Typing With Wet Paws: Family Weekend Edition

Hi, Storm Troopers! Twice in one week. I could get used to this. I’m going to be quick this week because our weekend is full of family stuff. Don’t worry, it’s good. Aunt Anna has her local RWA chapter meeting on Saturday. It will be an important meeting, with some serious stuff and some fun stuff, too. Aunt Anna loves that the membership is varied, that there really is a love story for everybody.

Talking about love stories is a pretty good segue, because that’s basically what Aunt Anna does. Buried Under Romance is sorting out a few things, moving to a new host, and getting ready to unleash some fun new stuff including but not limited to getting to know the staff and what kinds of romance novels they like and recommend. Aunt Anna is also looking for other romance authors who would like to be interviewed for the blog. because talking to writers is one of her very favorite things, especially if it pertains to the writing of romance. Also cats. Lots of writers have cats.

On to the business of Aunt Anna’s Goodreads challenge for 2020. Right now, she is two books ahead of schedule, with five books read out of ninety. This is partly due to the trick that she learned from Miss Lisa at Buried Under Romance, about making any book into an audiobook if she reads on her Kindle app, but I do have to include a cat-viat on this one. Sometimes, Aunt Anna finds the computer voice reading to her so relaxing that she falls asleep. When that happens, I curl up next to her head and purr. I think that helps. Maybe not her, but it helps something. Mostly me.

Really tiny notebook, perfect for feline use

Other than reading and writing, Aunt Anna is usually planning, and one of the things that she did this past week was to use something she has had for a very long time, but had not used for almost that long. That is the stamp that you can see above in the really tiny notebook. This reminds Aunt Anna that her goal is to remain true to her own voice and write the storts of stories she most wants to read, and leave all that marketing stuff ifor later. She is still figuring out what this tiny notebook is for, but right now it is pretty good for keeping the most important tasks for the day. I still think it is more cat sized than human sized.

Anyway, that is about it for right now. I need to herd Aunt Anna to bed because it will be an early morning and a big weekend. Stay tuned, Storm Troopers, because more news is coming.

Headbonks!

2020 Vision?

Yesterday, I didn’t mean to spend the entire day on Patreon work, but that’s how things worked out. I started out making a spreadsheet for my TBR for the coming year, and things kept going. One list for favorite lush historical romances, another for favorite contemporary YA, and a batch of ideas for more. I love making these sorts of lists, and I love connecting readers with favorite books in favorite historical eras, with particular themes, etc. Current plans are to make requests for such lists available on one of the tiers., If the list is for something that isn’t quite my taste, say wallpaper Regencies, I can still do some educated guessing, as in what’s popular, has received high reviews, or looks interesting in some aspect. I could pick out books all day long, seriously, and be happy to do it.

Today is the first day of my one page a day writing schedule. One page of fiction -doesn’t matter what- bare minimum. More if I can, more if I want to, but that first page, those first two hundred and fifty words, they don’t have to be perfect, don’t have to be even good, but they do have to be. That’s easy enough. I will proably lump those in with Storm’s weekly blogs, along with other progress reports. We will see how it goes, and I am more than likely going to make some sort of paper tracker because that’s how my brain goes.

Speaking of paper planners, I plan (see what I did there?) to share more about what I do with that, as well. There is a beautiful black version of Spinebreaker headed my way, to hold my everyday carry bullet-y journal-y commonplace-y notebook. Spinebreaker’s lovely pink self will hold some different inserts to help me manage the writing projects I have on tap for this year. I will figure it out as I go.

Both yesterday and today, I have been listening to YouTube videos analyzing episodes of Black Mirror. I have seen exactly one episode of that show, “San Junipero,” but I’m still getting a lot out of the commentary. My tenure at Heroes and Heartbreakers gave me the chance4 to ramble on about my favorite TV ships, and the moments that worked, as well as the ones that didn’t. I’d like to bring some of that to the blog, and/or Patreon. This amy involve another attempt at making video blogs. We will see. Some of that will depend on where we land, Stately Bowling Manor-wise, but it’s definitely on the table.

The thing that has to happen before any of this other stuff can occur, though, is the writing. The putting of the bottom in the chair and words on the page, paper or virtual, one page at a time, one after the other, on and on until Once Upon a Time reaches And They Lived Happily Ever After. It’s a new year, and there are stories to tell. There is no section on Amazon or in Barnes and Noble or any other brick and mortar store, for great three chapters or excellent outlines. Only. Full. Books.

That means moving forward, even when there’s no gaurantee that t hings are going to turn out on the page the same way they are in my head (can they ever be?) That means tapping back into the girl who set up a makeshift desk out of TV trays, and typing out stories that couldn’t possibly go anywhere on an electronic typewriter. Only, they did. Maytbe not those exact pages, but the were needed to get me one step further down the path to where I am now, and where I am going next.

For today, that’s going to mean this blog entry, one page of fiction, and probably planner therapy after. Doesn’t have to be perfect, does have to be written. That’s doable. Let’s see where it goes.

Happy New Year.

Two Hundred and Fifty

Welp. Last post of 2019. I will not be sorry to see this year in my rearview mirror. While 2019 did have some standout moments – the publication of Chasing Prince Charming, adding Storm kitty to our family, the support and love of amazing friends when real life plot twists took some crazy turns – the bar for 2020 is not on the dauntingly high side.

IRL challenges aside, there is the whole RWA debacle, about which I have a lot of feelings, and feelings about those feelings. Romance Writers of America has never been a perfect organization, but the new developments that have come fast and furious, over the holiday week, those raise a whole lot of questions. As it stands now, I am waiting for my next CR-RWA meeting so that I can learn more and be around other people who are going through the same thing, before I say much more. The fact that this is all happening at the same time we learned of the passing of one of the OG historical romance superstars, Johanna Lindsey, makes it all that much more surreal.

As the great Beverly Jenkins has said, and Nora Roberts has pointed out that the middle word in “Romance Writers of America” is “Writers,” this is a time to keep going forward. Keep writing. Keep writing romance. That seems like a good note on which to start a new year. While yes, there is still adulting to do, and we are doing that, writing has taken a back seat while dealing with IRL matters, and it’s time now, to pick it back up once again.

I have said on many occasions that I am not a word counter, and I am not. Right now, however, when I went to figure out how to get myself back in Serious Writing Mode, what came to mind was that a page a day is a book in a year. That’s something I can do whether I am at a computer keyboard or working with pen and paper only, and it’s pretty easy to measure. Get to end of page, that’s the minimum required for the day. If anything more is too much, I can kick off for the rest of the day, read, adult, stare off into the distance, whatever is needed. One page is roughly two hundred and fifty words, which is not that daunting. Even counting words, two hundred and fifty of them in one place are not really that much.

Morning pages do not count for this requirement. It has to be fiction. Morning pages are their own thing, though I can use parts of them to prime the pump for the day’s fiction. Naturally, I plan to write more than one book this year, as this is a reality for a career in commercial fiction. Baby steps, though, are always a good place to start, or re-start. Neither does any writing that is not actual fiction writing count. Pump priming, list making, that sort of thing can get me to where I can write actual fiction, but it’s only the fiction that is going to count.

This year, I want to tap back into the writer who didn’t know any better, the one who knew how to shut out everything else and throw that story onto the page with all she’s worth. Maybe even more than that. Strike the “maybe.”

There are a lot of stories ahead in 2020, to be read, to be watched, to be written, risks to take in all of those things. Writing, reading, and watching romance has been a driving force in my life since I was eleven years old and stole my first historical romance from my mother’s nightstand. I have had the wonderful experience of writing about all of that for blogs both personal and commercial, and I look forward to bringing some of that over to my Patreon-to-be, which is in itself a daunting yet exciting prospect. On the one hand, who am I to ask people to pay me to, well, be me, but on the other, this fits right into the idea that I don’t have to put the pressure on myself to appeal to everybody. Maybe doing what I do and focusing on people who like that sort of stuff is s more liberating way to go.

We’ll find out, one page at a time.

Random Blabbery Post

Leftover picture from Monday’s photoshoot is a good indicator that I this is going to be one of those posts where I open the document and start throwing down random brain droppings, because the plans for the original post aren’t going to work. Where are we going with this one? I have no earthly idea.

I am now only six books behind on my Goodreads reading challenge, which gives me a nice boosts. I have a mental sticky note on the books that I am turning to while pushing for my reading goal this year. Right now, I am both absolutely thrilled to be reading Broken Things, the fourth book in Jessica Cale’s Restoration era Southward Saga of historical romances, and itchy that there is only one other historical romance by this author, set a couple of hundred years later. I need moar. There will be a Buried Under Romance post on this sometime in the future.

Though making my reading goal for 2019 has become personal, something I am going to do, goshdarnit, last night, I DNF’d a book. Yeah. A historical romance. No, I will not give the name or author, as it might work better for me at another time. This book was a novella, so it fit my desired length. It was a time and setting I usually like, and I very much liked the premise. So, what wasn’t working for me? Ehhh, I don’t know. I will say that I might have liked more detail, more showing rather than telling, but it could also be that I had not been in the right frame of mind. I’ll try again later.

I’m not sure what the reading goal will be for 2020. Real life is still sorting itself out, and my educated guess is that all of the attendant stress/depression/anxiety/lack of energy has had a big hand in the lack of reading that led to the big reading lag. Being behind does create its own stress, but since the remedy for that is to stick my nose in a book, paper or electronic, I am not going to complain and consider that a self-solving issue.

According to Real Life Romance Hero, the snowstorm we got this weekend is the eighth largest in city history. I take that as an indicator that snuggling in bed with a hot beverage, purring cat and hand knit afghan (thanks, Housemate) diving into a good book. There is also some TV viewing backlog, and I may have figured out how to fix the snafu with my Sims 3 installation and engage in some retro-gaming. There could be an art journal or notebook on hand to keep me occupied during loading times. I’m not sure yet.

The calendar says we’re in December, which is getting ready for Christmas season. The snow should be helping but not feeling it quite yet. Still time, though. Maybe some Christmas novellas will help, possibly helped by a traditional fireplace video on You Tube. I haven’t watched any Christmas videos yet, so that may be another thing to try. I haven’t done much seasonal decorating in my planner, so that might play well with movies or music. We’ll see.

Got any favorite romance novellas? Bonus points if they are on Kindle Unlimited, and/or Christmas themed.

maybe I could read this book…

Typing With Wet Paws: Well That Was a Week Edition

Hi, Storm Troopers! I figured it was about time for my fans to have their own name. I am a very popular girl around here. Housekeeping loves me, and I love going in my adventure cave. Some humans call it a carrier, but it is my adventure cave, and I love it. The soft lining is super comfy and smells like my people. I can see out of the door and little windows in the sides, so there is always something to see, unless we are in the car and whoever is holding my adventure cave holds it too low. Then, I tell them in no uncertain terms that my view sucks, and that must be remedied immediately. I want to see everything.

This week, we changed motels and then changed back. We did not like the other one, and are settled back in our for-now home. Aunt Anna has her computer set up again, and I have my towel next to it, so I can sleep…I mean supervise…while she works. This past week, and the weekend, have been for adulting, so Aunt Anna wants to buckle down and make this week a big return to writing.

Part of that is her weekly Saturday Discussion post on Buried Under Romance. Last week, she talked about where the site is going, and where it’s been. Click the link above to go read about that, and feel free to add your comments if you would like in on the discussion. It is never too late to talk about great books.

Speaking of which (smooth segue, right?) let’s take another look at Aunt Anna’s Goodreads challenge. It is, in fact, the dreaded ten books behind, with seventy-one books read out of ninety-five, but Aunt Anna is determined, and she is digging in to get this done on time, which will also go a long way to filling her creative tank, because there is a lot of writing yet to be done.

That’s along with that adulting stuff, of course, and taking care of me. Did you know I made some milestones this week? Well, I did. I first did something I have wanted pretty much since getting here, and that is getting out of the room and into the hallway. Aunt Linda was onto me, though, and Aunt Anna was on her way back in, so I followed her, and have not been allowed near the door by myself since. The other thing is that I can open drawers now. I taught myself. Aunt Anna was writing at the time, and she tried to stop me, but I come from a long line of determined women. My mom, Aunt Anna, Aunt Linda, that’s a long line, right? Anyway, yeah, I can open drawers now. Well, at least these drawers. I like grabbing a quick snooze in Uncle Rheuben’s drawer. His clothes are soft and he smells like food. Probably goes into why Aunt Anna picked him.

I will, of course, be on hand to provide cuddles and purrs while Aunt Anna does both the reading and writing things, and we are not supposed to go on many more adventures anytime soon, until we get new apartment. Wherever it is, it better get ready. There’s a Storm coming.

Headbonks,

Typing With Wet Paws: Post-Book-Launch Edition

Hi, everybody, and happy November! I’m Storm, and I am not a big expert on Novembers, because this is probably only my second one, but that should make it very easy for me to have the best November yet, right? I know some cats have writers who are doing NaNoWriMo this month. It sounds very exciting. All of thst lap time, and all those warm keyboards has to be an incredible experience. I will be having some of that, as Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva are committed to getting Drama King to the end of draft one this month, and Aunt Anna wants to get a few other things under control at the same time. Maybe that’s what all those planners are for? I, of course, will be on Mews duty, to make sure she gets it all done, including taking copious breaks to pet and play with me.

mews on deck

Buried Under Romance

Aunt Anna would like to apologize for the absence of posts at Buried Under Romance this past week, but exciting new things are coming, very soon. For a while now, she has half-joked about what she would like to do if anyone ever dropped a romance magazine in her lap, and that is very close to what is going on there. There is a platform, there are some very talented reviewers and other people to make it all work, and what better time to truly kick into gear than the holiday season?

Readvember

I don’t know if Readvember is really a thing, but maybe it is, now. Aunt Anna flatly refuses to look at how far behind she is in her Goodreads challenge until she finishes reading at least one book. She would rather look at the books she is supposed to be reading instead, and maybe find a way to track reading progress that will keep her motivated. Do you know of any reading challenges that are fun? Leave as link in the comments, and Aunt Anna will give them a look.

Life After Launch

Please note that is “launch,” not “lunch.” Lunch has not happened yet as I write this, and I am more of a breakfast and dinner girl, anyway. Aunt Melva is sending Aunt Anna some more pictures from the book launch, to share with everybody The pictures look like everybody had a really fun time, and Aunt Anna says they did. Now, all of the reception leftovers are gone, except for the memories, and it is back to business on all things reading, writing, and blogging related, not necessarily in that order.

So far, Aunt Anna is planning to show what planners she is using to keep her writing stuff in line, at least for the time being, at the start of next week. I suspect she will move a lot of things around before then, but as long as she settles on something that makes sense, that is all that matters.

There has also been talk of getting a real cat bed for me, to keep next to the glowy box. Anything is a “real” cat bed, as long as there is a real cat sleeping on it, but I have heard that the motel will want their towel back when we move into our real apartment, and so it’s probably best to get something in place now, so I can know it is mine when we do pick up sticks and set down roots in a different place.

That’s about it for this week’s post. Not that much to report, it’s true, but it’s a brand new month, beginning today, and Thanksgiving month, at that. For those who are curious, yes, I will get a special dinner on Thanksgiving day, but it will be chicken, not turkey, because my mom told Aunt Anna that turkey and my tummy are Not Friends. We won’t go into how my mom found out that bit of information.

Wait. There is one other development this week, which I think needs to be included. I have a new Thing that I do. Sometimes, the humans don’t immediately stop what they are doing (including sleeping) when I ask them to play, so now, to show them I am Really Serious, I bring them my Mousie toy. I also have crinkly foil balls, which are fun, but I only ever bring them Mousie. When a cat brings you a slimy stuffed mouse, trailing a long string, it is an expression of love. There is a lot of love around here.

Okay, that’s really it. Headbonks!

short-haired calico cat, eating out of a pink bowl. Handwriting font reada "love, Storm"

Not At RWA Nationals (Again)

Welp, it’s that time of year again. July. Middle of summer. The lull between heat waves. It’s also the time for Extroverted Romance Writer Christmas, aka RWA Nationals. Several of my fellow romance writer friends post on social media about shopping for clothes and shoes, asking opinions on makeup or hair, what to pack, who can meet up where, and whether friends who are in the city (I’m in NY state: we have one City and one Island) but not going to the conference, or are going to the public parts of the conference, can meet up for extracurricular activities.

All of that stuff sounds wonderful to me, especially since real life stuff has kept me from the last two NECRWA regional conferences (CT Fiction Fest, this past September, almost a year ago now was a lifesaver) and the fact that this year’s conference is held in my home state of NY does give an extra pinch. It moves around from year to year, often in sunny locations, which are not great for me, as I am heat and sun sensitive, and have had full-on heat stroke in the past, so I have to be extra-careful in choosing summer activities. This could also be a plus, because staying in the conference hotel the whole darned weekend is entirely doable and, for me, the norm.

Spending a weekend, in this case a long weekend, locked in a hotel with a few hundred people who love the books that I love, who love writing the books that I love to write, who know what it’s like to have the voices in our heads translate into words on a page, so we can share the adventures of our imaginary friends, that’s pretty much my idea of the best vacation ever. Not that conferences, for the working writer, are a vacation, because it’s most assuredly work, attending workshops (or giving them) and discussions and networking in hallways, elevators, and hotel rooms, hotel bars, hotel lobbies, and the ever-popular, ever-crowded public hotel rest rooms.

This year, especially, it would have been wonderful to go. Melva and I have a new book, our first together, Chasing Prince Charming, coming out, in less than three weeks. Fewer than three weeks? See, there’s another reason I need to socialize with other writers. They help me do English gooder. I have one historical novella out in the querying process, and two full length historical romances that are getting ready to make the rounds again. A conference is a place where there are tons of other writers who have been in the same or similar positions, and talk stuff out with them. For the extroverted writer, talking things out is absolutely crucial. Sometimes, I don’t know what I’m thinking until I can talk about it. That’s part of the process.

So, what am I doing instead? I wish I could say we are not still fighting the battle of the bugs, but we are. Not at the same intensity as it once was. The few bugs that we see are slow moving and far fewer than earlier generations, so we are hopefully moving in the right direction. There are the normal domestic tornadoes, but manageable ones, and keeping an eye on the aforementioned social media posts from friends who are in attendance, is, in its own way, the next best thing to being there.

What can’t be experienced secondhand, though, is the connections that are only made at conferences. Melva’s and my writing partnership was born at a conference, because breakfast was late. While we waited for the doors to open, we commented to each other what a diverse lot of writers were in attendance. a writer of YA fantasy might be chatting with a writer of m/m contemporary romance, who is sitting next to a writer of erotic historicals, who is rooming with a writer who has been writing category inspirationals for literally decades, who is sitting next to a wide-eyed first-time attendee, who is almost done with the first draft of their first book. They think. How do they find a critique partner and what’s a beta reader, and OMG, that’s Big Name Writer over there.

It’s going around the table, asking what everybody’s favorite book is, answering with your own all time number one, only to be met with a shriek of joy from the total stranger across the table, who of course has to sit next to you now that you have the same favorite book, and, years later, is now a friend. It’s having the opportunity of sitting next to someone who whips out their electronic device to prove that they are actually reading one of your books right the heck now, and you try to be cool because it’s your first time seeing your book on someone else’s device.

It’s going home with an extra suitcase full of swag (Hannah Howell’s iconic purple pens are Pentel RSVP, now one of my favorite ballpoints, for those who hoard her swag pens and wish they came in more colors; they do.) and oh so many books. Some of them were free, right there on plate or chair at every meal, given away during a workshop, or as a door prize, some of them purchased at the literary signing, and personally autographed by an author who is, indeed, a lovely person. There may or may not, depending on one’s luck (I think I once posted about The Year Anna Won Everything, but part of it does happen to Meg, in Chasing Prince Charming) be some sort of gift basket (or other receptacle) to wrangle into the car, or onto some other form of transportation. Some people may be mailing things home.

When I lived in the old country, I Had a post-conference routine. I would lug my bags upstairs, then trot on down the street, to buy myself dinner, with an unsweetened iced tea, and write in my notebook about how I felt about the entire experience (of the conference, not dinner.) Coming back from a conference, I am full of energy, and buzzing, and it’s hard to come back to the everyday routine of living. Now that I’m here, a new ritual will emerge, once I get back in the conference swing. Most of all, a conference, and even writing about a conference, makes me want to write. It reminds me not only that I love to write romance, but why, and shows me ways -there are always ways- in which I might do that even better. Thankfully, when it comes to conferences, there are a lot of them, so if I’m not at this one, maybe next year.

Reverse Hibernation (aka My Summer Happy Place)

I am not a summer person. Not even close. Not even a little. I am sun and heat-sensitive, so, on weeks like this, when all of the daytime temperatures are in the nineties, a form of summer hibernation makes a whole lot of sense. Reverse hibernation, as I call it, works very well with the nocturnal phase of summer, when I am more active at night, sleepier in the daytime, which actually is a good thing, because summer usually sees me sadder, less energetic, and all-around-itchy.

Yesterday, I found my happy place, at least where writing during the summer is concerned. My worktable, once my dining room table, faces the living room window, open now, with a view of my houseplants, trees outside, and my beloved notebooks, pens, and a big jar of washi (decorative tape) in shades of pink. There will be a cool drink at my left hand, possibly a salty snack at my right, and a cookbook holder (vintage) holds my tablet. The box fan whirs, cool air on my bare legs. The whir of the fan may be the only sound, as I put pen to paper, or I may have my tablet tuned to music, podcast, or ambient sounds. My favorites in that department tend to be nature sounds, or atmospheric, like “coffee house on a rainy day,” with my all time favorite being a combination of rain, fireplace, and purring cat. One day, I hope that will be the actual sounds in my actual environment, but, for now, that reasonable facsimile will do.

Back to yesterday. I had a scene due for Drama King, and my Camp NaNo work to do, blog entry shoved off until today, because fiction has to come first, and I didn’t so much think about this new sort of work environment; it happened, all on its own. I opened my Drama King notebook, no need for headphones, as I had the apartment to myself, and off I went, the scene spilling out onto the page. After that, I didn’t want to go right back to the computer, and my Alphasmart was right there, so, once again, the bloop effect comes into play.

The writing flowed, the transcription flowed, and the touch of a button moved the transcribed pages from Alphasmart to word processing program. From there, it was a quick spellcheck, a change of formatting, and, once again, bloop, over to Melva, for her approval, in more than enough time for our weekly chat.

This is not a magic switch, by any means, but there is something special about having a creative space that is mine, where writing can be not in the same place where I watch You Tube and answer emails. It’s writing, not typing (sorry, Dad) and, for me, that makes a difference. This feels natural. This feels right. I can get to the end of a writing day, feeling satisfied instead of drained, and I look forward to settling in for the next session, pen to paper first

This kind of thing is organic for me. I have to splash around in the shallows until I start swimming, and then, after that, its’ all potatoes. (Family term, meaning “everything will be easier after X.”) I get to the end of my list, and then it’s time to take a break, most likely to watch aforementioned You Tube videos, mostly about traveler’s notebooks and/or bullet journaling. Sometimes I watch Book Tube videos, which makes me think about how fun it is to make video blogs, and that may happen, but, for now, it’s fiction first. After that? A long summer’s nap sounds lovely.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Officially Summer Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart- Bowling once again, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. Since today is the Summer Solstice, it makes sense that we have hit that time of year when Writer Chick turns nocturnal. That means zero chance of sleep at night (yep, she is already talking to her people vet about this; should all be sorted soon) but as soon as morning hits, slumber party for one. A few hours after that, we get what Dude calls the “mini-rage,” or Writer Chick’s displeasure that her favorite and most productive part of the day is now past

This will all even out soon, as the days grow shorter once more (aka the darkness returns, bwahahaha, as Writer Chick puts it) and we get ever closer to that wondrous time of year, autumn, when Writer Chick’s super powers come into play. This is perfect timing, because the release of Chasing Prince Charming is on August 12th (12th August if you are British. Writer Chick is not British, but the family’s closest neighbors when Writer Chick was learning some basic life skills -aka toddlerhood- were from Scotland, and Writer Chick’s mom’s best friend was British, so this may explain why Writer Chick naturally writes her dates day/month/year instead of month/day/year, and sometimes puts extra L’s and U’s in odd places.)

That UK influence got in there early.

As you may be able to guess by the different tone of today’s post, and the fact that I have a Greatest Hits picture up top, instead of a new one, we have also hit the very first Sebastian’s Choice entry, which is different from the usual Friday blogs in that I get to talk about whatever I want. For those who have asked about preorders of Chasing Prince Charming, Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick say thank you, and they will get that information to you, as well as the link to their brand new website, ASAP.

Available August 12th, ordering information ASAP

Since having an upcoming release, having stuff out on queries/submissions/etc, preparing for Camp NaNo in July, and One Book July (a planner thing) is a lot to handle, Writer Chick is tearing her planners down to the bare bones and remaking them, to serve her in a more efficient manner. This means some ring binders will no longer be planners, but regular binders, as they get assigned to one particular project, and some may go up for sale, as will some planner guts (aka unused pages) but sorry, readers, no handsome stuffed orange boys are in that lot. Cat Regent is an appointed position, and not transferable.

Naptime is fast approaching, so if you’re here for Writer Chick stuff, her Buried Under Romance post this week is about classic historical romance authors who are still bringing the goods in this modern, indie-publishing age. Click the caption to go to it.

For Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge, she has passed the fifty percent mark (I think I said that already) and is now fifty-two percent of the way to her goal, with forty-nine books read our of her goal of ninety-five. As you may presume, reading is an excellent way to get through those slumberless parties Writer Chick’s brain throws on summer nights.

Welp, time for me to go watch the birdies/let the breeze blow through my tummy fur/take a nap, so catch you on the flip side. If you see a black-garbed wraith roaming the stacks of a Barnes and Noble (maybe craft stores, too) with a water bottle in one hand and a planner in the other, that is probably Writer Chick.

Peace out,

Summer Thoughts

Monday’s post on Tuesday again, and I am okay with that. Yesterday was spent writing on Drama King, then my weekly Skype session with Melva Michaelian. My weekly breakfast with N is on Thursday this week, so the morning was found time to knuckle down and write…until I got a message from Sue Ann Porter, telling me she was five minutes away, and did I want to hang out? Umm, yes. We hadn’t had a chance to be face to face since January, so, around my kitchen table, and seasonally appropriate beverages, we got current.

We talked writing, and books. I cracked open Goodreads to recommend Panic by Lauren Oliver, and my heart swelled when Sue Ann told me how much she loved My Outcast Heart, and would love to see it as a Hallmark-ish movie. That would be fun. Right now, I’m focusing on getting it a new home in book form, which still needs to take a number.

We were joined, after a short while, by Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, Cat Regent and discussed having Sebastian join us for a proposed vlog about our shared appreciation of Poldark. I need to get current, because life last summer was kind of hectic, but, this year, it looks smoother. We discussed how much we like the verisimilitude of the historical atmosphere of the story world, and how we both like our historical romances to have a strong historical influence along with the romance, what makes a good romance novel, and what it takes to get a reader to want to come along for the ride, in any genre of fiction.

There was also a surprise visit by a local candidate, friendly and charismatic, encouraging voters to get to the polls. All too soon, Sue Ann and I both had to go back to life as planed, but I told her this was exactly the kind of summer I want to have. Filled with writing, and reading, and hanging out with good friends, coming away from the visit, not stressed over work time that was missed, but energized to get back to it, refreshed and refueled. I could get used to that kind of thing.