeeze past the telly and around the stack of old Metro Holly 9 July 2012newspapers. 2012 was the year I made my first ever national television appearance on channel 5 news, thanks to the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey and the wild popularity of the eBook reader. I almost didn’t get there after being sent to the wrong studio, then being stuffed into a cab to get across London in twenty minutes before show time. What an adventure that was! I also got to be on the radio with Phil Rickman. I love radio. It’s still titillates the imagination for me. And then there were newspapers! Wow, I had mug shots and everything! The Daily Express even sent a photographer and a make-up artist so they could capture the smutter in her natural environment.

Careful there, don’t knock over the pile of used train tickets and hotel receipts. It took me ages to get them stacked that neatly. 2012 was packed with readings and launches and adventures in London. And then there were the talks in the libraries in the Midlands! That was definitely one of the highlights of my writing year. The Initiation of Ms Holly was chosen by the wonderful Between the Sheets Project, as one of the top 30 erotica books to be included on the shelves in public libraries in the UK. Between the Sheets was a month-long celebration of erotica including a website and blog and talks by erotica writers in libraries around the UK. I felt like I was a part of history being made. And when Kay Jaybee and I went to speak in the Dudley area libraries near Birmingham, we were bowled over by the excitement and the enthusiasm for erotica and by the wonderful hospitality of the people from the Black Country.

This was the year I became another person. Everyone knows K D Grace writes very naughty erotica. But this was the year when I decided romance should come to the forefront, and Xcite agreed with me. That being the case, Grace Marshall made her debut with romance served hot, and the first course was An Executive Decision, book one of the Executive Decisions Trilogy, which was released in September and very well received, so well in fact that Xcite asked me to hurry on with the rest of the trilogy. That’s what I’ve been up to since the middle of October. The second book, Identity Crisis, has just been finished and is due to make its appearance early in 2013, and book three, The Exhibition, won’t be far behind.

ExecDecisions Banner1

This was the year we got our allotment. Yes I know, I mentioned that, but since you keep tripping over garden tools and you noticed the freezer full of our over-abundant runner bean harvest, I thought I’d bring it up again. The plot we were allotted in April was about four, maybe five times our entire back garden and it was well-grown with weeds. We still managed a lovely crop of sweet corn, cabbage, French and runner beans and courgettes. And there was asparagus!

IMG00466-20121101-1054I can’t recall a year that I’ve ever worked so hard, and even with all of the excitement and the adventure I’ve never had a year that I’ve suffered so much from self-doubt, some of that, I’m sure, came from the stress of writing four novels as two different authors in one year, plus a 40 thousand word novella. This was a year that tested me and stretched me in ways I could have never imagined at the beginning, when I first walked into this room of 2012, back when it was the empty room. Now, as I reflect, I’m amazed that one year could contain so very, very much, and there’s so much more I could share with you, but really, I’m looking forward to the tour of YOUR crowded 2012!

For me, sales are good and the response to my work has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m already excited about the projects that are ahead of me. As I look back at this very full room of 2012, I feel like the luckiest woman on the planet.

I spend my days doing what I love most, writing stories. I spend my evenings and nights with a man who loves me and is very supportive of my work. I’m surrounded by wonderful colleagues and friends, who encourage me and empathise with me and share the excitement, and I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I already know some of the fun I can expect in 2013, and it will include at least two more novels; the third of The Executive Decisions novels and, at long last, a sequel to The Initiation of Ms Holly. There are also some schemes and plans I’m not quite ready to share yet, but I will definitely be crowing about them when the time comes. Oh yes, I’m going to have great fun filling the empty room of 2013. The key is already twitching in my hand!

Ultimately though, it doesn’t matter if we’re sitting reflecting on all that fills our individual 2012 room, or if we’re frantically trying to fill it still  December Sunset after first hard frostfuller; at midnight tonight, we’ll all take a deep breath, open the door and walk out into the empty room waiting for us in 2013. All we’ll take with us is our memories of the room we left and our hopes for how we’ll fill this bright new room that stretches promisingly before us. Some of us make New Years resolutions, some of us just plow in without a plan of action, but one thing is for certain, this time next year, if we live that long, we’ll be sitting in the full room again reflecting on how the experiences of 2013 have shaped us, anticipating how we’ll take the experiences into the next empty room.

My wish for you is that your reflections in your full room be good ones, satisfying ones. And at the stroke of midnight, that you will enter that bright new empty room with hope and joy and anticipation of how wonderfully you’ll fill it up.

 
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