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.

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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?

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

Asking the Right What Ifs

On Wednesday, it will be September. In our family, that means the unofficial start of autumn, and maybe more importantly, the return of my superpowers. It’s also the time for the seasonal turnover of planners, which took up a lovely portion of my Sunday afternoon. I love that ritual, of curating my planning supplies, moving from summer vibes (as much as I do, which isn’t much, as it’s not my favorite season) and into my natural environment. Bring on cool days, warm afghans, hot tea, big books, and all that good stuff.

In a writing perspective, that includes writing those books as well. Another part of the afternoon was me going over my edits letter from Safeword Author Services, which I cannot recommend highly enough for any author looking to hire an editor. Awesome encouragement, excellent insight, and I actually agree with the changes my editor proposed…so why haven’t I made them since February? That’s kind of a while.

First, let me introduce you to my non-besties, Anxiety and Depression, and the common author challenge of mind numbing terror when it comes to working on some of the tough stuff. But is it really? Sometimes, it’s as easy as asking the right questions. When I set up my writing notebook for historicals, I made sections for A Heart Most Errant, and Her Last First Kiss, with another for general tips and ideas for future project. For AHME, the first thing in there is the editorial letter. I read it through, then highlighted the areas I needed to address, color coded for hero (blue) heroine (pink) and general writing (green.) If I had a villain POV, which this book does not, then that would get a yellow highlight, because yellow is my least favorite color.

When I have Character A flip flopping from X to Not X a couple times throughout the story, making that decision for them wasn’t going to do. Instead, I turned to a fresh page and asked myself, “How does Character A feel about X, really?” Pros. Cons. Why they can hold both beliefs at once. Both hero and heroine in this book are trauma survivors (which is probably true for most of my characters in any story) so that is going to play into how they react to things, even good things. There’s also whether Character B would really focus on Y at a given moment. If they don’t focus on Y, then what would catch their attention instead? What would be more important? How does Not-Y fill a more urgent need than Y?

The only way to find that out, for me, is to do what I did when I wrote the beginning of My Outcast Heart, my first published historical romance (out of print right now; stay tuned for reissue talk) — follow my character as they run off on their own and write down what they do. It’s not entirely pantsing, as I can tell them “okay, here’s what has to happen next,” but usually, they figure out how they are going to that on their own, in their own particular way. It’s also not always in order. When I wrote Orphans in the Storm, my fourth historical (also out of print right now) I wrote both ends against the middle. I knew how it started, I knew how it ended, but connecting those two?

That was a matter of connecting “what happened after that?” with “what happened before that?” Repeat until the two ends meet. (I do not recommend the other notable thing about this manuscript, which was losing the whole file, after I had already sold it, but if you do, be sure to have an awesome critique group with hardcopies.) In this case, it’s translating to “okay, if X didn’t work, what could be Y?” Not what is, necessarily, but what could be? In the words of an online writer friend, “it’s just riffing.” Have fun. Chuck some ink on that paper and see what transpires. For my money (and that which I hope comes from it) it’s well worth the trip.

How are you getting ready for September?

Survival Dramas, Historical Romance, and Stationery Love

After a long time of not watching TV (streaming, on devices; we haven’t taken our TV out of storage and don’t miss it) I finally came back to it, when Netflix added Season Ten of The Walking Dead. I binged that very quickly, immersed in the lives of characters such as domestic abuse survivor turned badass at large Carol, can-he-be-redeemed ex (and future?) villain Negan, and waaaay beyond fixing Alpha. Carol/Ezekiel, or Carol/Daryl? (I prefer one, but the other is good, too.) Michonne scarpered off in search of vanished husband, Rick, leaving their children, Judith and RJ in good hands, and into the future of the franchise.

When I got to the end of the season (and will be watching the season premiere as soon as I do the AMC+ thing this weekend) I still needed more. Which led me to the spinoff series, Fear the Walking Dead. When I first tried to connect to that series, I couldn’t quite grasp it. There is also the time I fretted over being too far away to read the English subtitles during a scene in a Mexican church, before remembering that I speak Spanish and could just listen instead of straining my eyeballs.

This time, though, was different. Well, there was the matter of a reboot a few seasons in, trading in the original protagonists for some new arrivals and even some crossovers from the original series This time, I got it. I cried when one of my favorite couples came to the “death do us part” part, annnd un-death, requring the surviving spouse to put down their zombified beloved. That hurt, in the very best way. There’s also a horrible villain, succeeded by their mini-me, who was, somehow, even worse. At the season’s end, there are literally nuclear warheads coming down. How could the apocalypse get even worse? Well, yeah, nuclear warheads would do.

Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

How does that connect with historical romance? This connection was easy. All that stuff I mentioned above? Put it in historical context. Yesssss. It’s also an essential part of my work on the first round of edits for A Heart Most Errant (finally!) Since the whole concept of this story world is “postapocalyptic medieval,” then it only makes sense to immerse myself in that world.

When I got to the end of the most recent season of FTWD, I searched for other survival dramas. Other shows mean other perspectives,. I binged The Society in pretty much one day, and while I am still salty that season two was cancelled, that doesn’t stop me from figuring out my own end to the story. Not proper fanfic, but maybe fan synopsis. I saw the first two episodes of The Beyond, which has two seasons and a similar premise, but had to take a break because episode three opened with zoo animals, and it’s their wellbeing that pokes my anxiety. Gord, the farmboy, would-be soldier and moral center may get filed away to marinate for character inspiration someday. I’ll talk about other survival shows and inspiration gleaned from them later.

This brings us to the stationery part. Picking the right stationery for a project isn’t wasting time or procrastinating. It’s part of the process, at least for me. Part of that is getting into the groove of the feeling of the piece. Looking through my stash, it’s a symphony of colors and formats and giving the front of my brain something to do while the back burners work their magic and unravel tangled beneath the surface threads.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For getting the historical romance work things out book ready, it means fountain pens. They feel right. There’s a process of filling fountain pens, getting the ink going, and somewhere in it all, the focus shifts. Don’t ask me to explain it more than that. Not that I can’t do anything without it, but it does make it a heck of a lot easier, and more fun. Also, a local writer friend has a ritual of filling three fountain pens before she coposes longhand. When all three are empty, it’s time to transcribe. I might like to give that a whirl.

What out of the box techniques would you like to try?

recommendations of survival drramas also very much welcome

Mid-August Recalibration

Welp, we are now officially past the halfway mark for August. Shelves are stocked with back to school supplies, which is pure heaven for us stationery aficionados. The fact that loving stationery and being a writer are not mutually exclusive makes this an especially delightful time of year. Well, ecept for the heat. It’s been brutal here in NY for the last while, and temperatures that are in the range of “do not kill the heat-sensitive” are extremely welcome.

August has not been the best month for productivity. Insomnia has been raging, with seven sleepless nights out of the first fourteen. My local RWA chapter voted this week to dissolve. That hit me hard. Harder, even than I would expect. It’s not entirely gone-gone, as there will be some sort of non-affiliated group, though not under the auspices of Romance Writers of America. I’m not sure what the future of the national organization will be, and that’s another big sad. I’m not even over the loss of Romantic Times magazine (the OG RT, not the RT Book Reviews it was at the end.) The thought that the organization that was The Thing back when I was but a wee princess could be floundering into nothingness sticks. A lot.

Melva and I also recieved news about our current submission that was less than we had expected. That doesn’t at all mean that nothing will happen with Drama King. On the contrary, we are meeting tonight to discuss our options. Whatever we choose, I am sure it will make Jack and Kelly’s book an even beteter one. I won’t say more until we have had a chance to talk between ourselves, but we are writers, and writers write.

Photo by lilartsy on Pexels.com

The same applies to historical romance. The best way to feel connected to it is to, well, connect with it. Read lots, and of the sort I want to produce, and then proceed to write horrible first drafts. Then turn those into slightly better second drafts.

There is still the part of me who set up a TV tray in my dad’s living room, propped an electronic typewirter (yes, that long ago) popping the soundtrack from Camelot on his hi-fi, and confidently pounding my way through a set number of pages, because that’s what one of my favorite writers of historical romance did. Easy peasy.

Only not. Part of me wants to stamp my foot and grumble about being here again, not exactly at the start of the road, but boy does it feel like it at times. There is only one way around that, and that’s to wite. Keep writing. Then write some more. Then more than that. Write pages that are steaming piles of poo, because piles of poo can be shaped, but blank pages can’t. For the extroverted writers like moiself, (yes, I know that’s not a word) staring, hands on hips, at the place where my RWA chapter used to be (well, on Zoom now) and tapping foot, this means going back out there into the wilds of other writerdom. Critique group/partner applications are now open. Must love historical romance, grit over fluff, and have a taste for the epic. I’m serious. Talking and thinking happen at the same time with this gal, and talking with other writers of historical romance is now a priority. We will see how that goes.

Well, then. This is the pat of the post where I sum things up in some sort of order and/or sense, but I have to be honest; I am thinking about how many episodes of The Walking Dead I can get in before conference time. I am about three episodes from the end of Season Ten. After that, I can go back to where I left off with Fear The Walking Dead, which isn’t the same, but close enough to scratch the itch. Maybe I can call it research for the post-plague medieval world of A Heart Most Errant. Yeah, we’lll go with that.

Against The Current

This is one of those multipurpose titles (hopefully; it’s at least my intent) where one group of words can stand for multiple meanings. It’s been a weird week. Sunday was ugh. A fun Monday outing with Housemate got derailed before it could get started, when her just-“fixed” windshield wipers stopped working while we were driving, in the rain. Yeah. Not fun. Cue another round of Housemate wrangling the car fixer people. We did manage to salvage part of the day but at the cost of most of our collected energy. Crossed wires on the now-weekly video chat with one of my besties, on Tuesday, but we had a great chat, only a little later than usual. Sometime in there, basically our entire bathroom stopped working. Toilet went on perma-flush, and bathtub clogged

Real Life Romance Hero definitely proved why he gets that title, as he shooed me off to Panera so I could chill while he did domestic warrior king duty, dealt with bathroom fixer person, and I could get some work done in peace and quiet. If you thik you sense an incoming “but,” you are right. If you didn’t know, I have a visual impairment, so reading menu boards behind a counter is a big nope. Thankfully, most food selling places these days also have their menus online, which means if I’m on my own, it takes but the click of a button to read the menu. This only really works if I actually put my tablet in my tote. Cue frantic patting around contents of purse. Planner, traveler’s notebook, makeup pouch, annnnd that’s it. Oh crud. Ended up asking counter person to tell me what the three kinds of bagels left by that time were, which sorted out well. I ended up writing ten pages in my traveler’s notebook, and maybe sorted out my wrong turn at Albequerque in Her Last First Kiss. That will be helpful if theory translates to practice.

Speaking of translating, I have a whole scene from Queen of Hearts to transcribe and send off to my contemporary writign partner, I very much want to do this, but when insomnia medication gets confused to the difference begtween AM and PM, we get sleeeeepy summer days, which really, brain? We’re doing this now? Really?

Also throw in guilty looks at the TBR books, annnnd the video I’ve been meaning to film for mmm, two weeks now? Yeah. There’s that. Not an insurmountable thingamaboodle by any measure. Calling back to Anne Lamott and Bird by Bird. In Anna Dreamspeak, wash one dish. This blog is my dish. If I end up transcribing one page at a time, that’s okay. Still gets done, and one page is one page more than didn’t even try. For the reading thing, pick up one book. Read one chapter. That still counts.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Which brings me to another meaning of against the current. A bunch of the library books I borrowed are new releases, because well, one should (if you’re a longtime reader of mine, you know where I am going here) be reading. Well, no. Could read, yes. If one wants to. What I am excited about, as my guided journal I use at the end of the day often asks about, is doing a deep dive into some of the classic historical romances that cemented my love of the genre, as a reader and a writer. Big, sweeping epics that cover years (or even decades) and continents and bore witness to the spirit of the times, which could be anywhere from the ancient world to the early 20th century.

I picked up one new book that I was excited to see, by the author’s name and the cover, then, a few pages in, waaaait a minute. Who are these people the current people are talking about? Oh, right. I have walked into not only the middle of one series, but two (or three?) intertwined ones. This is not a bad thing, as I do want to read all of them, but when spoons are low, I don’t want to have to do research before reading. Still, it also has one of my favorite tropes for that subgenre, so yeah, I’m reading and will figure out the rest later.

I am a big proponent of story in, story out, so getting on that track and staying there is a priority, and I need to do what it takes to keep a firm footing on that route. Again, not a bad thing. I don’t summer well, it’s true, but we are halfway through July at this point, which for me is the middle month of summer, so we are now approaching that nebulous August moment that ushers in pre-fall. The Back to School stuff is making its appearance in stores which I find delightful and energizing. I want all of the stationery, not for school, but to tell love stories, in our time and others.

Someplace around here is where my k-12 teachers would say that I need to put the closing sentence/statement/paragraph. Okay. Tihs week has been weird. I’m muddling through. School supplies are everything. Read more romance novels. Especially mine. Or someone else’s. There’s good stuf fout there.

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!

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.