Planuary

Right now, we are getting snow here in NY’s Capitol Region. I have a hot cup of gingerbread tea in my pink gingham mug. If I could summon any snack in the world to appear it would be swirly butter cookies with a kiss of raspberry jelly in the middle. I had a toasted English muffin with butter and grape spread. Kind of close but not the same. Maybe time to find a lower sugar recipe I can make on my own? Anyway, I have new fairy lights along the bookcase over my desk. These are multicolored, and steady, and I like the feel they give me. I will probably grab more from end of season sales, because the lights are very me.

Photo by Sena on Pexels.com

I am very much into the whole hygge thing. Last time Housemate and I made our weekly craft store run, I got a box of candle wicks so that I can melt down the remains of past jar candles into new candles. I love that whole idea, and the thought of the process and might even try making my own labels for the “new” candles. Part and parcel of January, it would seem. Last night, I finished listening to Bronson Pinchot read Jennifer Roberson’s Shapechangers. I will probably read or listen to the others in time. I am more of a Tiger and Del gal when it comes to Roberson, but it’s all good.

January this year is turning out to be a lot like November was, in that I want to experience it for itself, not as December’s hangover. We haven’t had much snow this month so far, and I am usually okay with the rain, but the promise of snow, that’s something special. My contemporary co-author, Melva Michaelian and I, have finished edits on our two most recent contemporary manuscripts. One will go to The Wild Rose Press for consideration, as they have right of first refusal, and the other may be ina revise and resubmit situation, or it will begin on a journey to find its home elsewhere. We’d like all of the Love By The Book books to be together, so that’s our hope.

This brings me to a place where I haven’t been for a while. My main focus for this quarter is solo historical romance. Pause for a short moment of running in circles, screaming, when Facebook wanted to know if I would like to remember that I had started Her Last First Kiss seven years ago. Seven. Years. I hate stops and starts like this, but I still love the story, and big changes to the second half do make that part of the book pretty much like a new work. I don’t know how this is going to shake out right now, and that’s okay. What I do know is that it’s time. I. Am. Doing. This. I’m not going to tell myself it’s too late, I’m too old, the market is too different, etc, etc, etc. None of that. I’m not doing that anymore.

Photo by Happiness Maker on Pexels.com

What I am doing is, well, writing. Doesn’t matter what at present, just as long as ink is coming out of the pen and onto the page. Journals, letters (remember letters? I love those.) and getting back into reading the stuff I love the very very best. Those seven years between the start of Her Last First Kiss and now have been big ones. I am proud of getting through them. I have co-written three contemporary romances. One of them is out in the world now, and then the other two are on their way to joining it at the right time. Tehre’s a balance somewhere between things I have always wanted to write and things that might be fun to try now. Getting back to regular blogging is a part of that.

One of the fun things about being in this kind of phase is discovering new things and steering into the natural rhythm. I am thinking of trying Archer and Olive journals, though my preference is for lined over dotted pages and ivory over white. There are kraft and blackout options, so I might try one of those. I like most notebook sizes, mainly A5, B6, and pocket. I love the idea of the heavyweight paper and would love to fit one into a leather cover, either folio or traveler’s notebook. Recommendations glagly accepted.

Anna

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Planning Planning Planny Plans (reading and writing related)

Well hello there, 2023. The planner and pens pictured above are from 2020, the Year That Shall Not Be Named (but I’ve named it, haven’t I?) My first experiences with Paper Mate Ink Joy gel pens, and disc bound planning. I still have the pens (many times over) and have filled several disc bound planners and notebooks since then. As for the page finder, if anybody sees this particular page finder in the wild (woman image. leaning against the margin) please tell her Mummy misses her very much, and she can come home any time, no questions asked.

In reality, she is probably in storage. When I say that planning and journaling have been a godsend, I am not exaggerating. Blogging is, for me, the digital version of that. I’d like to be doing more of it in the coming year, as well as that whole making up stories thing. Right now, I am dealing with the Martian Death Cold that smacked us over the holiday season. Combined with the fact that my contemporary co-author, Melva, and I have finished first edits on our second and third novels together. Next, we submit and then we get to turn our main focus for the first quarter of the year to our individual efforts.

For me, that is historical romance. While writing contemporary with Melva is super fun, I have missed the historical realm, and so that’s where I’m headed back now. Plan A is to redo the second half of Her Last First Kiss, because it is big enough to ride the bus by itself now. Then I need to make some decisions about A Heart Most Errant. As for Plan B? That’s more in the realm of “what do I want to try next?”

I have no dearth of projects that have been on hold. My brazen widow who finds the love of her life with the nameless pawn of wretched nobleman. The blacksmith’s daughter who becomes a duchess by way of the London stage. Three generations of pirates, my first planned historical series. The once and future lovers who each thought the other was dead (whoops) and a family member that loves one of them too much and not in the right way, but I tried to shoehorn into the wrong time period. (It happens.)

Then there’s new stuff, because that’s what we writer types do. Since a dear friend’s birthday overlaps nicely with my beloved tucked away week between Christmas and New Year, that meant a visit to a sprawling used bookstore. That, of course, led to me coming home with a bunch of both beloved and new to me classic historical romances and historical fiction. There are vague ideas spinning around in that place where infant ideas go. I would love to write a family saga within historical romance. Would the type of historical romance I love the best fit better in today’s market if there were a paranormal/fantasy aspect? Whata are some fantasy books that read like classic historical romance that I might like to try?

No secret that the year just past was horrible for reading. Still figuring out what all contributed to that, but I do want to read more this year, and figure out what needs to happen for that to happen. Is vision part of it? Undoubtedly. Magnifying glasses, pages, bookmarks, etc, can help with that. I definitely need a place in our apartment that is for reading and is not our bed or my desk or the kitchen table. We are working on that one.

Right now, I am finishing this post and ticking it off my to do list, so I can take some cold meds and head back under my weighted blanket. I have vague plans to turn that into Netflix, fever and chills but there’s also falling asleep to Reddit threads on You Tube. Either way, I get time wtih my purr-sonal assistant, and that can’t be anything but good.

How’s your new year looking?

Typing With Wet Claws: Grumbling at Printers Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. The heat wave seems to have broken this week, but Aunt Linda is still recovering from it, so I am on nurse duty. Papa and Mama Anna seem to be doing better. Well, except for Mama Anna and the printer. I know I said printers in the title, but she’s only mad at the one. Writers do tend to need their printers to work, for the most part, and for the most part, hers hasn’t been, lately. She was going to have Aunt Linda help her, because Aunt Linda is usually good at fixing things, but Aunt Linda isn’t feeling all that great so Mama Anna gave it a whack herself yesterday.

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

Obviously, that is not Mama Anna’s real printer, but it’s close enough. The only difference is that a printed document is coming out of that printer. Mama Anna had got it working yesterday, but then she tried to use it again today, and it has no idea what she is talking about. The screen on the printer has an exclamation point on it, which means it needs her to do something, but it won’t tell her what. She is grumbling a lot. She needs to print stuff. I’d help, but, well, I’m a cat.

With the heat wave over, Mama Anna is doing a lot better and is spending a lot of time with her journal to figure out how she can best get back on track. So far, she is doing pretty well. Except for the printer. Oh, and she tried to play a new scenario in Sims 4 last night, and failed at it, because the Sim she had to keep alive froze to death while dumpster diving. So that’s a thing. She did think about printing out some screenshots for her Sims journal, but again, the printer thing. She has been muttering about taking a jump drive to the library. That may be a wise option. Also, how cute am I in Sims?

A screenshot from the Sims 4 video game. A calico cat woalks on the counter, and eyes a platter of grilled cheese sandwiches.
A screenshot from The Sims 4 video game: a calico cat eyes a platter of grilled cheese.

Stinking cute, am I right? The splootches (that’s what we call patches of colors on pets’ coats) are off, but I say it’s the purr-sonality that counts. Here, have another one.

A screenshot from The Sims 4 video game. A calico cat stares out the window.
A screenshot from the video game, The Sims 4. A calico cat stares out a window.

This is a very good approixmation of what I do every time Mama Anna leaves the house. She says she is planning to take trash out tonight. Trust me, I will be watching while she does.

Screenshot from the video game The Sims 4. A calico cat stands atop a metal framed bed, covered in blue flowered bedding.
Screenshot from the video game The Sims 4. A calico cat stands atop a metal framed bed, covered in blue flowered bedding.

Yeah, this one is extremely accurate. I love getting on the bed. It’s actually about my favorite place. Especially when Papa or Mama Anna are on it. Best of all, when they are both on it, and I am between them, and they are both rubbing me. That’s the good stuff. I like snuggling with Mama Anna while she reads or writes longhand. Sometimes that’s in her journal, but a lot of the time, it is fiction. Exactly as she expected, starting a new reading journal and tracking her reading helps her read a lot more.

I should probably mention that, despite all her talking about not doing One Book July for her planning, she has decided that she has been too overwhelmed with multiple planners lately, and only did one planner this week, and may continue that through August. She also got a lot of stickers for days and dates, so my best guess is that she will be redating any stuff she doesn’t end up using, which I think is a pretty smart move. I have shown my approval by sitting on the sticker book. I like to be helpful that way.

Hm what else? Mama Anna has been talking about adding a TBV section (To Be Viewed) for streaming shows and movies she wants to watch. Not sure where that kind of tracker will go, but I do know that if she’s going to be watching stuff, that is prime cuddle time, so I foresee many belly rubs. Doubly so if she is going to be writing about the stuff she watches, which she probably will. I better start training.


Headbonks!

A calico cat sleeps in the middle of a grey cat bed

Typing With Wet Paws: Bye-Bye, July Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Sorry for no blog last week, but I was on very important fur nurse duties. The humans were all pretty flat due to the heat, but stayed hydrated and we even got a new fan. I was perfectly fine, because I can find the super comfy places that are too tight for humans to fit. Plus, I have my windowsill. Lots of bird action, I can tell you that. Net week looks to be another hot one, but next week is also August, which means that halfway through, we get Papa’s birthday, and then at the end of it, we will have September. That means fall, which means Mama Anna’s superpowers come back.

A black, white, and orange calico cat sits on the seat of a pink leather desk chair, her attention fixted on the lower right hand corner of the image.
always on the lookout

Mama Anna and Aunt Melva are clipping right along on Queen of Hearts. They haven’t written any big holidays in the first two books they have written together, but in this one? So far, three are scheduled. I guess it works like that sometimes.

When it comes to the historical stuff, Mama Anna still hopes to do better, and maybe that will happen in the fall, once this draft of QoH is done. She’ll probably talk about that later, but one thing she’s thinking about is paying more attention to the realm of medieval romance in the current market. There will definitely be some medieval romance in her reading over the next few months. Well, actually right now, as she is reading a medieval or medieval adjacent romance right now.

Two books lie side by side. One is an A5 size cloth covered notebook in sage green, with the word "ideas" stamped in gold tone foil. Next to it is a paperback romance from the 1980s, entitled Ride the Savage Sea, depicting a blonde woman and darkk haired man in a romantic embrace.
new reading journal incoming

This weekend, Mama Anna is setting up the first month in her new reading journal, and one of the oboks on her TBR list. Well, TBRR, actually, meaning To Be Re-Read, because she read this book a long time ago. Aunt Mary lent Mama Anna this copy, after Mama Ann recommended this author. Fun fact, Ballenrose, also by Mallory Burgess, was Mama Anna’s favorite historical romance read of our vagabond year. Her favorite YA read of that year was Deposing Nathan, by Zack Smedley. She would very much like it if both of these authors had new books out in the near future.

Since we are at the end of July, that means the stores (where I am not allowed to go, for some reason, but whatever, I have two water bowls and a new big fan) are now selling new stationery things. That makes Mama Anna very very happy. Pens, paper, notebooks, page flags, pastel highlighters (not the bright ones) and that kind of stuff come into our home and I have the very important job of scenting it all. Our stuff has to smell like us. That’s a fact, and I intend to carry out that duty to the best of my ability. Also, I get boxes to sit in, bags to crinkle, and all in all, it’s pretty decent.

How’s it going for you?

Headbonks!

Storm

Camp NaNo, One Book July, and Other Stories

Still room for one more sticker in that lower corner

:clears throat:

:blinks:

Wow.

July.

:fidgets:

Well.

Let’s jump into a Q and A, shall we?

Q: Hey, Anna. Where’ve you been?

A: Uh, yeah, about that. Home, mostly. I did go to CT for a weekend, for a family celebration and a papercraft expo. That was cool. A bunch of craft stores. The garbage/recycling area about a billion times. Anxiety, depression, insomnia. For the last two weeks, shingles (not fun, but better now.) Before that, Real Life Romance Hero was in the hospital for a couple of days. He’s home now, doing fine.

Q: I meant writing. Which includes blogging.

A: That wasn’t a question.

Q: Still answer it, please.

A: Well, you did say please. Writing. I am doing that. Melva and I are clipping right along with Queen of Hearts. Over 40k right now, probably more. We are laying groundwork for what comes next, and we will be off and running when she gets back from her family vacation next week. Blog hiatus was not intentional. It just kind of happened and it’s just kind of over. Probably.

Q: Mmhmm.

A: Still not a question.

Q: Historical?

A: That’s a word. Okay, though. Guilt. So, so much guilt. I love writing historical romance oh so very much. This month, I’m going to try something new; instead of whipping myself for being a slacker, I am going to try…wait for it…actually writing historical romance. I will be drafting friends for accountability partners/readers/permission to kick me in the bumbum if I sleep on it any more than I already have. (Volunteers can drop me contact info in the comments.) My awesome friend, Mary, from CT, sent me home with two huge bags of historical romance classics, which is turning out to be highly motivational, especially when we can gab about them.

Q: Are you doing Camp NaNo this year? Camp NaNo is great for that kind of thing.

A: Ehhhh, no. Yes? Kind of? I didn’t sign up for the official thingamaboo, but I am writing in July. I’m counting that. Also every day journaling is a huge, huge help.

Q: How about One Book July, then, for the planner/journal side of things?

A: Ahahahaha, no. I thought about it, and was even looking forward to it, but then, boom, when I got sick, I watched a ton of stationery videos on You Tube, and now I want to Use All The Things, even things I thought I wouldn’t be interested in before. I’ve been browsing Archer and Olive a lot. I don’t normally go for white paper or dot grid, but 160 gsm and those covers…That’s probably a whole post in itself, so I’ll put it on the list and work on that.

Q: Sounds like you’re right on track for All The Books August.

A: In oh so many ways.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: I finished a journaling insert in my traveler’s notebook in one month. Turns out I really like watercolors. I thikn they like me, too.

Anna

Typing With Wet Paws: Papa Smells Like People Vet Edition

Tails up, storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. I know it’s been a while, but stuff has been kind of real-life-y lately. For the first week that I missed, that was because they don’t allow kitties at StampCon, which is a stupid rule, and then after that, well, Papa ended up smelling like People Vet. Apparently the Humans have some kind of law about medical information, so I will say he is back at work now. Also, Mama Anna and Aunt Linda visited Aunt Mary, which meant they got to see my Cousin Aidan, who is a dog. Anyway, I am glad that everybody is home now, because I don’t like it when my humans are not all in one place.

A black, white, and orange calico cat looks directly at the camera, ears alert, her expression curious
relieved and curious me. Photo by Mama Anna

Mama Anna came home with a LOT of books from her trip to Aunt Mary’s, and then got a new notebook on one of her craft store runs with Aunt Linda. Yesterday, she started a system to keep track of her TBR mountain, which I think is a good thing because wow, is she behind on her Goodreads challenge. She’ll rally, though. She always does. She is getting her writing groove back, aided by watching some stuff on streaming TV (I help. I catloaf and watch with her.) and spending time with her stationery. Sometimes she forgets that the stationery serves her; she doesn’t serve the stationery. She’s also super in to tidying the apartment, so I have a lot to supervise. Bags to sniff, things to sit on and all of that good stuff.

an open travexy print cover on one side, and a purple one on the other. Purple cover has a green sticker that reads "end the stigma", next to the image of a prescription bottle.ler's notebook with a gala
Christine guts
(well some of them)

Mama Anna is getting hardcore into her art journaling stuff, and she said she might be willing to share some of that here in days to come. Apparently, art supplies are largely not for kitties. Okay, the paints and markers and stuff likely not, but nobody can stop me from sitting on any notebook left in my range of vision. She has some watercolors now that she even takes on the road when she goes out. There is a brush that has water inside it, which I think is pretty cool. That stuff dries fairly fast, so I’m not tracking it anywhere when I walk across it, so that’s a win.

Part of this weekend, Mama Anna will be spending in shelving the books she got from Aunt Mary and then working on her plan to get back into the historical romance groove which means both reading and writing. Don’t ask me how, but something special happens when she puts stationery in the mix. For my part, I am thankful that it usually involves paper I can lay on, which is sometimes but not always what she is currently working on at the moment. I’m not the type to purposely hinder my human, but I do require a certain amount of belly rubs, specifially from Mama Anna.

How’s your summer going so far?

Headbonks!

Storm

Typing With Wet Paws: Unofficially Summer Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. I don’t know when the people calendar says summer starts, but the windows are open, the fan in Mama Anna and Papa’s bedroom is on, Mama Anna has brought out the pajama shorts, and birds are chirping outside the window, so it’s basically summer over here. Not always Mama Anna’s favorite season (okay, never) but this year things look better than they usually have, so that’s good.

I should mention that the humans have been ordering some things that they need (and/or want) so that means that there are a bunch of boxes coming into the house. Mama Anna calls them “cat traps,” because I have to sit in every single one of them. It is my duty as a feline. I also sit on crinkly paper, envelopes, and other packing materials. I am multi-talented, but boxes are my true love in this matter.

photo by Mama Anna

Mama Anna has been making noises about moving her desk (it is foldable, so she can do that) so that it is closer to the window, and the fan in the window, for the summer. That will also give her more light as the days are longer for now. Yesterday was a super good writing day, and a good talk with Aunt Melva about their shared work Now Mama Anna has to apply that same energy to historical romance writing. I have faith in her. She’s pretty good at that. She is also now up to date with This Is Us (still doesn’t like Kate and Toby splitting, but she can deal with their new partners. Also, she is very much in favor of Kevin/Sophie.) Now she is working her way through getting current on The Walking Dead universe. That one is pretty big, so that may take her a while.

photo by Mama Anna

This is not exactly what this part of Mama Anna’s office area looks like at the moment. She has spent some time reorganizing it, so not exactly the same, but pretty close. She is going to need more fairy lights. Also maybe more crates. Here is a fun fact: the weathered looking ones, like the one at the bottom, is a little bigger than the untreated ones. I can’t measure, so I don’t know how much of a difference it is, but it’s worth noting.

Mama Anna is still growling when I bring up her Goodreads challenge, but her latest library haul looks promising, and there are more coming, so I think she is going to do okay, especially since summer is a good time for plopping herself in front of a fan with a good book or ten. Wait, is that a run on sentence? I t hink Mama Anna may be rubbing off on me. Makes sense. I rub on her pretty often. Mamas and babies should smell the same. I don’t make the rules. Oh wait. I’m a cat. That means that I do. Sweet.

headbonks!d

Storm

Typing With Wet Paws: Pre-Mama’s Day Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Thins area especially exciting around here because we are coming up on Mama’s Day. While I have a present for Mama Anna (Aunt Linda helped me, because they don’t let cats in stores. Dumb law, amirite?) I still remember Mama D, who was my first people mama. I am sending her motor purrs. Mama Anna said they will 100% get there. So, we’ve got all that sorted.

photo by Mama Anna

Which is not to say everything is in perfect shape. Right here, on Papa’s desk, for instance, the window is only partially open. I’m talking like a crack. Sure, I can smell some things, but where is my ledge for sunbeam-sitting? I need that. I need a few of them, actually. I have been asking the humans, but they all say, “not yet.” Humph. Maybe they are still salty about that one night I tried moving my food bowl in the general direction of Aunt Linda’s room. Hey. Mama and Papa were asleep, and my food is in a container in a closet in Aunt Linda’s room. Sometimes a girl has to feed herself. Sure, I don’t have thumbs, but maybe I can order some online? Anyway, Mama woke up enough to catch on to what I was doing and put my bowl back where it belongs. Also, I have convinced the humans that I am okay with my water bowl being on the placemat they gave me, but not my food bowl. That needs to be on the bare floor.

photo also by Mama Anna

In case some of you were wondering what I can see when I sit in Mama Anna’s desk chair (or what she sees, for that matter,) here it is. Yes, she does use all of those notebooks. She says the stuff in the tote is all wrong, and she needs to redo the whole thing. She probably will do that this weekend while watching shows on streaming. The Wilds is back, and she really really really likes that show. Kind of like Lost but with teenagers, and some Lord of the Flies mixed into the roux. she will probably have things to say about it when she watches the whole season this weekend. She is also up to “Katoby” in her This is Us watch, and I have been told to be on hand for emergency belly rub therapy.

I would talk about Mana Anna’s reading here, but she just growled when I asked her, so we’ll save that for later. I will say that she has added reading a paper book to her pre-bed routine and that does seem to be helping.

As for writing, that’s coming around, too. She had a good talk –well, two of the, one with Aunt Mary earlier this week and then one with Aunt Melva last night– about being afraid to write and how the only way to get through that is to write anyway. Since the video chats help her a lot, she is looking at having more video chats in the week. Naturally, this does mean more opportunities to videobomb said chats. Who doesn’t love Surprise Calico visits? Mama Anna is purr-fectly willing to move the laptop to give a better view when needed.

Okay, I think that’s about it for this post. Mama Anna has been working in her writing planner today, which means I have to go sit on it. No spread is ever done unless there are white, black, and orange hairs on it. Fortunately, I have all three.

Headbonks!

Storm

Typing with Wet Paws: Back At It Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Pretty decent week around here. Mama Anna and Aunt Linda went out stuff-hunting earlier this week, and they brought back some super interesting bags, and even some crinkly paper for me to sit on; I appreciate that. Oh, and Aunt Linda got a box in the mail (I am waiting for her to take the shoes out of it) that looks like I would jusssst fit. Mama Anna says she plans to store stationery in it, but I am planning on storing me in it first.

who could say no to this face?

Mama Anna did not go out stuff-hunting every day, though. She has been writing, and also moving stuff around in the apartment and getting rid of stuff we don’t need. By which I mean trash and recycling. I, or course, have to supervise. It’s exhausting but I’m worth it. I am not planning on a lot of leisure time this week, because a funny thing happens when Mama Anna hits the right stuff she needs to get some decent sleep (please note, I often sleep on her, so this does affect me purr-sonally) – she can get more stuff done.

What seems to work best for her is to keep things super organized and preferably with actual pen and paper. Maybe that is part of her being a historically oriented person. Right now, she is five books behind on her Goodreads challenge, but that is not a big problem. She can come back from five behind. Here’s her strategy:

  1. Re-reads of historical romances she already knows she likes
  2. novellas; they are short, but still count
  3. Young adult contemporaries – she reads those fast and there are a bunch of new ones out
  4. audiobooks – she can listen to those while doing anything else, but probably not while composing new fiction

We will see how this works along with her decision to binge This is Us this weekend. She still isn’t happy about the Kate and Toby thing, but the Kevin and Sophie thing gives her hope and there’s a Miguel episode coming, so she wants to be there for that. Stay tuned for her reactions. Either way, I will be on hand (okay, realistically on hip, because when she lies on one side, that’s my favorite place to sit and purr while I help her watch or read.

That’s going to be about it for now. I have to make Mama Anna take pictures of stuff (mostly me) because she needs to get back on Instagram, and who doesn’t love calico cats? I’m a sure thing.

Headbonks!

Storm

Rainy Afternoon Rambles

Raining off and on over here, as best I can tell. Today was the day when my new sleep medication figured out what it was supposed to do, so let’s say I am very well rested today. I hear birdsong and the sound of wheels on wet pavement, and a quick look outside tells me it has indeed rained. It’s been a hot while since I blogged. That happens sometimes. The best way to get back into it is to jump in there and start blabbering, so here we are.

Okay. First of all, I am still not ready for Kate and Toy’s split on This is Us. They are one of my ships. These things take time Shoot, it took me what, a couple of years to watch the Highlander TV series finale. Either the right time will roll around or it won’t. Either way, there is always fanfic if it turns out that’s what I need. I do plan to watch the rest of the farewell season, but don’t necessarily need a front row seat for everything. Has anybody else had an experience like that with a beloved series, book or TV?

Second, I am pretty much listening to “Don’t Tell Anyone,” by Semler, on repeat:

“I want to know your story like I wrote the page” — them’s powerful words for a writer. Also “Don’t tell them that I swore this wouldn’t be my life.” Also, the tune is as catchy as a cold at a daycare center. I mean that in the very best way.

Wait, wait, wait, did I just hear thunder? Because I think I just heard thunder. Thunderstorms are my number one favorite spring/summer weather. I am absolutely here for it if so.

So Wondrous Free
Maryhelen Clague

Oh man oh man oh man, this book. This hit me in the feels and my history loving heart. I was but a wee princess in Westchester County, NY during the Bicentennial, so a historical romance set in that era and place is one thousand percent going to catch my attention. Also, it was part of the giant birthday haul from my friend, Mary, who knows me and my historical romance reading tastes. For those who only know the modern flavor of historical romance, I might shelve this in historical fiction with romantic elements, and it works very well that way too. I don’t recall any on page snugglies, but our heroine, Nabby, must choose between two dashing men, one Patriot, one Loyalist, during a freaking revolution. More of that, please. I want to make there be more of that.

A young adult female Sim, with long blue hair and tattoos, stands in front of a white wall and wooden door, pointing to something out o frame.

Then there’s Sims. Sims, for me, is the current-day equivalent of my first-grade teacher noting that my schoolwork was MUCH better if I brought dolls to play with during free play time. I never thought I would get as into it as I am, not only playing the game, but creating my own Sims, with tons of custom content, mods, and even learning how to make my own custom content. Not sure how that is going to turn out, but I am looking forward to finding out. It seems to be doing well for my writing, so a-Simming I will go. Picture editing is next, because I love taking screenshots. Does anybody have any experiences with Lightroom? I’ve been curious. I’m already down the ReShade rabbit hole. May as well go all in on the visuals, though the next step does seem to mean ponying up for photo editing software. I’d use it, though, soooo….we shall see.

One more thing. There is now a window open, and there is fresh air coming through that window onto my skin as I sit here in a white t-shirt stolen from Real Life Romance Hero’s stash. Yep. It’s spring.

Anna