Falling Into Place

The fact that I am writing Monday’s blog on Wednesday should give some indication of how the week has gone, so far. The fact that today’s picture was taken last week, with vague plans to say something about writing by candlelight, and/of my practice of evening pages (same as morning pages, but at night, a brain dump before bed) only confirms that indication.

The fact that I am seated on my pillow pile, in my corner, with the box fan aimed at me, one third of the way into the month of October (and precisely two weeks before my birthday, for that matter) proves that it is now October in New York, and this sort of thing is to be expected. I am, in fact, not surprised, and dressed appropriately to haul a hamper full of stinky textiles down to our building’s laundry room, in leggings, flip flops, and an oversized t-shirt that was not oversized when I bought it, so yay me. Real Life Romance Hero passed by aforementioned laundry room, in a winter coat. He may have second thoughts about that by the time he gets to his destination. I am sure he will have a tale to tell, when day is done.

The fact that I am babbling here speaks to another alteration to my schedule this week, and I will be having my weekly Skype confab with contemporary co-writer, Melva, at two-thirty this afternoon, instead of seven on Monday night. It’s anybody’s guess when the laundry actually gets put away, because there also has to be a recycling run, and quick dash into the grocery store. The rest of the day will probably be scheduled by negotiation, which is par for the course around here, these days.

Um, Anna, some of you may be asking, what does any of that stuff up there have to do with writing? You know, the making up stories thing? You still do that? To that, I say a hearty “oh heck yes.” There is no turning that kind of thing off. Trust me, I’ve tried. It did not go well. To those who are indeed asking that question, hang on, I’m getting there.

I have found, from necessity, that I can, indeed, write by candlelight, sometimes with a fountain pen (extra points when it is a vintage fountain pen) and my quest to reconnect with some of the books and/or authors who inspired me to write historical romance, especially the sort of historical romance that I love best, continues. This morning, I finished reading Enchantress Mine, by Bertrice Small, a standalone historical romance set around the Norman Conquest.

I have a bunch of thoughts and some feelings about this re-read. I’d totally forgotten, for example, the Easter egg of a minor character, that serves as a loose connection to the author’s Glenkirk books. The connection is minor enough that I do still consider this a standalone, which I noted in the notebook I grabbed on my way to the laundry room, because I had found myself in the position of needing a laundry bag notebook.

The last time I did laundry, I filled my previous laundry bag notebook, and, at the same time, emptied the pen I was using in that book, a Pilot Frixion clicky pen, which I mourn, and will replace. Since reading and writing are the only two things I do during laundry time (besides doing laundry, of course) the fact that I finished a book, a notebook, and a pen, on my last two laundry trips has to mean something. Markers of progress, and all that. (Mmmm, marrrrrrkerrrrssss…..)

Speaking of which, the filling of notebooks and emptying of pens leaves me with some pressing pen related issues. Namely, the ten slots in the pen case that I’ve meant to keep as my everyday carry in my computer tote, and the elastic pen case that goes with whatever notebook is going in the laundry bag next. I have dedicated notebooks for both Her Last First Kiss (props to those who have accepted the task of kicking my butt back into gear with this oen; keep doing what you do) and for Drama King and related books. If I have time before the Skype session, I will scribble down the snippet of dialogue for an upcoming Drama King scene, and see what Melva thinks before that bit goes any further.

Co-parenting a novel, as it were, is a different enterprise from going it alone, and both approaches have their plusses and minuses. I’m glad I’m doing both, and I’m glad, even, that both are in a phase of readjusting and reconnecting. Maybe part of that is due to, finally, being in my favorite season (need for box fan aside; you should see the foliage around here) and some encouraging words (you know who you are) or maybe it’s only that I have hit that part of the journey, where things grow and change, and the stories, as it were, are big enough to get themselves dressed in the morning, as it were.

As much as I love planning, some things plan themselves. Finding out, for example, that I can write by candlelight, and that I find it both calming, and has a bit of historical atmosphere, those are pretty darned good things. Knowing that I can smush my schedule around, and fit in the important things -the writing, the reading, the pinpointing why I love what I love- in with the everyday necessities, like laundry and recycling runs, well I’m not going to complain about that, not at all.

That’s all the time I’ve got for blogging today, so time to sign off, slap on some concealer and lip balm, and get my Drama King notebook open to a fresh page.

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