Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Some of you may have noticed that this blog has been rather feline-heavy and human-absent as of late. That is because the humans are dealing with some human family things that are taking some time and energy. I will let Mama Anna talk about what those are when she is able, but we are okay. Not the best start to the new year, but not to worry, I am here and fuzzy and always ready to let Mama Anna give me lots and lots of belly rubs. Belly rubs make everything better.
Reading is also a good thing, as evidenced in how Mama Anna is making progress in her Goodreads challenge this year. Right now, she is one book ahead of schedule, with three books finished out of a projected seventy-five. She is also working on a new reading journal, which is visual as well as informative, and she’s liking it pretty well. I only know how to post pictures of me, so try this on for size.
That’s me on my cat tree. I really really really like it, and I do my best to give Mama Anna lots of opportunities to take pictures. I mean, she can take pictures of things that are not me, like her desk and notebooks, but we all know who is the star here. The cat tree also lets me sit in Mama Anna’s video calls that she takes in Aunt Linda’s room.
Anyway, this is a shorter post than usual, but real posts will be back soon.
Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Stom, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. It’s also now the year 2022, which seemed very far away at times, but here it is. So far, so good. Mama Anna will be back to regular blogging next week. She said something about getting the office area in line and writing and stuff, but I’ll let her take care of all of that in her own time.
Okay, around here, it’s a black, white and orange Christmas, no matter what the weather, but yes, there was snow. No, I did not go out in it. I am an indoor cat. As a matter of fact, nobody went out on Christmas this year. Exactly the way I like it. We did presents in the morning, and then Papa cooked us food at home. He and I often share a can of people tuna on special days. I got some catnip, and a wand toy with feathers (so fun!) and Mama Anna broke out another of the special mice Aunt Mary brought in October. Santa Paws had one more thing on back order for me, and one of Aunt Linda’s colleagues helped him out by bringing me my new (and very first) cat tree! It has five different levels and a cave and I love it. I am waiting for Papa to take a good picture of it because A) it is in Aunt Linda’s room and he knows how to frame it best so her room is still private, and B) Mama Anna took a picture of me snoozing in my cave, but that was on her tablet and it’s not showing up on her laptop first. (Also, I am her laptop. Ahem. Seriously.)
The day was super good all around. Mama Anna got a special notebook to dedicate to writing related things. She will show that later. Papa also got her some special equipment to help make better videos, which should be fun. Watching her figure it out should provide a lot of entertainment, at least for me. If all goes well, more videos and vlogs. We’ll see how that goes. Anything that gives a better view of me on the glowy box is a bonus in my view. Or the views of whoever is looking at me.
I am usually on top of my (carboard box) house, which is to Mama Anna’s left. The lights are going to stay up full time, and Mama Anna does plan to get the notebooks on the shelf somewhat neater. Or maybe move them and then put books-books there She still has to shelve the books Aunt Mary brought. I have had designs on getting to the top of Mama Anna’s and Papa’s dresser, but now that I have the cat tree, I might settle for just opening the drawer where I know they keep my catnip. I can already get my fingers around the top lip of the drawer. That’s progress.
Speaking of progress, Mama Anna has started a new Goodreads challenge. So far, she is on track, with one book read out of seventy-five. That’s a lower number than last year. She figures that she can lowball it for now, so she can look forward to moving the goalposts farther away instead of closer as the year goes on, or so she says. Ahe also set up a reading journal, which she seems to like so far. I like sitting on it when she wants to use it.
As for writing, I am going to leave that to her. She does seem to be doing a lot of it lately, which I take as a good sign. has she begun how she means to go on? Onlytime…and I…will tell.
Tails up, and Happy Holidays, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. It’s the week before Christmas here (well, and everywhere else, pretty much, but it’s a regular day for some people, which is cool. I like regular days.) I have not yet made a move toward the Christmas tree, but then again, A) the lights do not blink (Mama Anna wants them to blink, but they currently do not. Harumph.) and we do not have a topper yet. The topper may blink, and that may catch my attention.
What has definitely caught my attention is that I know what drawer in the people clothes dresser Mama Anna keeps the catnip in, and I want it. I love catnip. That drawer doesn’t close all the way, and I can get my fingers over the edge. I keep trying to pull . I’ll get it one day. The claw marks tell me where I need to concentrate my efforts. Usually, Mama Anna tells me “enough of that,” or “excuse you,” and gives me pets. Then she asks me if I want nip (I always do) and she puts some on my bed or in my (cardboard box) house, and then we are both happy.
Because of reasons, Mama Anna and Aunt Linda are doing their holiday shopping this weekend. I have specifically asked for red dot and wand toys. I trust them to do the right thing. I also plan to share a can of people tuna with Papa. We do that on special occasions. Aunt Linda’s work friend gave me a bunch of fancy gushy food because her cats said “no thank you” to that purchase. There is a flavor that makes me kind of vomity, so those cans will be going to a nice human who feeds ferals near Aunt Linda’s work.
Aunt Anna has moved the goalposts of her Goodreads challenge. It’s now 85 books instead of 90. That feels much more achievable right now. She regrets nothing. So far she has read 81 books, so that’s only four more. She can totally do that. I’m here for her so she can rub my belly with the hand that isn’t holding the tablet or book. If she reads an audio book, she can pet me with both hands. I prefer that.
As for writing, this has not been the most productive week, as she’s had another human at home for the last three days straight, and her office is in the bedroom and that can get tricky when someone is trying, to sleep while she is making with the tappity tappity. When she writes longhand, she likes to do it in bed while propped up on the whole bunch of pillows they have there. I suppose she could use Papa as an improvised kind of desk, if he is sleeping face down. I’ll suggest it.
What are you guys doing to get ready for your holidays?
Earlier this week, I found out, on the same day, of the passing of two big influences on my creativity. I found out about Anne Rice first, during my morning Facebook browse, and then, a little later, Mike Nesmith of The Monkees. Both of those hit me, but in different ways.
I first discovered Anne Rice when I stumbled upon Interview With the Vampire, movie version, maybe a half hour in, on a random FB browse. I sat there rapt until the end, immediately sought out the book, then The Vampire Lestat, and hunted down more information on Anne Rice, who had created them. Of course Interview was about grief, and man oh man did she nail it. Not so much the vampire part, surprisingly, but her historical atmosphere so real that it dripped with the Old New Orleans feel. I was actually more of a Louis gal than a Lestat one, but that’s okay. What stuck with me most wasn’t the actual vampires, but the feelings that came along with it. I don’t remember when I wandered away from the franchise. Maybe before Egypt came fully into play, and maybe I will one day go back and read it all.
What I absolutely had to know was the author’s relationship with the Lestat character. I remember reading in some nonficiton book or article or even paper (yes, I tracked down an academic paper) where the author knew the exact moment Lestast left her, and I could see it, feel it, along with her. I also remember reading at a later date of the moment when Lestat came back, and I felt that, too. It’s a special relationship between author and character.
And then (hey hey) there’s the Monkees. We were born the same year (me and the group, that is; the original people were young adults.) All I knew at the time I discovered them in the early 70’s, when their TV show was in reruns, was they were silly and funny and I liked their music. I wasn’t sure where their parents were until I figured out they were adults and performing was their job. Oh, like The Partridge Family, but adults. Okay. Once again (or really before, since I found The Monkees before Lestat and company) I was more of a Davy gal than a Mike one, but I can say that Michael Nesmith was an amazing songwriter, and I have fond memories of watching his special, “Television Parts” which only addressed Monkee-dom with “I was a Monkee. This is my hat,” and then on with the show. I can respect that.
When the Monkees reunion in the 80s happened, I was in ult, and while disappointed that Mike wasn’t going to be part of it, I also understood. As a newly minted adult myself, he wanted to do other things. Cool. I still love Pool It, the Micky/Davy/Peter comeback album. They still had it. The earlier losses of Davy Jones and Peter Tork also hit me. I appreciate all of their work and am thankful for the legacies they left. I watched a clip from one of their last performances, attached to an official statement from Micky Dolenz, possibly their last time performing “Me and Magdalena,” which I adore, from their first release after Davy’s passing.
Maybe it was even the last time Mike and Micky performed it. This was advertised as The Monkees Farewell Tour, the Micky and Mike show. Micky described Mike as “frail” near the end, and yes, I saw it. I also saw what Micky said about Mike insisting on doing the tour, no matter what anyone else said. Micky carried more of the load than usual there, but Mike gave it all he could, and it showed. I can one thousand percent respect that.
There’s definitely part of both of their works in the writing I have done and am doing and will do. Just remembering for right now, thankful for what they gave us in more ways than they knew.
What celebrity’s work would you like to celebrate this week?
Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Holiday mode is setting in here, as Aunt Linda has the weekend off, which means Mama Anna can rope her into holiday related shenanigans. There will be several of those, I am sure, as Mama Anna has her Christmas planner/journal in full swing. That’s probably because she’s been sleeping a lot better as of late. I can take credit for part of that, as I am not playing around when it comes to bedtime. Especially since Papa is usually in bed first, and that makes it super cozy when we are all in there together. I get Mama Anna into bed, under the covers, and then I flip over so she can rub my belly until one of us falls asleep.
Word on the street (okay, floor) is that the humans are putting up the Christmas tree on Sunday, probably on the kitchen table/Mama Anna’s journaling spot. There will be new ornaments this year, and part of the shenanigans abovementioned, will be the obtaining of a tree topper, which we did not have last year. Mama Anna says she wants a star, with lights that blink and/or chase. As you can imagine, I am extremely interested in this sort of thing. Will keep you updated as things progress.
Speaking of progress, let’s take a look at Mama Anna’s Goodreads Challenge. As of this writing, she is only four books behind schedule, with eighty books read out of her goal of ninety. Not too out of reach, especially with the weekend ahead, and a low-key Christmas planned. She plans on closing the gap with audiobooks and novellas if needed. She is getting that win by any means necessary.
As for writing, that is honestly going rather well. Slowly, but well. I’ll let her talk about that part, but moving to a two blog a week thing is paying off. Of course, one of those is mine, because quality content, am I right? I can’t take credit for the fiction, though, but I am definitely performing my Mews duty, sticking close and sending love beams. When, that is, I’m not trying to get into the third drawer in the big dresser.
For the last few days, I have been doing everything in my power to get into that particular drawer. Mama Anna wasn’t sure at first, why, other than that I can reach it from the top of my house (big cardboard box, if you’re new here) but standing on my hind legs and reaching and pawing at it with what can only be described as ardent determination. Then the time came when she wasn’t willing to put up with my folderol any longer, and she opened the drawer to see what I was after with such importance.
It was catnip. The big bag of catnip she thought she had put in the refrigerator but was not in the refrigerator, because it was in that drawer. Stil is, really, but now that I know that she knows that I know what’s in there, I only have to ask her nicely for some catnip when I want it. She’s pretty sharp that way. I have also heard the words “red dot” and “cat castle” mentioned in the same sentence as “presents,” so this holiday bodes well.
The art, and probably science, of coming back to oneself, especially as a creative, after a significant trauma, is not a straight line, but more like a manic freeform scrawl, like what one might find if a toddler were given a Sharpie and a blank white wall. It feels like forever. It feels big and blinding and impossible. It’s at once a fever dream and a much-desired goal. How to get there, though? Beats me. I have been through this journey more than once, may well again, as I still have some time in front of me, and each time is going to be different.
There are big chunks of wanting to do the things that make a person the unique individual that they are, to get the creative voice to make a sound, but …not. There is knowing the thing, knowing one likes the thing. The thing is right there. One could do the thing. This crawls through one’s brain like a news crawler. One wants to do the thing. One wants to like doing the thing. One wants to have done the thing. Does one do the thing? No. Why?
The easiest explanation I have, for my own individual case, is that there aren’t enough spoons. If you’re not familiar with spoon theory, it’s kind of like the pain scale. Basically, there is only so much energy a person has when dealing with a chronic condition, it’s finite, and putting spoons in one place means they can’t go in another. Sometimes they go to playing Sims for a few months or rearranging the furniture, or constructing planners or whatever happens to fill the need at the time. It’s different for everybody. It also very seldom resembles what the person thinks it’s going to be.
For me, I thought it was going to mean gorging myself on a steady stream of historical romance, preferably from my keeper boxes. Probably Netflix/Hulu binges, and oh the writing I was going to do. I’ve done some. I hired my first indie editor, the fabulously talented Jessica Cale, and got through the first round of edits, which then just…sat. Because. As with the reading. As with the viewing. As with the total lack of listening to music, which has some interesting results for my Spotify year in review. I will also mention the war between a mad race to the end of my Goodreads challenge, or shrugging that off and deciding it is what it is.
And then. Because there is always an “and then” when it comes to this sort of thing. Thing is though, there is no sort of time table, though one would be incredibly useful. Maybe, though, we write it as we go. At any rate, we go about it one foot in front of the other, maybe even plodding through rambly blog posts, or lack of blog posts and it gets annoyingly tedious. Will This Ever End? Maybe there has been some writing, but it’s more like going for a hike with a cartoon style ball and chain around one’s ankle. Doable, and one can technically get to one’s destination, but is one going to appreciate the scenery and/or have a lovely chat along the way? Possibly not so much.
But back to the “but then.” Then one day, one does. Oh, look, I’m reading a book. Oh look, I finished watching a series on Netflix. Oh look, I added something new to Spotify. Oh look, sleep tracker shows a steady bunch of nights that count as decent rest. That’s all good stuff. It’s not one thing. The ball and chain doesn’t drop off dramatically. It gets ground down by a million single steps. Online chats. You Tube videos playing in the background when not looking at the screen. Mindless tablet scrolling, like treading water in an infinity pool, no agenda in mind.
Then one day, the ball and chain isn’t there. It’s weird. Writing is a challenge, and then, one day, it’s …normal? The way it should be? Familiar? Sort of “oh, there you are.” Not exactly the same, because I don’t think that’s possible, but okay. Stepping from one room into another.
Do I know where this is going?
Not sure, but it’s real, and it’s true, and writing it feels good, so I am going to hit the publish button and then get on with my day. Moving to a two blog a week schedule, one of those Storm’s responsibility, honestly has made a difference in my fiction writing, so I am thinking of keeping the practice beyond December. Not sure yet; we’ll see, but putting the emphasis on writing romance fiction, feels right.
Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Shockingly, the Christmas tree is still not up around here, though Mama Anna assures me it will be soon. It’s been a pretty decent week over here. All the humans are working, including Mama Anna. Most of her work is either at the glowy box, going tappity tappity on the keys, or (my favorite) lying on the bed on her side, writing on paper with a pen. I like that best because then I can lay out with her and carry out my mews duty, Of course I can also do this with the box (aka my house) next to her desk, but the bed is comfier. Either way, I have a good chance of scritches, so I win either way.
The big thing this week is that I had to work super hard on Sunday morning. One thing to note: Aunt Linda is usually up and out of the house before six in the morning. This day, though, it was seven, and she was still there. Obviously, an emergency, of course. I tried my best to wake Mama Anna, but she was having none of it (or very little) but was not deterred. This was an emergency. Potential Dead Aunt Alert.
I did what any family-oriented kitty would do. Papa was right there, and if I couldn’t wake her, maybe I could wake him. I balanced on Mama Anna’s shoulder and bapped Papa in the face, three whole times. No claws, I should add. I am not a monster Still, no reaction. Fiiiiiine. I tried again with Mama Anna again and then I finally got her to come check. She said nothing was wrong; it was just Sunday. Aunt Linda didn’t have to go to work, so she didn’t have to get up early. Eh, fair enough, I guess.
Anyway, if you’re here, you have a higher chance than usual of wanting to know about Aunt Anna’s writing work. (Either that or you appreciate a quality calico. Possibly both.) She kind of just reaches down to pet me without looking, maybe grunts, and keeps writing. Apparently, this is good? She says the Kanban board is still working, She will probably get some super sticky sticky notes, because I have been eyeing the notes that are tuck on there already, aka my future toys when they fall, as they inevitably will. It might even count as Christmas ornament practice.
On Mama Anna’s reading front, which is also another opportunity for me to get cuddles, she is closing on on her goal. Though she is three books behind schedule, with 79 books read out of 90, the audiobook industry should get her back up to speed. I prefer when she uses audiobooks, because that means she can pet me with both hands instead of just one.
Well, it’s December. For any of us, it’s the holiday season. For many of us writers, it’s time to take a breath after NaNo and then get down to editing. I did not NaNo this year, but I did make a Kanban Board, and that’s actually proving to be more helpful than I thought. With things out there when I can see them, it’s easier to stay on track. It’s a good feeling. For those who have been reading this blog for a while, you’re familiar with the roller coaster of the last couple of years. Things are evening out, and I am feeling more like myself. Which means writing. Which is nice.
Where December comes in is that I am coming to the end of my current planners, and that means looking at next year. Which is…interesting. While I’d been hot and cold with morning journaling, using an outdated/redated horizontal planner for that, a few lines before I try to write anything close to morning pages , has worked out surprisingly well. In short, thrash about until something works, then stick with it. At the end of the month, I can either archive the pages I have now, and put new pages in the current setup, or archive as is and stick Dec-Sept pages into new discs and cover I’ll figure it out when it’s time.
Though the Kanban Board is much much much newer, as in last week, there was an immediate “ding” in my mind. I am even thinking about using the back for a specific project, or starting another board, or maybe dial back on the manipulatives and remember I have Scapple, which can totally work like a digital Kanban. Though the in-person variety does mean I get to use my Post-its and once they are used, I can get more.
All of it, though, means nothing without the actual story, without the actual hard work, the putting of butt on chair and fingers to keyboard, even after I have put pen to paper, because Mark Twain was probably the last writer to get away with handing in handwritten pages. Which isn’t always the fun part, or the interesting part, but it is the part that can’t be separated from anything else. Otherwise, t’s only having a fine time with stationery. Which isn’t a bad thing. Stationery is a fun hobby. It’s also writing adjacent. I have this pen, I have this paper. My as well do something with it.
So, where is this post going? I’m not sure. I have blog post on the schedule and I want to cross it off, so that’s why we are here. Also, my family is currently on their way home, and I want to get in some plotting work today. Much easier to do when it’s kitty and me than the entire company. With the end of the year only one month’s inserts away, I want to knuckle down and put the focus on the fiction. Part of that is going to a two entry a week schedule instead of my usual three. One from me, and one from Storm, ideally, but we will see.
Tails up, Storm Troopers! This is going to be a quicker than usual entry, because A) It is Black, White and Orange Friday, meaning Mama Anna and Aunt Linda are going to make out like locusts at the craft stores, and B) Mama Anna started yesterday out by slicing her middle finger in a freak bathing accident. She is okay, but it also means using that finger isn’t the most fun thing she can do. Apparently, it is an important finger in typing. I’m glad I have paws and my grooming routines do not require any sharp things. I wake up like this every day.
Not sure what came over me with that whole wanting a boy cat thing. Papa is the only boy I love. No boys, just toys. Preferably with catnip.
Pretty chill day yesterday, except for the whole finger slicing thing. Everybody was tired, so they took lots of naps and then ordered pizza. Then more naps. Nap, food, nap…were they practicing being cats? Because they did a pretty good job. There may be hope for them yet. Also, it was cold. We were fine, thiugh. They have blankets and sweaters and I have fur. Also radiators.
Anyway, the humans are very thankful for all of the above. Except for the finger slicing. I am thankful that I have had TWO great mamas in my life. My first mama, Mama D, did a super amazing job of getting me through the awkward kitten stage and making sure I am happy and healthy and scarily well adjusted. Even more than the humans, TBH. She can still see me on social media, so she knows I am okay.
Since it is now shopping season, I have told the humans that I want a red dot for Christmas. i think “laser pointer” is how to say it in human? If you know where they have good ones that are kitty safe, put it in the comments and I will give my humans a gentle reminder.
This morning, for my weekly chat with bud Mary, I turned my folding desk around, so that my back was not to an off-white wall, but the rustic bookcase festooned with white fairy lights. Note to self: get more fairy lights. I had every intention of writing a “real” blog post (what is a real blog post, anyway?) but then after an extremely good chat that ended with online ornament shopping and discussion of the big epic novels/miniseries of the 1970s, aka high drama, it hit me that we are on Thanksgiving Eve, which means it’s basically a holiay, and I do need to set up my Christmas planner, because the day after Thanksgiving, is Black Friday, and it’s go, go, GO into Holiday Mode.
We do have our tree to put up. This year, beyond the basic colored balls, we have a gorgeous Tudor rose ornament from Mary, and that means it is high time to have some more personalized ornaments on the tree. Cats, writing instruments, that sort of stuff. Can’t go into that unprepared and still face myself in the morning. Which will be Thanksgiving morning.
This year, we are going with a theme of “we tired,” and will be ordering in or getting takeout like the city dwellers we are. Pajamas all day if possible, relaxing, getting current on streaming backlog, reading, and hitting the ground running for full on holiday mode. I will be armed with lists, more lists, and lists of lists. No, I am not kidding on that one. I can take organization to meticulous levels when I have a mind to, and when I am all hopped up on visions of sugarplums and all that other good stuff, well, think of the logical outcome. All of that means that putting thought into a “real” post is not on my agenda.
One of the things I am list-ing is a somewhat loose TBR for the coming year, though I may not wait that long to get started. It all depends on what the library has in store. When I fell down the rabbit hole of V. C. Andrews analysis videos, I glommed hard on to the high drama factor, and what captures high drama than those big 70s epics I mentioned earlier? I was a bit young for those the first time around, but getting a taste for them now, so sprinkling them through the coming year might be something to add to my plans for 2022. Reading high drama fuels writing high drama and I do love my high drama. I know, big surprise on that one.
Anyway, the lure of a pillow fort and hand-knit afghan is calling, with a Kindle full of books, and a paperback Christmas historical romance anthology right there on the nightstand. I have a cuddly kitty and a plentiful tea supply. Also, my brain wants, very very strongly, to go back into fiction mode, and that pillow fort would put me verrrry near a lot of my pens. If you’ve been here longer than five minutes, you know all about me and pens. (Did I mention that I have started to see holiday pen gift sets popping up in stores? Have to say PaperMate is stepping it up this year.