Typing With Wet Paws: Weekend Prep Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. This week, I want to start with congratulations to Mama Anna for being on track with her Goodreads Challenge. Starting strong, that’s what we like to see. Also whatever she is doing at a given moment, because, you know, I am a cat.

This picture of me from one year ago is proof that I am a cat, and also that Mama Anna needs to take more pictures in general, and of me specifically. We are working on that. Everybody loves cat pictures, and if the pctures of me happen to be of when I am sitting on or near her planner/journal supplies and/or other stuff, the pictures can cross-post to special interest groups. I like to multitask.

The book Mama Anna is focusing on this weekend is Lisbon, by Valerie Sherwood, who is one of her top tier historical romance authors. This was Ms. Sherwood’s final book, as far as we know, and Mama Anna hasn’t read it again since she read it the first time, when it was new and she and Papa just starting their lives together. She still has her copy in storage, I think, and it is very special to her, because Papa went out and got it for her in hardcover, because she was so excited for the book to come out and didn’t want to wait for paperback. This copy is from the library, and they will want their copy back at some point. I am especially fond of Mama Anna reading hardcovers in bed, because A) I get to rest on it when she falls asleep next to it, and B) I can cuddle with her while she reads, and rub my scent on it at the same time. I wonder if there are any cats at the library who will appreciate me annotating in that manner.

In other news, we are now on spring watch. This means that I in particular am keeping an eye on the windows and asking the humans to open them for me. Open windows are extremely important for neighborhood surveillance, which of course is one of my duties as a cat.

Other important duties come into play at this time of year as well. With Mama Anna moving her papers and pens around to make way for the switch to focus on new writing projects, my opinion and input is vital. I may or may not make off with the occasional eraser, pen cap, or bookmark, but I consider that due payment. Ditto my new habit of walking from my drawer (that is level to Mama Anna’s desk) onto said desk. If I go back and forth, that means that I want a cuddle and I want it now. It is then her turn to invite me into her lap, which I will accept. Then I put my head and front paws on her shoulder. Today, she gave in to the inevitable and paused in what she was doing and concentrated on cuddling me. She’s smart that way.

So, that’s about it for this week. The weekend should involve reading, cuddles, journaling and cuddles, maybe watch something on streaming and cuddles. Do you see a pattern here? How’s your week going?


The Big Furry Mess Option

Photo by Judit Peter on Pexels.com

Absolutely no plan for today’s blog, even though I had, er, planned on one, but I am overtired, thus a tad loopy, and in my defense, was left unsupervised. Melva and I are happy to announce that our revise and resubmit of Drama King, the second book in our contemporary romance series, Love by the Book, is now under consideration at The Wild Rose Press. We will know in a few weeks. Seems only natural to be turning my planning and journaling stuff over for a new season in more ways than one.

Right now, I am sitting in a wash of sunlight, listening to Reddit threads read over an external speaker because somebody who lives in my apartment and has paws, has a thing where the line between earbud and snack blurs. I will remedy this soon. In the meantime there is the speaker (which also has cool lighting options I have not yet figured out) and a pair of wireless earbuds in a cute kitty shaped case, which do not go anywhere near the actual cat.

I am also surrounded by (yeah, passive tense, what of it?) all the elements of highly organized workspace. All they need is for me to put them in the right order. Or any order, as I look at them today. Over the winter, I have been trying a bunch of different things in the stationery-verse to see what actually works best for me, and the way I do things now, not the way I think they should be or how they have always (or usually) been. Most of it is still in flux, but a more streamlined flux, if that makes any sense.

I have what I call a “big furry mess” stage, where things are generally in the same space. I have, for instance, a tote that’s all set up for my morning stuff. Morning brain dump and sleep log, my catchall planner, which is almost entirely functional, a fact that surprises the heck out of me, but there you have it, and the writing planner that I am still splashing about in the shallows with but trust that it will right itself (not write itself) by the time we shift into summer mode. There is one set of pens in that tote, the specific sticker books and accessories where appropriate, that I will be using with those specific planners/notebooks. I didn’t intend for a color theme, but I lump my morning stuff into “pink grapefruit,” as it’s all pinks and oranges and I can work with that. I, for the record, have never cared for the taste of grapefruits of any hue, but I do love a good theme for my stationery, and halved grapefruits topped with halved cherries (I do appreciate a good cherry) were standard breakfast images in the media of my childhood. I do not know why this is. I don’t remember either of my parents having grapefruit for breakfast, and it was never offered to me.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Right now, I am very much attuned to the traveler’s notebook format. Discbound is probably my number two format at present, but I am sorting out what works in the various sizes of traveler’s notebooks I have going. Part of it is the covers. Leather or vegan leather, the strings that give me options of what inserts to include (a benefit also afforded by discbound systems, and the process of getting all tactile as well as functional. I don’t strictly need the decorative elements, but I like them.

Then there’s this baby. Have I introduce Nyx yet? My very first Archer and Olive, with black dot grid pages. Do I have a purpose for her that sets her apart from al the others? Nope. Do I love her intensely? Yes. Am I planning on just tossing anything onto her pages just because? Also yes. I’ll figure out some sort of order maybe halfway through, which is okay, because…wait for it…I can buy more. We clicked when I stalked the clearance sale, so we are going to make this work. Also, Tiny Anna always wanted to write in white in on black paper, and y’know what? I am going to make that kiddo’s wish come true. It’s me. I’m the kiddo.

I am also blabbering. I completely and cheerfully admit this. When I sat down at the keyboard this afternoon, I had two options. Option one: throw some words on the screen, even if they don’t make sense. Possibly a bold move, but worth the risk. Option two: post nothing and feel guilty for the next howeverlong. I don’t like option two. Option One it is, then. Same as Monday morning was the first time in a long time that Her Last First Kiss was the story on the front burner (and wowzers, have I missed that story)

Option One for completely ripping out the second half and redoing it to take advantage of a historical thing that would make the second half oh so much better, felt scary, but Option Two, putting it off and feeling guilty, yeah, I don’t like that one. It doesn’t work, and it doesn’t get books written. I’m not sure if I actually went with Option One or if this counts as Option Three: get the big furry discbound notebook currently holding pieces of things, ignore any files on the computer, and physically write out what Happens Now that we are doing the historical thing. I am not entirely done with that phase, as my weekly call with Melva to talk contemporary doings happened when I was about on page…. I want to say seven. Going past that will involve looking at maps and making some lists and bouncing ideas off fellow writers of historical romance fiction, but…yeah.

With a projected 100k wordcount, the part that is staying as is sits at 55k, which is over the halfway mark, so yay me. My What Happens Next pages are literally just that. X happens, okay, what happens after that? And after that? And after that? Lather rinse repeat until HEA. Once we get there, go back and expand as needed until done, and then off to first readers it shall go. I do know where I am going after that with my first all new historical ms in neveryoumind years. This also involves a friend with roots in the country from which said hero hails, and this is the very first time I am planning on books being linked from the start. I normally think in standalones, which I can still do, but this is also commercial fiction, sooooo…..

Yeah. That’s where we are on this fine March afternoon. I am probably going to noodle an doodle in Nyx after I get done here, and/or stick my nose in a physical book, because I am back in reading mode with a vengeance, thanks to an influx of classic historical romances. I will no doubt be talking about those later on, because I have thoughts.

How is your week going?

Typing With Wet Paws: Organic Pest Control Professional Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. This is a big week, because I got to host a professional conference right here in our home. The hoomans call it a pest inspection (spoiler alert, there aren’t any) but Mama Anna was quick to mention that our family has a resident organic pest control specialist in-house. The hooman woman who came in first immediately knew Mama Anna mean “kitty,” and she called her partner, a male hooman, from downstairs to come see me. Not only did they praise my inherent good looks, but the woman person asked Mama Anna if I ever stared at any odd places along walls or cabinets. Mama Anna said no, and that if I did find any pests, I would kill them and bring them to her. She is right. I would, but there aren’t any so far. The man person told the woman person that was a really good question to ask, because we organic pest control specialists can pick up things that the hoomans miss.

Here you see me with Nyx, Mama Anna’s new Archer and Olive blackout journal. She loves it. I will let her show Nyx to you. Mama Anna sometimes names her things, and sometimes they have genders, but not always. I thin Nyx is a girl, but I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that when she is ready to take N yx out of the box for real and have her live in the bookshelf instead of the box, that box is mine. Mama Anna says she will use it to store stickers or cardstock but we will see about that. I am a cat. It is a box. Do the math. I am still lobbying for her to get one of the same company’s journals that has black, white, and kraft pages, because that will then be her calico journal.

I will let Mama Anna show the inside of the book when she wants to, but she has found that keeping regular journals is essential to her creative process. Right now, she likes the A5 Exceed journal, lined, with 100gsm paper. She is also thinking about getting a stencil to draw lines on pages that don’t have any, so that she can make any journal a lined journal. She’ll do it, too. Either that or figure out a way to deal without them. She’s smart like that.

Today is one of those days when having a built-in fur coat comes in really handy. Papa and Mama Anna are both home but they have to wear sweatshirts and big socks and that kind of thing, and all I need is me. I also like to sleep on the afghan Aunt Linda made them a while back. It is ivory colored, and has cables like an Irish fisherman sweater, and we all love it a lot. Mama Anna says that after lunch, she may snuggle under a blanket (maybe that one, maybe another one) with some journal stuff, a mug of tea, a vintage historical romance novel, and, of course, me. Papa might join us. He likes to look at his glowy box a lot, but he reads books sometimes, too. That would be super warm if it was all three of us.

That’s probably it for this week, apart from Mama Anna admitting she owes a blog from yesterday. She does have stuff in mind to talk about, so it’s really in her best interest to get to them. How is your week going?

Typing With Wet Paws: The Big Oh-Four Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. It’s been a wet everything off and on today, because it rained sometimes. Other times it was just cloudy. Papa did not have to go to work today, so he stayed home with Mama Anna and me. She has been drinking a lot of tea and is now taking care of some writing stuff. She was going to do some in depth overhaul of her desk area but she will do that when Papa is not home. Our home is cozy, which means that it’s easy for the big humans to get in each others’ way. I, being the Calico Comet, can dart in and out at will. Also top speed.

Anyway, on to the important news or should I say mews. February fourteenth, what humans call Valentine’s Day is also the day when we observe not only my birthday but big sister Skye’s. I am very proud to share an observed birthday with her. My first mom, Mama D, didn’t say when my birthday is, and I am not sure she knows, so Mama Anna and those guys don’t know either, but February fourteenth is a pretty good guess. Happy purr-thday to me. While my exact birthday is shrouded in mystery, it is safe to say that as of this birthday, I have hit the big oh-four. I got lots of pets and belly rubs and Mama Anna is always good for bringing out my red dot when I ask her.

As a newly recognized four-year-old, I have learned a few things. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Calicos can shed on every color of clothes, furniture, etc. This includes patterns.
  • I am an indoor cat. Never mind the awesome yearlong camping trip these guys took to celebrate my adoption. I did get out once, on my own, and I regret that. I had a few days living under a parking lot with the skunks and the possums. It was Not Great and pretty scary. 0/10 would not recommend. Indoors is where it’s at, and where I am, as well.
  • All furniture is cat furniture. No need to explain.
  • If you can’t find it, it’s probably in one of my stashes. Maybe you’ll see it again, maybe you won’t. Depends on how I feel.

I know more, but Mama Anna wants the computer now. Something about novel work. Or maybe Sims. Possibly both. Whichever, she is going to need my su-purr-vision. How’s your weekend going?


Pre-Spring Stationery Rambles

Another Thursday, another blog. We are now past the midpoint of February, and I am not at all sure we are going to get smacked by winter this year. I am not sure how I feel about that. To be determined, I suppose. One way this reflects is in the way I handle my stationery, because stationery is life. Though I didn’t manage to get the pastel Christmas theme this year (but I did get a start on it for next year) I figured that pastel winter would do as well, but then it wasn’t clicking, so I am now in a themeless wilderness. I will probably keep the Bloody Valentine theme for the rest of the month and then we will see. March, for me, suggests RWA conferences, though we haven’t been for the last few years for various reasons. I’m sure that will pick up again in the very near future. In any case, full speed ahead.

In full stationery nerd mode, I am currently fiddling around with my everyday carry (EDC) aka what’s in my bag. With spring in the offing, I want to stretch myself into going out more. Ever since we got this apartment, after our year of vagabondage, I have bene more of a homebody than I would like to admit. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I am an extrovert, I work at home, and I live in a city. There are people out there. :gestures to window: Part of this means doing some of my journaling and possibly discovery drafting outside of the house.

Not going to lie, nifty stationery goes a long way toward that end. Right now, I am sorting things out when it comes to my EDC. Pictured above is a leather traveler’s notebook from Chic Sparrow, in the size A6. This size is new to me, so I didn’t have any inserts that size, wasn’t sure where to find them, but I found a bound sketchbook that looked like it might fit. I popped it in, and oh my mercy, it’s great. The shiny things in the first picture are plastic dashboards, also from Chic Sparrow, which I can fill with whatever strikes my fancy. I moved the pocket sized inserts I had been using into a pocket-sized cover from another maker. Do I want to carry A6 with me, or pocket, and what about my B6? The good news is that as a writer, I absolutely am going to write in all of these books, so I’m not worried.

Here you see my very first Archer and Olive journal. That’s a silver spiderweb on the front cover, black linen with dark blue sparkles, and black dot gridded pages. I am challenging myself to make one spread per day. No theme, no plan, but throwing stuff on the page as I will, which I will probably show later. Right now, we are getting to know each other, and I am definitely planning on getting more, but definitely will wait until they go on sale. Go figure I finally discover this brand when they phase out the lined books. Eh, it’s fine. What I do know is that I am all about the GSM these days. I always suspected, but now I know.

For the rest of today, I get to transcribe that scene, send it off to Melva, and then tidy my desk area. I am excited to get back to historicals and seeing what I can do with that genre now, both with stories that have been on pause for far too long and new stories yet to come. I am eyeing Camp NaNo in April, which will no doubt get a notebook of its own.

That’s about it for that for the time being, so I will move on along to the transcription and then it’s desk tidying time. When we renew our lease in May, I want to get my secretary desk out of storage, because I want all the nooks and crannies. what notebooks are you using this season?


Typing With Wet Paws: Tales From the Deep Freeze Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. We are staying nice and snug here in NY state, even though the temperatures are in the single digits today. Don’t worry about us, though. we are keeping warm. Mama Anna has fleecy clothes on, and I have a built-in fur coat, so we are good. Also, she drinks a lot of tea. I mean a lot. As long as it keeps her warm and happy, I guess it’s okay.

Anyway, it’s Friday again, and that means I get to take over the blog for the day. We will start with my most recent pictures.

Ahem. That is NOT me. That is part of Mama Anna’s everyday carry (EDC) traveler’s notebook (TN.) I guess I may as well talk about that for a minute. Mama Anna would be lost without this thing even though it’s not a planner. Seriously. Her planner is a different notebook. This is one notebook she writes in every day and then two others she hasn’t written in yet, but is holding onto because she will at some point. I don’t get humans. She actually has a lot of TNs, in different sizes (and wants more; whatever, I can sit on them and make them my own with claws and such) and only today figured out that the rando sketchbook she picked up at an art store is actually the size of book that is supposed to go in this cover, which is A6, not the pocket sized things she has had in there all this time. She does have a pocket sized book on hand so she tried moving the pocket size stuff into that one and then putting the A6 book into that cover, and then….well, she doesn’t have any other A6 inserts, so she did some checking around, also looked into making her own, and then :deep breath: figured out that if she put that A6 book in the A6 cover, she can’t carry as many pens at one time in the pen loop and back pocket, so it’s back to the original arrangement.

Now, this is me. Yes, I look a little rough here, but that’s only because I just that minute got up from a nap and Mama Anna put a camera in my face. She’s getting back into the whole picture taking thing and I seem to be her number one favorite model. She has good taste. I do question her thought process when she says I can’t walk across her keyboard while she is using it. I am trying to help here. Okay, I may or may not have deleted part of a PDF she was working with, and I did butt-dial a friend on Discord, but really, are those things so horrible? Counted against the sheer amount of cuteness I provide, these things can be swept under the rug with all of the missing earbuds and hair ties.

Speaking of earbuds, Mama Anna is trying out a new thing this weekend: wireless earbuds. She suspects that they will soon be reclassified as “cat toys,” which I think is very progressive of her. Everything is a cat toy when you’re a kitty. Anyway, things are going pretty good over here. Mama Anna and Aunt Melva expect to be sending Queen of Hearts off to their editor very very soon, and Mama Anna will be back in historical mode. I like historical mode. There are lots of cats in historicals, or there should be. Thinkn of it, all those birds and mice and other vermin. Who you going to call, hoomans? That’s right. Cats. You’re welcome.

Also, I have a new sign off picture. How is your week going?

EDC, A&O and other stories

Planner covers, string lights and other pretties meet my gaze when I look over the top of my laptop monitor. I feel very much at home here (good because it is in my home) Right now, I am ticking off the things on my to do list for the day, most of it writing related, and household chores relegated to any time left after the writing things are done. This has been the goal for a while now, and now it’s here. Check in the plus column.

Yesterday, while I video chatted online with a friend, I turned over my everyday carry (EDC) to all new for February. Brown leather traveler’s notebook (A6 size, with pocket sized inserts) and for the first time, the delightful excess of accessories that I have always wanted. Yes, I still need more. Though I don’t usually do themes in my planners/notebooks, February doesn’t hew to pastel winter (and let’s face it, most pastel winter things I can find are actually pastel Christmas, and I don’t want to see Santa in February or even January. It’s his naptime.) The February theme presented itself rather than me going looking for it.

The theme for February is My Bloody Valentine. Yes, partly after the Machine Gun Kelly song and partly because I have enough elegant spooky stickers left over from October to make it work. This is the only Machine Gun Kelly song I know, and don’t know anything about him personally (except he is engaged to Megan Fox, maybe?) but the thing presented itself, so I am taking it. Is should mention that even my mug is in line with my theme for the month.

I will share a tour through my EDC for another post, possibly in video form, because it’s a lot and I am pretty happy with it. After trying out a lot of planning and journaling supplies, I am moving into the period of knowing what I like. Some of that means I am moving in the direction of what works best for me. On that note, I am now waiting the approximately two weeks for my very first Archer and Olive order. It is this one, black dot grid pages with a silver spiderweb on the front. I fully expect to fall in love with it, and will likely watch their pssst section for other pages and sizes. I’m normally a cream/ivory page gal, and the standard A&O color is white, but don’t knock it until you try it, I say in my mother’s voice. Besides, I have a source for the ivory lined journal of my dreams. I’ll give a tour of the current lineup later.

All of this focus on planning and journaling did indeed help my writing goals for 2023 to fall into line, and of course into their own notebooks. Right now, the plan is to deal with what’s on my desk at present: A Heart Most Errant, Her Last First Kiss, and then the pirate trilogy. After that, we will see, and Melva and I plan to put our heads together again in late spring or early summer to commit more acts of collaboration.

These guys are on top of the crate that holds the covers posted above. Plush Plague Doctor, gargoyle pencil holder, and the Tudor Rose ornament that never made it to the tree because I want it where I can see it every day. I also meant to mention FaRoFeb in the initial letter salad in the title, but then it slipped my mind until then. I don’t know much about fantasy romance, though I am curious. At any rate, I plan to read at least one fantasy romance during the month of February, which is also African American history month, which means I will also read at least one African-American historical romance. Other than that, i am focusing on reading the kind of thing I love to write – epic historical romancc, and for pity’s sake, take notes aas I do, because that stuff is important to me.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at this Thursday afternoon. One last last last look at the Queen of Hearts manuscript before it goes off on its merry way, and then I am fully back in historica mode. How is your week going?

Typing With Wet Paws: Kitty on the Keys Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. I’m a little late on posting here, because, well, naps. Anyway, I’m back now, and ready to help Mama Anna conquer the new year.

This year, Mama Anna is scaling back her reading goal on Goodreads, in hopes that it will encourage her to read more. What she wrote in her reading journal (I will let her post pictures. I can’t work the scanner because I have paws and don’t feel like reading the instructions) is “Drop and Give me Fifty (Two)” referring to the weeks of the year. She can do a book a week. Actually, she did two last night, one audiobook historical romance and one contemporary YA romance. She has also found that reading before bed, with me providing cuddles, obviously, helps her sleep, so she is going to try making that part of her evening routine. I, of course, help by sitting in the drawer nest to her desk. Of late, I have begun walking across the desk, and sometimes the keyboard, to let her know when he has been on the computer Long Enough. Needless to say, Mama Anna is not always delighted when I do this kind of thing. Can you believe that Spotify has no results for the search, “iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii?” If you’re looking for a name for your musical act, maybe try that.

Mama Anna has been doing pretty well on the writing front so far in January. If all goes well, she and Aunt Melva will be submitting Queen of Hearts to The Wild Rose Press. After that, they are going to use this quarter to focus on their individual projects. For Mama Anna, that means historical romance. She is looking ahead to Camp NaNo in April and thinking about, if she were going to start a new historical romance, what would that be? What would be fun? She has enough to keep her busy until then and probably beyond, but Facebook thought she might like to remember when she began working on Her Last First Kiss, and no, she did not want to know the number of years that was. It was before I was born. Yeah. She has co-written three books in that time and also had a lot of life happen, plus getting me, obviously the best part.

Christmas was pretty good. I got a robot litter box. The humans have not yet put it together, ahem, but that will happen soon. I don’t know how it works, but as long as it does, that is all I care about. I also did get that promised red dot, aka my death ray. I LOVE it. It lives in Mama Anna’s nightstand. I have to see her take it out and put it away. It’s her toy and I get to play with it. Sometimes Papa helps me play with it, so maybe it is really their toy. Eh, as long as I get to play with it, does anything else really matter? I don’t think so.

That’s it for this week, or at least until naptime. Believe it or not, a roll of toilet paper (Aunt Linda had it on her bed to clean up one of my hairballs. I fell asleep on it before she oculd put it away, so now it’s my nap pillow. That’s how it goes. I don’t make the rules. Oh wait, I do. I’m a cat.)




Right now, we are getting snow here in NY’s Capitol Region. I have a hot cup of gingerbread tea in my pink gingham mug. If I could summon any snack in the world to appear it would be swirly butter cookies with a kiss of raspberry jelly in the middle. I had a toasted English muffin with butter and grape spread. Kind of close but not the same. Maybe time to find a lower sugar recipe I can make on my own? Anyway, I have new fairy lights along the bookcase over my desk. These are multicolored, and steady, and I like the feel they give me. I will probably grab more from end of season sales, because the lights are very me.

Photo by Sena on Pexels.com

I am very much into the whole hygge thing. Last time Housemate and I made our weekly craft store run, I got a box of candle wicks so that I can melt down the remains of past jar candles into new candles. I love that whole idea, and the thought of the process and might even try making my own labels for the “new” candles. Part and parcel of January, it would seem. Last night, I finished listening to Bronson Pinchot read Jennifer Roberson’s Shapechangers. I will probably read or listen to the others in time. I am more of a Tiger and Del gal when it comes to Roberson, but it’s all good.

January this year is turning out to be a lot like November was, in that I want to experience it for itself, not as December’s hangover. We haven’t had much snow this month so far, and I am usually okay with the rain, but the promise of snow, that’s something special. My contemporary co-author, Melva Michaelian and I, have finished edits on our two most recent contemporary manuscripts. One will go to The Wild Rose Press for consideration, as they have right of first refusal, and the other may be ina revise and resubmit situation, or it will begin on a journey to find its home elsewhere. We’d like all of the Love By The Book books to be together, so that’s our hope.

This brings me to a place where I haven’t been for a while. My main focus for this quarter is solo historical romance. Pause for a short moment of running in circles, screaming, when Facebook wanted to know if I would like to remember that I had started Her Last First Kiss seven years ago. Seven. Years. I hate stops and starts like this, but I still love the story, and big changes to the second half do make that part of the book pretty much like a new work. I don’t know how this is going to shake out right now, and that’s okay. What I do know is that it’s time. I. Am. Doing. This. I’m not going to tell myself it’s too late, I’m too old, the market is too different, etc, etc, etc. None of that. I’m not doing that anymore.

Photo by Happiness Maker on Pexels.com

What I am doing is, well, writing. Doesn’t matter what at present, just as long as ink is coming out of the pen and onto the page. Journals, letters (remember letters? I love those.) and getting back into reading the stuff I love the very very best. Those seven years between the start of Her Last First Kiss and now have been big ones. I am proud of getting through them. I have co-written three contemporary romances. One of them is out in the world now, and then the other two are on their way to joining it at the right time. Tehre’s a balance somewhere between things I have always wanted to write and things that might be fun to try now. Getting back to regular blogging is a part of that.

One of the fun things about being in this kind of phase is discovering new things and steering into the natural rhythm. I am thinking of trying Archer and Olive journals, though my preference is for lined over dotted pages and ivory over white. There are kraft and blackout options, so I might try one of those. I like most notebook sizes, mainly A5, B6, and pocket. I love the idea of the heavyweight paper and would love to fit one into a leather cover, either folio or traveler’s notebook. Recommendations glagly accepted.


Planning Planning Planny Plans (reading and writing related)

Well hello there, 2023. The planner and pens pictured above are from 2020, the Year That Shall Not Be Named (but I’ve named it, haven’t I?) My first experiences with Paper Mate Ink Joy gel pens, and disc bound planning. I still have the pens (many times over) and have filled several disc bound planners and notebooks since then. As for the page finder, if anybody sees this particular page finder in the wild (woman image. leaning against the margin) please tell her Mummy misses her very much, and she can come home any time, no questions asked.

In reality, she is probably in storage. When I say that planning and journaling have been a godsend, I am not exaggerating. Blogging is, for me, the digital version of that. I’d like to be doing more of it in the coming year, as well as that whole making up stories thing. Right now, I am dealing with the Martian Death Cold that smacked us over the holiday season. Combined with the fact that my contemporary co-author, Melva, and I have finished first edits on our second and third novels together. Next, we submit and then we get to turn our main focus for the first quarter of the year to our individual efforts.

For me, that is historical romance. While writing contemporary with Melva is super fun, I have missed the historical realm, and so that’s where I’m headed back now. Plan A is to redo the second half of Her Last First Kiss, because it is big enough to ride the bus by itself now. Then I need to make some decisions about A Heart Most Errant. As for Plan B? That’s more in the realm of “what do I want to try next?”

I have no dearth of projects that have been on hold. My brazen widow who finds the love of her life with the nameless pawn of wretched nobleman. The blacksmith’s daughter who becomes a duchess by way of the London stage. Three generations of pirates, my first planned historical series. The once and future lovers who each thought the other was dead (whoops) and a family member that loves one of them too much and not in the right way, but I tried to shoehorn into the wrong time period. (It happens.)

Then there’s new stuff, because that’s what we writer types do. Since a dear friend’s birthday overlaps nicely with my beloved tucked away week between Christmas and New Year, that meant a visit to a sprawling used bookstore. That, of course, led to me coming home with a bunch of both beloved and new to me classic historical romances and historical fiction. There are vague ideas spinning around in that place where infant ideas go. I would love to write a family saga within historical romance. Would the type of historical romance I love the best fit better in today’s market if there were a paranormal/fantasy aspect? Whata are some fantasy books that read like classic historical romance that I might like to try?

No secret that the year just past was horrible for reading. Still figuring out what all contributed to that, but I do want to read more this year, and figure out what needs to happen for that to happen. Is vision part of it? Undoubtedly. Magnifying glasses, pages, bookmarks, etc, can help with that. I definitely need a place in our apartment that is for reading and is not our bed or my desk or the kitchen table. We are working on that one.

Right now, I am finishing this post and ticking it off my to do list, so I can take some cold meds and head back under my weighted blanket. I have vague plans to turn that into Netflix, fever and chills but there’s also falling asleep to Reddit threads on You Tube. Either way, I get time wtih my purr-sonal assistant, and that can’t be anything but good.

How’s your new year looking?