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

4/21/22

No catchy title this time, because there is literally nobody but me stopping me from playing Sims 4 24/7. This is one of those places where just because you can doesn’t mean that you should (and I hate using “you” like that, but “one” feels too formal, so will deal with it for the moment.) Moderation is the key here, because my first grade teacher really was onto something and as I did far, far better when I brought Barbie dolls for free play period, having a Sims save open, into which I can dip occasionally to let my brain cook the actual fiction when I’m not looking, actually does work.

Another thing that helps is having voices on in the background while I work. Lately, I have been listening to true crime on YouTube when not actually composing new pages, but it’s good for the admin/social media stuff. Am I retaining much of it? Nope. Am I paying attention? Ehhhh….occasionally? Lately, I have been picking by the voice of the narrator. Seems to be working. It’s the sound of the voice, not the words it is saying, similar to channels I listen to when going to sleep. Thought I hated when my mom used to tell me that once I got started doing a thing, I’d want to keep doing it, I now know she was right. Smart woman. She had it pegged super early on; guess first grade was a landmark.

Anyway, what I originally wanted to say was that writing fiction is a funny thing. One minute, I’m talking how romance novels were when I first discovered he genre, which leads to figuring out that my current historical hero had ADHD, though of course nobody knew that in 1784, which leads to blabbering a verbal sludge about the WIP, which then leads to The Thing that was holding the whole MS captive, and then I’m researching Catherine the Great (of Russia) and making a chart so that I can have a ready reference of how far and fast one can travel by coach.

I have also had words with Storm about blogging with regularity. We’d both like to do better with that. I am not entirely sure why I stopped taking pictures (and sharing them) and maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe what matters is picking the picture taking device and starting again.

A black, white, and orange calico cat lays on a red and black buffalo plaid blanket, looking directly at the camera with a guilt-inducing expression
“Pictures, Mama Anna. Now. Preferably of me.”

Cats are always appropriate. Please ignore her disgruntled expression. She’s usually much more chipper than that, and extremely invested in my writing. The more of it I finish, the more I can sell, and the more I sell, the more catnip I can buy. Isn’t that what’s most important? It’s all about the catnip. Oh, and butting on the big girl panties and doing scary things like making time for journaling and buddy-watching This is Us with friends who are similarly not okay with the Kate and Toby split. Like most things, it feels easier if I can talk about it. You have been warned.

An attractive young adult female Sim blows a kiss at the viewer.
This also applies to Sims

How’s it going where you are?

Anna

Typing With Wet Paws: Dresser Climbing 101 Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. It’s been a big week around here, and for a few reasons. First of all, I have been having the BEST time with Aunt Linda’s new mattress. It is something called Memory Foam, and it’s super fun to play on. It is a bit of a challenge because Aunt Linda is on vacation this week, and she picked the best place in the world to go: here, as in our home. It’s pretty great. The mattress also came with a big, long box, which I have thoroughly investigated. It is so long, as a matter of fact, that the humans have to store it upright until it goes to recycling, but rest assured, I have been all the way down to the end of it and back out and it was awesome. 10/10, would explore again.

Chilling on my cat tree

You’re probably wondering about the dresser climbing. I am getting to that. In doing so, I will have to talk about Mama Anna’s writing. She will probably like that. Cool. So, anyway, my house, aka big cardboard box, is next to Mama Anna’s desk, and in front of Mama Anna and Papa’s dresser. They keep people clothes in it (and catnip in the third drawer.) Well. For a while now I have been letting Mama Anna know that I would like some catnip, please, by scratching at the drawer where she keeps that catnip. She is usually pretty quick on the uptake.

Where she might be lagging a tiny tad is that I also have another agenda: I want to get to the top of the dresser. Mama Anna says that she and Papa keep things that are Not For Kitties up there, but I am not discouraged. A couple of nights ago, Mama Anna was playing Sims, and Papa was playing his game. I saw my chance. By the time she noticed what I was doing, I had all four paws (plus my tail) off the box (of my house)and was headed upward, reaching for the next drawer up.

Mama Anna told me “NO” and she was so loud that Papa and Aunt Linda came to see what I was doing. Pap was kind of proud of me, but he still didn’t want me to be on top of the dresser because of the Not For Kitties things. (they are things like medicine to help Papa stop smoking)

So flash forward a couple of days later, when Mama Anna has her weekly chat with Aunt Mary. One rthing you need to know about Aunt Mary (besides that she has excellent taste in kittycats and gives the best special mouse toy presents) is that she is very smart when it comes to historical research, as in the stuff that really did happen. She and Mama Anna talked for almost double their regular time this week, part of that being Mama Anna blabbering about one of her historical manuscripts to Aunt Mary, and then

Photo by Burak Kebapci on Pexels.com

Mama Anna was telling Aunt Mary that she was debating one of two ways to have a Thing happen in this particular book. Since it is a Thing in a time period Aunt Mary is familiar with, they had a lot to say about this. In the middle of it, Mama Anna stopped because IDEA. If Character left a Thing that was happening Right Then to go make sure Another Character was okay (she wasn’t) then it is obviously a Day Things Can Happen, so Character and Other Character can do a Thing, too. Aha. Then it was a bunch fo names and dates and family trees. I can’t make sense of much of it, but I know Mama Anna was really super happy about it, and she made a LOT of notes afterwards. Now Aunt Mary is her historical research consultant. Aunt Mary gets to name the occasional supporting character as thanks for her work.

It was also during this long chat that Aunt Mary snitched to Mama Anna when she saw my ears and paws come into frame, aka preparation for ascent on Mt. Dresser. So now I have another pair of eyes on me. No matter. They all have to sleep sometime. Where’s your favorite napping spot?

Headbonks!

Storm

Is This Thing On? aka signs of life

:taps mic: Is this thing on? Okay. Hi, or hi again. I have been pill-bugging (has nothing to do with unauthorized medication, but rather emulating a pillbug insect, aka laying low) Those who have taken Depression and/or Anxiety 101, you’ll recognize this. Anyhoo, hi. Today’s task is to write a blog entry, so here we are. It’s a cold, slightly cloudy day here in NY’s Capitol Region, though because it is now March, it is also pre-spring. I am normally a fall and winter gal, but I am quite happy to say buh-bye to this past winter. This is a fancy way of saying that I am in spring cleaning mode.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

For today, that means putting away laundry and making some sense of my writing area, which, like Real Life Romance Hero’s office area, is in our bedroom. I am also eyeing a corner for a potential comfy chair because I sorely miss having a comfy reading chair, and one of my big goals for this spring is to get back to a normal reading and writing routine. Melva and I are moving forward with Queen of Hearts, having a lovely time of it, and she gave me a much-needed kick in the pants for the historical romance side of things during our chat this week.

Some of the things that have been swimming round my mind as of late:

  1. I miss Romantic Times magazine. The O.G. version, before it was RT Book Reviews, preferably in the newsprint era, tabloid size era a plus. I never made it to their annual conventions, but oh the pictures they shared for those of us who weren’t able to be there in person. I’m talking themed parties, sometimes controversial costumes, writers and readers mingling at will. It’s been said that if RWA conferences were university, RT conventions were Spring Break. I will have to take others’ word on that. I remember DM’ing my friend, Trish, who had been there, to ask if it was really true, that the founder had announced that it was all done-zo at the conference itself. Sadly, it was.
  2. Speaking of those RWA (Romance Writers of America) which while still a controversial organization on the national level, the local chapter meetings were a place where, once a month, I could get up close and in person with other career-focused romance writers. The romance part is important, as is the career focused part. Put them both together and it’s community. My local chapter voted some months ago to dissolve, and now I feel…floaty. I know there are also other organizations available for those missing that kind of company, though I am still finding out where those might be. Suggestions for online resources gratefully accepted, and DMs are open.
  3. This is the time of year that I would normally be getting ready for the New England RWA conference, the place where Melva and I conceived of the Love by the Book series because we were early for breakfast . We are currently writing book number three in that series, and have tentative plans for future books as well as other projects. Conferences are also a place where one could network and find others in one’s own subgenre, aka Extroverted Romance Writer Christmas, and not going to lie, the swag is a huge plus. Though I am delighted to know that the coveted purple pens in Hannah Howell’s swag contributions are Pentel RSVP, easily available and come in a lot of colors.
  4. It’s a good thing I love planning. Not only does it go along with the nitty gritty (pun intended) of making one’s home tidy and aesthetically appealing, but in getting all of those too-lng ignored projects in order and prioritized and researched and all of that good stuff.
  5. It’s also good that I am a blabbermouth. A very extrovert thing that I do is that talking and thinking happen often at the same time, as in thinking something through means talking it through, so I will probably be doing more blabbering, either here or on You Tube, but that’s another day.

For today, it’s this post, listening to things I’ve meant to listen to for some time now (my YT to be watched list is mighty) and then spiffy-fying my space. There will probably also be tea.

How’s your week going?

Anna

How did it get to be February already? I did not sign off on this. I also did not authorize the dearth of planner/journal decorative items that are wintry but not Christmassy. I love Christmas; it’s my favorite holiday, but I can’t for the life of me make myself use poinsettia and evergreen stickers on January spreads. Good thing it’s now February and I can break out the Valentine’s stuff for the next four weeks. February is too soon for the traditional spring florals. Those can come out near the end of March, though I like to go rain themed for April. Very specific theme, I know, but I did learn how to draw an umbrella for it, so that helps a good deal.

Anyway, it’s Thursday. I’m babbling. Even though it’s not spring yet, I am in strong spring cleaning mode. Since Housemate has a bunch of vacation time she has to use in March, we may use that to bust out some important items out of stuff jail. I’m talking furniture – my beloved secretary desk, a headboard Real Life Romance Hero and I inherited from Maman (Housemate’s mother,) and some things from Housemate’s storage as well. This will, in time, include my all-time favorite romance novels, my Bertrice Small collection first and foremost. I am very much looking forward to putting those back in their place.

Last week, I was able to add to my desk area (pictures to follow) a gorgeous end table from Maman, fiving me another surface next to my temporary desk, meaning I now have someplace to put not only my tea (very important) but reference materials, handwritten notes/drafts, etc, and keep things I love around me. Things for planning and journaling will probably end up in a different area than things for writing fiction, but it is all a work in progress.

This week, I had a wonderful conversation with Melva, and we are back on track with Queen of Hearts, to be followed by edits on Drama King. We also talked about some possible projects for the future, though we are keeping our focus on the stuff in front of us. This now brings me to time to get babck to historiccal romance, which can be…trickier.

Though I hadn’t wanted the first round edits for A Heart Most Errant to have a birthday, well,

Birthday cake covered in white frosting roses, with glittery gold candle in the shape of the numeral one.
Photo by Mohammad Danish on Pexels.com

Yeeeep. It happened. Not that I intend for it to get to the terrible twos, but some years do knock one for a loop. I do have to admit that I am feeling the lack of a local RWA chapter (our local chapter voted to dissolve, though we do have an informal FB group) and being in the same room as others of my kind. I love talking with other readers of historical romance, but the writing of it, well, that’s a different matter.

\Though I know every chapter of any group has its own identity, more often than not, the RWA chapters I have experienced have been very open. Plop self down next to Other Person, chat amiably, find out several minutes in that Other Person is Big Name Author and now you are a writerly version of work friends. There’s also the energy of being in a room full of people who love to write what I love to write, especially when I find a fellow historical romance writer, at which point

Two women, holding drinks and chatting happily
Photo by ELEVATE on Pexels.com

It starts with “what eras?” and goes on from there. Hopefully with an “I loved That Book You Wrote” on at least one side. (Though it be many years in the past, the thrill of hearing “I loved that article you wrote on A Certain Author” across a big ol’ meeting room the first time I introduced myself to a new chapter. If whoever is running the meeting has us go around and introduce ourselves and say what we write, that’s a bonus point I love to find out who writes what. Though there are always chances that a particular chapter will slant heavily towards a particular subgenre (contemporary, erotic, YA, etc) there’s usually a good variety, and one can usually find a kindred soul, or at least be put in touch with one if they do not happen to be in attendance at the moment. An “X, meet Y” email later, boom, connection.

It’ll all work out in time. Writers do tend to find writers (especially when they babble on the interwebs; historical romance writers; hit me up) and the most important part of writing is, well, writing. Butt in chair, pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, etc, etc, and so on until there is Book. Then do it again.

That’s about it for now, but hey, blog post written, so it counts for the week. How are things going on your end?

Anna

Me Again

Hello, all. It’s been a while. I still exist, I am still writing and I do still know how to work a computer. We’ve had a few things going on over here.

Photo by Roy Post on Pexels.com

Within one week, we had three deaths in the extended family. My contemporary co-author, Melva Michaelian, messaged me to let me know her husband, Jerry, had passed. I will always remember Jerry’s warm welcomes when I visited Melva, and his dry sense of humor. He loved his family, his dogs, had a dsitinguished career as a firefighter, and was just an awesome human being.

That same week, the cos friend of close friends (and wonderful human in her own right) also lost her beloved husband, which has of course rallied the entire friend group.

Then our Housemate got The Call that her mother (whom I will now refer to as Maman, my name for her) had passed. Housemate is okay, doing what needs to be done, and Storm and I may take a couple of days to lend a hand (and paw) to clear out Maman’s apartment.

There’s also the matter of cleaning our own, as it feels like we’ve been under a mountain of dishes, laundry, and recycling. Spring cleaning is definitely starting early over here. I will not mention the mountains of emails and snail mails that I need to address, but if I owe you some form of communication, it is coming.

As I said in my weekly chat with my friend, Mary, this is all more than a bit disconcerting when it comes to writing. Still, the only way to write is to, well, write. As a once upon a time writing group facilitator said often, the process begets the product. Put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and keep going. Make bad stuff. Then make better stuff. That’s how it works.

Whether that means, for the immediate present, that I work on things that are in the pipeline, rough out something new, or even dig up old bones of trunked projects, I don’t know. Probably poking all of the above with a stick, because, well, dangit. I like having new books out. Today, more than ever, there are mutiple ways to make that happen.

I will admit that I am feeling the lack of romance writer community right the heck now, especially historical romance writer community. (If you fall into that category, seriously hit me up and let’s chat.) My local RWA chapter meetings were always great for this sort of thing, but, as with many chapters as of late, ours disbanded and now that part of me feels rather…floaty. Thinking of joining an online chapter, or finding an alternative organization, but definitely need it to be historical romance centric or at least friendly. Online is good, in person is best.

I am also greatly feeling the lack of Romantic Times Magazine. Not RT Book Reviews as it was rebranded for the last leg of its run, but Romantic Times, genre right there in the name. At one time, I had a sizeable collection of back issues, but not now, and I am missing them. I loved getting the paper magazine every month, reading through the reviews of new releases, especially with the setting noted right at the top, so I could pinpoint my favorite eras. Also track trends, not going to lie about that. Le sigh. There are some wonderful similar resources available online now, but that particular group, that’s what I am missing.

Anyway, I wanted to get this brain dup out here before it was time for Storm to give the cat’s eye view of the week. I look forward to resuming a more regular blogging schedule, possibly interspersed with vlogs, and most likely still on the two a week schedule, because I like the extra writing time. If you’re still with me after all this blabber, you have my eternal gratitude. Creative journaling has been helping me a lot lately, and I have even started a book journal that keeps me mostly on track with my reading. Apparently having to tick a box is great motivation. Writing jounal is in progress, but more on that later.

How are all of you?

Still me, Anna

Plot Bunnies in the Attic

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

single black, white, and orange female….

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

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

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

43448. sx318 sy475
Dollenganger #1

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

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

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

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

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

What surprising items might you put on your stuck list?

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