Plot Bunnies in the Attic

First of all, Storm is on heat lockdown (we do plan on getting her spayed) and thus was not allowed to use the computer unsupervised. She kept attempting to log onto Cat Tinder, and we could not have that. Seriously. I found her profile picture.

single black, white, and orange female….

Beyond that, things are going pretty well over here. I was a bit under the weather over the weekend, but feeling much better now, and excited over the holiday season proper being right around the corner. For those of us who are stationery aficionados, that means new planner season is coming. For those of us who write fiction, it’s time to look ahead at the coming writing year. For those of us who are both, that means time to work on a writing planner.

One of those sections is creating a “stuck list,” aka books, movies, TV, other media that usually gets my idea hamster on the wheel and running like they think they are Wilma Rudolph or Usain Bolt.

For me, the book section includes romance and non-romance books. One of the non-romances, that I come back to time and again, is Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. As a romance writer, that does give me a moment of pause. Trigger warning: incest, child abuse.

43448. sx318 sy475
Dollenganger #1

Though there is an intimate relationship between teen protagonists Cathy and Chris, who are full siblings, under extremely extenuating circumstances, this isn’t a romance. It’s a tragedy. I’ve classified it as horror, of the psychological sort, and it is that, but as I wandered down my most recent FITA rabbit hole (it happens every once in a while) I found myself thinking, as I usually do when I revisit good ol’ Foxworth Hall (sarcasm mode on for that house name) “how would this work as a historical romance?”

Not, I should note, that I would ever want to have a hero and heroine who are full, half, step, foster, etc siblings. Not my thing. The big old house with centuries of heritage behind it, though? Oh yes. The family secrets? Yep. The family dysfunction? Well, of course. The creepy-deepy atmosphere? Um, have you met me? You know this is all Anna-nip when it comes to inspiration. I do have to admit that I had some degree of shock when I saw the Lifetime TV movie adaptation of the first book (there are five in all, number five being a prequel; when I reread, I read FITA, then the prequel, then FITA again, as the prequel is the origin story of the villainess) and very seldom pay any attention to the books in between. That’s just me, though.

My other listening obsession is podcasts on romance writing/reading, of which there are delightfully a lot. Though I don’t recall the specific episode where I heard author Sarah MacLean say that she also always thinks “how would this work as a historical romance?” my brain did catch on that. Fellow author Corinna Lawson once told me, after I’d given one of my very first workshops on what is now Play in Your Own Sandbox, Keep All the Toys, that I tend to “take fantasy inspiration and file off all the fantasy.” She’s not wrong, as I first got my start writing Star Trek: The Next Generation fanfic that read like historical romance with blinky things. I think the same thing might well apply to horror.

I did mention above that I have always classed FITA into horror, and with the discovery of some analyses of the Andrews books (only the actual V. C Andrews, thanks. Not the ghostwriter.) that it also fits into gothic drama, and since most of her stories take place in the south, Southern Gothic elements abound. I love that stuff. I gobble the classic gothic romances of the late sixties/early seventies when I can find them, and some authors who are on my top tier historical romance list, like Valerie Sherwood and Aola Vandergriff, also wrote in this gothic genre. Hmmmm. Hmmm. Hmmmmm.

Romance, though, particularly historical (the tone of my contemporaries with Melva Michaelian are decidedly different and equally natural) with HEAs and dating outside of the family line. Right now, I am at the phase of noting things on my stuck list and leaving them to marinate, to ponder in days to come. Maybe this will come in handy when I revise Orphans in the Storm, which may be on tap for 2022. Maybe not, but it’s always fun to examine something that gets the idea hamster on the move, and that’s a worthwhile end in its own right.

What surprising items might you put on your stuck list?

Typing With Wet Paws: The Gravitational Pull of Afghans Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! It’s a rainy day here in Albany, the leaves are falling in tons of colors, Papa is currently taking a nap under a hand knitted (by Aunt Linda) afghan, and Mama Anna is having a good writing week. She and Papa had delivery for lunch, which I did not touch because I am a kitty and kitties eat kitty food, not people food. That’s an important distinction, and Mama D taught me that early on when I was still a baby kitten.

Anyway, this is the kind of autumn day Mama Anna loves best. Later in the day, she and Aunt Linda will go hunting for groceries, including cat food, but after I am done with this post, she needs the keyboard so that she can write.

The current working setup; photo by Mama Anna

Last night, she had her weekly meeting online with a local writer friend, which is one day after her weekly talk with Aunt Mary, so she does tend to get charged during the latter half of the week, because talking. She is also drinking a lot of tea. These are good signs. On Wednesday, she walked all around the lake in the park when she went to take out the trash. I did not authorize that trip, and complained to Aunt Linda until Mama Anna got back. Oh, and I ran to the computer when I saw Mama Anna was talking to Aunt Mary. They both liked that a lot. I do aim to please.

Right now, the gravitational pull of the pillows, afghan, real paper book and freshly brewed cinnamon tea is very strong. Add in me and Papa also on the bed, not to mention Mama Anna’s catchall notebook and pens, so she can even do some writing there. This sounds like good napping time for me.

photo by Mama Anna

Papa wanted to get a good picture of me in Mama Anna’s desk chair, facing the computer, but I was at such a position he couldn’t get a good angle. He will, later, though, so a greatest hits picture for now. Mama Anna says he and I need a photoshoot, so she can have a reserve of pictures. That’s not a bad idea. I am rather gorgeous.

Speaking of gorgeous, there are a lot of gorgeous covers in the books Mama Anna has been reading this year. She is currently back on track with 77 books read out of 90, and she is reading a few at the same time, pretty much. Getting back into it. This kind of day is conducive to reading, so again, strong draw towards the reading nest.

Yesterday was a really good writing day, even working on Her Last First Kiss, and it didn’t feel forced. That is a very good sign. I have to believe my emotional suport goes a long way toward that, as well as Mama Anna increasing the amount of blabbering to other people that she has been doing. Snuggling with me and a book couldn’t hurt, though.

Headbonks!

Storm

NaNot, Mislaid Plan(ners) and Other Stories

Once again, I am not doing National Novel Writing Month, though I am peeking through the cracks in the fence. Maybe next year? Maybe so. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know the last couple years have been quite the trip. Several of them, as a matter of fact, so that staying home now is actually kind of exciting, because I have a home to stay in, which I figured would have some sort of effect on my productivity.

If we are talking about blogging, I am doing okay. If we are talking about journaling, I am absolutely crushing it. We’ll talk more about that later. If we’re talking about writing romance fiction, that’s where it gets a little murkerier, and yes, I did put that distancing phrase in there on purpose. Melva and I completed one contemporary romance novel, which we now need to do some surgery upon before we can give it another shot with our current publisher. That’s not a bad thing. We are currently working on another one, and starting a new contemporary series after that. We are working our way to a new sort of schedule as both of us have had changes in our day to day routines, but we are getting into the swing of it, and it’s good.

only the tip of my big bag of books iceberg

For historical romance, that’s where I feel the most guilty, meaning that I’m not where I thought I was going to be at this point. I mean, it’s in sight, and I am getting my way back there. I am now in a two person critique group with a local writer friend, who is newer to the game. We write different subgenres, but both under the romance or romantic elements umbrella. I do read the genre that she writes in, though she is new to historical romance, and I am very interested to see what I can learn about historical romance from seeing it through fresh eyes. So it’s steps in the right direction. Historical romance is also a very common topic on my weekly three hour chats with my friend, Mary, who gifted me a huge bag of classic historicals on her recent visit. I also owe a letter to another writer friend, which is all moving in the direction of getting back to talking about my work, which, for me, is definitely a thing. #extrovertlife

The writing planner I had set up for the last six months of this year is sitting in its cover, glaring at me. Not to say that the planner isn’t working. What it means is that that method is not working for me, and I need to find the one that does. Which means trial and error and blabbering about it here, because, metaphorically, I have a microphone and you all have to listen to everything I say. (The Wedding Singer is a work of genius; fight me.) In short, all part of the process. As we near the end of the year, the planner possibilities are endless, and I will find the right one at the right time. For now, it’s going to be more a matter of blundering into the forest with oven mitts on my hands, and recording what actually worked for me. That tends to be how I work. Stumble my way halfway in, survey, and make a plan. I am bound and determined that A Heart Most Errant is not going to have a birthday of sitting in my documents file, edits unaddressed. Nope, nope, nope. February is not that far away, which means I need to get on it.

How does yoeur week look?

Typing With Wet Paws: Nipped Edition

Storm’s up, Tail Troopers. Wait. That’s not right. It sounds kind of right. Close to right? Almost right. Right words, wrong order, yeah? Ever since Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian brought me some special mousies, things sometimes get kind of…wavy. Not that I mind. I mean, look at my paw.

Did you know I have switchblade fingers? Well, I do.

Have you ever really looked at a paw? Paws are amazing. I can put my claws in, put them out, pull them in again. Any. Time. I. Want. How great is that? Also, I have four of them. Plus one tail. No switchblades in my tail, though, but it goes up when I am happy. New toys always make me happy. Especially when they are special toys, if you know what I mean. I mean catnip. I love that stuff.

All the humans did fun things on the weekend, like having dinner where Papa works. While he was working, even, so they got to see him do his job. He is super duper good at it, but a lot of people know that already, like Mama Anna. Nice to have it confirmed, though. There was the time when the chef accidentally tried to kill Mama Anna, though. I say accidentally, because they probably did not know that Mama Anna is allergic to mushrooms, and there were mushrooms in the soup when it didn’t say that on the menu. She is okay, though. She had the soup put in a to go container, ate other food, and took it home for Papa.

Keeping Mama Anna’s seat warm.

I, purr-sonally, did not get to go to Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian’s hotel, which I am told was very nice, with a big couch, so there was room for me, and pets were allowed, so I hung with my special mousies that evening. The humans did all agree, though, that the next visit has to be soon, and at Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian’s house, and that I have to come along, because separation anxiety. This means that A) I will get two car rides (there and back) and B) Mama Anna will need to harness train me, so that when I get out of my adventure cave after the car ride, she can keep eyes on me at all times in a new environment.. I should probably also mention that While Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian have my Cousin Andy (who is a young grownup, and will be getting married to my Cousin-to-Be Leah, and moving to his own house next year; dibs on his room when we visit after that) but also my Cousin Aiden, who is a Golden Retriever. That is a kind of dog, who will not be getting married and thus will stay licing in that house. I am not sure if he knows a lot of cats (probably not) so only one of us will be free range at any given time, and I will be on the lead when it’s me.

In related news, Cousin Andy asked Aunt Anna if she would be a character reference for an important job he wants to do, and she said yes. That means that she had to talk to an important person on the phone and answer questions about whether she thinks Cousin Andy is a good human (spoiler alert: he is) and can do important job (Spoiler alert: he can.) She said yes and yes, so that is on the record now. She of course countered this very adult responsibility by playing video games, so the balance is restored.

Also restored is her love of reading historical romance, since Aunt Mary did in fact give her a honking big bag of classic historical romances (she will talk about that on Buried Under Romance, later.) Some of those were books she had once owned and wanted to get again (score!) while others were books she had always wanted to read, but never got the chance (also score) and a couple were even brand new to her, even though they had been written and/or published before she was even a grownup herself.

Mama Anna also read one entire book this week, but it was from the library, not that bag, and it was not even fiction. It was Idiot, by Laura Clery, who is actually very smart and very funny. It is a memoir, which means it is about her life up to the time she wrote it. There is another one coming in spring, and Mama Anna already wants to read that one, too. She will read other books before then, though.

Did you know that my special mousies have knots in the end of their tails? They are super good for biting and throwing so I can pounce. Yeah. That’s fun, Think I’m going to go do that soon, or maybe nap in that sunbeam.

Headbonks!

Typing With Wet Paws: Company’s Coming Edition

Tails Up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. This is a super special weekend coming, because Mama Anna gets to see Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian IN PERSON, and I get to meet them for the very first time. They have a dog at home (who will probably be staying home, but I can still smell him on them and will “meet” him that way. If I mark them (which I will) the he can learn all about me that way. It’s secret code we fur people have. Works pretty well.) Anyway, Mama Ann is doing a lot to get ready for this visit, which is actually pretty fun for her.

Part of that is getting presents ready. Even though one of the reasons is for Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian to help celebrate Mama Anna’s birthday, they are also covering other holidays that they were not able to see each other, due to the global situation, and then an early Christmas. This means there are probably going to be bags and boxes for me to play with, which is always good.

Aunt Anna says nobody is going to catch her unawares on this whole visit thing, and I don’t blame her. This is kind of big, having company. She has always loved company, ever since she was a people kitten. Can you spot the baby extrovert here? Hint: that would be Mama Anna. Also me. I love friends, and I kind of know Aunt Mary from the weekly glowy box sessions. It will be fun to see if I recognize her. I bet that I will. I am predicting headbonks (from me) – my way of saying “property of Storm.”

One thing that Mama Anna is getting excited about is that Aunt Mary is going to bring a big bag (dibs on the bag!) of the kinds of books Mama Anna loves the very best: those big epic historical romances of um…a lot of cats ago. Mama Anna thinks that will go a long way to fixing her reader’s block. Also, she is looking forward to taking pictures of all the pretty covers and sharing those here. It’s also kind of coming full circle, because Mama Anna’s first exposure to historical romance novels would be many cats ago, when Mama Anna’s Aunt Lucy (I guess that makes her my Great Aunt Lucy) would visit Mama Anna’s Mama (Grandma Erma; I have to wait until Rainbow Bridge to meet here, and that is a very very long time away) and bring…you guessed it, a big bag of big, epic historical romances.

Mama Anna’s job was to take those bags of books to the laundry room and put them on a special shelf. She wasn’t allowed to read them yet (she would overstep that boundary soon) because she was too young, but she always looked at the covers and read the back blurbs and made up her own stories to go with those elements. Now she is getting back to writing them. Point is, aunts bearing bags of historical romance novels have a relly good track record around these parts.

What’s on tap for your weekend?

Headbonks!

Storm

Typing With Wet Paws: Sorry For The MIA Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! It’s October now, which means a lot of exciting things are happening. First of all, today starts our official second year in this apartment, something that makes us all extremely happy. I am not as pleased with the closed windows, because I got a surprise when I tried to jump into my window in Aunt Linda’s room. She says she is getting me a ledge. We will see. I do have an adoptiversary coming up, so that’s another good thing, and a good reason for her to come through with the ledge.

Aunt Anna’s birthday is also in October, one week before Halloween, so really, it’s a whole month of fun stuff. The one up side of the windows closing is that the property manager turned the furnace on yesterday, so now we can have heat. Also, Aunt Linda is going on vacation later in this month, so there will be some shenanigans. Of what sort, I do not know, but it will be fun whatever it is.

photo by Anna Carrasco Bowling

As you can see, I am quite comfy, and also hard at work at being Aunt Anna’s mews. With the stuff ahead of her, she’s going to need me. Yesterday, she had two video chats with different writer friends, and then the day before that, her weekly three hours with Aunt Mary. Aunt Anna is a social creature, so this kind of thing helps her a lot. She also is working on some exercises in making sure she pays attention to what helps her write things and what doesn’t. I of course, am close by because really, isn’t that the most important thing?

desk at golden hour
Anna Carrasco Bowling

That picture above is what Aunt Anna’s current desk setup looks like. She’s very happy with it, though she will be happier when her secretary desk comes home, which will probably be sometime during Aunt Linda’s vacation. That is probably when she will dig her very very favorite historical romance novels out of storage. Those go in the bookcase her father made for her when she was a baby baby. She might repaint them, though, because yellow is not her thing. Don’t blame her. It doesn’t complement my fur at all, so I very much support this idea.

Speaking of books, let’s check in with Aunt Anna’s Goodreads Challenge. As of this writing, she is as 81% of the way to her goal of 90 books in 2021, with 73 books under her belt. That is six books ahead of schedule, so feel free to give her a paw bop when she complains about not being able to read anything, because that is obviously not true. Even if it seems that way at the time.

I would not be surprised if the reading thing gets even stronger this month, because A) it’s October, B ) that sometimes means she gets books for her birthday, and C) she’s already listening to music again and thanks to Uncle Rheuben, she is even watching TV. Okay, streaming, but still. He made her watch Only Murders in the Building. It hits a lot of tropes that Aunt Anna loves, has a great cast (she was sold on Steve Martin and Martin Short, and the prewar apartments sold her without knowing anything else.

Hm, I think that’s about it for right now, but I will be sure to pop back in if I think of anything else, get new toys, or anything else interesting. Feel free to drop your recommendations for sourcing a good red dot in the comments.

Headbonks!

Storm

Typing With Wet Paws: Freestyle Edition

Tails up ,Storm Troopers. I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Aunt Anna is kind of busy right now, so I’m going to freestyle it this week.

Me, on a bag in a box

First of all, take a look at my sweet summer digs. I have my footlocker box, with a paper bag inside it. That’s pretty luxe from cat standards. I get a nice breeze from the bos fan, I can see both Aunt Anna and Uncle Rheuben from there, and of course I can see my dishes from here, too, in case anything is happening there.

Next thing is that we had an invader on Wednesday. Okay, Uncle Rheuben said the invader was Mr. Kurt, who is the proprety manager and was only here to fix the bathroom. The tub had stopped and wasn’t draining at all (don’t worry, I have zero interest in investigating that kind of thing) and the toilet wouldn’t quite flushing. Ever. I didn’t investigate that either. Anyway, Aunt Anna was out, writing at Panera, when Mr. Kurt came by to fix things. I don’t know exactly what all Mr. Kurt did, but the whole bathroom works now. I was under the big bed. Never can be too sure about this kind of thing.

Aunt Anna is hoping to get a bunch of reading done this weekend, because she is killing it when it comes to the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Right now, She’s still kind of wrangling her library haul, and the video is still planned, but it’s been a week. Aunt Linda had her car in the shop twice, once for the windshield wipers, and then today for the windshield.

Last night, we had a false alarm. Uncle Rheuben was working last night, and I thought I heard him coming home, so I went to the door, all excited. Unfortunately, I was wrong. It was our neighbors. They only live here on some weekends. I think they are in a different city most of the time. They have dogs, but I have never met them, even though I asked. I have heard them, though. They bark a lot. I guess they didn’t get the memo that we live here now. I mean, the people probably know, but never can tell with the dogs. There is a dog downstairs next door, too. Her name is Ada. She was a puppy when we first moved in, so she is almost grown up now. She’s still wiggly, though. I watch her (and other dogs) from the window sometimes. There are a lot of these dogs in this neighbornood.

That’s probably about it for this week. We’re all doing well here. Aunt Anna is writing. I help her read when I flop down next to her and she can use her other hand to rub my stomach. Speaking of which, I think I’m going to go see if she’s amenable to that option, because I for sure am.

Headbonks!

Storm

Typing With Wet Paws: Proper Elevation Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. The big news this week is that Aunt Anna borrowed Aunt Linda’s office chair ,which Aunt Linda uses as a regular chair (no desk) and guess what – no back pain No need for an Amazon box on top of the kitchen table, either, if she wheels the chair out there when Aunt Linda isn’t home. This is a very good portent for the writing that is on her schedule, because there is a lot. All it will take is either getting Aunt Anna’s regular office chair out of the storage unit, or buying a new one. Either way is good, because A) I get to sit in it when she isn’t, B) if Aunt Anna doesn’t need the Amazon box she uses for a laptop riser, then I get it. Also if she goes with a new chair, then it will come in a box, and I can have that one. If she gets the existing one out of storage, then I get to smell Big Sister Skye on it, and learn some secrets from/about her. Anyway, it’s all good, however it turns out.

Fourth of July was pretty quiet around here. Figuratively, not literally. We can hear all the fireworks here, but can’t see them. I was a little confused, but the humans were all chill about it, so I was, too. I wasn’t aound fireworks last years, and I don’t remember the year before that, because I was too young. I guess it makes me fireworks-neutral, which is a good thing for a pet to be. We’ll find out again nest year.

best seat in the house

There was one memorable effect from the holiday, though. It scrambled Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva’s brains, so they spaced on their meeting on Monday, even though Aunt Anna had already written her whole scene -in longhand. SHe’ll have to transcfribe that over the weekend and then send it Aunt Melva’s way, so Aunt Melva can write the next scene. They might move their meeting day, not move it, or keep the original meeting and add a second one. Aunt Anna is also having another video chat with Aunt Mary, because that was super fun and motivating, She may start doing that more with other friends, as well, because extroverts and social distancing are not the best mix.

Good thing there is Aunt Linda. On Monday, Aunt Linda had the day off, and she and Aunt Anna made a huge library haul. She made a big historical romance haul, and will make an Anna Log video all about that. She will talk about here experience with the Historical Romance Readathon over on Buried Under Romance this weekend, so keep eyes peeled for that. Right now, her Goodreads Reading Challenge looks like this.

This puts Aunt Anna firmly at the 2/3rds mark, with 60 books read out of her goal of 90 which means she is at 33% of the way there. The retShe will talk more about that later. The return of the physical library has been a very good thing on Aunt Anna’s reading front. The most imporatan thing is not only that Aunt Anna super loves reading paper bools again, but that it means she can now read in bed with just the bedside lamp and no tablet screen, and she is totally free to cuddle me while she reads. That’s always a big plus.

Okay, that looks about it for my list of the week things, except for some planner stuff, but that is for Anna Log, too. Since Aunt Anna looks to be unpillbugging, that will be soon. k

Headbonks!

Nobody Stop Me, or In The Groove

Have I ever mentioned that I have since single digit ages had a very soft spot for alternate titles. Completely unrelated to the Monkees song, “Alternate Title,” though does have some surprisingly boppy social commentary, and The Monkees are on the top of the list of music to play when I write Heather’s scenes in Queen of Hearts. I have my second scene from that written out in the notebook I have specifically for that, and all it needs is transcription and then it’s off to Melva.

Right now, I am borrowing Housemate’s office chair, with laptop on a folding desk, in front of a fan, and I am almost done with my third bottle of water for the day. The morning passed in a delicious virtual chat with my friend, Mary, whom I can’t believe I have known for almost twenty years. Doesn’t seem that long, and hasn’t she always been there/ Must be right, though, because the adorable little boy she had with her at our first meetup is now a firefighter, and, come October, will become a husband. Time does move.

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

Yesterday, Housemate and I made a library run, to a different branch than our usual haunt, and hit the motherlode of well stocked romance section. Well, well-ish stocked. I’ll take it. I am writing a script for a library haul video after I post this blog, and will flim either tonight or tomorrow. I’m also figuring out how I want to present my current planner/notebooks situation, as I am making some changes, and they are working much better than I had expected. There’s also the reading order to suss for abovementioned library haul, and how I want to figure in ebooks as well as physical books. I have missed paper books far more than I knew, and I know my eyeballs will be thankful for the respite. from all screens all the time. This will also require major surgery on my TBR notebook, but I knew that was coming. I am not a plain paper sort of girl. Never have been.

One thing I definitely need to make time for is writer (and reader) blabber, because after three hours of happily babbling over multiple topics, including historical romance (okay, a lot of talk about historical romance) I didn’t even want to break for lunch (but I did) and instead wanted to make plans for more socializing. Not going to lie, lockdown has not been easy on us extroverts. I love my family but I need to see faces taht do not use my bathroon on a regular basis. I’m thinking about making a regular time to open the discord server or a MSM room, for a regular supply of book blather, of both writing and reading varieties. I am positively starved for historical romacne writing talk. If I had decided to officialy do Camp NaNo this month (unofficially camping this time. Maybe November.) I had decided that I wanted to find a cabin that was historical romance only. Maybe I’m early for November?

No matter. This feels like that’s what was in msy brainpan for right now, so off I go to roll around nekkid in my library haul. Kidding, kidding. I will be wearing clothing, and there may be nappage. There will definitely be many cat headbonks, and calico cuddles.

What are you reading lately?

Summer Daze and Caterpillar B*tt

Brand new week, and we have a heat warning where I am, so I am parked in front of a nice big fan, staying hydrated and fully stocked with my favorite writing thingamabobbles. Laptop, traveler’s notebook, pen pouch, lapdesk and cag ear headphones. The old ones broke, and the ears on this new set do not light up, but the ear covers do have glitter in them, so close enough. I had too much sun yesterday, so my Sunday afternoon week planning will happen this evening. Next week, we start July, with Canada Day and Fourth of July in the same week, annnnd I get to dive whole hog into my new eighteen month planner, plus six month writing planner extension, It’s also Historical Romance Readathon, and I have a vague TBR list, focused mostly on getting through the numerous half-finished historical romances I have on my Kindle.

Photo by Adrienne Andersen on Pexels.com

All of those are stalled at around the halfway point, and for the most part, it’s not them, it’s me. Some of them, I started during oru vagabonding time, and going back to those books, no matter how much I like the author, characters, or story, will bring back a lot of bad memories, so on the shelf they go to wait for a better time. Please pause now to imagine me petting a physical bookcase and whispering, :soon, my darlings.” There is also a vintage standalone historical medieval in the mix, stil in the back seat of Housemate’s car, which I will probably need to start from the beginning and pretend it’s the first time. Before I do, though, I may need to dive (back) into the author of the book I read (aka devoured) before that one, as I’d read some of her in the before before before times, and I am still thinking about how much I loved them, so time to hunt them all down once again.

When I was but a week princess, the local library (historical romance cred: said library started life as the school where First Chief Justice John Jay’s kids attended) hosted a summer reading contest for the kiddos. Naturally, this was my element. One of the prizes was a handmade yarn caterpillar with a fabric, cotton-stuffed head. Caterpillar has long since crawled off to a new adcventure, but I loved that thing. Going to the library with my mom was like going to a candy store, where everything was priced at zero. There was a cap on how many books I could take out, and I wasn’t allowed to go outside of the children’s room (until I got kicked out of it in third grade and pointed to the adult section. YA as we knew it wasn’t really a thing yet, and I think Librarian hit tilt on how many times checked out a certain book. I visited the library a few years back, and went straight to that shelf. It was still there. Hello, old friend.)

I’m feeling those same summer reading viges this year, and I am all for it. Anybody who wants to give me a braided yarn caterpillar (pastel variegated yarn, please, and peach cotton for the head) is more than welcome to do so. I am fully preared to lead a yarn caterpillar army if need be. What I may do is re-create the progress chart. We all started out with a head, and every book read got us a segment of caterpillar. If we got all the way to caterpillar butt, we got a caterpillar. I’m thinking there may be a re-creation of this chart, though I don’t recall how many segments were between caterpillar head and caterpillar butt. I’ll set my own goal, or maybe just see how many circles fit in a two page spread and call that good. The important thing, like with that long ago contest, is to have fun. The fact that I can do so in front of a fan is a cherry on top of the sundae. Mmmmm, sundae.