Five of These Things

I did take a deskscape for today (okay, it was a lap deskscape) but there were technical difficulties, so let us all appreciate stock photos and photo editing software.

At any rate, I’m back. Our stay off the grid extended itself due to a couple of factors, but that’s life. Apart from the virus that converted all of my energy into super gross eye boogers, the whole thing did pretty well. I had a great working lunch with Melva Michaelian. We are oh so ready to get Jack and Kelly all the way to their HEA, so it can be Rob and Heather’s turn next, and we do know what comes after we finish this group of three.

Longhand really does work best for me, for composing/drafting, and the lack of internet distraction did allow me more time to get at least some of the ducks in a row. That does involve plotting out the bones of the gazebo story, which is taking a turn I didn’t expect (still a romance, don’t worry) and I actually have all of my pirate trilogy longhand notes in one container. ,I will do a post later, on the plotting method/template I used, and the modifications I’m making to it, but for this week, I have another focus.

Even though the whole future of RWA (Romance Writers of America) is a big question mark right now, I am super excited, and a little nervous, about the meeting of my local chapter, Capitol Region Romance Writers, because this month, I am the one presenting the program. I am honored and psyched that my fellow members not only asked me to present the workshop a few years back, but asked me to present it again.

Come to think of it, the workshop I presented back then was at a February meeting as well, so one more time, and it’s tradition. I could live with that. The chapter has changed in the intervening years, and so have I, so it stands to reason that the workshop has undergone a few changes of its own. Bob and Jane (if you’ve taken one of my workshops before, you know who they are) will be making an appearance, and there will be a few surprises as well. That’s usually what happens when we creative types dump a bunch of stuff we love in the kiddy pool of our imaginations and splash about with reckless abandon.

“Um, Anna,” I hear some of you saying, “the title mentions five things, and I don’t see any numbered lists here, just saying.” I hear you, dear readers, so I will get right to this wee listicle of five things that have made me happy recently:

1) photo editing
2) Sims (3 and 4)
3) getting back into my travelers notebooks
4) historical romance with adventure and pageantry
5) contemporary YA that makes my heart ache

To use a phrase one will hear often in my workshop, what do these things all have in common? Either with each other or as a whole. Anybody? Anybody? Beuller? The list took only a few seconds to come up with, because those things have been very near the surface over the last couple of weeks. It’s been a rough few months IRL, so that means that getting some of the good stuff is even more important, not only for creativity’s sake, but for emotional survival.

I will probably go into more detail on each item above, but for now, I’m going to be more general. I have been watching a lot of photo editing videos online, most with a very particular aesthetic. Take a look at the picture above and guess which one. The fact that I have been listening to a lot of The Smiths while I try to see if I can apply what I’ve learned to my own work probably says something.

Erik was born in-game, a while back.

Sims games are eerily similar to writing, and with custom content, I can -hey, like photo editing- make the picture on my screen look more like the picture in my head. Said picture does absolutely have a lot to do with those historical romances and YA novels that play my emotions like YoYo Ma plays the cello, and I can oh so happily spend hours getting a Sim or a house, etc, exactly right. I probably have the save with the above simulated gent in it, saved in the cloud, and if not, I have his parents; they always make gorgeous offspring.

is the return of Big Pink imminent?

Though I believe I have found planner peace with my current planner, I still very much miss Big Pink, and Li’l Pink, my travelers’ notebooks, so that probably means it’s time to get back to them. I don’t want to duplicate my7 calendar, but that only means that the next logical step is to make them something else. That, I can do. Not sure what, but I will start with my old faithful Moleskine cahiers, rather than the standard size pictured above.

That’s pretty much the gist of the workshop. Find what you love, and find a way to make it uniquely one’s own. No two combinations are ever going to be the same I find that exciting.

see you soon!

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