Typing With Wet Paws: Black, White and Orange Friday Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! This is going to be a quicker than usual entry, because A) It is Black, White and Orange Friday, meaning Mama Anna and Aunt Linda are going to make out like locusts at the craft stores, and B) Mama Anna started yesterday out by slicing her middle finger in a freak bathing accident. She is okay, but it also means using that finger isn’t the most fun thing she can do. Apparently, it is an important finger in typing. I’m glad I have paws and my grooming routines do not require any sharp things. I wake up like this every day.

several times a day, in fact.

Not sure what came over me with that whole wanting a boy cat thing. Papa is the only boy I love. No boys, just toys. Preferably with catnip.

Pretty chill day yesterday, except for the whole finger slicing thing. Everybody was tired, so they took lots of naps and then ordered pizza. Then more naps. Nap, food, nap…were they practicing being cats? Because they did a pretty good job. There may be hope for them yet. Also, it was cold. We were fine, thiugh. They have blankets and sweaters and I have fur. Also radiators.

Anyway, the humans are very thankful for all of the above. Except for the finger slicing. I am thankful that I have had TWO great mamas in my life. My first mama, Mama D, did a super amazing job of getting me through the awkward kitten stage and making sure I am happy and healthy and scarily well adjusted. Even more than the humans, TBH. She can still see me on social media, so she knows I am okay.

Since it is now shopping season, I have told the humans that I want a red dot for Christmas. i think “laser pointer” is how to say it in human? If you know where they have good ones that are kitty safe, put it in the comments and I will give my humans a gentle reminder.

Headbonks!

Pre-Thanksgiving Rambles

This morning, for my weekly chat with bud Mary, I turned my folding desk around, so that my back was not to an off-white wall, but the rustic bookcase festooned with white fairy lights. Note to self: get more fairy lights. I had every intention of writing a “real” blog post (what is a real blog post, anyway?) but then after an extremely good chat that ended with online ornament shopping and discussion of the big epic novels/miniseries of the 1970s, aka high drama, it hit me that we are on Thanksgiving Eve, which means it’s basically a holiay, and I do need to set up my Christmas planner, because the day after Thanksgiving, is Black Friday, and it’s go, go, GO into Holiday Mode.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

We do have our tree to put up. This year, beyond the basic colored balls, we have a gorgeous Tudor rose ornament from Mary, and that means it is high time to have some more personalized ornaments on the tree. Cats, writing instruments, that sort of stuff. Can’t go into that unprepared and still face myself in the morning. Which will be Thanksgiving morning.

This year, we are going with a theme of “we tired,” and will be ordering in or getting takeout like the city dwellers we are. Pajamas all day if possible, relaxing, getting current on streaming backlog, reading, and hitting the ground running for full on holiday mode. I will be armed with lists, more lists, and lists of lists. No, I am not kidding on that one. I can take organization to meticulous levels when I have a mind to, and when I am all hopped up on visions of sugarplums and all that other good stuff, well, think of the logical outcome. All of that means that putting thought into a “real” post is not on my agenda.

One of the things I am list-ing is a somewhat loose TBR for the coming year, though I may not wait that long to get started. It all depends on what the library has in store. When I fell down the rabbit hole of V. C. Andrews analysis videos, I glommed hard on to the high drama factor, and what captures high drama than those big 70s epics I mentioned earlier? I was a bit young for those the first time around, but getting a taste for them now, so sprinkling them through the coming year might be something to add to my plans for 2022. Reading high drama fuels writing high drama and I do love my high drama. I know, big surprise on that one.

Anyway, the lure of a pillow fort and hand-knit afghan is calling, with a Kindle full of books, and a paperback Christmas historical romance anthology right there on the nightstand. I have a cuddly kitty and a plentiful tea supply. Also, my brain wants, very very strongly, to go back into fiction mode, and that pillow fort would put me verrrry near a lot of my pens. If you’ve been here longer than five minutes, you know all about me and pens. (Did I mention that I have started to see holiday pen gift sets popping up in stores? Have to say PaperMate is stepping it up this year.

What’s on tap for your holiday?)

Typing With Wet Paws: The Gravitational Pull of Afghans Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! It’s a rainy day here in Albany, the leaves are falling in tons of colors, Papa is currently taking a nap under a hand knitted (by Aunt Linda) afghan, and Mama Anna is having a good writing week. She and Papa had delivery for lunch, which I did not touch because I am a kitty and kitties eat kitty food, not people food. That’s an important distinction, and Mama D taught me that early on when I was still a baby kitten.

Anyway, this is the kind of autumn day Mama Anna loves best. Later in the day, she and Aunt Linda will go hunting for groceries, including cat food, but after I am done with this post, she needs the keyboard so that she can write.

The current working setup; photo by Mama Anna

Last night, she had her weekly meeting online with a local writer friend, which is one day after her weekly talk with Aunt Mary, so she does tend to get charged during the latter half of the week, because talking. She is also drinking a lot of tea. These are good signs. On Wednesday, she walked all around the lake in the park when she went to take out the trash. I did not authorize that trip, and complained to Aunt Linda until Mama Anna got back. Oh, and I ran to the computer when I saw Mama Anna was talking to Aunt Mary. They both liked that a lot. I do aim to please.

Right now, the gravitational pull of the pillows, afghan, real paper book and freshly brewed cinnamon tea is very strong. Add in me and Papa also on the bed, not to mention Mama Anna’s catchall notebook and pens, so she can even do some writing there. This sounds like good napping time for me.

photo by Mama Anna

Papa wanted to get a good picture of me in Mama Anna’s desk chair, facing the computer, but I was at such a position he couldn’t get a good angle. He will, later, though, so a greatest hits picture for now. Mama Anna says he and I need a photoshoot, so she can have a reserve of pictures. That’s not a bad idea. I am rather gorgeous.

Speaking of gorgeous, there are a lot of gorgeous covers in the books Mama Anna has been reading this year. She is currently back on track with 77 books read out of 90, and she is reading a few at the same time, pretty much. Getting back into it. This kind of day is conducive to reading, so again, strong draw towards the reading nest.

Yesterday was a really good writing day, even working on Her Last First Kiss, and it didn’t feel forced. That is a very good sign. I have to believe my emotional suport goes a long way toward that, as well as Mama Anna increasing the amount of blabbering to other people that she has been doing. Snuggling with me and a book couldn’t hurt, though.

Headbonks!

Storm

Typing With Wet Paws: Nipped Edition

Storm’s up, Tail Troopers. Wait. That’s not right. It sounds kind of right. Close to right? Almost right. Right words, wrong order, yeah? Ever since Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian brought me some special mousies, things sometimes get kind of…wavy. Not that I mind. I mean, look at my paw.

Did you know I have switchblade fingers? Well, I do.

Have you ever really looked at a paw? Paws are amazing. I can put my claws in, put them out, pull them in again. Any. Time. I. Want. How great is that? Also, I have four of them. Plus one tail. No switchblades in my tail, though, but it goes up when I am happy. New toys always make me happy. Especially when they are special toys, if you know what I mean. I mean catnip. I love that stuff.

All the humans did fun things on the weekend, like having dinner where Papa works. While he was working, even, so they got to see him do his job. He is super duper good at it, but a lot of people know that already, like Mama Anna. Nice to have it confirmed, though. There was the time when the chef accidentally tried to kill Mama Anna, though. I say accidentally, because they probably did not know that Mama Anna is allergic to mushrooms, and there were mushrooms in the soup when it didn’t say that on the menu. She is okay, though. She had the soup put in a to go container, ate other food, and took it home for Papa.

Keeping Mama Anna’s seat warm.

I, purr-sonally, did not get to go to Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian’s hotel, which I am told was very nice, with a big couch, so there was room for me, and pets were allowed, so I hung with my special mousies that evening. The humans did all agree, though, that the next visit has to be soon, and at Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian’s house, and that I have to come along, because separation anxiety. This means that A) I will get two car rides (there and back) and B) Mama Anna will need to harness train me, so that when I get out of my adventure cave after the car ride, she can keep eyes on me at all times in a new environment.. I should probably also mention that While Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian have my Cousin Andy (who is a young grownup, and will be getting married to my Cousin-to-Be Leah, and moving to his own house next year; dibs on his room when we visit after that) but also my Cousin Aiden, who is a Golden Retriever. That is a kind of dog, who will not be getting married and thus will stay licing in that house. I am not sure if he knows a lot of cats (probably not) so only one of us will be free range at any given time, and I will be on the lead when it’s me.

In related news, Cousin Andy asked Aunt Anna if she would be a character reference for an important job he wants to do, and she said yes. That means that she had to talk to an important person on the phone and answer questions about whether she thinks Cousin Andy is a good human (spoiler alert: he is) and can do important job (Spoiler alert: he can.) She said yes and yes, so that is on the record now. She of course countered this very adult responsibility by playing video games, so the balance is restored.

Also restored is her love of reading historical romance, since Aunt Mary did in fact give her a honking big bag of classic historical romances (she will talk about that on Buried Under Romance, later.) Some of those were books she had once owned and wanted to get again (score!) while others were books she had always wanted to read, but never got the chance (also score) and a couple were even brand new to her, even though they had been written and/or published before she was even a grownup herself.

Mama Anna also read one entire book this week, but it was from the library, not that bag, and it was not even fiction. It was Idiot, by Laura Clery, who is actually very smart and very funny. It is a memoir, which means it is about her life up to the time she wrote it. There is another one coming in spring, and Mama Anna already wants to read that one, too. She will read other books before then, though.

Did you know that my special mousies have knots in the end of their tails? They are super good for biting and throwing so I can pounce. Yeah. That’s fun, Think I’m going to go do that soon, or maybe nap in that sunbeam.

Headbonks!

Typing With Wet Paws: Company’s Coming Edition

Tails Up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. This is a super special weekend coming, because Mama Anna gets to see Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian IN PERSON, and I get to meet them for the very first time. They have a dog at home (who will probably be staying home, but I can still smell him on them and will “meet” him that way. If I mark them (which I will) the he can learn all about me that way. It’s secret code we fur people have. Works pretty well.) Anyway, Mama Ann is doing a lot to get ready for this visit, which is actually pretty fun for her.

Part of that is getting presents ready. Even though one of the reasons is for Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian to help celebrate Mama Anna’s birthday, they are also covering other holidays that they were not able to see each other, due to the global situation, and then an early Christmas. This means there are probably going to be bags and boxes for me to play with, which is always good.

Aunt Anna says nobody is going to catch her unawares on this whole visit thing, and I don’t blame her. This is kind of big, having company. She has always loved company, ever since she was a people kitten. Can you spot the baby extrovert here? Hint: that would be Mama Anna. Also me. I love friends, and I kind of know Aunt Mary from the weekly glowy box sessions. It will be fun to see if I recognize her. I bet that I will. I am predicting headbonks (from me) – my way of saying “property of Storm.”

One thing that Mama Anna is getting excited about is that Aunt Mary is going to bring a big bag (dibs on the bag!) of the kinds of books Mama Anna loves the very best: those big epic historical romances of um…a lot of cats ago. Mama Anna thinks that will go a long way to fixing her reader’s block. Also, she is looking forward to taking pictures of all the pretty covers and sharing those here. It’s also kind of coming full circle, because Mama Anna’s first exposure to historical romance novels would be many cats ago, when Mama Anna’s Aunt Lucy (I guess that makes her my Great Aunt Lucy) would visit Mama Anna’s Mama (Grandma Erma; I have to wait until Rainbow Bridge to meet here, and that is a very very long time away) and bring…you guessed it, a big bag of big, epic historical romances.

Mama Anna’s job was to take those bags of books to the laundry room and put them on a special shelf. She wasn’t allowed to read them yet (she would overstep that boundary soon) because she was too young, but she always looked at the covers and read the back blurbs and made up her own stories to go with those elements. Now she is getting back to writing them. Point is, aunts bearing bags of historical romance novels have a relly good track record around these parts.

What’s on tap for your weekend?

Headbonks!

Storm

Typing With Wet Paws: Birthday Prep Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers. I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Zoom by edition this week because A) it is Aunt Linda’s vacation and Mama Anna is required for vacation shenanigans. We are now one week and only a few days away from one of the most important days of the year: Mama Anna’s birthday.

photo by Mama Anna

Mama Anna really, really, really loves birthdays. They don’t have to be hers, but it doesn’t hurt if it is. This time, it is. That is going to be big fun, I am sure. Hopefully with some boxes I can play with once Mama Anna gets the inside stuff out of them, so I can be the inside stuff. Next week, we are going to have company, as Aunt Mary, whom we see in the glowy box during every Wednesday chat, is coming to visit with Uncle Brian, to celebrate Mama Anna’s birthday, their friendiversary, and early Christmas all at once. I love meeting new friends. Mama Anna thinks I will probably recognize Aunt Mary, and she is probably right.

Purr-sonally, I think that Mama Anna can best celebrate by getting the adventure cave and taking me with her literally everywhere like she did for my first year with these guys, but she tells me that’s not how it works. We will see about that.

This week was kind of crazy because everybody was home for most of it, and Mama Anna works best when she has a door she can close and go about her business. Chats with creative friends helps, too. Mama Anna has been doing a bunch of journaling work, which she may talk about later. Because that is happening around her birthday, it involves a lot of stationery things, both already owned and new, and I am fully prepared to sit on all of them. Which of course means i am going to be very very busy. Better get to it.

Headbonks!

Storm

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?

If The Ears are on, I’m Working

It’s funny, the things we remember sometimes. This morning, when I set aside time to fully plan out my week (I hear the voice of an aunt in my head: “I don’t mind clutter, but I can’t stand chaos.” I may well be turning into my aunts, which is fine, because they were all awesome.) my brain informed me that the first time I knew (American) football was a fall sport was on my first day of maybe second or third grade, when a fall themed bulletin board included football imagery.

Photo by Jean-Daniel Francoeur on Pexels.com

The reason my brain thought I might like to know this was probably because I had laid down some autumn leaves scrapbook paper, because having an image on the page anchors my attention, making the actual planning a lot easier. Insomnia has been raging this past week, meaning that I do have some ground to recover, and planning is the way I figure out how that happens. Planning is also great for focusing on something that is creative but not storytelling creative, which gives that part of my brain some room to do its own thing without me in the way.

There’s also the fact that I can see my week laid out, mark the family days (two per week) that I will have a full house (not the tv show) so those are very unlikely to have writing time unless I leave the house. This is one reason I look forward to having a dedicated office, with a door I can close, in our next apartment, but we will be here for a while. Not at all complaining about that. I will make do with cat ear headphones. If the ears are on, leave me alone. This actually works because if eyes are on me, then I know I have to actually produce something.

For those who may be wondering, this post has nothing at all to do with football. I neither watch nor play, so it doesn’t affect me in any way I can relate. Why did it show up on my mental feed, then? I am not sure. Maybe because I am training myself to get back into writer mode, after being in survivor mode for so long. There is executive dysfunction, which is basically “I need to do the thing. I want to do the thing. I know how to do the thing. I have the stuff I need to do the thing. It is right over there. I should do the thing,” and then….not doing the thing. Gets annoying after a while, by which I mean immediately, and every time.

The only way through this kind of executive dysfunction with writing is to actually do the writing. Which means writing bad pages. Knowing that I am writing bad pages. Write bad pages until I write good pages. Lather, rinse, repeat. Feels like I have been doing that a lot lately. Probably boring and/or annoying people, because geez, get on with it, woman. Not always that easy, but there is indeed a path through. Insert the maxim about not comparing someone else’s chapter thirty to one’s own chapter five. Even if chapter five seems really long. It happens.

The point of al of this? Eh. An item off my list. Seeing things on a list, especially a visually appealing list, makes the Big Scary Task look and feel a lot more palatable. So. It’s here. So am I. I call that a win. Planner open at the ready, now off to Google Docs and some time with my imaginary friends.

How does your week look?

Anna

Typing With Wet Paws: Second Adopotiversary Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. This is a very special month, because it has a bunch of super fun stuff in it. Most importantly, though, this week sees my second adoptiversary, meaning I have completed two whole years of living with these guys. Before that, I was with my first mom, who did an amazing job of raising me as a happy, healthy kitty. I know she still loves me, and I still love her. She can see my pictures on Instagram, so she knows I am safe and happy.

pictures like this brighten anybody’s day

While that year long camping trip we went on to celebrate my adoption had its highlights, this week also means we start our second year of living in this apartment, and apartment living is definitely better. Even if the property manager, Mr. Kurt, did outsource pest control. Okay maybe it was the owner of the buildings, but still, am I a joke to them? Look at these teeth. Look at these claws. They don’t call them murder mittens for nothing. If there were a mouse in the house, I would have found it and brought it to Aunt Anna, whom I will now be calling Mama Anna (my first mom will be Mama D) because I love bringing her presents. Then again, the other apartments in our building don’t have cats, just dogs, so that could be part of it.

Anyway, since this is such a special week, Mama Anna said that I can talk about whatever I want. I don’t see how that is much different from every other week, because hey, I am a cat. That’s kind of how it works. For those of you who are wondering if I am calling the other humans anything different, Uncle Rheuben is now Papa and Aunt Linda is still Aunt Linda. I am not allowed outside, so I cant get them anything I would normally get. I don’t know what to do with stairs, anyway, and I can’t open doors that close all the way, so I do what I can.

I have to give the pest control human some props, because he did Psspsspss me. Of course I ignored him and went under the bed. He comes into my house and questions how I do my job? No thank you. He did recognize me as an Organic Pest Control Expert. I should give him some sort of professional courtesy. Though Aunt Linda now has to get a plastic container to put my dry food into. They sell that kind of thing where she works, which means it’s happening. If you think I am already thinking about ways I can open the lid, you are right. I like a challenge.

Mama Anna is occupying herself pretty well this week. She could do better on the reading front (mainly because if she does it on her tablet at night, in bed, I can sit on her shoulder and read along) but the writing is going well, and she is doing a stationery makeover/inventory/overhaul, which will include a…gasp…cull. I love this because that means there is more stationery laid out for me to lie on, especially when that is the particular thing she most especially needs. Speaking of which….

Headbonks!

Storm

The Importance of Stationery Nesting

Note: That is “stationery” nesting, as in nesting with stationery, not creating a nest that remains in one place, though that is probably a good idea, especially if young are involved.

Somewhere in our three room apartment, I have three, maybe four packs of my favorite discbound graph paper. There are not a lot of places this stuff could hide, but after a day of seriously whipping my writing area into shape (including but not limited to planner related things) I cannot find even one pack. This probably means that I put it where I thought it would be a logical place when I was tired or overwhelmed and a very poor judge of such matters.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Since I am the only one who touches my planner/journal supplies and indeed the only one who goes into my writing area, the list of possible culprits is extremely small. Basically, me, aka I can only blame myself for this development. :looks at self reprovingly: I have no doubt that I will find them in the process of “putting like with like,” as my mother used to phrase it. I hated that term when I was a kid, but as we often find out when we have to start doing my own adulting, Mom was on to something. She would probably be dumbfounded that organizing and planning is one of my passions. Seriously, I have been used as a pole in a scale designed to measure how much someone likes planners/stationery, “on a scale of ‘hate it,’ to ‘Anna,’ how much do you like planning/stationery?” Probably on more than one occasion, but I witnessed the one,

As a dear once upon a time writing group facilitator once said, “the process begets the product,” and I have found that she was also right. In her case, that meant keeping the pen on the paper for the entire span of our writing sprints, but in this case, it means that I remembered where I put an important item I needed while repurposing a languishing notebook into something I actually will use, and rotating out seasonal things that do not jibe with this season. It meant that while I was making the bed, I wondered what would happen if I pre-cut the printable stickers I love, using my slicer, rather than cutting them out one at a time, fussy cutting with small scissors.

I have repurposed my Big Pink traveler’s notebook to focus on some mindful creativity exercises, as a composer I admire terms them. That means doing some hard work regarding what makes me tick as a creator. My pink A5 six ring binder is similarly now for keeping lists of my favorite authors, tropes, settings, etc. This will serve as a handy “hey, you like this stuff; maybe put some of that in there” reference for when I need such a reminder. Please note that is “when,” not “if,” because it will definitely happen. I have known myself for quite a while now, and I may have noticed a few patterns.

I am very happy to be at this stage because it means I am getting ready to Do Business with the writing stuff, and that feels frankly amazing after the last few years. Not that anybody waved a magic wand, but more a series of progressions and setbacks and a lot of little things that all lined up to get me to this place. I have even been thinking about NaNo. If I do go through with it, I will be a rebel (no surprise) but even if I don’t sign up officially, I love the idea of testing how much I can do this time around.

How are you nesting this season?