Typing With Wet Paws: Black, White and Orange Edition 2022

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Mama Anna’s excuse for not posting yesterday is that it was Thanksgiving, which was true. We had Neighbor N over. Papa mostly napped, and Mama Anna and Aunt Linda talked with Neighbor N a lot. They did spend a lot of time praising me, so the spirit of the holiday was fulfilled. I had crunchies, which is my favorite food. The humans had to eat people food. Apparently, lasagna is not a traditional Thanksgiving food, but this family seldom has traditional Thanksgiving anything. Whatever.

Anyway, Mama Anna will be hitting her revised Goodreads Challenge goal this weekend, by hitting her fiftieth book of the year. It hasn’t been the best reading year, so the bar is low for next year. We’ll see what happens. Purr-sonally, I am more concerned about when they get the Christmas tree up, because, well, you know cats and Christmas trees. Not that the humans are getting a full-sized tree this year. There’s no challenge with a tabletop tree. Maybe when we live in a bigger apartment. At least there will still be a lot of interesting Christmas preparations that involve things like papers and tissue and other crinkly things. Plus there is the issue of bags. Shopping for holiday stuff means stuff that comes in bags, and bags mean I can sit on those bags. Any way you look at it, I win on that front.

Now that the Christmas season is officially on, it does add a little juice to Mama Anna’s work. She and Aunt Melva are on track with their editing goals for both Drama King and Queen of Hearts. Mama Anna is trying out a type of writing planner that she thinks are working pretty well right now and may carry over into the new year. That new year will also involve both her and Aunt Melva moving their individual solo works to the front burners When those drafts are done, then they will start a new book together. Unless they manage to sell one of the abovementioned books, because then they have things like more edits and proofs and that kind of stuff.

Mam Anna is still working on what she wants for a holiday planner and next year’s planners, but she says she totally will be posting more about that here. I’d say about the time the eggnog and peppermint kick in, which should be any time now.

Headbonks!

Storm

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Very quick post today, from me and Storm both, as we get ready for a fun weekend. I get to head out on the road to a family wedding, and Storm gets to hang at home with neighbor, N, on Storm Watch. They met yesterday and get along great. Not going to lie, I’m anxious about being away from this li’l nugget, but she is in good hands and Neighbor N in good paws.

Storm here. Not an official Typing With Wet Paws post, since I am collaborating with Mama Anna, but I must register my displeasure at not being able to go on the car ride, but apparently cats are not to be alone in motel rooms for several hours (okay, that one I get.) I did suggest putting me in a Baby Bjorn and a frilly bonnet, but Aunt Linda reminded me that A) we do not own a Baby Bjorn, and B) babies seldom wear frilly bonnets these days. So, I get to stay put and visit with Neighbor N. Mama Anna says she, Papa, and Aunt Linda, will bring me fun stuff when they get back and Mama Anna will spend All Day Monday with me. That sounds like decent parenting.

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Anna again. Time for me to get final packing done so we can be on the road on time. I’ve found that putting in the extra time to plan cuts down on anxiety a lot, and I am even bringing a writing notebook so I can get some stuff sketched out in the downtime, aka the ride there and back.

In short, still here, okay, blogging soon.

Headbonks!

Anna and Storm

Typing With Wet Paws: Welcome September Edition

Tails up Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Today was awesome, because Papa and Mama Anna were both home. Papa let Mama Anna get a nap that she really needed, and I supervised. He also did some of the tidying, which was very interesting. The most interesting thing, though, is that we are now in September, which means that Labor Day is Monday, and that is the start of fall in this family. It is also when Mama Anna’s superpowers come back, so we are all excited about that.

A calico cat sist next to a box advertising a pair of pink glittery cat ear headphones. She looks less than pleased.
photo by Mama Anna

Mama and Aunt Linda went hunting yesterday and they bought some headphones. I am not sure how I feel about Mama Anna getting cat ear headphones. I appreciate the effort, but please the ears should be half orange and half black. They are pink and glittery, though, so they are on brand. Mama Anna has two settings: blush pink and black. There is no in between. Sometimes she is both at once. As a calico, I fully support this. I also fully support Mama Anna and Papa and Aunt Linda using headphones, because as a kitty, my hearing is better than theirs, and can you imagine the noise? Yeah.

Anyway, it’s easy to tell around here that autumn is right around the corner. For one thing, mama Anna is wearing flannel pajama pants today, with the black zippered sweatshirt where the zipper doesn’t work, but she refuses to get rid of even so. The big fan is off and Aunt Linda is right now on her way back from laundry, where she washed a big bunch of flannel sheets. As you can guess, Mama Anna likes flannel.

Mama Anna is also back in the planner groove. She was right; all she needed was a break. She’s narrowed planners for now down to two Happy Planners: one big (letter size) planner, and one mini planner, both with the same information. The big one lives on her desk, and the mini in her purse. She also has her B6 size traveler’s notebook, Christine, but Christine is not a planner. She’s a notebook. I will let her post about that kind of stuff but please know that I am sitting on all of them. Not at the same time, but in my dreams, you know I do.

Profile closeup of a calico cat, showing the orange side of her face
photo by Mama Anna

Around this time last year, some of Mama Anna’s cousins came to visit. One of them wanted to see that both sides of the fur around my eyes are different colors. As you can see, they very much are. One of the perks of being a calico.

Profile of a calico cat, showing the black side of her face.
photo by Mama Anna

I only saw Mama Anna’s cousins from the window, but they seemed nice. I hope they come back soon. I love meeting new friends. Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian visited this past weekend, but my humans went to their hotel room instead of them coming here. That was okay by Mama Anna because the humans are still digging out of August, which was pretty much divided between heatwaves and being sick. Everything is much better now.

I think that’s about it for this week. Aunt Linda will be home soon with laundry and dinner, and that means I have a lot of stuff to put my stink on. It’s very important that all of our stuff smells like all of us. What’s an important rule in your house?

Headbonks!

Storm

Typing With Wet Paws: Confused Cell Phone Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. This week, hold onto your seats, because I am going to go right into talking about Mama Anna. Shocking, I know, but this is a good one.

If you have been following us for any length of time, you will be familiar with Mama Anna’s weekly chats with Aunt Mary, over the glowy box. Most of this time, Papa is getting ready for work when these calls begin. If Papa is going to be home that day, then Mama Anna takes the call in Aunt Linda’s room, because they talk. A lot. Papa says they have one setting: loud. That is what happens when two extroverted humans get together. They get very excited about some of the things they talk about, which can vary widely. This one time, though, Papa was getting ready for work, and his cell phone got very confused.

Thing is, when Mama Anna and Aunt Mary talk, their topics move around from history to historical romance to baking to fashion and makeup and organization and upcoming family events and other things. Well. Papa’s phone has a voice thingy on it, because he likes to talk to his phone and tell it to do things instead of pushing buttons. This normally works very well, but when Mama Anna and Aunt Mary are throwing around a lot of different names and dates and questions and stuff, the phone doesn’t know what to do and tries to look up a bunch of stuff at once. Papa had to go to work, so he did take the phone out of the room so it could get some peace, but he didn’t get a chance to tell her until later. She and Aunt Mary thought it was pretty funny.

Papa’s phone did not have the same kind of problem when Mama Anna talked to Aunt Melva, because A) they usually keep their talk to the books they are currently writing together, but B) Mama Anna wears headphones, so Papa’s phone doesn’t hear Aunt Melva. Also C) Aunt Melva is not loud. I am sure Papa’s phone was thankful for the rest.

Oh. I also had a fun moment during this week’s chat with Aunt Mary, that I got to meet (virtually) my fur cousin, Aiden. He is a Golden Retriever, and Aunt Mary put him on the video call, and we looked at each other. I don’t know his side of the story, but I was all set to play. maybe one day we will. He looks like a fun guy. I bet he likes toys.

Anyway, that was the highlight of our week. Mama Anna is doing okay on the writing thing, which is pretty nice. She could be reading more, because that is prime belly rub time for me, an essential component, but we are working on that. Maybe you can recommend a good book she might like to read while rubbing my belly. Drop recommendations in the comments.

Headbonks!

Storm

Off-Center, Now With Fairy Lights

Photo by lilartsy on Pexels.com

Yesterday was an organization and planning day. Normally, I like to do this while it’s the weekend, preferably Sunday, but that didn’t work out, so yesterday is good enough.sk moved somewhat on its own to its current position off-center of where it used to be, now bumping against the corner of my rustic crate bookcase. It’s a lot better to have a bookcase to look at while I work , rather than a blank wall (why did I ever think that was a good idea?) The white Chirstmas lights, aka fairy lights, though, those are intentional.

I’m not sure what it is about white fairy lights, but I love them. For Christmas trees, I like colored lights, either blinking or chasing, but white lights have a certain classy factor to them, and combined with the rustic wood of the bookcase, I am definitely feeling this. Also might end up putting some of the books from my post-birthday haul there, so I can get a glimpse of where I’d like to see my name in the very near future. Or present, for a copy of Chasing Prince Charming. Because I do that, too.

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See? My name. Also Melva’s.

I had snapped a shot of the current setup with the lights and all, but Amazon Photos is not cooperating, so here is Michael, one of my current Sims, who was on the screen when I took the photo

picture taken ingame, lots of ccfd, ReShade, etc

We’ll work on that later. The above screenshot is from my current Sims save, one where I wiped allll the premades and their houses, replaced with my own and painstakingly built my own world. Yes, that sounds a lot like writing. But with visuals. Plus I have to have my Sims living in houses built from real floorplans Yes, always. Except for apartments, which I can’t change, which is annoying, but fine.

I have been doing intense searches for custom content, checking decorating trends past and present, relying on color theory as only an artist’s kid can, and it has now spilled over into my actual life. Which is actually kind of fun, and conducive to writing with more comfort.

When I decorate a Sim’s environment, it matters what I choose for their “clutter” or decor, because it’s part of their story. As mine is part of mine. I do want to do an un-bagging of my birthday haul, so when I do that, I will have to do some rearranging of the bookshelves, which do not currently have actual books on them, as mine have been in storage. Probably rearrange the lights as well, and more than likely add to them, because I have met me, and those things are in stores everywhere. Also they are probably good for Real Life Romance Hero’s craving for more light in these dark months. (I, on the other hand, loooove the early nights. They are the best and fill me with joy.) More pictures coming then, which will give me more to talk aobut than mindless blabbering, but some of you are into that kind of thing, so this is your lucky day.

As it is mine, as now that I have a blog post down, I can go play Sims.

How’s your week going?

Birthday Afterparty

Today is a sweatshirt over the pajamas, everybody home and relaxed, grey outside autumn day, which is exactly the ay I want to spend the day after my birthday. Yesterday was wonderful, and I have fun new stationery stuff to play with this afternoon. Housemate is putting together her new bedframe and possibly bookshelf. Real Life Romance Hero is maybe playing games or doing his online homework (not sure which) and Storm kitty is comfortably lounging in the middle of the people bed. We are subsisting on leftovers of yesterday’s takeout. In my case, add microwave popcorn. We have no needs to leave the house today, though Housemate allows she may venture out for trash bags, which, honestly, we need.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The whole day has a Boxing Day (day after Christmas) feel to it, and I am totally okay with that. There may be some TV to stream later, while I set up at least my catchall planner for the week, though the others will probably have to wait on Monday. Housemate’s bed is literally made, which means no more mattress on the floor for her. The bookcase will wait until tomorrow. I am looking at a video meeting with Melva, for Queen of Hearts discussion later in the week, with another writer friend later, and then next weekend brings two of my besties coming from CT to have a combination friendiversary, Christmas and birthdays. Housemate’s vacation end on Wednesday morning, and RLRH being home today means he will likely be at work tomorrow. This means midweek looks a lot like a great time to return to writing. I am here for that, too.

One thing I have found curious as I caught up with a lovely acquaintance yesterday, that the biggest part of the whole getting back to (new) normal process is that the form of writing that came back the soonest is…journaling. I have taken a few suggestions from various sources to focus on specific subjects for particular entries have, basically, taken off like wildfire. Nobody is more surprised than me, because one of the topics suggested elicited the :red alert klaxon sound: because selfish! Which is not always a bad thing. Permission to think about that kind of stuff…it’s heady. It’s also headed directly for fiction, which I definitely welcome.

Another section is dedicated to listing not only authors and novels I like, but settings, character types, tropes, etc. Get me on that stuff, and I am off and running. Books in my genres, and books outside of them. This may in some point mean revisions to the Play In Your Own Sandbox, Keep All the Toys workshop, which is fine. I want it to evolve. Aforementioned bestie will be bringing with her a bag o’books, which gives me strong vibes of my first exposure to historical romance. That would be the paper grocery bags full of books my Aunt Lucy would bring to my mom, which Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pat visited from NJ. My job was to take the sack to the laundry room and shelve the books.

I wasn’t allowed to read the books yet (though that would soon change, when my mom bought a book in an actual store, that I could not resist) but I read the back covers, loved the art on the front covers, and created my own storylines (to the extent that my very young self could comprehend.) Those are extremely fond memories. I have a hunch that the bag o’books coming my way this weekend may have a similar flavor.

At least that’s the plan. How does your week look?

My New Horrible Hobby?

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ow that it is officially autumn, things are falling into place. Pun intended. I have a snickerdoodle scented candle burning in the kitchen, my drink of choice toady is tea, and I am taking time to plan my week, including writing, and that important thing called reading. While I do this, I am listening to my background sound of choice recently – recaps of horror movies, and since I am starting to run out of the backlist of the YouTubers I follow in that genre, I have now added recaps of the storylines of horror video games.

Photo by Ryan Miguel Capili on Pexels.com

This might seem like a strange choice, seeing as how my genes that I write are historical and contemporary romance, and my favorite genres to read are historical romance and contemporary YA fiction. There is a small tie in on that last one, though, because I do like a good YA thriller. I usually want to change the ending, though, and I do believe that there are romances (largely including mine) that could benefit from a tinge or two of horror. You know I like it gritty. Even so, I don’t watch horror movies. I don’t play horror games. Well, for the most part.

When I played games on the Choices app, I did play It Lives in the Woods, and got all characters to the end alive, (but for the one that…um, it’s complicated) so yay me. If you like spooky atmosphere that lands an emotional punch, and like phone games, I would recommend giving it a try. There was a sequel, and I did play it, but it didn’t stick with me the same way, and I don’t recall if I even finished it. I don’t play any phone games at moment. I have Stardew Valley and West of Loathing (honestly, I never thought stick figures would be this much fun) as well as Sims 2 and 3, both of which are held captive on my dead desktop.

The only game I am playing right now is Sims 4, but heavily modded, default-replaced, custom content filled, and as of this weekend, all premades nuked and replaced by Sims I have either made or downloaded from the galleries of Simmers I follow on social media. No, there cannot be violence in The Sims, but there are vampires and ghosts, and Sims can and do die, sooo…not really an issue though as I mainly play regular people type games. Families living their lives, chasing their goals, forming relationships.

This sounds an awful lot like writing. I freely acknowledge this. Case in point, though the creator of Deception Pass has not continued the story in Sims 4, they are giving it a graphic novel treatment, and I can tell you now, I will be All Over That. Such is the power of storytelling in Sims. I am convinced that it is helping me get back into my own writing mojo, though my Sims games would make for extremely boring fiction, and the stories I write would be difficult to play in Sims of any incarnation (there are four so far) but it still works well enough.

So why the horror? In part, it’s the voices of the presenters. The sound of a voice means a lot; if the voice isn’t working for me, I don’t care what they’re talking about, I’m out. The other part is that I find it fascinating how intricate some of these plots can be, how emotionally deep they go, and in the end, it’s al about facing our fears. Do my romance characters have to deal with fears that threaten their chance at HEA? Oh yes.

In case there is any confusion, psychological horror yes, splatter, heck no. If there is any sort of historical aspect, my ears prick, especially if they have an effect on whatever the present day of the story might be. That is very much something that can carry over into romance, only the endings are hopeful instead of horrific. Though there may well be horrors along the way, they aren’t the end all and be all, as my mother would say. The love relationship is, and I am more than okay with that. (Also, I don’t kill off companion animal characters.)

What’s your take on horror?

Typing With Wet Paws: Heatwoven Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. It’s a cool and sometimes rainy day over here in New York State, which means the heat wave has broken, and Aunt Anna will be re-entering functional adult life. She’s been taking it super-easy for most of the week, staying cool and hydrated. Thankfully, I have been on the juob the entire time. Often on her, because what’s better for heat wave sluggishness than a beautiful calico girl sitting on one’s torso?

Okay, most of the time I was near her rather than actually on her, but being on our humans is one of the ways we kitties show our love, and I love Aunt Anna a LOT. Like really a lot. She’s my favorite. Uncle Rheuben and Aunt Linda are pretty good, too, but yeah. Anyway, this was not the most productive of weeks. and that is okay. Even with all the hotness and the sweating and the hydrating and stuff, she did actually get some stuff done. Here are a few of them:

Reading

Heat waves are pretty good for reading, especially when Aunt Anna can stick in some earbuds, flop in front of a fan, and have a professional voiceover person read her a story. If pressed, she is even okay on the robo-voice that comes with her Kindle’s text to speech function. Even that goes a long way. A friend, Miss Lisa, from Buried Under Romance, told Aunt Anna there is a way she can change the robo-voice if she wants to, to maybe get a male voice when she wants it, or even a British voice, male or female, but she hasn’t looked into that lately. Standard robo-voice will work quite well.

She’s even gone to the library (away from me for an Entire Hour, ahem) to get some paper books for the Historical Romance Readathon. She did pretty well on that front, and will talk more about that on Buried Under Romance. Aunt Anna likes reading challenges like this because not only is it community related, but it’s also a way to try some bokos she might not have noticed on her own.

The fact that it comes during a heat wave is a very convenient coincidence. It also does wonders for her Goodreads Reading Challenge. As of this writing, she has read 58 out of 90 books, which puts her at 64% of the way to her goal. Not bad, if I do say so myself. Keep going, Aunt Anna.

Photo by Cristian Rojas on Pexels.com

Writing

Even though Aunt Anna is only unoficcially camping this year, July is still for getting back on the historical romance hrse while discovery drafting her third book with Aunt Melva, Queen of Hearts. If that sounds like a lot of stuff to writie, that is exactly what Aunt Anna likes best. Keep her on the page, and she is a happy camper, even if she did not sign up for CampNaNo this year. She has a notebook all set up for un-bungling the second half of Her Last First Kiss, and, now that the heat has broken, she has the brainpower to complete her edits on A Heart Most Errant and move forward in that project. Soon, there willl be formatting and cover art and all that good stuff. She’ll figure out what metric she wants to use to track progress. I am betting there will be a paper notebook where she keeps track of all that. I plan to sit on it.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Planning

This is a big week for planner enthusiasts like Aunt Anna, becasue July is the time of year when eighteen month cladendars start. When I say planners, this also includes new notebooks for special reasons, like working on her focus projects for the next few months. Writing about historical romance, Aunt Anna has found, is an essential part of writing historical romance, so she has a notebook set up for that, tracking what she likes and doesn’t like, the history of the genre, and what its future might be. Those are things she will share on Anna Log and Buried Under Romance. There is a lot going on on that front. Trust me on that. I have laid on a lot of these books, so I can vouce for them.

I think that’s about it for this week. Overall, life is pretty good, if uncomfortable for the last several days. Thankfully, we have cooler weather for the next few days, so Aunt Anna is feeling a lot more Aunt Anna-y. How is your week?

Headbonks!

Storm

Typing With Wet Paws: Dog, I Mean, Cat Days of Summer Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Pretty quiet week this week, but not a boring one. On Monday, Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva hashed out the basics of the outline for Queen of Hearts, and they are also shooting some questions back and forth. Co-written book number three is officially ON. Secondary characters are getting names (or telling them to the aunts, as it often works) and while there may not be a cat in this book (though the one from Drama King might make a cameo; no promises) ther is probably going to be a d-o-g. I don’t know how I feel about dogs. I haven’t met any that I remember, unless it was when I was really little. My first mom said I came from a house with “a lot of cats,” but she didn’t say anything about dogs.

greatest hits picture of me, because quiet week and all that.

Anyway, there’s prep for July historical writing, and that includes moving the office area in the bedroom from where it is right now to the other side of the bedroom (the bedroom is pretty big) so that Aunt Anna can get near the window, and have more desk room, since Uncle Rheuben claimed the new desk they got recently. I am all for this, because if there is a desk near that window, then I can use athat desk to get into that window. I love sitting in windows.

Wait. I may have misspoken about the dog thing. We have a neighbor who has a puppy who is almost a grownup, but still has a lot of wiggle in her. We haven’t met in person, but I know her when I see/smell her from through the window screen. Her humans walk her in front of our building a lot. She seems okay, but I’ve got my eye on her. The other dogs around, I only have my ears on, because I have only heard them. Also smelled. There are two other units inour building, and the people who live there come on the weekends mostly. When they come, they bring their dogs. I have not met them, but it’s more than one dog in each apartment, I think. They bark a lot when my humans go into the hall and stairway. We’ve been here almost a year now, and still it’s a big surprise every time. Go figure.

So. Aunt Anna. She’s not sure what she’s doing for the Historical Romance Readathon, exactly, but she knows she wants to do something with it. Here’s the bingo card:

The thing that Aunt Anna has about this is that iit does look fun, but she’d already decided that she wants to A) finish the half-read books she’d had languishing on her Kindle forever, and B) devour some of the old school stuff on Kindle Unlimited that she’s always wanted to read. First up is the entire Marsha Canham canon. Maybe she can make that work for the readathon anyway. If you want more information on the readathon, check the link above, and also on Laceybooklovers and RemarkablyLisa. Aunt Anna will probably talk more about this on Anna Log later, but for now, the plans are nebulous. Still counts as a plan, though, which makes her happy.

I, of course, will be closely supervising, as always.

Headbonks!

Draft Pick

In the words of the great Ricky Ricardo, the time has come. In other words, Drama King is a draft. Draft two in the vault, and now all that’s left is for me and Melva Michaelian to go over the whole thing one more time to make sure we are done for this stage, and we send it off to our editor at the Wild Rose Press. If they want it, then we’ll have at least one more go-over to make sure it’s right for this editor and this line. If that goes well, then there are still line edits, copy edits, art sheets to get information for the cover, and a bunch of other things.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

We are already started on the third book in the series, Queen of Hearts, and then we already know what our next contemporary adventure is going to be. We’ve already started laying the groundwork for that, and it looks like fun from here.

Then there’s my other life. Historical life. I have the edits for A Heart Most Errant to finish and send back to my fabulous editor at Safeword Author Services. Next floats in that parade include formatting and cover art, and then bibbity bobbity book, we’ll have a new historical romance.

There’s also getting back to know Her Last First Kiss, my much beloved, long neglected Georgian historical. I think I zigged where I should have zagged there, so time for course correction, while keeping with the marriage laws of the time. Can’t go marrying anybody you want, whenever you want. That way lays chaos. Or so the Georgians would have us believe.

Being in this writing place is a time where I wasn’t sure when or if I would be here again. Taking a couple of days to breathe feels like a good idea. Especially since today is going to be a hot one, and i do not at all summer well. Hence a date with my BFF to hang out in air conditioning. She’ll have some awesome new colored pencils and an adult coloring book. I’m not sure what I’m bringing as of yet, but she’ll be here soon, so I will probably grab one of my pen pouches and a notebook and call it good. There may be a trip to a craft store along the way to pick up anything else I might want to include. There will be brain dumping. There will be decompression. There will be cold drinks.

Wish me well.