Typing With Wet Claws: Rainbow Bridge Edition

Anna here. There is no easy way to begin this entry, so I’m going to get right to it. Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling (the kitty, not the book) crossed Rainbow Bridge last week, at Camp Grandma. She was and forever will be, the cat of my heart. Skye came into our lives three days after her predecessor, Olivia Jane Hart-Bowling (picture unavailable at present, but there are many) crossed Rainbow Bridge, herself. I couldn’t last any longer than that, without a baby to hold. Ironically, we adopted the un-hold-able cat, as Skye, ten months at that time, did not like cuddles. She became our near girl, showing her immense love by sitting near us, especially in the toughest of times. Somehow, she always knew, and, without a sound, there would be a fuzzy little bundle of love by the feet of whoever needed her most.

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Teal Life Romance Hero was her favorite, and she loved him the most. Housemate and I were great, of course, but Skye and her Uncle were and are a true OTP for the ages. Skye became my mews right from the start, a strong, solid presence, at a respectable distance, shooting eye-daggers at the hated carpet of my office in our first Albany apartment.

It’s hard to pick out what Skye memories I want to share here -my stats are taking a break this week- because there are a lot, and all of you readers who check in every week to read her updates, and like her photos on Instagram, mean the whole entire world. When we land (there may be another move in our immediate future) in a pet-friendly place, we humans all agree that it will be time for more cats. Hopefully, at least one will be of the blogging persuasion. Feline Fridays are going to be a little rough for a while.

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When we first brought Skye home from the shelter, on a snowy December day, close enough to Christmas to knock “Christmas kitten” off my bucket list, it took her four hours to come out of the carrier. She was a cautious girl, but her moments of bravery stick with me the most. The time, that first week or so, when my job was to studiously ignore the new fuzzball, and let her explore her new digs on her own terms, my whole body jolted with the sensation of warmth, wet, and tugging on my big toe.

I looked down. There was a creamy, black-lipped mouth around my toe, two big green eyes looking back at me. The next few seconds went something like this:

Me: Skye? What are you doing?

Skye: I was hoping you knew.

Me: Baby, that’s a toe.

Skye: :processing So…this…not…okay?

Me: Are you hungry?

Skye: :backs slowly away, until mouth is no longer around toe:

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Skye O’Malley, the kitty, not the book.

 

I have to assume that I did indeed feed her after that, and that, in the right light, my right big toe probably did look enough like a cat nipple that she figured it was worth a shot. That was her way.  Skye brought a lot of things into our lives. She brought slow blinks, happy chitters, ninja skills I do not expect any future cat to exceed, and an unending supply of floofs. She was there to see me through the loss of Olivia, the cat who saw me through the loss of an entire side of my family, and who was there for my first sale, and the unplanned detour into caregiving.

When I first committed to this incarnation of my blog, three blogs per week felt far too much for my anxious, insecure self. Giving Friday posts to Skye suggested itself, and those have been some of my favorite posts to write, because Skye always had something to say. Maybe she still will. I don’t know how the internet connection to Rainbow Bridge works yet. We’ll have to see.

Skye got her name from my favorite historical romance, Skye O’Malley, by Bertrice Small. Even though Skye-the-character was far bolder than Skye-the-kitty, the name still fit, for a beautiful, intelligent heroine, who endured great obstacles, to find true love at last. Suffice it to say that the bar for cat-ness in this family has been set, and set high. Whatever felines join us next, they will have big pawprints to fill.

That’s about it for right now. Skye remains, always, very truly yours,

skyebyenew

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Typing With Wet Claws: Post-Fiction Fest Edition

 

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday, straight from Camp Grandma. The humans have been talking about Forever Apartment options, so I think camp will be coming to a close sooner rather than later. I think. At any rate, this time, last week, Anty was getting ready to hit the road and come see me. She had to stop at CT Fiction Fest first, of course, and give her workshop with Anty Melva. I am happy to report, though, that she did come through with the laser pointer, but more on that later.

Regular readers, you know the drill. New readers, I have to talk about where to find Anty’s writing on the interwebs (besides here, because you are here already) for the past week. Anty would like to remind readers that the best way to make sure you get every single blog entry, even if it is posted on the wrong day (Anty is only human, and Sebastian is kind of lazy) is to subscribe, here on the blog. That way, the new entries will come right to you. Also, she may or may not be thinking of posting something special when she hits the next milestone for subscribers. (Spoiler: she totally is planning exactly that.)

Okay, here we go. First of all, Anty was, as always, at Buried Under Romance on Saturday morning. This past week, she takes a look at buzzwords. This is not a post about bees, in case you were concerned about that (I was. Bees are scary.) but about words in titles that let us know what things we might find inside those books. Think dukes, scandals, Highlanders, that kind of thing. That post is here, and it looks like this:

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There are no actual bees in this post.

Even though the only thing Anty read over the weekend of Fiction Fest were her own notes and some handouts, she still has a favorite book of the week, and that is Eliza and Her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia. Anty gives this book a full five stars. Her review has big spoilers, so beware of that if you want to read the review. It is a YA, and it has romance and fandom, and art and writing, and, although Anty got this copy from the library, she is 100& buying it so that she can read it again. Her review is here, and it looks like this:

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Seriously. Big spoiler.

If you are following Anty’s Goodreads challenge, here are the stats for this week. Anty has now read seventy-four out of ninety books, which puts her at eighty-two percent of the way to her goal, and eleven books ahead of schedule. I am going to call that well done. Keep going, Anty. Story in, story out. That is how it works.

Coming back from ta conference with a lot of new tools is how going to a conference usually works, at least for Anty. she attended a workshop on writing historical fiction/romance, presented by Melanie Meadors. Miss Melanie has some amazing fashion sense, and some very good advice on writing in other times and places, past or future. Anty took a lot of notes, in that workshop and others. I will let her talk more about that later, if she wants to share any of them.

The workshop Anty knows the most about is the one that she presented with Anty Melva, on writing through real life plot twists. Real life cooperated and threw a few plot twists Anty and Anty Melva’s way, but they made it to the hotel, and to their workshop, which, by all accounts (that they know about, at least) went very well. Some humans came up to each of them after the workshop, with follow-up questions, which made them very happy.

Another thing that made Anty and Anty Melva very happy was the professional critique Anty Melva had, on a sample from Chasing Prince Charming. Anty was not at the critique, because this was a one person at a time kind of thing, but the other humans knew that this book really has two authors. They liked the sample a lot, and had some comments on how to make it even better.

Anty and Anty Melva made good use of some pockets of times before things got started at various points through the weekend, to do some work on the next part of Drama King, and also for setting up the third book they will write together. There was even some talk about what they want to write together next, after those books are done, but that can be a topic for later.

Anty loves meeting people at conferences, best of all, and she made some new friends at this one, including another writer of historical romance. Anty has wanted a historical romance writer buddy for a long time. Maybe this is how that kind of thing happens. We will see.

No, on to the most important part of the weekend, and that is Anty’s visit to me. It was a short visit, but it still counts. I will allow that things might have been less confusing for me if there were fewer people in the room (there were three) and it was not dinnertime, but it was still a good visit. Anty spent some time grooming me (I earned my treat, let me tell you that) and then it was time for the laser pointer.

I find the laser pointer very interesting, but A) it was mealtime, and B) there were too many people watching me, so I only looked at it. I will try playing next time, when it is only me and Anty. That should be fun.

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

skyebye2018

Typing With Wet Claws: CT Fiction Fest Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another very special Typing With Wet Claws, coming to you direct from Camp Grandma. Today is a very exciting day. because today is the first day of Connecticut Fiction Fest, where Anty and Anty Melva will be presenting their workshop. Their workshop will be at ten AM on Sunday, but today is the day Anty packs her things, and hits the road. First, she and Mama will drive to where Anty Melva Lives. Then Mama will come to Camp Grandma, to spend the weekend with me, and Anty will go, with Anty Melva, to Fiction Fest. If you are going to be there, make sure to say hi. Anty loves this whole networking thing.

The other reason today is exciting is because it is the day I will get my laser pointer. I am a little worried, because this particular laser pointer is also a pen, so Anty will naturally be drawn to it (pun unintended, but it can stay) but if I have fun with it, and Anty can see that, she will probably let me have it. Probably. I like playing with people more than I like playing with toys, and this is a toy Grandma should be able to handle. Anty wants to make sure I get enough exercise, and playing is the way indoor kitties like me do that.

Because the rule here is that I cannot talk about anything else (which is usually Anty’s writing anyway) let’s get to that. First, as always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday. This week, she talked about the worst thing about great books. Can you guess what it is? That post is here, and it looks like this:

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the struggle is real

Next, we come to Anty’s Goodreads challenge. Sebastian has spent most of the week in a sunbeam (to be honest, I probably would have done the same thing myself, so somebody still has to add a few dates and reviews, but, at current writing, Anty is now eighty percent of the way to her goal of reading ninety books this year. That means she has read seventy-two books, so far, and is eleven books ahead of schedule. Anty is a reading machine. Keep going, Anty. You’ve got this.

The favorite book that Anty read this week is A Map For Wrecked Girls. by Jessica Taylor. Anty loves desert island stories, shipwreck stories, and stories about friendship loss (and maybe healing) and this story has all of those things. Anty’s review of this book is here, and it looks like this:

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Anty knows very well that she will probably come home with a, um, boatload of books from the conference. Probably. She has never been to this conference before, so maybe they do things differently on that front. I know Anty, though. Anyway, even though Anty is headed to what is basically Writer Disneyland, where A) she will be busy talking to other writers most of the time, and B) there may very well be books that people just give her, she is still bringing her Kindle, and probably a library book as well. I know my Anty. She is not going anywhere without reading material.

Anty is also not going anywhere without her planners. That is right, I used the plural. Besides Big Pink (who has a new cover; Anty will show you that later) she is bringing Li’l Pink, who has new inserts. Those inserts do not include the insert Anty made from scratch, because there is a very good reason why making traveler’s notebook inserts by candlelight is not a thing. That reason is because candlelight, while pretty, does not allow for a clear view of the colors a human is using. That is why Anty picked paper that she thought was pink, was actually neon orange. Faded neon orange, but still orange. Orange is not the new pink.

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Good first try, Anty. As Miss H said, when Anty mentioned wanting to try a new creative thing, “go for it. First you’ll suck, then you’ll get better.” Miss H is pretty smart. She also recommended that Anty watch a movie called Black Panther, when Anty comes home from the conference. With a title like that, I am going to assume that this movie is about cats. I could say a lot about the need for feline representation in Hollywood, but that is for another post. Maybe if they need a sequel, Brown Tabby would be a catchy title. I cannot say it rolls off my tongue, because my tongue has bristles, because I am a kitty, but I think it’s a title that would appeal to a wide audience.

Now it is time for Anty to get packing, so that is about it for this week. Until next time, I remain very truly yours,

skyebye2018

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Anty in the Corner Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday, coming to you from Camp Grandma. Very soon, it will be time for Anty and Anty Melva to head for Connecticut Fiction Fest, and talk about how to write even when life seems to have gone a little (okay, a lot) off the rails.  Anty still does not know if she will drive to the hotel with Mama, and then meet Anty Melva there, or if she and Mama will go see Anty Melva first, and hand Anty off, so Anty and Anty Melva will have a long drive together, but their drives often spark some pretty good ideas, so they are not complaining. They have, at times, joked about renting an RV, and driving from the east to west coasts, and by the time they get back, they will have a new book. At least I think they were joking. It is hard to tell, by remote connection. Personally, I like the handing Anty off to Anty Melva option, because that means that Anty can stop by and see me, which, let’s face it, is the highlight of any road trip, in the first place.

This week, Anty has not been doing as much reading of physical books as she would have liked, but there is good reason for that. For one thing, she has figured out how to get audiobooks from the library, which means that she gets a human with an interesting voice, to tell her a story, and she does not have to figure out where to put anything, or pay for it. Anty will be doing a lot more listening, especially because she can experience a story while she is planning or making art, or anything else. I will have to think about allowing her to listen to books when we are both in the same place, but I think that I probably will. I like soothing voices, very much.

Anyway, Anty’s favorite book that she read all the way through, this week, was Geekerella, by Ashley Potson. This is a modern-day retelling of Cinderella, and there is fandom and cosplay, and the hero is an actor, and Anty is totally there for all of that. Her review of that book is here, and it looks like this:

Geekerella

Anty was, as always, at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, where she asks the important question – what’s in your TBR (that means To Be Read) pile? That post is here, and it looks like this:

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Anty wjll probably read a lot more books between now and Fiction Fest, especially once she finishes the book she is reading right now. Anty likes to take her time with some of the bigger historical romances, and that is what is going on with her reading, right now.

Speaking of historical romance, Anty has been giving her materials for Her Last First Kiss some serious consideration, lately. Granted, the contemporaries have required a lot of her attention, especially when she and Anty Melva had the revise and resubmit request, not to mention that they are now working on a book with a cat in it. (Trust me, this cat will be the real star of the book. I am on hand as feline consultant, to make sure that the cat character behaves the way an actual cat would, in such situations.)

Anyway, right now, Anty is doing a lot of rearranging of pretty much everything. The air mattress in the living room, that had been her command centre, sprang a leak. Actually more than one leak. Do not blame me. First, I am at camp, and second, I have special paws, so that rules me out as a suspect, right from the start. I cannot rule out Sebastian, but then again, he is stuffed, so it was probably something else. Probably.

As if that were not enough, Anty’s new Mac Book has been making a new noise. That noise is three beeps, then a pause, then three beeps, then a pause, then three beeps, then a pause, ad infinitum (that is a fancy word that means forever.) Anty did some research, and found out that somebody is going to have to poke around the guts of the Mac Book. Maybe it will be her, and maybe it will be someone at the Apple store. Either way, Anty needs this machine operational, because A) conference, B) super powers are coming back any day now, and C) it is time to get back to Her Last First Kiss.

Since the Mac Book is currently not operational, this means Anty is back to the desktop, and finding a c0mfortable way to sit, where both her eyeballs and back are happy, at the same time. As of today. that is on the floor, in a corner, back to the wall, and both monitor and desktop on a coffee table. Since I am a floor girl, I think this is possibly the most perfect setup. Anty does not yet know if she agrees, but  time will tell.

There is one big advantage to writing in the corner, and that is (besides being on my level) and that is that nobody can see what is on Anty’s screen. Anty does not like other humans looking at her screen, while she is writing, or seeing any reference pictures she might have on hand while she writes. Anty is particular about that kind of thing. I cannot say I blame her. We cats are pretty big on privacy (ours, that is.  We will walk right into the bathroom with you, every time, if you do not close the door quickly enough. It Is because we love you. Also because we have to make sure you do not vanish.)

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

skyebye2018

 

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Retreat Debriefing Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another very special Feline Friday, straight from Camp Grandma. Today’s entry is special, because Anty is still recovering from said retreat. While Anty had a wonderful time, alone with me, alone time can be draining for some extroverts, like Anty, and she may need a couple days to be her regular self. This means that the real debriefing may take place on Monday, so I am allowed to do some rambling here. I do not have a problem with this.

First of all, Anty has an announcement to make. New York’s Emerging Writers: an anthology of fiction, is now officially published, and ready for purchase. This is the anthology that has Anty’s novel excerpt, “Ravenwood,” in which you can meet John and Aline, the hero and heroine of Anty’s postapocalyptic medieval historical romance, A Heart Most Errant. If you read the excerpt, and would like to see the whole book, consider letting the publisher know. If you would like to get that, and maybe discover new fiction writers, in a variety of genres, from the Empire State, you can purchase your copy here.

As always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance, this past Saturday, talking about why favorite books are favorite books. She has been thinking about that a lot, and may talk more about it in the future. That post is here, and it looks like this:

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Do you?

Anty did a LOT of reading, during this retreat, and that is probably a whole other post in itself, but here are the basics. Anty read five books while on retreat, and they break down like this:

  • 2 historical romance
  • 2 contemporary category romance
  • 1 contemporary YA (not romance)

Her Goodreads challenge is now twelve books ahead of schedule, with sixty-eight books read out of ninety, putting her seventy-six percent of her way to her goal. That is more than two-thirds of the way done. This does not mean Anty is going to coast for the rest of the year, because she is still on a reading tear. Since she has come back from retreat, she has downloaded three new-to-her e-books, all historical romance. She is going to have to put some more in her Amazon account before she can download more, but there is probably going to be a new notebook to keep track of this sort of thing.

Anty had not read anything by Terri Brisbin for a while, despite having attended several of Miss Terri’s workshops, at various conferences over the last few years. Then she saw a deal on one of Miss Terri’s books that she had started the first time around, then did not get to finish, because life exploded, and she had to give the library back their copy. She got that book for her Kindle, then read it all in one day. As soon as she got off retreat, the first thing she did was to get the next book in that series, and then pick up two more standalones. She also has a couple more books by Miss Terri on her Kindle already, so I sense a theme here. Anty also has some of Miss Terri’s books in paperback, but they are in storage.

Anty also watched four movies. Two, she liked, very much. One, she needs to understand better before she knows if she likes it or not, and the fourth, was not for her, although she had hoped it would work better for her. That is the way it goes, sometimes. Anty needs to go through a few different levels before she can fully asses a work. She will tell you more about that, and about the books she read on retreat, later. After the weekend, she will probably be up to her usual talkative self.

The reason this retreat is taking a little longer to bounce back from is that an airline made some mistakes when Mama tried to buy her and Grandma’s plane tickets. I will not go into specifics, but it ended up that A) Grandma and Mama ended up on separate flights, on separate airlines, and B) Grandma’s airline kind of lost her for a few hours. Maybe stranded is a better word, but, even though Mama’s flight was supposed to arrive a couple of hours after Grandma’s, back in Grandmaland, that is not what happened. What happened was that Grandma’s return flight got delayed and delayed, and she missed a connection, and Mama was already on her plane, so it was kind of scary for Grandma for a while. She eventually got back to Grandmaland, many, many hours after Mama was already there. I am sorry Grandma had to go through all of that, but it did mean more time with Anty, so it was not all bad.

Thanks to Anty, I have a new toy. Anty and Mama could not find a laser pointer before this retreat, so they will bring one next time. The new toy is a very fun toy, and it is called Empty Mint Holder. It is super fun. It can spin, and roll, and slide across the floor like a hockey puck. It even has two doors, and Anty is thinking about putting some of my treats in it next retreat (hm, I wonder if “re-treat” means “to treat again.” I could get on board with that. I love treats.) and see if I can get them out, on my own. I think that might be fun, but for right now, I like watching humans slide it and spin it. Greenball, of course, is a classic, and there is also Yellow Ball. It can do most things Green Ball does, but A) it does not make noise, and B) it bounces.

The best part of retreat, though, was when Anty took a nap, and I snuck close enough to ninja-cuddle her. Once, I even ninja-spooned her and I was the big spoon. That was new, because I had never done that before, and Anty was surprised to find me cuddling her from behind. She gets concerned when she wakes up and can’t see me. This is one of the reasons why, but she did not mind too much. Ninja cuddles mean that I can sneak in some extra love beams and inspiration.

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

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

 

 

Typing With Wet Claws: Off The Grid Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another very special Feline Friday, coming to you from Camp Grandma. This is a special post, because it is a special day, and that special day is because Anty is getting ready to come and spend most of the next week with me. Because Camp Grandma does not have interwebs, apart from the remote connection, Anty will be off the grid (and on the floor, with me, because I am a floor girl) and therefore will not be posting on Monday. She has mentioned some vague ideas of writing a post on Monday anyway, and seeing if she can upload it when Anty Melva comes to camp to take Anty to lunch (I will stay in my bunk and have fish jelly, because that is the best lunch ever. Except for peanut butter, and I already know Anty put peanut butter on the grocery list) but Anty said not to make any promises, but she is keeping a retreat diary and will share some of that when she can.

The day that Anty goes back to Right-Now Apartment is also a very special day, because that day is also Uncle’s birthday, aka the best day ever. I do not know what Anty is getting Uncle for a present, but I already know what I am giving him. I think he would like a shed whisker, maybe a claw, or a glop of early fall shed fur. What do you think? Maybe I will give him all three. Anty will take pictures of me, but nothing beats the real thing, amirite? All three it is. Probably. We may have to see what happens on the laser pointer front first. Worst case scenario, the ghost cats have mentioned something about a flashlight that is rumored to be almost as good as a laser pointer, but only at night.

Being off the grid until Uncle’s Birthday will not affect Anty posting on Buried Under Romance on Saturday, because she knows how to travel through time, and already set up that post. I do not know how she does it. Probably something related to planning, because she has been doing a lot of planning lately. Like, a lot, but that is a whole other post. Her most recent Saturday Discussion post is here, and it looks like this:

BURwhyfavorite

Um, no, actually, that is the picture that goes with Anty’s next post for Buried Under Romance, but I will leave it there, because Anty has a very strict schedule for today, and the “help Skye with her blog post” section is a lot smaller than I would normally like, but I do get Anty 24/7, apart from her lunch with Anty Melva, and possibly a walk to the post office (that would be Anty walking to the post office, not me, because I am an inside girl. I spent the first six months of my life outside, because I was born wild. Trust me, it was not that great. Inside only for me from now on, thankyouplease.)

When it comes to Anty’s Goodreads Challenge, this entry will be very brief. Thanks to Anty’s new discovery of Book Tubers, she has been adding a lot of books to her To Be Read lists. As of today, she is ten books ahead of schedule, having read sixty-four out of ninety books, which puts her at seventy-one percent of the way to her goal. Since Anty has a fully charged Kindle, and a whole bag filled only with books, I think it is safe to say that she is going to be reading a lot during this retreat. Sometimes, she does read out loud to me, which I very much appreciate. If there is a kitty in the book she reads aloud, she does do the kitty voice. She has a funny accent, but she does okay.

Another thing Anty does okay, and would like to do okay-er is art. I like watching Anty do arty things, because it is very interesting. Her hands move a lot, she usually has music playing, and, sometimes, her supplies have interesting smells. Some kitties like to help their humans by batting the supplies around, but I do not do that. I sit nearby and observe, because I am a good girl. Anty and I have some of our best talks that way. Often, when I help Anty do arty things, that lets the story part of her brain free-float, and then some of her writing problems work themselves out, on their own. Bloop, all solved. Anty is very much looking forward to that part of the retreat. Maybe I can sneak some peanut butter, if she is absorbed enough in arty things while her rice cake is left unattended.

DylusionsTN

Anty has not made any art here yet. These books and pocket are made by Dyan Reavely

I am not sure if Anty is bringing that particular art book with her (it is very cool, though, and she looks forward to playing with it) because she has a theory that keeping the supplies on hand to a carefully curated minimum will encourage her to use them in more ways, but I figured this post could use another picture, and she had that one hanging around, so that’s what you get.

Anty is also bringing a bunch of movies, that we can watch together. It is very thoughtful of her to have a laptop that plays movies, because Grandma keeps her TV in Big Carpet Room, in which I am not allowed. I like watching TV with my humans, but Big Carpet Room is a no-kitty zone. That is because of what Michelangelo, one of the ghost cats did (back when he was a non-ghost cat) and Grandma has concerns that it will give me ideas. I cannot say exactly what it was, but I strongly believe it has to do with, um, stuff. Grandma has me 100% on my stuff habits, and she is not taking any chances. Grandma’s house, Grandma’s rules, so Anty and I will have movie dates in my room.

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

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

Typing With Wet Claws: Retreat Prep 2.0 Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday, coming to you from Camp Grandma. As you may have guessed from this week’s title, by this time, next week, Anty will be in a carrier, coming to see me. I am very much looking forward to that. There has been talk of a laser pointer. If it is anything like my mousie game, I am all over that.

I am also all over Anty’s writing, which she plans to be doing a lot of, during our retreat. First, and I will probably have to Coe back and edit this later, because the remote connection to Anty’s new glory box is still wonky (also, it is thundering, and I am going to stay here under Grandma’s sewing machine (do not worry, it is off) until the storm is over. I would hide under a bed, but there are no beds in my room (I know, seriously, what’s up with that?) If you have been wanting to read new writing by Any (and also some other people) then this is your lucky day.

Preorders for the nonfiction of New York’s Emerging Writers are now, um, doing their thing. That preorder is here.  Anty’s contribution to this book is her essay, “Greetings From Boxville,” which is about the writing life, in the midst of a move. It is a lot like Anty’s blog entries, but it is not in a blog; it is only in this book, and no place else.

Preorders are also here for the fiction edition of New York’s Emerging Writers. If you would like to preorder that one, then you can do that here. This book comes out on August 7th, which is only days away, so there is still time to sneak in under the wire to preorder. Anty’s contribution to this anthology is “Ravenwood,” which is an excerpt of her novel, A Heart Most Errant. If you like “Ravenwood,” and would like to see A Heart Most Errant as a whole book, maybe leave a nice review and mention that. No promises, but mentioning the story and author by name helps the publisher see who readers would like to read more from, in the future. If you want to see more books by Any (and me get better toys and treats) then do the right thing.

As always, Anty was a Buried Under Romance this past Saturday, with her post that asks if favorite books always remain favorites? Can a reader like the same book more or less than they did before, at different times? If you are interested to find out what Anty thinks about that kind of thing, you can find that out here.

This is normally the part where I give you Anty’s Goodreads challenge updates, but Sebastian is still supposedly working on the exact numbers, so I will show you Anty’s favorite book that she read this week. It is called Leah on the Offbeat, by Becky Albertalli, and Anty’s review of that is here. 

Any has now read sixty out of the ninety books she set as her goal for the year, and that puts her at sixty-seven percent of the way there, eight books ahead of schedule. I would be remiss if I did not point out that Anty has been slacking in the historical romance department, in favor of YA, but I am not worried. These things go in cycles, and she will be blazing through historical romance novels again, very soon. Last night, Anty made a lot of notes about video blogs she would like to make, regarding books that she likes, and she needed two pages for historical romance topic ideas. That is encouraging.

Some of you may have noticed that I have not put a lot of pictures in this entry. I am very sorry. Still learning how the remote connection works on a Mac instead of a PC (that stands for Pretty Cat, right?) Maybe Anty will fill me in when she comes for our retreat. Although my chances of getting peanut butter (I regret nothing) are markedly lower on this retreat, now that Anty is on to me,  I think we will still have a good time. Miss H is telling Anty how to load some computer games (people games, but oh well, I can still watch) onto her laptop, so that Anty will not be game-less, even without inter webs. Grandma is not at all interested in inter webs, so Anty may get a little twitchy until Anty Melva comes to take her for lunch.

The reason Anty Melva and Anty will go to lunch is so that they can go over their presentation for Connecticut Fiction Fest, which is only a month away. Anty is not, as of yet, running around in circles screaming, but that may still happen. Anty Melva made a wonderful PowerPoint presentation, and she and Anty even have a fun game for the humans who come to their workshop to play, so they can break the ice. That is a metaphor. They will not really have ice. Though, they might, in the water pitcher, if there is one. There will probably be one. Anty likes to stay hydrated. So there might be ice. Anyway, if you are going to Fiction Fest, and want to hear about how to keep writing through tough times, then their workshop is one you will want to see.

Anty and Anty Melva will also be talking about their current WIP, Drama King, which actually has a cat in it. He is my favorite character. Can I have a book boyfriend, even though I am fixed? I think I can. I will give Anty my big green eyes look. She can never say no to that.

Anty is making her wrap it up noises, so that is about it for this week. Come back next week, and I should have figured out how to add more pictures. Until then, I remain very truly yours,

skyebye2018

Typing With Wet Claws: Coming Up Roses Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday, straight from Camp Grandma. I have some big mews…uh, that is news…to share with you this week. First, Any has had her essay, “Greetings From Boxvile,” accepted for publication in the New York’s Emerging Writers nonfiction anthology. If you can count (and you probably can,) that means Any will have two short pieces, coming out in anthologies, very soon. Stay tuna, um, I mean tuned, for further details. Tuna wouldn’t hurt, either. Just saying.

The other bit of news is that Any will be having another retreat with me, in August. We are both looking forward to that, very much. There has been talk of.a laser pointer. This intrigues me. Anty will spend some of the time resting, some of the time writing, and some of the time playing with me. That last one is probably where the laser pointer would come into play. I am told there will be more peanut butter, (yay) but that it is a people food (boo.) Anty Kara, who helps a lot of kitties, and is very smart, says that I can safely have a pinky-nail sized bit of the organic peanut butter Anty likes, but I cannot have any peanut butter that has xylitol in it. I do not know what xylitol is, so maybe I Had better stick to cat food, just to be safe. I am very big on staying safe.

I am also very big on following the rules for blogging here, so that I may keep that privilege (Anty, as you might imagine, is the most dominant on that matter) which means that I had better get down to business and tell you where to find Anty’s writing on the interwebs this week. There is a little problem here, and I will tell you what that problem is. That problem is that I do not yet know how to work the new computer, and so I cannot copy and paste the link to Anty’s Buried Under Romance post, or its picture. I am very sorry about that, but when you put together new technology, special paws, and a remote connection, there is going to be a learning curve.

What I can do for you is this. Bookmarking http://www.buriedunderromance.com will make sure that you can always find Anty’s posts there, and read a lot of great book reviews and interviews, as well. That is a pretty sweet deal. I highly recommend it. Anyway, Anty’s post this past week was about romance novels in disguise. That is not about people in romance novels, who wear disguises, (though Anty likes those quite a lot, but that is another post) but it is about books that do not say they are romance novels, but totally are. Outlander, Anty is looking at you.

Did you figure out that the same thing applies to the links to Anty’s Goodreads challenge? You are very smart. Also, Sebastian is kind of useless as a statistician, but he is very good at cuddling, and I do not like cuddles from anybody (well, Uncle, in extenuating circumstances. He is my favorite, and I love him the most.)  I can let him slide a little. According to current count, Anty has read sixty books out of the ninety that are her goal for 2018, which puts her at sixty-seven percent of the way home, and nine books ahead of schedule. That is not too shabby, though I would be remiss if I did not point out that she needs to step it up with the historical romance reading, already.

The book Anty liked most this week was a YA novel, called Munmum, by Jesse Andrews. Anty has already read two other books by Mr. Jesse, Haters and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which she loved, so she was pretty sure she would like this one, too, even though it is what the humans call magical realism. I think that is what humans call it, when it is like our regular world, but with one thing different. That thing, in this case, is that humans are bigger or smaller, according to how much money (or munmun) they have. The little poor people are very small, like rat sized, and so are in danger of dire peril in the form of cats. Also other things, but I can only speak for cats, as I am one. Not all cats are as bloodthirsty as the cats in this book.  The ones that are, are only doing their jobs.

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Another new development is that Anty (and Uncle and Mama, but we all know who’s taking care of these things) now has roses. When Anty and Mama went to buy flowers for Miss H, they did not find any that Miss H would like, but Anty did fall in love with three miniatures rose bushes, so now they live on the windowsill in For-Now Apartment. Their names are York (white roses,) Lancaster (red roses,) and Tudor (red-and-white roses.) They look like this:

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Tudor, Lancaster, and York

If they are not in order, that is because Anty moves them around. Lancaster was hogging all the sun, which is why he was, at the time Anty started rearranging them, the biggest. Anty thinks everybody should get a shot at the good sunlight. Today, it is raining, so they are all out of luck, but that is the plan. For those who are worried about how the roses and I will get along, please do not. I am a floor girl and they are window guys (girls? How do you tell? Or does it no matter?) so we will probably never be on the same level.

I would say something about how rotating the roses compares to Anty working on different projects, in turn, but We are burning daylight, and Anty is making move it along motions, so I guess that means that is about it for this week. More announcements, concerning the anthologies, CT Fiction Fest, and Chasing Prince Charming, still to come. Until next time, I remain very truly yours,

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Where on earth is my signify picture on this thing?

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

Typing With Wet Claws: Remote Planning Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday, straight from Camp Grandma. The humans have been talking more about moving things, so I take this as an encouraging sign. I like Grandma fine, but we cats are creatures of habit, an my people are Anty, Uncle, and Mama. That is how it works. I am a very social girl, and Grandma has things to do, so I am not able to follow her everywhere, as I would like. While that does give me more time for remote-accessing my mews duties, it is still nice to have somebody to talk to me and tell me I am pretty. I mean, Grandma does, but not all day.

Anyway, before I talk about anything else, I first have to talk about where to find Anty’s writings on the interwebs. As always, she was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday. That post is full of drama. Exhaustion. A traffic stop. Romance novels. You know you want to read it. Well, you can. It is here, and looks like this:

Um. Well. There is actually no featured picture there. That is unlike Anty. The only possible explanation is that Anty delegated that task to Sebastian, who napped through the whole thing. My utmost apologies. Anty will be more on her game next week. Sebastian may want to step things up before his performance review.

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I will give him this much: his window game is unbeatable. As for keeping track of Anty’s Goodreads reading challenge, eh, not so much. Anty is holding steady, though, at ten books ahead of schedule, so that is pretty good. Anty’s favorite book she read this past week is You Know Where to Find Me, by Rachel Cohn. Anty has read books where Miss Rachel collaborated with one of Anty’s all time favorite authors, David Levithan, but she had never read a book by Miss Rachel alone, without Mr. David. This was her week to fix that. How did that turn out? Her review is here, and it looks like this:

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Most of Anty’s writing time this past week has been focused on Chasing Prince Charming. Anty Melva loved Anty’s scene, Anty loved Anty Melva’s editing, and they both agreed the book needed one more scene from Anty. Anty has written two drafts in longhand, and will be transcribing that second draft today, so that it can be really done-done, and then Anty Melva can start sending it out again. Then they go back to work on Drama King, which will probably go much faster, because now they know how they write a book together, and do not have to figure it out so much. Also, there is a cat in that book, which automatically makes it better. I will, of course, be on hand to serve as feline consultant.

This week Anty started a new planner for her writing, and, so far, it is going pretty good. She is still working out exactly what will go in it, and how she wants to track progress on specific projects (also, whether or not she wants to NaNo in November) but having things in one place, where she can see them, is a big help.

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Anty will share more pictures as things progress. Right now, she has her Tuesday breakfasts with Miss N already blocked out, and the days that she (and I) blog, so that we do not miss any. Writing blogs in advance takes way from the “aaaaah, time to post, and I have no ideas” factor, by a lot. Anty was also able to block out the right number of days for the Connecticut Fiction Fest conference, which are not two, but three.

This is a good thing, because spending three days in a hotel full of writers is better than two days. With the information in place this far ahead, Anty can plan what she wants to bring with her, and make checklists. Anty loves checklists. The conference humans are very thoughtful, and are letting the writers hunt for their own dinners at this conference, so Anty may want to scope out the hunting grounds ahead of time, or bring food that she and Anty Melva (and any friends who wander by, potentially) can have in their room. I am a big fan of eating in one’s room. I do it, even at camp.  It’s pretty great.

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

SkyeByeTemp

 

Typing With Wet Claws: X Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday, coming to you from Camp Grandma. Anty says that most of these updates are probably going to fall into the “special” cat-egory (see what I did there?) until August. That is not too far away, so I suppose I can deal. Camp is fine, and all, and I am learning a few things from Grandma, like the fact that peanut butter is delicious, and jailbreaks can be fun, even if Grandma does have a lot of carpet. I will probably not be going on too many jailbreaks tis weekend, though, because Mama will be visiting camp. Anty has to stay home and write, or she would come along, too. She will come see me, soon.

Anyway, this post is not so special that I can skip the big rule of these posts, and that is that I have to talk about Anty’s writing first, before I am allowed to talk about anything else. That is usually Anty’s writing, anyway, but it Is what it is. As always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, talking about her summer reading bucket list. That means the books that Anty intends to read over the course of the summer. Spoiler alert: she will not stick to that list. That post is here, and it looks like this:

BURbucketlist

This segues nicely into the next part, which is Anty’s Godreads reading challenge. Remote surveillance tells me that Sebastian has found a sunbeam in the living room window, which may account for his slowness in crunching Anty’s numbers for this challenge, but, since Goodreads shows that she is currently ten books ahead of schedule, we will let it slide…for now. Anty’s favorite read of the past week is Leave Me, by Gayle Forman. Miss Gayle usually writes books about almost-grownups, but this book is about actual grownups.  Anty’s review can be found here, and the book looks like this:

BUT leavemeformanAnty has vague ideas of attempting to duplicate the cover design in one of her art notebooks. That looks pretty easy, because it is lines of color, and that’s that.  Anty may find a few surprises when she tries it, though, and that is okay. There are a lot of surprises in the writing life.

Right now, Anty is muttering bad words because of one surprise, and that is that the all day workshop with Gwen Hayes, on Romancing the Beat, will be held on September eighth, which is right in the middle of CT Fiction Fest, which Anty cannot skip, because she is part of it, because she and Anty Melva will be presenting “Writing Through The Tears/Save the Writer, Save the Book.” In a perfect world, Anty would be able to go to both, but this world is far from perfect, so she will have to deal. I strongly suggest she stop by Camp and see me on the way home. That is, unless we are in Forever Apartment by then, in which case she should come straight home and make u for all the missed scritches.

This weekend, Anty will be doing her last-last pass of Chasing Prince Charming, and passing it back to Anty Melva. Then, that is that, and back out it goes. If she has time, she will transcribe the handwritten stuff she has on the selkie story, and do some research on that. Miss N also has gently reminded Anty of how close Anty is to a completed second draft of Her Last First Kiss, and that it is time to start thinking about what project is going to be next.

This is a place that Anty has not been for a while, but that does not mean that it is totally unfamiliar. Anty looks forward to starting new things, like the selkie story, and bringing other things, like Her Last First Kiss and A Moment Past Midnight to their happily ever afters and jumping back on the submission circuit once again. Anty Melva has been handling that for Chasing Prince Charming, but, for the books Anty writes by herself, she will have to handle things like queries and pitches.

Pitches are better than queries for Anty, because Anty is an extrovert, and talking to people face to face is super fun. Synopses and queries, though, are another story. Pun intended. Another part of the writing process that is fun, is brainstorming new ideas, which Anty plans to do with both the selkie story and A Moment Past Midnight. The fact that Anty does not, at present, have a brainstorming group, may prove a challenge, but that is okay. Anty likes this kind of challenge, and she knows a lot of writers, so I am sure that she can find people who would like to do that with her.

To reward herself for doing the last-last work on Chasing Prince Charming, Anty plans to watch some movies, and dive into a couple of historical romance novels that she got out of the library, to re-immerse herself in the genre. She is going to need them, because I am all too familiar with her separation anxiety with a story, once the book is done-done. Maybe this time will be different, because she is writing these books with Anty Melva, and they know what book is next. One never can tell, though, so I will send extra love beams, just in case they are needed.

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

SkyeByeTemp