Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. Right now, Anty is focused on getting the other humans settled in their tracks for the day so that she can get on with hers, so it is a good thing I am the one who is blogging.
Anty has a lot of reading to do this week, and I mean a lot. Here are only three of the books on her TBR shortlist. You have seen them before, if you read Anty’s entries and not only mine. She needs to get them read so that she can write about them, and have time for the next three that come after them.
That is not all Anty has to read, because there are still other library books, for pleasure (that she does not have to write about, but probably will, because she is Anty) and she has chapters from Critique Partner Vicki that have been sitting in her inbox for long enough that she is ashamed. For one of them, she is really ashamed, but she is very happy Critique Partner Vicki is making such good progress toward The End. That is a very good thing.
Anty also has to read her own work, because she somehow managed to delete a whole section of her Scrivener file. That is okay, because that section was one she had originally written in longhand, in her Big Daddy Precious notebook. Anty says longhand has saved her um, writing, more than a few times. Plus, writing with a fountain pen helps her feel more connected to her historical characters. I would mention that using a dip pen would be even more accurate, but that might give her ideas. I have heard the words, “pen cull” around here recently, so I do not know if bringing new pens, and even a new kind of pen, into the house is a very good idea. We have seen what happens when Anty is trusted with bottles of ink. In case you missed it, this is what happens:
She will probably get one anyway, because once she gets an idea in her head, it usually stays there. Also, they sell them at the art store sometimes, and we are talking about the human who has been known to burn wine and fireplace scented candles at the same time, to make sure she knows what that smells like when it is important to a scene. Uh oh. I think I may have inadvertently given her an idea.
Living with a writer human has its occupational hazards. One would think that a writer human would be reading all the time that they are not writing. Anty says she only wishes it were so. Even with books on her e-reader, tablet, phone and laptop, not to mention paper books from the library, Heroes and Heartbreakers, bookstores, and rereads and new reads of books she already owns, there are still other things to be done to help keep the household running, and, sometimes, reading gets pushed to the periphery. (Anty is very proud that I am a kitty who knows how to properly use words like “periphery.” That is one of the perks of being an author’s kitty.)
Besides reading novels and manuscripts, Anty also has to read for research. Here is where I can give you an interesting piece of trivia, in case it ever comes up: Anty does not use research books for the majority of her research. That is not how her brain works. Her favorite method is to talk to experts and pick their brains, and if she can get into a living history museum that is pertinent to her needs, that is the best. Yes, she will play along with the interpreters, and have a persona on hand. Mama knows that, when they find themselves in a living history museum together, Mama is Anty’s um, employee. Mama is fine with that, which is a good thing, but I think Anty would probably do it anyway, because Anty loves living in other times for a little while. (She likes living in our time, for things like the Internet, central heating/cooling and gummi bears.)
Sometimes, these worlds blur. Earlier this week, when Anty was on her way back from her meeting with N, she walked through the park, and found herself caught in the middle. Since Hero in Her Last First Kiss is an artist, Anty needed to know more about what it was like to be an artist in the late eighteenth century. She would get bored reading a big nonfiction book, and does not know any experts in that area right now, so she hit the Internet, to look up artists who actually lived then. Well. On her walk home, and on her next few walks through, it all looked like a Gainsborough painting. The trees, the water, the light, the colors, all of it.
Even when she saw a gentleman sitting on the grass by the lake, her mind translated things back a few centuries. The pose would have been right at home in an eighteenth century portrait, the expression, and the power paunch was hot stuff back then. (Anty says do not worry, Hero does not have a power paunch.) All Anty’s brain had to do was translate the modern suit to a period-appropriate one, and imagine a powdered wig on the gentleman’s head. She had to remind herself to keep walking and not stare, because nonwriters (and to be fair, there is no way to know if said gentleman fit into that category or not; writers can be anywhere) usually do not understand that sort of thing. That also reminded Anty of an interesting tidbit that will be useful in Hero doing his job; portrait painters often bought premade backgrounds with figures already in them – except for the faces. Those, they had to put in themselves. I suppose that saved a lot of time, when they had to get portraits made quickly, because they did not have cameras back then.
Anty says I have been very blabbery and she needs the computer back, so 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)