Writing While Packing, and other stories

Yesterday, I emptied the kitchen cabinets of all foodstuffs we do not intend on A) eating in the next week, or B) taking with us to the new place. Today, we view our first potential apartment. Yesterday, Housemate and I drove past it. It’s a gorgeous neighborhood, as Mr. N requested, close to Panera, where I meet with N every Tuesday. It’s near my beloved park, that I have missed over the past year, and on the same street where my delightful acquaintance, D, lives. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s a step in the right direction.

That means that, on days like this, when both Real Life Romance Hero and Housemate are at their places of employment, I get to go into full Domestic Warrior Queen mode, which, when combined with Planner Woman mode, is both satisfying and effective. This does not mean that there is no writing going on, because A) this whole “eat the elephant one bite at a time” thing applies to both writing and packing, and B) both processes go a lot faster and more smoothly when I am listening to my story playlists, with songs that keep my story hamster happily running on her wheel, no matter what my physical body might be doing.

I am not sure, yet, what the electronics situation will be when we blow this popsicle stand. A lot of that will depend on when we turn in our router, and our move-in date for our next place, whatever its location. Laptop (in need of repair) set up desktop if we are going to be in a hotel for half a month. Third option, tablet, AlphaSmart, and good old notebooks. Who are we kidding, the notebooks are coming anyway.

One thing that is markedly easier in this move (besides mental health) is that packing books is a heck of a lot easier. With the exception of a few volumes for RLRH, all of the books in our current abode are electronic. They all fit in my (and Housemate’s) purse. The others are all still in storage, and will be unpacked in the new apartment. There are times when I want to pet my physical books, pop in and revisit favorite books, authors, and characters. The ability to do that whenever I want is a big perk of the upcoming change of address. Putting my all-time favorite historical romance novels in the bookshelves my father made for toddler me will be a big indicator that we have indeed landed.

Writing, during this move, is a vert different experience than with the last one. This time, it’s not just the idea of writing, but the actual act of it. I want to get my time at the keyboard or with pen and pencil. My plotting board (big cardboard tri-fold) was a victim of the infestation, but that only means I get to pick up a new one once we are settled, or, more likely, more than one> Melva and I are agreed we are beginning the home stretch of Drama King, and it’s time to start sketching out Queen of Hearts. After that, we want to work on a collection of Christmas novellas, outside of the Love By The Book (LBTB) world.

For my solo historicals, I am chomping at the bit to get to the end of the second draft for Her Last First Kiss, and to hop back on my discovery draft of Plunder. As to finding homes for My Outcast Heart, Orphans in the Storm, and A Heart Most Errant, that will be put on pause until the moving dust has settled, but that’s still happening. The waiting room in my head is getting crowded, with all those characters demanding I tell their stories. I’d tell them to take a seat and wait, but this isn’t my first rodeo, so figuring out the best way to get those stories told is a necessity.

They (ah, the mysterious they) say that necessity is the mother of invention, and, as I go about packing our home and my writing (and art/planning) I have to agree with them. Whether it’s a place to put this oddly shaped thing, do we really need this or that, or it’s better to junk XYZ and get a new one when we have settled, the best thing to do is make a decision and move forward.

So that’s where we are right now. Putting stuff in boxes and bags, then storage unit or set aside for the truck, looking at apartments, and planning on what gets written when. All in all, it’s pretty good deal. Maybe the bedbugs did us a favor after all.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: This Time, It’s Hooves Edition

Hi, everybody! My name is Bo Bison. You may have seen me in the corner of some of Anna’s deskscapes. That’s because I live on her desk. This week, I’m filling in for my good buddy, Sebastian. Sebastian is on a top-secret mission in the master bedroom, making sure Real Life Romance Hero gets some much-needed rest, so I’m filling in for today. Let’s get to it.

First, a little bit of housekeeping. There have been a few change around Stately Bowling Manor. The census shows a marked decrease in the flea population, but things are not flea-free quite yet. In unrelated news, Housemate has taken on a different work schedule, which means, that because Anna’s office is in the great room, which is also where Housemate does her stuff, there may be a change in the blogging schedule. Anna is looking at maybe Sunday/Tuesday/Friday, instead of Monday/Wednesday/Friday, but we will see the difference when theory becomes practice,

Speaking of which, let’s get right to that. Take a look at this badge of honor:

Plunder = Camp NaNo Win!

Even with a week off for real life related reasons, Anna still made it through fifty pages of Plunder, and shows no signs of slowing down. You know that feeling when you have to keep reading so you can find out what happened? That is where Anna is at this phase of the discovery draft, only with writing instead of reading. There will be regular updates here.

Moving along, Anna was at Buried Under Romance, as usual, this past Saturday night. Why does Anna think romance books may be some of the real-est “real books” of all? Click the caption below to find out, and leave a comment if you are so inclined.

Next, we come to Anna’s Goodreads Challenge. Currently, she is at sixty-six percent of her way to the goal of reading ninety-five books this year, with sixty-three books read. She will admit to a bit of a book hangover for When We Believed in Mermaids, by Barbara O’Neal, the newest addition to her favorites shelf. This book has a lifelong sist-mance, childhood traumas, adult healings, and a cuddly flamenco singer who makes one very level-headed ER doctor believe in love.

For those who have been asking if Chasing Prince Charming will be available in paperback, the answer is yes! It’s also eligible for Prime, so place those preorders, no matter your favored format. It’s now less than two weeks until release day, August twelfth. Both Anna and Melva are very excited to have Meg and Dominic meet all of you.

Before I sign off, I have one more achievement upon which to report. That is, that One Book July, the planner challenge to use only one planner in the month of July is now over. Anna considers it a worthwhile experiment, and plans to tell you all about it, and her plans for the turnover of summer planners to autumnal ones on her next blog. There will be glitter, color theory, and the making of inserts from scratch.

Welp, that looks like everything that wax on my list. Until we meet again, I wish you the happiest of days, the best of friends, and a TBR pile that never runs out. That’s how this buffalo roams.

Typing With Wet Paws: Writer Chick Is Still Not at Nationals Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. I’m hanging out today with my buddy, Stripey Guy. I am also stripey, and also a guy, but you know me and names. Anyway, the title of this week’s blog entry should tell you the big thing around here. Writer Chick is still not at RWA Nationals, and she is still kind of salty about it. I am attempting to ramp that down a little by recreating some of the atmosphere. Mainly that I block her way to the bathroom, but she does seem to like it when anonymous entities put books on her chairs.

Do I have to do this at every meal?

At least she hasn’t been wearing her name badge from previous conferences, around the house. Yet. It’s important, that “yet.” The weekend is young.

On the domestic front, Writer Chick reports that the grossest thing she has found in her all out war on fleakind, is finding shed flea skins/exoskeletons. Ew. In. One. Of. Her. Notebooks. One of the fancy ones, with special paper. Yeah. It’s personal now.

Writer Chick’s internal reaction

She will not rest until there is total destruction. Of the fleas, that is, not any property, especially property she does not personally own. Everything and everybody who is not a flea is safe. That should be encouraging to those of you who are not fleas. For those of you who are, you are doomed. Consider this formal notice.

With the flea stuff and a couple of other domestic tornadoes, Writer Chick took a breather from Camp NaNo work this week, but, since she is only less than ten pages away from her goal, she’s not that bothered by it. She can make it to goal, easy. She’ll have the house to herself for a chunk of the weekend, so I would not be at all surprised if she used some of that time to hang with her imaginary pirate friends.

No shocker that Writer Chick was over at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, but there is big scandal in Romancelandia, over certain casting decisions in the upcoming Netflix series based on Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series of Regency-era historical romance. There’s kind of two posts in one, this time, because some mysterious person named Lady B (spoiler: it’s Writer Chick) piles on the hyperbole (I’m assuming; I don’t actually read these things; cuts into my naptime.) Hit the link in the caption above if you’d like to read it, and comments are always welcome.

Checking in on the Goodreads challenge, Writer Chick is eight books ahead this week, with sixty-one books read out of ninety-five, and that puts her sixty-four percent of the way to her goal. She has taken advantage of the three month free trial of Kindle Unlimited, and one of the people at Buried Under Romance clued her in on how to turn any e-book into an audiobook. Yeah, that’s a thing, and no, it is not by reading it aloud, herself. Not that she hasn’t tried that, mind you, but it’s a small apartment, and people like to sleep. Note I said people, not Writer Chick. Yeah.

So what is Writer Chick doing? Mostly, she’s writing. That’s a good thing. She is particularly fond of the part of Drama King she and Other Writer Chick are batting around, which lights a fire under her to keep going on the historicals. When not writing, or plotting flea destruction, she is probably doing stuff with her traveler’s notebooks. Spending time with those usually puts her in a good place, so we try to encourage that.

Probably about time for me to slip another book on her chair. Maybe I’ll toss in a pen or some sticky notes. I’m feeling generous.

Peace out,

Checking In On A Bunch of Things

My life is weird. That is not a complaint, but a statement of fact. Comes with the territory when writing, working from home, or any number of other things. Today, my work area is dark, because clouds are heavy outside. I am hoping we get a thunderstorm. If we don’t, I will probably fake one with ambient sound videos on You Tube, because that makes sense for me. I am waiting for pest control people to come and check the bait box in the kitchen. Please note that this is not for the flea issue; this is for totally different pests. We have come up clean on the rodent side of things so far, but, if there is a hit on the bait box that would explain where the fleas are coming from. Might be worth a mention, when pest control gets here.

Anyway, this is not a post about vermin. For anyone who is disappointed in that, my heartfelt apologies. What this post is, is checking in on a few of the ongoing things around here, mostly as related to writing and publishing, but we will start with planning.

One Book July

For the most part, I would say that, halfway through the month, this is mostly successful. Alert readers will spot that there are two books in the deskscape for today, both Big and Li’l Pink, but those are my everyday carry, and they seem to be working out pretty darned well. I have my pen pouch down to the bare minimum of what I need, which will probably be a post of its own, and certainly the art stuff would not be needed by someone who isn’t into that kind of thing, but I very much like the discipline of keeping to a color scheme/aesthetic, and keeping my daily use stuff all in one place.

This does not preclude the fact that my new love for the B6 size continues to grow, and I am stealthily assembling items in that size, for their own purpose, probably more art-related than writing. I trust that things will sort themselves out as I browse the back to school bonanza that is cropping up everywhere, and that, too, will fall into place.

Camp NaNoWriMo

So far, so good on this one, as I am currently thirty-eight pages into my goal of fifty, but A) I wanted to be done=done with all fifty by now, and B) there are days when I can’t get to that particular project, which irks me, but C) I keep moving forward, which is the most important part. I also would prefer to be more active on the message board in my cabin, but , as I told N at our breakfast this week, if I’m awake, I’m writing or killing bugs.

Buried Under Romance 2.0

I am super excited about this one, and, at the same time, tempted to retreat to my blanket fort, because what have I gotten myself into, here? Good things. Always good things. It’s been a summer of rest while we turn things over and map out how we are going to go from here on out, but there are dedicated people involved, and the future looks bright. I can say, with confidence, that there will be an author visit, in August, that readers will not want to miss. Cough cough me cough cough.

Chasing Prince Charming

Less than a month now, to the release in both print and e-book. Less than a month until readers can properly meet Meg and Dominic, and get their first taste of the Love by the Book world, while Melva and I plunge ahead with Kelly and Jack’s story. Kelly, you’ll meet in Chasing Prince Charming. Jack will make his entrance later.

This is not my first novel, not my first published novel, but it is my first contemporary romance, my first published co-written work, and, while I can’t say it’s my first in a planned series, because it isn’t (oh so many times we reminded ourselves “this book first,” but then there was Heather, and then there was Kelly, and linked books are good business, and well, such is life) it’s the first book in an unplanned series (can we call it that?) and that is exciting, too.

Historicals In Limbo

In April, with the closing of Awe-Struck E-books, the rights to my first two full length historical romance novels, My Outcast Heart, and Orphans in the Storm, reverted to me. That’s not news. They are mine again, and I have been sitting on them, thinking about what, if anything I would like to do with them. Are they still going to hold up after all this time? Did they ever, looking at the sales figures? Then again, I know a thing or two more about publicity than I did when I started on this historical romance journey, and I have a platform, so, as a dear family friend once told me, “the worst they can say is no, and then you’re exactly where you were before you asked.” In short, these books are going back out there, to make the rounds, in search of new homes. I am querying again. Dalby and Tabetha, and Simon and Jonnet are not ready for retirement quite yet, so I will keep you updated on that.

Other Stuff

In preparation for the launch of Chasing Prince Charming, Melva and I are making headway on our website, and batting around a few other ideas. Since I am looking at graphics for that site, I am getting the feeling that halfway through the year may be a good time to freshen the graphics here on the blog as well, so please pardon any dust while we get that settled.

For now, that’s the time I have for blogging, so I am going to toss this up there, and get down to business on some Chasing Prince Charming information, the better to help readers find us. How’s your midweek going?

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Midsummer Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff for the week that was. If you read Writer Chick’s posts, and not only mine, then you may have learned that the answer to the burning question, “Will Chasing Prince Charming come out in print?” is “yes.” Preorder for the print edition is not yet up, but Amazon US is showing the “show other editions” or whatever tag, so that may be coming soon. Watch this space for updates.

Since we are in high summer over here, and still fighting the battle of the bugs (Writer Chick sometimes mumbles something about putting the bugs on the lease, giving them the keys, and heading out to start a new life. She would of course bring me, so I am fine either way.)

Bit of a technical difficulty here, with the site crashing and eating a bunch of this post, but that is not my problem, so I’ll pick up where I was going to pick up anyway. As usual, Writer Chick was at Buried Under Romance this past Saturday, and this time, she talked about the particular subgenre of Americana romance. I have no idea what that is, but she probably covers it in the post.

Moving on to Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge for this year, we see that she is a freaking reading machine, now eight books ahead of schedule. That is fifty-eight books read already, out of her goal of ninety-five. That is sixty-one percent of the way to the finish line, and we are only fifty percent of the way through the year. She is looking to beef up her historical romance numbers, so if you know of any Writer Chick-flavored historical romance audiobooks, drop recommendations in the comments. Audiobooks are a huge part of the surge in Writer Chick’s reading stats, because she can experience a whole story while doing other things, which she considers pretty cool.

Camp NaNo ho!


Writer Chick is clipping right along (ship joke, for those who caught it) with Plunder, with about thirty-five pages written out of a goal of fifty. This is not the whole story, of course, but it’s a good start on the discovery phase, and she will most definitely keep going after Camp NaNo is over. She is kind of antsy (bug humor unintended, but we’ll keep it) about not being able to update every day, which is one of her big concerns about the regular NaNo, as well as having to count words instead of pages. This way, she does get antsy, but it’s not anxiety-provoking, so she’s going to still call that good. The characters are talking to her and letting her follow them around, and that’s what matters most., so Writer Chick is happy about that.

Besides all of the above, work continues on Drama King, and Her Last First Kiss, so, all in all, fleas aside, Writer Chick is going to call this week a good one. As for me, I got plenty of sunbeam, so I’m good, and isn’t that what’s really important here?

Peace out,

Chasing Prince Charming Update and Plunder Progress

Today is hot and gross and sticky. I did not sleep. Real Life Romance Hero slept some, and he, Housemate, and I are collectively choreographing an intricate errand ballet that involves the big washers at the laundromat (again, sigh) flea bombs numbers four and five, the grocery store, possible library run, and other fun doings that come from a household with three adults and one car. It will all work out, most everything will be air conditioned, and since I write my first drafts in longhand, I can write anywhere. When I hit a wall, I have a Kindle Fire and am trying out Kindle Unlimited, because of reasons, so bring it on.

Chasing Prince Charming update

Chasing Prince Charming update first, as we are now only one month and two days away from unleashing Meg and Dominic upon the world. Thanks to everyone who has preordered so far, and,. for those who have been asking whether there will be a print edition available, it looks like the answer is yes. Melva and I are super-duper-pooper-scooper excited over this, and we will be sure to share when the print edition is available for preorder. I am watching Amazon like a hawk. If the physical copy looks half as good as Ginny Frost‘s The Bar Scene, I will be absolutely thrilled. Also probably carrying a physical copy with me so I can show it to random strangers…er, readers. I meant readers.

Plunder Progress

This story, and this year’s Camp NaNo, continue to surprise me. According to my progress on the site, I am either near or just over the seventy=five percent mark of my goal, and it’s really more like grabbing some popcorn and watching the movie in my head instead of “writing” the story, which is not at all a complaint. I show up, the characters do, too, and, so far, it is working out. I would not call this “pantsing” (who wants to wear pants in July in New York?) but more along the lines of “flying into the mist,” in the spirit of the late, great Jo Beverley.

Never mind that, so far, I have important secondary characters named “Confidante,” and “Nun,” who have not yet shown their faces or told me a single thing about themselves, other than what role they play in Cornelis and Lydia’s story. Right now, I don’t need to know anything more than that. I am very much aware that using a pirate haven as a large part of my book’s setting, means that I have an extremely good opportunity to have a diverse supporting cast. Those pirates picked up people everywhere, and dropped them off everywhere, as well. Some of those people got together and created more people, when the original two people would never have met otherwise, because they would have lived out their lives on separate continents, and, boy howdy, if that’s not catnip for a romance writer, I do not know what more I can tell you on that topic.

The way I figure it, these people who inhabit my fictional world, from nuns to pirates (so far, I have both) will tell me who they are, when and how they are ready, and I do not need to worry about that kind of thing. (Part of me wants to protest that these imaginary friends do not know how anxiety works, but I think, probably, that some of them do.) All I need to do is keep showing up, keep following Cornelis and Lydia around, keep making notes on the left hand (my left) page and then remembering to follow through on those notes, because they are probably going to affect the direction the next phase of the story takes.

So far, I do not have a Spotify playlist, or a private Pinterest board, for Plunder, and I am surprised that I do not miss either one. Maybe those, too, will present themselves in tine, but, at the moment, they are not needed. My people have faces of their own when they come to me, for the most part, even if they, like Nun and Confidante, hide them for a while, until they trust me enough to let me see. I am, okay with that. Is this the way every new book is going to work? Probably not. Maybe not even every book in this trilogy, and I am okay with that, too. Bit by bit, as I focus on book one, bits and pieces I did not have of book two, arrange themselves in place, and even the foundations of book three are taking shape.

Don’t ask me if this means I have anything yo say about writing linked books from the outset, or over-arcing plot…things. As we said, flying into the mist here, and happy to go that way until I get Lydia and Cornelis to their form of HEA for this book. They’ll clear another milestone at the end of their daughter, Tamsen’s, book, but that’s a way off yet. For now, it’s me and lined notebook paper, and dark blue ink, and whatever those two crazy kids give me for the given day. They know where we’re headed, and that’s good enough for me.

People I Know Are Reading My Books (and it’s weird)

“My mother says she’s going to buy your book when it comes out.” Housemate told me this, last night, during our weekly grocery run. My cart stopped in mid-aisle. Housemate’s mom (we shall call her Hmom) does not, as a rule, read, and she has never, to my knowledge, read romance. Best as I know, when Hmom does read, it’s old Hollywood biographies, and Chasing Prince Charming is…not.

“Your mom knows this is a romance novel, right?” I asked Housemate, trying to sound casual. Housemate assures me Hmom does. She wants to see what I write. Um, she does know there is adult content in this book, right? She does. This led into a discussion of how I am usually the first one to say that I find it funny when people get squidgy about women of a certain age reading mature content, because, well, they are mature. Since Housemate is older than me, she is literally living proof that Hmom knows what sex is, and was having it before I was born. She was married for multiple decades, and so there is very little chance that Melva and I are going to shock her.

Neither, for that matter, is there a lot of sex in this book. Neither is sex the entire point. That would be erotica. I write love stories. Contemporary or historical, alone or in collaboration, I write love stories. Romance. Sometimes there is sex on the page, sometimes there is not. It all depends on the story, and on the line and/or publisher where the particular book appears. I know, very well, that Hmom knows what love is, so I should be fine, but, still, this is the first time I have ever been squidged about knowing somebody I know in real life is going to read one of my books.

This has not come up with Hmom before, because history is not her thing, and has not come up with others, because I have not had a lot of romance readers among my IRL people. For those about to comment, “hey, I know you, and I read your books,” A) thank you, and B) I mean people whose reading of my books would squidge me. Housemate? Total non-squidge. Real Life Romance Hero does not read my fiction, and, anyway, I prefer to leave his reading of my anything on the high note of the time he came out of the bathroom, with a copy of a newsletter that I then wrote for, asking if I had read this amazing article (I think it was about Star Trek: The Next Generation) and if I knew who wrote it. I told him I did. It was me. We will leave his reactions at that, because let’s face it, hard to top that one.

Pastor squidge is not even a thing. My pastor knows what I write, and, while I don’t think he’s going to read any of my books, his wife or mom might. His daughter, well, check back in seventeen years. His mom’s only admonishment was that she wishes I would write a Victorian romance, because that’s her favorite era. Miss Lana, if I ever write a Victorian, that book will be for you. I do have one Edwardian, Never Too Late, which is as close as I have come so far, but who knows what the future holds?

Right now, I am watching the email for both the release letter from The Wild Rose Press, and word on my submission of A Heart Most Errant to another house. We will see how that goes, but it feels good having stuff in the works, and it reminds me that I really do want to add a submission/release tracker to either my traveler’s notebook or my writing planner. I had originally planned for this post to be about refining my visual aesthetic, which ties into author branding, aka what kind or write I am, both on my own and with others.

That’s going to be a different post, because a) Hmom reading my book (Housemate assures me that yes, Hmom plans to actually read the book, not just buy it and have it, and b) I want to take my planners down to the bones and build them back from the ground up, closer to the way I want and actually use them. insert profound comment about how starting the second half of the year being a good time for a new start here. Speaking of which, it is now time for the actual fiction writing part of the day, so I that’s it for this post. At least one reader is waiting.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Bookish Updates Edition

Greetings, foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, once again, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. Before I get into the stuff Writer Chick wants me to talk about, I have even bigger news. This week, I had a fan meetup. That’s right. Writer Chick had a surprise friend visit, and that friend wanted to see me. I was not in the room where they were, so Blonde Chick asked Writer Chick to go get me, and Writer Chick did, and that turned into my first ever photo op.

Anna’s note: “Blonde Chick” is Sue Ann Porter.
She writes stuff.

Writer Chick insists that the speech bubble was my addition to the photo, but please. That face says it all. That is proper excitement there, people. Blonde Chick and Writer Chick talked about life and books and writing and how they want to do a video blog about something called Poldark. I wasn’t paying attention until the part where Blonde Chick said she wanted me to be in the video and apparently, I may be getting a hat out of the deal. Sweet.

They’re all Buried Under Romance…

Okay, on to the compulsories. Writer Chick was doing a lot of Buried Under Romance stuff this week, talking to the other chicks who do stuff there, about how they are going to do things in the 2.0 version. She also wrote her weekly blog entry, which is here, about big stories that come from small presses. Keep a sticky note on that small presses thing, because it will come up later in this post.

Goodreads Challenge

No graphic this week for Writer Chick’s Goodreads Challenge, because we’re burning daylight and I don’t feel like making one, but Writer Chick has most assuredly come from behind and burst out ahead. Like five books ahead, but that is not entirely accurate, because she has yet to record a couple of recent reads. On record, Writer Chick is now forty-nine percent of her way to her goal of reading ninety-five books, with a total of forty-seven recorded books so far. The actual number is higher, so she is hovering right on the halfway point, and needs only read a book and a half a week to make her goal on schedule.

Won’t be long now, …..

Chasing Prince Charming

Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have signed off on the finalest final that ever there finaled galley of Chasing Prince Charming. Editor Chick said okay, and it is now out of their hands, and soon to be into yours. All Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have to do now is to wait for the release letter. Also get cracking on swag and promo and getting that website up and running. Also writing the next book, because readers are going to want more, and also they are too far into this thing to back out now. It says right on the cover page or something that this is Book One in the Love by the Book series, so the Chicks better get a move on if they don’t want to look lame. Lamer? Lame. Moving on.

Submissions

Yeah, you read that right, and if you guessed that this is where that sticky note from above goes, you are right. One of the Buried Under Romance Chicks told Writer Chick that a certain indie author had started her own press, and Writer Chick had to check that out. So, Writer Chick did, and, while chatting with her friend, actually got into A Heart Most Errant, did the edits, wrote a cover letter, and sent it off. Keep an eye on this space for more news. If this place is not a match, then Writer Chick is sending it out again. If this works, she may have to conscript that friend into chatting with her while she writes other query letters. When something works, I say stick with it.

For me, what always works is a decent nap, preferably on fresh laundry, Writer Chick’s keyboard, or that newspaper Dude was thinking of reading. Clearly, I am going to have to get my beauty sleep to keep up with all the stuff going on around here. I do take my Cat Regent duties seriously.

Peace out,

The Eagle is Landing

This morning, the email came. The email. There are, actually, several the emails that happen in a writer’s life in publishing today, but this one very much gets a the status, because this is the last pass for any changes for Chasing Prince Charming. Once Melva and I give our okays at the author portal, we will have pulled the trigger, and put our first “baby” together on the metaphorical school bus, the better to tend to our current infant, Drama King, as well as our individual efforts, in genres as diverse as memoir, historical romance, and cozy romantic suspense. (The middle one is mine. I do have some YA ideas, but I am juggling enough chainsaws at present, but don’t quote me.)

There is also the website I’m wrangling for my co-written books, which is a different level of figuring thigs out from keeping a site that is mostly a blog. There are two author bios to put up there, two backlists, and I’m going to have to work on that whole regained rights issue, for two historical romances that are going to need a certain amount of work, because A) I wrote them a long, long time ago (even though it feels like only yesterday) and B) both I and the market have changed.

What those changes would be…ehhh, I don’t know. That would require looking at the manuscripts first, and that is not a task for me for today. Today is for booting Her Last First Kiss, and getting Bern and Ruby one step closer to The End of draft number two. Then it’s time to bundle them off on the bus, as well. While I like to think that I have learned a thing or two about the raising of historical heroes and heroines since the day I chair-danced and scared the cat (Olivia, our cat at the time, took it in stride, actually) when a publisher actually wanted to buy My Outcast Heart, I also hope that readers who eventually pick up Her Last First Kiss and all the historical romance novels I write and put out there after (of which I plan many) will find the same spark that they found in those earlier works.

The dry spell, as soon as we get the official release date for Chasing Prince Charming, will be officially over. I could say that it officially ended the day Melva and I got the first “the” email from The Wild Rose Press, or the day we had a second publisher also make an offer on the same work, and we had to make a decision. I could say it ended when Z Publishing sent me an email, the day after we moved out of our former apartment, a the email I answered from a motel bed, Skye, our cat at the time, beneath it, asking if I would be interested in submitting to two of their anthologies. I was still coming down from a massive anxiety attack, I’d exerted myself physically so much the day before, that my legs wouldn’t move, and bed was my only option. I can easily call that a low point, and then there was a the email. I said yes. This year, they asked again, and, this time, from a comfortable apartment (with Sebastian, Cat Regent) I said yes again.

That yes put me into new waters, s my binder for working on Plunder‘s outline, expanding “The Fox and the Lily” to not only a full historical romance novel, but my first intentional trilogy, rescuing the second book, which I had thought would be the first and only, from the metaphorical sandbar where it had been stranded for years I refuse to count. Plunder is first, with Cornelis and Lydia, then Abandon, with Alec and Tamsen, annnnd I have no idea what I am going to call the third one, but I want it to have a one word title that fits in with pirates and/or privateers, and either hero or heroine (I don’t know which one yet) will be the grandchild of Cornelis and Lydia, the child of Alec and Tamsen.

I’m not worried. All of that stuff will come. If I have learned one thing over the last few years, it is that creativity is a bottomless resource. There will always be more. There will be more stories, there will be more sales, there will (or can be) more genres. There will be more characters. There will be more stories. There will be more. I want to make a sign of that, perhaps hire someone to cross stitch. There will be more.

Summer Thoughts

Monday’s post on Tuesday again, and I am okay with that. Yesterday was spent writing on Drama King, then my weekly Skype session with Melva Michaelian. My weekly breakfast with N is on Thursday this week, so the morning was found time to knuckle down and write…until I got a message from Sue Ann Porter, telling me she was five minutes away, and did I want to hang out? Umm, yes. We hadn’t had a chance to be face to face since January, so, around my kitchen table, and seasonally appropriate beverages, we got current.

We talked writing, and books. I cracked open Goodreads to recommend Panic by Lauren Oliver, and my heart swelled when Sue Ann told me how much she loved My Outcast Heart, and would love to see it as a Hallmark-ish movie. That would be fun. Right now, I’m focusing on getting it a new home in book form, which still needs to take a number.

We were joined, after a short while, by Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, Cat Regent and discussed having Sebastian join us for a proposed vlog about our shared appreciation of Poldark. I need to get current, because life last summer was kind of hectic, but, this year, it looks smoother. We discussed how much we like the verisimilitude of the historical atmosphere of the story world, and how we both like our historical romances to have a strong historical influence along with the romance, what makes a good romance novel, and what it takes to get a reader to want to come along for the ride, in any genre of fiction.

There was also a surprise visit by a local candidate, friendly and charismatic, encouraging voters to get to the polls. All too soon, Sue Ann and I both had to go back to life as planed, but I told her this was exactly the kind of summer I want to have. Filled with writing, and reading, and hanging out with good friends, coming away from the visit, not stressed over work time that was missed, but energized to get back to it, refreshed and refueled. I could get used to that kind of thing.