Typing With Wet Claws: Seasonal Change Edition


Hello all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. It is cool today, but not as cold as yesterday. We had snow yesterday. Anty loves snow. It is her all time favorite weather. Rain is her second favorite, and she would like a few more rainy fall days before snowy winter days kick in. She likes those, too, and her super powers do extend into the winter, but even she thinks it is a little early for winter to begin. I, of course, am a Maine Coon, and therefore was born ready for winter. I am getting super fuzzy, because I am going to need the extra warmth when winter really begins.

Before the part of this blog where I get to talk about whatever I want begins, we have to have the part where I talk about what Anty is writing this week. That is the deal, and one of my duties as a mews. This week, Anty’s post at Buried Under Romance is about the blurred lines between historical and contemporary timelines in books. Sometimes, there are both in the same story, whether time travel or time slip. Those two, by the way, are not the same thing. I thought that was very interesting. That post looks like this:


and you can read about it here:  http://www.buriedunderromance.com/2016/10/saturday-discussion-blurred-time-lines.html#comment-9149

This week was a little bit different from other weeks, because it was the week of Anty’s birthday, and you all know how much she loves birthdays, including, and especially, but not limited to her own. She probably did not want to brag, but I did give her the very first present of the day, so she could start it off right. I even made it myself, but I was not quiet about it. Then again, it is very difficult to cough up a hairball quietly. Anty cleaned that , and gave me my breakfast, after a little while. She wanted my tummy to settle first. This was only a normal sized hairball, not the big awful kind that means she has to smear medicine on my mouth. I have learned my lesson on that one.

Anty had a special celebration with Uncle on Saturday, and went out with Mama on the actual day, which was Monday. Mama and Anty first became friends because they loved some of the same books, so Mama took Anty to two libraries, so Anty could binge and get all the books she wanted. That is a very good present for a book lover. Here is what Anty got, in the picture below. Anty had been saving the experience of reading the very last Bertrice Small historical romance she had not yet read, for a special occasion, and this was it. She is a little sad that this is the last new-to-her book (it came out a while ago, but she did not read it then) but there are still all her old favorites, and other books by other writers. If that is not enough, she creates her own. I think that is a big super power.


Since this birthday had a zero at the end of it (I have never had a birthday with a zero at the end of it, because I have not yet hit the big 1-0.) this one had Anty extra-thinky. Some things that she thought would have happened by now, have not happened yet, but that does not mean that they will not, ever. Other things already have happened, and, some, she would like to have happen again. This is called introspection. It is also called planning. If you have known Anty for any length of time, then you will know that she loves to plan. She has her planner already for this year, and has had it for some time. It is an eighteen month planner, which means she can start planning earlier than having to start out of the gate on January first. She likes that. She would like it if wall calendars would do the same thing, but she has not found one of those yet. Maybe she needs to do more looking.

She definitely needs to do more writing. It is exciting for Anty to be working on two projects at once, and, now that she  has her nifty new ergonomic lap desk, it is much more comfortable to do that. The box says her new desk is a smart desk. I think it is right, because it knew exactly what Anty needed in a lap desk.


Anty agrees that it is not the tools that make the writer, but the right tools do make the writing easier, and, in this case, more comfortable. Anty can also take this desk into her office, so she can sit in her super comfy office chair, with the keyboard in her lap, and watch the story spill out onto the big monitor. It does not hurt that the office is filled with things that Anty loves, and it is super toasty warm. My only objection is that the office has that strange carpet that I do not like, so I have to do all of my mews-ing from the linoleum on the kitchen floor outside Anty’s office door. This will be a challenging season.

What is good about that, though, is that writing makes Anty happy. Spending time with her imaginary friends is a pleasure now, not a chore. She knows, now, that she needs to close the office door, or leave the house, to make sure she can concentrate on her stories, and not be distracted by other things. Distractions are bad things for writer type humans. Staying in the story is what matters. Last night, Anty did not want to stop staying in the story, even though it was bedtime, and so she did not. I stuck right by her until she did stop, at midnight, and she rewarded me by giving me some food. I could get used to this.

That is about it for this week. Anty has more writing to do, and some errands to run, so she is going to need the computer back now. Until next time, I remain very truly yours,


i1035 FW1.1

Until next week…

Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling
(the kitty, not the book)


Doing The Thing


Wednesday’s post on Thursday should give a pretty accurate picture of how things are going this week, and I don’t even have a birthday as an excuse. Can I use first snow of the season? Snow is my favorite weather, by far but even I think October is a tiny tad early for this sort of thing. Eh, roll with the punches, I say, and if that can be a cinnamon roll, I would  be eternally grateful. It will go nicely with my cup of tea here at the coffee house. I thought about getting cocoa instead, but if I’m going to have cocoa, I want to make it myself, on the stove, with actual milk, and either marshmallows or whipped cream. I probably could get something comparable at the coffee house, but I’m in a mood.

I left the mouse at home, because I didn’t want to cart anything not strictly necessary around, especially since I didn’t know, when I left the house, if I was going to make the quick trot down the block to the coffee house, or trek through the park on my way to Panera. Since I am writing this from the coffee house, I think we all know what won out on that question. My tea is at hand, piping hot, phone has appropriate music queued, and now it’s time for me to do my part. Which would be the actual writing. This post first, a chat with Critique Partner Vicki, to bring each other up to date, and moving myself closer to my goals for both Her Last First Kiss and the Beach Ball. It’s a little strange, after only a few days with my nifty keen ergonomic lap desk, which I did not bring with me to the coffee house, though it is portable, so maybe I will try that next time.

I’d had a couple of topics for this post, but discarded them early on, because they were A) boring, B) strange, or C) nothing to do with the reason I blog, which is to muddle my way through this writing process thing. With November around the corner, that means NaNo is everywhere, and, much as I’d love to join in the madness, I can’t. What I do like about it, though, besides the sense of community, is that there is a concrete way to track progress. Thing is, it’s not my way, so I need to find some other method that works for me. The only way to figure that out is to forge ahead and see what I actually end up doing. When I studied Early Childhood Education in college (which was how I figured out I did not want to work in Early Childhood Education) one of the first things to stick with me was that there are different learning styles.

Since I make up stories, tell people who kissed on TV and blabber about books to get monies, it is not a stretch of the imagination to guess that I am not going to be using the correct educational terms here. In short, some of us learn by having somebody tell us what to do. Other learn by reading instructions. Others learn by watching somebody else do the thing. Yet others need to jump into the thick of the thing and figure out what we’re doing while we’re doing it. That’s me.

Right now, I’m looking at November with sleeves rolled back. I am looking at the draft of HLFK that I actually have to show to people. Some of my usual readers are not available, which means seeking out new ones. The extrovert part of me says “yay, new people!” The anxious part of me says “who’s going to want to read that stuff?” (Oh, hello, Hypercritical Gremlin. Back in your closet you go. Spit spot,  let’s spin you about. That’s a boy…or girl…or…I’m not going to look too closely on this one. Back in the closet, thanks  much, and shush, mama’s working.) and the actual process of finding said readers likely lies somewhere in the middle.

What works best for me is feedback. When I lived in the old country, I had a tight group of writer friends, who met weekly. We knew each other’s style, talked about characters like they were family members, and there was never a meeting that I didn’t bring something to read, because that feedback, whether it was praise or constructive criticism, is like air, water and food. Give me that, and I will give oh so much back. That’s the…well, not dream. Too vague. Too misty. I don’t want a dream. I want a goal. Something I can point to and move toward, page by page, every day. Which means I’m doing my thing and figuring out exactly what that thing might be as I go. Which means opening the file, changing my seat when needed, having my supplies in order and making sure  my well is full. Then I draw from it and splash it out onto the page, until I have a big, soggy draft with bits of miscellaneous assorted objects trailing from it as I offer it to my trusted guinea pi…uh, critique partners. Then comes feedback, and then the rewrite. I love the rewrite. Rewrites make me happy, but they can’t happen until I’ve actually made it all the way to The End.

Enough of that. I can babble for the rest of the afternoon, or I can hie myself back to Century Eighteen and torture Hero and Heroine. Guess which I’m going to pick.


I’m also watching the snow.








Post-Birthday Post



Sometimes, it’s the smallest changes that make the biggest difference.  Monday’s post is on Tuesday this week, because this particular Monday can best be summed up thusly:


I love my birthday. Like really, really love my birthday. Birthdays in general, but October 24th is all about me. Thankfully, I have progressed past the announcing of said date to random strangers (okay, I think I grew out of that when I was about five, maybe six) I do not sleep in a tiara, as the risk of poking Real Life Romance Hero in the eye is too strong, but the sentiment is basically the same. The time leading up to the actual day had some ups and downs, because the number attached to this birthday has a zero in it. We will not dwell on that, because the time machine is broken, and I can only move forward from where I am at present, the anniversary of being a one-day-old.

While I am not a medical or psychological professional, I did study early childhood education (the fact that I now make up stories and tell people who kissed on TV may let you know how good of a match that turned out to be) and I think it is safe to say that a large part of a one-day-old’s thought process is devoted to (pardon my language, gentle readers) “WTF?” There they were, minding their own business the way they’d always done, then the walls closed in and oh so much pressure, and then light and sound and touching and hey it’s cold out here and what are you doing with my cord, doctor person? Okay, there’s milk, and blankets are nice, and these other beings generally seem pleased that the new person exists, but there is a bit of a learning curve going on here. Little patience with the new kid, okay?

Today is a little like that. Since Real Life Romance Hero had to work on the 24th, we celebrated together on the 22nd, which was cold, rainy and grey. In short, my favorite weather besides snow, so bonus points for that. We had lunch together, hung out for the afternoon, and I could not have asked for a better day. Cold day, hot date, hot lunch. Perfect combination, left me feeling very loved.


This left the actual day free for celebrating with Housemate, who knew me well enough to suggest trips to two separate libraries. This is why we are friends. That, and neither of us can afford the blackmail. She also gave me the lovely lap desk in today’s picture, or, for a better shot of it without the laptop and friends in the way, this:



I’d had my eye on this one for a while, though the old lap desk still technically worked. It was a flat surface. It fit in my lap. Okay, the not-very-convincing woodgrain contact paper type of covering had begun to split and peel, the cushion had deflated, and the loop that was intended to let me carry the desk from place to place was now more of a tab. In short, long enough. Time for something new. Time for getting down to business. This one has two wrist rests. The wooden bar between them keeps pens from rolling off, and there are not one, but two places I can park my phone while making with the tappity tap.

How big a difference did this make? Pretty darned, actually. Last night, while I chatted with H, I worked on a scene.  Things were going all right, though this was not coming as smoothly as I had hoped, but okay,  moving forward. Typing with wrist support is a whole other experience, everything in the correct place, no need to be part Cirque de Soleil performer while keeping everything in reach. Until, that is, my jump drive blinked at me. I knew what that blinking jump drive meant. Bad stuff.

Sure enough, a couple of seconds later, the computer let me know the jump drive was corrupted. Click this handy button to fix things. That always worked before, so I did. Computer said drive was okay now. Great. Go back to document. My scene is gone. Closing in on two thousand words, gone. Not there. Big ol’ zero. I calmly inform H of this. H joins me in expression of shock and dismay. Was I sure? I was sure. Blank page, right there. Maybe being actually comfortable had something to do with it, or newfound maturity, or both, but I checked my backup, to see if I had saved an earlier version.  I had.

Okay.  Call up earlier version. Discover earlier version is half the size of scene I lost. Half. Inform H of this. H agrees it stinks that I lost half, but, maybe, this is for the best, and I can write it even better this time. I agreed that was probably true, but I was done for the night. I took out a new jump drive, obtained for the distinct purpose of taking over for the other one, and transferred the file in question. Then it was bedtime, because entire scenes vanishing can do a thing to a gal, especially on the first day of a year ending in zero.

So. Far over the  magic seven hundred, comfy in my chair, with my lap desk, wrists fully supported, handwritten “everything I can remember about this scene” pages in place, and forward I go, a one-day-old once more. Only, this time, I have cupcakes.


apple spice, brown sugar frosting

Typing With Wet Claws: Uncle Photobomb Edition


Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. Anty only meant to take a picture of me for today’s blog, but she did not know Uncle was right behind me. I made her keep him in the picture because he is super handsome (even if you can only see his hands in this particular picture) and great and my favorite.  Also, he often comes home smelling like fish (he works in a restaurant that specializes in fish) so that is a pretty big bonus if you are a kitty.

While Anty agrees with me on how great Uncle is, she also reminds me who it is who feeds me all day, and the agreement we made about what we talk about, and when, on this blog. That means I have to tell you where you can see Anty’s writing this week, besides here. First, as always, Anty talked about seasonal reading preferences over at Buried Under Romance. That post is here:

http://www.buriedunderromance.com/2016/10/saturday-discussion-time-of-the-season.html and it looks like this:




Then Anty got to do one of her other favorite things, and get a look at a book she really really wanted to read, before humans can buy it in stores, and then talk about it. That is her First Look at Baron, by Joanna Shupe. You can read that post at Heroes and Heartbreakers, here:

http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2016/10/first-look-joanna-shupes-baron-october-25-2016  and it looks like this:




Anty very much likes books set in Gilded Age New York. Maybe she will write one herself, someday, but right now, she is writing two books with different settings, and that is enough for her. Part of this whole getting back on the horse thing (I have not seen any horses around the apartment, so I think Anty might mean metaphorical horses) is learning what she can handle and still produce the kind of work she wants to share with other humans. This means saying no to some things, like NaNoWriMo. That works very well for other humans, but, for Anty, it feels like too much pressure.

What works better for Anty is to dive into the story and kind of live there for a while. Without distractions is best, apart from any peripherals that help her stay in the story world. That would include her story playlists (the Beach Ball still does not have a playlist of its own, so she will listen to either her Go To Work playlist, which she listens to when writing nonfiction, or the songs she dumps on a general playlist because she likes them, but does not know what story they go with yet) any reference pictures and/or notes, and sometimes even a scented candle. Some scented candles make Uncle sick, so Anty does not burn those when he is around. Sometimes, she will keep the unlit candle around and give it a sniff when she needs to smell that smell.

Sometimes, Anty likes to get out of the house, like when she meets with Miss N on Tuesdays and when she goes to the coffee house on some afternoons. Earlier this week, she wrote on the old desktop (it does not have internet) for a while because Uncle was home, doing Uncle-y things, and Anty needed to get the work done. She was surprised how well that worked. For one thing, the big screen on the monitor is very easy for her eyes to focus on, and, for another, I know where she keeps the gummi bears. I do not eat gummi bears, because I am a kitty, but I know where she keeps them, and being near the gummi bears when writing seems to work rather well.

None of that is really news to those who have been reading this blog for a while, but Anty has a new document going because she is on a new draft, and she does not think that is very interesting to anybody but her. While she likes Scrivener for some things, right now, she is focused on building her story layers, so she is going to try moving everything to Word. That will let her do more work in her office. It is her happy place. She is pretty much splashing around in the shallows of this whole writing process thing, as one’s process can change after big life events (and she has had a few) and, when she finds something that clicks, sticking with that. I am glad that letting me blog for her on Fridays is one of those things. I do take my mews duties seriously, and I will do anything for my Anty. Except enter her office, because I do not like the carpet in there.

Normally, I would say this is about it for the week, apart from Anty being excited because A) The Walking Dead season premiere is Sunday, and B) her birthday is Monday, but it has come to my attention that the picture at the top of the page does not actually include Uncle. I am going to try that again, in case there is something picky about the size of the featured image.


Photobombed by my Uncle. Best day ever.


There. Now, you can see Uncle’s hands above my head and behind me. That is about it for this week. Until next time, I remain very truly yours,


Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling
(the kitty, not the book)

Only a Little Burned


There’s that moment when a writer has two thoughts that are simultaneous, true and alarming. Thought one: work on this book is going pretty well right now. That is awesome. Thought two: the oven buzzer should have gone off by now. That is not awesome. That is alarming. Set aside papers and laptops, plot route that does not involve tripping over cat (who does not understand the reason for the sudden haste) and make tracks, as quick as possible, to the kitchen. Once there, heave sigh of relief that oven is not engulfed in flames, and imagine the disappointment and cautioning words firefighter friends would have to say on the matter of unattended ovens.

Wrench open oven door and cast a glance at timer that is, sure enough, blinking “over” because that really helps when I am at the other end of the house, nose-deep in the eighteenth century and filling in the blanks of exactly where it is Hero goes when he throws himself out of his brother’s house (not going to lie, that was a moment when I fell a teensy bit more in love with Hero, because, really, who hasn’t wanted to bail on a family argument, when the same relative brought up the same issue for the millionth time? Go, Hero.)  Not that I am advocating recklessness with fire and/or electrical wiring, or throwing things in the oven, willy-nilly, before traipsing off to a prior century. (Or current or future, or alternate universe; fill in whichever applies to the individual) I am not doing that, but I am still working on the whole baking-is-good-for-the-writing-process thing, when both baking and writing require a certain amount of concentration. This time, I think I did okay. Still waiting for the bread to fully cool to find out if the level of crispy critteredness to which I subjected it while off playing with Hero is still fit for human consumption. I hope so, because the kitchen smells amazing.


Only a little burned, and that’s excess anyway, not the actual bread.


Right now, I’m keeping one eye on the clock, because Housemate will be home any minute, and I need to get this entry up, so further HLFK work may get nudged over into the evening, when the house is quiet again, and that is okay. One, I will (hopefully) have cinnamon bread to snack on while tending the story, and two, I got this. For a writer who has been through a total lack of confidence, to the point of creative paralysis, this is heady stuff. I can do this. Look at me go. Granted, some of that going isn’t always in a straight line, and I am probably going to come out of this particular draft with a few metaphorical skinned knees and burned baked goods. Book brain is a real thing, and, after climbing out of that particular black hole, I don’t think I’m ever going to resent it ever again.

Still roughly two hundred words and change until I hit the magic seven hundred. I’ve had to put my copy of A Certain Age, by Beatriz Williams, at the other end of the house, because I’m almost at the end, and if I can get my mitts on it, I am going to inhale that sucker like it’s water and I am dying of thirst. Even though Williams is shelved as fiction, her books are so packed full of so many things I love, and have, in many cases, been missing, in historical romance, that I want to absorb them into my skin and figure out how she does it. “Unusual” historical eras? (this one is 1920s NY) Check. Period feel so real that adjusting to 21st century life when I close the book feels wrong? Check. Black moments that are more like black hole moments, because we are working on negative hope here, but then, bam, HEA after all? Oh check yes. That. I want to do that. I want to be that.


Guh. This book.


Thing is, I want to do my version of that. Ms. Williams writes in the early twentieth century. Right now, I am writing late eighteenth, and, by the time I type The End for the last time on Hero and Heroine’s story, I have no doubts my feet will get itchy to explore some other time and place. I will know what I need to know, when I need to know it. Right now, I have HLFK and the Beach Ball, my Heroes and Heartbreakers posts  (new one today, by the way, gushing all over Joanna Shupe’s Baron; go look: http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2016/10/first-look-joanna-shupes-baron-october-25-2016) and this blog, which fills my plate nicely. From here, it’s left foot, right foot, etc, until I have arrived at my destination. If I arrive only slightly burned, I will consider that a win.



Another week, another blog entry, and the challenge I’ve set for myseslf today is that I can’t work on Her Last First Kiss, until I post this blog entry. Absolutely no idea what to put here, but tomorrow is breakfast with N, and I want to discuss a couple of things, which means I have to write a couple of things, so I’d better get on with this one.

This morning, I sent in a piece for Heroes and Heartbreakers, about Joanna Shupe’s latest entry in the Knickerbocker Club series, Baron. When I first heard there was going to be a series of historical romances set in New York’s Gilded Age, I literally cheered, and the three stories I have read in that world so far have not let me down. I’m now working on another piece, about the Knickerbockers series as a whole, and looking forward to having that to share soon.

Ten days ago, I noticed a new feature on Sandra Schwab’s illustrator Facebook page (she is also the author of one of my all time favorite gothic romances, Castle of the Wolf. Always count the gargoyles. Always. My desk has two.) – a contest for a free heroine portrait. At first, I thought, “wow, that would be cool,” scrolled past, and then scrolled right back, because we miss one hundred percent of the shots we don’t take. I typed a description of the qualities that make Heroine special to me, and hit send before I could talk myself out of it. (I am very good at talking myself out of things like this.) Back to work, business as usual, looking forward to reading about everyone else’s heroines. I have always been a heroine-centric reader and writer, so of course I want to hear about what other writers are doing with their heroines.

Imagine my surprise, later, when my direct message box pops up, with the notification that I won. :Blink: Did I read that right? :blink: Okay, I did. :blink: Oh good gracious, now I have to talk about her. I have to say her name. Well, technically, I already did, and that gave me some nervous tingles, because it’s not like there’s some super secret character naming cabal, and Hero and Heroine’s names aren’t super weird (I hope) or super boring (I hope) but I’ve been guarding them, because they’re part of this whole book baby, and I want to do right by it. By them. I did the only logical thing. Shut the window and paid very close attention to Doing Something Else. I am also very good at Doing Something Else.

Doing Something Else, in this case, lasted only so long before the part of me that screams “Ronkonkoma,” while running down the metaphorical pier at top speed, to cannonball into the water, kicked into gear. My cannonball, in this case, was to look at the information Sandra needed for the portrait, attach a reference picture I’ve been using when I need to describe Heroine, and hit “send.” There. Done. Now Do Other Things.

Fast forward to a few days later, when my direct message box pops up again, and my breath caught at the image beneath Sandra’s “How’s this?” Oh hey, Heroine, there you are. Her face was perfect, the colors exactly right, she had her pistol, and it was her. I’d know her anywhere. Heroine. I knew exactly the point in the story this would have been, and I actually shivered. I couldn’t wait to share her with everybo….wait a minute. There’s her name. On her picture. If I put this out there, everybody will know. Doom will fall. Doooooooooooooom. Writer people, you may identify with some of this.

I took a moment to regroup. 1) since this manuscript’s ultimate destination is publication, that means that I’m going to have to put Heroine’s name out there sometime. Nobody writes “Hero” and “Heroine” throughout the entire book. People are going to know her name. 2) it’s only her first name, and it’s the name she actually uses, not the name that would be on an official document, and yes, the actually used name is indeed a period appropriate pet form of the formal name, so the history police are going to have to shush on that one. 3) this is overthinking and we are cutting down on the overthinkings.

Toward that end, Ronkonkoma:

That’s her. That’s Ruby. Heroine. Part of the prize is the ability to use the image as a teaser, so that’s the next thing, selecting a short passage to go along with the image. That will mean I’ll have a teaser to share here. To show writer friends and readers. To put on the Coming Soon page (which needs some serious updating anyway.) I can’t back out if it’s there. If it’s real. The Ronkonkoma part of me already has plans to commission a Hero portrait (hey, baby steps) because they’re a pair, the two of them, and Heroine has good aim. I do not want to be on her bad side.

So. The picture is there. The next draft is in progress. I know where I’m going, how I’m getting there, and what happens along the way.  This is not only back on the horse, but once around the ring, moving forward. It’s real. Of course, it always was. The fact that the stories and characters who populate them exist in our heads doesn’t mean they aren’t real. This only means that, now, other people know it’s real. Small change, but a big one all the same.







Typing With Wet Claws: Picking Up The Pace Edition


Hello, all. Skye here for another Feline Friday. It is a beautiful autumn day here in New York state, with many interesting things outside my window. but I take my duties as a mews seriously, so I will make my blog post before I go back to watching very important things like birds and cars and leaves. Everything is moving outside my window, and things are moving in Anty’s writing life, as well. I had better talk about that first.

First, as always, Anty’s post at Buried Under Romance, about unusual settings for romance novels, is here: http://www.buriedunderromance.com/2016/10/saturday-discussion-unusual-settings-yea-or-nay.html and it looks like this:


What counts as an unusual setting, anyway?



Now that the regular TV season is back on the air, that means Anty is back to telling people who kissed, are probably going to kiss, or do other romance-related things on the big glowy box. This week, Anty covers some big Shamy doings on The Big Bang Theory.  That post is here: http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2016/10/next-steps-the-big-bang-theory-10×04-shamy-heart-to-heart and it looks like this:



Sheldon and Amy under one roof? What is the world coming to?


Back when we lived in the old country, Anty belonged to the same RWA chapter as a writer human named Corrina Lawson , and they had many interesting talks. Recently, Miss Corrina asked Anty if Anty would be interested in participating in a workshop about blogging, that Miss Corrina wanted to present at this year’s NECRWA conference. Anty said yes, and so Miss Corrina sent in the proposal. The conference humans liked it, so that means Anty will be co-presenting her very first workshop, “Blogging Isn’t Dead,” at a conference. Anty finds that very exciting, and will share more when she knows more.  If you would like to know more about the conference, you can find that out here:

http://necrwa.org/blog1/conference/ and here is Miss Corrina’s website, if you would like to find out more about her: http://corrina-lawson.com/.

Anty and Anty Melva also have a workshop that they created together, called Save the Writer, Save the Book, which is about writing through the tough times in life, but that one will be presented at another time. Anty and Anty Melva had meant to submit a proposal for that one, but, as you can imagine, life happened, and they are now looking at other opportunities. Roll with the punches, that is one of their lessons right there. Also, do not punch other humans. It is hard to write with a broken hand. I would imagine. I only have paws, and it is hard enough already. I do have special toes, though, so that might have something to do with it.

Beyond that, Anty started a new morning pages book this week. It is her fifth one, and it looks like this:



All right, that is really two notebooks. The purple notebook is by PaPaYa! Art, Anty’s favorite, and you have seen some of the pages in her desk shots this week already. The other one is for an art journaling class she is taking. Pictures from that class have to stay in that class, so she cannot share those here, but she does have to get a second copy of this book, because the one she has does not have enough pages to complete all the classwork.  Okay, technically speaking, it does, but not if she uses the pages the way she wants to use the pages, which is to put the picture on one side and then write notes about it on the other side. That is what works best for her in this format, and so she will need a second book. That will give her some extra pages once the class is over. She does not know what she wants to do with those other pages, but she will figure it out.

When Anty first got the watercolor book, it was because she inherited some Very Nice watercolors from her papa, who had been an artist. I mean Very Nice watercolors. Professional grade (because her papa had been a professional artist) which kind of intimidated Anty. She likes to make art for fun. (She used to sell altered lunchbox purses, but that was when Olivia was the kitty in this family, so I do not know about any of that.) Using the Very Nice paints to mess around felt like a waste. When her papa got these paints, he probably had plans for them. Anty does not make the same kind of art that her papa did, and she will be the first to admit she knows less than nothing about how to use watercolors, so she did not have any business using these Very Nice paints.

Except that…she wanted them. They come in glass bottles with eyedroppers, and the colors are very, very pretty. Like super pretty. Anty also used to steal her papa’s art supplies when she was a people kitten, basically all the time, and she knew enough that watercolor paints need watercolor paper. She had used the Strathmore books before, with different paper in them, but never the watercolor paper before. She did not even know what she was going to do with it, but then there was the class, and then there was the book, and the paint, and…why not? Right now, pretty much all she does is lay down some color for the background, but that is the way to get used to trying a new thing; slap something down on the page and see how it behaves. It is like that with writing, too, which may be one of the reasons Anty is okay with buying another watercolor book and seeing what happens when the class is over and the training wheels come off.

That is about it for this week, so I had better let Anty have the computer back. She has a post to write for Heroes and Heartbreakers, and she wants to play with her imaginary friends, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,


Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling
(the kitty, not the book)



I’m ansty today. Part of it is that this is, technically speaking, Monday’s post on Thursday (how did it get to be Thursday?) if Wednesday’s post was indeed posted on Wednesday. If not, and it was Monday’s post, then this is yesterday’s. The fact that I am spending time on figuring this out is all part of the whole antsy thing. Do I have any idea where it came from? Not a clue. Strange hunger still doing its thing, which most likely means something is going through some sort of a change, but I did not get the memo on exactly what that something might be, so I get to try and figure it out as I go along.

That is not always a fun thing. I like knowing what’s going on, and I like having a plan to get those things done. Antsiness goes against that, in a big way. I like structure. I like road maps. All right, intuitive road maps, but my goal here is to get today’s babble done with, hit the magic seven hundred, and then reward myself with a short break. After that, I get to run away to the eighteenth century, and probably get out of the house while doing so, because A) making notes on printed pages can be done anywhere, and B) the waterfowl in Washington Park are doing this:


That’s an upside down Canada Goose in the middle of all that splashing. I like how calm his mate is, like “George? He does that all the time. No big deal. Got breadcrumbs?” I did not, in fact, have breadcrumbs (actually , frozen grapes would be better for goose and duck tummies) but I sat on that bench for a while, notebook and legal pad still inside my tote, because writing was not happening. Nope. Some days are like that. Some days, a gal has to go rogue and watch waterfowl get their weird on for an hour or so.

The gander (whom we will call George, because he seems like a George) had himself a fine time splashing about in the shallow water, and he did that for quite some time. I hadn’t expected him to go all feet-up like that, and, at first, thought that he’d hit that position by accident. I’ve never seen an upside-down goose before, and, who knows, that may be a George thing, and the other geese talk about him when they think he isn’t looking. Considering that he’s the big dude that threatens passersby, dogs, and tree limbs that look at his woman funny, maybe they don’t do it all that often, but still…feet. In. The. Air. Rolling about like I don’t even know what. I mean, what kind of goose actually goes around doing things like that? Right in front of the humans, too.

Maybe George is onto something. Maybe George was ansty, too. Maybe he’s got itchy wings and wants to head down to  Boca for the winter already, but Wilma (we will call his mate Wilma, because she looks like a Wilma) thinks the goslings aren’t ready for such a big trip yet, even though they look full grown to the humans. Then again, what do humans know? Maybe going upside down is something geese do all the freaking time, and this is only the first time this one human, personally, has seen it, so they think it’s new, but really, it’s Wednesday. Maybe the goslings have no idea what George and Wilma are going on about, because they’ve spent their entire lives in this lake. It is an awesome lake, and there is no reason to leave it. Parents, what do they know? Though the Mallards have been squawking about stopping over in Tennessee or maybe South Carolina, so the grownups could be onto something, but, dude, humans, breadcrumbs, it’s a sweet life.

Then there’s George. Maybe he was taking his regular bath, or maybe he needed to shake off some sort of goose-specific restlessness, but one thing I do know; for the hour or so I hung out around that part of the lake, earbuds in my ears, fiddling with the camera on my phone and waiting for George to do his thing again (he appears to be a champion at barrel rolls, which Wilma did not even attempt) I wasn’t antsy. It was me and it was George (and sometimes Wilma, occasionally their mallard friends) and everything else in my head sat on the back burner, where it was very much welcome to sort itself out.

As  much as I like order, some things need to simmer a while, and find their correct order on their own. Did I come away from the impromptu photo session completely refreshed and ready to take on the world? No. Did it shake off some of the antsiness? Some. Best thing that can be done at times like this is to catch the scent of what works, stay open to more of it, and follow it when I catch the next whiff. This is when I trust that the scent trail will lead to something good. Antsiness usually, for me, comes right before a growth spurt, and, with super powers returned, that’s not an entirely unsurprising concept.

Well over the magic seven hundred here, so throwing this out there, crossing it off my  list, and on to the rest of the day. My imaginary friends are calling.

Strange Hunger


Monday’s post on Wednesday this week, which means Wednesday’s post has to happen on Thursday, or it will bump into Skye’s  post on Friday, or get shuffled into the weekend. I am not up for that, so today it will be. That pretty much fits with the rest of the day, because I woke feeling like what Skye would term “stuff.” Not coming down with a cold, as far as I know, but body wanted to stay in bed, but that warred with the fact that it was already morning, with the sun risen and everything, and that I was so much in need of bathing that my body was likely to get up and wash itself without me. So, no more bed.

Question then was, what came next? #linewed on Twitter is a given, but that didn’t have to be right away, so attention turned next to this entry. After the last time I carried a Wednesday post for what seemed like forever, I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again, because it bothers me, and this blog is not about bothering, it’s about finding my way through this writing life. Since the calendar, and Facebook memories, reminded me that this is Real Life Romance Hero’s and my falling-in-love-iversary (yes, we do know the exact day, and yes, it was the same day for both of us)  I thought I’d blog about that, but I was already ahead of myself, because I already did, last year, right here:


Well, okay then. I dove into an assignment for an art journaling class I’m taking, instead, and, when I looked next at the time, it was almost lunch. How the heck did that happen? Granted, I had actually tackled two assignments, which successfully jump started another part of my brain. I used supplies I hadn’t used in a long time, gessoed over a background I hated and made the page something else entirely, taking a different approach than I’d originally planned, stuck a sticky note over part of the page I wanted to keep private, even when I did share my work with the class, and that’s when it happened. New stuff, that’s what my brain wanted. That’s what’s going to plug the hole in the creative well and let me actually fill the darned thing.

I won’t be playing hooky exactly, but more going on a mission of discovery. There are a couple of tasks that can’t be put off for another day (nor do I want to) but they are also portable tasks, so, really, technically, I can do them anywhere. Regular coffee house haunt, maybe, or library, or park, or downtown coffee shop I’ve always looked at when we drive past it, but have never actually been inside the place. Other park I’ve only been to once. Our own balcony. Some other place I haven’t even thought about yet.

One of my all time favorite pieces of advice is from author K. A. Mitchell, that the best ways to combat block are to open the file (or notebook) and change your seat. Today is a seat changer. I need different stimuli. Reds, yellows and oranges on the trees instead of green everywhere. Cooler air on my skin. Different tastes in my mouth. Different voices around me while I focus on the page or screen in front of me. It’s been said, that if we want something we’ve never had, we have to do things we’ve never done. I’ve written books before, so that isn’t exactly it, but I haven’t written this book before, so I think that counts. Still getting used to dancing on a couple of phantom limbs, stretching a few creative muscles, and the outer change of seasons matches what’s going on in the inside, so I am calling all of that good.

Time, then, to pack up my stuff, take my show on the road and see where the spirit and my two feet take me. Sometimes, the journey is the whole point. Maybe I’ll find a new favorite something, or maybe all that’s going to happen is that I tick the items off my to-do list, which is exactly what would happen if I stayed within the same four walls. Today isn’t a same four walls day, though. Today is a day for filling strange hungers, so off I go.

Typing With Wet Claws: A Little Help From My Friends Edition


Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. There is a lot going on this week, so I will tell you about Anty’s writing first, right off the bat (nothing happened with bats, but it is October, after all, so I thought that was appropriate) before we do anything else.

Anty’s post on Buried Under Romance is all about identity issues this week. It is here:

http://www.buriedunderromance.com/2016/10/saturday-discussion-disguise-mistaken-identity-and-amnesia-oh-my.html and it looks like this:


The crop tool in Paint was not made for those of us with paws instead of hands.


Anty is always happy to talk about books that she liked, and, this week, a post she wrote once upon a time, about one of those books, Watermark, by E. Catherine Tobler, got a mention on Alexis A. Hunter’s website to kick off Octoblerfest. The giveaway for that book is over now, but if you like speculative fiction, often with a romantic element, you might want to keep an eye on that website, for a chance at other books. The post where Anty’s post is linked is here https://alexisahunter.com/2016/10/01/octoblerfest-giveaway-1-watermark/. Maybe you will win the next giveaway.

I would also like to say thank you to one of my readers, Mr. Glen, who asked Anty if there had been a Feline Friday post last week. Anty assured him there was, and that I would never let my readers down. I take my duties as a mews very seriously. Thank you, Mr. Glen. In case you did miss that post, it is here: https://annacbowling.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/typing-with-wet-claws-mythical-vuvuzela-edition/ and it looks like this:


A picture of this blog, on this blog; how meta is that?

For those who do not know, Mr. Glen is mystery author Glen Ebisch. I do not know if any of his books have cats in them, but they do have mystery and romance and you can find out more about them here: http://www.glenebisch.com/.

Okay, I think that is all of the housekeeping for this week. Well, apart from picking up my sheds, that is. I am shedding a lot of fur right now, to get ready for my super-floofy winter coat, which means our floors look like an old west ghost town. This has not prompted Anty to start thinking of western romance ideas, but one never knows. Right now, Anty is focused on Her Last First Kiss, and the Beach Ball. Also her posts for Heroes and Heartbreakers, but her novel-writing plate is full right now, and any other ideas are going to have to take a number and wait.

Last night, Anty and Anty Melva spent three times the amount of time they had set aside for their talk on Skype (I am still disappointed Skype has nothing to do with Skye pee, because I am really good at, well, you know. My once upon a time vet said he never saw so much you know what come out of one cat at one time, in his whole career. That has to be worth something.) because they decided to outline all of the scenes to take them to the end of the Beach Ball, and that is exactly what they did. They both threw their arms up in the air and shouted when they got to the end of the outline. That was loud. I am happy they are happy, though. A happy writer human makes the job of a mews that  much easier.

Now that the smoke alarms are fixed, and the new people litterbox has been installed, it is much quieter around here. Apart from when Anty plays music without her headphones, that is. I do not mind when she plays soft music. Usually, I will curl into a ball and go to sleep when she plays soft music. If she plays loud music, I will wake up and give her a look that says I am Not Happy. She will usually apologize, but she is the human, after all, and the music is part of the way she works, so if it is too loud, I will go hide under the bed until the loud part is over. There are not too many loud parts, but only every once in a while.

Now that Anty has leveled up on both books, my job is a little bit different. It is easier for her to figure out how much work should be done on a given day, when she knows exactly where she is going and how she is going to get there. When that happens, she is excited to get to work each day, and sometimes gets a little grumbly when it is time to stop. She likes to work on one scene at a time, and figures that she’ll know the details she needs to know when she needs to know them. If she has to think too hard about a thing, then it is probably not the right thing. The best stories are the ones that talk to her. It is not exactly the stories writing themselves, but it does not hurt when they carry their share of the load.

That is about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

i1035 FW1.1

Until next week…

Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling
(the kitty, not the book)