Typing With Wet Paws: The Heat Is Broken Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Not much to report this week, because it was a hot one for two and four legs alike, but Uncle Rheuben got his fan network up and going, so we were able to stay cool. Aunt Anna doesn’t summer well, so that of course required me to be on round the clock nurse duty. Luckily that meant I got the fans on my fur a lot, and the humans always make sure my water is full and fresh. There is one big thing Aunt Anna said I have to tell you, and it is a thing that happened yesterday.

That big thing is…wait for it…Drama King, book two in the Love By The Book series, has been officially submitted to The Wild Rose Press, who published Chasing Prince Charming. Not yet an acceptance, but TWRP has first dibs on the next umm…some contemporary romances Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva writer together. That does also mean that they might be the first ones to say no thanks, but the aunts prefer to remain optimistic. Can’t say as I blame them. Did I mention there is a cat in this one? He looks kind of like this:

Photo by Aleksandr Nadyojin on Pexels.com

Kind of. Ish. I don’t know. I haven’t seen him. He lives in a book. Also, he is a grownup and I think that one in the picgture is a kitten. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any kittens, so maybe my memory of what they look like is fuzzy. Heck, I am fuzzy. Anyway, he’s orange, his names is Clawed, spelled exactly that way, and when you meet him, you’ll know why. Definitely my favorite fictional cat so far. Okay, he’s the only fictional cat I know, and I am only three. Clawed is the hero’s cat (actually, Clawed would say Jack is his human, and I stand by him on that one) and he has very strong opinions on sharing. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t like to do it.

So that is the big Aunt Anna thing. The medium Aunt Anna thing is that there is new furniture in the hosue I think she said something about that earlier, but never fear, it all smells like us now. I made sure of that. It’s not where it’s meant to be, because it has been too hot to move furniture around, but the humans will fix that soon. Aunt Anna will try moving her computer area closer to the windows and her nightstand will get a lamp that will let her read paper vooks or write in paper notebooks in bed, while she cuddles me. I was not able to get in any of the dresser drawers (still salty about that) but the humans assure me that my bix cardboard box is staying, no matter what, because I love it. Also, Uncle Rheuben put a paper bag inside my box. Let me tell you, that first time being inside a bag inside a box, I wish every kitty coud have that feeling. It was pretty great.

Another probably medium Aunt Anna thing is that she is getting ready for probably doing the Camp NaNo thing next month. Part of it is admittedly so that she can play with notebooks and Scrivener, and preferably coordinate the two at least aestheticswise, but we’ll see where the road goes.

One more Aunt Anna thing. Since it was soooo hot all week, Aunt Anna gets a little loopy, and now she can’t remember where she put her newer tablet, but it is definitely in the apartment. Our apartment is not that big, so give her a couple of cooler days and she’ll figure it out. She is perturbed, though, because there is a book that she was reading on there, but she can get it on a different device. It’s also the one she uses to take pictures of me. That might bump it up in priority , now that I think of it. Hm. Maybe I can help her look. The world needs more Storm pictures. I’m adorable. Look at me!

and that’s just my HAND

Even though Aunt Anna is grumbly about searching for that one tablet, she is very happily back to reading historical romance. We’ll wait on the Goodreads challenge tally, but here’s the book she is reading now, but the fabulous Marsha Canham. Aunt Anna loves her some Marsha Canham, and she’s thinking of using the summer to read all the Canhams she hasn’t yet read, and most of those are standalones. The one that isn’t, is third in a series where she read the first two already, and would not mind rereading.

One me picture for tax before I race from the room for no apparent reason. There are two boxes in this picture. One is my big box, which I get to keep. The smaller box ,I don’t care about, so it got recycled. Aunt Anna put the rest of the stuff away. She likes a tidy home. As long as it smells right and has my big box, I’m good either way.

a girl and her box, a love story

Headbonks!

Typing With Wet Paws: Now Where Were We Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. If you are wondering where I was for the last couple of weeks, here is a clue:

photo: Anna Carrasco Bowling

Seriously, look at this cat bed. So soft. So comfy. Like me. It’s in the perfect spot to not only get the sunbeams from the window, but also the breeze, and now the fan. If the humans open the other window, I get he crossbreeze. Then there is the placement, at the foot of the people bed. I’m close enough to Aunt Anna or Uncle Rheuben if they need me, and I kan keep track of both of them at their desks. I can also see the kitchen from here, which means that if Aunt Linda comes out of her room, and heads in this direction, she has dry food for me (or is going to clean my box, which is also good) so it really is the best seat in the house.

Big news around here is that the libraries here in New York’s Capitol Region are open again. Well, for humans, that is. They still aren’t admitting cats, which is totally bogus. Cats and books go together, amirite? Of course I am. Click on the link above if you want to see what she brought home, and where she totally could have used a feline research assistant to remind her to check series order before checking out books.

As fun as Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva found the first Zoomer Times interview, what could they get up to in the second round? Apparently this. Also, there was another whole interview that went great, then went missing, so this is a do-over.

Right now, Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva are going over the final final final version of the Drama King manuscript, before they send it to the editor at The Wild Rose Press. If those people want it, there will be more edits, and then it’s on its way to becoming a book. Did I mention this one has a cat in it? Next one, they say is going to have a dog, but that’s still four-legs rep, so I am down with it.

Beyond that, Aunt Anna will be getting back in the historical groove, which, honestly, I think she has needed for a while now. She said I can assume there will be cats in historicals because they are state of the art pest control. Sounds legit.

She is also thinking that if she wants to take part in Camp NaNo in July, it is only the beginning of June, so she has a lot of time to prepare a project that sounds like fun. I think part of it is an excuse to play with her planner stuff, but I happen to like helping her with her planner stuff (by lying on it) so this could all work out to my favor.

There is probably other stuff I should be putting here as well, but it’s nap time and I have my priorities.

Headbonks!

Storm

Beware Nesting Authors

Tomorrow begins a new month, which means that part of my day today is for making sure I have my June planners (plural) are in good working order. My list for the week’s shopping includes things like an audio cable for the external speaker/microphone, and a decent reading lamp for my nightstand, lightbulb that gives off warm light essential. Once I have this post posted, I get to wrestle my dinosaur desktop to transfer some files to my laptop, and take a good long look at Scrivener and decide whether I want to purchase a new copy or look into resurrecting my HP stream laptop that has it already installed. (Resurrecting the ancient MacBook Pro is also an option, which would require buying Scrivener for Mac.) I have various electronic devices charging, including my OG (to me) Kindle-Kindle, Methos Junior (she’s a girl, though) for easy electronic reading without the temptation to constantly check social media and find the perfect background audio.

The bed has clean sheets on it, in preparation for work done in the “soft office.” This is also why I have finally accepted that I will have to A) figure out where to buy a replacement LED unit for the lamp I had by my bed, and B) how to change them, and C) buying a decent lamp with a real bulb will probably be my best course to take here. Props to the home decorating You Tube videos I have been inhaling for reminding me that lightbulbs come in different temperatures of light. The office chair search continues, as I scour FB Marketplace for a likely candidate, or can come up with a solid enough plan to justify renting a bigger vehicle to move actual furniture from storage.

Tonight, I will be racing the remaining hours on a historical romance I have on electronic loan from the library, as the historical romance reading mojo seems to be thinking about returning from its smoke break. I ripped the bandage off my Netflix block a couple nights ago, and watched all of Harlan Coben’s the Woods in one night. (Polish adaptation of an American novel) most of it with Storm sphinx-ing on top of me so that she can watch, too. Follow me for more dark European creepy drama reccommendations. I am going to be a big girl and get to my This Is Us backlog, even though I know what happens in the season finale. I do not intend to write Kate and Toby fanfiction, but I am willing to if they force my hand. Ditto Kevin and Sophie, and when are we going to get to see Rebecca and Miguel’s love story? I know he’s no Jack (who could be?) but he’s a good guy, and I am here for Rebecca having not one but two big loves in her life. Oh, and Uncle Nicky/Sally second chance, please. I think that’s all. :consults list: If they touch Beth/Randall, I riot. Oh, and that better be Malik who is Deja’s flash-forward partner.

Reading devices are loaded with next YA e-book, audiobook, and historical romance reads. Tomorrow, the libraries in our area open. One guess who is going to be there with a big tote bag.

See the source image
grab this gif

For clarity, I mean me, not Hillary Duff. Unless you’re in California. Then more likely her than me, but it’s a big state.

It’s the idea that counts. I have missed the library like I’d miss air if I were locked in a trunk. Tomorrow is a family day, but I have days after that blocked out on my calendar as Writing Days. Capitol W, capitol D. In boldface. Not only is there the draft to look over for Drama King (and my first ever crack at looking for sensitivity readers) but my return to A Heart Most Errant edits, and next up, a return to Her Last First Kiss, where I can make right what once went wrong.

This time, I am not overwhelmed. I am excited. My prep work for Queen of Hearts is underway. As I suspected, it would mosey on in when I was doing other things. That seems to be the way things work around here. My “A Working Day” playlist is playing (follow on Spotify if you want to know what the inside of my head sounds like.) I expect that it will grow, which is always a sign of life.

Appropriate for the start of a new month, at least for me. Regardless of what the calendar or almanac says, Memorial Day starts summer in our family. This year, though, I highly suspect that comfy apartment, shiny new laptop and a realistic writing plan will keep me well occupied for most of the season. After that, fall, and the return of my super powers, fall being my favorite season. It’s not that far away at all.

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.

Summer, Is That You?

Saturday afternoon, I took my first summer nap of the year. That means snoozing through the heat of the day, then being up and doing stuff in the afternoon and evening. This week, Housemate and I will brave the wilds of storage to retrieve what summer clothing remains and did not get worn to death last summer during our vagabond time. Temperatures should be in the mid 80s by the middle of this week :whimper: and friends have been posting baby waterfowl pictures, so odds that the young ones will be present in the lake in the park near our house are high.. That sounds like a morning thing.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Not this morning, as what’s left of it is dedicated to the blog, and then it’s time for domestic warrior queen side quests. I’d hoped to get more work done on the two Drama King scenes I have to revise, but I had also planned to do my weekly planning on Sunday. That did not happen because it turned into a do nothing day. I hate do nothing days. I want the day to have some purpose. Preferably with other people around. I ended up playing Sims, due to an empty tank, and then tackled the planning this morning.

Well, first wave of planning. I am totally over the vertical lined layout in my classic planner, and I am itchy to dive into my bright, shiny new July start classic planner, with its sophisticated florals and vertical layout sans lines, but we still have June to get through first. In between, for a writer who loves to plan, is madness. I’m not too concerned, though, because figuring stuff out is kind of my thing, and I will probably find something nifty to tide me through and carry over, even.

When I was a kid, summer seemed like three months of freedom (except for day camp, which probably saved my mother’s sanity, even if it was a mixed bag for me. Stay at home parents of gifted kids, we salute you.) and the one summer we lived in Pound Ridge, I discovered the joys of walking in from the scorching heat of the day into the air conditioned family room, which I liked so much that I did, upon occasion, repeat that action several times in a row merely for the delight of the difference. Delight on the air conditioned side, that is, because I am hard no on hot weather.

One of the perils of naming a heroine in a book that gets back burner-ed for an extended period of time after a season is that every time that season rolls around, her name rolls around, and that results in some serious shifty eyes between writer and manuscript.

Oddly enough, the name of said heroine is Summer, though she has nothing to do with the Zooey Deschanel movie (which I still need to see) I originally conceived of her story as a time travel, but I don’t know if it is anymore. Quite possibly, what I tried to do and then couldn’t do, was shove a ten pound cat into a two pound bag. Maybe a whole litter of cats. I have said before that I will have to write her story, because if I don’t, she will come after me and drag me back into it. She’d do it, too, so it’s on the list, though absolutely no idea what it will ultimately be. Her and her hero, that’s the core. Anything else is extra.

Insert your own ice cream topping analogy here. That seems summery enough. What’s on the docket for your week?

Typing With Wet Paws: I Thought This Was Spring Edition

Tails up ,Storm Troopers. I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. We are in spring, right? The calendar says April. Maybe I don’t h ave a lot to compare this to, as the oldest I can possibly be is three, but snow in April? Is that a thing? Aunt Anna was in fleece yesterday, and we snuggled under a blanket while she read and wrote longhand, and Uncle Rheuben made some delicious smelling people food (that I can sniff but not eat, because people food is for people and I a a kitty.) I want to sit in ithe open window and chitter at birds. I hope that willl happen soon.

Now is still pretty cool, though. This week, Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva had their first interview on Zoomer Times, which was pretty exciting. I do not make an appearance in this one, but maybe next time as there will be a part two next month. What will they ask abou next time? Your guess is as good as mine, but the chance of it being fun is pretty high.

Aunt Anna also got a bunch of issues of the Zoomer Times magazine, and they are all copies of the issue in which Chasing Prince Charming gets a really good review. They are both super happy about that. Look for pictures on the MelvaandAnna website soon. Plus some other fun stuff.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Writing-wise, the clock is ticking on the final revisions for this draft of Drama King, and then off it goes to The Wild Rose Press, because they get first dibs. This book does have a cat in it, of which I highly approve. More feline-friendly romance novels, please. It’s what the world needs.

Speaking of ticking clocks, same goes for Aunt Anna checking the edits on A Heart Most Errant. Once that goes to its editor, the next steps include things like formatting and cover art. You know, real book stuff. This will be an ebook for now, since it is short, about the third of a regular novel, but Aunt Anna plans two companion stories, and then putting them in a box set. At least that’s the plan.

Me in my box (it’s big)
picture by Aunt Anna

Speaking of boxes, I have The Best news. I get to keep the footlocker box! As in forever, or until I destroy it. Either way, I’m happy. I can play in it, sit in it, sleep in it, chase phantom prey in it, scratch it, try to bust through the back and see if I can find Narnia, etc. All of that good stuff. As long as we are talking about cardboard, I am also getting a different cardboard thing, my scratchy thing, which is the crinkly part of cardboard especially made for me to claw to pieces. One guess what I did with the last one. Yeah. Pretty proud of that.

Moving on to Aunt Anna’s Goodreads Challenge, she is kicking b*tt and taking names this week, with 49 44 books read out of her goal of 90. That puts her at 49% of the way through, and a whopping 17 books ahead of schedule That’s seven. Teen. Go, Aunt Anna, go. Aunt Anna credits audiobooks, the library, Kindle Unlimited, and her new handy dandy TBR notebook which she will show on a future Anna Log vlog. It’s still a work in progress, but I have sat on it, and it’s very comfortable, so I expect it will help her as well.

picture by Uncle Rheuben

Speaking of help, this is me helping Aunt Anna and Uncle Rheuben put away laundry. I am 100% fine with Aunt Anna putting stuff un me. Probably only her, though. Nobody else has tried yet, but she is my favorite so I can assume. Also, it was very considerate of the humans to give me the chance to make sure everything smells right and has black, white, and orange hair on it. That’s one of the perks of being a three color kitty: you can shed on everything and be sure at least one of your colors will show.

That’s a pretty good piece of wisdom to end this entry, so I will head back to my box and let Aunt Anna have the computer for a while. How are you spending your weekend?

Headbonks!

Storm

Lap (Desk) Dancing

At some point in this week, I am going to ask myself why I thought having two books, in two different subgenres, in the editing/revising stage at the same time. A Heart Most Errant is my first stab at medieval romance, (and post-apocalyptic medieval romance, at that) and my first foray into the world of indie publishing. Drama King is my and Melva Michaelian’s second collaborative contemporary romance, this time where the Polyanna of Publishing falls for a grumpy British actor. This is also the week where Melva and I are swapping character profiles, because it’s time to lay the foundation for Queen of Hearts, book number three in our Love By The Book series.

But Anna, I hear some of you asking – what about the title of this post? Ah, that one. Taking another step back into re-Anna-fication, I now have a lap desk once again. My prior one did not survive our vagabond year, and I can’t get rid of it, because Storm has upcycled it to a cat bed. This means that, along with my Alphasmart and carefully curated notebooks, I am now mobile again. With the current weather, that means within our apartment. Comfy chairs are not yet installed, but I can use the office chair in Housemate’s room when Housemate is at work, unless Storm gets to it first. Storm loves that chair. Bed is good, too, or a blanket pile on the floor, with my back against the wall. I got a taste for that a while back, and it still works.

This is a vertical weekly discbound planner. The discs are lavender metal, and the only semi decorative stickers say "write," "edit" or "revise."
Catchall planner for this week

Normally, my Sundays have a special time set aside for setting up my planner spreads for the week ahead. This time, oh boy did I need it. Normally, I do a degree of decorative planning, but this week, it’s mostly functional, with what I’m writing, editing, or revising that day. Blank spaces are where I needed to check with family members about their schedules before I could assign my own time, but they will fill soon.

I’m actually excited about this. Getting to this point in two books at once, about to dive into another, coming back to a beloved genre (and a new to me time frame) and a new avenue of publishing is a place where I wanted to be for a very long time, and now that I’m here, it feels like I should sew a new patch onto my sash. If I were still in Girl Scouts, that is. Maybe there are Romance Writer Scouts? Does RWA count for that? Maybe take myself to the Panera that is basically down the street from us (with or without lap desk) and celebrate with a hot drink and freshly toasted bagel.

Anxiety levels are surprisingly low regarding all of this. Call it the Bird By Bird effect. The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, and while “fix all the books”: is scary, but “edit/revise X pages per day” and the like makes it a lot more manageable. There will, in time, probably be a more dedicated writing planner or tracker that naturally emerges from all of this, but for right now, I know what I am doing on each given day, and when that is done, time to do something that is fun and fills the creative well, aka read, play Sims, etc.

Some of this seems like very normal stuff that goes without saying, but getting to actually put this into practice is an absolute delight. Remind me of that when I am banging my head on the monitor because one of the fixes I need to take care of is trickier than I expected. There’s no planning for those. They are all part of the process.

It feels good to be at this stage, and the ability to flit among different methods and locations — computer, Aplhasmart, notebook, desk, bed, floor, etc– goes a long way toward taking individual elephant bites one at a time. In short, cover me; I’m going in.

Typing With Wet Paws: End of January Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. It’s zero degrees here in New York, and zero is exactly the number of us who want to go outside today. Aunt Linda and Uncle Rheuben both have to go outside to go to their jobs, but Aunt Anna and I get to work from home, so that is pretty cool, that we can stay warm. See what I did there? I got a million of them.

Speaking of warm, I have become very interested in Aunt Anna’s weighted blanket. Of course I love sleeping on it (Aunt Anna prefers under it, but eh, you do you, Auntie) but also I am super super super interested in what’s inside the blanket. Aunt Anna says that it’s glass beads and I should not be digging at it, even though it is fun fun fun (and a little frustrating.) The humans have been talking about getting a cover for the blanket, so I can’t make a hole in it and let the glass beads out. Aunt Anna says they would get everywhere. I will probably like the cover, too, and it may even distract me from the blanket itself, but I must lodge my protest anyway. The blanket does help Aunt Anna sleep, and that gives me a lot more cuddle time, so that’s good.

Aunt tested, kitty approved

For those who wanted to know what blanket she got, it is the Tranquility blanket from Wal-Mart, the twelve pound version. She thinks it is the twin size, even though her and Uncle Rheuben’s bed is either double or queen (they aren’t sure.) Uncle Rheuben doesn’t need the weighted blanket, so it goes on Aunt Anna’s (and my) side only.

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com
aka not Aunt Anna

Now we come to the reading part of our blog Aunt Anna has reluctantly noped out of even a deferred version of last week’s historical romance readathon, because it was one of those weeks. She is pumped to get some more historical romance standalones under her belt, either rereads or finally reads, and has a bunch of historical romance audiobooks lined up, along with some contemporary YA, tending toward the darker ones. As usual, the “hm, how would this work in a historical romance?” thing happens a lot. She likes audiobooks right before bed, which coincides with kitty cuddle time, so I am all for that.

As far as the Goodreads challenge is concerned, Aunt Anna is currently one book ahead of sche3dule, with eight books read out of ninety. That puts her at nine percent of the way to her goal, which is not bad at all. She did manage to read two historical romances:

No Rest For the Wicked, by Lauren Smith (Pirates of Brittania connected world)

and

Duke of Desire, by Elizabeth Hoyt (Maiden Lane #12)

On the writing front, things are moving right along, or should I say, write along? Heh. She and Aunt Melva are fifty pages into the first edits of Drama King’s first draft. It’s going pretty well, although we had something that may be called the Empanada Incident, because a whole scene scarpered off from the working copy of the full manuscript, and Aunt Anna only found it because it was the only scene in the book that contained the word, “empanada.” Phew. They also did some plotting on Queen of Hearts, which was super fun.

Next weekend, they will be teaching their workshop on how to write through the tough times, for Charter Oak Readers and Writers. While Aunt Anna and I are in New York, and Aunt Melva is in Massachusetts, there is still no travel involved, even though CORW is in Connecticut. As with many things these days, they will be conducting the workshop virtually. They will be sure to give all the highlights on their own website, MelvaAndAnna.com, which is newly updated, with more stuff to come.

As for the historical romance side of things, that’s progressing as well. Aunt Anna is now eyeing the calendar for when her A Heart Most Errant manuscript comes home to roost, and then she can take the next step in the indie process. To get in the medieval mood, she’s planning to dive not some old favorite medievals, and some from the brave new wave of modern medieval writers. Do you have a favorite medieval? Let her know in the comments.

Okay, that’s all I have on the agenda (well, the part i haven’t shredded yet) so I am going to go take another crack at that weighted blanket. Maybe it’s filled with kibble!

Headbonks!

Typing With Wet Paws: I Feel a Draft Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. The draft I am talking about here is not coming through any doors or windows (our building is very well insulated, which is very much appreciated) but drafts coming from Aunt Anna. By this I mean of the booik variety, of course.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com
(not Aunt Anna)

Drama King

As you may have read in Aunt Anna’s blog, Drama King is now officially a draft. Aunt Anna is a little dazed over that because, well, 2020 was horrible. Now it’s time for the editing phase, which Aunt Anna actually likes. Strange, I know. It also means time for a new notebook setup for laying the groundwork for Queen of Hearts. Oh what hardship. (I am being sarcastic here.) There will probably be new pens and highlighters, too, or, more likely, appropriating some that Aunt Anna already has. One of the really fun things Aunt Anna is looking forward to is getting together things that remind her of the character she will be writing for Queen of Hearts, which, this time, will be the heroine. She really loves the heroes Aunt Melva writes, so this is going to be fun.

It also serves as a nice balance to the much more technical work of the editing process, filing in holes, smoothing out transitions, making sure that the best character (a cat!) has enough scenes and all that kind of stuff.

A Heart Most Errant is now in the hands of an actual editor, and in about two weeks, it will be back in Aunt Aunna’s hands. That means she will have some more tinkering to do, but there will also be formatting and cover art, which sounds an awful lot like…a real book. The kind that can be sold directly to readers, if you’re into that sort of thing.

This means that she needs to start thinking, now, about connected books, which is not normally a thing she does, but the market is what the market is. Trying new stuff is fun, and the idea of writing more books in that setting means that A) she has a really good excuse to read more medieval romances, and B) get back on track with The Walking Dead, because the whole concept of this story world is “post-apocalyptic medieval.” It takes place after the Bubonic Plague whomped out basically half of Europe. This is either incredibly good timing for this sort of story or incredibly bad timing. Aunt Anna figures it will all work out in the end, and she’s happy to be writing historical romance, period, so on with the show.

Reading

First, the good stuff. (well, Aunt Anna says all reading is the good stuff) Aunt Anna is currently one book ahead of her Goodreads Reading Challenge, with six books read out of her goal of ninety. That puts her at seven percent of the way home.

The thing that gives her pause (as opposed to paws; I provide the paws around here) is that all six of those books are YA (or NA) – two romances and four scary books. With all of them, she has, at one point or another, or multiple points throughout, wondered how that sort of thing would work in a historical romance. Maybe this counts as some sort of research? This can be mildly concerning when one remembers this was also the week of…

Historical Romance Readathon

Yeeeeaaaah. Aunt Anna did not do great here. Not going to hold it against her, though, because A) this has been a rough week with raging insomnia, and B) that kind of led into feeling pressure-y about hewing to her readathon plan, so she is going to call this a deferred readathon and still do it this week, although albeit unofficially. That’s how she rolls.

All is not lost, though, because Aunt Anna acquired a super neat thing this week: a weighted blanket. That means that it’s a blanket, filled with lots and lots and lots of tiny glass beads. The weight is often very good for people who have anxiety (which Aunt Anna does) and make it easier for them to sleep. This one, I am happy to report, works. I even tried it myself.

Hooman tested, kitty approved

Also, Aunt Anna has another anthology ready for weekend reading, Regency in Color (vol 1!) which has a story from Jessica Cale, who is one of Aunt Anna’s favorite historical romance authors. This bodes extremely well. She can confirm that reading historical romance under a weighted blanket, with a hot cup of cinnamon tea, and a beautiful, purring calico girl makes for a super duper cozy time. Aunt Anna is very much into this sort of thing. Possibly with extra pillows and a scented candle set well away from any place aforementioned calico girl can get to it. I am never ever ever left unsupervised around candles.

Okay, I think that’s about it. That weighted blanket is super snuggly, and I have a lot of napping to do, if I am going to be any sort of purr-sonal assitant. What’s on tap for your weekend?

Headbonks!

A Tale of Two Manuscripts

First draft of Drama King is done. Complete. Finished. Melva and I agreed during our video chat on Monday, and then I promptly crashed. Monday was also the day that A Heart Most Errant is now safely in the hands of an independent editor. Over the next two weeks, there will be editing, formatting, cover design, and then my baby will come back to me and it will be time to think about the next steps.

Storm says nap time is now required.

For Drama King, that will mean going over the whole thing in fifty page chunks, filling in some places that need plumping, tying up loose ends, working on a lot of transitions, but we did it. We. Did. It. Once we send that to our editor at The Wild Rose Press, who holds right of first refusal (or acceptance!) and we see how that goes. We are also laying the groundwork for the third Love By The Book book, Queen of Hearts. After that, we do know what comes next, and we are feeling pretty good about that. Add to that the fact that we are reviving our website, including some upcoming workshops. Super fun.

With A Heart Most Errant, having book one off in the hands of an editor, that means that it’s time to think about book two…which I never thought about before. I normally think in terms of standalones for historicals, but the market at present is heavily geared toward series, so now I get to do a new thing. That’s both exciting and scary, and also gives me a really good reason to reread some favorite medieval romances (and discover new ones) and honestly say that I’m doing market research.

Speaking of standalones, Her Last First Kiss is going to require some surgery, because when things flat out won’t move past a certain point, that means somebody is trying to drive the story in the wrong direction. (Me. That person would be me.) It’s not a big thing, but if it’s derailed a story I love for this long, them maybe it probably is. Le sigh. But one story at a time, which is why this is not titled A Tale of Three Manuscripts. That, I am sure, will come soon enough. Which is okay. It feels good to be moving.

Today also sees me in the middle of the Historical Romance Readathon week, with my nose in two anthologies, and, hopefully, I will be able to finish them both. Not that I don’t like either of them, because I like both, but because it’s been an annoyingly insomniac week. I have a new weighted blanket that should help a lot. It’s also super cozy for reading, with a bunch of pillows and a cup of cinnamon tea.

Feels pretty good, after this past year, to report favorably on two projects in the same post. Maybe a deep dive into reading some historical romance will help with the whole coming up with new medieval stories thingamabobble, and see how other authors of historical romance decide on how to pick the next connected project.

Comments, concerns, tips, all happily accepted in the comments below. Comments int he comments…yeah, definitely reading time.