Looking Forward and Back: Some Changes in the Wind

janusHappy New Year, everyone! I hope you’ve been enjoying the holidays, and found some time to relax, read, write, or at least spend some time with loved ones. It always feels refreshing to me when we start a new year. I like to do the Janus-thing –you know, the Roman god of new beginnings & reflection, who looked both forward and backward. Do you like to do that, too?

Looking forward, we are considering some changes here at the Riskies, and we would love to have your feedback. So, below I’m going to post some questions and hope you’ll take the time to consider them and share your thoughts with us. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any changes we decide to make!

Before I post the questions, I’ll share a little of looking backwards over my holidays. First, I learned why it’s best to spoon the brandy already in the pan over the plum pudding after it’s alight. My family always has plum pudding (with hard sauce) at Christmas dinner, a nod to our English heritage. But you must understand the job of flaming the pudding is usually undertaken by my sister, who could not be with us this year. Here’s what happens if you light the pudding, then decide to pour more brandy on it after it’s flaming nicely –the blue flame travels up the stream of brandy to the receptacle you are pouring from, making you dump the rest quickly and without much grace, before your sleeve catches on fire. <g> Christmas Pudding-afireI must say that creates a really good blaze!! Good thing I was using a heat-proof glass measuring cup! Hmm, maybe that’s why the pudding package says to use just a teaspoon or two of brandy, but we have found that’s nowhere near enough! I might have to use this in a story…

Second, I learned a lot about foods that are considered to be lucky, or lead to prosperity and good health, if eaten on New Year’s Eve. We usually stay in and have friends over for dinner on New Year’s Eve, so this year I planned a menu made up almost entirely of these sorts of foods: shrimp (before dinner), lentil soup, butternut squash soup, roasted pork tenderloin, soba noodles (with water chestnuts, spinach, and curry sauce), salad of dark leafy greens with poppyseed dressing, sour cream & chive mashed potatoes colored gold, lemon poppyseed muffins. Explaining them all would be another whole blogpost! (Desserts were exempt from the theme.) Aside from the fact I prepared almost twice as much as we needed, we had a lovely evening, watched the 2006 movie Miss Potter (about Beatrix Potter) and all managed to stay awake to watch the NYC ball drop on TV and make a toast to the new year at midnight. Now we are all expecting great things from 2015.

I am sure I should be posting profound insights here, but after also having relatives over for dinner on New Year’s Day who couldn’t come on Christmas, I am still (or again) cleaning up my kitchen and am too tired to think that hard. I do love the holidays, but still, I can’t wait to get back to work on my Christmas novella (for release next fall), my rewrite of The Magnificent Marquess, my series and other writing projects. Do you feel a bit relieved when life starts to return to “normal” routines?

The normal routines here at the Risky Regencies are already a little changed with the departure of Megan and Myretta. We will miss them greatly! Thank goodness we can still visit with them in their other online homes. And we’ve invited some wonderful guests and may be expanding the ranks of the Riskies, as we have before. But we are taking a hard look at our blogging schedules, and wondering about making changes. So here are some questions we’d love to have you answer:

1) How often do you read the Risky Regencies blog? Daily, every few days, weekly, or less often?

2) Do you read several postings at a time, to catch up, if you don’t visit every day?

3) If we cut back the posting schedule so there were only three or four posts each week, would you still check in with us to read the posts?

4) Do you tune in to read only certain Risky authors, or do you read all/any of us? Do you pay attention to the schedule of who posts when?

5) Do you prefer one type of post over another? (i.e research posts, personal posts, writing related posts…)

6) Are you on Facebook? Do you think we should make the Riskies Facebook page a more active venue for discussions and posts?

We have tried to keep a schedule where there’s a new post almost every day. While we love the sharing with you, keeping to that schedule can really cut into writing time, and we are thinking a somewhat reduced schedule might be a help to all of us. What do you think?

Please, share your thoughts with us? We really would like to know. You can post in the comments here, or on the FB page, or in anyone else’s comment spaces in the next week.

In the meantime, I (and all my fellow Riskies, I’m certain) wish you all the very best in 2015, and look forward to many more conversations in this space!

About Gail Eastwood

Gail Eastwood is the author of seven Regencies that were originally published by Signet/Penguin. After taking ten years off for family matters, she has wobbled between contemporary romantic suspense and more Regency stories, wondering what century she's really in and trying to work the rust off her writing skills. Her backlist is gradually coming out in ebook format, and some are now available in new print editions as well. She is working on the start of a Regency-set series and other new projects. Stay tuned!
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