Typing With Wet Claws: I Smell Ghost Cats Edition

ello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. Once again, I am coming to you from Camp Grandma, but this is no ordinary day at camp. That is because Anty is coming to visit! Mama is coming, too, and they are bringing boxes of my food, so that Grandma does not have to worry about getting the right kind. We are all very excited. Anty will have special time with only her and me, and maybe a toy that belonged to the ghost cats who live here. Did I tell you there were ghost cats? Well, there are. I smell them.  More about them later. First, I have to talk about Anty’s stuff, and, this week, there is stuff to tell. I had better get right to it.

Of course, the most important thing Anty is doing this week, is coming to see me. She wants to take some new photos. I guess I will not mind that, if I get extra treats. It has been a while. I hope that Anty will want to read or write or nap in the comfy chair, so that I can curl up by her feet and have a really good snooze. Those are the best. Anty might also see if I remember the trick she taught me before I went to camp. She taught me how to take one single treat from her fingers. I learned that one very fast, but got shy when there were other humans around, and would not do it. Maybe when it is just me and Anty, I will give it another try.

Oh. Right. Anty’s writing stuff. First, as always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, talking about the different kinds of romance book covers, and what she thinks about them. I think they could use more cats. That post is here, and it looks like this:

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As luck would have it, Mr. Fabio was on the cover of one of the books Anty read recently. and, I am happy to say, she is doing pretty well in her goal to make up for lost time in reading historical romance novels. Let’s take a look at her Goodreads challenge. Right now, Anty is one book ahead of schedule, having read 38 out of 90 books. That puts her at 42% of the way to her goal a respectable achievement, all things considered. Out of those 38, 11 are historical romance. Still room for improvement there,  but Anty is almost done reading the  first book in Denise Domning’s Graistan Chronicles of historical romance, with the rest of those books queued on her Kindle, so Domning Nation is going to raise those numbers. Also, Anty read To Love a Wicked Lord (do not worry, he was not that wicked) by Edith Layton, and remembered how much she likes Miss Edith’s books, so she will soon be looking for more of them. She has missed a few. Oksy, more than a few. This endeavor may need a catchy name of its own. Lay, Layton, Lay, as an homage to Anty’s favorite Bob Dylan song? I will have to think about that. Anyway, that review is here, and it looks like this:

BURLayonLord

This book got Anty to thinking, a lot, about what makes a good historical romance for her, both as a reader and as a writer. There is some of that in the review, but she will talk about it more in depth on her own, later. Right now, she has a nice big stack of historical romances by some of the greats: Mary Jo Putney, Virginia Henley, and Madeline Hunter, lined up for the coming week, and that is only in paper books. I think she is making some excellent headway. Speaking of heads, I do like head scritches. in case Anty needs a reminder. It has been a while.

It has been a while, too, since Anty has been to Charter Oak Romance Writers, but they were her first ever RWA chapter. She is looking forward to reconnecting with old friends, getting to meet new people, and, hopefully, share a few tricks for writing while real life plot twists threaten to derail her train of thought. Also, there may be lunch after. I am always in favor of lunch. Anty and Anty Melva had hoped to have handouts for the workshop, but life got life-y today, and they will probably make a PDF instead. I think that fits fine with the theme of their workshop.

But. Skye, you say, what about the ghost cats? People generally do not forget ghost cats, and Camp Grandma has two. Their names are Michelangelo and Francesca, and they lived with Grandma from when they were four, until they each crossed the rainbow bridge, after long and happy lives. Some of their toys may still be around here, and Anty knows where they would be, because she was their cat sitter, when Grandma was out of town. Grandma has friends and family in many places. She is very nice. Even though Michelangelo and Francesca were done being kitties in the having bodies sense, that does not mean that they are gone.

First, there is fur. They were both Maine Coons, like me, but Michelangelo was orange all over, and Francesca was black and white. I am brown tabby, so I know that when I see orange or black and white sheds, they are not mine. Francesca’s favorite chair is in my room, and, sometimes, I feel her looking down at me, from her perch on top of that chair. Michelangelo’s loud purrs still echo. I do not purr at all (I did not learn that when I was a baby, so I chirp when I am happy, instead. Maybe I will chirp for Anty today.) so I know that sound is not me. Grandma says I am imagining that, and that she will ask Mama to help her vacuum, but there is not enough Febreze in the world to cover the scent of ghost cats. I know they are here. As long as they do not try anything with my treat, I have no problem with them. Plus, Michelangelo says the feather on a stick toy is super fun. If Anty can find it, I may give it a try.

That is about it for this week. Until next time, I remain very truly yours,

SkyeByeTemp

 

 

 

 

 

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In the Absence of Wirkshop X

Right now, I am between two loads of laundry, which means two trips to the laundry room, which means using the first trip to teach me what I want to bring on the second trip. I am still learning the new apartment, the new apartment building, the new apartment complex, the new neighborhood, and a whole bunch of other news. Sleep has been not-great, which means a lot of time, in the dark, thinking about life, both writing and otherwise.

June is a ninja. Spring had only started, and now, wham, look, it’s summer. June 1st is my date with Charter Oak Romance Writers, on a topic I feel both eminently qualified, and wholly unfit to present. Allow me to ‘splain.

Save The Writer, Save The Book (STWSTB,) or Writing Through the Tears (WTTT,) depending on who you ask, came about when Melva Michaelian and I both missed the notices that Workshop X (so called, because I cannot, for the life of me remember what the actual topic was, or the name of the presenter who was unable to make it that year) had been cancelled, and thus sat in an empty conference room for an hour. At first, we figured maybe everybody else was late. They were not, because we were it, because there was no workshop. There may or may not have been discussion of going to the workshop offered in place of Workshop X, or maybe another workshop, but we wanted the one that wasn’t, and we were tired, and things do tend to happen when we are left on our own at conferences. (CT Fiction Fest 2018 attendees, you have been warned) what we landed on was that we should have our own workshop.

STWSTB is a catchy name, and it does borrow from the tag line of the TV show, Heroes, which I have never seen. I don’t know if Melva has; you’d have to ask her. At the time, we were both caregivers to multiple relatives apiece, along with juggling other flaming stress chainsaws of life, and we both had the same question: how the fluff do yoy keep writing, with all this stuff going on?

I know, I know, dangling proposition above, but it’s appropriate. How do you keep writing? I want to know this. How do I? I want to know that, perhaps, even more. No offense; I am sure you are very interesting, and I could probably ask far too may nosy questions, but I am the only one who can write my books. I am half of the team that co-writes Melva’s-and-my books, so focusing on myself is probably a wise decision on my part.

I am not where Beginning Writer Me thought she/I would be, at this point in her/my career. We rather thought we would have a bit more to show for our efforts by now. We thought we would be writing from behind an antique dedk, in an off-site office, by now, walls covered in glossy posters of our book covers, not tapping out blog entries on our phone, from the air mattress in an apartment with blank cream walls, but, today, that’s what we’ve got.

There’s an old proverb, Japanese, I want to say, that says, fall down five times, get up six. That, I can do. Though, as with many adoptees, my genetic makeup is a mystery, I am fairly certain that I am at least thirty-five percent Weeble. Knock me down, and I get back up, because that’s how I’m made. Maybe that’s why I liked the punching clown toy as much as I did, when I was but a wee princess. Smack it down, and up it comes. Every. Time.

Sometimes, writing is easy. Sometimes, writing is hard. Sometimes, the answer to “how do you keep going?” is, that, sonetimes, you don’t. Not in a lie in a ditch and stop existing sense, but in a take a step back, drink root beer floats in a blanket fort and watch Netflix all afternoon sense. Or reading. Reading is good. Also doodling, or lying on your back, eyes closed, listening to music; all of that is good stuff. When I can’t put out, that usually means I need to take in, instead. Feed my senses. Feed my story brain. Talk to other writers, talk to other readers. Talk to four-legged (or finned or feathered) family members, because they are very good listeners and not at all pushy with advice. Talk to myself (I do that one a lot.)  Talk to the voices in my head, which, for most of us writers, are our characters, and, when the time is right, they will talk back. That’s how they’re built, too.

 

 

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Grandma is a Snitch Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, bringing you yet another Feline Friday, straight from Camp Grandma. Grandma and I are getting along okay, but she is no Uncle, and there is the small matter of her calling the v-e-t on me ( do not worry, I am okay) so I will be glad when Forever Apartment becomes available. More on that later.

Even though I am at camp, I still have to talk about Anty’s writing before I can talk about anything else. First, as always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, talking about the surprise shut-down of RT Book Reviews magazine and associated ventures. I have heard that the magazine was very nice to lie on, so I am sure many kitties will miss it. That post is here, and it looks like this:

http://www.buriedunderromance.com/2018/05/saturday-discussion-hail-and-farewell-romantic-times.html

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As you can see, remote blogging has a bit of a learning curve, but a good mews never lets a little thing like distance to get in their way. Next week, Anty will come and visit me when she speaks to Charter Oak Romance Writers. Anty and I are both looking forward to that. Uncle has to work, so he cannot come, but Anty will bring me something that smells like him, which is a good consolation prize. I will probably send her back with some shed fur, and maybe a whisker I am done using. A mews has to do what a mews has to do.

One of those things is to cheer Anty on when she is doing the right thing. Besides submitting two pieces to an anthology that asked her to submit, she has also got some good news: she and Anty Melva will be presenting their workshop, Writing Through The Tears, also known as Save The Writer, Save the Book, at CT Fiction Fest in September. For more information, and maybe to guess the workshops Anty hopes most are not opposite hers, visit the conference site here:

http://www.ctfictionfest.org/workshops.html

Anty has returned to her regular schedule of meetings with fellow writer humans, which feels very good, after that whole moving interruption. The interwebs connection here is much better, so Anty got to have her whole conversation with Anty Melva without weak signals or anything. That was exciting, even if Anty did have to carry on her end of the conversation from the edge of the bathtub.

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That is how Anty has to set up the laptop so that Anty Melva can talk to Anty’s face instead of her, umm, shirt, but writers, like their mewses, do what they must.  Also, Sebastian tells me it is very echoey in the For-Now apartment, so going into a different room is probably the best way to go.

Although I am still working out how to link Anty’s Goodreads challenge in this whole remote business, I can let you know that she is currently 41% of the way to her goal, with 37 out of 90 books read. She may have read more, but I will have Sebastian run the numbers later. Her two most recent reads were both historical romance:

Lady in White , by Denise Domning

And

The Prince of Midnight, by Laura Kinsale

I will have Sebastian add the links later, as those are tricky to do here at camp. It looks like DomningNation is a go, because, now, Anty is reading Winter’s Heat, also by Miss Denise, and she has all of the four books that come after it already on hrr Kindle, plus some other books by Miss Denise, so Anty is all set on that front.

This weekend, Anty and Mama hope to get Anty’s desktop out of storage, so nobody has to listen to Anty’s whining about….umm, I mean Anty will have an easier time doing her work. That will also let Anty play her games again. A gaming Anty is a happy Anty, and it might help her to miss me less if she could make a Sim version of me to keep her Simself company. We will see how that goes. This coming week is for Anty bringing herself up to date on her current projects, and that is much easier on a desktop computer.

In case you were wondering about the whole Grandma being a snitch thing, I should mention that Grandma and I have had a difference of opinion as to where I should do my, um, stuff. Grandma was worried that I was not making stuff at all (I totally was) so she called the local vet, who was my old vet, before we moved, and told her I had not made any stuff since I started camp. I am eating and drinking fine (Grandma gets a A+ on water bowl replenishment) so the vet told Grandma that I am not sick, just in a strange place, and want to be sure I am safe. Anty or Mama will probably find my stuff spot right away, and let Grandma know where I want my stuff spot to be. Mama also rold Grandma to talk to her before any vets (the vet could not see me, anyway, without Mama’s permission) and that I am fine. Not exactly happy, but fine.

Uncle is doing much better after his own stay at the people vet, and, apart from me being at camp, things are pretty good. The humans are moving things into For-Now apartment on an as needed basis, which Sebastian says makes for some interesting arrangements as they figure out what is a need-need and what would be nice.

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Of course, getting me home is the biggest need, but, in the meantime, Sebastian is doing a pretty good job of providing a facsimile of a feline presence. That window is his favorite spot. I remain, even at camp, a floor girl .

That is about it for this week. Until next time, I remain very truly yours,

Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling

(The kitty, not the book)

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Typing With Wet Claws: Tales From the Air Mattress Edition

Hello, all Skye here, coming to you remotely from Camp Grandma, for another Feline Friday.  Please note that the title of this week’s blog is spelled t-a-l-e-s, because those of us who have actual tails, also have actual claws, and claws and air mattresses are not the best of friends. Also, I am at Camp Grandma right now, and the humans and their air mattresses are in the for-now apartment. I like Grandma okay, especially when she feeds me, but I will be very happy when we get Forever Apartment, and we can all be together, all of the time. Anty misses me a lot, and the feeling is mutual.

Tomorrow would normally be the day that Mama would come and visit me at Camp Grandma, and take pictures of me (Anty makes her; last time, Mama even took a movie of me, which went over extremely well with Anty and Uncle) but I will have to wait one more week, because tomorrow is also the day Anty and Mama get the rest of their things out of Mr. D’s house, and, maybe, get some furniture into the For-Now Apartment. Right now, what they have is a couple of air mattresses, one folding chair (for Uncle, more on that later) and Anty’s armrest pillow, that she shoves in a corner, so she can use her laptop, which she busted out of storage this week. She hopes to get her desktop, and her desk, or a reasonable facsimile, out of storage, as well, because she has some writing to do. This brings us kind of on track, to talk about Anty’s actual writing.

Before I get too much farther, I would like to say hello to all  of our new readers. It is very nice to have you here. The way things work, normally, is that Anty will post on Mondays and Wednesdays, and I post on Fridays. Sometimes, life gets interesting, and things are different, but that is the regular plan Speaking of regular, Anty was indeed at Buried Under Romance, this past Saturday, talking about reading in the calm after the storm. That post is here, and it looks like this;

BURreadubgafter

The image in the picture above is the library Anty goes to most, and where she and Mama had to go, to get interwebs, until they got it installed at the For-Now Apartment. That was an adventure, because the human who lived there before them had done a few things differently, and the interwebs people had to send a human out to set everything right. I am just as glad I was at Camp Grandma for that one. Anty now has interwebs at home, and  can focus on getting back to business as usual.

As usual, I should say, as it gets around here, because, last week, Uncle had to go to the people vet, with an owie paw. He did not have to wear the cone of shame, but he did have to stay at the people vet for a few days, and take a lot of pills. I do not envy Anty, having to give them to him. especially when Anty has work to do. This week, Anty will be updating her Coming Soon section of this site, because she has some news. On June second, she will speak at Charter Oak Romance Writers, with the workshop she and Anty Melva created, “Save The Writer, Save the Book.” That is about writing through the tough times of life. Anty and Anty Melva both know a thing or two about that. There will also be more news about Anty and Anty Melva giving their workshop at another conference, as soon as Anty has specific details. She is pretty excited about that.

Sunday is the deadline for Anty to submit to the anthology that invited her, and she is kind of nervous about fitting that in, but the word count is low, and Miss N gave her a good pep talk. Miss N gives very good pep talks. What this anthology wants is a short piece that gives the flavor of Anty’s writing, and might inspire readers to go look for more things Anty has written. Anty is in favor of getting new readers, so she will have something to send off to them soon. It might get in under the wire, but it will get in; she is determined on that front. Okay, on several fronts, but this is, technically, a writing blog.

It is also, technically, a romance writing blog, because that is what Anty writes, and there have been some big doings in the romance genre over the last couple of weeks. Anty does not have much to say about Cockygate, and she is still thinking about her position on the state of the Golden Heart awards, but she does have a lot to say about the end of RT/Romantic Times, which came as a very big shock. Romantic Times (it will always be Romantic Times to Anty) has been a big part of Anty’s romance reading and romance writing life, and she is somewhat salty that it is now a sure thing she will never get a review in that magazine, but she also wants to bust part of her collection of back issues out of storage, and spend some time studying them. It is complicated, to say the least, but I will leave that for her to tell.

Now that the humans are settled, and Anty has at least her laptop on hand, we should be back to regular updates on Anty’s Goodreads challenge, and a deeper look at what she is reading these days, and why. Some of this, I may delegate to my assistant, Sebastian Catbutt Hart-Bowling, who is on the scene (and usually in the window) to keep an eye on the humans and make sure Anty is doing writing things. An author cannot be without a mews, after all, or at least a reasonable facsimile.

SebastianWindow18mei18

Okay, I think that is about it for this week. Until next time, I remain Very Truly Yours,

skyebyenew

 

 

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Hello, March Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another (very snowy) Feline Friday. This is the first blog entry for the month of March, which means that Anty’s online workshop, Play in Your Own Sandbox, Keep All The Toys, will be starting in only a few days. It is on the other side of the weekend, as a matter of fact. If you want to learn how to use the media you already love, to create new, original fiction of your own, then this workshop might be right up your alley. If you would like to know more, or sign up  for the workshop, you can do that at the workshops page for Charter Oak Romance Writers. If you are in the northeast US, and you are interested in writing, you may want to bookmark that page, for future details about Anty presenting there in person, later this year. If you do cannot make a bookmark, do not worry. I will tell you when the date and topic are confirmed.

Since I already talked about Anty’s work above, I think I am allowed a minute to talk about the weather. If you are new to this blog, we live in New York’s capitol region. Earlier this week, we had windows open, and humans went outside without elebenty billion layers of outside clothes. Then, today, Anty (and Uncle, and Mama) woke to this:

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It is snowing right now, as I write this, but the snow should turn to rain later on in the day. Probably about the time one of the humans opens my second pouch of food. (I get two, spread over the course of the day, because that was how they socialized me when I was first adopted, and I figured that is the way things go. They have tried putting me on two meals a day. It did not go well.)

Back to business. This week, as always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday. She closed out the month of February, talking about multicultural romance, which can mean a lot more than some humans might think it does. It is fun to read, but not fun to play hide and seek when it comes to finding in some bookstores. That post is here, and it looks like this:

BURmulticulturalromance2.jpg

Now, we come to the part of the post where I tell you about Anty’s progress on her Goodreads challenge. I am very proud of Anty this week. Anty has read fifteen out of ninety books, which puts her at seventeen percent of the way to her goal. Out of those fifteen books, four are historical romance, so Anty still has a way to go in that department, but I cannot blame her. There are some excellent YA books out there, and a lot of them are romances, or have love stories in them. This week, the books Anty has read and reviewed are:

 

 

There is not really a hole in that last picture, or in Anty’s review. There was an ad there, and I was not sure if I should have a picture of an ad, so I covered it.  I was going to put a picture of me there, but I am not in Miss Danelle’s book, and that would be misleading. I would not want anyone to be disappointed. Come to think of it, Anty has not put me in any of her books, either. I think that she should. I am soft and furry, I am very good at catching mousies (even electronic ones) and I am a constant source of moral support, as well as making sure Anty always knows when it is treat time.

There is no update, as of yet, on Anty’s project for Camp NaNoWriMo (April edition) as of yet, but Anty is trying something that will make it slightly less scary. Anty now has a book where she writes down how much she wrote, over the course of the day, or any writing related things that she did. I suspect that part of the reason this seems to be working is that Anty gets to keep track of things in a special planner (though, because she is writing down what she already did, maybe that makes it a planned-er) and she gets to pick what colors go in the pictures on the facing pages. (She is not done with this picture yet.)

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Anty says that having a list of things that she already did is more encouraging than striving for a number that seems far away, and it is easier to think about the story. She will probably find some way to turn this into a tracker for her bullet journal, as she saved some pages for a writing tracker when she figures out what format works best.  Right now, though, this seems to be working, to let the numbers be in their place, and let Anty focus on the stories she is telling. It would not hurt if she put more cats in them, either. Especially very fluffy stripey ones, who are very good at catching mousies.

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

skyebye2018

White Space

This is the view from our balcony this morning:

0702snowscape

I don’t know what it is about this season that snow days and sick days tend to fall on the same day, but, as the sugarless cherry cough drops on my desk indicate, that’s what we’ve got. Domestic tornadoes are not gone, but are slowing, and coming farther apart, which does leave more wiggle room, and time, for that writing thing I have heard I do.

On Monday’s Skype session with Melva, we went over our plan to revise and resubmit Chasing Prince Charming. If things go according to plan, which they should, we should be done by the end of March. That seems both very soon and very far away. We also decided that we were having too much fun with Drama King to truly put it aside while we work on the revisions, so we will continue, albeit at a more relaxed pace, until the revisions are done.

At my Tuesday breakfast with N, we both set goals for getting our current (solo) projects in gear. For her, it’s mapping out exactly what’s needed to tie up all loose ends in her contemporary romance, and, for me, it’s getting back to serious work on Her Last First Kiss. We talked, a lot, about what it takes to bring a story from okay to special. It’s not only words on a page, though that is obviously important, but the life in the characters, so that readers care about their story, what happens to them, if they’ll get what they want. Even though we’re both writing romance, which means that yes, our lovers will absolutely end up together at the end, and be happy about it, the very best books have that moment of “oh crap, maybe they can’t.” Getting them from that point to “heck, yes, they did,” that’s the best part. That’s the goal.

With all of the above, March is going to be full, with not only a lot of writing, but my online workshop with Charter Oak Romance Writers, Play In Your Own Sandbox, Keep All the Toys, but Eryka Peskin’s free workshop, 31 Days and 32 Ways to Jump-start Your LifeLi’l blurb on that one, in Eryka’s own words, here:

Find out how transforming your relationship with your health, money, activism, spirituality, love, mindset and more can jumpstart your LIFE and change the world. For more info and to sign up, go to http://eepurl.com/bAQ0jf

It starts March 1st, so make sure you sign up right away!

I’m not sure yet, if the NECRWA conference is going to be possible this year, but I am (mostly) okay with that, because there’s no way to sell a book that isn’t written, and very few first drafts are ready to make the cut. This may require figuring out other ways to see my conference people, which is not a bad thing.

That’s all the future, though, and, since the snowstorm and cold have teamed up to nix plans for the afternoon and evening, what I have for the present is a large supply of tea, warm, fuzzy blankets, and a fully stocked Kindle, along with a TBR shelf that mocks me, from its space behind my office chair. Since I know me, there will also be a notebook or legal pad, and a handful of pens. The only big question I have today, is “what?”

Sick snow days are perfect fro TV/Netflix bingeing, but my search for something braimless I could background watch, and possibly nap through, led me to Les Revenants, a French drama that is, you guessed it, in French. Also, not dubbed. I do not speak French. I can pick out a few words, but that’s it. Thankfully, there are English subtitles, but that means actually looking at the screen.

Okay, there’s reading, then, and I do not lack for books, nor, specifically, historical romance books, but I want a particular sort, and I don’t feel like sifting through the TBR shelf or doing internet research. This may mean that a chunk of the day is spent curled under one of aforementioned fuzzy blankets, with aforementioned cup of tea, pen and paper within reach, and staring at Skye, the living room in general, or the insides of my eyelids. I call this white space.

Sometimes, the best thing we can do is nothing. Not exactly nothing, obviously, because blanket and tea and kitty who loves playing computer games, but the hitting pause on the plan to get from here to there, and letting the brain settle. Letting it sift through all the stuff that is rolling around in there, pushed out of the way by things like trash day and rescheduling doctor appointments and crunching numbers, and what and how much to make for dinner, depending on who’s going to be home and/or awake.

White space is quiet. It’s still. It’s snow falling outside, and the voices in my head (aka characters, aka story people, aka imaginary friends, aka fill in your own term here) wandering about at will. Sometimes this focuses on the current project, but usually not. It’s touching the past and the future at once, and it may result in a few notes, or a few pages, or a few dozen pages, but that’s not a requirement. white space usually comes to a natural end, stuff sorted out, and ready (perhaps after a nap, or reading a few chapters, or watching an episode or two of subtitled TV) to take on the next adventure. Not a bad journey to take from the depths of a comfy chair.

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Autumnal Equinox Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. Because it is the autumnal equinox, that means that the calendar and Anty finally agree. It is really and truly fall now, no qualms about it. Time for pumpkin spice and apple cider and early sunsets, all things that Anty loves very much. Not as much as she loves me, though. I don’t see her giving any of those things their own blog, so I am still winning. My winter coat is coming in, which is another sign that we really are in a different season, no matter what the current temperatures might say. Anty does not like summer temperatures in summer, and she certainly does not want them in fall, but. hopefully, she will feel that fall snap in the air soon, and then it will be the real and true return of superpowers.

Before I talk about anything else, even though that is usually Anty’s writing anyway, I need to talk about where on the interweb, apart from here, that you can find Anty’s writing this week. As always, she was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, with a refresher on the big, big world of some books with a trim page count. That means she is talking about category romance. That post is here, and it looks like this:

BURcategory

 

That was not the only time Anty was on Buried Under Romance this week, because she also had her first author visit, to give away a copy of her novel, Orphans in the Storm. The question to get a chance to win was about what seldom used settings readers would like to  see in romance. Anty does not know how many visitors she got, but only one person left a comment, so picking the winner was easy.  Congratulations, Kady Underwood. (Anty Kady also made the cover for this book, so it was extra special to get her comment.)  Even though the winner was already picked, Anty would still like to know what settings readers would like to see more of in romance, so feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. That author visit post is here, and it looks like this:

bURauthorvisitcategory

Now we come to the part where I keep you up to date on Anty’s Goodreads challenge. Anty’s goal was to read ninety books in 2017, and she is doing pretty good. Right now, she is two books behind schedule, at sixty-three books read out of ninety, but that is still decent progress, the weekend is coming, and she is reading a novella on her phone, so I expect that next week will tell a different story Pun intended.

Anty did write a review for the book she did finish this week, Be More Chill, by Ned Vizzini. Anty liked the first book she read by Mr. Ned, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, very much, and was hoping for more of the same here, but got a bit of a surprise because this story had something extra in it that she did not expect. She still thinks it works pretty well. That post is here, and it looks like this:

GRbemorechill

Be More Chill, by Ned Vizzini

Next on our agenda is the coming soon section.

ComingSoonBanner

 

Since this is an odd-numbered episode on Outlander coming up, that means Anty will be recapping this one, so that should be up on Heroes and Heartbreakers by Monday, which is also the day of the season premiere of The Big Bang Theory. Considering that what we saw the very last thing on the season finale was Sheldon flying all the way across the country to propose to Amy, I think it is safe to say we might find out her answer in the season opener, and Anty may possibly have something to say about that. That is not official yet, though, but it is likely enough that I thought I should mention it.

Okay, I think those are all the points I had to cover for this week, so now I get to talk about what is important to me. Because I am a special kitty (I was hurt before I was rescued, and vets worked very hard to make sure I would be okay, and I am) I sometimes forget things that I used to know. One of those things is how to play with toys. My favorite toys were crumpled bits of paper. Anty has been trying to get me to remember, by throwing crumpled papers at me. I love to watch them, but then they do not move, and I lose interest. Well, this morning, that changed.

I was in the office doorway, watching Anty write her morning pages and have breakfast. She had some napkins. She crumpled one and threw it at me. I looked at it, then back to her, with my “what elee do you have” expression. She threw another napkin, and that time, I remembered. I got up from where I was sitting and went over to the paper and bopped it with my paw, two whole times. Anty said I was a good, smart girl, and gave me some food afterwards. I am highly motivated by food. Maybe my super powers are coming back, too. Like Anty, like niece, isn’t that how it goes?

Now it is time for Tuna Roll’s Thought of the Day. Take it away, Tuna Roll.

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Tbe flakes that drift to the bottom of the bowl are just as good as the ones thta float on top o f the water. -Tuna Roll

 

Thank you, Tuna Roll. That was excellent food for thought. That is also about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours.

 

skyebyenew

see you next week

Really Fall Now Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. It very much feels like September now, with cooler air, the very young humans (some live on our street) back in school, pumpkin spice things coming home from the grocery store (along with pen and paper things, because Anty loves back to school supplies.) Uncle even closes some of the windows, sometimes. In case you do not know him, this is big. The biggest sign, though, is that my shedding has now entered the “how much hair do you have, kitty?” territory. Anty thinks all of my shed fur migrates to my neck from other parts of my body, and possibly also from other cats. I can neither confirm nor deny that theory.

As per our agreement, before I can talk about anything else (even though that is usually Ant’s writing, anyway) I have to talk about where you can read Anty’s writing on the interwebs, other than here. The past Saturday, like every Saturday, she was at Buried Under Romance, with the last entry in this year’s romance appreciation month theme, the power of the HEA (that means happily ever after, in case you do not read a lot of romance novels; that means that the humans in love will be okay at the end of the book.) That post is here, and it looks like this:

BURpowerofhea

Anty also had a post on Heroes and Heartbreakers this week. Many historical romances are set in the nineteenth century, which include two distinct historical periods, Regency and Victorian. If you are not clear on how to tell which is which when reading a romance novel, Anty has a post that may be of some help. That post is here, and it looks like this:

HandHRegencyVsVictorian

Now it is time to talk about how Anty did with reading this week. She is still on track, for the fifth week in a row, with sixty-one out of her goal of ninety books for this year. That puts her at sixty-eight percent of her goal. Go, Anty. Keep going. You got this. The books Anty read and reviewed this week are:

and

 

This is also the time of year when things tend to get moving for Anty, writingwise. That is a very good thing. Anty will be making her  very first author visit at Buried Under Romance on the eighteenth of September, to talk about Orphans in the Storm. The teaser for that one looks like this:

OrphansInTheStormTeaser

 

This Sunday is the debut of the new season of Outlander, and Anty will be recapping the odd-numberd episodes all season long. I will make sure to post links to her recaps here.

The middle of the month will see another deadline for Anty. That is when she has to have her edits done on A Heart Most Errant, so that she can send it to her beta readers. There will probably be a teaser or two by that time, if I know Anty, and I know her pretty well.

Anty is also working on a historical post for a site she has never blogged for before, but has read for a while. That site is called Dirty Sexy History, and Anty will be writing about a special law that England passed a long, long time ago, to say who could marry who, and when and where. Apparently, this was a big enough problem that something had to be done about it.  I am not sure I understand everything involved in this law, but I think it is a good thing that I am fixed, and do not have to concern myself with such things. Apart from helping Anty with writing her post, that is. I will post on here when it goes live.

This week, Anty has to do some research on house parties in Georgian England, because, believe it or not, “some social event” is not specific enough to put in an actual novel. Readers actually want to go with the characters when important things happen, and so Anty has to come up with a whole house full of people for one of her story people to try to avoid for a bunch of days. Spoiler alert: they will not succeed in avoiding these people. Maybe Anty’s character should try hiding under one of the beds. That is what I do. Anty’s character would fit, because those old timey beds were huge. Seriously. Works for me every time. Beds with long bedspreads are the best for hiding. Just a suggestion.

On Sunday, Anty and Anty Melva will talk about how they want to start Drama King, share character backgrounds and go over some possible first few scene ideas. I am excited about this one, because there is a kitty in it. Anty should write more books with kitties in them. She has a lot of experience, with yours truly, so she should have a lot of material for cat characters. I will take my share of the profits in treats.

Speaking of treats, it is always a treat to have Tuna Roll’s Thought of the Day. Take it away, Tuna Roll.

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As long as you wake up on the right side of the bowl, the day is off to a good start -Tuna Roll

Thank you, Tuna Roll. That is definitely food for thought. That is also about it for this week, so, until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebyenew

see you next week

Unexpected Journeys

Some blog entries begin in funny places. This one began in the laundromat. Rainy laundry days are my favorites, even the ones where the laundry starts about the time I would like it to finish, which means I need to use the dryer cycle time to write a blog post in longhand, even if I have no idea what that post is going to be about, and not use the time for reading, even though my reading tracker says I am behind and need to step up my game in that department. This morning, I woke up later than usual, which meant my feet hit the ground in go, go, go mode right from the start. This wasn’t the schedule I’d planned for the day, but it’s the one I got.

When I grabbed a random ballpoint to get some ideas flowing, one of the first ideas that flowed to the top was my upcoming author visit to Buried Under Romance. I’ve been there as a blogger for long enough that I’d have to think really hard to remember when I wasn’t, but, this week, I was asked if I’d like to make an author visit. I said yes, because it’s a great site, and I will take basically any opportunity to blabber about romance novels, especially my own.  I am now on the calendar for September eighteenth. This has me both excited and apprehensive. Since I have anxiety, this is pretty much my normal state, but this is different.

Right now, my first co-written contemporary romance (along with the fabulous Melva Michaelian) , Chasing Prince Charming,  is now under consideration with Carina Press. This means it is one teeny tiny fish, swimming in the same giant ocean as elebenty billion other teeny tiny fish, and the fishing crew will get to it when they get to it. Melva and I can expect to hear back within one third to one fourth of an entire year. Our joint attention now goes to Drama King, where a misanthrope actor who isn’t acting clashes with an uber-optimistic literary agent. When people tell me they didn’t know I also wrote contemporary, my usual answer is “neither did I.” Would I have written contemporary on my own? Nope. Not wired that way, but when Melva and I both got the same idea at the same time, we went for it, and it worked out so well we’re doing it again.

While Melva works on her own solo projects, I get to return to my historical stomping grounds, which, right now, involves hopping between two different time periods. No, I am not talking about time travel at the moment. Right now, I am reading A Heart Most Errant, my medieval novella, for the umpteenth time, one eye on the calendar, because beta readers are waiting, and hey, it wouldn’t hurt to look at potential cover art options while I am procrastina…uh, I mean at it. Is this book going to shove itself past my overthinking and find some way to publish itself? I can neither confirm nor deny that possibility. Right now, my job is to get it ready for beta. I will deal with the rest, later.

Fast forwarding to Georgian times, I brought so many notes to critique session this week that N had to mark the spot on my giant stack of pink pages, to mark where we can pick up next week. I see scene cards and sticky notes and Scapple in my future, and I am okay with that. That’s what a writer gets when a generic supporting character turns into a specific supporting character with a job to do, and a scribbled note about “some social event” turns into a house party that lasts several days, and it is time to start ripping up floorboards and putting in drywall because this story structure is getting significant renovation, and it is getting it now.

The book I will be promoting on my author visit, Orphans in the Stormis not a brand new release. I wish it were, and I wish it weren’t. I wish it were, because new releases are exciting and fun, and get applause at RWA chapter meetings, and sometimes a special token to take home and cherish, as a visual reminder. I don’t wish it were a new release, because the book I wrote coughty-cough years ago is not the book it would be if I were to have written now.

OrphansInTheStormTeaser

 

The plot would be the same, the characters, and the historical period, but I can think of two scenes, off the top of my head, that I would like to rewrite. One is a love scene and one is not. Neither would be significantly different, but they would be better. I would at least hope I am a better writer now than I was when I first put pen to paper on Jonnet and Simon’s story, able to add a few more layers and finer details than I know how to do back then. That’s how it goes, though, in this writing life. Plot twists happen in life as well as in fiction, and we grow and adapt along with them. Best thing I have found, in my own experience, is to steer into the skid when possible, and enjoy the ride.

 

TheWriterIsOut

Typing With Wet Claws: Not at Nationals Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. The weather has been much better for Anty this week. I am not that pleased with all the rain we got, which means I spent more time than I would have liked, hunkered down in a safe place. I am also not that pleased with Anty moving things around in the apartment. She calls it decluttering. I call it unnecessary. I knew where everything was, and now she is moving things. I suppose there is an upside, in that there are now more places for me to hunker. If this is the way the weather is going to go, I think I will need them.

As always, I am not allowed to talk about anything else, until I talk about where to find Anty’s writing on the interweb, other than here. This may not come as a surprise, but Anty is always at Buried Under Romance every Saturday. This week, she talks about fan clubs amongst romance readers. Do you talk books with anyone? Would you like to talk books with Anty? (Seriously, Anty will talk romance novels with pretty much anybody, so your chances are good, just saying. ) That post is here, and it looks like this:

BURfanclub

Anty has some umbrage with her Goodreads reading challenge this week. She has been doing rather a lot of reading, but not all of it is actual published books, so, while her reading tracker is filling with a lot of colored squares (she will show you in her video) that does not always carry over into the Goodreads count. It is the weekend, though, and one of the books Anty is currently reading is a novella, so maybe this will be the weekend she gets back on track. We can hope. I say less decluttering and more reading.

One actual published book that Anty finished reading this week fits into her plans for world domination. Okay, historical romance domination. By that, I mean her plan (she will tell you more in her video) to find out what sorts of linked romance novels work best for her. Because she had a serious Poldark hangover, she wanted something set in the eighteenth century, with the same historical flavor. She asked friends on one of her Facebook groups, of people who also love historical romance, and someone suggested Gather the Stars, by Kimberly Cates.  Anty read that book when it first came out, and remembered liking it a lot. She likes everything she has read of Miss Kimberly’s (who is also Ella March Chase, but Anty has not read any of the books written as Miss Ella. Yet.)  Anty’s review of Gather the Stars is here, and it looks like this:

GRgatherthestars

Anty plans to read more of Miss Kimberly’s books soon (and re-read, in several cases.) That plan gave her an idea. Since Anty wanted to make sure she got all the books Miss Kimberley wrote that belong together, she wanted to write that in a special book, so she would not lose the list. Then she added more books that belong together, by other authors. Now she has a special notebook dedicated only to that. She will probably make another book for only books that are not connected to anything else, but she is working on this one for now.

Writing-wise, this has been a good week for Anty. She will tell you more in her video, but I can tell you that, on Monday night, she meant to finish early, but then she hit her stride and did not want to stop. So, she did not stop. Then she noticed that it was three in the morning. and she had to meet Miss N for their critique meeting shortly after seven. She regrets nothing, especially since Miss N gave some very good feedback. Anty took a nice long nap after she got back, and I helped. by napping near her. Cat naps are always better with actual cats napping. Especially when I am the cat. I am very good at napping. I would sleep on the bed with Anty and Uncle (because Uncle is my favorite) if I could jump or climb, but that is okay. I sleep under their bed sometimes. That is good enough.

Anty is a little grumpy that she is not at RWA Nationals this year, but she can still get a few tastes of the experience through social media. She is glad, though, that she did not have to leave me for a whole week. She hates leaving me when she travels, which is not all that often, but I would hate going along even more. I did not see anything about a track for cats at Nationals, which is kind of an oversight, because a lot of writers have cats. The only thing would be getting the cats to the actual conference. We generally like to stay home. Not so for Anty. If she does not get out, among other humans, she gets a little antsy. Okay, more than a little antsy. Anty is an extrovert, which means that she spends her energy when she is alone, and needs to be around other humans to get more energy. Being in a hotel full of humans who love to read and write romance novels, like Anty does, is pretty much extroverted writer Christmas. Anty is not worried, though. Her local RWA chapter meeting is only a couple of weeks away, and she can talk to chapter members who did go, including Kari W. Cole, who won a very special award, the Golden Heart. Congratulations, Miss Kari.

Now it is time for Anty’s video.

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

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skyebyefancy

Until next week…