Typing With Stuffed Paws: Doorway Into Summer Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, once again, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. I had thought about taking the day off, because sunbeam, but A) Writer Chick said something about reliable blogging, and how schedules are….actually, I don’t remember the rest, because I tuned her out. Also B) Other Chick had a family emergency and the whole household has been domestic tornado-y. Actually, I’m not sure how that ties into why I am blogging today, but whatever. I’m here, you’re here, let’s do this.

Okay. Thing one here is usually Buried Under Romance stuff, and there is a lot of that going on at the moment. Long story short, big changes are afoot. Writer Chick says they are good ones, more details later, blah blah, that kind of thing. She said something about change being proof that a thing is living and growing and there will be more to say on that soon, as soon as she gets to talk to some other humans . One thing that hasn’t changed is that she’s still blabbering about romance novel reading once a week. Last week, she talked about To Be Read lists. Hit the link here or in the caption above if you’d like to see what she’s got on hers, or share what’s on yours.

Next, we have Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge update. I am impressed. Thanks to audiobooks (and insomnia, keeping it real here) Writer Chick has now brought her challenge stats into acceptable range. Only one book behind schedule now, she has read thirty-eight out of ninety-five books, which puts her at forty percent of the way to her goal. Not too shabby at the half-year mark. She still needs to update her “I Wrote It” section, but she’s been busy, okay?

Coming soon, oh so soon…

Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have cleared one of the last hurdles in the prep for Chasing Prince Charming‘s debut, continue work on Drama King, and kind of sort of accidentally planned out three holiday stories, that would fit pretty well into a single collection, but one never knows with those two. I mean, seriously, they got a whole book out of waiting for breakfast.

to camp or not to camp?

With June about to pounce, that means July is on the horizon, which means that Camp NaNo is also looming (unless Writer Chick is looking at the wrong calendar, which, let’s be honest, happens a lot.) Writer Chick already has a binder set up for what she has in mind, which is turning “The Fox and the Lily” into Plunder. This will involve Dutch pirates, emotional trauma, and possibly the English Civil War. Which is to say, exactly the way Writer Chick likes this kind of thing.

That’s about what I’ve been authorized to share for the week, so check back next time to see what stuff Writer Chick and company have been up to, including but not limited to some intense summer reading planning.

Peace out,

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Typing With Stuffed Paws: Changey Changey Change Change Edition

Greetings, foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling coming at you, with all the stuff from the week that was, and then some. As the erratic blog posting we’ve seen lately can attest, Writer Chick is spread kind of thin these days, but things are cool. I do not only say that because I am currently in front of the box fan, but I can’t deny that’s part of it.

The biggest domestic tornado is that one of Other Chick’s human relatives went to Rainbow Bridge. Dude is about to start new employment adventures, including what the humans call “continuing education.” Writer Chick has been not so much in the sleeping department, which has to be addressed, but the upside to that is that she has been listening to a lot of romance writing podcasts, which is a whole other story. She’ll talk about that later

The new worktable is working pretty darned well, and gives Writer Chick both physical and mental space to spread out and get where she’s going. This past week, she’s been focused on the final-final-final galley of Chasing Prince Charming, as is Other Writer Chick, and getting up to speed on the writing schedule for both Drama King and Her Last First Kiss.

The big-big news, and I probably should have led with this, is that the wait for “The Fox and the Lily” is over. America’s Emerging Literary Fiction Writers: Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania edition is now available. Click on the caption in the above picture to grab a copy for your very own.

This was also the week that Writer Chick finally got it that Camp NaNo is in July, not June. She is slightly disgruntled about that, because she was all ready to roll, and may do so anyway, then do it again on the “official” run in July. Who can tell at this stage of the game, but she is motivated to plot out all of Cornelis and Lydia’s story, and get that ball rolling. This very much fits with her plan to step it up in the writing game, and smush that self doubt. Self doubt is the enemy of many a writer, and Writer Chick is pretty well sick of it by now. We will see how that goes.

The other thing Writer Chick has been doing is setting up her and Other Writer Chick’s new website, (link to come, when there is something to link to) which is a whole new learning curve, but she’s having a good time figuring things out. Writer Chick always did like the whole run off the dock, cannonball into the water, and then splash around until she comes up with a plan kind of thing. This very much fits into that, and starting new ventures does put a spring in her metaphorical step.

Not that Writer Chick is neglecting her regular duties. She was, as usual, at Buried Under Romance, this past week, This time, she’s sharing five books she wants to reread, ASAP. Which one do you think she should read? Pop on over to the link below, to find out, and, if the spirit moves, weigh in; you’re never too late.

Writer Chick is back at her Goodreads Challenge, and to posting reviews. Right now, she is only four books behind schedule, with thirty-three books read, out of ninety-five. That puts her at thirty-five percent of the way to her goal. This, she considers a challenge she can crush. She even has a plan of how she can not only get current on that reading schedule, but move ahead of it.

If you know Writer Chick at all, you know she loves to plan, and the current situations most assuredly call for a lot of planning. This is completely fine by her, and quite appropriate for the time of year when things are blooming, blossoming, and being born. Whatever she gets up to, rest assured I will be here to keep you up to date on all the stuff.

Peace out,

Five Books I Can’t Wait To Read (non-romance edition)

Putting on my reader hat for this post, as redoing a couple of my planners involved redoing my TBR lists (yes, plural,) and if you’re reading this blog, you’re a reader, a writer, orboth. In short, more books are always good. Here is a short list of five books, all outside of genre romance, that I can’t wait to get my hands on, and  why. All of these titles are either newly released or soon to be released, and I expect, when each one of them is in my posession, that I wil inhale it at a truly astounding speed. This will hopefully alleviate some of the guilt I feel at having to return multiple library books unread, because the library needs them back. That’s another post, though, and I will assuredly re-borrow those titles and read them ASAP. For now, I am looking to the horizon, which includes these tasty morsels:

When We Believed in Mermaids – Barbara O’Neal (aka Barbara Samuel, aka Lark O’Neal, aka Ruth Wind) (women’s fiction)

This one is a no-brainer, because A) I will resd anything with any of this author’s names on it, and B) I have an EARC, direct from the author, which will in  no way affect my upcoming review of this book. Really and truly, the author’s name is all it will take for my ears to perk, and the mention of mermaids (this is not a paranormal, as far as I know) also caught my attention. Sisters, secrets, New Zealand, a loved one who is not so dead after all, emotional trauma, and…yeah, I am there.

Life and Limb — Jennifer Roberson (western urban fantasy)

This may be a slightly unusual addition to this list, because I am not usually one for westerns, or urban fantasy, but this is Jennifer Roberson, author of the Tiger and Del series. Tiger and Del are one of my all time favorite couples, easily able to hold their own as romance hero and heroine, the sort who go through hell together, and still come out on top. I literally squealed when I saw that this author did, in fact, have a new book coming out, and only read the description after I had put it on my Want To Read list on Goodreads. I am more than happy to go into this new series mostly blind. I trust the author to take me somewhere good.

The Golden Hour — Beatriz Williams (historical fiction/historical women’s fiction)

There is most certainly a trend here, because Beatriz Williams (aka Juliana Gray,) is another upon whose books I will pounce like a cat on a red dot, without knowing squat doodle about the plot. For this one, we get Nassau (Bahamas) during WWII, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, a recently widowed magazine writer heroine, a mysterious scientist hero with secrets of her own, and oh, who cares what else? Beatriz Williams. Take. My. Money.

State of the Union: A Marriage in Ten Parts — Nick Hornby (general fiction/ Lad lit)

A story I have not yet read, from the master of the TEA? That’s Tolerably Ever After, not the beverage, tea, or the meal, tea, though the author is likely familiar with both, as he’s British. How do I love Nick Hornby? Let me count the ways: About a Boy; Juliet, Naked; A Long Way Down; Slam. Brooklyn, and An Education, if we want to talk screenplays, and I even read, and was profoundly affected, in a good way, by a short story called “Nipple Jesus” (trust me, it was not salacious or disrespectful, in any way.) This is another one where I knew I wanted to read it before I knew the premise (still really don’t, and, again, I am perfectly content to go into this one blind)  because life in Hornby land generally seems to go my way.

Comics Will Break Your Heart — Faith Erin Hicks (YA)

This is another easy one, because I am completely helpless in the facce of YA that has any trace of geekery about it. Fangirl, Scarelt Epstein Hates It Here; Geekerella; Eliza and Her Monsters; Radio Silence, and more. I could read those forever and never get tired of them. There is a central romance in this story, so it kind of counts as romance, but what drew me was the comics aspect. Our heroine’s family would have been sitting pretty financially, if their grandfather hadn’t sold his interest in what’s now a mega comics franchise, for a pittance, way back when, so of course our hero has to be the scion of the family that now owns that share. Stop there, tell me no more, the library gets this book back when I’m done with it, but then I’m buying my own, because dang, I love this kind of stuff, though all that I have read so far has been from the library. I need some geeky YA keepers of my own. Never know when I want to pet some of them. Comes with the territory.

For those surprsed that there are no genre romance books on this list, that is a separate list, coming soon. Possibly more than one list, because romance is indeed a wide umbrella. With that, I am off to the library. What’s on top of your TBR pile?

If I List Them, Will They Come?

I’ve been thinking a lot about reading goals. This may be, in part (large part) due to the fact that I have a new printable reading tracker, which means I do not have to draw a rough facsimile of a bookshelf in my big writing planner. The rest of the parts are my mounding TBR list, my mounding reader guilt, and the happily increasing amount of friends’ books I would like to read, even though the number of hours in the day does not change. Still twenty-four, for those who are curious. Planning is part of my process, in reading as well as writing, and it generally takes me to the place I meant to go, even if I had left the metaphorical house on an aimless ramble.

Those rambles do tend to have a purpose, which fits into my being firmly in the puzzler camp when it comes to plotter vs pantser. I can’t pick one. It’s both. Jump in, splash around, and the way will become clear. This is why, when I go to the library, with a notion to find some nonfiction, I do not go to the computer (I will always want to type “card catalog” in this circumstance) or even pay that much attention to the Dewey Decimal system. Nope, I’ll wander the stacks, peep at the books on the end of the nearest shelf, see how close to or far from the topic I want -let’s say writing- and proceed accordingly. Languages? Oh good, English is a language. I write in English. Dum de dum dum dum, poetry, getting closer, oh look, plays, annnnd here we are.

My big writing goal, right now, is to read more romance, specifically historical romance. I have a good balance of historical romance, contemporary YA, and graphic novels, waiting on my TBR shelf (in this apartment, it really is only one shelf, and the vast majority of that from the library system) and I really do want to read every single book I have borrowed, and more hot on their tails, so time to put on the big girl panties, pour a seasonally appropriate beverage, and get down to business.

I don’t want to be one of those writers who doesn’t or can’t read in the genre they’re writing, while they’re writing it, and, before, that had not been the case. If that’s changed, I suppose I will adapt, but I would prefer not to have to make that adjustment. I also don’t want to be the person who buys and/or borrows books, and then doesn’t read them, the size of the TBR piles (plural) topped only by the crushing reader guilt. Maybe that would squash everything to the same base level, in order to begin all over again? I don’t know. Maybe that’s how it works, or maybe it isn’t.

As often happens with other things in my life, what usually puts things in perspective is to make lists, and so that is what I am doing. A lot of lists, as a matter of fact, and I am very sure I am not done with said list-making. What kinds of historical romances do I like the most? What are the books that have worked the best for me? Why? What books haven’t? What are keywords that will ensure I pick up a historical romance, knowing nothing else about the book, and, the flip side, what keywords will ensure that I put that book right back where I found it, because one reader’s “meh” is another’s “woohoo!” (Sims players, I know what I said.)  Lists of questions, as well, like “how can I find books I am not currently finding?”

That’s a big one. I am fairly certain I am at least part unicorn, because I tend to have a good deal of what I will term niche loves. While I love historical romance as a whole, I get especially excited to see books set anywhere between the end of the Wars of the Roses and the end of the American Revolution. Medievals get a close second, and an honorable mention goes to the Edwardian era, on either side of the Atlantic. My ears will always perk at the mention of Australia (Candace Proctor, I have left a light on for you) or heroine disguised as male, no matter the historical period. Show me the words, “epic,” or “saga,” in the blurb, and I most definitely want to read further. I love me some angst, fairy tale retellings are wonderful, houses/locales that are almost characters in their own rights, alpha heroines are the best, and my favorite sort of series is generational. I am sure this will all end up in some sort of chart in the near future, and I will probably share it here, when it does.

Listing books I want to read, or to re-read, or to finally read, is the fun part. Narrowing it down to what I want to read right now is tougher, and toughest of all is finding the times when I can read the books I want to read, the way I want to read them. Again, same amount of numbers in the day no matter what I read, and the thought of reading fewer books of any type, to make room for another sort of book, again, no matter the type, pains me. Even so, it comes down to the whole “how bad do you want it?” question. In this case, quite a lot.

That means it’s worth the effort, and time to do thing X can be found by not doing thing Y. I already watch a lot less TV than I used to, especially when I was recapping. In fact, I don’t even know how to turn on our TV. I do have Netflix and Hulu, and do have to-watch lists for both, but it’s time to get back into the reading habit. Time to reclaim the pleasure and ritual of reading historical romance, ensuring that I block out the time I need to sink into the immersive world that I love the very best. Talking about something is always a huge incentive for me to actually do that thing, so I will probably be talking more about reading historical romance here. Hm. I’d probably better start making some lists.

What Do Planner Pages and Fiction Genres Have in Common?

Still not the actual planner post, but getting closer, and, seeing as how we are over the midway point of the month, I may let this suffice and move on along because the start of yet another new month will be here before I know it.

The fact that Wednesday’s post is the first of the week should tell you all how Monday went. Nuff said about that. Let’s move on to better stuff, and by that, I mean planners and how they relate to the writing life. Last night was a big one at Stately Bowling Manor, because I learned two very important things that have me chittering like a cat at a bird sanctuary. Thing One is that the printer is now up and running, and Thing Two is that I finally figured out the exact difference between A6 and half-letter size. For the non-planner-obsessed, this sounds like Charlie Brown Adult speech. For those more planner-obsessed than myself, this may elicit a heartfelt “duh.”

If standard letter size paper is one sheet of the stuff one puts into the printer, then it follows that half-letter is half of that (folded short end to short end, specifically) and fits quite nicely into the mini binders sold at many chain office supply and/or megastores. A5 paper is the kind commonly sold for ring bound planners. Half letter paper is generally, in my experience, sold three-hole-punched, while A5 comes most commonly punched with six holes (I have seen some punched with four holes, but very seldom, and have not actually used any of those…yet.) The two are pretty darned close in size, which leads to the impression that they are interchangeable. The embarrassingly large amount of paper in my scrap file will attest. That paper will get repurposed, because I don’t like waste, but let’s move on with this bit o’ blabber.

In a reveal that surprises no-one, I love all things planner-related, and am not (yet) independently wealthy. Also, I have what we will call strong preferences. This would intimate that making my own inserts and fillers might be a good way to both save money and expand creativity. This also is where that scrap paper comes into play, or should i say existence. After longer than I would be proud to admit, of assuming that A) A5 and half letter are totally the same size, and B) the firm conviction that I have so been punching the paper according to the manufacturer’s instructions, I also took into account C) depth perception is part of my visual impairment. Maybe I might want to actually check out the dimensions the way it makes sense to me? What could it hurt?

So, going on the pro tip on how to tell black from navy blue (hold the color in question next to something that you 100$ know is black) I took a manufactured A5 page and a manufactured half letter page, each obviously different colors, put the one I suspected was smaller (spoiler: it’s A5) in front, and tapped them on a level surface (kitchen table.) Lo and behold, there it was, a bright white strip of paper above the colored A5 sheet. Mark the difference, remove the excess, punch holes, and…wait for it…boom, they line up with the manufactured A5 paper holes. This then segued into a frenzy of paper cutting and punching, culminating in me sitting back, contented as a cat in cream, looking at my handiwork.

Goodbye, pricey inserts in two different sizes. Hello, making whatever the heck I want, whenever the heck I want it. I’m off-leash at last, no fences, baby, woo. Except for the one teeny, small, infinitesimal complication that I do not have the first idea of how to create my own insert or filler, on the computer, which does throw a bit of a spanner in the works. Not a biggie, as I will figure it out, through a process of trial and error, and picking the hive mind of the interwebs. . There have to be templates out there somewhere, and where there’s templates, there’s historicals…er, tutorials. Total typo there, but I’m going to let it stand, because I am headed in that direction anyway.

But Anna, I hear those of you who live in my head asking, what does all of this have to do with writing commercial fiction? I am glad you asked that, people who live in my head, because that is an excellent question, and one I have been asking myself, until the answer naturally surfaced. Paper size is a lot like genre, in a sense. Sure, A5 and half letter may look the same to the casual viewer, and how big a difference can it be, anyway? As a quick inspection proves, quite a bit. One thing can’t fit in a container made for the other, but when we know what size is what and where all the holes are supposed to be (get your minds out of the gutter) the whole thing goes rather smoothly, and the creative mind can flood with ideas of fun things to do in all those lovely different sizes.

Some spreads that are perfect for A5 would never work in a half letter, or vice versa. Add in personal size, which is a heck of a lot smaller, but still fun and useful, and we’re talking a whole different story. Pun intentional. THat’s only talking ringbound. If we add traveler’s notebooks into the mix (strings rather than rings) we have whole new options, and whole new requirements. Do I love notebooks in general? Yes, with a wild, burning passion. Is there one objectively best format or size? Well, best for what? I’d need to ask some questions here. It’s the same for romance fiction. I would assume every other genre as well, or there wouldn’t be a need for both high and low fantasy (to say nothing of urban) cozy vs hard-boiled mysteries, hard vs soft SFscience fiction (if I’m using a wrong term for  different types of a single a genre, please let me know) and so forth.

A composition size planner is not going to fit in a tiny evening bag, and a bound notebook is not going to allow me to move pages around with ease. Genre is kind of like that. A light, humorous romance is not going to make me weep from angst leading to the HEA, while an epic historical is not going to be the best choice for a quick read that will give a case of the giggles. To paraphrase the late, great Eugenia Price, not all writers are going to please all readers. That’s why there are so many of us. I am more than okay with that.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to a chain office supply store to buy printer ink. I have a feeling I’m going to need it.


Typing With Stuffed Paws: The (Stuffed) Cat Came Back Edition

Greetings, foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff for the past, uh, while. Now that Writer Chick is no longer a galley slave, and has met her deadline, that gives her more time for other things, like checking to make sure I’m doing my share around here. Eh. I had a good run, and by run, I mean napping through the last couple of Fridays. Anyway, Dude is home today, he’s warm, and pretty good at napping, hi own self, so I think you know where this is going. Catnaps are always best when taken with actual cats, amirite?

Anyway, to speed us in that direction, let’s get down to business. First, as always, Writer Chick was at Buried Under Romance this past Saturday, and she wants your recommendations of books that might whet her reading appetite. Click here, or the caption below, if you think you might be able to help, or if you like hearing her ramble or whatever. Click for no reason, if you want. I’m not the boss of you.

As for what Writer Chick is reading, she’s working on getting back into the swing of the whole Goodreads challenge deal. Right now, she’s only three books behind, at twenty-three out of ninety-five books, which puts her at twenty-four percent of the way to her goal. Adequate progress, but y’know, weekend, TBR, all that stuff. Make it happen, Writer Chick.

Writer Chick has made some noise about making a list of library books, to keep in one of her planners, to get around the whole thing of figuring out she has to give back a bunch of books she didn’t get a chance to read, and can’t renew them, because they were renewed already, and Dude may or may not be teasing her about what he calls the “mini rage.” Lists and goals and stuff make her happy anyway. There could possibly be stickers involved. As long as the stickers don’t come in contact with my fur, then I don’t have a problem. If they do, well, let’s say that Writer Chick might get a chance to find out why my middle name is Thunderpaws. That’s all I’m saying.

Maybe new candles are the key to posting more pictures…

There’s also the whole Instagram thing. Seriously slacking on that one, Writer Chick. There may need to be some sort of Instagram progress chart to keep her going on this one. One the one paw, I am an excellent model, because, in addition to being handsome and orange, I am awesome at posing. By posing, I mean sitting still. Unlike poo cats, I do not walk off in the middle of the shoot, and, really, she should be taking advantage of that. There has been some buzz about taking me out on location shoots. Props may be involved. Not sure how I feel about this, but Writer Chick tells me it’s part of the whole Cat Regent thing, so I suppose I can go along until they find a suitable poo cat.

Peace out,

Typing With Stuffed Paws: General Update Edition

Greetings, foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling here, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. Since this is the second weekend of the month, that means it’s Writer Chick’s marathon weekend, with volunteering three times in two days. She likes all three opportunities, though it does mean time gets crunchy on second Fridays.

With that in mind, I have been instructed to get the compulsories out of the way as soon as felinely possible, and get to the important part. That would be the part where I talk about what I want, but she didn’t define it that way, in so many words. Then again, that never stopped me, so here we go.

As usual, Writer Chick was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday. If you want to know if there are any benefits to not-reading, the link in the caption will take you there.

Do they even exist?

As far as Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge is concerned, she refuses to even look at Goodreads, period, because she cannot and will not face no reading reports for three solid weeks. Granted, that happens to even the most dedicated reader, but she’s pretty salty about it, and has hopes that a YA anthology comprised entirely of scenes where the protagonists meet their love interests, will quickly put an end to the reading drought.

In case you’re wondering what has been keeping Writer Chick from doing all the reading she wants (apart from physics and law enforcement) allow me to drop a clue, in the form of the following image:

Writer Chick, hanging with some of her besties.



Basically, she’s writing. Since she and Other Writer Chick have a couple of weeks before they become galley slaves, they are seizing the opportunity to buckle down and make up for lost time working on Drama King. I completely support this endeavor, because that is the book where one of the characters is a badbutt orange boy. Not stuffed, but still a step in the right direction. Writer Chick took this picture during a Skype chat with Other Writer Chick. The pens are so she could get Other Writer Chick’s input on a color scheme for their combined brand/website. Other Writer Chick gave two thumbs up, so those are the colors they will be showing to Graphics Chick.

This week’s Skype session was especially productive, because they not only agreed on the color scheme and tagline for their combined site, but plotted an important section of the book, involving the handsome orange badbutt boy character. They also found, through their usual babble, that changing one supporting character, only a little bit, that clarified the overall theme of the book, and set up not only an almost-love-scene (with the hero and heroine, not with one of them and the supporting character) but one of the leads’ peak of their own character arc. That talk went on so long that Writer Chick’s phone battery drained, and she had to finish her thought in email.

Planner setup, Ikea-style

The picture above accounts for the rest of Writer Chick’s time. Taking a look at the calendars, both writing related and home/family, drove home the need for getting this chaos under control. Hence the construction of two planners, visually Very Different, so there is no getting them confused. This also helps Writer Chick prepare for the inevitable branching out into a planner/pen and paper blog, and possibly, as some have requested, maybe designing some planner fillers/inserts of her own, possibly even in exchange for currency.

As if that weren’t enough, Writer Chick is still debating whether she wants to participate in Camp NaNo this coming month, and she has some brainstorming to do for a submission to a historical fiction anthology. There is also that small (aka very big) matter of consistently moving forward with draft two of Her Last First Kiss, and, once Chasing Prince Charming has a release date, get back to editing A Heart Most Errant.

Yeah, I’m tired just typing that out, so it’s naptime for me. Catch you next week. Peace out.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Pre-Galley Slave Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff for the week that was. Writer Chick can’t believe it’s the first of March already, but with all the planners she has, this should not be a big surprise, but here we are. This also means that Writer Chick’s next post is about the state of at least one of those planners. I would say the whole planner obsession keeps her out of trouble, but we both know that isn’t true.

Writer Chick insists that I put the big news up front. Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have sent in all of the manuscript information and cover art information, so now they get to take a break and wait for the galleys to land on their desks. When that happens, it is their last chance (I think; I only skimmed the emails) to catch anything egregious before things go from manuscript to BOOK. Writer Chick insists I clarify that those weeks before they become galley slaves are not vacation time. They have to keep working on Drama King, and each of them have their own solo projects, so it’s really more of one less chain saw to juggle,

Since there will be one less chain saw to juggle, let me put it out there that Writer Chick could use some of that free time to focus on reading, because she is now two books behind schedule on her Goodreads Challenge. Good thing she has the weekend to get current on that one. Since she already has a loaded Kindle, and an audiobook on Overdrive, so she can technically read two books at the same time (she has not tried that, but she might, if she gets desperate enough. It could happen.)

As usual, Writer Chick was at Buried Under Romance, this past Saturday (she will be there again tomorrow) and this time, she talked about having nothing to read, because there is too much to read. If you’re looking for something to read, hit the link in the caption, and you can read that.

Earlier in the week, Writer Chick went to the local storage unit, with one task in mind: liberate three to five paperbacks from the first box of books she could reach, and bring them home. She is happy to report that her quest was successful, and will probably go a long way to bringing her Goodreads numbers back up to acceptable levels. Her criteria for choosing those books were few. A) she needed to be able to reach the box with the books in it. B) she had to be able to get the books out of the box, and C) they had to each have one thing (at least one thing) that she could point to and say that was why she was interested in that book.

Some of the criteria that could make the list would be things like: geographic setting, historical era, vague memories of reviews that said the book was highly emotional, a favorite character type, or stuff like that. Writer Chick will explain more about that later, either here or on Buried Under Romance. Suffice it to say, there are a lot of reasons Writer Chick might think she could like a particular book, and want to read it. Focusing there is a lot more fun than focusing on what isn’t lighting her fire.

Speaking of lighting fires, and today being the first of March (smooth transition, eh?) today is also the start of one of Writer Chick’s favorite workshops, 31 Days and 31 Ways to Jumpstart Your Abundance, courtesy of abundance coach Eryka Peskin. This workshop is free, and it is fun. Apparently, Writer Chick may get a bonus chance at a drawing or something if you join because of her, but it’s a great place to go to have people tell you you’re awesome, on Facebook. There is also the chance to catch more Writer Chick babble, if you’re into that sort of thing. Punch your paws on this link, below, to get more information, and/or join:

http://www.eryka.com/index.html

In other news Writer Chick took this family photo of most of her turquoise pens (yes, there are more of them that are not in this picture) to compare it against a turquoise pen sampler she saw at an online retailer. She does not accidentally have all of the pens in the sampler, but she does have enough of them that her better bet is probably to buy the pens she doesn’t have, individually. She also has some that are not in the sampler, so there’s that. May I point out her good taste in choosing pens that perfectly complement any handsome stuffed orange boys that might be lying around her work area? She’s very considerate about that. There may be hope for her yet.

This isn’t even all of them…

In review, Writer Chick needs to read more, has a lot of pens, and will soon become a galley slave. I’m off to stare at squirrels.


Peace out,

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Recalibration Edition

Greetings, foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. Last week, Writer Chick was down with a super disgusting cold. I don’t even want to talk about it. Suffice it to say that we are going to need more Febreze, and double dose me, while you’re at it, mkay? For those wondering where I was last week, when the Writer Chick is away, the handsome orange stuffed boy will play.

Astute readers will notice that Writer Chick did not post on Wednesday this week, and I can tell you why. She was asleep. Yep. This has been a stinky week for insomnia, so the other humans were under strict instructions that, if she slept, leave her be. Which means no Wednesday blog, this week. Writer Chick will probably toss in a bonus addition somewhere, because, as of next week, she and Other Writer Chick will be one step closer to Chasing Prince Charming getting real life book status. In this case, it means their very first review blurb is on its way, this one from M.P. Barker, a longtime friend, critique partner, and writer of awesome YA historical fiction. Other real life authors are lined up to say more (hopefully) nice things about this book in public, which has Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick pretty excited.

Because last week was sick week, and this week was insomnia week, this is going to be somewhat of a different entry. One constant is that Writer Chick was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, talking about the romance of audiobooks. Hit the caption if you want to see what she thought about that.

Now on to where the updates on Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge would normally go. From that disclaimer, you can probably guess why it is different. Writer Chick did not read anything this week. Well, that isn’t exactly true. She started a whole bunch of stuff, got a few pages into it and then wandered off. She also is technically listening to an audiobook, but, as things would turn out, she keeps falling asleep while listening to it, though very much interested in the story, so she will probably get the ebook and make sure she gets the whole deal that way.

This may give you some insight on why this is recalibration week. Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have been doing a lot of work on getting information for the upcoming release of Chasing Prince Charming. There is a bunch of stuff to do, some of which includes smushing a four hundred page book, written by two people, into a tweet, a back cover blurb, and other scarily small bunches of words. Writer Chick likes the challenge, though, and Other Writer Chick is handling the techy stuff (Other Writer Chick Spawn is apparently techy by trade, so Other Writer Chick has an ace in the hole on that front.)

While Other Writer Chick and her Spawn (OWC Spawn, for future reference) are in charge of the tech stuff, that doesn’t mean Writer Chick gets to sit back and eat bon bons. First of all, she is not sure exactly what bon bons are, and requests clarification before she puts them in her mouth. As they get closer to release, that means that talking to people and asking them to say nice things about the book comes into play, also finding places to wave the cover around (when they get it; that is coming soon) and ask people to let them blab about why people should buy this book. That stuff is much more up Writer Chick’s alley, and she is very much looking forward to that.

There has been other stuff going on around here, too. Though Writer Chick has not been having a lot of reading success, she has been watching some art tutorials, which leads to some very disturbing doodles.

Yeah, I don’t know about the lightbulb skull, either…

Writer Chick has also asked me to bring back updates on the Wars of the Roses, because they are back on, as of this week. While Writer Chick was down with her sinus infection, and up all night, both Tudor and Lancaster have put forth a single bud apiece. Lancaster is winning. His bulb is bigger, and it started to open first. There are now bits of red visible between the leaves of each bud, and the leaves are intermingling. Writer Chick will probably be repotting these guys fairly soon, but so far, so good.

Hey, there, Lancaster, ol’ bud…

Sunbeam is shifting from them to my favorite nap spot, so going to call it for this week. Peace out.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Hungry For More Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you, with all the stuff on the week that was. Valentine’s Day is less than one week away now. Writer Chick loves Valentine’s Day, and Dude is well aware of that. My only wish for that holiday, is that they either turn me around, or put me in another room. I don’t care which one. The utility closet would be fine. The living room would probably be best, because Writer Chick’s desk chair is Sebastian-sized, and it’s also the room where the TV is. Granted there is no Stuffed ANimal Channel (yet) but technology is making strides every day. Also, best case scenario, Other Chick will want to scoot out somewhere, and I can bring in my entire posse for a stuffed animal party. I’d tell you what kinds of stuff we get up to at such gatherings, but trade secrets and all that.

As always, Writer Chick was at Buried Under Romance this past Saturday. This time, she talked about how a blank bingo card led her to a new plan for her romance reading. Yeah, she’s weird like that, sometimes, but if you’re into that kind of thing, link is in the caption.

Will you rise to the challenge?

Next up is the update on Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge, which is holding steady at twelve books read, out of ninety-five. That puts her thirteen percent of the way to her goal, and two books ahead of schedule. This was not a very big week for reading, which Writer Chick does not particularly like, but these kinds of things happen. She’s not too worried about it, because, even though we are coming up on her marathon weekend (second weekend of the  month is always a big one around here) these weeks of not much reading find their complement in weeks of lots of reading. Since her friend, H, said the last few volumes of Fruits Basket should be on their way sometime this next coming week, and that Writer Chick may want to reread the whole thing, after she has seen how it all turns out, to catch all of the foreshadowing, my prediction is that there will be a sharp uptick in her pages read. This may also mean that she might finally get around to making her reading trackers for this coming year, because she has not done that yet, apart from a page count for January only. Granted, she did meet her pages read goal, and she has been hopping around through a few different planners, but really, Writer Chick, settle.

Speaking of which, the second round of edits have landed on Writer Chick and Other Chick’s desks, and they are getting through them pretty darned quickly. This may be due to a really good editor, but the big show is getting ever closer for Chasing Prince Charming.  Writer Chick is also getting through her second drafting of Her Last First Kiss Probably would be in her best interests to form some sort of tracker for that kind of stuff, too, but that will come in time. These kinds of things generally tend to show up in Writer Chick’s head when she needs them. She will probably show you all pictures of them, when they arrive.

All of Writer Chick’s appointments this week got moved around, so there were days when she wasn’t sure what day it actually was, which is not at all that uncommon with a lot of writers, I would imagine. It’s never the same day, exactly, in their heads as it is on the calendar. They are often removed by time and distance from so-called “real life,” which accounts for the slight delay as the writer’s forehead wrinkles, and they do some quick (or not so quick) mental gymnastics or mental arithmetic (I am not sure which one, and I am not particularly bothered by it, so pick whichever one fits your purposes best) to readjust and align their brains with the dairy aisle of the grocery store, or the instructions for the new blender, vacuum cleaner, or whatever, when only seconds before, they were on a pirate ship in the middle of the ocean, or whatever it is their story people are doing, and are going to continue doing, but without the writer person, so make it snappy, because they don’t want to be too far behind when they do get back to it.

Writer Chick, in particular, is still salty over that one time, when she was a teenager, and her father took her to Yankee Stadium, and she left her book in the car. Writer Chick is not into baseball, and she most certainly was into that book. To this day, she can tell you which book, and at what point, and how that was the one thing on her mind the entire elebenty billion hours the baseball people ran around the grassy patch in the middle of all the bleachers. All these years later, that is her one takeaway from that visit. All right, there was a blue and gray Yankees baseball shirt, and she liked that (it was comfy) but it made a break for the great beyond at some point. We both wish it well. It made a brief appearance in Writer Chick’s time travel manuscript (which is still taking a break) as the heroine’s favorite nightshirt. So far, it has not occurred to her to purchase another shirt of that variety, but maybe it has not occurred to her that blue is the complementary color to orange, as in handsome stuffed orange boy, so there could be aesthetically pleasing cuddling going on while she gets current on her reading goals. No pressure, but I’ll leave that thought right there. Couldn’t hurt.

Peace out,