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.

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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.

End of Book Daze

2020 has been a ride, for sure and for certain, and perhaps the wildest thing of all is that, right now, I am furiously scrawling ink and pounding keys on my very last scene for the hero’s POV on Drama King. Yikes. This feels surreal, and about dang time. Wow. It’s not going to be the final scene of the book, as that honor goes to my amazing writing partner, Melva Michaelian, who I know is going to knock it out of the park and give me all of the feels.

The end of a book is a weird place to be. For the reader of a romance novel, there may be some sniffles, maybe a heart clutch, some laughs, depending on the sort of book, and/or situation, and, at the end of it all, is the tried and true, happily ever after. We know this couple is going to be together for the rest of their lives and they are very much okay with that. For the writer, there is all of that too, but a whole lot more.

Self-doubt is part of it for sure. Did we forget something? Are there dangling plot threads? How can we make this scene unique to these two lovers, to bring their individual arcs and their arc as a couple when this is literally the defining thing that makes a romance that makes a romance a romance. Okay, one of two. (1) the love story is the central focus, and 2) there is an emotionally satisfying and uplifting ending.)

Originally, I’d had the outline for the blog post I wanted to write here, spotlighting one of my planners for the coming year. That will still happen, but I have to get out of the fog first. Then I have some thoughts on the Bridgerton series on Netflix. I haven’t seen the series yet, and I didn’t originally plan to, but I don’t feel I can join the conversation without watching at least the first episode, to experience it for myself. I have not read the Bridgerton books proper, but I have read the four prequels about the previous generation, which was…okay. Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it, but those don’t have anything to do with the series, which I definitely want to watch while alone, and take pen and paper notes, because this could be a Thing. A good Thing. I hope. See self doubt above.

The end of one book always means, at least for me, the start of a new book. This time, it’s a return to Her Last First Kiss, which was put on pause, due to things like bedbugs, homelessness, shingles, anxiety, depression, and helping to clear out my bestie’s childhood home when her mom moved to a super nice apartment. We also ended up moving into a super nice apartment, which is my favorite place I have ever lived, so that’s pretty swell.

Melva and I had decided we wanted to wrap Drama King before the end of the year, because we both need a win, individually, and as a team, and it looks like that is actually going to happen. Huzzah. There are emails and DMs flying back and forth, and a good deal of my initial composition takes place from the safety of a blanket burrito, with spiral notebook and felt tip pen (and feline assistant providing soundtrack and extra warmth.) I have growled at family members to get out of my air space (yes, exact words) so that I can get the darned thing finished.

Today, that’s exactly what happened. Housemate conveyed Real Life Romance Hero to his place of employment, and promised to stay away until it was time to convey him back home again. There may or may not be prepared food coming with them. If not, RLRH will be cooking. I will not be cooking, because I know myself, and I will be, by that time, a wrong out washcloth, sad that I wrote my last scene for this book, and triumphant that I wrote my last scene for this book, I won’t say that I will miss Jack and Kelly, because Melva and I will be spending a lot of time with them as we edit and get them through the end of draft two.

It’s also time to look ahead to laying the framework for the next Love By the Book story, Queen of Hearts, with my first shot at writing the heroine of our couple. Heather is the sister of Dominic, the hero of Chasing Prince Charming, and I look forward to helping to guide her to her own happily ever after.

Love By The Book, #1

Once this scene is off to Melva, it’s time to turn my attention (after a nap!) to setting my writing goals for 2021. I’m treading a line between ambitious and realistic, and will probably end up somewhere in the middle, with a few stumbles along the way. It’s times like this when I remember my high school gym teacher, Ms. Napier. We weren’t close. I was probably a bane of her existence, as I loathed physical education as much as she loved it, and she loved it as much as I love writing romance. Even so, it’s her voice that comes into my head at this stage of the game, as it were. I can see the finish line. I can’t quit if I can see the finish line.

Where’s your finish line for 2020?

Planning Home Stretch

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is my favorite week of the year, not only beause it’s my beloved tucked-away week, but also because it is the most wonderful time of the year for planner aficionados like myself.

This week is when planner people have only mere days to get their planner systems together, pick or refine themes, acquire the materials, and put the whole thing together so it will be ready to roll in the new year. I wasn’t able to do that in 2020, but this is a whole new ballgame we are looking at, so I am very happy to be back in this particular saddle.

So, what planners do I want for 2021? I’m figuring that out as I go. Until 1AM this morning, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do about my catchall planner, but then my penchant for organization provided the answer. I’d started my classic Glam Girl Happy Planner in July of 2020, so January through June were as yet untouched. Score. Glam Girl rides again as my cover, and I love that because it’s gorgeous.

they call it classic for a reason
The week in progress. Send sticky notes!

I am still setting up my everyday carry planner, a Happy Planner mini that lives in my purse, but I am pretty darned proud of my first try at a social media planner. I definitely want to keep a better hand on my social media this year, find out what’s fun for me, and concentrate on those thing. This may or may not incorporate a writing tracker, but it is the subject of my very first flipthough video. Link to that when I have it all sorted out; you’ll hear it here first.

pastel vibes for the win

I had a first draft of this post written out in longhand, all ready to transcribe, but over the last couple of days, I wandered my way into getting the whole thing a lot more under control than I had thought I would in so short a time. Like with many other things (like writing) with me, that involves running down the metaphorical dock at top speed, shouting “Ronkonkoma!” (family version of “cowabunga,” etc) and cannoball-ing into the midst, then figuring out how to swim to shore. Then I make a map for next time.

So far, where I have landed is this, each of which will get its own post:

  • Catchall planner
  • Everyday Carry mini planner
  • Mental health tracker/journal
  • Reading tracker
  • Social media planner

My main writing notebook is still in the gooey amorphous blob stage, which is perfectly understandable as I currently have tunnel vision to get the three scenes needed to call it on a rough draft of Drama King. Melva has done her part, and as soon as I am done with these, that means we can move on to the editing stage, which I kind of love. I may be breaking the writing stuff into two sections, historical, which I write on my own, and contemporary collaborations with Melva Michaelian. The division makes sense in my head, so we will see how that goes.

No matter how things shake out plannerwise, know that they will all be conducted under the watchful eye and fuzzy butt of one Storm Bacon Truss O’Malley Hart-Bowling. She has declared herself planner inspector emeritus, with a particular interest in whatever I am currently neeeding to use most.

Sleeping on the job?

Okay, the minutes I have of alone time at the computer are ticking away, and I have a scene to transcribe (when I am done with the first draft of Drama King, I can dive back into the whole Her Last First Kiss draft thingamaboodle. Super excited about that.) Talk amongst yourselves, or to me in the comments. How are your planner plans progressing?

Typing With Wet Paws: Signs of Spring Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Human stuff is settling down, at least a little bit, so Aunt Anna expects to be showing her own face on the blog once again, before too long. Once she sorts out the password stuff, that is, but that’s another story.

This week, Aunt Anna actually scoped out some new electronic doodads that will be helpful. in the whole Patreon thing, because that is totally happening. She’s working on content even now, and I am keeping a close supervisory (and slow blinkey) eye on the whole process. I have already volunteered to review cat toys, so Aunt Anna can save all her reviewing energy for books and stationery. I think that’s the most efficient division of labor. Also, I will do most of the napping. Leave it to the master, amiright?

One sure sign of spring is the planner clearance sales that provide Aunt Anna with a chance to try out new notebook systems and get a few of her metaphorical writing ducks in a row. It also helps her get ready for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, which she is heavily leaning toward doing this year, probably but not definitely getting Her Last First Kiss all the way to the end of draft number two. It’s also about time to um, stuff of get out of the litterbox about getting My Outcast Heart and Orphans in the Storm back out there, where readers can find them. She’s still overthinking about the whole submissions versus indie route thing, but if there is a paw that hits “send” sometime in the coming week on one of those submissions, well, I was in a sunbeam the whole time. You all saw me, right?

Spring is a time of changes, and Aunt Anna is on them. Buried Under Romance will be back ASAP, and if anyone doubts Aunt Anna’s devotion to romance, I direct them to her Goodreads challenge, where she is kicking tush and taking names at 30 books read out of 90, which is fourteen books ahead of schedule. Yeah. She’s like that. Channel that energy into writing and publishing, and this gal is going to be unstoppable.

Now we come to the important part of this entry, which is to say the part about me. We spent a few days at Chez Grandmere this past week, where my beloved Blue Chair lives. I love Blue Chair. He is mine, and I am a very smart girl. I am so smart, in fact, that when I saw the humans getting ready to pack the car and head out, before I was done with Blue Chair, I was not about to let that happen.

I made a beeline for the master bedroom, where I hid inside the box spring (that is my go-to hiding place. My mom laughed super hard when Aunt Anna first found out the hard way) Aunt Anna and Aunt Linda teamed up to flush me out of the box spring, but I was not done yet. I zoomed into the living room, and then poof, disappeared into thin air, or so the humans thought. Everybody looked in all the closets, the big dark basement where I am not allowed, the washer, the dryer, the refrigerator, all the cabinets, even outside in the rain, under the shed and everything. No Storm. I made Aunt Anna cry, but she also Googled about hiding cats, and then the humans looked in Blue Chair.

Aunt Linda found me inside that box spring, looking quite comfy and un-budge-able, but then Uncle Rheuben turned the chair on its back and he and Aunt Linda got me out while Aunt Anna grabbed my adventure cave. That’s when it hit me that we were Going On An Adventure, and I love adventures, so bloop, I went right in without question, and off we all went. The ride back home was great. It rained the whole way, so my view was incredible. Aunt Anna loves rain, too, so that probably helped her mood

Headbonks!

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Rambling About Stuff Edition

Greetings, foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling coming at you once again, with all the stuff on the week that was. A stuffed cat could get used to this cushy motel life. Did you know there is a housekeeping staff that will change the bedding whenever one asks? I claim no knowledge of a room service charge for sushi, no matter what photographic evidence Writer Chick may choose to present. I know my rights.

It’s been an unusual week here in the suite, but we are on the apartment hunt again starting Monday, in earnest. Other Chick is collecting prospects, Writer Chick is organizing the information, as well as our stuff, and Dude is doing his part, which does include bringing home the occasional turkey club sandwich with the crispiest bacon this side of Heaven, but I digress.

Writer Chick has been killing it in the writing department, as she has nice chunks of time while both Dude and Other Chick are out of the room, and pretty much the only thing she has to do is write. Which works out well, because, well, she is Writer Chick. The Buried Under Romance stuff is going a little slower than she would like, but hey, these are extenuating circumstances. In case you missed it, last week was that site’s BUR-thday, and Writer Chick blabbered about it here. There’s more stuff coming, reviews, and author visits, and blah blah blah. Book stuff.

Not even bothering with the Goodreads update for this week, because Writer Chick has read only one thing: squat doodle. She did read a little the other day, when she did laundry, but things have been a little, hmm, peripatetic for that. She’s hoping to make some changes in that department this weekend, but we will see. Does it count if she puts a tick (not an actual tick, ew, bugs) in the plus column if a prospective apartment has built in bookcases? I think so. Ah, all the places I could nap on one of those beauties.

Somewhat book-related, Writer Chick was tagged in the post seven book covers over seven days with no comment or context thingymaboodle. If you don’t follow her on Facebook, here are the books she posted:

Math never was Writer Chick’s best subject, which may account for there being eight books posted instead of seven, but she stands by her choices, and also wants to reread all of them. Which would go a long way to getting back on track with the whole reading challenge thing. Just saying.

Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have set their sights on finishing the first draft of Drama King before 2020 is upon us, and, if Writer Chick keeps up at her current rate, that could very well happen. She’s zooming through the second draft of Her Last First Kiss as well, which is surprising even her, but those of us in the know only have to look at the calendar, or the trees, to know the reason behind that. The calendar says we are a couple of days away from the official start of fall, but the real proof is Writer Chick making with the clickety clack. Guess she really can do this kind of thing anywhere. World, you are forewarned.

Peace out,

Happy Book Birthday, Chasing Prince Charming!

Today’s the day!

For everybody who has been Chasing Prince Charming, today is the day to catch him. Meg and Dominic have been let loose on the world, and, for the first time, people neither Melva nor I know (and some whom we do) get the chance to read the story of a fallen chick-lit author, determined to revive her career, the history professor turned romance publisher who beckons her out of her comfort zone in more ways than one, and their path through the writing process to their very own happily ever after.

Watch this space and melvaandanna.com (one word, all lowercase) for news on our upcoming author visit to Buried Under Romance. Melva and I will be having our regularly scheduled Skype chat, to celebrate, and work on our assignments for the next phase of Drama King. The best way I can think of to celebrate this achievement, of my first release in mumblecough years, is more writing. There were times, a lot of them, when anxiety and depression, and domestic tornadoes had me looking at what ws behind me, writingwise, to the point where I actually cried when Facebook thought I would like to remember when I had sold my last book.

There have been three anthologies since then, the invitation to the first two of them landing in my inbox the day after we moved out of our old apartment, and now a new chapter has begun. I don’t think I would have written contemporary romance on my own (jury is till out on the time travel, which is still on the back burner, until I figure out what the fluff is at the heart of that one, which may be more than one, thanks to my natural tendency to stuff ten pound cats into two pound bags) but as soon as Melva and I sat in that hallway outside the ballroom for a conference breakfast, and tossed around ideas until we landed on a simultaneous “we should write that,” it’s been a very natural thing to add to my usual bag of tricks, or, more accurately, binder of tricks.

my Love by the Book binder

My other great passion besides romance fiction is the whole world of planners and notebooks, but as I have said here before, all of my previous attempts have been the way I thought a writer’s notebook should be set up: always a three ring binder, always letter size, always with the same amount of sections that the package of dividers I bought had. Which never, ever worked. So, earlier this week, with the knowledge that the first book would be out to-freaking-day, and it says “book one in the Love By the Book series” right there on the cover, that people can actually buy, that is in peoples’ Kindles right the heck now (a huge thank you to those who have confirmed it’s on their devices) then I better make sure I do my part in getting book two to The End. Which meant a binder, which meant my kind of binder. (A5, I am making my own dividers, and applying tabs as needed.)

WIP binders

The binder with the white background is for my contemporaries with Melva, and the solid blush pink is for my historical solo romances. They both feel like home. I have three historical pieces, one novella and two novels, that are in need of (new) homes, and I need a place where I can comfortably settle in and get Her Last First Kiss to The End of draft two.

Her Last First Kiss binder

These notebooks feel like home, and these novels feel like home. This morning, I researched UK to US work visas, because the hero of Drama King has one, and part of Sunday pinning eighteenth century aesthetic images, for use in my Her Last First Kiss binder, to bring Bern and Ruby’s world into visual form. It works. Show up, put pen to paper, tell the story. As hard and as easy as that.

So, that’s my rambling for the day. Chasing Prince Charming is out. Meg and Dominic are ready to meet their readers. It’s a love story, of second chances and new beginnings, and digging down deep to find that, when we have to, we really, really can Do the Thing.

Happy reading!

Going to Ground

No fooling, dearest readers, this is Monday’s blog on Monday, though it is not my monthly planner post. There are a few reasons for this.

  1. Melva and I are still galley slaves. We are getting into the home stretch, because our editor is amazing, and there is not a lot of stuff to tweak.
  2. Insomnia Weekend is not only a great name for a garage band, but an accurate description of my actual weekend.
  3. The deadline for my submission to Z Publishing’s anthology is in less than a week. :runs in circles, screaming:
  4. I want to spend my April planner post on the planner I am creating for my and Melva’s collaborations, exclusively. Making that is a reward for completing the tasks listed above. Making a video flip through, when I am done, sounds like it might be fun. We shall see.
  5. I am still getting to know my new tablet. She is red, because pink was not an option, and her name is Robin Daggers. I have not put Facebook on her yet, and I may not, period, because that feels right, for right now. My wallpaper for this new tablet is the cover for Chasing Prince Charming, which I will be able to share, soon.

Job one, though, is to Get The Books Out, so I am going to ground, as a favorite author has often said, until the galleys are done and submission is sent. This is where I’ve wanted to be, so, even though it’s a lot of work, it’s also fun. My imaginary friends are a chatty bunch, which, for a writer, is a very good thing. It’s a good thing, as well, that there are so many of them, because that means I get more stories to tell, and more stories to share with you.

Even while I’m focusing on Chasing Prince Charming and the upcoming short story, there’s still Drama King to get to the end of draft one, and there will be sections in the collaborative notebook for Queen of Hearts, and even books beyond. We didn’t plan to be thinking two books ahead, but there was an idea, which birthed an idea, which birthed an idea, and we get the chance to work in a few things from our own experiences (not in the romantic department, though this will definitely be a romance.) There will also be a section for miscellaneous ideas, where we can dump the tidbits and leave them to put themselves together.

There is also Her Last First Kiss, because historical romance is still my first love, and, of course, books beyond. Camp NaNo snuck up on me, this time, and I am slightly disappointed that I am going to have to give it a pass (see all blabber above) but maybe the next session will be the perfect time to jump on board. I want to be thinking at least one book down the road in the historical department, because knowing what comes next is super duper fun for me.

That’s one of the reasons I had been/am looking forward to maybe doing Camp NaNo this year. This is my year of Yes, And, so it’s a good time to jump into unfamiliar waters and splash around a little. I have been playing with a couple of YA ideas (still romance) and there are a bunch of historical ideas and/or characters who have been cooling their heels in the waiting room of my imagination, for years. Some of them, for double-digit years, as a matter of fact, and they are getting increasingly testy, because I am, hopefully, a better writer now, and theoretically better able to tell their stories.

Some of them, I have begun to suspect, are cooling their heels, because of my long-standing habit of stuffing (or attempting to stuff) ten pound cats into two pound bags, when either getting a ten pound bag, or putting individual two pound kittens into two pound bags, would be the better course of action.  I’d like to play around with some of that and see how I might do some things differently now than then. I am looking forward to that.

For right now, though, I need to focus on the things in front of me. One thing at a time and it all gets done. Okay, that’s the magic seven hundred (a little bit over, actually) so time to toss this up there, and get back down to business.

Galley Speak and Other Stories

Monday morning, not quite noon, and my mind is all cattywampus. That is due, in part, to the fact that Sebastian blew off his Friday blogging duties (which surprises no-one) and in part due to the fact that the life of a galley slave goes to some interesting places. Most recently, it went to me being on time and ready for a Skype session with Melva, to discuss the first batch of galley stuff, only to get an email reminding me, kindly, that our chat was early this evening, not this morning, which resulted in me staring at my screen for a few minutes, my only thought, “well, what do we do now?”

That’s we, first person plural. I know what Melva is doing, as A) this is her usual schedule, and B) she told me. Technically, I know what i am doing, because I am Planner Woman, and I have it all written down, correctly, so I am not sure where I got the morning chat idea. I have also poured a cool, refreshing drink (as we are in that odd time of year where the seasonally appropriate beverage switches from hot to cold and back again, several times during the day) along the side of my face, instead of into my mouth, as intended. If I am getting to the missing my own mouth phase of thigs, it really is a good reason to retreat to the comfy end of the couch, with a blanket, yesterday’s library haul, and a beverage of choice (probably with a straw, as I am not to be trusted with liquids, today.) I have no idea who the rest of “we” might be, but my question was definitely “we,” not “I.” Maybe Sebastian? Who can tell? It’s Monday. Things are allowed to be fuzzy on Mondays.

This cattywampusness turned to making lists, as most of my dilemmas often do, and I spent a few minutes poring over the new binder for The Wild Rose Press stuff (but that is another post) and letting my conscious brain do its own thing on the back burner of my mind, while I sorted through stationery options. Touching paper is usually a good way for me to reboot my thought process. Talking, whether out loud, on paper, or virtual paper, for that matte,r usually helps, as well, so here we are, forging ahead, babbling into the wilderness.

Galley work goes rather well, all things considered. Our editor is amazing, my co-writer has a PhD in English (useful!) and we’ve been over this book so many times that I am farily confident that, at this stage of the game, things are pretty darned good. Our names are at the top of every page, and the action of noting the (very few) changes, only a word or two, her or there, by page and line, what the word is, and what we would like the word to be, actually has a soothing sort of rhythm to it. It’s straightforward, keeping an eye for shifting eye colors, characters who change costume midscene, without authorial permission, and how there are more different ways to spell “Haley” than either Melva or I had expected (though we did pick one and stuck with it, long before the galleys landed.)

I like this part. It’s painstaking and needs a lot of concentration, but it’s also a thing that we get to do, because we stuck with the process, from the first spark of idea, through a messy first draft, several revisions, several rejecctions, and then, miracle of miracles, having two acceptances at the same time and the very difficult choice of choosing which offer we would accept. After this, there are more adventures, the thrill of the release, and the promotion of our same, and putting the shoulder back to the wheel (doing that now) and getting Drama King ready to follow in its big sibling’s footsteps.

There’s also the excitement of diving back, more fully, into the world of Her Last First Kiss, and the deadline for my short story submission is subtly clearing its throat, as it creeps ever-nearer. I am still not sure about Camp NaNo for this session, but leaning toward “why the fluff not?” and cannonballing off the end of the metaphorical dock, once again. It’s kind of my thing.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: General Update Edition

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

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

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

Do they even exist?

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

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

Writer Chick, hanging with some of her besties.



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

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

Planner setup, Ikea-style

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

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

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