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.

Talking ‘Bout My Genre-ration

Happy Wednesday, feral and domesticated cryptids. On Monday night, Melva and I hashed out a rough outline for our third co-written (or to be co-written) contemporary romance, Queen of Hearts. I don’t think I would have added contemporary romance to my repetorie on my own, but with Melva, it makes sense. It also has a tie to historical romance, because I need that. Heather, the heroine, is named for Heather, the heroine of The Flame and the Flower, by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, the first modern historical romance as we know it. The Heather in Queen of Hearts is an editor of historical romance, a genre she adores.

I am extremely thankful to Ms. Woodiwiss for writing the story of her heart and putting it out there in the world. I am extremely thankful to Nancy Coffey, the editor who wanted to take only one submission home with her over the weekend, and picked the biggest manuscript from the slush pile. Boom. Kicked the bedroom door (and other things) off the hinges, and things have never been the same. How many of the original Avon Ladies (having nothing to do with cosmetics, and everything to do with historical romance. One of them wasn’t even a lady. His name was Tom.)

Now that Drama King has been put on the schoolbus, as it were, and Queen of Hearts is a darling baby who sleeps through the night and wakes to the playtime that is discovery drafting, it’s time to turn attention back to my troubled teens, aka historical romances that have been on hold for far too long.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A Heart Most Errant is soooo close to being done with the first round of edits. I started John and Aline’s story a long time ago. Not long enough that it was a contemporary when I sat down to write it, but I lived in a different state then, in a time that feels like another life. I won’t say that it doesn’t feel odd to be getting back in touch with characters that, if they were people born when I first put them to page, would be old enough to…well, let’s say cross the street by themselves. Among other things.

Image by Sandra Schwab

They are not that much older than Bern and Ruby (image by the fabulous Sandra Schwab) the hero and heroine of my Georgian romance, Her Last First Kiss, which I have missed like a deep sea diver misses air. Been a while on that one, too, but I am beyond eager to get back to it, and probably use as my focus for Camp NaNo this year. It’s one of those things where I got the whole thing outlined, then the writing-writing got to a certain point and then…stopped. I chalk it up to life being in-bloody-sane for the last few years. We’re back, now, though, and that’s what matters.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Whiiiiich brings me to the whole genre thing. I’ve been watching a lot of You Tube videos about historical romance. Like, a lot. I love watching these mostly young women getting excited about my favorite genre, and doubly excited to see them discovering classic historical writers like Julie Garwood, Judith McNaught, and Johanna Lindsey. Not yet a lot of non-J-named writers, but that will come, I am sure.

It’s this development that makes me think that maybe historical romacne does have a divide that I don’t yet know how to name. Many of these videos mention prefering historical romance that is light and funny and rom-com-y, historical accuracy either not a priority or even a detriment. Can’t say I can get my head around that but if those are the books that get a reader’s motor running, read on.

The historical romances that have a permanent home in my heart are of a different ilk. Darker rather than lighter, historical versimilitude a must, big thick bug squasher books that have heft and weight. Plots where the history is a major player, as in plucking this couple from medieval France and dumping them in modern times, the old west of the US, or ancient Rome, would not work at all, because they are people of their time.

A lot of the shining stars I see in these You Tube recommendations are great at weaving the nineteenth century backdrops with keen observations on the fads and foibles of modern life. The covers of these books have what are commonly referred to as “prom dresses” on the heroines, often with titles modeled after references to popular modern works, and in very modern-looking fonts. I don’t have a problem with that. It’s its own genre, and a pretty darned popular one, so rock on and keep going. Is it my taste, though? Weeeeel….I’m okay with that.

I’m also more than okay with accepting that my personal preference is for those big thick bug squashers, whose covers have historical garb on their humans. Often standalones, and often with authors who not only didn’t stick with one family or friend group, but spread it out over several different centuries and continents. An author could come on the scen with a Victorian historical, but the next book is sixteenth century pirates, then a western, then ancient Rome, then colonial Maine, then the early days of Australian penal colonies, back up to Gilded Age New York, then the English Civil War, and….:happy sigh: I love that. I miss that. I want to do that.

Love can happen any time, any place, as an online historical romance friend often says, and I abundantly agree with that. New school or old, traditionally published or indie, series or standalone. What absolutely must, must, must be there is the love story that is intrinsically intertwined with the time in which it occurs, and bonus points to the couple coming So Close to losing it all that I forget that the HEA is a gaurantee and then, at the last second, BOOM, they make it work. They get to the top of that metaphorical mountain, not without some bumps and bruises along the way, some bittersweet losses likely, and I pump my fist in victory.

At least that’s the plan, and that’s why I am working on my Anna Log You Tube channel, to talk about some of the stuff that I love that may not be the newest kid on the block, but my word, the staying power. Which reminds me, time to get to work on that.

Typing With Wet Paws: The Heat Is Broken Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Not much to report this week, because it was a hot one for two and four legs alike, but Uncle Rheuben got his fan network up and going, so we were able to stay cool. Aunt Anna doesn’t summer well, so that of course required me to be on round the clock nurse duty. Luckily that meant I got the fans on my fur a lot, and the humans always make sure my water is full and fresh. There is one big thing Aunt Anna said I have to tell you, and it is a thing that happened yesterday.

That big thing is…wait for it…Drama King, book two in the Love By The Book series, has been officially submitted to The Wild Rose Press, who published Chasing Prince Charming. Not yet an acceptance, but TWRP has first dibs on the next umm…some contemporary romances Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva writer together. That does also mean that they might be the first ones to say no thanks, but the aunts prefer to remain optimistic. Can’t say as I blame them. Did I mention there is a cat in this one? He looks kind of like this:

Photo by Aleksandr Nadyojin on Pexels.com

Kind of. Ish. I don’t know. I haven’t seen him. He lives in a book. Also, he is a grownup and I think that one in the picgture is a kitten. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any kittens, so maybe my memory of what they look like is fuzzy. Heck, I am fuzzy. Anyway, he’s orange, his names is Clawed, spelled exactly that way, and when you meet him, you’ll know why. Definitely my favorite fictional cat so far. Okay, he’s the only fictional cat I know, and I am only three. Clawed is the hero’s cat (actually, Clawed would say Jack is his human, and I stand by him on that one) and he has very strong opinions on sharing. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t like to do it.

So that is the big Aunt Anna thing. The medium Aunt Anna thing is that there is new furniture in the hosue I think she said something about that earlier, but never fear, it all smells like us now. I made sure of that. It’s not where it’s meant to be, because it has been too hot to move furniture around, but the humans will fix that soon. Aunt Anna will try moving her computer area closer to the windows and her nightstand will get a lamp that will let her read paper vooks or write in paper notebooks in bed, while she cuddles me. I was not able to get in any of the dresser drawers (still salty about that) but the humans assure me that my bix cardboard box is staying, no matter what, because I love it. Also, Uncle Rheuben put a paper bag inside my box. Let me tell you, that first time being inside a bag inside a box, I wish every kitty coud have that feeling. It was pretty great.

Another probably medium Aunt Anna thing is that she is getting ready for probably doing the Camp NaNo thing next month. Part of it is admittedly so that she can play with notebooks and Scrivener, and preferably coordinate the two at least aestheticswise, but we’ll see where the road goes.

One more Aunt Anna thing. Since it was soooo hot all week, Aunt Anna gets a little loopy, and now she can’t remember where she put her newer tablet, but it is definitely in the apartment. Our apartment is not that big, so give her a couple of cooler days and she’ll figure it out. She is perturbed, though, because there is a book that she was reading on there, but she can get it on a different device. It’s also the one she uses to take pictures of me. That might bump it up in priority , now that I think of it. Hm. Maybe I can help her look. The world needs more Storm pictures. I’m adorable. Look at me!

and that’s just my HAND

Even though Aunt Anna is grumbly about searching for that one tablet, she is very happily back to reading historical romance. We’ll wait on the Goodreads challenge tally, but here’s the book she is reading now, but the fabulous Marsha Canham. Aunt Anna loves her some Marsha Canham, and she’s thinking of using the summer to read all the Canhams she hasn’t yet read, and most of those are standalones. The one that isn’t, is third in a series where she read the first two already, and would not mind rereading.

One me picture for tax before I race from the room for no apparent reason. There are two boxes in this picture. One is my big box, which I get to keep. The smaller box ,I don’t care about, so it got recycled. Aunt Anna put the rest of the stuff away. She likes a tidy home. As long as it smells right and has my big box, I’m good either way.

a girl and her box, a love story

Headbonks!

Hot Takes

I don’t summer well. Regular readers know that. If you’re new, now you do, too. This is the third (I think) too hot to function day in a row. Staying cool and hydrated, hanging with my fan club (as in we have box fans) and turning my sleep/wake cycle on its head as days are more somnolent and nights are more active.

This is working out well. Yesterday, Melva and I agreed that the draft of Drama King is indeed ready for submission, and all we have to do today is write a cover letter and then off it goes. Monday means we knuckle down and outline Queen of Hearts. I love outlining, Melva, mmmm, not so much. In that Melva does not love outlining. For me, it means that I have the weekend to pick out a QoH notebook (probably from my on-hand stash) and probably set up a Scrivener theme. We will ignore the fact that this will mean angsting over whether I want to try and get Scfrivener on my cufrent laptop even though my documentation that I really do own it is in storage and not easily accessible, or get my old laptop that already has Scrivener on it fixed so that I can use it. We will see how that all goes.

It’s also time to set up my historical romance notebooks. That second half of Her Last First Kiss is gnawing at me, and I am SO CLOSE to the end of the firs round of edits on A Heart Most Errant, annnnnd there is a pirate trilogy that will not sit down and be quiet while I tend its elder siblings. Phew. Time to get a move on, which includes getting down the bones of other stuff that has been simmering for far too long, and new stuff that won’t quit coming.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Writing query letters and the like are not my favorite sorts of writing. The very first query letter I ever wrote, I scrawled something like “I really don’t write/talk like this” at the bottom. This time, though, I feel delightfully detached from that part of the process, and eh, we wrote a thing, editor said she wants to see it, boom, here it is kthanxbye. Only more professional. There’s fake dating, and a grump/sunshine relationship, independent theater, and an orange former street cat who sets the house rules.

One other thing that is striking me as a newness is that there is a definite shift in my planning/journaling practice. I did not see that coming, but when I completely claimed the kitchen table as my de facto office desk, that involved setting up an improvised bookcase from a wooden crate, and finding covers for my discbound books so I don’t look at rows and rows of discs, annnnd some things moved on their own. Not in objects relocating themselves, but Book X belongs in Y cover, and I now want to write morning pages in book A instead of book B. Also, I came to terms with the fact that I don’t like blank pages and putting some visuals on said pages is actually a big help.

Going to wrap this now so I can get the letter written and to Melva, so we can smush our individual letters together, and then flop back in front of the fan. Just me and Kindle Unlimited and a nice cold watermelon seltzer. Also frequently my feline supervisor still demanding her seat on my torso, weather be hanged.

Typing With Wet Paws: Now Where Were We Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. If you are wondering where I was for the last couple of weeks, here is a clue:

photo: Anna Carrasco Bowling

Seriously, look at this cat bed. So soft. So comfy. Like me. It’s in the perfect spot to not only get the sunbeams from the window, but also the breeze, and now the fan. If the humans open the other window, I get he crossbreeze. Then there is the placement, at the foot of the people bed. I’m close enough to Aunt Anna or Uncle Rheuben if they need me, and I kan keep track of both of them at their desks. I can also see the kitchen from here, which means that if Aunt Linda comes out of her room, and heads in this direction, she has dry food for me (or is going to clean my box, which is also good) so it really is the best seat in the house.

Big news around here is that the libraries here in New York’s Capitol Region are open again. Well, for humans, that is. They still aren’t admitting cats, which is totally bogus. Cats and books go together, amirite? Of course I am. Click on the link above if you want to see what she brought home, and where she totally could have used a feline research assistant to remind her to check series order before checking out books.

As fun as Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva found the first Zoomer Times interview, what could they get up to in the second round? Apparently this. Also, there was another whole interview that went great, then went missing, so this is a do-over.

Right now, Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva are going over the final final final version of the Drama King manuscript, before they send it to the editor at The Wild Rose Press. If those people want it, there will be more edits, and then it’s on its way to becoming a book. Did I mention this one has a cat in it? Next one, they say is going to have a dog, but that’s still four-legs rep, so I am down with it.

Beyond that, Aunt Anna will be getting back in the historical groove, which, honestly, I think she has needed for a while now. She said I can assume there will be cats in historicals because they are state of the art pest control. Sounds legit.

She is also thinking that if she wants to take part in Camp NaNo in July, it is only the beginning of June, so she has a lot of time to prepare a project that sounds like fun. I think part of it is an excuse to play with her planner stuff, but I happen to like helping her with her planner stuff (by lying on it) so this could all work out to my favor.

There is probably other stuff I should be putting here as well, but it’s nap time and I have my priorities.

Headbonks!

Storm

Beware Nesting Authors

Tomorrow begins a new month, which means that part of my day today is for making sure I have my June planners (plural) are in good working order. My list for the week’s shopping includes things like an audio cable for the external speaker/microphone, and a decent reading lamp for my nightstand, lightbulb that gives off warm light essential. Once I have this post posted, I get to wrestle my dinosaur desktop to transfer some files to my laptop, and take a good long look at Scrivener and decide whether I want to purchase a new copy or look into resurrecting my HP stream laptop that has it already installed. (Resurrecting the ancient MacBook Pro is also an option, which would require buying Scrivener for Mac.) I have various electronic devices charging, including my OG (to me) Kindle-Kindle, Methos Junior (she’s a girl, though) for easy electronic reading without the temptation to constantly check social media and find the perfect background audio.

The bed has clean sheets on it, in preparation for work done in the “soft office.” This is also why I have finally accepted that I will have to A) figure out where to buy a replacement LED unit for the lamp I had by my bed, and B) how to change them, and C) buying a decent lamp with a real bulb will probably be my best course to take here. Props to the home decorating You Tube videos I have been inhaling for reminding me that lightbulbs come in different temperatures of light. The office chair search continues, as I scour FB Marketplace for a likely candidate, or can come up with a solid enough plan to justify renting a bigger vehicle to move actual furniture from storage.

Tonight, I will be racing the remaining hours on a historical romance I have on electronic loan from the library, as the historical romance reading mojo seems to be thinking about returning from its smoke break. I ripped the bandage off my Netflix block a couple nights ago, and watched all of Harlan Coben’s the Woods in one night. (Polish adaptation of an American novel) most of it with Storm sphinx-ing on top of me so that she can watch, too. Follow me for more dark European creepy drama reccommendations. I am going to be a big girl and get to my This Is Us backlog, even though I know what happens in the season finale. I do not intend to write Kate and Toby fanfiction, but I am willing to if they force my hand. Ditto Kevin and Sophie, and when are we going to get to see Rebecca and Miguel’s love story? I know he’s no Jack (who could be?) but he’s a good guy, and I am here for Rebecca having not one but two big loves in her life. Oh, and Uncle Nicky/Sally second chance, please. I think that’s all. :consults list: If they touch Beth/Randall, I riot. Oh, and that better be Malik who is Deja’s flash-forward partner.

Reading devices are loaded with next YA e-book, audiobook, and historical romance reads. Tomorrow, the libraries in our area open. One guess who is going to be there with a big tote bag.

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For clarity, I mean me, not Hillary Duff. Unless you’re in California. Then more likely her than me, but it’s a big state.

It’s the idea that counts. I have missed the library like I’d miss air if I were locked in a trunk. Tomorrow is a family day, but I have days after that blocked out on my calendar as Writing Days. Capitol W, capitol D. In boldface. Not only is there the draft to look over for Drama King (and my first ever crack at looking for sensitivity readers) but my return to A Heart Most Errant edits, and next up, a return to Her Last First Kiss, where I can make right what once went wrong.

This time, I am not overwhelmed. I am excited. My prep work for Queen of Hearts is underway. As I suspected, it would mosey on in when I was doing other things. That seems to be the way things work around here. My “A Working Day” playlist is playing (follow on Spotify if you want to know what the inside of my head sounds like.) I expect that it will grow, which is always a sign of life.

Appropriate for the start of a new month, at least for me. Regardless of what the calendar or almanac says, Memorial Day starts summer in our family. This year, though, I highly suspect that comfy apartment, shiny new laptop and a realistic writing plan will keep me well occupied for most of the season. After that, fall, and the return of my super powers, fall being my favorite season. It’s not that far away at all.

Draft Pick

In the words of the great Ricky Ricardo, the time has come. In other words, Drama King is a draft. Draft two in the vault, and now all that’s left is for me and Melva Michaelian to go over the whole thing one more time to make sure we are done for this stage, and we send it off to our editor at the Wild Rose Press. If they want it, then we’ll have at least one more go-over to make sure it’s right for this editor and this line. If that goes well, then there are still line edits, copy edits, art sheets to get information for the cover, and a bunch of other things.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

We are already started on the third book in the series, Queen of Hearts, and then we already know what our next contemporary adventure is going to be. We’ve already started laying the groundwork for that, and it looks like fun from here.

Then there’s my other life. Historical life. I have the edits for A Heart Most Errant to finish and send back to my fabulous editor at Safeword Author Services. Next floats in that parade include formatting and cover art, and then bibbity bobbity book, we’ll have a new historical romance.

There’s also getting back to know Her Last First Kiss, my much beloved, long neglected Georgian historical. I think I zigged where I should have zagged there, so time for course correction, while keeping with the marriage laws of the time. Can’t go marrying anybody you want, whenever you want. That way lays chaos. Or so the Georgians would have us believe.

Being in this writing place is a time where I wasn’t sure when or if I would be here again. Taking a couple of days to breathe feels like a good idea. Especially since today is going to be a hot one, and i do not at all summer well. Hence a date with my BFF to hang out in air conditioning. She’ll have some awesome new colored pencils and an adult coloring book. I’m not sure what I’m bringing as of yet, but she’ll be here soon, so I will probably grab one of my pen pouches and a notebook and call it good. There may be a trip to a craft store along the way to pick up anything else I might want to include. There will be brain dumping. There will be decompression. There will be cold drinks.

Wish me well.

Typing With Wet Paws: Memories of Cat Cr*ck Edition

Tails up ,Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. This has been a pretty good writing week for Aunt Anna. She is only two units away from being done with this round of edits for A Heart Most Errant, and she and Aunt Melva are working at getting Drama King ready to submit at the end of the month. Aunt Anna is also setting up the revisions for the second half of Her Last First Kiss, because she’s figured out what was probably the roadblock, and getting past that will actually be fun.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Let’s get the Aunt Anna stuff out of the way before we can get to the important part, aka me. The super functional planning thing seems to be working well as a base and then she can make things pretty later on; then I can help her by bopping things with my paws. Sometimes, I might try to make off with a pen or roll of washi, but seriously, who wouldn’t? Also, sitting on open notebooks or planners is super fun. Open ones are far better than closed ones, but I will sit on a closed one if that is all there is, especially if Aunt Anna needs it.

Let’s start with Aunt Anna’s Goodreads challenge. As of today, Aunt Anna is holding steady at 45 books read out of her goal of 90, which puts her at 50% of the way there, and fourteen books ahead of schedule. She did get two e-books out of the library for her new Kindle Fire, which runs super fast, so that number will be going up soon.

Aunt Anna is on fire with the Buried Under Romance post this past week, talking about classic historical romances on Kindle Unlimited (not sponsored) which is very useful for planning out her reading agenda for the immediate future. What will she write about this week? Stop by Buried Under Romance tomorrow and find out. My suggestions: books with cats in them. We’re awesome.

greatest hits picture b/c Aunt Anna needs more caffiene rn

Okay, so now we get to the me part. A couple of days ago, I was helping Aunt Anna the way I always do, by hanging out very near her while she writes. Uncle Rheuben was home, and his way of helping her write is to be not-near her so that she can concentrate. She’s super into him, as you can probably guess. Also, he has homework he has to do on his own computer. Sometimes, though, he has to come into the kitchen, where Aunt Anna writes right now, because the kitchen is where they keep the people food.

Aunt Anna has bright pink kitty ear headphones, with lights she can turn on to mean Do Not Interrupt. If the lights are flashing, then Really Do Not Interrupt. This time, the lights were off, so talking to her is okay if it is important. This time, he did his “this is important” thing, so she took off the headphones. That’s when Uncle Rheuben pointed to me and said he didn’t like the way I was looking at the oven.

Okay, first of all, the oven wasn’t on, so I wouldn’t have got scorched paws or anything if I did put my paws on the oven door. Second of all, I have already been on the counter, on the day we moved into this apartment. Aunt Anna had told me, super loud, NOT FOR KITTIES, so I know not to go on the counter. ‘Not for kitties’ is the phrase I know that means I should leave something alone. That was the only time I had ever been on the counter. I know when Aunt Anna means business, and she totally did. No cats on counters.

Anyway, there was a discussion then about whether I had the same look about me as I did back when I was getting used to these guys, and the Cat Crack Incident happened. Back then, we were vagabonding, and were in a motel at the time. The humans were still figuring out what I like to eat, and got cans of gushy food that we will refer to as Cat Crack as the humans don’t remember its actual name. Needless to say, I LOVED the Cat Crack. The humans put it on top of the clothing rack, on a big shelf.

I wanted that Cat Crack. It was all I could think about. Uncle Rheuben, who at the time was known only as Belly Rub Guy, was trying to sleep. I got on the bed with him and looked at him, then looked at the clothes on the coat rack. The coat rack was right below the shelf where the Cat Crack was. If I jumped off Belly Rub Guy’s face, I could land on his sweatshirt, claws out, climb the sweatshirt, haul myself onto the rack, and then the Cat Crack would be mine, all mine.

Unfortunately, I did not carry out that plan , but Uncle Rheuben has never forgotten that look. He has a super good memory. I will neither confirm nor deny any plans for adventures in the kitchen, but theoretically, if I were to get on the counter, I could probably make it to the top of the refrigerator, and then be on top of the world. There is no Cat Crack there, though. Only bread and usually the crock pot. A cat can dream, though. I’ll keep you updated.

Headbonks!

Typing With Wet Paws: Bye Bye April Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Super good week this week. Aunt Anna is thinking about doing a bonus post this weekend, or maybe a video, to make up for missing Wednesday. That turned into an impromptu family day. No regrets. She is very much getting back into the groove of things, and that means I have to be at top of my mews game, to make sure we are doing the best that we can.

greatest hits picture of me, as we are still working on the pictures thing

First of all, my big box is still awesome, and this week, we got a new, smaller box that I m still figuring out. One of Aunt Anna’s writer friends sent her a fun package, and I have a couple of days to have fun with this new box before the humans break it down. One of the great things about humans settling into an apartment is that boxes and bags arrive and I get to inspect all packaging. It’s pretty sweet. I don’t like when the humans break the packing material with the really big bubbles, though. That stuff is scary. Humans need to take care of that outside.

Another big thing is that I love my cat bed again. Aunt Anna and Uncle Rheuben put the cat bed on top of the trunk at the foot of their bed, and yesterday, when we were all doing our own things, I hopped into it for a nap. They stopped what they were doing to point out that I was indeed in the bed. No pictures, though. Slackers. I will have to get them on that ASAP. I’m cute.

Photo by Cristian Rojas on Pexels.com

On the Aunt Anna front, I am happy to report a good writing week. Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva are on track to be done with this draft of Drama King on time. Aunt Anna’s heart is going pitty pat on that one, and Her Last First Kiss is back on the agenda. Historical romance writer friends, please be warned; she will be prone to unprompted blathering about the direction of the second half of the book. Tell her she’s pretty, give her tea, and back away slowly. If in doubt, add stationery.

Now that Aunt Anna is back in the historical romance saddle, that does mean she’s probably going to power right through the rest of the edits for A Heart Most Errant. There’s a bunch of other historicals banging on the door of her brain. Pirates, more mediecals, a whole lot of Georgians, and some English Civil War/Restoration people. Good thing I have scratchy thing near the kitchen table, which is where Aunt Anna does most of her glowy box stuff these days.

Speaking of scratchy thing, I love it. I did get a new one, and it came with catnip, and it is the good stuff. I do scratch it, and I like to loaf on it, because I exactly fit, and slow blink at Aunt Anna while she works. I can also keep an eye/ear on whoever is in the bathroom. I don’t know why the humans insist on going in there alone, when feline supervision is clearly a need.

Onto the Goodreads challenge. This week, Aunt Anna has hit the 50% mark. She has read 45 books out of her goal of 90, and 16 books ahead of schedule. I am encouraging her to do even more reading or listening to audiobooks, by throwing in a free kitty cuddle with every reading session. I even throw in motor purrs. I think that’s a good incentive.

Another part of that is her book of books, aka TBR notebook, which still needs a picture. If you’d like a word picture, hop on over to Buried Under Romance and read about that. Aunt Anna is a list maker from way back, so I am not surprised that keeping lists of this sort of thing takes a lot of the time she would normally spend thinking about what she’d like to read next out of the picture. I will remind her to take pictures and/or make a video about it, because it is super neat. It’s also very comfortable, because of course I have sat on it. I sit on a lot of stuff. Which reminds me, I better get to that.

Headbonks!

Calico got to go!

Being on Somone Else’s YouTube is Unreal

Yesterday. Melva and I had our Zoomer Times interview, which is now live on their YouTube channel. I would like to state that I am indeed more than a giant head in extreme closeup, and blame my visual impairment for not noticing how giant-head-y I was, but let’s ignore that and focus on the content.

Not going to lie, I was nervous, but, at the same time, this is legit an item from my childhood bucket list, “be interviewed on TV” because YouTube counts, and it’s on a channel other than my own. Which will hopefully be giant-head-free. It’s a learning curve to be sure, and one I’m glad Melva and I took.

Host Anita Finley was an utter delight, and I could not have asked for a more enthusiastic or friendlier person. They say you always remember your first time, and I absolutely will. When we first tried this whole interview thing in March, I got to be the silent partner, because my Kindle Fire wasn’t playing nicely with Zoom in general, and my contributions were relegated to broad facial expressions and gestures. Guess that mime class I very reluctantly took in high school paid off after all, because they were willing to give us a do-over once we solved the equipment problem.

The whole experinence, once we got rolling, was as much fun as I’d hoped. What writer doesn’t want to jabber about their book baby to a captife audience? Especially a willing captive. Even after what seems like “all this time,” I still get a thrill when I see Meg and Dominic on the cover of Chasing Prince Charming. I am sure that will repeat on every subsequent book with each new couple, but this was the first one.

Not only my first contemporary, my first book with Melva, but the first book that sold after a very long time of…not. Melva and I thought that Drama King would come along a lot faster, but then life hit both of us hard, and now that we have our combined wind back (or close enough) we are putting those hopes on Queen of Hearts, Dominic’s sister, Heather’s story, instead. Nobody can gaurantee that life won’t throw any more curveballs, but with each book, together or independently, we learn a little more, adapt, grow, evolve. This time, for instance, every chapter gets a number, which will make sure we have fewere “where does this bit go?” moments. Hellbent for leather, as Aunt S would have said, through the discovery draft, and then we can make everything pretty later.

I’m not sure when physical book tours will be a thing again, or if being everywhere at once, from the comfort of our own homes is the new norm, and how things are going to be from now onward. Melva is an excellent motel roommate, and traveling companion, and we do get a lot of our ideas while she drove and I wrote stuff down. I’m still the one with notebook and pen at the ready, always. That feels right.

This is all a fancy way of saying “we did a thing” and talked about stuff, so have a look if you’re so inclined, leave a like or comment if you like, and have a magnificent day.