Summer, Is That You?

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

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nightmares, Super Functional Planning, and Other Stories

This is partly Monday’s post and it partly isn’t. I’d intended to get a regulalr post up on Monday because A) that’s what Monday posts are for, and B) I like sharing my monthly planner setups (yes, plural) at the start of a new month, especially because things in general are feeling okay for the first time in a long time, and that is definitely something I want to share here. My brain, however, had other ideas. Honestly, sometimes my brain is kind of a jerk. At the very least, she gets weird homework.

All of that is a fancy way of saying that Sunday night, I had the worst nightmare I can remember having, ever, though I thankfully don’t remember much about it, and I’m okay now. Though it was not at alla fun experience, climbing out of it did have some benefits, odd as that may sound.

For a long time, pretty much as long as I have been planning, I haven’t known what all I, personally, want to do with the monthly calendar. What’s the point as long as I’m looking mostly at the weekly views? Post-nightmare doing stuff, however, means going for the low hanging fruit, and for me, that day, it was super functional planning, which meant monthly view, black ballpoint pen, put the things where I want to do them, and have a look at what spaces are avaiable for everything else.

how it started

The flower stickers came later, while I was figuring out what else I needed. Doing arty things is super good for my brain to work stuff out, so that was a good match. I listed the top writing priorities, and then got those things in first. Blank days don’t mean I have nothing planned; they mean I’m figuring out how to best use my time and will be moving tasks there from a master list. This view does include household things and important dates for other family members, so my writing planner will look a little different.

Though I do have flying into the mist as part of my writing and planning processes, on the whole, I like structure and specifics. Not “write today,” but “brainstorm Bob and Jane waiting room scene” or “revise Bob and Jane waiting room scene from rough present tense to polished past tense.” This way, the whole “ugggh, where do I begin?” stuff is out of the way at the time I plop myself in front of my notebook or keyboard, and I already know where I’m going before I set out on my journey. Bird by Bird, eat the elephant one bite at a time, and all that. Wash one dish.

Approaching things like this takes a lot of the pressure off, and reminds me that I really do love writing, particularly romance, and I have been told I am pretty okay at it. I could stand to do it more. The right process is the one that works for me, which is the one that gets me from once upon a time to they lived happily ever after. The fact that I find it a whole lot easier and more appealing if I have pretty visuals as I do it? I call that taking the scenic route.

Monday Stream of Consciousness

Jumping into this post with no actual plan, because A) blog is under the “low hanging fruit” category of stuff I need to do today, and B) if I don’t do it now, it will nag me throughout doing anything else.

Usually, Sundays are my planning afternoons. Yesterday, though, had a few different influences. A) I am still getting used to new medication, so surprise slumber parties for one are a thing; B) yesterday was also a full house, with all family member hone in a smallish space, and C) I am not at all sure that my plan to coast along from April through June on mini planners and no classic planners is going to work as well as I thought.

That last one is the easiest to fix: hop on over to a craft store that carries my planner of choice, grab a currently dated one from the clearance section, hand over a pittance and jump right in, back to the usual method. That leaves mostly just today to be free floating in no classic planner land. I could technically re-date older pages, but that is far too labor intensive when what I want to do is jump in and lay out for my plan of attack.

I like seeing things laid out, where I can tell at a glance what jobs I need to do, to get to where I am. Making it aesthetically pleasing is a plus, and, with the new YouTube channel, I have a lot more ideas of what I want to not only talk about, but write about as well. I don’t normally do TBRs but I see those are frequent on BookTube, and look like they may indeed work toward my goal of reading more historical romance. They also look fun. I could use some more fun, and, after a very long time without it, fun is something I can do these days.

See the source image

Over the last couple of nights, I binged Picnic at Hanging Rock on Amazon Prime. Loved it. Australian Gothic is a thing, and I want more of it. Which reminded me that I very much do want to rereach On The Jelllicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I refuse to use the shortened American title, because that’s not its name. Yes, I will die on that hill. I also want to see On the Jelicoe Road made into a movie (I don’t usually) with an all-Australian cast, on location, with 80s film effect on the 80s timeline. Failing that, I would like to hear it on audio, with two Australian narrators.

Thankfully, I can carry that over into historical romances set in Australia, by Australian authors, like Cadace Proctor and Alison Stuart. Ms. Stuart also writes Engilsh Civil War historical romance, which is one of my all time favorite settings.

In the meantime, I get to do mundane adulting things, such as putting away laundry and straightening my work area, both things that are super good for letting my creative brain do stuff on the back burner where I am not looking.

I am a little disappointed that I won’t be doing Camp Nano this round, but July is not that long away, and it’s also when I can bust out my brand new eighteen month planner, so I take that as a sign. What do you think?

Typing With Wet Paws: In Like a (Calico ) Lion Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws;. It has been a full year now since the Before Times, which gives people a lot of feels. I recommend kitty cuddles as remedy. One year is a whole third of my life (give or take; we don’t know my actual birthday, so we are celebrating it the same as Big Sister Skye’s, February 14th, because I was probably born thereabouts anyway.)Aunt Anna finds that kitty cuddles, journaling, and Sims are really good ways to cope. Also reading and writing romance novels.

this is me last year; am I a grownup now?

Now that it’s March, Aunt Anna is looking forward to when the new spring planners are released, because this re-dating everything every month is for the birds. (mmm, birds) She finds that dating undated stuff is a lot easier than red-dating wrong-dated stuff. I am not sure how that works out because humans are complicated. I think they could use some jingle balls. Those always work for me. Especially at 3AM. New planner things come out in June. She will either get a brand new pre-dated one, or use undated printables. There was an incident on Monday regarding the whole re-dating thing. Aunt Anna knows a lot of words.

dashboard vs vertical layout
big/letter size/vs classic/composition size

Aunt Anna obviously has time to figure things out, and she has a lot of options, so expect some flailing about and then settling on the right thing right under the wire. That’s how she works. That goes for writing as well as planning. I am used to it by now.

One of the planner things Aunt Anna has not yet settled on is her reading tracker. I mean, she has the notebook she wants, and the printables, but she hasn’t gotten around to printing or having them printed yet, so maybe something else will work better for now? Right now, she is using Goodreads, so let’s see how she is doing on her challenge. As of today, she has read 23 books out of her goal of ninety. That puts her at 26 percent of the way to her goal, and 8 books ahead of schedule. Well done, Aunt Anna.

Buried Under Romance had to take a break last week. There have been a lot of breaks, which is a good indicator that there are new and exciting things to do with that blog, coming very soon. That’s a fun way to think about it, rather than frustrating herself.

On the home front, it has been interesting. We have had super cold days, super windy days (I am glad we live inside!)some nice days, and the smoke alarm went off when Uncle Rheuben tried to reheat a lasagna. He also fixed two different sinks that did not like the cold weather. Aunt Anna says that is because this is an older building and the pipes don’t like winter. Well, winter is almost done, and it will soon be time to sit in open windows and chatter at birds. Not sure the humans are going to do the chatter at birds part, but it couldn’t hurt to try. Aunt Anna and Uncle Rheuben think it would be fun to take me out in a cat stroller, but Aunt Linda is concerned that I might go out on another solo adventure, which is a valid concern. Not that being out by myself was that great.

That should be about it for now, so I will leave you with this picture of me totally not plotting with Esme.

Esme and me, totally not planning anything

Headbonks!

How Double Revisions Are Going

Three days into the (first) week of double revisions/edits, and, so far, things are going…okay. I think this will actually work itself out without too much fuss, and I am more than ready for that kind of deal. I am doing some adjusting of what I can most efficiently do when, but, overall, it’s feeling like fun rather than a chore. I think that’s the whole goal, so calling things good for now.

this is a vertical weekly planner, with minimal decoration and editing goals written in pen on each day
this is my command center

Having the amount of pages I intend to edit/revise does break things down into manageable chunks, and writing down where I left off at the end of a session means I don’t have to lose valuable time in figuring out what I did yesterday and where to pick up today. I like organization and keeping records, so this is kind of a no brainer. It’s also fun to see the different forms my record keeping/planning takes, visually appealing, it’s much more likely I am going to want to reference that page. Not going to lie, playing with pretty papers and my pen collection is a reward in itself.

But the actual writing. It’s always interesting to see something I’ve/we’ve written with a newish set of eyes. I remember the feeling I got when, in the very, very, very before times, when I would put physical pages from the printer or even typewriter, into a manila envelope, send them off across the country and wait for them to arrive at the other writer person’s home, for them to rad, comment, and mail back. Email is one heck of a lot faster, and saves on paper and ink, but I still have very fond memories of physically chasing pages along the highway (ish) because those pages held the comments from my most trusted reader, on the first appearance fo a new character, and if those pages were gone, they would be gone forever.

Thankfully, Housemate was with me, and we recovered all the pages. I devoured the comments while we waited for our restaurant meal to arrive, breathless for every comment. There may or may not have been a few happy tears because yes, this person got what I had intended for this character. Since this was for a shared project, I knew they would do wonderful things with this character, too, and all was rigth with the world.

Let’s bring it back to now. I get a lot of that same feeling when I look at Melva’s preliminary edits on Drama King, or when I read my editor’s comments and suggestions for A Heart Most Errant. Somebody else gets what I’m doing, and even though only Drama King is a true collaboration, a good editor (and I have one) can take a good story and make it even better. It’s like going to work, knowing your favorite co-worker is scheduled with you, which is not at all a bad way to think of this sort of thing.

At least that’s how it’s going so far. Will keep you updated on future progress. How’s your week going?

Anna

Typing With Wet Paws: Planner Rehab Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is our regularly scheduled Typing With Wet Nails. Aunt Anna had some notes for a regular sort of post for me to write today, but it turned out to be a domestic tornado day, with maybe somebody coming by to take care of some plumbing issues. We don’t know if they are going to come or not, or when, so Aunt Anna doesn’t want to get too deeply involved in writerly things (also, she is sharing the office-y space with Uncle Rheuben, so alternative stuff to do is the ordedr of the day. As it often does, this turns to planner stuff.

One thing that Aunt Anna has learned is that the best planner or notebook is the one that she actually uses. She has also understood that there will be more paper. Sometimes, the best way to find out what sort of notebook a cover wants to be is to set it up and then see what transpires. Since Aunt Anna still needs to print out her reading tracker stuff, and she has other covers that are that size, and she just got the color and pattern of filler paper from Yellow Paper House that she has been drooling over for literally years (since Skye was the kitty here; that’s longer than I have been alive) this provides some useful direction. She took everything out and put in only the new paper, then started adding other things, like this.

let’s try this again

Aunt Anna still needs to figure out the divider situation, and probably add some page lifters to the front and back, so that pages don’t slip underneath the ring mechanism. She will probably use this for thinking on paper, maybe for writing snail mail letters. She’ll figure it out. This assortment of colors for the pages is called Cool Seaglass, which reminds her of oceans and shorelines and the way they used to have regional RWA conferences in the Before Times. Probably t6here will be some later on, but, for now, Aunt Anna will capture as much of that in a notebook as she can.

Next, we have a setup that is for sure only temporary (unless she falls in love with it, but don’t hold your breath.) Aunt Anna loves her micro Happy Notes inspired notebook that she made from scratch, but it needs a cover to protect it, and keep a pen and other accessories together. Also it is slightly larger and less likely to get buried in the bottom of her purse.

Though the book itself is passport size, the cover, by Webster’s Pages, is pocket sized, which is bigger. Aunt Anna is basically trying this to make sure she likes having a cover on the micro, or if she would rather have a pocket sized traveler’s notebook, like this used to be. We’ll see what happens. It will probably be one of the two. She’s still in transition when it comes to figuring out teh whole notebook thing, but she has come to accept that this is part of her process.

Purr-sonally, I don’t mind at all, because every new thing she tries means that I get to lay on and play with a lot of different stuff. That is all very good as far as I am concerned. Sometimes, dealing with all of this paper and pen stuff is what allows her brain to settle on all of the writing stuff that is on the back burner when she is stationery-ing.

Since I promised (or vaguely alluded) last time, I do need to update you on Aunt Anna’s Goodreads reading challenge. Right now, she is doing pretty well, at nineteen percent of the way to her goal. That means she has seventeen books read out of her goal of ninety, putting her seven whole books ahead of schedule. One thing that helps a lot is audio books, and another is turning in a little early and reading while cuddling me. Cats and books are natural companions on cold winter’s nights.

Okay, I think that is going to be it for now, since Aunt Anna has to go do other stuff and I am not allowed to use the computer unsupervised. (Last time there may or may not have been a surprise delivery from an unnamed provider of catnip items.)

Headbonks!

Lessons From Misprinted Pages

Yesterday, Real Life Romance Hero and I had a snow day. This seemed like the perfect time to fully move into my reading tracker notebook, which involved printing several different sets of inserts for calendars, book tracking, book reviews, etc. I’m interested in taking a closer look, this year, at what and how I read. What sorts of tropes I gravitate toward (or avoid) keep a running TBR organized by genre, etc. In short, typical Anna stuff.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com
(aka Not Me, but actually not too far off)

I spent the morning learning my new printer, so that I would minimize my number of double sided ages where one side gets printed upside down (my nemesis) and made sure I had the right amount of the right paper in the tray so I wouldn’t have to deal with annoying beeps and other printer requests. I printed a year’s worth of three different inserts, then commandeered the kitchen table with slicer tool, hole punch, scissors, and other paraphernalia. Cut first set of inserts.

Wait. Something is…off. Huh. Double check, did I print the right files? Yes, I did. So, why do they look different than the same file that I printed over a year ago, before life went blooey? Put the new pages side by side with the old pages, and then it hit me. I had printed them at “fit to page,” rather than “actual size.”

:face palm:

😥

: bad words:

:deep breath:

:punch the whole year of monthly pages for full letter, stick them in cover that will fit them:

:put everything away, retreat to bed with kitty and book:

I am still salty about this, as it wasn’t cheap copy paper, but some respectably nicer stuff, and quite a bit of it, and mot of it, apart from the monthly grids, unique to the reading notebook. Even the monthly pages look a little off at full letter size, since they weren’t meant to be printed that way, and look kind of like they’ve been pulled out of shape. That is not entirely inappropriate, since they are now in my historical romance notebook, and I have felt pulled out of shape myself, which the notebook is there to fix.

I will re-print the inserts in the next day or two, and t his time, I will definitely pay attention to which box I click regarding size of the printed image. If I play my cards right, it might even be the same day the special filler paper I ordered (because yes, when it comes to reading, I am always going to need more paper to hold my blabberings) which will make the next round of planning all that more rewarding. Will there still be some surprises ahead of me? Experience tells me yes.

Experience also tells me this is probably going to happen with the actual writing, as well. not only the printing of the actual pages (I love doing that for the editing phase) but for how the books go together in general. Sometimes, starting over after a lot of work has already been done is annoying and frustrating, and other times, it’s more like “huh, well, this solved that other problem” even if it didn’t take care of what it was supposed to do in the first place, but hey, that’s one thing off the list and on with the show. At least that’s the plan.

Anna

February Planner Lineup

Happy February, my liebchens. We made it to February. For those of us in the planner community, a new month is a big thing when it comes to setting up the month’s planning. AKA, admire my handiwork, all you who view it. For me, there’s something about setting up the whole look of my planner pages that makes the whole endeavor fun instead of a chore. Add in the extra challenge this year of finding my planning groove as I go, and we get a chance to learn about the creative process as well as getting all (or at least most) of my squirrels at the same rave. Let’s take a look.

Forgot to take photo of classic spread. We’ll get to that later.
a new player enters the arena

Okay, this planner has a story (don’t they all?) I’ve been eyeing the Recollections ringed systems from Michaels, and especially this gorgeous berry colored personal sized version. When they went on clearance, it became more tempting. When it got marked down to under three dollars, it came home. Then came the question: to de-ring or not to de-ring?

decisions, decisions

When I first got into planning, I was ring bound, all the way. Was very snobby about discs, until I got two disc planners for my birthday in the same year. Then it was a hard flip, and pfft on rings (though I still have ring binders I love) I’ve seen tons of tutorials on how to de-ring one of these babies, so I can slip my beloved disc bound planner into the cover (though I might have to trim it a bit, and I am squicky about that) or…or…I could leave the rings in and try rings again, especially as I was already planning on DIY-ing most of my mini/personal size inserts until I hit June, and the summer releases come out with more options.

well, it came with graph paper already…

Thanks to my impressive organizational skills, I knew exactly where monthly dividers from my favorite ring bound planner were, and found blank weekly pages from same, et voila, we have a system. I’m still happy with my skinny mini HP for everyday use, but all is not lost. I love having a mental health tracker, but the journaling portion, ehhhhh. Solution. Turn ring binder into mental health journal, stick the tracker in the back pocket, decorate the front pockets as desired, and we are back in business.

Even though I did commit to giving the mini vertical layout a decent try, and that my Happy Planner mini has a gorgeous shade of pink as the dominant color for February, mini vertical and me are…nah. I’m a little sad about this, but I can recycle the dividers and even the pages for other uses. One of those definitely does include writing, as I love using recycled vertical layout pages for plotting, so these pages can still have new life in the future. That’s good, because I have two of those planners to deal with now, as the social media planner also fell through the cracks. They have both been replaced by:

Anna tested, Storm approved
Eight year old me is super pumped about the Wonder Woman insert
Skinny mini HP everyday carry

I’m actually semi apprehensive about carrying this slimmed down version in my purse. It’s super portable, but where’s the room to write when I want to get some idea soup down? Do I want a different notebook in a different format for that? Take out half the pages and replace with note pages? I’m not sure, and I do like having this format on hand by my desk. Next thing to try will be DIY-ing some weekly pages into a Happy Notes (or DIY’d version) and carrying that. Either way, this is staying.

Pretty solid base, IMO, and allows me to turn my attention to the writing notebooks, which are a whole other adventure. What planners are you using this month?

What Printing My Own Stickers Teaches Me About Writing

Not the catchiest title, but it’s one of those days, which is not a bad thing. We had a snow day yesterday, with everybody home. Today, I had planned to take care of a few other things, but plans changed (everybody is fine) and well, low hanging fruit is printing stickers.

When I say “my own,” I don’t mean my own design, though I am splashing around in the shallows with that, but stickers I purchased, or downloaded, digitally, and printed on my home printer, for my own use.

I am all about the black/white/blush aesthetic right now, with strong elegant gothy leanings, and that’s not necessarily something one finds every day in things readily available in brick and mortar stores. Which is okay. I( am obviously not the only person in the world with my sort of aesthetic, needs, and preference, and it’s all about finding who makes what I want, and what I will actually use. Kind of like writing and reading, hm?

Of course this is also kind of like writing the sort of book I would like to read -which I hope is what I am doing- because it involves a bunch of research, typing odd combinations of words into search engines, until something pretty appears on the screen. Since I have a visual impairment, this kind of DIY stuff does make me ask “how badly do I want this unique thing?” on a regular basis.

For some things, like printing double sided pages, I will be going to the pros. March right in there with a flash drive full of clearly labeled files, and notes on numbers of copies, color or black and white, paper weight (the weight of each sheet, not a paperweight in hand to throw at annoying people and/or people who misprint my order) and one or two sided printing. Probably some other things, but I’m not looking at those notes right now. Ah. Paper cutting. That’s another one. I do have a slicer type paper cutter, which works pretty good, if I make dark pencil lines where the light cut lines are printed, but there are certain things best left to the professionals. That also applies to things like editing, formatting, cover design, etc, whether with a traditional publisher or on the indie route.

If I hand over the raw materials, go do something else for a while, and tender coin of the realm, I will get back a nifty bundle of very useful items. From there, it’s up to me to apply those in the right way. With what I printed today, I have stickers to pop into my planners and tell me when I need to blog, outline, revise, edit, keep track of progress by word/page/scene or whatever else makes sense for me at the time.

Some of the printables I’ve purchased, or downloaded for free, are going to require that professional attention, and though I can and do print stickers at home, I do not have a Cricut or Shilouette machine to do the individual cutting for me, which means I get to do the old scissors thing, and figure out whether I want to deal with the fussy cutting around each image, or go for a less labor-intensive method of cutting on the spaces between images, so I’m basically going for white squares around everything. Those don’t actually look too sloppy if I draw a black (or other color) frame around with a fineliner.

\One thing that bothered me a lot when I started printing my own inserts and printables was waste. Not toxic as such, but the way things are laid out on letter size paper, there are going to be big areas of white, that doesn’t get anything printed on it, especially for those that are sized to cut down into smaller pages that will fit into planner folders. Sticker paper is not cheap, so throwing away any of it unused is annoying. Except, I figured out, that it doesn’t have to be:

behold, the rubber stamps

Those scraps get a date with my rubber stamps. These aren’t all of them, but they do fit with the way I want things to look, and I love handling them. Doing things with visual arts actually does quite a lot to get the idea hamster running, so this is a good thing. Stamp on the scraps, peel off the backing, et viola, we have new stickers. That thing I thought I had to throw out, I don’t have to throw out at all, only make it into something else.

Which is a very good thing to keep in mind about those scenes, phrases, characters, ideas, etc, that we have to cut from a story during the revision and editing process. Could be that bit doesn’t die, but only becomes a seed to grow something new. Not exactly the same thing, but something with the same flavor, something that fits in with the rest, but has its own special voice and appearance. Considering that I have a couple of stalled stories that need to be transported to other eras, or seem to be me stuffing a ten pound cat into a two pound bag, which I often do tend to do when starting a thing. Sometimes it’s both. What I end up with something other than what I first intended, but I’ve learned a new thing, and that means I have more tools going in to the next project.

Planner Changes, Writing Changes

Hello, lieblings. Monday’s post on Monday, because I have it in my planners (plural) and some things are about to be a little different.

Everyday Carry Planner

We will start with my everyday carry planner. This is the one that lives in my purse. I promised myself that I would give myself a solid month to try the mini vertical layout to see how I liked it, and…I have issues.

ironically, I like this spread

Being one month into a new sort of planner means I’ve had a chance to know what works for me and what doesn’t. I was thrown at first by the new vertical format in a mini size. It’s okay, and I think I’m actually getting the hang of it, because this week’s spread, that one I like. What I don’t like is having to completely re-date every single page, every single time. Not saying that this won’t be something I’m into later on, but for right now, I want to keep my energy focused on the whole writing thing because 2020 was not great for it, and things are a lot better now.

Then they pull the pink foil on me.

Here’s where I’m torn: February is a gorgeous pale pink confection, which I adore. This would still require complete re-dating, but the dominant color would be pink, which works really well with me for February for all the Valentine-y, month of love stuff. Especially for a romance writer. Right now, I am looking at getting ready to see two different projects go to the editing phase, and the first draft attention goes to totally new stuff.

Well, not entirely new, as some of it is venturing into the world of linked books, which is still kind of new to me (as Drama King was indeed my first planned connected book) and the most important thing to consider when planning is figuring out how I can best make this work for me. Sometimes that involves trying a lot of different tuff and finding a lot of t hings that may not work the very best. It’s all part of the process.

okay, so this thing
:drums fingers on table:

Sharp-eyed readers may notice I haven’t mentioned my social media planner yet, because that’s one of the things that I am reconsidering. I found the skinny mini planner above on a deep discount (yay, end of January planner prices!) and fell totally in love with the watercolor floral theme, and I like the compact space for writing/decorating. I am probably going to fake plan in one (or more) of the expired weeks and see how that feels. I also may try putting social media back into the regular planner, or possibly some other arrangement. We’ll see.

Now on to the writing. This is the week where I get all of the pens and papers together and sticky notes and index cards and throw ideas out there. The Lion and Thistle has Sunday night Discord chats, and last night’s was themed around Medieval or Pirates?

Since my first medieval is now in the hands of an indie editor, I’m naturally thinking about what do I want to do for any connected stories in this world. I do have an idea of the hero for book two, an old comrade of the hero’s, but the heroine? IDK. Zip. Zero. Nada. Not. A. Clue. I want to meet her, I really do. Guy deserves some good love. Maybe it will all pop into my head when I get the edits back, because the right editor can make absolute magic.

It’s pirates!

Yeah, these guys. I started on a pirate story called Abandon some years back, and figured out when I was elbow-deep, that I was writing the wrong story, because the heroine’s parents kept taking over the story. As a dear writer friend pointed out during a chat, those parents have strong voices, and they really do need to come first. The whole trilogy is pretty clear in my brain, the only nebulous stuff the third book, because that heroine is the daughter of the couple in book two, and that feels okay. I need to let her grow up on her own.

Contrast that with the “ummmm” about the medievals. Part of my brain says shove those pirates way, way down and get through the medievals. Why do I have to “get through” a project? I do fully find a way to fall in love with the medeivals, especially finding my groove after a while away. Maybe this kind of thing is normal. Maybe it’s normal for me.

There is a very big part of me that wants to tackle all of it at once. Do I want to splash around in all of it and see where I naturally gravitate (and yes, I naturally gravitate to the things with deadlines) and let the priorities sort themselves out. We’ll see. There are only so many hours in the day, and things have to fit into all of the rest of life. That’s definitely one of the reasons I love planning as much as I do, and how much I love how it intersects with writing. Let’s see how it goes.