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?

A Good Place To Be

Today is a lovely, chill, and grey Monday in October, which is to say exactly my kind of day. This may also be why it is almost three pm when I sit down to write this post. I spent all of the time prior alternating between setting up my planners and turbo napping. I am not exactly done with the plan-ification because I acquired a new planner this weekend, an early birthday gift from the friend who gave me my first Happy Planner, thus creating the monster that is now me.

The new planner is a “skinny” planner, same length but half the width of the classic version, which is here:

photo: Anna Carrasco Bowling

I haven’t taken any pictures of the new planner yet, (not this design, but this size) because A) I am still deciding how I want to use it, and B) I’m not decorating it until I figure out its purpose. The friend who gave it to me doesn’t use a planner, but uses this sort of planner as a notebook. I do know it’s the same theme as my catchall planner (the one above is my writing planner) and the coordinating sticker book. My friend says she likes that size for toting around in her purse, so I might try that. It also fits perfectly in the zip folio that would be bulky in my purse, but never felt right with anything else. I have also done squat all for months with the dot grid notebook (though it has delicious thick, smooth paper; I think I’m not a dot grid person) I put in there a few um, months ago.

I hate having partially used notebooks lingering in my possession, but they also aren’t exactly salable or re-giftable, so I am still figuring out what to do with that sort of thing. Maybe scrap paper? IDK.

There’s something about birthdays and planners and trackers and calendars and journals and that sort of thing. Combine that with an online workshop on resilience I am taking right now, which is highly relevant to my interests, of coming back into myself. I very much like knowing why somebody else likes something they like, and inviting me to experience it too, well, that’s special. It also still doesn’t bring me any closer to knowing what I want to use this new planner for, but eh, that’s kind of how I operate anyway. Jump in, splash around, and then sort it out in some sort of organic fashion.

That’s a heartening thought as I look at the writing week ahead, especially since it’s Housemate’s staycation. We do have some fun stuff planned, and some time set aside where she is doing her thing and I am doing mine, aka actually writing.

Ever since I started having weekly video chats with one of my besties, I have felt ever so much Anna-er. Ditto with the fledgling critique partnership I have with a local writer friend, also via video. Bonus points for said writer friend also being a big ol’ extrovert. I even have some pen and paper letters in the works, which is something I have always found both a necessity and a delight. It also means I get to dive neck deep into pretty stationery, pens, stickers, ephemera, et al. It’s a good place to be.

How is the start of your week looking?

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?

Against The Current

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

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

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

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

Last week was, in a word, disgusting. Mostly for the heat, though there are most assuredly worse ways to spend days where the temperature reaches the nineties than sprawled in front of a box fan, mainlining coconut seltzer. That’s as close to a tropical vacation as I care to get, as I am pale and heat sensitive. Big plans to plow through my mini library haul were for naught, and I made only slow progress on e-reading as well. That’s all okay, though, as Drama King is now in the hands of its potential editor, and I am currently getting ready for tonight’s video chat with Melva where we will get the ball rolling on an outline for Queen of Hearts. This also means I now have brain space to give back to historicals, whihc I have sorely missed.

None of that is news to the regular readers here, but sometimes the best way to get the ol’ brain in working gear is to write stuff one already knows. That’s not a bad thing at all. Firm footing and all that. Another thing that helps here is to get my plans down in a visually appealing manner. Here is the desk planner for the week, mostly before the pen.

This is my first ever time covering the left hand (my left) side with scrapbook paper and totally ignoring everything pre printed on the page. I have heard this is not an uncommon issue but for some reason I always thought I was “supposed to” deal with what was printed on the page, the way it was printed on the page. This is the same me who would be the first person to tell someone else to white it out, cover it, but don’t stare at the page and feel dumb becuase they’re not making it work. Ahem. Yeah.

So. Part of all that was spending a big chunk of Sunday putting together my first Frankenplanned writing notebook to see me through the stretch from July to January. I’ll share pictures and maybe a flip through later. Don’t ask me about specific goals at this point. Still working on those, and I am pretty sure I know how I want to deal with Camp Nano. Pretty sure I’m going to be in the rebel encampment for that one but very much looking forward to the cameraderie and shaking pompoms in the general direction of any potential cabinmates. Would love to end up in a cabin full of historical romance writers. That hasn’t happened yet as far as I know. Well, for me that is.

For now, I have a hot date with a cool drink and a good book before I get ready for my chat with Melva and the requisite color coded highlighters and index cards. Tonight, we lay the foundation.

Hot Takes

I don’t summer well. Regular readers know that. If you’re new, now you do, too. This is the third (I think) too hot to function day in a row. Staying cool and hydrated, hanging with my fan club (as in we have box fans) and turning my sleep/wake cycle on its head as days are more somnolent and nights are more active.

This is working out well. Yesterday, Melva and I agreed that the draft of Drama King is indeed ready for submission, and all we have to do today is write a cover letter and then off it goes. Monday means we knuckle down and outline Queen of Hearts. I love outlining, Melva, mmmm, not so much. In that Melva does not love outlining. For me, it means that I have the weekend to pick out a QoH notebook (probably from my on-hand stash) and probably set up a Scrivener theme. We will ignore the fact that this will mean angsting over whether I want to try and get Scfrivener on my cufrent laptop even though my documentation that I really do own it is in storage and not easily accessible, or get my old laptop that already has Scrivener on it fixed so that I can use it. We will see how that all goes.

It’s also time to set up my historical romance notebooks. That second half of Her Last First Kiss is gnawing at me, and I am SO CLOSE to the end of the firs round of edits on A Heart Most Errant, annnnnd there is a pirate trilogy that will not sit down and be quiet while I tend its elder siblings. Phew. Time to get a move on, which includes getting down the bones of other stuff that has been simmering for far too long, and new stuff that won’t quit coming.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Writing query letters and the like are not my favorite sorts of writing. The very first query letter I ever wrote, I scrawled something like “I really don’t write/talk like this” at the bottom. This time, though, I feel delightfully detached from that part of the process, and eh, we wrote a thing, editor said she wants to see it, boom, here it is kthanxbye. Only more professional. There’s fake dating, and a grump/sunshine relationship, independent theater, and an orange former street cat who sets the house rules.

One other thing that is striking me as a newness is that there is a definite shift in my planning/journaling practice. I did not see that coming, but when I completely claimed the kitchen table as my de facto office desk, that involved setting up an improvised bookcase from a wooden crate, and finding covers for my discbound books so I don’t look at rows and rows of discs, annnnd some things moved on their own. Not in objects relocating themselves, but Book X belongs in Y cover, and I now want to write morning pages in book A instead of book B. Also, I came to terms with the fact that I don’t like blank pages and putting some visuals on said pages is actually a big help.

Going to wrap this now so I can get the letter written and to Melva, so we can smush our individual letters together, and then flop back in front of the fan. Just me and Kindle Unlimited and a nice cold watermelon seltzer. Also frequently my feline supervisor still demanding her seat on my torso, weather be hanged.

Typing With Wet Paws: Bye Bye April Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Super good week this week. Aunt Anna is thinking about doing a bonus post this weekend, or maybe a video, to make up for missing Wednesday. That turned into an impromptu family day. No regrets. She is very much getting back into the groove of things, and that means I have to be at top of my mews game, to make sure we are doing the best that we can.

greatest hits picture of me, as we are still working on the pictures thing

First of all, my big box is still awesome, and this week, we got a new, smaller box that I m still figuring out. One of Aunt Anna’s writer friends sent her a fun package, and I have a couple of days to have fun with this new box before the humans break it down. One of the great things about humans settling into an apartment is that boxes and bags arrive and I get to inspect all packaging. It’s pretty sweet. I don’t like when the humans break the packing material with the really big bubbles, though. That stuff is scary. Humans need to take care of that outside.

Another big thing is that I love my cat bed again. Aunt Anna and Uncle Rheuben put the cat bed on top of the trunk at the foot of their bed, and yesterday, when we were all doing our own things, I hopped into it for a nap. They stopped what they were doing to point out that I was indeed in the bed. No pictures, though. Slackers. I will have to get them on that ASAP. I’m cute.

Photo by Cristian Rojas on Pexels.com

On the Aunt Anna front, I am happy to report a good writing week. Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva are on track to be done with this draft of Drama King on time. Aunt Anna’s heart is going pitty pat on that one, and Her Last First Kiss is back on the agenda. Historical romance writer friends, please be warned; she will be prone to unprompted blathering about the direction of the second half of the book. Tell her she’s pretty, give her tea, and back away slowly. If in doubt, add stationery.

Now that Aunt Anna is back in the historical romance saddle, that does mean she’s probably going to power right through the rest of the edits for A Heart Most Errant. There’s a bunch of other historicals banging on the door of her brain. Pirates, more mediecals, a whole lot of Georgians, and some English Civil War/Restoration people. Good thing I have scratchy thing near the kitchen table, which is where Aunt Anna does most of her glowy box stuff these days.

Speaking of scratchy thing, I love it. I did get a new one, and it came with catnip, and it is the good stuff. I do scratch it, and I like to loaf on it, because I exactly fit, and slow blink at Aunt Anna while she works. I can also keep an eye/ear on whoever is in the bathroom. I don’t know why the humans insist on going in there alone, when feline supervision is clearly a need.

Onto the Goodreads challenge. This week, Aunt Anna has hit the 50% mark. She has read 45 books out of her goal of 90, and 16 books ahead of schedule. I am encouraging her to do even more reading or listening to audiobooks, by throwing in a free kitty cuddle with every reading session. I even throw in motor purrs. I think that’s a good incentive.

Another part of that is her book of books, aka TBR notebook, which still needs a picture. If you’d like a word picture, hop on over to Buried Under Romance and read about that. Aunt Anna is a list maker from way back, so I am not surprised that keeping lists of this sort of thing takes a lot of the time she would normally spend thinking about what she’d like to read next out of the picture. I will remind her to take pictures and/or make a video about it, because it is super neat. It’s also very comfortable, because of course I have sat on it. I sit on a lot of stuff. Which reminds me, I better get to that.

Headbonks!

Calico got to go!

The Weekend That Wasn’t

I had big plans for this weekend, to get current-cufrrent on the revisions to Drama King, make a dent in A Heart Most Errant edits remaining, and get my planniing done early, preferably Saturday. Here is what I did instead:

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

That’s pretty much it. Fell asleep Friday night, dragged myself out of bed Saturday long enough to write my Buried Under Romance post, dragged self back to bed. Woke in late afternoon when Housemate wafted food before me. Ate. Went back to sleep until the wee hours. Offended self with own stench, so late night ablutions, and then, you guessed it, back to sleep. There was a bagel at some point. Sunday was marginally better, and now I feel fine. What happened? Who knows?

Whatever, the week is now before me, I didn’t do what I wanted to do for the weekend, but apparently what my body needed (see feeling fine as stated above) so I guess that is still a win. Onward. I woke this morning at a normal hour, alert, one shower and some caffiene away from getting down to business. Self-flagellation is not very productive (or at all productive, for that matter) so my intention is to bypass it. Did a slapdash planning session this morning, and now on to the next item on the list, this blog.

I did manage to read one book, I think on Friday, so that’s partial credit for reading. Zero progress on my to be viewed list, which irks me, but small potatoes as far as regrets go. While I do like having background noise when I write, I don’t put on anything TV or movie related while i write, because I am going to want to look at the screen, so that is for later. Either ambient sounds (coffee shop, rain, etc) or critical analyses of books, preferably that I have not read nor intend to read. I am flirting with the idea of listening to audiobooks in languages I do not speak. Human voices, but a much reduced chance of getting distracted with the story or information. We’ll see.

Right now, it looks like Tuesdays or Thursdays are going to be good for AnnaLog videos. I have a couple more tags in mind, and a flip through my TBR notebook, which was honestly fun to make, and is indeed helping me keep my reading goals on track. Will this translate into a similar approach to a writing notebook? I’m willing to give it a try.

Time to wind this to a close and go for the low hanging fruit of the day, fleshing out some Drama King scenes. I’m looking forward to that. How does your week look?

Monday Stream of Consciousness

Jumping into this post with no actual plan, because A) blog is under the “low hanging fruit” category of stuff I need to do today, and B) if I don’t do it now, it will nag me throughout doing anything else.

Usually, Sundays are my planning afternoons. Yesterday, though, had a few different influences. A) I am still getting used to new medication, so surprise slumber parties for one are a thing; B) yesterday was also a full house, with all family member hone in a smallish space, and C) I am not at all sure that my plan to coast along from April through June on mini planners and no classic planners is going to work as well as I thought.

That last one is the easiest to fix: hop on over to a craft store that carries my planner of choice, grab a currently dated one from the clearance section, hand over a pittance and jump right in, back to the usual method. That leaves mostly just today to be free floating in no classic planner land. I could technically re-date older pages, but that is far too labor intensive when what I want to do is jump in and lay out for my plan of attack.

I like seeing things laid out, where I can tell at a glance what jobs I need to do, to get to where I am. Making it aesthetically pleasing is a plus, and, with the new YouTube channel, I have a lot more ideas of what I want to not only talk about, but write about as well. I don’t normally do TBRs but I see those are frequent on BookTube, and look like they may indeed work toward my goal of reading more historical romance. They also look fun. I could use some more fun, and, after a very long time without it, fun is something I can do these days.

See the source image

Over the last couple of nights, I binged Picnic at Hanging Rock on Amazon Prime. Loved it. Australian Gothic is a thing, and I want more of it. Which reminded me that I very much do want to rereach On The Jelllicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I refuse to use the shortened American title, because that’s not its name. Yes, I will die on that hill. I also want to see On the Jelicoe Road made into a movie (I don’t usually) with an all-Australian cast, on location, with 80s film effect on the 80s timeline. Failing that, I would like to hear it on audio, with two Australian narrators.

Thankfully, I can carry that over into historical romances set in Australia, by Australian authors, like Cadace Proctor and Alison Stuart. Ms. Stuart also writes Engilsh Civil War historical romance, which is one of my all time favorite settings.

In the meantime, I get to do mundane adulting things, such as putting away laundry and straightening my work area, both things that are super good for letting my creative brain do stuff on the back burner where I am not looking.

I am a little disappointed that I won’t be doing Camp Nano this round, but July is not that long away, and it’s also when I can bust out my brand new eighteen month planner, so I take that as a sign. What do you think?

Plan B and Other Stories

For the last few nights, my brain has been throwing some killer slumber-less parties, with me as the guest of honor. It is not my favorite thing. Being awake at night is different from being awake during the day, and while reading is sometimes possible, especially listening to audiobooks, or letting the robo-voice in my Kindle app turn any book into an audiobook, writing, well, that’s a different story. Pun intended.

Planner fatigue?

We will start with the planner aspect, because I am definitely a planner. Normally, I like to take time on Sunday afternoon to plan out the week ahead. This week, I did plan on Sunday, but the current lined vertical layout, eh, no. Done. Over it. I ended up taking blank pages of a vertical layout from an old planner, glued them to the lined vertical pages that glared at me, and then followed a YouTube tutorial to design the layout. it’s pretty functional rather than decorative, but I am okay with it.

I also took a picture of it, but can I remember what file I saved it to? Nope. I have absolutely zero doubt that I will find it when looking for something else, so I will trust in that outcome and keep going forward.

Photo by Ono Kosuki on Pexels.com

The worst part about a week like this is that I had to postpone my weekly chat with Melva Michaelian. I like to be current on my assignments when we meet, so moving that back a couple of days and spreading the backlog over those in-between days, should make things a lot more manageable. There’s also figuring out which family members will be home when, when we want to handle some adulting things, like housecleaning, recycling, and quality time, because I actually like the people who live with me, so that is a very good thing.

When my brain gets all oogy, as Real Life Romance Hero puts it, making lists helps me a lot. Focus on one thing at a time. Why am I feeling uncomfortable about that? What could I do to make any degree of change in that matter? How would I like it to look, ideally? There are definitely medical and spiritual components, but I’m focusing on the mental parts for right now.

Taking those couple of weeks away from planning in my catchall planner were not a good idea, even though it felt okay in the minute. Planner fatigue is a real thing, but it doesn’t have to be a block in the road. I like a lot of different kinds of planners. Try a different format, et viola. Stop fretting about what isn’t working, turn to something I know does work, and see if that gets me somewhere better.

This time, it kind of did. Housemate has her staycation this week, so we are scheduling how to best manage the days when there are two adults in one apartment, and even the days when there will be three. Real Life Romance Hero has his days off as well, so there are going to be days when I will, most likely, have to put on the hot pink cat ear headphones and put on the flashing ear lights. That’s our family signal for I Am Working On Writer Stuff. Do. Not. Disturb. Or. Else. Do Not Fight Me; You Will Not Win.

Because I love writing. I really, really, really do. Even when I am tired. Even when I am super tired. Planning helps. Pretty stuff helps. Tea helps. Remembering why I do this, remembering that it’s the kind of work I have wanted to do since I was but a wee little princess, and my best shot at being the me-est me that ever there me’d, well, that goes a long, long way.

do I need a new signoff pic? Because I think I need a new signoff pic.