Well, when I look back it’s been a year with some exciting adventures. I’ve featured in an internationally published magazine, seen prehistoric cave paintings, witnessed the end of the world, met Thor, had various stories published, been a Ranter and yes, was a God for a day….find out more here.

‘Not’ Retirement

I suppose the biggest thing for me this year was a complete life-style change. I decided to give up work and took early retirement in May (not a word I like as this was definitely about doing something different). The theory was I’d have time to do the things I wanted to do, writing of course being one of them. Has it worked out? Welll….only up to a point. I have done things I’d not have had time for if I was working full time for sure but I haven’t been anything like as productive as I’d liked to be…that must be a resolution for 2015! It didn’t help that the first month of my retirement coincided with the World Cup…so that was a whole month written off there! Mind you, the fact that I’ve time to do a review of 2014 shows I have more time.

One of my retirement presents - a year's subscription to Private Eye.

One of my retirement presents – a year’s subscription to Private Eye.

Erotic Writing

Completion of my second book this year proved elusive, though it is progressing. But it has been quite a successful one for short story submissions. My novella ‘The Awakening of Kim’ (House of Erotica), a piece of sci-fi bdsm was out early in the new year. There were short stories in Smutters anthologies: ‘A Study of the Marine Life…’ in Smut by the Sea volume 3 and ‘Los Conquistadores and the Goddess of Chocolate’ in More Smut for Chocoholics. I was especially pleased to get my story ‘Lady Sally Rudston-Chichester and the Walled Garden’ into the Fifty Shades of Green anthology. I also offered my Punch and Judy bdsm story ‘That’s the way to do!’ to a free House of Erotica anthology.

Awakening of Kim SmutSea3.2[1] House of Erotica collection Fifty Shades of Green Cover

I have also teamed up with a new publisher, Forbidden Fiction. One story, ‘Maman Brigitte’ is edited with cover and ready to roll, whilst another, ‘Lady Sally Rudston-Chichester and the Automaton Horse’ is still awaiting an editor.

MamanBrigitte_CvrSMALL

Promotion

I’ve had fun promoting my work this year as well. In March I did a photo shoot for my book ‘Adventures in Fetishland’ (Xcite Books). A professional photographer, Andrew Welford, offered to do a photo shoot for only his travelling expenses. There are some photos of the shoot on my blog here.  I think he likes to do unusual things that are a bit different from the bread and butter wedding photos and I was certainly able to offer him the opportunity to do that! We photographed scenes of the Fetish Red Queen with her raven, the purple caterpillar and caged black cat and a tea party along with some studio portrait shots, all making use of a fab dungeon back-drop.

Copyright Andrew Welford Photography

Copyright Andrew Welford Photography

Copyright Andrew Welford Photography

Copyright Andrew Welford Photography

 

Copyright Andrew Welford Photography

Copyright Andrew Welford Photography

Copyright Andrew Welford Photography

Copyright Andrew Welford Photography

The purpose of the photo-shoot was to get something into Bizarre magazine. So, I was thrilled to get one of Andy’s photos and a short piece about the book into the mag. With its international distribution and an audience you’d expect to be sympathetic I was hopeful this would boost sales, but, to be honest, it didn’t really have a great impact in that way, though I’m still dead chuffed to get featured in Bizarre.

P1040317 (1024x768)

I did readings at both Smut by the Sea in Scarborough in May and Smut Manchester in November. At one I appeared as a marine biologist to read from my story in Smut by the Sea volume 3 and confused people by describing the behaviour of the red beadlet anemone! At Manchester I appeared as a Ranter to read from an unpublished story. Ranters were an extreme mid-17th century sect who, to put it very simply, believed in free love!

10466721_542376539200667_555100024_n P1040858

Other writing

I was pleased to get some of my non-erotica work published in a Pagan literary e-magazine Eternal Haunted Summer. I had a poem, (a rare piece of work!) ‘The Eye of the Hare’ in the spring equinox issue and a story ‘The Legend of the Golden Cradle’ in the winter solstice issue. I was just as delighted to help a friend get published for the first time by helping her out with typing, editing and proof reading and her story, ‘Pathway to Hare’ and her poem, ‘The Ballroom of Life’ appear in the same issues as my work.

Hare Picture 001

I’ve also regularly contributed to story time at the Leodis (Leeds) Pagan Moot I attend. So, I’ve done stories based on a couple of Yorkshire local legends and one about Xoxolatl, the Aztec Goddess of Chocolate based on research I’d done for my story. I tend to avoid erotica at these story times!

I also led a tour for the group of ancient sites around the North Yorkshire Moors, which involved a fair amount of research and writing up of my notes. We went to some fabulous places – my favourite being Garfitt Gap and the Wainstones, where there are cup and ring marked stones and rock art in an amazing landscape overlooked by a rocky outcrop. There is even a stone with a snake marked on it!

P1030461 Rock 5 Snake Stone P1030460 Wainstones from Snake Stone

And I was a God!

No seriously…I was. I was thrilled to be invited to take on a reading part in the Mabon celebrations at Thornborough Henge in September, a magnificent henge monument near Masham in Yorkshire. And yes, I was asked to take the part of the God in the ritual organised by Leodis Pagan group.

10411296_870332819678138_8170439302279124718_n

Earlier in the year I’d witnessed the end of the world (well, Ragnarok, the Viking apocalypse at the Jorvik Viking Festival in York) and met Thor (well you would, wouldn’t you?)

P1030340

Other stuff

In June I went on holiday to the Dordogne. The highlight was getting to see some prehistoric cave paintings not just the magnificent and famous replicas at Lascaux but smaller caves at Font de Gaume and Grotte du Sorcier. That was an amazing experience. Also went to the Castle Commarque, complete with troglodyte dwellings.

P1030853

One highlight of the year had to be getting to see Kate Bush. No pics I’m afraid as Kate wrote  to everybody going to her concerts and politely asked them not to take any photos or videos. And she was wonderful…every bit as brilliant as I could have hoped and more! I also went to the Green Man Festival in Wales in August. My favourite bands were War on Drugs and Samaris, this icy cool Icelandic band with a really hot singer. I got told off for taking way too many photos of her! I also went to see Neil Young in Liverpool He was in grungy, distorted electric guitar mode, which I love! An example I can draw on in my retirement to show how you’re never too old to ROCK!

P1040577

 

Share