So, I Have a YouTube Channel

Happy Wednesday, my liebchens. In keeping with the spirit of trying new things this year/spring, I finally made good on my threat to start a YouTube channel -different from my short-lived vlogging channel-AnnaLog is finally a thing.

AnnaLog

Over the last year, I watched a lot of YouTube. I mean a LOT of YouTube, often BookTube, and out of that, I found a lot of creators I like and follow, but I didn’t see a lot of talk about the more vintage side of historical romance. Aha. Heeeere’s Anna.

Check out my answers to the historical romance book tag

I am very obviously learning here, from angle of the laptop screen to topics and tagging and such, so pleae pardon my dust, and get comfy, because this will be a place for me to blabber about all the things I love -and some that I don’t- about historical romance novels, as a writer and a reader.

The first thing I wanted to cover, apart from a chapter header, was the historical romance reader book tag, created by Jess from PeaceLoveBooks on You Tube. Basically, if you ever wanted to pick my mind about historical romance, this is your opportunity. Only the tip of the iceberg, naturally, but tons of fun to make, and, I hope, to watch as well. Like, subscribe, share, all that good stuff, and yes, I am available for hire on my Patreon, to make a video on the historical romance topic of your choice. This is already lots of fun, so strap in, it’s going to be quite the ride.

Camp NaNononoooo

My workload made the decision for me for this round of Camp Nano, starting tomorrow. Eep. As much as I was looking forward to writing something newnewnew for camp this year, my editor’s notes for A Heart Most Errant cleared its throat and tapped its foot, so my April will be, historical romance-wise, has to be that. Contemporary-wise, it’s edits on Drama King, so my plate is full.

I am okay with that. I like direction. I have some ground to cover before I am, productivity-wise, where I want to be. One day at a time, one page at a time, and the video channel to remind me why I love historical romance as much I as I do. Getting back to one’s roots is always a good thing when one is so inclined, and I am so inclined, indeed.

Going to leave it at that for today, as adulting awaits, and after that, dun, dun, dun, the formation of a writing plan for April that will get me where I want to be. Yes, this involves planners and color coding and all of that good stuff, and yes, I will be sharing that here. Until then, behave yourselves, but I will not say how, so use your own discretion.

NaNo or NaNot, 2020 Edition

That time of year again, when the eternal question for many of us writer types is “do I participate in National Novel Writing Month?” I’ve thought about it a lot this year, probably more than most. I came down on the side of…kind of, maybe.

While some may say NaNo or NaNot, there is no “kind of,” that’s where i landed, and rather organically at that. I love the idea of going all in and, as a favorite aunt would say, going hell bent for leather toward a distinct goal. What to write, though, well, that’s where things get murkier. I love the idea of those who can dive in with no other idea than “I’m going to write something” and make it all the way to the end. That’s not me, and comparing the way I do things to the way anybody else does things is not ever going to work. Part of my day is set aside for putting on a podcast and getting on the bed with a bunch of sticky notes and/or index cards and setting out all the things I want to write in the next while.

For some things, it’s pretty clear cut. Come hell or high water, Melva Michaelian and I are going to get Drama King, our second jointly written contemporary, done and dusted, ASAP. Part of it is that we are eager to get to the third Love By the Book story, Queen of Hearts, but how flat out fun it is to combine snarky grumpmaster Jack and ray of sunshine Kelly (cue “Tomorrow” from Annie, which might be a reasonable choice for Kelly’s incidental music) and goodness knows we could all use any fun we can get this year.

There’s also kicking myself back into historical romance gear. I am taking my first step into indie publication, and exploring a new format -novella- and time period -medieval- and taking a wide angle view of the place where what I love to do best and what the market fancies converge. That kind of excites me, to be honest, and it also gives me a reason to play with stationery, which is my second instrument after writing. There’s also the desire to not write less about writing, but to write actual fiction and see the pages accumulate (hence the attempt to set up the new printer at long last after I write this blog entry) along with writing about writing. Maybe talking about it, too, because YouTube very definitely is partly responsible for me still being here (gestures in the general sense) after very definitively the worst year of my life.

Phew. Let’s take a break. First home decor photo I can share is below. Bit by bit, we are putting down roots and making this look like home. One of these throw pillows is not like the others.

purr-fect contentment, yes?

The new normal is still taking form, and I don’t want to rush it. I actually tend to get a lot more done, and the ideas flowing much more freely, when I set aside some time to play with pens or noodle around with Sims, some You Tube or podcast or TV show in the background, consciously working toward drinking x glasses of water a day, focusing more on getting story from brain to page, one day at a time, right now. I will probably give one of both Camp NaNos a go. That’s a tale for another time.

For now, this is Monday’s blog post, t he first one for November. I do have plans for less rambly, more focused sorts of posts, if you’re into that sort of thing. Types of stories I’m looking at writing, my renewed and boundless love for black paper notebooks and pens that write on them, planner lineups for the new year, and my reading plans for same.

The fun thing about NaNo, besides getting to cheer on all those who are officially participating this year or any other, is that the principles can be put into place at any time, and modified to fit the individual’s needs. Camp NaNo is one example, and writing, in general, is another. Writer friends are available at all times of year, and I am always thankful for mine.

Happy reading, and happy writing,

Anna

Book Launch Hangover

Book launch hangovers are most assuredly a thing, and I know, because I have one. This past Saturday,. Melva Michaelian and I had our very first event as co-authors, at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Arranged by dear friends, M.P. Barker and Carol Munro, this was top notch all the way.

look at these babies!

Seeing not one copy of a book with my and Melva’s names on it, but a whole pile, for which people I have not met before (nd some who have) hand over actual cash money and ask for authorial signatures, when I am one of the authors in question, well, that’s a Moment. There were sctual journalists present, and more pictures will be forthcoming. I didn’t get to take a lot of photos myself, sa I was doing other things, but no camera can capture all the love in that room.

Me, book, and friend, Mary, trying to hide behind book.

To say we had the best-best time would be an understatement. Room was packed, which was a delightful surprise. There were romance readers there for sure, and those new to the genre, making for an interesting mix. There were a few questions about the genre itself, about writing partnerships in particular, and, more specifically, Melva’s and mine. We’ll put a truncated version of our partnership’s origin story on melvaandanna.com soon. It’s a fun story, if s little convoluted.

Another great question came from friend and reader, Mary W, who asked Melva and I what our favorite tropes were in the romance genre. For Melva, it’s friends to lovers (which we are doing in our planned third book, Queen of Hearts) and for me, stasr-crossed lovers who make it work. Second chance at love (with sme lover) might be another aspect of it, and we have plans to address that, too.

Speaking of plans, the question about future books came up, and as of right now, Melva snd I plan to have the first draft of Drama King done by the end of November. Not NaNo in the strictest sense, but we are determined to write the End by the end of the month, so NaNoIsh? We will see. After that, there is talk of a couple of shorter pieces before we get back to Queen of Hearts, and we both need to keep space for our solo works.

I’d like to say it’s all cake from here, which is not entirely an excuse to show this gorgeous dessert (yes, the picture was edible) but we get back to the whole real business of writing thing, because the awesome days full of cake and the signing pen running out of ink, and posters of book covers and “I loved your book” and all the other great stuff? That doesn’t come without butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, or pen in hand. Day by day, word by word, flying into the mist or meticulously plotting (your mileage may vary) backspaces and deletes and all that other aggravating stuff.

Those moments aren’t alwys the most fun, but they are needed, because they build the foundation of everything else. After the event, the readers go home and dive into the books, while the authors go home, and, well, in our cases, sleep (for a month would be nice, but not at all practical) and eat and maybe read something or zone out in front of the TV for a while, then, in time, we get up and do it all over again.

too “explosive” a signoff pic?

Typing With Wet Paws: Writer Chick Is Still Not at Nationals Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. I’m hanging out today with my buddy, Stripey Guy. I am also stripey, and also a guy, but you know me and names. Anyway, the title of this week’s blog entry should tell you the big thing around here. Writer Chick is still not at RWA Nationals, and she is still kind of salty about it. I am attempting to ramp that down a little by recreating some of the atmosphere. Mainly that I block her way to the bathroom, but she does seem to like it when anonymous entities put books on her chairs.

Do I have to do this at every meal?

At least she hasn’t been wearing her name badge from previous conferences, around the house. Yet. It’s important, that “yet.” The weekend is young.

On the domestic front, Writer Chick reports that the grossest thing she has found in her all out war on fleakind, is finding shed flea skins/exoskeletons. Ew. In. One. Of. Her. Notebooks. One of the fancy ones, with special paper. Yeah. It’s personal now.

Writer Chick’s internal reaction

She will not rest until there is total destruction. Of the fleas, that is, not any property, especially property she does not personally own. Everything and everybody who is not a flea is safe. That should be encouraging to those of you who are not fleas. For those of you who are, you are doomed. Consider this formal notice.

With the flea stuff and a couple of other domestic tornadoes, Writer Chick took a breather from Camp NaNo work this week, but, since she is only less than ten pages away from her goal, she’s not that bothered by it. She can make it to goal, easy. She’ll have the house to herself for a chunk of the weekend, so I would not be at all surprised if she used some of that time to hang with her imaginary pirate friends.

No shocker that Writer Chick was over at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, but there is big scandal in Romancelandia, over certain casting decisions in the upcoming Netflix series based on Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series of Regency-era historical romance. There’s kind of two posts in one, this time, because some mysterious person named Lady B (spoiler: it’s Writer Chick) piles on the hyperbole (I’m assuming; I don’t actually read these things; cuts into my naptime.) Hit the link in the caption above if you’d like to read it, and comments are always welcome.

Checking in on the Goodreads challenge, Writer Chick is eight books ahead this week, with sixty-one books read out of ninety-five, and that puts her sixty-four percent of the way to her goal. She has taken advantage of the three month free trial of Kindle Unlimited, and one of the people at Buried Under Romance clued her in on how to turn any e-book into an audiobook. Yeah, that’s a thing, and no, it is not by reading it aloud, herself. Not that she hasn’t tried that, mind you, but it’s a small apartment, and people like to sleep. Note I said people, not Writer Chick. Yeah.

So what is Writer Chick doing? Mostly, she’s writing. That’s a good thing. She is particularly fond of the part of Drama King she and Other Writer Chick are batting around, which lights a fire under her to keep going on the historicals. When not writing, or plotting flea destruction, she is probably doing stuff with her traveler’s notebooks. Spending time with those usually puts her in a good place, so we try to encourage that.

Probably about time for me to slip another book on her chair. Maybe I’ll toss in a pen or some sticky notes. I’m feeling generous.

Peace out,

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Hot and Humid Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, once again, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. If I look somewhat disgruntled in this week’s picture, it’s because the heat index for tomorrow is going to be above one hundred. That means very, very hot, which is not at all what anybody here wants. Except the fleas. They probably like it, but joke’s on them, because the humans voted, and that piece of furniture where they have been hiding out has been unanimously voted as toast. This will mean A) buh-bye to a large number of the tiny vampires, and B) a new couch in our future. Hopefully one that complements my handsome orange stuffedness.

Chasing Prince Charming

It is now less than one month until the release of Writer Chick’s first book with Other Writer Chick, Chasing Prince Charming. They are both very excited about this, and, this morning, Writer Chick talked to a different human, about her and Other Chick doing their first promotional online appearance as an author team, which means that Writer Chick probably wants to get on the ball with that whole website thing. Watch this space for details as they come.

Buried Under Romance 2.0

The human Writer Chick talked to today is from this blog. We shall refer to her as BUR Chick. Writer Chick is excited about the upcoming changes, because A) having a hand in shaping an online romance community is something she’s always wanted to do, and B) she gets to set up a new notebook and calendar that is only for Buried Under Romance doings. She will probably share pictures of that in a future post, but, for now, suffice it to say that good things are coming. For one thing, Buried Under Romance has a birthday. Mark your calendars, because there is going to be a birthday party, and the readers get the presents. September 13th, save the date.

Also, Writer Chick wrote a thing over there. What book has been on Writer Chick’s TBR list for the longest? Is she going to get to it anytime soon? Follow the link below to find out the answers, and the question a reader left, that gave Writer Chick the idea for another Saturday Discussion post yet to come.

Goodreads Challenge

Writer Chick is kicking tush on this one, with sixty books read out of her goal of ninety-five. This puts her at sixty-three percent of the way to a win, and a whopping nine books ahead of schedule. This is a personal best, as far as I can tell (which is not far in this heat; I am sacked out in front of the fan) and is that a historical romance from her “really should get around to reading that” list I spy as the most recent entry? I do believe it is.

Plunder

Writer Chick says yesterday was a good writing day for Plunder, her project for this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Her goal for this camp is fifty pages, and she is already on forty-four, which is pretty good progress. She says Cornelis and Lydia are chatty, which is a good thing. Writer Chick is writing their story in longhand first, in a notebook that has only this story in it. So far, this is going pretty well. Writer Chick is writing on one side of the paper only, using the other side for notes on things she has to look up or work out, later. Right now, she is plunging ahead and telling the story until it is told.

Other Stuff

Writer Chick’s downstairs neighbor has a great fondness for 1970s soul music, and sharing said music with the world at large. Writer Chick is not complaining; the guy has good taste, and knocks it off at a reasonable hour. As neighbors go, that’s pretty decent, as opposed to Writer Chick’s last downstairs neighbors who were, no lie, a step dance troupe. Anyway, Writer Chick will not have a soul soundtrack tomorrow, because she will be avoiding the heat by taking her show on the road, and stick to air conditioned spaces, where she can read, write, and art journal, with bottomless cold beverages. That may be one of her smarter moves. Right after making me Cat Regent, of course.

Peace out,

Checking In On A Bunch of Things

My life is weird. That is not a complaint, but a statement of fact. Comes with the territory when writing, working from home, or any number of other things. Today, my work area is dark, because clouds are heavy outside. I am hoping we get a thunderstorm. If we don’t, I will probably fake one with ambient sound videos on You Tube, because that makes sense for me. I am waiting for pest control people to come and check the bait box in the kitchen. Please note that this is not for the flea issue; this is for totally different pests. We have come up clean on the rodent side of things so far, but, if there is a hit on the bait box that would explain where the fleas are coming from. Might be worth a mention, when pest control gets here.

Anyway, this is not a post about vermin. For anyone who is disappointed in that, my heartfelt apologies. What this post is, is checking in on a few of the ongoing things around here, mostly as related to writing and publishing, but we will start with planning.

One Book July

For the most part, I would say that, halfway through the month, this is mostly successful. Alert readers will spot that there are two books in the deskscape for today, both Big and Li’l Pink, but those are my everyday carry, and they seem to be working out pretty darned well. I have my pen pouch down to the bare minimum of what I need, which will probably be a post of its own, and certainly the art stuff would not be needed by someone who isn’t into that kind of thing, but I very much like the discipline of keeping to a color scheme/aesthetic, and keeping my daily use stuff all in one place.

This does not preclude the fact that my new love for the B6 size continues to grow, and I am stealthily assembling items in that size, for their own purpose, probably more art-related than writing. I trust that things will sort themselves out as I browse the back to school bonanza that is cropping up everywhere, and that, too, will fall into place.

Camp NaNoWriMo

So far, so good on this one, as I am currently thirty-eight pages into my goal of fifty, but A) I wanted to be done=done with all fifty by now, and B) there are days when I can’t get to that particular project, which irks me, but C) I keep moving forward, which is the most important part. I also would prefer to be more active on the message board in my cabin, but , as I told N at our breakfast this week, if I’m awake, I’m writing or killing bugs.

Buried Under Romance 2.0

I am super excited about this one, and, at the same time, tempted to retreat to my blanket fort, because what have I gotten myself into, here? Good things. Always good things. It’s been a summer of rest while we turn things over and map out how we are going to go from here on out, but there are dedicated people involved, and the future looks bright. I can say, with confidence, that there will be an author visit, in August, that readers will not want to miss. Cough cough me cough cough.

Chasing Prince Charming

Less than a month now, to the release in both print and e-book. Less than a month until readers can properly meet Meg and Dominic, and get their first taste of the Love by the Book world, while Melva and I plunge ahead with Kelly and Jack’s story. Kelly, you’ll meet in Chasing Prince Charming. Jack will make his entrance later.

This is not my first novel, not my first published novel, but it is my first contemporary romance, my first published co-written work, and, while I can’t say it’s my first in a planned series, because it isn’t (oh so many times we reminded ourselves “this book first,” but then there was Heather, and then there was Kelly, and linked books are good business, and well, such is life) it’s the first book in an unplanned series (can we call it that?) and that is exciting, too.

Historicals In Limbo

In April, with the closing of Awe-Struck E-books, the rights to my first two full length historical romance novels, My Outcast Heart, and Orphans in the Storm, reverted to me. That’s not news. They are mine again, and I have been sitting on them, thinking about what, if anything I would like to do with them. Are they still going to hold up after all this time? Did they ever, looking at the sales figures? Then again, I know a thing or two more about publicity than I did when I started on this historical romance journey, and I have a platform, so, as a dear family friend once told me, “the worst they can say is no, and then you’re exactly where you were before you asked.” In short, these books are going back out there, to make the rounds, in search of new homes. I am querying again. Dalby and Tabetha, and Simon and Jonnet are not ready for retirement quite yet, so I will keep you updated on that.

Other Stuff

In preparation for the launch of Chasing Prince Charming, Melva and I are making headway on our website, and batting around a few other ideas. Since I am looking at graphics for that site, I am getting the feeling that halfway through the year may be a good time to freshen the graphics here on the blog as well, so please pardon any dust while we get that settled.

For now, that’s the time I have for blogging, so I am going to toss this up there, and get down to business on some Chasing Prince Charming information, the better to help readers find us. How’s your midweek going?

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Midsummer Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff for the week that was. If you read Writer Chick’s posts, and not only mine, then you may have learned that the answer to the burning question, “Will Chasing Prince Charming come out in print?” is “yes.” Preorder for the print edition is not yet up, but Amazon US is showing the “show other editions” or whatever tag, so that may be coming soon. Watch this space for updates.

Since we are in high summer over here, and still fighting the battle of the bugs (Writer Chick sometimes mumbles something about putting the bugs on the lease, giving them the keys, and heading out to start a new life. She would of course bring me, so I am fine either way.)

Bit of a technical difficulty here, with the site crashing and eating a bunch of this post, but that is not my problem, so I’ll pick up where I was going to pick up anyway. As usual, Writer Chick was at Buried Under Romance this past Saturday, and this time, she talked about the particular subgenre of Americana romance. I have no idea what that is, but she probably covers it in the post.

Moving on to Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge for this year, we see that she is a freaking reading machine, now eight books ahead of schedule. That is fifty-eight books read already, out of her goal of ninety-five. That is sixty-one percent of the way to the finish line, and we are only fifty percent of the way through the year. She is looking to beef up her historical romance numbers, so if you know of any Writer Chick-flavored historical romance audiobooks, drop recommendations in the comments. Audiobooks are a huge part of the surge in Writer Chick’s reading stats, because she can experience a whole story while doing other things, which she considers pretty cool.

Camp NaNo ho!


Writer Chick is clipping right along (ship joke, for those who caught it) with Plunder, with about thirty-five pages written out of a goal of fifty. This is not the whole story, of course, but it’s a good start on the discovery phase, and she will most definitely keep going after Camp NaNo is over. She is kind of antsy (bug humor unintended, but we’ll keep it) about not being able to update every day, which is one of her big concerns about the regular NaNo, as well as having to count words instead of pages. This way, she does get antsy, but it’s not anxiety-provoking, so she’s going to still call that good. The characters are talking to her and letting her follow them around, and that’s what matters most., so Writer Chick is happy about that.

Besides all of the above, work continues on Drama King, and Her Last First Kiss, so, all in all, fleas aside, Writer Chick is going to call this week a good one. As for me, I got plenty of sunbeam, so I’m good, and isn’t that what’s really important here?

Peace out,

Chasing Prince Charming Update and Plunder Progress

Today is hot and gross and sticky. I did not sleep. Real Life Romance Hero slept some, and he, Housemate, and I are collectively choreographing an intricate errand ballet that involves the big washers at the laundromat (again, sigh) flea bombs numbers four and five, the grocery store, possible library run, and other fun doings that come from a household with three adults and one car. It will all work out, most everything will be air conditioned, and since I write my first drafts in longhand, I can write anywhere. When I hit a wall, I have a Kindle Fire and am trying out Kindle Unlimited, because of reasons, so bring it on.

Chasing Prince Charming update

Chasing Prince Charming update first, as we are now only one month and two days away from unleashing Meg and Dominic upon the world. Thanks to everyone who has preordered so far, and,. for those who have been asking whether there will be a print edition available, it looks like the answer is yes. Melva and I are super-duper-pooper-scooper excited over this, and we will be sure to share when the print edition is available for preorder. I am watching Amazon like a hawk. If the physical copy looks half as good as Ginny Frost‘s The Bar Scene, I will be absolutely thrilled. Also probably carrying a physical copy with me so I can show it to random strangers…er, readers. I meant readers.

Plunder Progress

This story, and this year’s Camp NaNo, continue to surprise me. According to my progress on the site, I am either near or just over the seventy=five percent mark of my goal, and it’s really more like grabbing some popcorn and watching the movie in my head instead of “writing” the story, which is not at all a complaint. I show up, the characters do, too, and, so far, it is working out. I would not call this “pantsing” (who wants to wear pants in July in New York?) but more along the lines of “flying into the mist,” in the spirit of the late, great Jo Beverley.

Never mind that, so far, I have important secondary characters named “Confidante,” and “Nun,” who have not yet shown their faces or told me a single thing about themselves, other than what role they play in Cornelis and Lydia’s story. Right now, I don’t need to know anything more than that. I am very much aware that using a pirate haven as a large part of my book’s setting, means that I have an extremely good opportunity to have a diverse supporting cast. Those pirates picked up people everywhere, and dropped them off everywhere, as well. Some of those people got together and created more people, when the original two people would never have met otherwise, because they would have lived out their lives on separate continents, and, boy howdy, if that’s not catnip for a romance writer, I do not know what more I can tell you on that topic.

The way I figure it, these people who inhabit my fictional world, from nuns to pirates (so far, I have both) will tell me who they are, when and how they are ready, and I do not need to worry about that kind of thing. (Part of me wants to protest that these imaginary friends do not know how anxiety works, but I think, probably, that some of them do.) All I need to do is keep showing up, keep following Cornelis and Lydia around, keep making notes on the left hand (my left) page and then remembering to follow through on those notes, because they are probably going to affect the direction the next phase of the story takes.

So far, I do not have a Spotify playlist, or a private Pinterest board, for Plunder, and I am surprised that I do not miss either one. Maybe those, too, will present themselves in tine, but, at the moment, they are not needed. My people have faces of their own when they come to me, for the most part, even if they, like Nun and Confidante, hide them for a while, until they trust me enough to let me see. I am, okay with that. Is this the way every new book is going to work? Probably not. Maybe not even every book in this trilogy, and I am okay with that, too. Bit by bit, as I focus on book one, bits and pieces I did not have of book two, arrange themselves in place, and even the foundations of book three are taking shape.

Don’t ask me if this means I have anything yo say about writing linked books from the outset, or over-arcing plot…things. As we said, flying into the mist here, and happy to go that way until I get Lydia and Cornelis to their form of HEA for this book. They’ll clear another milestone at the end of their daughter, Tamsen’s, book, but that’s a way off yet. For now, it’s me and lined notebook paper, and dark blue ink, and whatever those two crazy kids give me for the given day. They know where we’re headed, and that’s good enough for me.

One Week Into One Book July

This is the closest I am going to get, this Monday, to having all of my ducks in a row. This weekend just past was a weekend of three (count them, three) flea bombs, over the course of two days. Judging from the peaceful night’s sleep we all had, presumably free of microscopic vampire bugs, that should mean a peaceful Monday morning, but au contraire, it meant a Monday morning of shaking out bedding, moving things back where they go, rescuing things-that-touch-food from their cabinet bunkers, and hauling trash and recyclables to the refuse room down the hall. (For new readers, we live in an apartment building, and this is a magic place where gallant maintenance workers whisk away our rubbish on a daily basis, not that we have a room full of trash in a private residence. Nobody wants that.)

Okay. Focus, Anna. While work continues on Camp NaNo and Plunder, with notes on researching Catholicism in the Caribbean, in the late seventeenth century (yes, that is important for the romance, Karen. (Metaphorical vernacular “Karen,” not any specific person named Karen, even if she does want to see the manager.) because a certain part of the story will be a whole lot easier for me, if not my characters, if I can plop a fictional convent where I want to plop a fictional convent. So far, the answer should be yes, especially in non-British-held islands, and my hero is Dutch, sooooooo……

:deep breath: What was that I said about focus? Right. Okay. One Book July, as it applies to planning, has no official rules, but the commonly accepted guidelines are to use one planner/bullet journal for everything during the month of July. Some participants add other challenges, like using only one pen. That one, I would normally have a hard time doing, but that pen in the picture below? I get two of them for about seventy cents, and they are comparable to Pilot G2s, so yeah, this is the pen I am using as everyday carry for this month.

Webster’s Pages, pocket size, blush cover

Please note, (pun unintended) that I have fallen in love with that flower-crowned vixen (saving that line for a future hero’s lexicon) and, when I fill the insert she graces, I am taking the cover off and putting it on the next one. I know a good thing when I see it. That particular insert comes from a national chain craft store, in packs of three, for about two dollars (less, if there is a sale) and I am already stockpiling them, because, although I was hesitant about A) passport size, which is even smaller than pocket, and B) white pages, when I strongly prefer ivory, these guys are absolute perfection for my daily pages. Bullet point tasks on the right hand side of the spread (please insert my mother’s voice here, clarifying that it is my right, not the viewer’s right. Thanks, Mom.) and then the left/facing side is for notes.

I didn’t mean to set up my daily insert like that. It happened, on its own, as did finding the perfect balance for Li’l Pink (yes, I name my planners, and yes, they have genders) is three passport size inserts, and then I don’t know how to count the pocket sized inserts, because we have some buddy bands in there, and printables and covers I ripped off and covers I made, and it works, okay, does it really need a label, Karen? Ooh, labels.

My name is Anna, and I am a notebook addict.

Even though it is One Book July, it is also the time when I finally caved in to my curiosity about the B6 size of insert/notebook, above. Same company that makes the fox insert (ooh, do they make a B6 version of the fox? Now I have to go in search of; if I don’t return, I love you all.) makes B6 inserts, same paper -plus lined, plus graph (which I did not get, but will, this weekend) – and they were on sale for a mere dollar apiece, so of course I had to indulge, and, well, I love them.

I do not, however, own a B6 traveler’s notebook, so now I will need to start looking in that direction, but, in the meantime, these inserts are looking happy enough in my spare regular size Webster’s Pages, that I was wondering how I was going to use, so that will work out fine until I can settle the cover issue. I didn’t even have to think about what I’m going to use these inserts for, because they presented themselves. I now do have a notebook-notebook, to keep track of all things stationery (if anyone is taking bets on when that would finally happen, whoever had July 5th, 2019, gets the prize.) There will be another insert for household information, one for sketches/doodles/etc, and one for random brain dumps. I know exactly what pens I want to use with it, and it’s rather satisfying to have a whole endeavor land in my lap like that, a single bloop, and there it is.

Writing is like that, sometimes, and when it is, it is wonderful. More often, it’s like that pocket notebook that is my everyday carry/my one book for July. Trial and error. Will this work? No? Well how about that? Oh no, that’s worse. Rip that out, hide the evidence, try this weird thing because why the heck not? Well, look at that. That actually works. Okay, then. Onward we go.

No deep wisdom on writing today, Karen (or is there?) but I do learn a lot, about myself, about visual arts, about creativity in general, and other things, from my notebook adventures, which is why I do see them as part of the writing process.

Oh wait, there is one practical tip. If you see an oddly placed sticker in my July planner pages, there is probably the evidence of a dead bug under it. This gal does not tear out pages from a sewn binding. I’m not a monster. (usually)

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Fifth of July Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws, once again, coming at you with all the stuff on the week that was. Neither Writer Chick nor Dude got a lot of sleep last night, because we are now in high summer, which means that the same part of the country that was butt-freezing cold in winter, is now butt-melting hot in the summer. Yeah, I haven’t figured that out, either. The battle of the bugs continues, but the humans are fairly certain they are winning. That is mildly encouraging.

Anyway, Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick say a big thank you to everybody who has told them they have pre-ordered Chasing Prince Charming and/or are following Writer Chick on Goodreads. Other Writer Chick should have her author profile verified soon. Keep an eye on this space for that, and for the brand new official website for all things Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick. It will probably have their actual names on it, so maybe wait until they tell you what it is before trying to find it.

Speaking of Goodreads, Writer Chick is kicking tush on the reading challenge. She is now six books ahead of schedule, with fifty-four books read, out of ninety-five. That number is a lot bigger than she had expected it to be, largely thanks to audiobooks and insomnia. There is an upside to everything. she does plan to get back to more regular reviewing ASAP, because the only thing as good as reading a book, is blabbering about it.

Or writing a book. That’s good, too. That is also why she is Writer Chick, and not Reader Chick, although she is obviously that, as well. Case in point, her latest post at Buried Under Romance,

Thanks also to those who are looking forward to Buried Under Romance 2.0. New reviews are coming, and Writer Chick is there every Saturday, to blabber about books, so feel free to join her, and even chime in if the spirit moves.

An English lady. A Dutch pirate.
A love that knew no bounds.

Writer Chick is clipping along on her Camp NaNoWriMo project, Plunder, which is her first time planning a series from the get-go. As of right now, Writer Chick is hovering around the twenty-five percent mark (stuffed cats aren’t great at math; we have people to do that for us) with sixteen pages out of her goal of fifty, already written. She did not add any new pages yesterday, because she was flopped in front of the fan, listening to an audiobook, and hydrating. Also, it was a holiday. She is rather impressed with herself that she feels absolutely no guilt about that, and stuff will happen when it happens.

Speaking of things happening when they happen, I am not entirely convinced that Writer Chick’s plan to familiarize herself with the abovementioned connected historical romance worlds, has nothing at all to do with her new desire to try out the B6 size of traveler’s notebooks, but I will give her this one. If that gives her a convenient place to keep track of a new thing, well, who am I to object? Besides, I am fairly certain that size of notebook is big enough for me to nap on, so I will not be adversely affected, and isn’t that what truly matters? I think so.

Anyway, it’s hot, I’m bored, and the fan beckons.

Peace out.