Planning Planning Planny Plans (reading and writing related)

Well hello there, 2023. The planner and pens pictured above are from 2020, the Year That Shall Not Be Named (but I’ve named it, haven’t I?) My first experiences with Paper Mate Ink Joy gel pens, and disc bound planning. I still have the pens (many times over) and have filled several disc bound planners and notebooks since then. As for the page finder, if anybody sees this particular page finder in the wild (woman image. leaning against the margin) please tell her Mummy misses her very much, and she can come home any time, no questions asked.

In reality, she is probably in storage. When I say that planning and journaling have been a godsend, I am not exaggerating. Blogging is, for me, the digital version of that. I’d like to be doing more of it in the coming year, as well as that whole making up stories thing. Right now, I am dealing with the Martian Death Cold that smacked us over the holiday season. Combined with the fact that my contemporary co-author, Melva, and I have finished first edits on our second and third novels together. Next, we submit and then we get to turn our main focus for the first quarter of the year to our individual efforts.

For me, that is historical romance. While writing contemporary with Melva is super fun, I have missed the historical realm, and so that’s where I’m headed back now. Plan A is to redo the second half of Her Last First Kiss, because it is big enough to ride the bus by itself now. Then I need to make some decisions about A Heart Most Errant. As for Plan B? That’s more in the realm of “what do I want to try next?”

I have no dearth of projects that have been on hold. My brazen widow who finds the love of her life with the nameless pawn of wretched nobleman. The blacksmith’s daughter who becomes a duchess by way of the London stage. Three generations of pirates, my first planned historical series. The once and future lovers who each thought the other was dead (whoops) and a family member that loves one of them too much and not in the right way, but I tried to shoehorn into the wrong time period. (It happens.)

Then there’s new stuff, because that’s what we writer types do. Since a dear friend’s birthday overlaps nicely with my beloved tucked away week between Christmas and New Year, that meant a visit to a sprawling used bookstore. That, of course, led to me coming home with a bunch of both beloved and new to me classic historical romances and historical fiction. There are vague ideas spinning around in that place where infant ideas go. I would love to write a family saga within historical romance. Would the type of historical romance I love the best fit better in today’s market if there were a paranormal/fantasy aspect? Whata are some fantasy books that read like classic historical romance that I might like to try?

No secret that the year just past was horrible for reading. Still figuring out what all contributed to that, but I do want to read more this year, and figure out what needs to happen for that to happen. Is vision part of it? Undoubtedly. Magnifying glasses, pages, bookmarks, etc, can help with that. I definitely need a place in our apartment that is for reading and is not our bed or my desk or the kitchen table. We are working on that one.

Right now, I am finishing this post and ticking it off my to do list, so I can take some cold meds and head back under my weighted blanket. I have vague plans to turn that into Netflix, fever and chills but there’s also falling asleep to Reddit threads on You Tube. Either way, I get time wtih my purr-sonal assistant, and that can’t be anything but good.

How’s your new year looking?

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Forest for the Christmas Trees

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Valeria Vinnik on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

Headbonks!

Storm

Annual NaNo Rambles

Hullo, all. Another week, another blog entry. Could this be the start of a streak? We will have to see. No real pan for this post, but to have it, lest I need to share with Storm tomorrow. She does like her spotlights. And sunbeams. And her new fuzzy tent.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

But anyway….

Typing fast, as I have Storm bapping me with her paws. That is the official signal to wrap things up on the glowy box and get to bed because it is bedtime. Wherein I read an e-book (hopefully) or fall asleep listening to a You Tube video (likely) Storm did well with her cat sitter, but she is thrilled to see us, especially me, home.

The wedding itself was gorgeous, and it was my first time in a Greek Orthodox church. Lovely ceremony, happy couple, gorgeous foliage, but we got super lost, events transpired, and we did not end up making the reception. There was a panic attack involved, but not mine this time.

Anyway, we are back home now, (mostly) unpacked, and I am giving my calendar a side-eye because who gave it permission to be the second half of October? I’d planned to give some version of Prep Tober a go, and while I probably still could (it would give me a reason to use a new planner) part of me says there isn’t enough time to wrangle something like that.

Once again, I’m looking at the whole NaNo thing, and not sure how I want to handle it. Maybe I’ll be a rebel, and maybe I’ll do my own thing. We will see. One thing for sure, I will be writing. Melva and I are closing in on The End for our third book together. After that, we get to edit books two and three, and see what’s what on that front.

When I think about NaNo, though, my brain goes straight to historicals. It’s been a while. Two years now in our wonderful apartment, three years with one very sproingy calico cat, and I’m getting an itch to get back to my first writing love, which is historical romance. Big, sweeping, epic, angsty historical romance. Ideas are not the problem. Hoo boy, do I have ideas. Hoo boy, do I have partial manuscripts. That’s the thing. I want to get past the partial thing. A Heart Most Errant is looking at me, but there are things, and there is a part of me that wants to throw caution to the wind and open a new document into which to go wild. Throw a bunch of things in there and see what sticks. That’s got to be either genius or insanity. Maybe both.

I have noticed that the more I delve into my love of pen and paper, the more I end up noticing that it’s all about finding out what works for me. That can be a messy process, but if what comes out of it is a functional routine, then that’s a good thing. I haven’t had much to do with historical romance at all lately, and I am feeling the lack.

I love the idea of a clean slate I love the idea of clear horizons. I love the idea of having that new book feeling once again, of diving into another place and time, and tell a love story worthy of historical record. I also like the 50k goal (wait, did I say that?) because it’s not that huge, really. If I’m looking at a big thick doorstopper, we’re talking somewhere about halfway. If something shorter, then more than that. If a novella, it’s the whole thing. My considering NaNo this year isn’t about productivity, though. It’s about fun. It’s about grabbing for that brass ring and rediscovering the love of the game.

Not that I don’t love writing the contemporaries with Melva, because I do, but Melva-and-Anna is a different writer than Only Anna, and Only Anna is feeling a bit … itchy? Is itchy the right word? Or waking up from oversleeping and wanting to get back to the normal routine. Maybe ‘routine’ isn’t the right word, but yeah. I did manage to read some vintage historical romance on the ride back from the wedding, and I hit a spot of “oh, I remember this. I love this. I want to do this.”

Soooo….I’m doing it. I don’t know yet if I will do official NaNo. I don’t consider this in any way pushing aside Her Last First Kiss, because I’m not. I need to stretch before a run, that’s the best way I can think of to put it right now. Goal for November: write historical romance. That’s it for now. Nobody ever has to see it. It’s okay if it’s not perfect. Maybe it will be a stinker, and that’s okay. Because maybe I’ll have fun. Maybe I’ll want to do more of that Maybe I will rediscover old passions and find new ways to make it to The End.

Anna

Typing With Wet Paws: Bye-Bye, July Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How’s it going for you?

Headbonks!

Storm

T-Rex Arms and Dinosaur Noises

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How’s your reading/writing going?

Anna

Camp NaNo, One Book July, and Other Stories

Still room for one more sticker in that lower corner

:clears throat:

:blinks:

Wow.

July.

:fidgets:

Well.

Let’s jump into a Q and A, shall we?

Q: Hey, Anna. Where’ve you been?

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

Q: I meant writing. Which includes blogging.

A: That wasn’t a question.

Q: Still answer it, please.

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

Q: Mmhmm.

A: Still not a question.

Q: Historical?

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

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

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

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

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

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

A: In oh so many ways.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

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

Anna

Typing with Wet Paws: 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