Planuary

Right now, we are getting snow here in NY’s Capitol Region. I have a hot cup of gingerbread tea in my pink gingham mug. If I could summon any snack in the world to appear it would be swirly butter cookies with a kiss of raspberry jelly in the middle. I had a toasted English muffin with butter and grape spread. Kind of close but not the same. Maybe time to find a lower sugar recipe I can make on my own? Anyway, I have new fairy lights along the bookcase over my desk. These are multicolored, and steady, and I like the feel they give me. I will probably grab more from end of season sales, because the lights are very me.

Photo by Sena on Pexels.com

I am very much into the whole hygge thing. Last time Housemate and I made our weekly craft store run, I got a box of candle wicks so that I can melt down the remains of past jar candles into new candles. I love that whole idea, and the thought of the process and might even try making my own labels for the “new” candles. Part and parcel of January, it would seem. Last night, I finished listening to Bronson Pinchot read Jennifer Roberson’s Shapechangers. I will probably read or listen to the others in time. I am more of a Tiger and Del gal when it comes to Roberson, but it’s all good.

January this year is turning out to be a lot like November was, in that I want to experience it for itself, not as December’s hangover. We haven’t had much snow this month so far, and I am usually okay with the rain, but the promise of snow, that’s something special. My contemporary co-author, Melva Michaelian and I, have finished edits on our two most recent contemporary manuscripts. One will go to The Wild Rose Press for consideration, as they have right of first refusal, and the other may be ina revise and resubmit situation, or it will begin on a journey to find its home elsewhere. We’d like all of the Love By The Book books to be together, so that’s our hope.

This brings me to a place where I haven’t been for a while. My main focus for this quarter is solo historical romance. Pause for a short moment of running in circles, screaming, when Facebook wanted to know if I would like to remember that I had started Her Last First Kiss seven years ago. Seven. Years. I hate stops and starts like this, but I still love the story, and big changes to the second half do make that part of the book pretty much like a new work. I don’t know how this is going to shake out right now, and that’s okay. What I do know is that it’s time. I. Am. Doing. This. I’m not going to tell myself it’s too late, I’m too old, the market is too different, etc, etc, etc. None of that. I’m not doing that anymore.

Photo by Happiness Maker on Pexels.com

What I am doing is, well, writing. Doesn’t matter what at present, just as long as ink is coming out of the pen and onto the page. Journals, letters (remember letters? I love those.) and getting back into reading the stuff I love the very very best. Those seven years between the start of Her Last First Kiss and now have been big ones. I am proud of getting through them. I have co-written three contemporary romances. One of them is out in the world now, and then the other two are on their way to joining it at the right time. Tehre’s a balance somewhere between things I have always wanted to write and things that might be fun to try now. Getting back to regular blogging is a part of that.

One of the fun things about being in this kind of phase is discovering new things and steering into the natural rhythm. I am thinking of trying Archer and Olive journals, though my preference is for lined over dotted pages and ivory over white. There are kraft and blackout options, so I might try one of those. I like most notebook sizes, mainly A5, B6, and pocket. I love the idea of the heavyweight paper and would love to fit one into a leather cover, either folio or traveler’s notebook. Recommendations glagly accepted.

Anna

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Forest for the Christmas Trees

Tails Up, storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re Awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. This is coming to you in the prevening rather than morning because it’s a recovery day around here. Aunt N (upgraded from Neighbor N) has been around a lot, which is super cool. The more the merrier, I always say, which definitely applies to Christmas trees around here. Well, it kind of does. Let me explain.

Okay, so, irst of all, we have some math:

Number of Christmas trees we actually own: Four.
Number of Christmas trees the humans can locate: Three.
Number of Christmas trees technically in place: Two
Number of Christmas trees that Mama Anna has not yet located: One.
Number of Christmas trees the humans still need to put up and decorate: One.
Number of Christmas trees they actually intended to put up this year: One.
Number of Christmas trees I have knocked over so far this year: Zero.

To be fair, the number of Christmas trees I have ever knocked over is probably also zero. I was with Mama D for my first Christmas, because I did not know Mama Anna yet. I was really young then, though, so I don’t remember what went on with Mama D’s Christmas tree, though I want to say we did have one. I don’t remember if it was a big tree or a smaller one, but of the Christmas trees I can remember, They have all been tabletop or smaller. Mama Anna says that we will get a big tree when we are in a bigger apartment. I am okay with that.

Out of the trees we have, Mama Anna knows exactly where three of them are. It’s the tiny pink brush tree that she’s only sure of where it generally is, but she will probably track it down tomorrow, and then it can go on the windowsill where it belongs. Out of the trees technically in place, there is the miniature ceramic Christmas tree that has its own lights. That one is on top of Mama Anna’s desk hutch. It’s about half the size of the green ceramic one that her mama had when Mama Anna was a people kitten. It’s also pink. The newest one came tomorrow, because we are helping Aunt N move. This one is another tabletop tree. It’s cone shaped and made out of green tinsel. It doesn’t have any lights on it, but Mama Anna might put some on, later.

The Christmas tree that isn’t up yet is the rose gold tinsel one that was going to be the only tree, until the other trees happen. Now, Mama Anna is well on her way to the Christmas tree forest of her dreams. When Mama Anna was a people kitten, she spent some awesome Christmases with her Aunt S and Uncle G, who had three trees: one big one in the living room a small one in a different room, and then another one outside. The living room one was the one with the presents. Aunt S and Uncle G had cats, but Mama Anna doesn’t remember any of them climbing the tree. Eh, I can look it up on You Tube. “How to Climb Christmas Trees for Beginners” should be a good search term, right? I want to be ready when we get one of these bad boys:

Photo by Valeria Vinnik on Pexels.com

One thing Mama Anna has already decorated is her everyday carry traveler’s notebook (EDC):

Mama Anna is really, really, really into the whole traveler’s notebook thing, and decorating her notebooks and planners for the holidays. She plans to be done with the journal she keeps in this book by Christmas (pocket size or A6 hardcover; lined paper, ivory preferred.) She doesn’t really know what she’s doing with the blank insert she has in here, but it does take watercolor well, and her usual thing is to carry around an insert blank for a while and then she’ll know what to do with it when the time is right. I have learned to stay out of the way for this kind of thing, apart from sitting on open packs of paper. That never gets old.

I should probably say something here about Mama Anna’s writing. She and Aunt Melva are on track with their editing goals for Drama King and Queen of Hearts. When they are done with those, they will swap edits, probably say “looks good to me” on both counts, and then to the editor things go. That will put them both where they need to be for next year, where the first quarter is set aside for their solo writing. Aunt Melva will work on a humorous memoir, and Mama Anna will return to the world of historical romance with Her Last First Kiss. She is trying a new thing this year with a special writing planner/tracker, which I think is pretty cool. I’ve sat on it. It’s comfortable.

Anyway, about time for me to go stare at Mama Anna and wait for her to do the right thing and set up that last Christmas tree. It’s going on a table, which has chairs I can totally get onto, and once I am on the chair, that tree will be mine. Bwahahaha.\

Headbonks!

Storm

Typing With Wet Claws: Grumbling at Printers Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. The heat wave seems to have broken this week, but Aunt Linda is still recovering from it, so I am on nurse duty. Papa and Mama Anna seem to be doing better. Well, except for Mama Anna and the printer. I know I said printers in the title, but she’s only mad at the one. Writers do tend to need their printers to work, for the most part, and for the most part, hers hasn’t been, lately. She was going to have Aunt Linda help her, because Aunt Linda is usually good at fixing things, but Aunt Linda isn’t feeling all that great so Mama Anna gave it a whack herself yesterday.

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

Obviously, that is not Mama Anna’s real printer, but it’s close enough. The only difference is that a printed document is coming out of that printer. Mama Anna had got it working yesterday, but then she tried to use it again today, and it has no idea what she is talking about. The screen on the printer has an exclamation point on it, which means it needs her to do something, but it won’t tell her what. She is grumbling a lot. She needs to print stuff. I’d help, but, well, I’m a cat.

With the heat wave over, Mama Anna is doing a lot better and is spending a lot of time with her journal to figure out how she can best get back on track. So far, she is doing pretty well. Except for the printer. Oh, and she tried to play a new scenario in Sims 4 last night, and failed at it, because the Sim she had to keep alive froze to death while dumpster diving. So that’s a thing. She did think about printing out some screenshots for her Sims journal, but again, the printer thing. She has been muttering about taking a jump drive to the library. That may be a wise option. Also, how cute am I in Sims?

A screenshot from the Sims 4 video game. A calico cat woalks on the counter, and eyes a platter of grilled cheese sandwiches.
A screenshot from The Sims 4 video game: a calico cat eyes a platter of grilled cheese.

Stinking cute, am I right? The splootches (that’s what we call patches of colors on pets’ coats) are off, but I say it’s the purr-sonality that counts. Here, have another one.

A screenshot from The Sims 4 video game. A calico cat stares out the window.
A screenshot from the video game, The Sims 4. A calico cat stares out a window.

This is a very good approixmation of what I do every time Mama Anna leaves the house. She says she is planning to take trash out tonight. Trust me, I will be watching while she does.

Screenshot from the video game The Sims 4. A calico cat stands atop a metal framed bed, covered in blue flowered bedding.
Screenshot from the video game The Sims 4. A calico cat stands atop a metal framed bed, covered in blue flowered bedding.

Yeah, this one is extremely accurate. I love getting on the bed. It’s actually about my favorite place. Especially when Papa or Mama Anna are on it. Best of all, when they are both on it, and I am between them, and they are both rubbing me. That’s the good stuff. I like snuggling with Mama Anna while she reads or writes longhand. Sometimes that’s in her journal, but a lot of the time, it is fiction. Exactly as she expected, starting a new reading journal and tracking her reading helps her read a lot more.

I should probably mention that, despite all her talking about not doing One Book July for her planning, she has decided that she has been too overwhelmed with multiple planners lately, and only did one planner this week, and may continue that through August. She also got a lot of stickers for days and dates, so my best guess is that she will be redating any stuff she doesn’t end up using, which I think is a pretty smart move. I have shown my approval by sitting on the sticker book. I like to be helpful that way.

Hm what else? Mama Anna has been talking about adding a TBV section (To Be Viewed) for streaming shows and movies she wants to watch. Not sure where that kind of tracker will go, but I do know that if she’s going to be watching stuff, that is prime cuddle time, so I foresee many belly rubs. Doubly so if she is going to be writing about the stuff she watches, which she probably will. I better start training.


Headbonks!

A calico cat sleeps in the middle of a grey cat bed

Typing With Wet Paws: Bye-Bye, July Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Sorry for no blog last week, but I was on very important fur nurse duties. The humans were all pretty flat due to the heat, but stayed hydrated and we even got a new fan. I was perfectly fine, because I can find the super comfy places that are too tight for humans to fit. Plus, I have my windowsill. Lots of bird action, I can tell you that. Net week looks to be another hot one, but next week is also August, which means that halfway through, we get Papa’s birthday, and then at the end of it, we will have September. That means fall, which means Mama Anna’s superpowers come back.

A black, white, and orange calico cat sits on the seat of a pink leather desk chair, her attention fixted on the lower right hand corner of the image.
always on the lookout

Mama Anna and Aunt Melva are clipping right along on Queen of Hearts. They haven’t written any big holidays in the first two books they have written together, but in this one? So far, three are scheduled. I guess it works like that sometimes.

When it comes to the historical stuff, Mama Anna still hopes to do better, and maybe that will happen in the fall, once this draft of QoH is done. She’ll probably talk about that later, but one thing she’s thinking about is paying more attention to the realm of medieval romance in the current market. There will definitely be some medieval romance in her reading over the next few months. Well, actually right now, as she is reading a medieval or medieval adjacent romance right now.

Two books lie side by side. One is an A5 size cloth covered notebook in sage green, with the word "ideas" stamped in gold tone foil. Next to it is a paperback romance from the 1980s, entitled Ride the Savage Sea, depicting a blonde woman and darkk haired man in a romantic embrace.
new reading journal incoming

This weekend, Mama Anna is setting up the first month in her new reading journal, and one of the oboks on her TBR list. Well, TBRR, actually, meaning To Be Re-Read, because she read this book a long time ago. Aunt Mary lent Mama Anna this copy, after Mama Ann recommended this author. Fun fact, Ballenrose, also by Mallory Burgess, was Mama Anna’s favorite historical romance read of our vagabond year. Her favorite YA read of that year was Deposing Nathan, by Zack Smedley. She would very much like it if both of these authors had new books out in the near future.

Since we are at the end of July, that means the stores (where I am not allowed to go, for some reason, but whatever, I have two water bowls and a new big fan) are now selling new stationery things. That makes Mama Anna very very happy. Pens, paper, notebooks, page flags, pastel highlighters (not the bright ones) and that kind of stuff come into our home and I have the very important job of scenting it all. Our stuff has to smell like us. That’s a fact, and I intend to carry out that duty to the best of my ability. Also, I get boxes to sit in, bags to crinkle, and all in all, it’s pretty decent.

How’s it going for you?

Headbonks!

Storm

T-Rex Arms and Dinosaur Noises

So, I’m back in an A5 dot grid notebook for use as a reading tracker. I do love Goodreads, but I also know me, and I need to touch paper. while Melva and I are moving right along on the contemporary front(this fall, we hope to have two contemporaries to shop around) I am keenly feeling the lack of historical romance. Which is a problem.

I am woefully behind on reading and writing historical romance. By my GR challenge above, i can tell that I am, by my schedule, a whopping fourteen books behind on my 2022 reading goal, which is not okay. This has never happened before, and it is not going any farther. As I told my friend, M, during our weekly chat, when it comes to historical romance, both writing and reading right now, I feel like I am flailing with T-Rex arms and making dinosaur noises. Which very much describes my attempts at reading journal-ing lately. I have a Kindle full of historical romance, shelves full of delicious-looking books, and yet I….haven’t. Which definitely takes a toll on the writing.

I know one way to handle is it “maybe historical romance is over (for me.)” Which I know that it’s not. It’s calling me, both writing and reading wise, so I need to do some stuff about that. Especially about my own favorite flavor of historical romance; big, sweeping sagas with adventure and swash and buckle and stories that play out over years before a triumphant HEA. :happy sigh:

cover page for the month of August. A framed label reading "August 2022" sits atop a botanical printed shee tof scrapbook paper.
cover page, August 2022

Considering that i am highly stationery motivated, and/or visually oriented, going back to a reading tracker is the obvious step. I’m not sure if writing tracker will be in this same book or another. I am letting the whole planner and notebook situation work itself out organically, which is probably how the historical writing thing is going to work, including blabbering about it here. That may sound for a while like dinosaur noises that don’t make a lot of sense, but by looking at the books I’m reading and figuring out what sticks out about them for me, both positive and otherwise, ideas are bound to conceive..

two page spread with reading tracker on one side and bookshelf  image on the other
that’s a bookcase on the top of the second page.

I didn’t want to make the first month too ambitious, but I did have to make a chart to track how many pages I read per day. Going by tens this time. On the facing page, that will be a bookshelf image, where I will color in each individual book as I read it. I will probably go month by month on that, and then later move everything to a bookshelf for the whole year. At some point, I intend ot be making sense. Until then, ten pages a day is a lot better than zero

How’s your reading/writing going?

Anna

Camp NaNo, One Book July, and Other Stories

Still room for one more sticker in that lower corner

:clears throat:

:blinks:

Wow.

July.

:fidgets:

Well.

Let’s jump into a Q and A, shall we?

Q: Hey, Anna. Where’ve you been?

A: Uh, yeah, about that. Home, mostly. I did go to CT for a weekend, for a family celebration and a papercraft expo. That was cool. A bunch of craft stores. The garbage/recycling area about a billion times. Anxiety, depression, insomnia. For the last two weeks, shingles (not fun, but better now.) Before that, Real Life Romance Hero was in the hospital for a couple of days. He’s home now, doing fine.

Q: I meant writing. Which includes blogging.

A: That wasn’t a question.

Q: Still answer it, please.

A: Well, you did say please. Writing. I am doing that. Melva and I are clipping right along with Queen of Hearts. Over 40k right now, probably more. We are laying groundwork for what comes next, and we will be off and running when she gets back from her family vacation next week. Blog hiatus was not intentional. It just kind of happened and it’s just kind of over. Probably.

Q: Mmhmm.

A: Still not a question.

Q: Historical?

A: That’s a word. Okay, though. Guilt. So, so much guilt. I love writing historical romance oh so very much. This month, I’m going to try something new; instead of whipping myself for being a slacker, I am going to try…wait for it…actually writing historical romance. I will be drafting friends for accountability partners/readers/permission to kick me in the bumbum if I sleep on it any more than I already have. (Volunteers can drop me contact info in the comments.) My awesome friend, Mary, from CT, sent me home with two huge bags of historical romance classics, which is turning out to be highly motivational, especially when we can gab about them.

Q: Are you doing Camp NaNo this year? Camp NaNo is great for that kind of thing.

A: Ehhhh, no. Yes? Kind of? I didn’t sign up for the official thingamaboo, but I am writing in July. I’m counting that. Also every day journaling is a huge, huge help.

Q: How about One Book July, then, for the planner/journal side of things?

A: Ahahahaha, no. I thought about it, and was even looking forward to it, but then, boom, when I got sick, I watched a ton of stationery videos on You Tube, and now I want to Use All The Things, even things I thought I wouldn’t be interested in before. I’ve been browsing Archer and Olive a lot. I don’t normally go for white paper or dot grid, but 160 gsm and those covers…That’s probably a whole post in itself, so I’ll put it on the list and work on that.

Q: Sounds like you’re right on track for All The Books August.

A: In oh so many ways.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: I finished a journaling insert in my traveler’s notebook in one month. Turns out I really like watercolors. I thikn they like me, too.

Anna

Typing With Wet Paws: Unofficially Summer Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. I don’t know when the people calendar says summer starts, but the windows are open, the fan in Mama Anna and Papa’s bedroom is on, Mama Anna has brought out the pajama shorts, and birds are chirping outside the window, so it’s basically summer over here. Not always Mama Anna’s favorite season (okay, never) but this year things look better than they usually have, so that’s good.

I should mention that the humans have been ordering some things that they need (and/or want) so that means that there are a bunch of boxes coming into the house. Mama Anna calls them “cat traps,” because I have to sit in every single one of them. It is my duty as a feline. I also sit on crinkly paper, envelopes, and other packing materials. I am multi-talented, but boxes are my true love in this matter.

photo by Mama Anna

Mama Anna has been making noises about moving her desk (it is foldable, so she can do that) so that it is closer to the window, and the fan in the window, for the summer. That will also give her more light as the days are longer for now. Yesterday was a super good writing day, and a good talk with Aunt Melva about their shared work Now Mama Anna has to apply that same energy to historical romance writing. I have faith in her. She’s pretty good at that. She is also now up to date with This Is Us (still doesn’t like Kate and Toby splitting, but she can deal with their new partners. Also, she is very much in favor of Kevin/Sophie.) Now she is working her way through getting current on The Walking Dead universe. That one is pretty big, so that may take her a while.

photo by Mama Anna

This is not exactly what this part of Mama Anna’s office area looks like at the moment. She has spent some time reorganizing it, so not exactly the same, but pretty close. She is going to need more fairy lights. Also maybe more crates. Here is a fun fact: the weathered looking ones, like the one at the bottom, is a little bigger than the untreated ones. I can’t measure, so I don’t know how much of a difference it is, but it’s worth noting.

Mama Anna is still growling when I bring up her Goodreads challenge, but her latest library haul looks promising, and there are more coming, so I think she is going to do okay, especially since summer is a good time for plopping herself in front of a fan with a good book or ten. Wait, is that a run on sentence? I t hink Mama Anna may be rubbing off on me. Makes sense. I rub on her pretty often. Mamas and babies should smell the same. I don’t make the rules. Oh wait. I’m a cat. That means that I do. Sweet.

headbonks!d

Storm

Typing with Wet Paws: Back At It Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Pretty decent week around here. Mama Anna and Aunt Linda went out stuff-hunting earlier this week, and they brought back some super interesting bags, and even some crinkly paper for me to sit on; I appreciate that. Oh, and Aunt Linda got a box in the mail (I am waiting for her to take the shoes out of it) that looks like I would jusssst fit. Mama Anna says she plans to store stationery in it, but I am planning on storing me in it first.

who could say no to this face?

Mama Anna did not go out stuff-hunting every day, though. She has been writing, and also moving stuff around in the apartment and getting rid of stuff we don’t need. By which I mean trash and recycling. I, or course, have to supervise. It’s exhausting but I’m worth it. I am not planning on a lot of leisure time this week, because a funny thing happens when Mama Anna hits the right stuff she needs to get some decent sleep (please note, I often sleep on her, so this does affect me purr-sonally) – she can get more stuff done.

What seems to work best for her is to keep things super organized and preferably with actual pen and paper. Maybe that is part of her being a historically oriented person. Right now, she is five books behind on her Goodreads challenge, but that is not a big problem. She can come back from five behind. Here’s her strategy:

  1. Re-reads of historical romances she already knows she likes
  2. novellas; they are short, but still count
  3. Young adult contemporaries – she reads those fast and there are a bunch of new ones out
  4. audiobooks – she can listen to those while doing anything else, but probably not while composing new fiction

We will see how this works along with her decision to binge This is Us this weekend. She still isn’t happy about the Kate and Toby thing, but the Kevin and Sophie thing gives her hope and there’s a Miguel episode coming, so she wants to be there for that. Stay tuned for her reactions. Either way, I will be on hand (okay, realistically on hip, because when she lies on one side, that’s my favorite place to sit and purr while I help her watch or read.

That’s going to be about it for now. I have to make Mama Anna take pictures of stuff (mostly me) because she needs to get back on Instagram, and who doesn’t love calico cats? I’m a sure thing.

Headbonks!

Storm

Rainy Afternoon Rambles

Raining off and on over here, as best I can tell. Today was the day when my new sleep medication figured out what it was supposed to do, so let’s say I am very well rested today. I hear birdsong and the sound of wheels on wet pavement, and a quick look outside tells me it has indeed rained. It’s been a hot while since I blogged. That happens sometimes. The best way to get back into it is to jump in there and start blabbering, so here we are.

Okay. First of all, I am still not ready for Kate and Toy’s split on This is Us. They are one of my ships. These things take time Shoot, it took me what, a couple of years to watch the Highlander TV series finale. Either the right time will roll around or it won’t. Either way, there is always fanfic if it turns out that’s what I need. I do plan to watch the rest of the farewell season, but don’t necessarily need a front row seat for everything. Has anybody else had an experience like that with a beloved series, book or TV?

Second, I am pretty much listening to “Don’t Tell Anyone,” by Semler, on repeat:

“I want to know your story like I wrote the page” — them’s powerful words for a writer. Also “Don’t tell them that I swore this wouldn’t be my life.” Also, the tune is as catchy as a cold at a daycare center. I mean that in the very best way.

Wait, wait, wait, did I just hear thunder? Because I think I just heard thunder. Thunderstorms are my number one favorite spring/summer weather. I am absolutely here for it if so.

So Wondrous Free
Maryhelen Clague

Oh man oh man oh man, this book. This hit me in the feels and my history loving heart. I was but a wee princess in Westchester County, NY during the Bicentennial, so a historical romance set in that era and place is one thousand percent going to catch my attention. Also, it was part of the giant birthday haul from my friend, Mary, who knows me and my historical romance reading tastes. For those who only know the modern flavor of historical romance, I might shelve this in historical fiction with romantic elements, and it works very well that way too. I don’t recall any on page snugglies, but our heroine, Nabby, must choose between two dashing men, one Patriot, one Loyalist, during a freaking revolution. More of that, please. I want to make there be more of that.

A young adult female Sim, with long blue hair and tattoos, stands in front of a white wall and wooden door, pointing to something out o frame.

Then there’s Sims. Sims, for me, is the current-day equivalent of my first-grade teacher noting that my schoolwork was MUCH better if I brought dolls to play with during free play time. I never thought I would get as into it as I am, not only playing the game, but creating my own Sims, with tons of custom content, mods, and even learning how to make my own custom content. Not sure how that is going to turn out, but I am looking forward to finding out. It seems to be doing well for my writing, so a-Simming I will go. Picture editing is next, because I love taking screenshots. Does anybody have any experiences with Lightroom? I’ve been curious. I’m already down the ReShade rabbit hole. May as well go all in on the visuals, though the next step does seem to mean ponying up for photo editing software. I’d use it, though, soooo….we shall see.

One more thing. There is now a window open, and there is fresh air coming through that window onto my skin as I sit here in a white t-shirt stolen from Real Life Romance Hero’s stash. Yep. It’s spring.

Anna

Strange Connections

First of all, I may possibly have Irish blood. I think. My birth mother’s last name could be of English or Irish origin, so we can be fairly sure it’s some sort of British Isles or thereabouts in my bio-ancestry. This has very little to do with today’s blog, except for the fact that A) it’s a starting point for me to blabber, B) I remember being at the house of MJK, well, she was nine, like me, so it was her parents’ home. It was a Victorian house with three stories and a wraparound porch and a triple (or quadruple?) garage that used to be a stable. They still called it the barn. No horses, only cars and a lawnmower, I remember being disappointed about that, even though we were in the middle of a lovely town in Westchester County.

MJK and I went to CCD together (after school religious classes for Catholic kids in public school) The Catholic school was closer to the K family’s house than to mine, so there were times Mama MJK would pick us both up and my mom would come get me from there. Also, my mom and Mama MJK got along well, so they probably considered it convenient that their kids got along, too. As for MJK’s little brother, SK, eh, he was a couple years younger, an energetic lad. All of this comes to mind because I was there on March 17th that year, and we thought it was absolutely hysterical that the weather for the St. Patrick’s Day parade in NYC (I have a lot of initials in this post) did not fit with the season as we saw it. Snow. I remember seeing women holding some sort of banner, in shiny green leotards and I am going to guess pantyhose/nude tights.

We must have seen it on TV or in the newspaper, and I want to say it was the Big Thing for that afternoon. It’s funny the things that stay with us. Right now, I am reading The Woman Behind the Attic, by Andrew Neiderman (aka the VC Andrews ghostwrite. for the last few decades)

While I can’t say I am a fan of the ghostwritten books, the true Andrews canon has a special place in my heart. I remember it being passed around the halls of my school when the books first came out, and even though Foxworth Hall from the Dollenganger series (Jacobean mansion) or Whitefern, from My Sweet Audrina, probably have extremely little with the house I lived in when MJK and I went to CCD together, my brain insists on slotting rooms from that house into those stories. The attic ofr the Flowers in the Attic fame, will always first call to mind my father’s art studio which was also my playroom, and not an attic at all, but the window that looked out on the woods beyond somehow melded with the window on the cover of the book. Don’t ask me how this happens. I don’t make the rules.

For Whitefern, I will need to reread Audrina to remember what the house looked like, but the stairs, on which Important Things Happen will always be the L-shaped stairs from the second story of my childhood home (where the studio/playroom was.) I have no idea how my brain connected those things, as I was several years out of that house when I read those books, but it’s in there, and in there deep. like the memory f being in that kitchen on that day, and the sting of witch hazel on my scraped knee (not the same day, I don’t think, but that same room) or the fun memory games MJK’s dad would incorporate into her birthday parties. The staircase going up all three stories also inserted itself in my reading of Diana Gabaldon’s comments in her Outlander companion, about here being an hombre at the door.

Long story short, writer’s minds are messy places. Aladdin’s caves. There’s also the fact that one of my research rabbit holes is rebooted or spun-off TV shows and their lore. Who knows where that will end up? Wherever it is, I look forward to the journey.

How about you?

Anna