Lobsterriffic

Some notebook brands get under my skin. Moleskine, of course, and Picadilly, and Markings are all good, solid workhorse books that I use for my all purpose needs. They get marked up and carried around and hold a rainbow of ballpoint ink colors and highlighters in various  hues and formulas. I could not do what I do without them. Try to take them from me, and you’ll pull back a stub. Not giving those up anytime soon, but then there are the other kinds.

By other kinds, I mean the ones that make me drool with their outright gorgeousness, the ones that are works of art all on their own without any help from the consumer. I’ve blogged about a trio of floral notebooks I got from Paperchase before, here. Perfect for a historical romance writer, yes? So, no surprise that Paperchase would do it again, with this lovely specimen.

It's my lobster

It’s my lobster

No, I do not eat seafood (allergies) but I have always wanted to write an American Revolutionary era historical romance with Loyalist characters. One of the terms for British soldiers during that era was “lobsterbacks,” referring to the red coats, so of course that’s exactly where my mind went when I saw this beauty. I could write that book in this book, I could. So I picked it up, which is where I found the next lovely surprise:

Red and blue lines. I repeat: Red. And. Blue. Lines.

Red and blue lines. I repeat: Red. And. Blue. Lines.

My heart went pitty-pat at the sight of alternating red and blue lines. My mind whirled – the lines remind me of airmail envelopes, which I dearly love and need to use more, both in correspondence and art, and the mere fact that they are not the usual sort of lines hints at maybe a not so usual sort of story (but still happy ending, because of course, I am me) and I knew a sudden urge to use one of the front pages to list the books in Miranda Jarrett’s Sparkhawk series of historical romances. (I really need to reread those, but my copies are all in storage. :sigh:) At any rate, the book did not come home with me the first time I saw it, because of course it had to be exhorbitantly expensive. Still, I had to pick it up and pet it every single time I came into the store.

Anchory endpapers!

Anchory endpapers!

Notebook fiends know what it’s like to imagine all the lovely things we will do to a beloved but not yet owned notebook. What types of ink to write in it with, what colors, which specific pens, the precise size, shape and color of sticky notes, if any are to be used at all. These things matter. As do pockets. Have I mentioned how much I love pockets in the backs of notebooks?

Pocket!

Pocket!

So, notebook love, repeated pettings, all of that means that there comes a point where dang the stress, the book must come home. First, it must be purchased. Only of course there is a snag. This particular book wouldn’t ring up at the register. Huh. Okay, consult manager. Manager also flummoxed. Manager takes book to the special manager cave to check codes and numbers and possibly an oracle or two. Manager comes back out even more flummoxed. According to stock, this book does not exist.

un-American pricing

un-American pricing

Blurry shot here, but since nobody could find a US price -tag lists price in British pounds and Euros, but not US dollars- it was determined the book A) could not be sold, B) technically did not exist in the store, so the manager said I could have it for free, since it would need to be damaged out anyway. Definite case of right time, right place for that one. Now to wait for the proper story, and when it comes, I’m thinking fountain pen…

Comfort Food

Some days start out with a four page to-do list and end up with comfort food.

This is one of those days. Two dear friends have beloved mothers in the hospital, at the same time, in different states, and I can’t be with either of them, though I’d love to be with both.  One expects to get her mom settled back into her own home by the end of the week, and the other, oh, my heart aches. I don’t even want to type it.

Real Life Romance Hero was  home today, both of us drained and cranky and concerned for our friends. We made grilled cheese and tomato soup and hung out in the kitchen, discussing food and film and baking lemon poppyseed quickbread. He advocated greasing the pan when the directions didn’t call for it, and dumping the excess butter in the batter, both of which ended up happening. Dinner will be Chinese delivery or meatloaf and his homemade mashed potatoes (that would be Real Life Romance Hero’s mashed potatoes. I don’t know if Meat Loaf makes mashed potatoes or not, but if he does, that would be fitting.)

Prior to the comfort food, I shoveled the walk, for the third time in twenty four hours, and, also for the second time in twenty four hours, hauled a load to the laundromat. Not my first choice of activities after said shoveling, but A) it’s February, B) we live in Upstate New York, and C) I was out of socks and long sleeved shirts. So, laundry had to happen.

Today's workplace

Today’s workplace

The smaller pad, next to the Diet Coke can, ended up with a four-page to-do list, which I informed Real Life Romance Hero about upon my return. I told him also that Plan B was to say “forget all that and watch movies.”  Because sometimes, we have to. Our bodies are tired. Our heads are full. Our hearts are heavy. This is one of those days, and I do have Revolutionary Road, which I know darned well is going to be gorgeous and tragic all at once, waiting for me. I haven’t cracked it open yet, because that’s the way the day has gone.

That four page to-do list? There are going to be a lot of arrows on it. Arrows, in my lists, mean carry over to the next day. Because there will be one. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my time on this planet, it is that. Carrying things over from one to-do list to another doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me is the way I accepted that today. Okay, not going to get All The Things checked off today, but did have a good hangout in the kitchen with Real Life Romance Hero, got to warn him not to touch the food until I’d photographed it, and had a much-needed break where we got to discuss Things That Are Important (friends’ mums, what both of us are doing with work these days, how the deep freeze outside affects our plans for the week) and Things That Are Not (current movies neither of us want to see, things we each read on the interwebs, how to share a single order of silver dollar pancakes and what side dishes there should be with that.)

We’re in a lull now, him doing dishes in the kitchen, and me under an afghan in the comfy chair, Spotify open and tuned to one of my story playlists, inspiration picture open in another window. We’re both waiting for the quick bread to cool (he calls it “a dirty tease” that there is an in-pan cooling period and an out-of-pan cooling period.) He’s puttering and I’m…writing.

It strikes me funny that, when not so long ago, trying to write meant me smashing my head against a brick wall for hours at a time, and now, when I’ve given myself permission to take a day off, I’m diving into my fictive world because that really is where I want to be, when I can be anywhere. To have the WIP be the place to go for comfort and rest, that’s a pretty good thing. I will take that, and gladly.

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View from the laundromat

Typing With Wet Claws: Overscheduled Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday.

First of all, thank you to those who  come back every week to read my blog. That is very encouraging to a kitty, and to Anty as well.

This has been a busy week for Anty, so if she has not gotten back to anybody, it is not personal. She has been on the glowy box a lot. I wanted to put a picture of Anty’s planning board up here, but she said it was not okay, because her notes were readable and she is not done with the book yet. Sorry.  Instead, I can share a picture of her box of Post-It notes that she uses for planning. The best part about her using Post-its on her planning board is that I get to play with her mistakes.

Anty and I both love to play with these...

Anty and I both love to play with these…

Anty really really likes planning and making lists, so she does not mind that much.  She asked me not to talk about the time she tried to get up from the computer and forgot she had her headphones on and it yanked her back down like a dog at the end of its leash. Whoops. Sorry. Can that be our secret?

What is not a secret is that Anty got to write about two of her favorite TV relationships (ohhh, that’s where the ships come in. I get it now. Humans are clever.)

She got to write about Sleepy Hollow here, and it looks like this:

Then she got to write about The Mindy Project here, and it looks like this:

Dandy

I think both shows need more cats. Or any cats. I would also accept birds, mice and fish. Sleepy Hollow has a horse sometimes, but that is not the same. I do not know any horses, so it kind of freaks me out. Anty would say everything freaks me out, and she is right about that. I still think there should be more cats.

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Tomorrow, tomorrow…

Tomorrow, Anty goes to CR-RWA to present her workshop, On Beyond Fanfic. She is excited and nervous, especially since our printer says it is jammed, but both Anty and Mama say it is not jammed and there is not any paper in it. Anty and Mama will see if the big paper store can help them get those papers printed. I call dibs on playing with any mistakes from that. Somebody will have to tear the big papers into smaller papers, though, because I am scared of big papers. I like them bite-sized.

Speaking of bite-sized,  (Anty calls that a transition; see, I am learning) Anty only minutes ago sent in her contribution to the 31 Days & 31 Ways to Jumpstart Your Life program. Do you want to know how making something out of nothing can help to make life better? Anty, Eryka and friends can help with that, and it does not cost anything. Even I like that price (money better spent on cat food, right?) You can read more about this program and find out how you can join here. If you do, let Anty (or me) know, because she would love to see some friendly virtual faces.

only for that one counter, really

only for that one counter, really

Now, for those who asked about this sign, Anty asked the barista, a very nice human named Rachel, and Rachel said the sign only means for that one counter. It is meant to be a waiting area for humans who are ordering their food and drinks to go. If other humans park there with laptops, that takes up that space. There are lots of other comfy spaces to settle. She did not say anything about Anty sitting there with a notebook, so Anty guesses that is still okay. The sign does not say “no notebooks.” Anty would not go to a place that said “no notebooks.”  Trust me, I know  her.

That about covers it for this week. Anty still has her post for Buried Under Romance to write and some pictures to take, so I have to give the computer back. Until next week, I remain, very truly yours,

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

Until next week...

Until next week…

Duluth, Part Three

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

–Eleanor Roosevelt

Here, on this lovely not-currently-snowing day, we bring the Duluth trilogy to a close. In case you missed them, part one is here, and part two, here. These all came about in the throes of writerly angst, when getting anything, even an incoherent brain dump, on the page felt like an insurmountable task. Obviously, that wasn’t permanent, but boy, did it feel like it at the time.

Duluth, pt 3

Since a writer’s work is, literally, all in their head, (and yes, I know I’ve drifted from the original topic of this post, but I don’t care; I’ll bring it back around) the upside is that there will be far fewer needles and surgical procedures involved in the writer’s recuperation, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less exhausting, aggravating and even painful. It’s neccessary, though, because writing isn’t something one can turn off. If you are, you are, and if you aren’t, you aren’t. While it is possible to be a writer who doesn’t write, as in someone who is genetically predisposed/hardwired/whatever term you’d care to use, who does not choose to exercise that ability, they aren’t the easiest people to live with and trust me, they’re not having a good time. It’s like trying not to breathe.

There’s the want. There’s the need. The how, however, that’s a different story, pun intended. Trust me, it’s easier to maintain a full creative well than to refill it. Ever try to fill an empty swimming pool using your kitchen tap? Whether it’s hooking up the garden hose so that one end is in the sink and the other in the deep end, or carrying buckets with or without the help of family members. it’s going to take a while. A long while. By that time, it’ll be too cold to swim, so what’s the point? Nope, better to call one of those trucks from the pool company and have them all dump it in at once. That, for the writer, is reading. A lot. In genre, out of genre. Books. Magazines. Backs of cereal boxes. Posters on the coffee house wall. Junk mail. Actual paper letters (really, send a writer one of these and they will love you even more.) Ebooks. Forum posts. Graphic novels. Library books. Closed captioning on movies and tv shows. Read read read read read read read until it’s not possible to hold any more.

Like with the pool illustration, if the creative well is empty, it may take a LOT of reading, a lot of taking in story in all its forms (movies, tv, plays, dance, computer games with a storyline or character development, etc.) It gushes in and in and in and in and in and in….that’s our transfusion. Next comes the physical therapy. Writing. Actual writing. I’m not going to say words on the page, because that phrase, I am pretty sure, was the piano that dropped on me, personally. Or maybe the pigeon that pooped in my eye when I looked up to see if the piano bench was going to fall, too.

At any rate, this stage of recovery means that there has to be actual writing. Meaning stuff in the writer’s head has to go someplace where it is possible, at least in theory, for somebody else to see it. Whether or not they actually do is not that important at this stage. For those who have a hypercritical gremlin in their head, jumping up and down and screaming “yes, it is!” it is okay to smack that gremlin with a copy of Outlander. If our writer had been in a physical car accident, do we expect them to crawl out of the wreckage and run a marathon? I’m thinking not.

What happens at this stage is spewing out everything that’s in the writer’s head, because even while the well is filling with good stuff, the bad stuff still has to come out. I’d say expressing pus, but that’s gross, but I also am taking advantage of this time to smack my hypercritical gremlins, so yes, it is at times like expressing pus. Bad stuff out so there’s room for the good stuff to come in.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that, things will begin to balance. The writer will get back in touch with why they accepted the invitation of all these people who live inside the writer’s head. The type of story, the type of character. They will get their voice back. They will fill notebooks and flash drives and whatever other method of storing data modern technology comes up with in the time between writing this and someone else reading it. Some of it is going to be venting. Okay, a lot of it is going to be venting. it’s going to be rough and confusing and attract hypercritical gremlins like blood in the water attracts sharks. Keep going. Because at some point, the balance will be reached. (Yes, that is passive phrasing, and no, I do not care, because hypercritical gremlins get my boot in their butt at this stage of the game.)

Up and down the steps. Up and down and up and down and up and down and then one day, without thinking about it, without planning to, without advance approval of the physical therapist, the writer takes the stairs instead of the ramp back to their room (or more likely, the vending machine on the third floor because that’s the one that has pub fries and gummi bears) – well looky there, stairs. Bunches of them. Climbed up and climbed down and the world did not end. Time to go back home and get back to business. And find directions to Duluth.

From The Trenches

I’d meant to have this post up Monday. Then there was Sunday’s snow, Real Life Romance Hero and I both adjusting to not being sick, all family members being home at the same time, and computer issues, and I cannot tell you for the life of me what my original topic was.  Really no idea on that one. I have a note somewhere that says “longhand,” but that could be pretty much anything. So today, you get my rambles. Also some assorted pictures that I have no idea what they were originally taken to illustrate. Let me throw them up here and see if I remember.

Okay, here’s one. First cup of tea after cold sore scab dropped. Apparently freedom tastes like cinnamon and star anise. I grabbed that tea bag at random from what we call the orphan jar,. where   various teabags go when the rest of their box has been dispatched, were picked up at other venues, received as gifts, etc. Though I haven’t actually played Tea Roultette (you drink what you pick) formally as of yet, it is always a possibility in our house.

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Skye’s notebook, surprisingly good pen found at the dollar store. Starbucks mug, because I needed a BIG cup of tea.

Snow: 

Snowy Sunday.  Cars totally buried, oh the fun.

Snowy Sunday. Cars totally buried, oh the fun.

I put these guys in the front window:

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A polar bear, a teddy bear, and a bat live across the street from a bar…

Workspaces: 

I trudged out in the whirling white on Sunday, in desperate need of human contact (apart from the human contact I live with; there’s a difference) and broke in a new padfolio. Ivory paper, not white, not yellow. Ivory. Lots of blabber, lots of tea, listened to RWA talks from last year’s Nationals; not bad for a snowy afternoon.

I'd forgotten about the cookie. I think it was pumpkin.

I’d forgotten about the cookie. I think it was pumpkin.

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This sign was on the counter where I wrote. I only had a legal pad, so I’m good.

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Have I shared this art before?

I like sitting at the small counter facing this window when I write longhand at the coffee house. There’s something about having my back to the world,. a view of art, raw brick and the world outside -best when it’s snow or rain, and there was plenty of snow on Sunday- that feels very comfy and creative.

Today: 

Displaced chessmen

Displaced chessmen

There’s a table in the coffee house that has a built in chessboard and Risk board, both very cool, and usually, the chessmen are in place, but, today, they were on a field trip to another table. I think they look like they’re having a fine time.

Do I have any better idea now what I was going to blog about? Nope, but I’m still here. My brain may be mush for anything apart from fiction writing at present, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. Sometimes entertaining for family and friends, but the spaciness is actually a good thing. It means my head is in that story space I’ve wanted it to be in for longer than I would care to admit, and I can’t begrudge that.

Throwback Thursday: Duluth, Part One

I sometimes forget the lessons of my past. We all have them. But don’t worry they come back to remind you that your journey isn’t over.
-Adrian Paul

I normally don’t do Throwback Thursday, but blogging three times per week is one of my goals, and since I am not going to show up at my next CR-RWA meeting (especially because I will be the speaker) on February 14th and say I did not meet my goals (if I make a goal public, I will meet that or die trying; it’s something I do) and because Sue Ann Porter has a way of encouraging me, today, you get to hop in my wayback machine.

The year was 2013, our family newly arrived in Albany, my writer brain in a constant state of shock and caught between projects. I had only recently discovered the joys of Hudson River Coffee House, where I am writing this entry. On this particular day, date lost to the wilds of time, Housemate banished me there after one of my mild freakouts (“What on earth am I doing, thinking I can write anymore?” variety) and said I had to write something. So, there was this:

2012 was one of those years. Family health issues. Planning and carrying out an interstate move when one family member was not physically able to make any of the apartment hunting trips. Carrying out said move in stages, one of them involving sending one family member into a hurricane to carry out said stage solo because another did not want a third anxiety attack that week. A first trip to the hospital from our new home. Changes in important relationships. Buying a second snow shovel because we live in Albany and it’s winter and one shovel is not going to dig us out properly.

2013 is an unknown quantity. I’m letting one ms settle and diving into another. It scares me. What on earth am I getting myself into? Fear. The bad kind. Fear. The good kind.

What’s the difference between the two? Good question. When I find out, I will let you know, but I’ll give it a stab (and stabbing does seem like a good option at times, the object of which can vary.)

Bad fear = what if every bad thing anybody ever said about my writing is true? What if it’s true and I have no other marketable skills? What if I really do suck? What if I suck and there was something I could have done to not suck but I didn’t do it and now it’s too late to fix it because I really do suck and it’s all my fault? What if I have to live with the wanting to write and the needing to write and never being able to write for the rest of my life ? DOOM! DOOM!DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!

Good fear = I have never done X before, but it could be fun. Am I really doing it right?

:pokes X with a stick, then scuttles back a safe distance to observe:

:comes back, presuming the poking of X did not result in personal death or obliteration of all humankind; pokes X again. Repeat until done, then poke something else.:

Do I have all the answers? No. Do I have  my answers? Maybe. Let me look around the bottom of my purse a while longer. Or fumble my way through manuscript B and occasionally poke A with a stick. There is fear, both kinds. There are times I feel like I can’t find my way back to my normal writing self any more than I can find my way to Apartment Four, 738 North Anything Street in Duluth, Minnesota. At night. In a snowstorm. On foot. Wearing earplugs. During a blackout. In the zombie apocalypse. One thing is sure, though; if I never take one step, I’ll never get there.

So. This is a step. Today, I wrote. Is it a completed work of fiction between eighty and one hundred thousand words in my chosen genre? No. Is it real? Yes. Is it true? Yes. Is it finished? Yes. Did it bring me one step closer to that mythical apartment in Duluth? Yes. Are the residents expecting me? Maybe. I’ll find out when I get there. So will you. We all have a Duluth. I firmly believe that, and I firmly beleive that putting one foot in front of the other will eventually get you there. Maybe you’re on the right track now, and maybe you’ll need to circle the world a time or two, but the surest way to make sure you never get there is to not try. Right foot, left foot. Right foot, left foot. Right foot, left foot. Dress in layers. Stay hydrated. Rest, and then continue. Fill the well. Write something. Ask for directions. Right foot, left foot. Right foot, left foot. See you there.

This Time, It’s The N

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not a race. It’s finding your voice. You’re okay. Now get off that ledge, give yourself a day off, feed your soul with something that brings you joy and sit back down from a place of peace. You’re a writer. You’re fine. You have all the time in the world.
-Beth Treadway

Well, I knew it had to happen sometime. We have had the first casualty, or should I say, sign of wear, on the new external keyboard. The bottom part of the N, I noticed as I sat down for the morning’s session, is not as there as it used to be.  I take that as a source of pride. I’ve been pounding keys enough to wear away letters on this new keyboard. As I started typing this entry, I noticed that the L is looking shaky on the bottom as well. Not too shabby, getting those letters, well, um, shabby.

Wearing the letters off keys may be the computer equivalent of emptying pens, which I have also been doing. I’d say filling notebooks as well, but maybe that’s more like using up memory with accumulated files. Maybe? Maybe not? I’m not sure that everything translates like that, but that’s not where I’m putting my mental energy these days.

The first part of this week was consumed by domestic tornadoes of the sort that make one exclaim, “Really, life? Really?” Along with a few other strong words.  Second half of the week looks better, with a new opportunity that may be in the offing, but let’s get back to the first part, which fits very well with today’s quote.  There are going to be times in every writer’s life when the world goes crazy. That’s not an if, that’s a when, and it’s going to happen to everybody. Accepting that makes it easier to handle, I’ve found.

The last few years, the last year, and the last couple of days have made me realize how much a part of me writing actually is. It’s been a dedicated search to find my voice again, and find the process that works for the writer and the person I am now. There’s some wandering around in the woods still, but there are trail markers, and those are all worthy of celebration. It’s not a race (unless there’s a deadline, but that’s a good thing) and it’s okay to take the time to do it right.

Head down, eyes on my own paper. I got this. I know how to write a book. I know how to write a romance novel. I may not have a muse, but I do have a magpie, and she is happily gathering shiny things; books and movies and songs and scents and flashes of scenes and I am getting all of this down. Emptying pens. Filling notebooks. Rubbing the letters off computer keys.  Putting story where there was no story before. That’s progress.

The bottom bar of that L key is going down.

Typing With Wet Claws: Boxing Day Edition

Hello and happy Boxing Day (that is the day after Christmas, if you do not know what that is) to all. Skye here, for my second post of the week, because it is Feline Friday once again.

I spent most of the second part of yesterday under Anty and Uncle’s bed, because that is my safe place. Company came, and the humans laughed really really loud a lot. Everybody had stories to tell, there were a lot of food smells, and most of the lights were on. Too much for this kitty. Also, the company smelled like two other cats and a dog, and I was not sure if those guys were going to come in, too. Really, under the bed was the best place. I did come out once while the company was here, to get treat Uncle put in my purple bowl (that is where my treat goes; my food goes in my other bowl. That other bowl is white.Mama put some food in that one while Anty took care of company) but I stayed close to the wall to be safe. In case you are wondering, the other pets did not come with the company, which was only people. The people were very nice and my humans seem to like them. Maybe I will come out next time.

Anty and Uncle say company has to come back so everybody can start the traditional Christmas zombie hand (I have talked about that before) which may not be only for Christmas, if they are doing it at another time.  One of the guests said she reads my blog and likes it. I have a fan. That is a wonderful Christmas present. I also got filet mingnon flavored cat food. I really really liked that. I usually eat fish jelly (which is also good) but on special days, I get filet mingnon. I do not know if I spelled that right.

Anty managed to get some writing done in between all the Christmas things, and she was up again early this morning to do more.  That is a very good sign. I had better get my blog entry posted before she wants the glowy box again.  She is no longer grinchy or meh. I think that is a good thing. She says she has plans for 2015, but first, today is the start of her favorite week of the year. She calls the week between Christmas and New Year the “tucked away week” and says it is special. I am not sure exactly how it is different from the rest of the year, apart from being between two holidays. Maybe it is the leftovers. Anyway, she usually spends that week with a lot of stories – reading (she is now reading Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, which Mama gave her for Christmas) and watching movies. This year, there will probably be  lot of writing as well. She says she is making up for lost time. I am not sure what that means, but writing makes her happy, and a happy Anty gives me bigger portions of treat.

 

Not a real kitty

Not a real kitty

That is about it for now. Next week’s blog may need to go up on Thursday instead of Friday, because Friday is New Year’s Day, and Anty will go visit Anty Michele, who also writes books and lives in the Old Country.  Anty Michele has a party every year where humans trade books. Anty loves this party, so that is where she will be that day.

Until next time, I remain very truly yours,

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

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Special Christmas Edition

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and happy Thursday to those who not. Skye here, pinch hitting for Anty on Christmas day. I have never written two blogs in one week before, so I am a little nervous here. Anty said she really needs me to blog for her today, because she is very busy, so I will give it a try. There is a lot of stuff going on today.  I will try to hit the highlights.

Wrapping paper is very noisy, in case you were wondering.

Wrapping paper is very noisy, in case you were wondering.

Anty got up very early this morning to make sure all the Christmas things were in order. We are having company this year, which we usually do not, but Anty gets excited over company, so things are happening. Lots of presents under the tree. This year, Anty decided that black and white wrapping paper is classy and versatile, so it was mostly that and the kraft paper she uses for a lot of different things. Anty, Uncle and Mama exchanged presents after breakfast. I hid under the bed because wrapping paper is very noisy when it is getting unwrapped. Fun to play with in small amounts, though. I will bat some of it around later tonight, probably after company has gone home.

Mr. and Mrs. Gothy Claus

 

Sometimes, new characters pop up in Anty and Uncle’s heads, that live with us instead of inside books. This year, Mr. and Mrs. Gothy Claus happened, because they were both wearing black.  They both wear a lot of black. Some of my fur is black, too. Uncle’s hat says “Bah Humbug.” Anty makes him wear it all during presents. That is okay, because he likes it. I do not wear anything on my head. Ribbon bows were discussed when I first joined the family (I have been here a few years) and I said very big no thank you, because ribbon bows are scary and I do not want them on my head.

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Anty is not wearing all black today; yesterday, she painted her toenails red with green glitter. She said she wanted obnoxious Christmas nails. She didn’t get a chance to do her fingernails, but the toes came out nicely. Did I mention I love the smell of nail polish? I always want to be really really close to her when she does her nails. Then I stare at her, very hard. It’s a cat thing.

The only holiday movie Anty has had a chance to see so far is A Very Brady Christmas, which she says is perfect in its horribleness. I do not understand the criteria Anty has for judging movies. She and Mama plan to watch more Christmas movies during the upcoming week. I will probably hide under the bed if they laugh too loudly, which they probably will. i will come out for treat, though, and possibly playtime.

That is about it for now, at least until the company comes. I will tell you about the rest of the day tomorrow.

Until then, I remain very truly yours,

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

Typing With Wet Claws: Running Late Edition

Skye here, for another Feline Friday.

We had big snow this week. I am an inside kitty, so I was not out in it, but snow does make Anty happy, so she was. She did not take any pictures so far, but she says winter is young, and there wasn’t a lot of time, She said it was something to do with the domestic tornadoes we had this week. Human lives get complicated, and often involve trips to the laundromat. I am not entirely sure what happens in a laundromat, but Anty says she does a lot of her writing there. Since she always takes her notebooks with her, that makes a lot of sense.

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The Christmas tree went up this week, as did the lights around the doorways to the living room and Uncle’s office. Last night, one of the light strings fell down when I was sitting under it. That was scary. It did not hit me, but still not something I would care to repeat. The humans gave me food to make me feel better.. That worked.  I also got more food when Uncle decided to see if I would play with the light from the big flashlight. I did not. Silly Uncle. Lights are not toys. Crumpled papers are toys. Anty makes me a lot of them, so that works out well.

Anty worked a lot this week. She has a new post up at Heroes and Heartbreakers, about the 200th episode of Bones. It is here and it looks like this:

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Beyond that, she says she has kept her head down and eyes on her own paper, which is probably a human thing. She will explain later. Since she keeps her eyes on her paper, I keep my eyes on her. Most years, she watches a lot of Christmas movies and reads Christmassy books, but so far, nothing this year. This concerns me. Writing and pre-writing time is good, but that takes a lot of energy away from important things like playing with me. Christmassy movies and TV shows usually mean she will make popcorn. I don’t eat it (as it is not kitty food) but the smell is amazing. Same with hot chocolate, of which there has not been any yet that I can tell. This also concerns me. Knowing Anty as I do, I know her Christmas fever is going to kick in sooner or later, and the longer it takes to start, the harder it will hit when it does.

Really, it’s in everyone’s best interest that she start as soon as possible. I am not sure what I can do to get that underway, (if you have suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments) but the decorations being up is a very good start.

Tomorrow, Anty will be going to her CRRWA meeting, which is always a good thing. She gets to spend time with other romance writers, hang out in a library and best of all, come home to feed me.

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That’s about it for this week.

Until next time, I remain very truly yours,

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