Typing With Wet Paws: Pre-Book Launch Edition

Hi, Stormtroopers! Storm here, for another Feline Friday. Most of the stuff going on around here deals with the search for a new location of Stately Bowling Manor, and the upcoming book launch for Chasing Prince Charming. Yesterday was also Aunt Anna’s birthday. We played an intense game of catch the mousie toy, which was how I helped her celebrate. When I finally caught the mousie, I got gushy food. The humans had cake. Aunt Anna got some planner stuff, which was good because she really likes planner stuff.

It’s that time of year again

Things got busy this week at Buried Under Romance, not only because of Aunt Anna’s post, which is here, but also because there were excerpts from every story in the Winter Wishes holiday anthology, Part of the special feature is a giveaway of two paperback copies, which Anty Anna will talk about in her post there tomorrow.

I, for one, think the appeal is obvious

As far as Goodreads is concerned, Aunt Anna is very proud of finishing one book this week. She will talk about that late, as her head right now is pretty much entirely on the book launch thing. I will be staying at the motel with Uncle. I have new crinkle ball toys, so that sounds pretty fun.

All of that new planner stuff isn’t here only to look pretty (although it is not as pretty as me…but then what could be?) It has a job to do. While Aunt Anna will not be participating in NaNoWriMo this November, that does not mean she doesn’t want to see how she can best manage her writing time. I am not promising how much of that planning she will share here, but she will probably say more about that.

She will also share more about the book launch when it is over, with pictures and stories, and maybe the seeds of a new story or two. Those things do tend to happen when she and Aunt Melva are left unsupervised, and when she has long periods of time, like when she is traveling, to think up story things. She already has a notebook stashed in the car, in case she needs it. Spoiler alert: she will need it.

Anyway, part of her interest in planning for this year is figuring out what kinds of stickers or spreads she might like to have to keep her on track. She will probably try making these things herself rather than try to find them to purchase, but if you know of any such things, leave links in the comment section and she will investigate. She loves planner stuff. I also like planner stuff, specifically laying on it so she can’t use it and can only pet me.

Okay, I think that’s it for right now. , but I will be back next week, and we’ll have more fun then. Until then, have a good one.


Writing With a Velcro Cat (and book launch information)

Cats and writers are a natural combination. In the year and change since Skye went to Rainbow Bridge, I have sorely missed having feline supervision while I write. Now that Storm has joined the family, that need is most assuredly filled, though I am taking some time to learn her particular management style. For one thing, please refer to the photo below:

she has a top to her head, I promise

Yes, Storm does have a top to her head. I took this picture last night, after she herded me to bed, which is a thing she does now. Herds me to bed, and then sits on me. Sits. On. Me. I have to be on my back, she has to be in full cat loaf position, feets tucked under, and we blink at each other for a while, until she moves between me and Real Life Romance Hero, signaling that it is truly sleepy times now. If I do not comply in a timely manner, then there will be chirps and walks across my person until I do, at which point Storm settles on my other side, with loud rumble purrs.

That’s bedtime sorted. Writing time, well, we are still working on that. One of the reasons our family made a good match with Storm is that she has some separation anxiety, and I work at home. Even before we have an actual home, this means that Storm is going to have a hooman with her most of the time. Ideally, I will be within her sight. This means that bathroom doors need to be open at least a crack. For writing, we have a few issues.

Right now, we’re trying a mini-bed on the desk, next to my monitor, toys at the ready when she really really really needs some attention. There may be treats available, possibly for both of us (not the same treats; human treats and kitty treats do not intersect. Except for organic peanut butter.) So far, this seems to be working, as Storm can see my face and my screen, she’s comfy, and I can give her pets and we can both take care of important business. Photos to follow if this works out.

Also to follow are…books. Melva and I are on track to a rough draft of Drama King before the holiday season takes over, and I am planning on getting Her Last First Kiss to the end of the second draft as soon as possible, because this whole having a book out thing is kind of cool, and the only way I can get there is to write more books. I have three historicals to shop around, and Melva and I are working on more contemporaries. Anything beyond that? Sure, when the right ideas presents themselves. Always romance, though, or at least a strong romantic element.

Melva and I are now two weeks out from our first in-person book launch, for Chasing Prince Charming. If you are in the Western MA area, or can get there, you can meet Melva and me, live and in person. Storm will be staying home with Real Life Romance Hero, but Sebastian might tag along, if he doesn’t have more pressing matters on his agenda. The press release is as follows:

We’re celebrating the publication of Chasing Prince Charming
by Melva Michaelian and Anna Bowling, a romance novel on the sophisticated side of sexy!

We’re excited about another success in Anna’s and Melva’s writing careers and the release of this first of three books in the Love by the Book series, published by Wild Rose Press.

Please join us for a reading, book signing, and discussion about their collaborative writing, which was a long-distance effort (Melva is a local writer, and Anna, originally from Enfield, CT, now lives in New York). A small quantity of books will be available for purchase at the event, but we recommend you purchase a copy in advance on Amazon.

Wearing red shoes, sneakers, boots, or other footwear is suggested (but not required).

This event is free and open to the public. No reservations are needed.

Learn more about Anna’s and Melva’s collaborative efforts at www.melvaandanna.com

Sound like fun? I’ll be there. Also, I am technically originally from Hampton, Virginia, then NYC, then Westchester, then CT, then VT, then CA, CT again and back to NY. Yeah, I got around. Roots are down now, or will be as soon as we are moved into the next location of Stately Bowling Manor.

Update: there is a new peril to writing with a Velcro cat. That is when said Velcro cat claims the keyboard as hers by rubbing against it, and inadvertently cranking the speaker volume way up high. I think I can get used to that.

Working on a new sign off picture…

Typing With Wet Paws: Perfect Storm Edition

Hi! I’m Storm. What are your names? I am new here. My mom is on a top secret mission (I think she is a super hero) to help some very important people, so I am going to stay with these guys. So far, I am calling them aunts and uncle, but we will see how things develop. If you have been following Aunt Anna on Facebook or Instagram, then you have probably seen pictures of me. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of those pictures, follow the hashtag #calicolovestorm on Instagram. There are only a few pictures up there now, but I have only been here for about a week. Give everybody some time.

The search for a new location for Stately Bowling Manor is, hopefully, drawing to a close. Aunt Anna will have more information on that later, but for now, let’s focus on me. I am a beautiful calico girl, about two years old, but I might still have some growing to do. My legs are super long. When we had to be in the car for a while, I rode in Uncle’s lap, in my carrier, and I yelled a lot. The humans got very concerned, until they realized I wasn’t scared. I was mad. The view stunk. I wanted to be held up so I could see out the window.

Anyway, we are all still getting acquainted. Sebastian said something about me taking over the Friday blogs. Then he rolled over and snored. I guess this is what he means. Aunt Anna still has some numbers to crunch before she can update her Goodreads challenge, and she has been busy with moving things for the last couple of weeks, but there is a lot of fun stuff coming very soon at Buried Under Romance.

On the writing front, I will be assuming mews duties. So far, this largely consists of me batting the pen out of Aunt Anna’s hand when she writes longhand. I am also super good at lying next to her and purring (I have a loud, rumbly motor under all this sleekness) when she needs to think about stories, or read stories somebody else already wrote. I can also help her watch TV shows on her tablet, but with fair warning. My mom showed me a computer game where I can smack a virtual mouse, so I kind of do that when there are other things on the screen, too, hoping the mouse will appear. Aunt Linda was not too thrilled when I did that yesterday, when she was playing a game that did not have any mice in it. Sorry not sorry.

Since things are headed n a back to normal direction these days, I will leave it to Aunt Anna to mention the chance to meet her and Aunt Melva in person. All I will say for now is that if you are in or near Western MA on the morning of October 26th, and like it when authors talk about books, there will be something super special coming your way. Aunt Anna is looking forward to putting down roots and getting back into the normal swing of things. I, of course, will be su-purr-vising (cat pun, couldn’t resist) it all. I’m a mews now. That’s what I do.


Typing With Stuffed Paws: Midsummer Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff for the week that was. If you read Writer Chick’s posts, and not only mine, then you may have learned that the answer to the burning question, “Will Chasing Prince Charming come out in print?” is “yes.” Preorder for the print edition is not yet up, but Amazon US is showing the “show other editions” or whatever tag, so that may be coming soon. Watch this space for updates.

Since we are in high summer over here, and still fighting the battle of the bugs (Writer Chick sometimes mumbles something about putting the bugs on the lease, giving them the keys, and heading out to start a new life. She would of course bring me, so I am fine either way.)

Bit of a technical difficulty here, with the site crashing and eating a bunch of this post, but that is not my problem, so I’ll pick up where I was going to pick up anyway. As usual, Writer Chick was at Buried Under Romance this past Saturday, and this time, she talked about the particular subgenre of Americana romance. I have no idea what that is, but she probably covers it in the post.

Moving on to Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge for this year, we see that she is a freaking reading machine, now eight books ahead of schedule. That is fifty-eight books read already, out of her goal of ninety-five. That is sixty-one percent of the way to the finish line, and we are only fifty percent of the way through the year. She is looking to beef up her historical romance numbers, so if you know of any Writer Chick-flavored historical romance audiobooks, drop recommendations in the comments. Audiobooks are a huge part of the surge in Writer Chick’s reading stats, because she can experience a whole story while doing other things, which she considers pretty cool.

Camp NaNo ho!

Writer Chick is clipping right along (ship joke, for those who caught it) with Plunder, with about thirty-five pages written out of a goal of fifty. This is not the whole story, of course, but it’s a good start on the discovery phase, and she will most definitely keep going after Camp NaNo is over. She is kind of antsy (bug humor unintended, but we’ll keep it) about not being able to update every day, which is one of her big concerns about the regular NaNo, as well as having to count words instead of pages. This way, she does get antsy, but it’s not anxiety-provoking, so she’s going to still call that good. The characters are talking to her and letting her follow them around, and that’s what matters most., so Writer Chick is happy about that.

Besides all of the above, work continues on Drama King, and Her Last First Kiss, so, all in all, fleas aside, Writer Chick is going to call this week a good one. As for me, I got plenty of sunbeam, so I’m good, and isn’t that what’s really important here?

Peace out,

One Book July Prep

Monday’s post on Wednesday again, which, this week, I blame on the summerness of this summer. We are now less than one week from the start of July that means, among other things, Canada Day, the Fourth of July/Independence Day, Camp NaNoWriMo, One Book July, and, this year, the last month before the release of Chasing Prince Charming, my first book with Melva Michaelian. and, for the first time in a while, I am actually excited about July.

August 12th: save the date

Right now, Melva and I are working on some exciting promo stuff, forging solidly into the second half of Drama King, as well as working on our own individual projects. For me, that means dipping my toes back into historical romance waters as I give Camp NaNo a go, which is the first time in a very long time that I thought about a historical romance being a series starter, right from the outset.

a-camping I will go…

That is not, of course a real cover, but stock photos and Pixlr Express get it close enough for me to have something to stick in front of my eyeballs for the month of July, as I fly (or sail?) into the midst and figure out what the deal is with Cornelis and Lydia, and how they got to be the parents who stole the show during my first attempt to write their daughter’s story. This may involve Dutch history, the English Civil War, younger versions of a lot of familiar faces from that story I originally started, and very possibly taking a look at the seventeenth century world as a whole, because pirates and their hangers-on come from literally everywhere.

I’m also researching a few small publishers that look like they might be a good fit for my brand of historical romance, and this research is both time consuming and fun. I am querying A Heart Most Errant, after a while away, and thinking of what the next step might be in that parade. All of this might put an idea in the head of a notebook-minded person, such as myself, that more planners are required, to keep track of all the various pursuits, but it also comes at the time of One Book July, which has no formal rules, but is basically about getting through the month with a single planner that does it all.

one book to rule them all?

I am cheating on this somewhat, as I have one planner (Webster’s Pages traveler’s notebook, standard size inserts) and one sidekick (also Webster’s Pages, pocket size, pocket size and passport size inserts) but no rules, can’t cheat, right? I do have separate books for the actual writing, but for the planning, it’s all in here. The standard size book feels slim, and the pocket size is a chonkster, and I am surprised at how much I like, and how much I use, both.

These planners came together through intuition. My favorite colors: black, white, blush pink, deep wine, rose gold when metallic are called for, trying my hand at things like acetate and vellum, and using printables purchased from online designers, then carrying around said inserts, blank, until the natural use for them presents itself. Is this kind of thing going to improve my writing? Streamline the process? Get me to produce more in shorter amounts of time? I have no idea, but I hope so, and, worst case scenario, it’s pretty, and I am looking forward to July, rather than dreading the month of humidity.

I am glad that one book July refers to the number of planners in play, rather than the amount of books I could read (or listen to) or even write, market, or plan, because that kind of thing, no sir, no ma’am, not going to happen. I know myself enough for that.

Rage Quit Your Nightmare

This post is not the planner post, either. Tangentially. Today’s picture is technically an art journal spread, but the insert is in a traveler’s notebook. Big Pink, to be exact, though I am also thinking about what I am going to name my new A6 planner, which is now the main writing notebook, also pink, and bigger than Big Pink. That’s not this post, either. Maybe that will be the planner post for April, and hopefully that will be next week.

Right now, the day is gray, not yet rainy, but hopefully soon. Rain is my second favorite weather, after snow. Even I am done with snow for the season. It can come back in late November. In the meantime, I am very happy to see rain. My goal for today is to power through the writing tasks, so that I can be ready for a 3PM library run (fingers crossed that volume 23 of Fruits Basket will have arrived) and hang out with Housemate. In the best of all possible worlds, I will also be able to get back to my art stuff, because that is where my brain is today.

Yeah, yeah, I can hear some of you saying, get to the Rage Quit Your Nightmare part. This is that. It’s also the tangentially planner related part of this post. Part of the way I learn things is to jump in with both feet, splash around, figure out what I’m doing, while I’m doing it, climb back out, make a plan, and then jump back in. This holds true for planning and art, as well as writing. It also ties into the whole branding thing from this past weekend’s CR-RWA meeting, which is still circling around in the back of my mind.

Okay. So. I want to say that it was last year that I fully embraced the whole planner/bullet journal/art journal sort of thing. I knew that I definitely wanted to do it, but how would I do it? That’s a much more complex question. The most important thing for me, in any putting ink on paper endeavor, is that it look/feel like me. Not that I am passionately dedicated to the art of self-portraiture, which I do not. More that I want what I put out to be authentic. Even, and maybe especially, the stuff that is only for myself, not outside eyes. Which, um, :points to picture above post: is not exactly pertinent here, but I’m going to roll with it.

Focus, Anna. Okay. Part of the jumping in and splashing about was grabbing inserts and such that looked even remotely interesting, while on a budget. This means getting a chance to get creative. Pick up things that could work, with a little tweaking, then put them where I think they might belong, and add stuff until it feels right. Often, when I’m doing this, that’s when the story stuff works itself out on its own, on my brain’s back burner. As with many of us, the clearance sections of stores that sell things I can use in the ink and paper arena, are my friends. Such place is where I found the insert for this picture.

I loved the color of the pages. The price was right. I did not get it, because the outside…ehhhhh, not feeling it. Still thought about the lovely pastel ombre inside pages, though, and, when it showed up in a swap with another paper obsessed friend, I figured this was a sign. I was also trying out a new size of insert, so it was a lot of new stuff all at once. There were also words where I did not necessarily need or want words to be, and the colors of covers, etc, eh, not always my thing. The “don’t quit your daydream” bit was one of those things with words where I didn’t want there to be words. I have issues with the dream/daydream terminology, so it’s not a phrase I would choose to put on something meant to inspire my own creative process.

I also didn’t want to have to slap something over it, in “Hey! I am covering something here!” fashion. Opposite action, steer into the skid. Embrace it. Draw a flowery border. Add more words. The first question that came to mind was, “what’s the opposite of that phrase?” Hence “Rage Quit Your Nightmare.”  That, I like. I like it a lot. What, exactly, does it mean to me? I would say I am still figuring that out, but I think I do have an idea on that one.

My nightmare would be not writing. Being published is great, and I hope to publish, or have published, many, many more books. At the same time, if I knew, today, that I would one hundred percent never ever get anything published, ever again, I’d still write. I would still write historical romance on my own, and I would still want to get together with Melva, to put together our two very different styles, to make something unique and fun. If the nightmare would be not-writing, then rage quitting that would be…? Writing, I imagine. Not sitting down to a duty, but remembering the love of the game.

Speaking of which, the pages are calling.

Confessions of a Galley Slave (the writing kind)

Melva and I are, as of yesterday, officially galley slaves. The galleys for Chasing Prince Charming have landed in our in-boxes, which means the journey from “beach ball” (our code name for the initial stage of this venture) to “actual book” is nearing the home stretch.

This is both exciting and scary. This morning, I opened the file, to have my first look and there they were, our names, our title, our copyrights. This is real. This is happening. There’s the credit for the cover art. We have not yet seen the cover art, but it appears we got our first choice of The Wild Rose Press’ cover artists (and was that ever a hard choice to make) and there are ISBN numbers and everything. There’s the pressure of knowing this is our last, last, last chance to make any changes, spot any errors, because, after this, it is all set in stone. That’s the scary part. What if we miss something big? What if the whole editorial team misses something big? (Not thinking that’s very possible, honestly) What if it actually stinks, and everybody hates us?

Yeah, not thinking that last one is very possible, either. That’s where the exciting part comes into play. On the one hand, we have to go through the whole thing, checking for extra spaces, wandering commas, changing eye colors (I think I found one of those, actually) and other such occupational hazards of the writing life, but on the other hand, we get to read Our Book as an actual book. This is what it’s going to look like when readers who don’t know us in real life, who pick the book up because they want to read Meg and Dominic’s story, are going to see it.

The thought of people out there in the world, willingly exchanging actual monies for what began as two hungry writers waiting for breakfast (truly though, I am sure that applies to many jointly written novels) is enough to make one (or two, in this case) giddy. Nevertheless, we had a special Skype session, to plan out how we’re going to tackle the work, so that we can get it in quickly and accurately. This is actually one of my favorite parts of the process, because it does mean that we are almost at the finish line. I told Melva that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we go through this more quickly than we expect, and she agreed that we probably will.

Though we called the meeting to talk about galley edits, that was pretty straightforward, and so conversation soon turned to Drama King, and Queen of Hearts, which will come after that. We spoke, even, of an as yet untitled other project, with as yet unnamed characters, but somebody (probably the heroine) is going to be a professional organizer (which of course begs that her counterpart be if not a professional mess, close to it.) We batted around a few ideas, including a flash of a scene I’d had. Melva told me she thought she knew how it was going to go, but wanted me to say it anyway. That, of course, was exactly what she had thought, and we can’t wait to get started on that book, as well.

Melva did chide me for being two books ahead, but I reminded her that I’m waiting on delivery of a special binder that will hold only papers pertaining to our jointly written novels. There will be a Chasing Prince Charming section, a section for Drama King, one for Queen of Hearts, and then one for future projects. (Update: binder has arrived, and she is gorgeous, and I will post “baby” pictures once I have her set up with papers and such.) It doesn’t seem at all unusual or scary to think of writing future books with Melva. On the contrary, it feels very natural, and gives me an excuse to natter on Skype with a longtime friend, make up stories that never would have occurred to me, alone, in a million years, and honestly say that I am working. I consider that a pretty sweet deal.

Sp. where does this leave me on the historical romance front? Honestly? More in love with it than ever. I consider that a side effect of the year of “yes, and…” Back when I was a baby reader (and baby writer) I often felt that a historical writer also writing contemporary was a betrayal of sorts. Now, I don’t think that way. If a writer no longer wants to write historical, for any of number of reasons, and contemporary gives them joy, I say go for it. Follow the bliss. For me, that bliss takes me to a place where I want to write all of the books. Know what? I might, at that.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Anything That Doesn’t Look Like An Umbrella Edition

Greetings, foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling coming at you, with some of the stuff of the week that was, with special guest, Writer Chick. Why is Writer Chick here on Friday? Easy. She went to what Skye’s notes refer to as the people vet, and there was apparently medicine involved and she forgot what day was what day, and here we are. Anyway, what that means is that she did most of my work for me, so I will drop her link to last week’s Buried Under Romance here, and hand it on over.

Read it here.

Writer Chick also read this book, and will be reading these:

Current library TBR

I will pause (or paws) here for some fur-sonal maintenance, while Writer Chick has her say. Here’s the picture she had as her header:

The header that would have been….

Interior, coffee shop, day.

Two women, A and N, sit in a booth, with hot beverages and various art materials. Both hold pencils in hand, blank pages in front of them. A traces around the base of a plastic to-go lid, then sections the circle into pie-like sections.

N: (peers at A’s page) Is that your umbrella?

A: Hopefully.

N: Do you know how to draw an umbrella?

A: (deadpan) Yes. Erase everything that doesn’t look like an umbrella. :flips the lid, to add small arches to the inner edges of the circle, then erases parts of outer circle that do not look like an umbrella:

Annnd scene. :curtsies:

This scene, as you may have guessed, comes, as the best dramas do, from real life. Real life, in this case, meaning my real life, and my weekly breakfast with N. This week, it was an artist’s date (artists’ date, as there were two of us?) N brought the wrong paper, so ended up doing her sketch on regular notebook paper (spoiler: it looked fabulous anyway, and I want real versions of the dresses she sketched, please and thank you.

I, as promised, brought my new water=soluble crayons and watercolor paper, along with a pack of baby wipes (for the smushing around of colors) and mechanical pencil (for the drawing of things,) metal ruler (for the drawing of straight things) and fancy eraser (for erasing of drawn things that are in the wrong place.) The umbrella thing was a passing mention. IT’s for the cover image of my April monthly planner section, so, really, all I needed to do was sketch, and N wanted to see how the water-soluble crayons worked, and the background kind of happened on its own. The black blob in the corner was supposed to be another umbrella, but that didn’t work out so well, so now it’s…a shadow? Ominous cloud? Artistic license? Yeah, I’ll go with that.

We both drew, as we talked about writing, and both put some color on the pages. N had woodless colored pencils. These are new to me, and I am guessing they are colored pencil guts without the usual casing. I paid attention to the way she held the pencils (she is an artist of some years’ standing) and how she lay down the color, while I scribbled and glopped crayon onto my paper, then attacked it with baby wipes, turning aimless scribbles into soft washes that built on each other. We talked about stories we’d both like to write, vague terms for me, more specific ones for her, and the domestic tornadoes whirring through both our families, thankfully at lower levels.

When Mr. N came to retrieve us, he asked, as he always does, if we had a good meeting. N, as she always does, said that we did. She waxed (pun intended) rhapsodic about the crayons, and the store at which they might be purchased. Mr. N is, himself, an artist, so this is relevant to his interests as well. In time, they dropped me home. I touched base with Real Life Romance Hero, then dug out marker paper, to try the same design on another surface. Yep. Still works.

N did suggest that I could tilt the umbrella, to show it from an angle instead of straight on, and I may try that, later, but, for today, I am content to say that yes, I do know how to draw an umbrella. At least this umbrella, and that’s all I really need to know. Okay, except for the size of the monthly divider, but I can tackle that one another day.

TL:DR: Yes, I can draw an umbrella. Yes, this applies to writing. Yes, I am being purposely vague because I have to be out the door in five minutes. I have a picture of an umbrella, though, even with color, and a mood, from a certain perspective, and I am confident that I can draw it again. I can also write books. This is very useful, because I am a writer. Tell the story and don’t worry about all the fiddly other stuff.

Yeah, so that’s about it. I will direct Writer Chick back to one of her multiple calendars, and, hopefully, things will be back on track next week.

Peace Out,

February Planner Post: Part One

Normally, I would say that Monday’s post on Tuesday was the result of some domestic tornado, but, this time, it was a planner. (Note: this is not a sponsored post. I babble because I love, that’s all.) Sunday night’s weekly Michaels stroll led to the discovery of possibly the most Anna-est personal size planner I have seen to date, on serious clearance. Meet Magnolia Jane, from Heidi Swapp (I think the planner is discontinued, but look at those gorgeous other things in the line) I tried to reason myself out of it, as I already have my Webster’s Pages planner, which was also on serious serious clearance, but I have come to recognize this as The Sign. Planners find me. I don’t fight it anymore.

Needless to say, a bunch of Monday was spent putting this beauty together, moving into her (yes, my planners have genders) and us getting to know each other. Mostly. I still have no idea what I want to do with this page, that starts off every month:

Suggestions always welcome…

The black washi tape is my addition, but, from top, left, we have a blank section, a dot grid section, and bottom left, gridded section, then the stripey section. Right now, I got nothing, but Housemate, who was actually the one to find this beauty, said it looked like my historical romances, and I have to say she is not wrong. So, home it came, and it is now my writing planner. The white Webster’s Pages is now for household use.

Bare bones, again

The washi tape is my addition (also another serous bargain; it’s from the three rolls for a dollar bin at Michaels) and I do want to find some prettier way of marking off the days than bare X marks. Possibly a good place to track progress on various projects, once I figure out a decent legend for that. I’ve found these things work best when I let them happen organically. Carry it around naked (the page, not me; it is winter in NY. I will be wearing many, many clothes) for a while and then, bloop, I’ll know what belongs where.

weekly planning spread

This section, I have mostly figured out. I clicked with this sort of weekly layout in my Dylusions agenda (repurposing as an art journal, now) but wanted some better use for the extra space, as I tend to write vertically. These are better suited to how I work, with half blank, and half gridded sections on each day.

This planner is only for writing tasks/habits, so the weekend, which is not a workweek (not to say that I won’t write on a weekend, and my CRRWA meetings are always on Saturdays) gets blocked off. I’m still figuring out what I want to use to record the daily tasks for the rest of the week. Right now, scrap paper “stickers” are fitting the bill, and the circular sticky notes are for writing related dates/appointments. Both the white circles and pink flags came with the planner kit.

UniBall Signo pens, Recollections pouch 

For this planner, I will be using the Uni Ball Signo pens in blackened colors. Very, very dark versions of red, brown, violet, blue, and green, make my heart happy. The outside pocket of the pen pouch has white, gold, and rose-gold pens, for writing on dark backgrounds, so I am set to go on that part. I have not yet figured out the highlighter situation, but probably will use Zebra Mildliners. in curated colors.

This does not by any means imply that I have the whole thing figured out, or that having certain planners or pens or ephemera will magically make me a better writer (cool if that would happen, but that’s not how it works.) For some, a plain ballpoint pen and blank white paper would work much better, and, for them, I say an enthusiastic “go for it!”

What does make me a better writer (yes, of course, writing; I’m getting to that) is that, since I’ve become involved in the planning community as a whole, I want to write more. Playing with the pretty paper and pen toys combines beautifully with wanting to play with my imaginary friends, and, if I am going to be spending hours a day staring at a page or screen, they may as well be pretty pages and screens. This may have something to do with why I like writing heroes and heroines who are creative in some way; write what you know and all that. After all, I’ve already had one hero spring to life (Bern, from Her Last First Kiss) thanks to my fountain pen obsession, and his heroine, Ruby, would be all over the whole bullet journal thing. Maybe she was actually there first, because, hey, she’s in the eighteenth century. Who knows who else may be lurking in my stationery stash?

Watch this space for part two, and a closer look on how I actually use these pretties.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: About Last Week Edition

Greetings, Foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. Week and a half in this case, because sick days and snow days can do a number on the ol’ blogging schedule. Thankfully, Writer Chick is mostly recovered, and the snow is pretty much just sitting there, so things are on their way back to normal, or as normal as things get around here.

Speaking of which, let’s dive right in. As per usual, Writer Chick was at Buried Under Romance this past weekend, with a timely topic. What exactly does she mean when she says these books are sick? Click the link in the caption, or right here, if you want to find out.

These Books Are Sick

Hopping over to Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge, which is off to a fine start. As of today, Writer Chick has read eleven out of ninety-five books for the year, which puts her at twelve percent of her way to her goal, and we are not even out of January yet. This puts Writer Chick already five books ahead of schedule. Has she started off the year the way she means to go on? Stick around and find out.

This brings us to the writing portion of this blog, and Writer Chick has been doing pretty well for herself, sick days and snow days notwithstanding. Yesterday was a rain day, which is second only to snow, and a Skype session with Other Writer Chick. This is where they crunched some numbers, and found out that they are now 33% of the way through their first draft of Drama King. This, again, means it is time to crank up the stakes, which, for these two, involves a lot of evil cackling, and, for Writer Chick, making a lot of freeform notes while they brainstorm. Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick are now waiting for the second round of edits to land on their desks. They plan to tackle that as soon as it does, and do that right. Writer Chick actually loves this part of the process, and Other Writer Chick is very glad that Writer Chick does.

Yesterday, Writer Chick sent off the fifth chapter of Her Last First Kiss to Other Writer Chick, whose comments make Writer Chick eager to keep going forward. Writer Chick is rather appalled at the sheer number of missing, extraneous, or misplaced commas, but good catch on Other Writer Chick finding them. This is one of the perils and pitfalls of having a critique partner who has a PhD in English. It is kind of like having a human grammar check, which is not a bad thing to have around, at all. Other Writer Chick has also said some super encouraging things about voice and detail, and those things make Writer Chick very, very happy.

Currently, Writer Chick is reading yet another installment of Fruits Basket. At this point, I am concerned about what’s going to happen once she is done with this series, because there are about twelve collectors’ editions, and she is now on volume number nine. This means she is in the home stretch, where things are getting super emotional. That is exactly how Writer Chick likes things, so that’s a check in the plus column. The question is, what is she going to read when she is done with these books? Please, for my sake, if you have highly angsty romance, with HEA ending, leave it in the comments. Writer Chick squeezes really hard when she is in the throes of a book hangover. That’s the downside of reading a series Writer Chick likes that much, but the upside, and the interesting side, is that, even though these books are set in pretty much modern day (maybe a decade or two back) Japan, and people do tend to turn into animals now and again (yes, there is someone who turns into a handsome orange boy, and he is one of the main guys, so that is a very big plus, if you ask me) but, as Writer Chick said, at length, to H, in one of their chats, these books have a lot of the flavor of Writer Chick’s favoritest historical romances. Writer Chick may explain that later.

This Kindle is full of Elizabeth Hoyt

What i can tell you is that she dove directly into a lot of Elizabeth Hoyt historicals, all set in the Georgian era, which may be part of what is fueling the fire for working on Her Last First Kiss. Right now, Writer Chick is on the hunt for Ms. Hoyt’s newest, Not the Duke’s Darling, which is the start of a new series, reading the last book in the Maiden Lane series, and has the first book in yet another series, in audio, for listening while she is doing other things. Is that a lot of books? Yes. Is that a sufficient amount of books? No.

It is, however, a sufficient amount of blogging for today. The sunbeam is moving, and I must follow. See you next time.

Peace out,