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

Typing With Wet Paws: …And We’re Back Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this, at long last, is Typing With Wet Paws. Mama Anna and I have both been doing a bunch of thins since last I blogged, but I won’t try to cover it all. I probably should mention that there was an Incident last week with the gushy food bowl.

Normally, my area has my water bowl, which is always full (full disclosure, I have two water bowls. One is in Aunt Linda’s room, near my cat tree) and my dry food bowl, which is for crunchies. I tell my humans when I want crunchies, and then they give me some. When the humans eat, I ask for crunchies because families eat at the same time. Mama Anna said that I was going to be the cat who ate on a strict schedule. The humans had to feed Big Sister Skye little bits through the whole day. Well, I do eat on a schedule – mine. Some would argue that this is more in keeping with what is called the “raw cat.”

closeup of sleepy black, white and orange calico cat waking from nap
me, in raw cat mode

Anyway, last week was a holiday for a lot of humans (actually a lot of different holidays for different types of humans. For our family, it was Easter.) I get treats on holidays. This week, it was one of my favorites, to share people tuna with Papa. He puts some in my gushy food dish and I eat it while he eats his, which is sometimes in a sandwich or something. These are treats only; I don’t get them every day, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make suggestions.

Mama Anna talked to the people vet recently, and the people vet helped her figure out how to sleep better. It seems to be working. Still, I found out that me pushing my gushy food bowl around the hardwood floor in the middle of the night can kick through all of that. I figured it was worth a shot, because it works when I ask her to refill my water bowl. It does not work with tuna. Hmph.

I should probably say something about what Mama Anna is doing, since this is technically her blog. She would like to be doing more reading. Writing is going well, though. She has some research to do into things for Her Last First Kiss, and is still giving the side eye to A Heart Most Errant. She has no idea who the heroine of the second book should be, but she is laying groundwork for the first of the pirate books, so maybe that is next. Personally, I think the pirate book should have an awesome ship’s cat in it. I am at the ready in case she needs a model. What do you think of this pose?

black white and orange calico cat looks up from her nap and stretches her feet.
please appreciate my assorted flavor toe beans

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

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?

Survival Drama Binge Babble

Right now, I am sitting at my laptop with wet hair, because, somehow, in the midst of all the Monday stuff, I am coloring my hair. I don’t remember the last time. I am listening to summaries of horror movies I will never watch, on YouTube, because A) I work better when hearing human voices, ;and B) it’s pretty good at getting my brain in storytelling mode, without the risk that any of it would naturally seep into my own work. Hm. Maybe that’s why I read as my contemporary YA as I do. Hm. I’m going to put a sticky note on that.

Okay, the historicals do get kind of dark. I will admit that. It’s part of my charm. It may also be one of the reasons I have been bingeing on survival dramas on various streaming services. Bonus points if the show is not American. Subtitles are fine, as I would rather listen to the original language and read the English translation than listen to dubbed dialogue. Then again, there are some dubs that are right up there with the original language.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Currently, the show of choice is season two of Into the Night, a Belgian show where a solar event has ended most life on earth, but for a few plucky survivors (seriously, I am 100% there for a small band of plucky survivors in the midst of a disaster) who were on a hijacked airplane when it all went down. The title comes from the fact that our survivors have to fly during the sunlight hours, always away from the sun (aka into the night) so they can touch down in darkness and scramble to get any fuel they need for themselves and their plane. Sometimes they pick up stragglers along the way. Sometimes those stragglers are Not Nice People.

Case in point: touching down in an airport in Scotland to get more fuel. They have more fuel. Yay. They also have three British soldiers, some of whom can do Plane Stuff. Yay. They can come with. This will take some of the workload off Original Pilot (who only has one working hand) and Substitute Co-Pilot, who used to fly helicopters for the French military, but is new to the plane thing. Once in the air, though, one of our Plucky Survivors learns that New British Soldiers are actually war criminals, recalled for a court martial for Very Bad Crimes. Oh noes. What to do, what to do? Also, if we have a standard for them, what does that mean for Turkish Man who has a shady professional past, but is also bonding big tie with Ill Russian Boy, and IRB’s lovely young mum? Thankfully for IRB, there is a nurse on board, a home health worker who lost her own patient early on in the adventure.

When the first season ended, our Plucky Survivors have found an underground military bunker, where they can hunker. Yay. Only, they are not alone. Uh oh. A politician and soldiers are also hunkering there, but they seem friendly. Yay? Then Bad Things happen, including a fire that wipes out most of their food supply. Oh noes. Suffice it to say that I am not bored. The cast is diverse, not only from country of origin, by walk of life. Every episode, we get a glimpse at somebody’s life Before. I love that stuff, because it’s new information and gives new insight to the choices the character makes now in the worst nightmare scenario.

This is all probably going into the idea soup for my second medieval historical romance, which takes place in the wake of the plague. Other ingredients for idea soup will include medieval romances, because romance. Still backburner at this point, but it’s all part of the process.

Where am I taking this all? I write about survivors. Well, obviously, as otherwise they would be zombies, ghosts, or necrophiliacs. That Thing, though, that people hang on to in the midst of the worst, that Thing that keeps them going; I love finding out what that is for a character. For two characters. Discover the way their Things can work together, make something good even when good things are not the thickest things on the ground.

That’s where the start of this week finds me. How are you doing?

September

The fans are off today, though the windows are still open. I have leggings and a sweatshirt on as well as one of RLRH’s oversize t-shirts. I am making hot tea. Bed is made and laundry put away. I have the first point on my list of edits for A Heart Most Errant running on my brain’s back burner as I do these things, and things I have stressed over since literally February, are falling naturally into place. This feels right.

On Tuesday, I had a wonderful four and a half hour “lunch” with an IRL friend who is now also a writer friend. We both spoke of wanting an in-person writing buddy to talk at(this is extremely important for extroverts, as talking and thinking often happen at the same time) and, well, we were in person, and we are both writers. We don’t exactly write the same sorts of stories, but close enough, and we obviously mesh well, so we are giving biweekly Zooms a try. That starts next week

On Wednesday, I had a three hour video chat with another bestie, Our conversations go allll over the place, and this was no exception. After that I crashed. Hard. Then Real Life Romance Hero came home and ordered delivery (meatball subs from a local establishment, which were amazing) and I spent some time playing Sims 4, then actual sleep. Nine hours. No fan, no earbuds. Also amazing.

Which brings us to today. Not going to lie, I am thrilled that I can wear a sweatshirt (and I will need more as the season progresses.) Abovementioned bestie sent me a treasure trove of perfume samples, which I am wearing every day. We are coming up on the one year anniversary of moving into this apartment. That also means it will have been about two years since I had been presenting myself the way I would prefer to do. As in makeup, clothing, jewelry, hair, etc. That this happens at the same time spooky stuff is showing up in stores is not a bad thing by any means. Not that I plan to suddenly turn this into a style blog, but style is something I love. Being able to express it again is an absolute delight, especially when some areas mean basically starting from scratch.

Photo by Andrea Davis on Pexels.com

The blog I had planned for yesterday would have been about my fascination with survival dramas (Lost, Dark, The Rain, The Walking Dead universe, etc) and I still plan on doing that in the future, but the special thing about today is how regular it feels. I like that about today. I am already thinking of another cup of tea. Maybe. It’s not quite fall enough to start baking cookies but I think it is indeed getting there. I can get used to that. After dinner tonight, I have a date with a good book. Swell, more than one. Reading one on the front burner, letting the writing questions about others sort themselves out on the back burners.

No real point to this post, which is okay. Sometimes a stream of consciousness is what feels most authentic, so that’s what goes on the page.

How about you?

Asking the Right What Ifs

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

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

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

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

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

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

How are you getting ready for September?

Mid-August Recalibration

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

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

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

Photo by lilartsy on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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