Typing With Wet Claws: Welcome, August Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. I am coming to you from my sunbeam. It is my favorite morning place, so I did not mind too much when Anty wanted to take my picture there. I can pose nicely when I have a good reason. Sunbeams are good reasons. In the cold weather, this also puts me in front of Heater. I love Heater. August is the best month because it is Uncle’s birthday month. Uncle is my favorite, and I love him. Anty is okay, too. She feeds me and pets me and lets me write this blog, as long as I talk about where to find her writing, first. I had better get to it.

As always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance this week, with her Saturday Discussion post. This week, she talked about some of the various means readers use to keep track of books they have read, and books they would like to read. She even shared pictures of some of her own records, so if you are interested in that sort of thing, you can find that post here, and it looks like this:

BURkeeptrack

Now it is time to talk about Anty’s reading. As of this morning, she was on track with her Goodreads challenge, so she was technically current when I started working on this blog. She had to do house things, though (including feeding me, which is a very good cause) and then it rolled over into one book behind. As a cat, I know a few things about rolling over, and will give her credit for being current, but it wouldn’t hurt to read a little faster during the week. So far, Anty has read fifty-two out of the ninety books she wants to read this year. I would say that is pretty decent progress. Go, Anty.

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Since it is the first Friday of the month, it is time for me to report on Anty’s historical romance reading challenge. This week, she finished reading five books, and four of those were historical romance. That is how to do it. (I would fistbump Anty here, but I do not have fists. I have paws. It does not work the same way with paws. I will ask Uncle or Mama to do it for me.) This brings Anty’s total for the year up to twenty-six historical romance novels read. That is pretty good, all things considered. Keep going, Anty.

The books Anty reviewed on Goodreads this week are:

 

 

 

 

As you might guess, Autopsy of America is not a historical romance novel, or even fiction, but pictures of abandoned places across the United States. Anty loves pictures of abandoned places, and when they are artistic, that is even better. Some people think this makes Anty a little strange, but Anty is already strange; she is a writer. She likes Mr. Seph’s photographs very much, and they kind of play into something else she has added to her work this week.

This week, we had many domestic tornadoes. During one of them, Anty needed some distraction. Since writing and reading are her best distractions, she dug out an old manuscript from her archives, one that is set a very long time ago, in England, after the Black Plague wiped out a very big part of Europe. That includes England, because this was a long time before Brexit. It was also a long time before the European Union, but I am a kitty, not a political historian. Anty figured it would not take too much work to get that book ready to send to a potential publisher, so she is working on that as well, now.

She gave it a different name, A Heart Most Errant, instead of Ravenwood, so that it would be a new thing in her brain, and, so far, that seems to work. It is a new thing and at the same time, the same book she already wrote. This time, she is looking at it without overthinking, and it is not the only fish in the pond, as it were. Personally, I think a pond with only three fish in it is not a very good pond. I do not remember how many fish are in my fish movie. I think I need to watch it again to count, but I know there were more than three. Maybe this time, I can catch the orange fish. He is a tricky one. He looks like he is swimming out of the tablet, but he never does.

Huh? Oh, right. Anty’s books. Hmph. Anty likes having a lot of things going on at once, so I do not think she will mind having three projects at different stages at the same time.  This also helps her not fixate on a particular manuscript being The One, and if it does not sell, she has wasted a year and change of her life, and is doomed forever. At least that is what the Hypercritical Gremlins used to try to tell her. They have been very quiet lately.

Now it is time to let Anty talk, although I do not know why that is a big thing. Anty always talks, and this is her blog anyway, but here we go:

That is about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebanner01

skyebyefancy

Until next week…

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Controlled Chaos Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday.  As you may have noticed from my picture above, Anty’s image editing program is giving her guff, but she does not have time to deal with that guff today, so she will deal with it later. Good thing she has me to take care of the blogging for her on days like this.

Anyway, before I get into any of that, I need to talk about where you can find Anty’s writing on the interwebs, besides here. As always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance this week, and this week, she talked about what the humans call wedding season. I have never been to a wedding, because I am a kitty, but I gather that they are a big deal for some humans, both in books and in the really real world.  Anty’s post is here, and its link on the main page looks like this:

BURweddingseason

Now it is time to check in on Anty’s Goodreads reading challenge.  Anty is still on track, for the second week in a row. Good job, Anty. Normally, I would encourage her to do better, because A) she only reviewed one book this week, and B) it is not a historical romance, but there are extenuating circumstances. One of the books Anty is currently reading is Shanna, by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, and that book is very, very big.  Anty first read it when she was an almost-grownup, so it is a little bit like reading it for the first time, but with remembering some parts of it.

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Anty has read thirty-nine books out of the ninety she has set for herself this year, which is pretty good, and keeps her on schedule. She is also reading The Wild One, by Danelle Harmon, which is also set in the eighteenth century, so she gets points for staying with her additional goal of reading more historical romances set in the era in which she is currently writing.  That book, she has on her Kindle, so it can go with her everywhere, as opposed to Shanna, which, at over six hundred pages, and being hardcover, is not as portable. That is the big downside to re-reading some of the classics in this genre.

The book Anty did review this week is Hello, I Lied, by M. E. Kerr.  It is a YA novel, about a very interesting summer in the life of one almost-grownup human. It also has a reclusive rock star character in it. Anty loves that kind of thing – humans who were once great at what they did, but stopped doing it and now do not want to see anybody- so she was curious to see how that would play out in this book. She kind of wants to reread Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby now. Her review is here, and it looks like this:

GRHelloILied

If you know about any other books with reclusive once-great humans in them, especially with historical settings, please let Anty know about them right away, or tell me in the comments, and I will pass the recommendations on to her.

Anty says she is not messing with the banner until she can make the editing thingy stop giving her guff, or until she finds another editing thingy, so I will jump right into the topic at paw. This week, Anty and Anty Melva got some bad news that is really not that bad. One of the humans who wanted to look at Chasing Prints Charming had some very nice things to say about what they read, but ultimately said no thank you to looking at more. That is disappointing, but Anty prefers to look at the very nice things. There are many other humans who look at books that are not yet published, so this is not the end of the road. Anty is very happy to be working with Anty Melva,  and they will talk on Skype later this week. I am still salty that Skype is not short for Skye Pee. I think they have a missed opportunity there.

Most of the time, I work as Anty’s mews, but I am also a nurse when it is needed. Uncle is not feeling that great today, and Anty and Mama may be taking him to the people vet. He will feel better after he goes, but I can only imagine what Anty and Mama have to do to get him to go into the carrier. It takes both of them to get me into my carrier, and Uncle is a lot bigger than I am, plus he has opposable thumbs. No tail, though, so those things might cancel each other out. Maybe if Anty puts a treat inside the carrier, he will go inside to get it, and then she and Mama can close the door.  They usually put the carrier on its end and stuff me in, when it is my turn, but the people carrier is really big, and its doors are on the sides, so I do not think that would work this time.

That is about it for right now, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebanner01

skyebyefancy

Until next week…

Typing With Wet Claws: Recalibration Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. Even if this were not Friday, you would have been hearing from me anyway, because Anty is still recalibrating from the last couple of days. For those of you who are new here (first of all, hello) hot weather makes Anty sick, and we had two very hot days in a row. Those were yesterday and the day before. Those days were not fun. Then we had a big storm last night, and now the weather is better, but Anty still needs some time to get back into fighting trim. That is an old-timey nautical word that means ready for battle. Or, in Anty’s case, writing, because she kind of needs her brain for that.

In case you were wondering, I do not like hot weather either, since I have a built-in, full -length fur coat, but it is okay. I know where to go to be cool. The hallway floor outside Anty and Uncle’s bedroom is the best for this, because there is linoleum on the floor and there are no windows, so it is cooler and darker than anywhere else. This is what got me the nickname, Speedbump.  It is not my fault that the humans who built this house in 1890 put the hallway where the humans would have to go through it to get to the good bedroom, the bathroom and the kitchen. It is also where the china cabinet and linen cabinet are (actually, they are the same cabinet, china on top and linen on bottom; if you need dishes or towels/sheets, that is where they all are.) As you can imagine, the humans want to be there rather a lot, but I was there first.

Speaking of first, before I talk about anything else, I have to talk about where you can find Anty’s writing on the interwebs, apart from here, which you already know, because you are reading this now. As always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, and this time, she talked about a conversation she had with my Mama (Anty gave Mama a lot of books for Mama’s birthday; Mama had a very happy birthday) about things that make readers not want to read about characters anymore. That post is here, and its link on the main page looks like this:

BURbreakingfictionalcharacters

Even though it is hard for Anty to get enough brain, on very hot days, to write, she can still read (especially when parked in front of a fan, with an ice pack) and, this week, she made some progress. Her Goodreads challenge is here, and, this week, it looks like this:

GRreadingchallenge051917

This week, Anty read:

Road to Riverdale, by Mark Waid, Chip Zdarsky, Adam Hughes, Marguerite Bennett, Fiona Staples (Illustrations) (graphic novel, YA)

and

Follow the Heart, by Anita Mills (historical romance)

This puts Anty only two books behind her schedule, and now it is the weekend, and temperate weather, so signs point to yes for Anty getting back on track. Anty likes books by Anita Mills very, very much, and there are several that Anty has not yet read, as well as many books by Miss Anita that Anty has already read and would like to read again. Not all of them came with us during the Big Move (by accident) so she still needs to fill in some blanks in her collection. Go for it, Anty. I believe in you. Anty is sad that Miss Anita does not appear to be writing at present, but there has been talk that Miss Anita is now involved in animal rescue, so we cannot be angry at her for that. Rescue is how my family and I found each other, so putting pets and families together is still happily ever after in my book. Pun intended.

Okay, I think that is it for Anty on the interweb this week. This week, she mostly wrote on Her Last First Kiss, and a funny thing happened. Not funny ha-ha, because this is not that kind of a book. Funny as in interesting. Anty’s friend, Critique Partner Vicki, asked Anty if Anty’s secondary characters ever changed on her and did something she did not intend for them to do, which made them a different person than she planned. Anty’s answer to that was yes, because that is what happened this week for her.

Without giving too much away (Anty has talked to me about that) Anty wrote a scene that took place in an old-timey jewelry store (Her Last First Kiss is an old-timey story, so everything in it is old-timey.) The clerk was meant to be only a clerk. All he had to do was take out the thing the humans had come to buy, get the human paying for it to sign for it (handing over actual money on the spot would be too lower-class; this is the old-timey equivalent of running the credit card) and then he could go away because the story did not need him anymore. That is not what happened.

Instead, Mr. Solomon showed up. Anty did not plan him; he came in all on his own. Anty says he is a closer, and a master of the upsell. Miss N says he is also a bit of a philosopher, really smart, and she kind of loves him.  Anty kind of does, too. I think he sounds like a cat person. Unless Anty specifically says he does not, I am going to imagine he has cats.

While the nameless clerk who only had to complete the transaction could fill the role, having Mr. Solomon be an actual person cranks up the stakes. Hero’s best friend has to buy something in this scene, that will get him in big trouble later in the story. Hero’s best friend is also rather easily influenced. Put him in with a really good salesman, from Hero’s POV, and we can see the future train wreck (metaphorical train wreck; this story takes place before trains were invented) play out in Hero’s imagination.

Anty says enough of that from me, so I guess that is about it for this week. Until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebanner01

skyebyefancy

Until next week…

Post-Conference Recap, Part Two

Conference hangover is a thing, and it comes in stages. Today’s stage, after an involuntary two-hour nap, is the second half of the recap, which brings us to Saturday, when things actually happened.  Not breakfast, however, as we were on our own for that meal, usually my favorite of the conference, and Melva and I, despite our best attempts, found nothing around the hotel, so settled for Starbucks. There’s a picture of that, but my computer won’t let me post it, so we will move on to the big stuff, like my first conference workshop as a co-presenter.


I did not manage to get a photo of this workshop’s mastermind, Corrina Lawson, because she is a ninja, but I am sure there was a photo of the three of us taken at some time.  For now, moiself and the fabulous Rhonda Lane. I think this was the most picture-filled conference yet, which I take as a challenge for next year. Speaking of which, I take you now to the room where it happened:

 

Actually, the room where two things happened, because my first and last workshops of the day both took place in the same room. Corrina, Rhonda and I had a decent turnout, alert and attentive women (no dudes in this workshop, at least not this time) who had specific questions about blogging, and made the whole experience fun for presenters and attendees alike. Fingers crossed that the pitch to NJRWA is successful, because I would love to do this again. The fifty-minute hour was over all too soon, and we capped it by giving away an analog blogging starter kit. Here’s what one lucky person took home:

GivawayLoot

If you missed out on the workshop, or are curious about what actually went down in that magical hour, we have a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation, which you can download here: BloggingIsntDeadHandout

The other thing that happened in that room was that Damon Suede presented a compressed version of his workshop on character building. This was a surprise addition, as the presenter who had been scheduled to be in that room for the last workshop, had a flight delay, and Damon graciously stepped in. Despite back pain, I made tracks the second the previous workshop, across the hall finished, because there was no way I was missing this one. No regrets. The room was packed to capacity, and well worth it. If you ever get a chance to hear Damon talk about anything writing related, grab it.  We learned the difference between activity and action, and I love the idea of a defining verb for each lead character, preferably verbs in opposition to each other, because friction is what makes, ah, things, feel good.

In between our workshop and Damon’s , there was a lot of learning -from neurophysics to the art of the novella, to the ins and outs of writing with a partner…which I had to leave early (still salty about that, too) because it was pitch time. The newly-named Chasing Prints Charming had three pitch sessions, one from me, and two from co-author, Melva Michaelian. Swing and a miss from me (hint: when pitching your romance novel, do not choke and make the hero a footnote) but two hits from Melva; both of her pitches resulted in requests to see more.

While I did have the obligatory “what’s wrong with meeeeeeeeee?” whinge, the answer is: nothing. Though this pitch got a pass, the person to whom I’d pitched said they’d totally read it for pleasure (I have heard this before, on another pitch, but that’s another story, both literally and figuratively) and the no was based on that particular person placing that particular book. Discussion of how my pitch session went had to wait until after lunch, as the person who had passed on the pitch ended up sitting directly behing me for that meal. Not every work fits with every editor or agent, but two others nibbled, so Melva and I are still calling it good. Time to get the requested material in shape and send it on its way.

As for that lunch, Zoe York, our luncheon speaker, put the text of her speech on her website, so those who want to relive the magic, or those who weren’t able to attend, can get a small taste. Zoe talked about some of the cold, hard facts of the publishing business, and the importance of writing the books we want to read, and how this is not a business for the faint of heart. Like, you know, people who had their pitches turned down and then sat in front of the person who did the turning down. By now, I’m more amused by this particular turn, and, who knows, Melva and I might put it in a future book. As Chasing Prints Charming was born at a prior incarnation of this conference, we also began our pre-writing on Drama King, our next collaboration.

The big event, for me, besides our workshop, and Damon Suede’s workshop, was being in the same room with Joanna Bourne. Not only being in the same room, but hearing her keynote dinner speech, which would cap off the whole experience. Though there were still some breakout sessions after dinner, Melva and I had miles to go before we slept, so this was our grand finale. For those who haven’t had the pleasure, Joanna Bourne writes amazing historical romance, set in the French Revolution, with all the deep emotion and dark places of the heart, and all that other stuff I absolutely love to find in a historical romance. Did she talk about writing outside of the drawing room? Finding the emotional center? How she encapsulated the entire French Revolution, from both sides, with two people surveying a trashed greenhouse? Nope. Squashed hamster, a vet’s waiting room full of falcons (no worries, hamster was fine) and the difference between greatest adventure and “being well traveled in Concord.” For those, like me, who still wanted to hunt down some words on writing from one of the grand mistresses, there is this tidbit, found on her website’s blog.

After dinner, it was pictures and hugs and cheek kisses and promises to email, gathering tote bags and turning in neck wallets, and stepping back into the ordinary world. As much as conference hangover is a real thing, so is the inspiration that travels home with us and spurs us on as we sit back at our desks, open a notebook and boot the computer. This week, it’s back to work on Charming Prints Charming, back to work on Her Last First Kiss, back to whittling down my Goodreads challenge debt, and all the rest that comes with the time in between conferences. I had a great weekend with my tribe; now time to do the work once again.

Typing With Wet Nails: Conference Countdown Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. There is a lot to talk about this week, so we’ll get Anty’s writing stuff out of the way. (Strictly speaking, it is all Anty’s writing stuff, but I mean the places you can read her or about her on the interweb this week.)

First, as always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance last week, talking about cabin and road romances. You can find that post here, and the link on the main page looks like this:

BURcabinroad

Anty’s Goodreads challenge is here, and, this week, it looks like this.:

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As you can see, Anty has read fifteen out of ninety books, putting her five books behind schedule. Anty does not like being behind schedule, so she is working on that. It is not always easy, when she has things she needs to finish writing by certain times, and there is the conference coming in a little over two weeks. Today is the twenty-fourth of March, next week is the thirty-first, and the week after that, it is conference time. (That high pitched panicked sound you hear is Anty screaming and running in circles. Do not worry, though; she will get better.) Even so, she finished reading The Viscount Needs a Wife, by Jo Beverley. Her review of that is here, and it looks like this:

GRBeverley032417

There is one more thing regarding Anty on Goodreads this week, and that is very exciting. Anty SueAnn read one of Anty’s books, and she liked it very much, enough to give it a five star review. Five star reviews make writers very, very, very happy. That goes for all writers, not only Anty, so please leave reviews when you can, for any writer. Anty may or may not be considering recruiting Anty SueAnn to write blurbs for her in the future.That review is here, and it looks like this:

NTL5starSAP

Okay, I think that is it on where you can read Anty or about Anty this week. She has had some interesting comments, from other writers, including those on Anty’s keeper shelves,  to her Ramblings of a Temporal Vagabond posts, which are here and here. Anty is probably (okay, definitely) not done talking about different eras in historical romance, and why broadening that playing field is a good thing, especially because the conference is coming, and she will have more to say after talking to other writers. She hopes that includes Alyssa Cole, who will be co-presenting the workshop Anty cannot attend because she will be co-presenting “Blogging Isn’t Dead” at exactly the same time, but in a different room. If you go to Anty’s workshop, and she says she needs to use the people litterbox, she is really trying to sneak into Miss Alyssa’s workshop, and you should block the doorway so she cannot leave. Until the workshop is over. After that, it is illegal to restrict her movements, so please do not try once the workshop is concluded. Distracting her with stationery or gummi bears would probably work, too.

Anty, Miss Rhonda,. and Miss Corinna have been talking a lot on email, so that they will be ready to give the best workshop they possibly can. I am very happy to confirm that one of the slides does, in fact, include me. I also saw the word, “pets,” on another slide, so I think they have their priorities straight. That will still not make me happy about Anty and my Mama going away overnight (Uncle will stay home with me, although he has to go out and hunt -humans call it “work”- for part of the evening, but he will come home smelling like cheese, so I can look forward to that) but at least I know that the importance of cats in the blogosphere will be represented.

Anty has several things to do to get ready for the conference. She has to get her pitch together for her pitch appointment, for one thing. For the last couple of years, she has not had a pitch session, but this year, she does. She feels a little rusty, but she is also excited because she loves pitching. It is the writer version of auditioning, which was one of her favorite parts of her theater experiences in college. She will have eight minutes with a publishing human, who is paying attention only to her, and already loves the kinds of books Anty loves to write, and wants to buy new ones. Well. Anty may be able to help her out on that one. We will see.

There are other things Anty needs to do before she can head off to the conference, and they are also important. Since the conference is not providing breakfast, Anty’s favorite meal, she needs to find where she is going to find that, and find out who is going to have it with her. If you are reading this and you are going, you are invited.

Anty also has to figure out what she is going to wear to the conference. Most likely, it will be black, because that is her favorite color, and she has a lot of black things already. I am not too concerned with the color. I am a tabby cat, which means my fur is stripey, and, with my creamy undercoat, I can shed on pretty much anything and have my fur show to best advantage. It is a gift. My humans never have to worry about other humans (or pets) knowing they have me, because my fur will be right there.

Because it is this close to conference time, and Anty has more than one thing that has to be written by a certain time, it is also the time of year when Anty loses track of what day it is in the really real world, despite her calendars (yes, plural.) Earlier this week, she had to ask a friend if she was at a place on the right day, because she had forgotten there would be food there, and there was food there, so maybe it was the wrong day? Her friend has people kittens, so she understands losing track of things like this when one’s brain is taken by other matters. As it turns out, Anty was there on the right day, but things like this are going to happen until things are all the way written and the conference is done.

That is about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebanner01

skyebye

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Conference is Coming Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday.  This week, you get a greatest hits picture of me, because  Anty’s mail server loves the picture she took of me this morning so much that it does not want to send it to her desktop and wants to keep it all to itself. We are now in the second month of 2017, which is probably my birthday month. When Anty and Mama found me at the shelter, the vet said I was about ten months old, which means, since that was December, I must have been born in February. Maybe I am even a Valentine baby. Anty thinks that would be fitting, and, since part of her job as a writer of historical romance, is figuring out what could have happened in the past, we are going to go with that. More on that later, because, first, I have to talk about Anty’s writing and where you can find it.

First, as always, Anty has her Saturday Discussion post on Buried Under Romance. This week, she talked about books that become movies, in reality, or in readers’ minds. That post is here, and it looks like this:

 

BUR01feb17.png

maybe Anty should put the funny pictures at the top of the post?

The next two links are kind of sneaky, because they are not whole posts, but posts where Anty helped at Heroes and Heartbreakers. First, like every month, Anty got to say what her favorite book of the month is, and, this month, it was a book she already wrote about on that site, which she liked very much. That post has recommendations from other H&H bloggers, too, so it is possible, in theory, to get a whole TBR list from one post alone. That post is here, and it looks like this:

hanhbestreads

The other link is really the sneaky one, as Anty did not write the quiz, (Anty loves taking this kind of quiz) one of the potential results comes from a post she wrote, about a hero she liked very, very much. So, though Anty is not in that post, one of her favorite characters is, so she thought I might like to include it in my post anyway. She was right. That post is here, and it looks like this:

 

handhbookboyfriend

 

Now that it is February, that means April is only a little bit away, and that means it is almost time for the NECRWA conference. Anty loves going to that conference every year. Sometimes, people tell her how much they like my blog. My blog. Let us spend a moment on that, if we may. As Anty once said, when a fellow writer asked her how she comes up with new ideas for her blog every week, the key is to get a cat to write one third of the blog posts. I do not know if that will be part of her “Blogging Isn’t Dead” workshop, which she will be co-presenting with Corinna Lawson and Rhonda Lane, but I would not be surprised if the topic came up at some point.

The approach of conference time means that Anty has some work to do, not only to get together with Miss Corinna and Miss Rhonda, to talk about what they are going to say (and who is going to say what, specifically) or connect with people she definitely wants to talk to that weekend (Anty is an extrovert, so basically everybody) or what she is going to wear, but really important stuff. I know what you are thinking, and we can cross the most important item off that list right now. Uncle will feed and play with me while Anty is away. Conference weekend means Uncle and Skye weekend, so it is a holiday for me, too.

The really important thing Anty wants to focus on this year is her own books. Since she has a first draft done of Her Last First Kiss, and she and Anty Melva are working steadily toward the end of the first draft of the Beach Ball, it is time once again for Anty to look at pitch sessions, and what she is going to say to any agents or editors she might meet at any part of the conference. Anty has never gone to a conference with a book and a half in the hopper (book and two halves, if she wants to count her post-apocalyptic medieval, which really only needs half a revision to be ready for indie or traditional publishing. Probably indie, though, because it is post-apocalyptic medieval, and those aren’t exactly thick on the ground these days. Or any days. Anty still loves the story, though.)

It’s been a while since Anty has had a pitch session, and, as much as she loves them (Anty thinks eight minutes of a publishing professional’s undivided attention is right up there with amusement parks, romance-only bookstores, and bottomless cups of Lapsang Souchong tea; let’s be real, if there were an amusement park that had a romance-only bookstore in it and served bottomless cups of Lapsang Souchong tea, we might  never see Anty again.) getting ready for them is the nervous part. Anty has been in sessions where the other person has said “I love your sample, send me the whole thing” right away, and she has been in sessions where the other person has said “I don’t like stories that have Element X in them,” when Anty’s whole story is about Element X. Most sessions fall somewhere in the middle. Anty said I am not allowed to talk about the pitch session she had when she had been awake for three days straight, because that is when she gets into really punchy territory. That can be entertaining at home, not so much in a pitch session.

Since I am running out of room here, I will cut to the chase (please do not chase me; that would be scary) : it is time to hunker down and get stuff as ready as it can be, because one never knows when the other person might want the whole book, right now. It’s a magical time of year. Editors and agents go to these conferences for the specific reason of finding new writers and new books. They want to hear about what writers have to show them (but not in the people litterbox, please) so knowing what a writer wants to say about their books in advance is usually a good idea. This involves planning, and Anty loves planning, so I think she will be okay.

That is about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebye

 

Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling
(the kitty, not the book)

 

 

 

 

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Happy Anniversary To Me Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. This is a very special edition, because yesterday was my ninth anniversary of getting adopted and becoming a pet. I was ten months old when Mama and Anty came to the shelter to get me. I had been living there since I was six months old. Before that, I was wild, because I was born that way. I did not stay that way, though, because the rescue people found me when I got hurt by a car, and they took care of me until my humans could find me. I did not know what was happening on my adoption day. The rescue humans put me in a carrier, like when they took me to the pokey place. I did not want to go the pokey place and see a vet, but that is not what happened.

What happened was that Mama and Anty came to the shelter. They did not know I was already in the carrier, so they talked about how much they wanted to meet the kitty they were going to take home. They talked about how Olivia, their other cat, had gone to Rainbow Bridge, and how sad they were because of that. I did not want these nice humans to be sad, because that made me sad, too. I was already sad, so that means I got sadder, but the story is not over there (obviously, because you are reading this.) The rescue humans showed Mama and Anty where I was, and then they got happy, because of me. They asked if I wanted to come live with them and if they could call me Skye. I think my response was something like, “um, okay?” because I still did not know what was going on, but other humans who came to take kitties to that home place were always happy. Happy humans are my favorite kind. One of the rescue humans helped put my carrier in Mama’s car, and Anty called Uncle at his work to let him know I was coming home. She told him other things, too, like what kind of kitty I was (Maine Coon, which I still am) and what color I was (brown tabby) and that I had a ginger spot on my head (it is the only orange fur on my whole entire me) and that I was scared but still a good kitty.

Everybody was very patient with me while I got used to being in my new home. Anty even thought it was funny when I tried to nurse on her toe (Anty says we miss one hundred percent of the shots we don’t take) and now it is one of her favorite Baby Skye stories. She says that adopting me crossed “Christmas kitten” off her bucket list (maybe that is one of the reasons “Skye Bucket” is one of her names for me?) but being adopted by my humans crossed “get a home” off mine. It is a good home.

It does not, however, get me out of talking about Anty’s writing (she let me go first this week because it was my adoptiversary.) As usual, Anty has her post at Buried Under Romance to share with you. This week, she talked about romance novels and related items as holiday gifts (if you have gifts yet to buy for reading friends, books are good ones. Especially Anty’s. Anty gets really happy when people buy her books.) That post is here: http://www.buriedunderromance.com/2016/12/saturday-discussion-the-gift-of-romance.html#comment-9289 and it looks like this:

bur121216

 

Anty also has a new post at Heroes and Heartbreakers, where she talks about six of the shippiest moments on This Is Us. Anty loves writing and she loves This is Us, so this was a fun piece for her to write. Is your favorite couple/moment listed? (My favorite moment was finding out that Clooney, the cat, was okay and even got extra pettings. I hope that was not a spoiler.) That post is here:

http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2016/12/best-this-is-us-moments-of-season-one#comments and it looks like this:

 

handhthisisus

But can we really feel too much? Really?

Another thing Anty wrote about this week was something that helped her pursue three goals at the same time: reading more historical romance, feeling more Christmassy, and writing more about what she reads. That is all because she read My First Noel, by Danelle Harmon, who is a favorite author anyway, (and a very nice human, even if she does have dogs and a horsie. rather than cats.) This book was Miss Danelle’s first time writing in the inspirational genre. Anty was all over that from the concept alone. Her review is posted here:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1839106619?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 and it looks like this:

goodreadsharmonnoel

 

 

If you would like to see all of Anty’s reviews she posts on Goodreads, you can find them here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/8485744-anna?shelf=read. If you have read any of Anty’s books so far, and would like to write a review of them, or you are interested in reading them, you can find them on her “I Wrote It” shelf, which is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/8485744-anna?shelf=i-wrote-it. Anty would like to say thank you to all the new Goodreads friends she made this week. She is always up for more Goodreads friends, and has plans to make her “I Wrote It” shelf bigger in the coming year. I will keep you all up to date on that front, as I am very dedicated to my duties as a mews.

That is about it for this week, so I will give the computer back to Anty so she can play with her imaginary friends, and make more books for you to read. Until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebye

Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling
(the kitty, not the book)

 

Throwback Thursday, Historical Romance Division

Wild Bells to the Wild Sky by Laurie McBain

Wild Bells to the Wild Sky by Laurie McBain

It’s that time again.  Wild Bells to the Wild Sky, by Laurie McBain, is one of those books. The all time favorites, the ones where I have only to hear the names of the hero and heroine -in this case, Lily Christian and Valentine Whitelaw, how perfect are those?- to immediately reimmerse myself in their romance and adventure. 

This book has huge servings of both. Set in the Elizabethan era, largely on a deserted island, Lily and her brother grow up wild and in seclusion. Lily, her mother, and a family friend are the sole survivors of a shipwreck, the sole inhabitants of the island…until mother and friend produce Lily’s brother, that is. Ahem. Then fever takes the parents, and Queen Elizabeth sends courtier Valentine Whitelaw in search of the missing party, and then things really get interesting. 

History, intrigue, romance, fabulous locations, a clever heroine and dashing hero, gorgeous descriptions, and one of my top five historical romance endings of all time make this book one I go back to time and again. 

Since we’re waxing nostalgic on Thursdays, here are a few recent things I’ve been up to: 

Guest Post at Savvy Authors: From a Certain Perspective, It’s All Fan Fiction: From Fan Fiction to Fantastic Fiction begins on September 1st, so I’m delighted to get to blabber about the useful tools we can find in the books, movies, tv and music we already love. Drop by and try a fun exercise to combine old favorites in new ways. 

Outlander “Sassenach” recap at Heroes and Heartbreakers: Cue incomprehensible squeeing, Jamie and Claire are now on the small screen, and I’ll be recapping each new episode as it airs. How cool is that, I get to watch Outlander and say I’m working. 

 1 Line Wednesday on Twitter, always a highlight of my week. 

 

What are you reading? 

The Moment and The Month That Was: May 2014

Another month, another adventure begun, so let’s review the Month that was May, 2014:

Writing

Yesterday, while copying some information about the current ms into a new notebook (notebooky post coming soon) I had a Moment about the dreaded sticky part of the book that seemed like I’d need to train poodles to jump through hoops of fire to make a certain plot point make sense, and then make those same poodles balance teacups on their noses while dressed in period costume to bring a satisfactory resolution. 

Then, Micron (yes, the kind of pen is important, but pen post coming soon as well) poised over magenta line on white page, I had the Moment. What if I did B instead of A? Well, duh. That…might…work. In fact, it would give the poor (figurative) poodles a break, increase the stakes and mean I didn’t have to write the drudgey parts to explain stuff because stuff would already make sense. Well allrighty, then. Several pages of Micron-ed notes later, I left the coffee house with a springier step and I’m excited about going through the existing ms and tidying my loose ends. This will require some story surgery, yes, but it fixes what had put me off this ms when I made my first pass on it, years ago. Commence work on Pinterest board (still puny, but growing) and let’s do this thing. I’m very happy to have found the right groove for Ember and Gareth, two characters who have been more than patient with me…at least so far.

May was a pretty good month over here. I’ve started hosting Saturday discussions at the Buried Under Romance blog, which is huge fun, and May sweeps meant lots of shippy moments on TV, to blabber about at Heroes and Heartbreakers. Links below: 

Heroes and Heartbreakers

Buried Under Romance:

Reading:

I’ve been lazy about keeping track of reading, which I need to remedy, but I’m thrilled to have discovered Alison DeLaine‘s  historicals, starting with A Gentleman ‘Til Midnight, and am re-listening to Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby. Third time listening to the audiobook, and I’ve read the paper copy at least twice. I don’t think it’s possible to reexperience a favorite book too many times. 

Watching

This was the month I finally gave in and started watching Mad Men. I’d resisted, because, basically, my dad had Don Draper’s job in that era, but boy is it brilliant, and boy is it gorgeous, so there will likely be more blabbering about that soon. 

Also endeavoring to rewatch How I Met Your Mother from start to 9×22, because the finale does not count. 

Okay, June, bring it on.