Typing With Wet Paws: Boxing Weekend Edition

Tails up, Storm Troppers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. While it is true that December 26th is called Boxing Day in some countries, this is Boxing Weekend, because we got new boxes here. Aunt Linda ordered a new mattress that comes rolled in a box, and new stuff to go with it. That means boxes for me! My big box “house” is still holding up, so I probably can’t keep the biggest box for more than until trash day, but that’s okay. Did I mention that Mama Anna put a paper bag inside my house box? Well, she did. It’s amazing. Very crinkly.

Oh right. I’m supposed to talk about Mama Anna here. That’s part of the deal. Okay. I can do that. She’s doing pretty well, actually. Not that she has figured out how to get the pictures from the tablet with the good camera into her feed but she’s working on that. Also, Papa is studying how to take better pictures, and I am a very willing model. He brings out my best side, which is all of them. I’m gorgeous.

don’t worry, I have photoshoots scheduled soon

But anyway, back to the writing. Mama Anna has gotten bolder in her journal stuff, and she thinks she’s found a super fun way to prep her journal pages to make her want to spend more time with them. Personally, I like lying on them. Or on her pen case if she leaves it open. That’s fun, too. She should be looking at me, anyway.

As long as we are on the topic of stationery, she has new sticky notes. Some of them are bright, and those are for the contemporary books she writes with Aunt Melva. They are having a lot of fun with Queen of Hearts, and are even planning a wedding that will go in that book. It also gives Mama Anna a chance to create her very own historic site, that may or may not have some similarities to a place she has been in real life. Also, she will get to add to it, and cannot promise that it won’t show up in a historical some day when it would just be a house because the history would be happening right then. Also, it would have cats. Lots of cats. She’d need them because of all the mice. Mmmmm, mice.

The other sticky notes re shades of dusty pink and purple and that kind of thing. Those are for the historicals, and they fit in the pink sticky note holder Mama Anna got on clearance. She is super into her desk aethetics. This may include rescuing her secretary desk from stuff jail when Aunt Linda is on vacation at the end of the month, and this may also include her rocking chair. That chair has a history, as it is older than Mama Anna, and I am told that Grandma Erma (I have to wait for Rainbow Bridge to meet her) rocked Mama Anna in that chair, so if Mama Anna rocks me in that chair (I love being in her lap) then the tradition continues to the next generation. Mama Anna is very much set on getting that chair or the likes of it into the apartment, because he needs a dedicated reading (and cat lap giving) place that is not her office chair or her bed (it is also Papa’s bed, and he doesn’t care for a big reading light in his face when he is trying to sleep. He already has a cat climbing all over him, so I don’t blame him on cutting down on distractions. Yes, I am that cat.) I have already put in a request for a cushion on the seat, because I want to sleep in it when she is not using it.

The one thing the humans are concerned about is that the rocking chair appears in Big Sister Skye’s notes to me as ‘the green chair of evil.” Which means that was where she made her um, litterbox. Because she had special paws and could not climb into a litterbox. Aunt Linda says that is why there is Febreze. I’m not worried. I am 100% on my litterboxes (I have two of them; it’s awesome.) NO need to deviate now, amirite? Of course I am.

Okay, that’s about it for this week, especially as Mama Anna has to pick up groceries and library books and let’s be real, probably more stationery. I wonder if any of it will come in a box.

Headbonks!

Typing With Wet Paws: Confused Cell Phone Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

Headbonks!

Storm

Is This Thing On? aka signs of life

:taps mic: Is this thing on? Okay. Hi, or hi again. I have been pill-bugging (has nothing to do with unauthorized medication, but rather emulating a pillbug insect, aka laying low) Those who have taken Depression and/or Anxiety 101, you’ll recognize this. Anyhoo, hi. Today’s task is to write a blog entry, so here we are. It’s a cold, slightly cloudy day here in NY’s Capitol Region, though because it is now March, it is also pre-spring. I am normally a fall and winter gal, but I am quite happy to say buh-bye to this past winter. This is a fancy way of saying that I am in spring cleaning mode.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

For today, that means putting away laundry and making some sense of my writing area, which, like Real Life Romance Hero’s office area, is in our bedroom. I am also eyeing a corner for a potential comfy chair because I sorely miss having a comfy reading chair, and one of my big goals for this spring is to get back to a normal reading and writing routine. Melva and I are moving forward with Queen of Hearts, having a lovely time of it, and she gave me a much-needed kick in the pants for the historical romance side of things during our chat this week.

Some of the things that have been swimming round my mind as of late:

  1. I miss Romantic Times magazine. The O.G. version, before it was RT Book Reviews, preferably in the newsprint era, tabloid size era a plus. I never made it to their annual conventions, but oh the pictures they shared for those of us who weren’t able to be there in person. I’m talking themed parties, sometimes controversial costumes, writers and readers mingling at will. It’s been said that if RWA conferences were university, RT conventions were Spring Break. I will have to take others’ word on that. I remember DM’ing my friend, Trish, who had been there, to ask if it was really true, that the founder had announced that it was all done-zo at the conference itself. Sadly, it was.
  2. Speaking of those RWA (Romance Writers of America) which while still a controversial organization on the national level, the local chapter meetings were a place where, once a month, I could get up close and in person with other career-focused romance writers. The romance part is important, as is the career focused part. Put them both together and it’s community. My local chapter voted some months ago to dissolve, and now I feel…floaty. I know there are also other organizations available for those missing that kind of company, though I am still finding out where those might be. Suggestions for online resources gratefully accepted, and DMs are open.
  3. This is the time of year that I would normally be getting ready for the New England RWA conference, the place where Melva and I conceived of the Love by the Book series because we were early for breakfast . We are currently writing book number three in that series, and have tentative plans for future books as well as other projects. Conferences are also a place where one could network and find others in one’s own subgenre, aka Extroverted Romance Writer Christmas, and not going to lie, the swag is a huge plus. Though I am delighted to know that the coveted purple pens in Hannah Howell’s swag contributions are Pentel RSVP, easily available and come in a lot of colors.
  4. It’s a good thing I love planning. Not only does it go along with the nitty gritty (pun intended) of making one’s home tidy and aesthetically appealing, but in getting all of those too-lng ignored projects in order and prioritized and researched and all of that good stuff.
  5. It’s also good that I am a blabbermouth. A very extrovert thing that I do is that talking and thinking happen often at the same time, as in thinking something through means talking it through, so I will probably be doing more blabbering, either here or on You Tube, but that’s another day.

For today, it’s this post, listening to things I’ve meant to listen to for some time now (my YT to be watched list is mighty) and then spiffy-fying my space. There will probably also be tea.

How’s your week going?

Anna

Typing With Wet Paws: ‘Twas the Week Before Christmas Edition

Tails up, and Happy Holidays, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. It’s the week before Christmas here (well, and everywhere else, pretty much, but it’s a regular day for some people, which is cool. I like regular days.) I have not yet made a move toward the Christmas tree, but then again, A) the lights do not blink (Mama Anna wants them to blink, but they currently do not. Harumph.) and we do not have a topper yet. The topper may blink, and that may catch my attention.

What has definitely caught my attention is that I know what drawer in the people clothes dresser Mama Anna keeps the catnip in, and I want it. I love catnip. That drawer doesn’t close all the way, and I can get my fingers over the edge. I keep trying to pull . I’ll get it one day. The claw marks tell me where I need to concentrate my efforts. Usually, Mama Anna tells me “enough of that,” or “excuse you,” and gives me pets. Then she asks me if I want nip (I always do) and she puts some on my bed or in my (cardboard box) house, and then we are both happy.

Because of reasons, Mama Anna and Aunt Linda are doing their holiday shopping this weekend. I have specifically asked for red dot and wand toys. I trust them to do the right thing. I also plan to share a can of people tuna with Papa. We do that on special occasions. Aunt Linda’s work friend gave me a bunch of fancy gushy food because her cats said “no thank you” to that purchase. There is a flavor that makes me kind of vomity, so those cans will be going to a nice human who feeds ferals near Aunt Linda’s work.

photo by Rheuben Bowling

Aunt Anna has moved the goalposts of her Goodreads challenge. It’s now 85 books instead of 90. That feels much more achievable right now. She regrets nothing. So far she has read 81 books, so that’s only four more. She can totally do that. I’m here for her so she can rub my belly with the hand that isn’t holding the tablet or book. If she reads an audio book, she can pet me with both hands. I prefer that.

As for writing, this has not been the most productive week, as she’s had another human at home for the last three days straight, and her office is in the bedroom and that can get tricky when someone is trying, to sleep while she is making with the tappity tappity. When she writes longhand, she likes to do it in bed while propped up on the whole bunch of pillows they have there. I suppose she could use Papa as an improvised kind of desk, if he is sleeping face down. I’ll suggest it.

What are you guys doing to get ready for your holidays?

Headbonks!

Storm

The Monkee Lestat

Earlier this week, I found out, on the same day, of the passing of two big influences on my creativity. I found out about Anne Rice first, during my morning Facebook browse, and then, a little later, Mike Nesmith of The Monkees. Both of those hit me, but in different ways.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I first discovered Anne Rice when I stumbled upon Interview With the Vampire, movie version, maybe a half hour in, on a random FB browse. I sat there rapt until the end, immediately sought out the book, then The Vampire Lestat, and hunted down more information on Anne Rice, who had created them. Of course Interview was about grief, and man oh man did she nail it. Not so much the vampire part, surprisingly, but her historical atmosphere so real that it dripped with the Old New Orleans feel. I was actually more of a Louis gal than a Lestat one, but that’s okay. What stuck with me most wasn’t the actual vampires, but the feelings that came along with it. I don’t remember when I wandered away from the franchise. Maybe before Egypt came fully into play, and maybe I will one day go back and read it all.

What I absolutely had to know was the author’s relationship with the Lestat character. I remember reading in some nonficiton book or article or even paper (yes, I tracked down an academic paper) where the author knew the exact moment Lestast left her, and I could see it, feel it, along with her. I also remember reading at a later date of the moment when Lestat came back, and I felt that, too. It’s a special relationship between author and character.

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

And then (hey hey) there’s the Monkees. We were born the same year (me and the group, that is; the original people were young adults.) All I knew at the time I discovered them in the early 70’s, when their TV show was in reruns, was they were silly and funny and I liked their music. I wasn’t sure where their parents were until I figured out they were adults and performing was their job. Oh, like The Partridge Family, but adults. Okay. Once again (or really before, since I found The Monkees before Lestat and company) I was more of a Davy gal than a Mike one, but I can say that Michael Nesmith was an amazing songwriter, and I have fond memories of watching his special, “Television Parts” which only addressed Monkee-dom with “I was a Monkee. This is my hat,” and then on with the show. I can respect that.

When the Monkees reunion in the 80s happened, I was in ult, and while disappointed that Mike wasn’t going to be part of it, I also understood. As a newly minted adult myself, he wanted to do other things. Cool. I still love Pool It, the Micky/Davy/Peter comeback album. They still had it. The earlier losses of Davy Jones and Peter Tork also hit me. I appreciate all of their work and am thankful for the legacies they left. I watched a clip from one of their last performances, attached to an official statement from Micky Dolenz, possibly their last time performing “Me and Magdalena,” which I adore, from their first release after Davy’s passing.

Maybe it was even the last time Mike and Micky performed it. This was advertised as The Monkees Farewell Tour, the Micky and Mike show. Micky described Mike as “frail” near the end, and yes, I saw it. I also saw what Micky said about Mike insisting on doing the tour, no matter what anyone else said. Micky carried more of the load than usual there, but Mike gave it all he could, and it showed. I can one thousand percent respect that.

There’s definitely part of both of their works in the writing I have done and am doing and will do. Just remembering for right now, thankful for what they gave us in more ways than they knew.

What celebrity’s work would you like to celebrate this week?

Anniversaries (not the romantic kind) and Other Stories

Yesterday was my and my friend Mary’s 20th friendiversary. It was four days after 9/11. We weren’t sure if the event where we would meet in person for the first time, an American Revolutionary War reenactment, was still happening. It was. I brought Housemate, she brought her hubby and then six-year-old son, who is now a firefighter and a fiancé. It’s been that long. Right away, I knew that this was found family for life. I am glad to see that I was right. Real Life Romance Hero was working that day, but when he was able to meet them in person, he blended in seamlessly. To say we have been through a lot together is an understatement.

Mary and I had our weekly everything and nothing talk. I cannot say how much good one of those chats with a good friend can do. Thankfully, I have a lot of such friends. I know I have been remiss in staying in contact of late, but it’s been, well, a lot in the last couple of years. Things are getting better now. We are coming up on another important anniversary, that of moving into our current home. We are already renewed for another year. It’s time to let out the breath we didn’t know we’d been holding (phrase used ironically) and relax.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

That means reading. That means writing. That means having my special things around me; gargoyle pencil holder, CORW awards, Elaine Duillo print that I need to reframe, and my and Melva’s first book cover together, that needs framing itself. My secretary desk, with all of its cubbyholes, my favorite classic historical romance novels in the bookcase my father built from scratch when I was a baby. It means reading the first paperback I bought in two years because it’s safe to do so. It means Walking through the park and looking for waterfowl, always my favorite neighbors. It means cutting myself some freaking slack because :gestures at last few years: Yeah. That stuff.

Which brings us back to :deep breath: writing. Specifically writing fiction. Specifically writing commercial fiction. Which means walking in that direction even if it feels wooden and rote for a little while. Crappy first drafts, even if those are crappy second drafts. To quote a friend with whom I do need to reconnect, “you’ll suck at first and then you’ll get better.” Wise words, and ones I am more than happy to tell to others.

Where am I going with this? Nowhere, really. It’s a blog post and that’s what I intended. It’s also fair warning that if you haven’t heard from me for a while, it’s because :gestures at past few years: and I will probably be showing up soon. Which will mean taking my own pictures again, which I dearly miss. Taking stationery pictures means figuring out the stationery situation, probably a cull, and definitely some refining. That will be a journey in itself. Stationery isn’t “just” stationery. Few things are “just” anything, for that matter. At least for me.

How about you? What anniversaries do you mark, other than the romantic relationship kind?

A Short Summer’s Nap

Right now, I am camped in the corner of Housemate’s room, in her office chair, with her fan pointed directly at my legs. I am minutes off a three hour plus video chat with one of my besties, our topics ranging from family to historical versimilitude versus entertainment (not mutually exclusive,) makeup (including me demonstrating product on the back of my hand and holding it up to the camera) and our version of a revival of The Nanny. I have a Jamaican beef patty (nom!) and a cold beverage, and Real Life Romance Hero is taking a well deserved nap in our room. I can head bak in there now that I am done with the chattering magpie convention, as he terms these weekly chats.

The day is beastly hot, though our own beast, Storm, is keeping cool in her “house” (akagiant cardboard box with new bubble mailer bed) and has an extra bottle of water. I have been up once again for the past two days (ugh) so a nap would be very much welcome. I also have library books, some journaling, and season ten of The Walking Dead to keep me company if sleep eludes me once again. Yes, a show about a zombie uprising is my comfort viewing. Read into that as you will.

There is a strong possibility I may perk somewhat after sundown. Whether or not this is proof I am a vampire remains to be seen. I do have long dark hair and an affinity for long black dresses, and my favorite ring is shaped like a skeleton hand. Then again, I do like garlic bread.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

My original plan for this post was to talk about the icky angry/sad mood I was in this morning. Tough chanes are happening for some people I love, changes are pending for an organization I have drawn a lot from in my writing career, and there is the up and down (this time down) of submitting manuscripts. I don’t summer at all well, I’m tired, and sometimes taking a dang nap can ge the most productive thing I could possibly do. The fact that it would be in front of the big fan makes it even better.

By now, I am well aware that I am babbling, but at least “write blog” can now get crossed ovff my list, and if I want to be salty about bumps in the road, that’s normal and natural. For a hot Wednesday in August, one might even say par for the course. In the words of my FIL, “well, what are you going to do?” For now, dismantle temporary desk and put laptop back in bedroom, then attempt to settle down fofr a short summer’s nap. No point this time, only blabber. How’s your day going?

Nobody Stop Me, or In The Groove

Have I ever mentioned that I have since single digit ages had a very soft spot for alternate titles. Completely unrelated to the Monkees song, “Alternate Title,” though does have some surprisingly boppy social commentary, and The Monkees are on the top of the list of music to play when I write Heather’s scenes in Queen of Hearts. I have my second scene from that written out in the notebook I have specifically for that, and all it needs is transcription and then it’s off to Melva.

Right now, I am borrowing Housemate’s office chair, with laptop on a folding desk, in front of a fan, and I am almost done with my third bottle of water for the day. The morning passed in a delicious virtual chat with my friend, Mary, whom I can’t believe I have known for almost twenty years. Doesn’t seem that long, and hasn’t she always been there/ Must be right, though, because the adorable little boy she had with her at our first meetup is now a firefighter, and, come October, will become a husband. Time does move.

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

Yesterday, Housemate and I made a library run, to a different branch than our usual haunt, and hit the motherlode of well stocked romance section. Well, well-ish stocked. I’ll take it. I am writing a script for a library haul video after I post this blog, and will flim either tonight or tomorrow. I’m also figuring out how I want to present my current planner/notebooks situation, as I am making some changes, and they are working much better than I had expected. There’s also the reading order to suss for abovementioned library haul, and how I want to figure in ebooks as well as physical books. I have missed paper books far more than I knew, and I know my eyeballs will be thankful for the respite. from all screens all the time. This will also require major surgery on my TBR notebook, but I knew that was coming. I am not a plain paper sort of girl. Never have been.

One thing I definitely need to make time for is writer (and reader) blabber, because after three hours of happily babbling over multiple topics, including historical romance (okay, a lot of talk about historical romance) I didn’t even want to break for lunch (but I did) and instead wanted to make plans for more socializing. Not going to lie, lockdown has not been easy on us extroverts. I love my family but I need to see faces taht do not use my bathroon on a regular basis. I’m thinking about making a regular time to open the discord server or a MSM room, for a regular supply of book blather, of both writing and reading varieties. I am positively starved for historical romacne writing talk. If I had decided to officialy do Camp NaNo this month (unofficially camping this time. Maybe November.) I had decided that I wanted to find a cabin that was historical romance only. Maybe I’m early for November?

No matter. This feels like that’s what was in msy brainpan for right now, so off I go to roll around nekkid in my library haul. Kidding, kidding. I will be wearing clothing, and there may be nappage. There will definitely be many cat headbonks, and calico cuddles.

What are you reading lately?

Of Instagram, Identity, and Branding

This morning, when I sat at the kitchen table, to write my morning pages, there were two thoughts at the front of my brain.

Thought One: My brain is a total blank, right now. 

Thought Two: I haven’t posted much on Instagram, since Skye passed.

Needless to say, thought two pushed thought one to the back burner, which, technically, takes care of thought one, so I am one step closer to having a topic for today. It’s true that my posting has fallen off, since my mews crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and we do, one thousand percent, absolutely, plan on adding another furry family member, as soon as we can move to a pet-friendly apartment. That isn’t too-too far away, and we are all in agreement that the first thing we are going to do, as soon as we get keys, is get ourselves to a shelter and come home with a new fur baby (or two.)

In the meantime, though, there’s the rest of it. :gestures to life, in general: I am now officially one half of an author at The Wild Rose Press, and Melva and I are not only hard at work on Drama King, and already talking about what we are going to write next, once this trilogy is finished. Also, when we want to start that next project, and all the behind the scenes stuff of getting set up for our new roles as co-authors.

This also includes making sure we work, not only on our combined brand, but our individual brands, because our combined brand will combine parts of our  individual brands, but not all of them, and it will be something new, of its own, as well. At this time, both of us respond to the question of what, exactly, that brand might be, with deer in the headlight stares, and awkward silences. Can deer in the headlight stares and awkward silences be a brand? That may be worth looking into, at least as a place to start.

Where to go from there, though? That’s the question. Having Sebastian sit in as Cat Regent, until the next cat joins the family, feels right, but one stuffed cat does not a visual brand make. Which means the big question: who am I? As a writer, that is, not a person in general, which is a whole other topic. Pen geek, planner fanatic, devotee of classic historical romance, makeup lover, amateur style maven, diehard shipper (I have a fleet of them) and a lot of other things. How many of them travel over to the author side of things, and how many are best left for private life? I am still figuring that one out.

One step in that direction, is to start posting regularly on Instagram again. I miss it. I feel guilty every time I get a new follower with “Maine Coon” in the username, because A) I am very happy to see them, and B) I am currently between Maine Coons, and, well, it’s going to be a while before I can post any more MC pictures. What if people are only there for the Maine Coons, and don’t give a fig about pens and notebooks and whatever I have my tea in that day, and they all leeeeaaaavvvvvve meeeeeeeeeeeeee?

Um, wait a minute. This is getting precariously close to the way I think about historical romance, as I am getting ready for my and Melva’s contemporary debut. Okay, my contemporary debut, as Melva has co-written contemporary with another author, Lorene Morin, and this is my first professionally published outing in both contemporary romance, and co-written fiction. I’m very excited about both of those things, and yet, at the same time, I am still passionately in love with both historical romance and Maine Cons, both of which I am still moving toward getting more of, even if there isn’t a new one out, right this minute.

N and I had to take a break from our weekly breakfasts yesterday, but, when we meet next week, our focus (foci? Is it still focus, if it’s plural? I am not the half of this writing partnership with a PhD in English.) will be on getting our current manuscripts – hers in YA fantasy, and mine in historical romance- all the way to the end of their next drafts. We both need the push, and to hold each other accountable. Melva and I are also discussing accountability measures for our own solo outings. Historical romance for me, cozy romantic suspense for her; both are important, because that’s where we come from, to the place of being able to write together, and that plays directly into how Chasing Prince Charming came to be set in the world of historical romance writing and publishing.

When we discuss what we want to use as the basis of our next combined venture, it also raises the questions of what we want to write for our next individual adventures. I’ve got a few ideas stewing about; the Hogmanay story, something about selkies, a few long-dormant partial manuscripts that may, at this very moment, be clawing their way out of premature entombment/experiencing birthing pains at last/possibly both at the same time/etc.

I’m not sure how to wrap this up at the moment. I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos, and leaning toward adding a video component to the blog/site/brand/etc, but still sorting all of that stuff out. What would you readers/fellow writers/pen fanatics/other assorted magnificent unicorn sisters and brothers of the creative realm? Drop suggestions in the comments, like and subscribe (see, I’ve been paying attention to at least that part of vlogging) and we’ll figure this out together.

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Time of the Season

Welp, we are officially in the Christmas season around here. Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror (and it was a good one) and the question of where the heck do we put a Christmas tree in this new apartment has started to bat itself around, especially as I am in a moving furniture around phase. My pillow pile is probably on its way out, as it’s not quite the same with the bookshelf-turned-desk here. Also, Real Life Romance Hero likes to keep the bedroom toasty (as in thermostat. The rest is nobody’s business.) so this may be me moving to winter quarters. Probably.

There is most of a huge (I am not exaggerating on this) pumpkin pie In the refrigerator. In a household where one person is watching their sugar intake, and another isn’t that keen on sweet things in general, this pie may outlast us. Any Albany area friends want to come over for pie? We also have tea, and I will let you play with my colored pencil, while we talk about books. Reading or writing, I’m good for both. There is also tea.

Anyhoo, it’s Monday, which means that I am getting ready for a 7PM Skype chat with Melva, where we talk all things Chasing Prince Charming, and plot the next week’s work for Drama King. Odds are very high that I will be having my end of the conversation here, at the kitchen/dining room table:

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This is also where I do the majority of my planning, though it’s sometimes on the other side of the table. Feel free to mentally flip the image for an idea of what that looks like, because that would be accurate. The planner I’m using right now is going to go down for a long winter’s nap, maybe in December, definitely in January, to come back in the spring, with all pastel colored inserts, standard size instead of the current A5. It will most likely be succeeded by this one, which I had no intention of getting until I saw the whole line on clearance, and then, well, things happened:

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The art isn’t exactly my style, but I like to mix things up, now and again, and I love the feel of the fabric cover. I like the challenge of trying something new, and diving all into it, but not completely on my own. I like to have some sort of guide I can refer to, when I feel uncertain. (Everybody say it with me now) It’s like that with writing. I don’t think I would have ventured into contemporary romance on my own. (We will not speak of my first time travel effort, which is still burning off its half life.) Writing it with Melva, though, that’s a whole different animal. Though we come from two different backgrounds, we know each other’s voice, and things kind of fall together. I have not, as of yet, given any thought to trying to lure her over to the historical side (come to the historical side; we have comfits?) but never say never. The future stretches ahead.

That future does include getting back to my solo historicals, and that’s both exciting and scary. On the one hand, the longer one spends away from a manuscript, the longer the road back may be, but, at the same time, time and distance can also offer perspective. How that works, I am not exactly sure, but I do know that switching between being two different writers (or one and a half?) does give writing a sort of hybrid vitality. Focusing on one genre can make the other one seem fresh and exciting again, when I get back to it, and there are benefits to both going it alone, and having a writing partner, ready to pick up the ball and run with it, when I’m not sure where to go next.

This time of year is my favorite-favorite, for a lot of reasons, and this year is extra special. This year, I have a book contract again. This year, I am working on two novels at the same time, one with a partner, and one on my own. To be fair, I was doing that last year, too, but this time, I have the added boost of knowing that I can do both. I love the idea of figuring out what Melva’s-and-my brand is, setting up our website, and connecting with our readers, who may not be the same as my readers or her readers, though I hope there will be some crossover.

When I set up the new planners (yes plural) for the coming year, there will be a section of the writing planner that is dedicated to future projects. There will be workshops in the works, and I look forward to going forward as an author and a half. Right now, a lot of it looks like utter chaos, but making order from chaos is kind of my things. Spread everything out in front of me, see what wants to go together, and then make it happen.

I am one thousand percent sure that the coming year is going to have its fair share of surprises. Hopefully, most of them will be good.