Typing With Wet Paws: Now Where Were We Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. If you are wondering where I was for the last couple of weeks, here is a clue:

photo: Anna Carrasco Bowling

Seriously, look at this cat bed. So soft. So comfy. Like me. It’s in the perfect spot to not only get the sunbeams from the window, but also the breeze, and now the fan. If the humans open the other window, I get he crossbreeze. Then there is the placement, at the foot of the people bed. I’m close enough to Aunt Anna or Uncle Rheuben if they need me, and I kan keep track of both of them at their desks. I can also see the kitchen from here, which means that if Aunt Linda comes out of her room, and heads in this direction, she has dry food for me (or is going to clean my box, which is also good) so it really is the best seat in the house.

Big news around here is that the libraries here in New York’s Capitol Region are open again. Well, for humans, that is. They still aren’t admitting cats, which is totally bogus. Cats and books go together, amirite? Of course I am. Click on the link above if you want to see what she brought home, and where she totally could have used a feline research assistant to remind her to check series order before checking out books.

As fun as Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva found the first Zoomer Times interview, what could they get up to in the second round? Apparently this. Also, there was another whole interview that went great, then went missing, so this is a do-over.

Right now, Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva are going over the final final final version of the Drama King manuscript, before they send it to the editor at The Wild Rose Press. If those people want it, there will be more edits, and then it’s on its way to becoming a book. Did I mention this one has a cat in it? Next one, they say is going to have a dog, but that’s still four-legs rep, so I am down with it.

Beyond that, Aunt Anna will be getting back in the historical groove, which, honestly, I think she has needed for a while now. She said I can assume there will be cats in historicals because they are state of the art pest control. Sounds legit.

She is also thinking that if she wants to take part in Camp NaNo in July, it is only the beginning of June, so she has a lot of time to prepare a project that sounds like fun. I think part of it is an excuse to play with her planner stuff, but I happen to like helping her with her planner stuff (by lying on it) so this could all work out to my favor.

There is probably other stuff I should be putting here as well, but it’s nap time and I have my priorities.

Headbonks!

Storm

Being on Somone Else’s YouTube is Unreal

Yesterday. Melva and I had our Zoomer Times interview, which is now live on their YouTube channel. I would like to state that I am indeed more than a giant head in extreme closeup, and blame my visual impairment for not noticing how giant-head-y I was, but let’s ignore that and focus on the content.

Not going to lie, I was nervous, but, at the same time, this is legit an item from my childhood bucket list, “be interviewed on TV” because YouTube counts, and it’s on a channel other than my own. Which will hopefully be giant-head-free. It’s a learning curve to be sure, and one I’m glad Melva and I took.

Host Anita Finley was an utter delight, and I could not have asked for a more enthusiastic or friendlier person. They say you always remember your first time, and I absolutely will. When we first tried this whole interview thing in March, I got to be the silent partner, because my Kindle Fire wasn’t playing nicely with Zoom in general, and my contributions were relegated to broad facial expressions and gestures. Guess that mime class I very reluctantly took in high school paid off after all, because they were willing to give us a do-over once we solved the equipment problem.

The whole experinence, once we got rolling, was as much fun as I’d hoped. What writer doesn’t want to jabber about their book baby to a captife audience? Especially a willing captive. Even after what seems like “all this time,” I still get a thrill when I see Meg and Dominic on the cover of Chasing Prince Charming. I am sure that will repeat on every subsequent book with each new couple, but this was the first one.

Not only my first contemporary, my first book with Melva, but the first book that sold after a very long time of…not. Melva and I thought that Drama King would come along a lot faster, but then life hit both of us hard, and now that we have our combined wind back (or close enough) we are putting those hopes on Queen of Hearts, Dominic’s sister, Heather’s story, instead. Nobody can gaurantee that life won’t throw any more curveballs, but with each book, together or independently, we learn a little more, adapt, grow, evolve. This time, for instance, every chapter gets a number, which will make sure we have fewere “where does this bit go?” moments. Hellbent for leather, as Aunt S would have said, through the discovery draft, and then we can make everything pretty later.

I’m not sure when physical book tours will be a thing again, or if being everywhere at once, from the comfort of our own homes is the new norm, and how things are going to be from now onward. Melva is an excellent motel roommate, and traveling companion, and we do get a lot of our ideas while she drove and I wrote stuff down. I’m still the one with notebook and pen at the ready, always. That feels right.

This is all a fancy way of saying “we did a thing” and talked about stuff, so have a look if you’re so inclined, leave a like or comment if you like, and have a magnificent day.

So, I Have a YouTube Channel

Happy Wednesday, my liebchens. In keeping with the spirit of trying new things this year/spring, I finally made good on my threat to start a YouTube channel -different from my short-lived vlogging channel-AnnaLog is finally a thing.

AnnaLog

Over the last year, I watched a lot of YouTube. I mean a LOT of YouTube, often BookTube, and out of that, I found a lot of creators I like and follow, but I didn’t see a lot of talk about the more vintage side of historical romance. Aha. Heeeere’s Anna.

Check out my answers to the historical romance book tag

I am very obviously learning here, from angle of the laptop screen to topics and tagging and such, so pleae pardon my dust, and get comfy, because this will be a place for me to blabber about all the things I love -and some that I don’t- about historical romance novels, as a writer and a reader.

The first thing I wanted to cover, apart from a chapter header, was the historical romance reader book tag, created by Jess from PeaceLoveBooks on You Tube. Basically, if you ever wanted to pick my mind about historical romance, this is your opportunity. Only the tip of the iceberg, naturally, but tons of fun to make, and, I hope, to watch as well. Like, subscribe, share, all that good stuff, and yes, I am available for hire on my Patreon, to make a video on the historical romance topic of your choice. This is already lots of fun, so strap in, it’s going to be quite the ride.

Camp NaNononoooo

My workload made the decision for me for this round of Camp Nano, starting tomorrow. Eep. As much as I was looking forward to writing something newnewnew for camp this year, my editor’s notes for A Heart Most Errant cleared its throat and tapped its foot, so my April will be, historical romance-wise, has to be that. Contemporary-wise, it’s edits on Drama King, so my plate is full.

I am okay with that. I like direction. I have some ground to cover before I am, productivity-wise, where I want to be. One day at a time, one page at a time, and the video channel to remind me why I love historical romance as much I as I do. Getting back to one’s roots is always a good thing when one is so inclined, and I am so inclined, indeed.

Going to leave it at that for today, as adulting awaits, and after that, dun, dun, dun, the formation of a writing plan for April that will get me where I want to be. Yes, this involves planners and color coding and all of that good stuff, and yes, I will be sharing that here. Until then, behave yourselves, but I will not say how, so use your own discretion.

Typing With Wet Claws: Welcome, August Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. I am coming to you from my sunbeam. It is my favorite morning place, so I did not mind too much when Anty wanted to take my picture there. I can pose nicely when I have a good reason. Sunbeams are good reasons. In the cold weather, this also puts me in front of Heater. I love Heater. August is the best month because it is Uncle’s birthday month. Uncle is my favorite, and I love him. Anty is okay, too. She feeds me and pets me and lets me write this blog, as long as I talk about where to find her writing, first. I had better get to it.

As always, Anty was at Buried Under Romance this week, with her Saturday Discussion post. This week, she talked about some of the various means readers use to keep track of books they have read, and books they would like to read. She even shared pictures of some of her own records, so if you are interested in that sort of thing, you can find that post here, and it looks like this:

BURkeeptrack

Now it is time to talk about Anty’s reading. As of this morning, she was on track with her Goodreads challenge, so she was technically current when I started working on this blog. She had to do house things, though (including feeding me, which is a very good cause) and then it rolled over into one book behind. As a cat, I know a few things about rolling over, and will give her credit for being current, but it wouldn’t hurt to read a little faster during the week. So far, Anty has read fifty-two out of the ninety books she wants to read this year. I would say that is pretty decent progress. Go, Anty.

hr-challenge-2016-badge

Since it is the first Friday of the month, it is time for me to report on Anty’s historical romance reading challenge. This week, she finished reading five books, and four of those were historical romance. That is how to do it. (I would fistbump Anty here, but I do not have fists. I have paws. It does not work the same way with paws. I will ask Uncle or Mama to do it for me.) This brings Anty’s total for the year up to twenty-six historical romance novels read. That is pretty good, all things considered. Keep going, Anty.

The books Anty reviewed on Goodreads this week are:

 

 

 

 

As you might guess, Autopsy of America is not a historical romance novel, or even fiction, but pictures of abandoned places across the United States. Anty loves pictures of abandoned places, and when they are artistic, that is even better. Some people think this makes Anty a little strange, but Anty is already strange; she is a writer. She likes Mr. Seph’s photographs very much, and they kind of play into something else she has added to her work this week.

This week, we had many domestic tornadoes. During one of them, Anty needed some distraction. Since writing and reading are her best distractions, she dug out an old manuscript from her archives, one that is set a very long time ago, in England, after the Black Plague wiped out a very big part of Europe. That includes England, because this was a long time before Brexit. It was also a long time before the European Union, but I am a kitty, not a political historian. Anty figured it would not take too much work to get that book ready to send to a potential publisher, so she is working on that as well, now.

She gave it a different name, A Heart Most Errant, instead of Ravenwood, so that it would be a new thing in her brain, and, so far, that seems to work. It is a new thing and at the same time, the same book she already wrote. This time, she is looking at it without overthinking, and it is not the only fish in the pond, as it were. Personally, I think a pond with only three fish in it is not a very good pond. I do not remember how many fish are in my fish movie. I think I need to watch it again to count, but I know there were more than three. Maybe this time, I can catch the orange fish. He is a tricky one. He looks like he is swimming out of the tablet, but he never does.

Huh? Oh, right. Anty’s books. Hmph. Anty likes having a lot of things going on at once, so I do not think she will mind having three projects at different stages at the same time.  This also helps her not fixate on a particular manuscript being The One, and if it does not sell, she has wasted a year and change of her life, and is doomed forever. At least that is what the Hypercritical Gremlins used to try to tell her. They have been very quiet lately.

Now it is time to let Anty talk, although I do not know why that is a big thing. Anty always talks, and this is her blog anyway, but here we go:

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

skyebanner01

skyebyefancy

Until next week…

 

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,

skyebanner01

skyebyefancy

Until next week…

Typing With Wet Claws: This Is the New Year Edition

Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. I did not want my picture taken today, so I tried to hide under my mama’s bed, but Anty was too smart for me and caught me before I could. That is why I look grumpy in this picture.  My revenge, though, besides looking grumpy, was that the lighting was very very dim, so Anty had to use all of her photo editing skills (she does not have a lot of them yet, but enough to be dangerous) to make sure the photo showed an actual kitty, and not only the black square that showed in the preview on her phone. Then she had to send the photo from her phone to the computer, which took some time. By the time it arrived, I was in the living room, sitting very nicely in a sunbeam in the middle of the floor. I believe this means I have successfully catted today, and deserve treats for my trouble.

Speaking of trouble, there is more of that, but I am not allowed to talk about it until I have talked about what Anty has written so far this week. So be it. Anty started off the new year (actually, ended the old one, because her posts on this site run on Saturdays, and this Saturday was New Year’s Eve, so not the new year yet) at Buried Under Romance by talking about reading resolutions. My resolution is to make Anty get rid of the carpet in her office, so that I can come inside and sit right next to her while she is writing or reading. Humans, especially those who do not live in our apartment, probably have different ones. That post is here, and it looks like this:

bur060117

Anty also put a review on Goodreads, for the historical romance anthology, Christmas in America. That review is here, and it looks like this:

christmasinamericareview

This book had some surprises for Anty, besides finding new authors whose other works she would like to read. One of those surprises was a funny one. After Anty wrote her review, Goodreads asked her if she would like to recommend the book to any of her friends. Since Anty liked the book very much, she did want to recommend it, and the site made some suggestions. Here is one of them:

christmasinamericarecommendsskyeedit

Anty thought that was funny, because Miss Piper wrote part of that book, so I think it is safe to say she already knows about it. (Anty checked; Miss Piper does.) I did not have permission from the other readers to post their names, so I blacked those out. I hope that is okay. Anty is now reading another book of Miss Piper’s, The Lawyer’s Luck, because she liked the story anthology so much, that she had to check and see where the stories in that world started. Anty already has a lot of books on her to be read list, but she does not mind adding more. Reading really, really good books is one way for writers to keep their wells filled and stay excited about the genre in which they write.

So far this year, Anty has been doing well on the writing front. She is using her planner to keep to a schedule. If she sees the tasks she has for the day, and for the week, written down, she is more likely to make sure that she accomplishes them. That is very helpful when life gets changey. It is getting changey over here because the building where our apartment is will be changing owners soon. That means that, because Anty works from home, she is there during the day, and can let in the realtor humans and their clients. It also means that I do a lot of hiding under the beds, because I do not like strangers coming into my home. I kind of know Landlady, though (the human who owns the building now) and, sometimes, I will come out if she is there. She tells me I am a good kitty. I think Landlady is very observant.

One other thing Anty is doing to keep her creative well filled is to listen to a lot of musical theatre, because musical theater songs tell stories. When she finds a composer/lyricist she especially likes, then she tracks down as much of their work as she can find and watches different performances of it. Her most recent find is Drew Gasparini, who wrote a song, “Disaster,” that Anty has been listening to, a lot. I mean so much that I think I know all the words to it. She recently found a video where Mr. Gasparini gives some advice to songwriters, and Anty thinks it applies to other kinds of writers, too. She was going to put a quote in her blog, but did not know where to cut it, so she asked if I could show everybody the whole thing. If there are gentle readers, or human kittens in the room, the actual song has some language that is only for grownups, but the talking, which comes first, does not.

Sometimes, it can be scary for a writer to throw everything on the page and let it bleed, but it can also be tiring to hold back. It is an interesting process to learn how to push past that scariness, but if that is what the story demands, then that is what Anty wants to do. That is what Anty wants to put into her stories. Critique partners can help keep Anty on track with that. At least that is the plan. Tomorrow, Anty will talk with Miss Eryka, to focus on some ways she can make sure that is exactly what she does.

The stranger humans came while I was in the middle of writing this entry, so I hid under Anty and Uncle’s bed. Anty had to lure me out with treat, which was not really extra, because it was my treat time anyway. I am not sure if this means I need yet more treat to make up for that. Anyway, that is about it for this week. Until next time, I remain very truly yours,

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

 

 

Talking With Wet Nails

New title for video blog posts today . These will now be under the heading, “Talking With Wet Nails,” because it’s catchy, and that’s my best attempt for a title today. Still need to come up with an appropriate graphic, but that’s a problem for Future Anna.

Note that I am not actually doing my nails in this post, because that would be awkward, messy and probably boring. I did, however, stumble into the captions function, so we’ll see how that goes.

I’m hoping to make this a more frequent feature here, as part of my effort to stop being as quiet as I have been lately. This also means I only have to write-write one blog per week, as Skye still has Fridays. Innovative and labor saving. I like that.

 

 

TLDW (too long, didn’t watch) :

Play in Your Own Sandbox, Keep All the Toys?

Wednesday’s post on Wednesday – I’m on fire here. Okay, maybe a little cheat-y, doing another video blog, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

Many thanks to those who have asked about my From Fan Fiction to Fantastic Fiction and On Beyond Fanfic workshops. I love running those, and am working on an updated version I call Play in Your Own Sandbox, Keep All the Toys. In today’s video blog, I’ll take you through an introduction to the live version of my workshop, and will be making the handout available in the near future.

This goes along with my longstanding interest in authorial voice, which really does have a lot of similarities. Our voice is the sum total of everything we’ve done, seen, been, heard, tasted, experienced, heard about, enjoyed, not-so-enjoyed, etc. The common types and tropes that fire our imagination can be found in media that we already love, from music to TV and movies, books, computer games, and a whole lot more.

I know that all I have to hear is that a historical romance has even one scene in Bedlam or Newgate Prison, and I am there, baby. Shut up and take my money. This probably says something about me, but the journey of hero and/or heroine, from that cell in madhouse or prison, to reclaiming their own lives and seizing that happily ever after, gets me every time, and I will never get tired of it. Will I write my own stories including such? Whee doggies, yes. I do have some prison scenes in Orphans in the Storm, where I got to play with some of my favorite aspects of the above, and my heroine’s mother in Her Last First Kiss is in a madhouse when the story begins.

My love of TV shows such as Highlander, New AmsterdamMoonlightForever, and Sleepy Hollow,  all featuring extremely long-lived gentlemen struggling to find their place in the modern world, inspired me to try my first time travel. All I’ll say on that front is that I am still looking for the right angle on that one, but when I find it, watch out. I know Angus and Summer aren’t going to let me leave them idle for too long. Maybe I need to do some more research, hm? Hard task, I know.

What tropes, archetypes or situations will get your interest every time?

Monday’s Blog on Monday and Video Blabber

Hi, all. Monday again, and, this week, I am determined to stick to my ideal blogging schedule of Monday, Wendesday and Friday. Hopefully more, but at least those three. It does get easier when one can outsource one day of blogging to one’s pet. Definitely worth the extra treats that added service will cost, at least that’s been my experience.

Since today is a lot of stuff in a little time on my to do list, I’m going to leave the bulk of today’s post as a video blog. If there’s something you’d like to see in video, drop me a line in the comments or at annacbowling@gmail.com.

Today, I’m focusing on starting as I mean to go on for the week, which means I need to put in some solid work on Her Last First Kiss (you’ll get a tidbit on that book’s hero in the video) and read over the latest chapter from my critique partner, who is making some awesome progress on her current ms.

I will probably give myself a break to go talk to some ducks in the park later, but work comes first.

Thanks to those who asked about From Fan Fiction to Fantastic Fiction recently. Things are in the works there, so stay tuned. I really appreciate the interest, and if you can write fan fiction, you can totally write original fiction, though it is more than merely filing off serial numbers. You know you’re up for it, though, right? I believe in you.

Okay, I am in full on babble mode now, so will turn you over to the video portion of our show.

See you Wednesday, Liebchens.

Video Blog: What I’m Reading and Other Blather

Hi, all. Super busy week this week, which means I’m only getting to Monday’s post on Thursday. Could be worse. Still learning the new electronics, we’ve had a full house, and the city is redoing the sidewalks in front of our house as I write this. I found out that they were doing major things (HIMYM fans may salute with me here) which meant no leaving the house when I’d planned to hop down the block to the coffee house. Instead, I hopped into my office, and recorded this:

Still pretty basic with the video blogs, as I’m only learning the whole process, but it’s fun to blather on from time to time. We’ll see how that goes. What do you think of video blogs, dear readers? Love them? Hate them? Never watch them? Real Life Romance Hero is the one who convinced me to give it a go, so if I’m totally belly flopping here, blame him.

This week, I sold my first article to XOJane.com, which has me excited. Not romance related (though adult situations are referenced, ahem) but still an interesting experience, and one I hope to repeat. The submission package required a new author photo, with specific background requirements and bio (have I mentioned how much I hate bios?) I think the photo turned out okay. I vacillate between describing it as “thoughtful writer on a good hair day” and “Appalachian folk singer reminisces over her whiskey-soaked youth.” This whole picture thing takes practice. Videos, too.

Now that summer, my least favorite season, is winding down, and we are about to enter my beloved autumn, when the leaves put on a Technicolor show every day, the air smells amazing, everything is pumpkin flavored, and the days get cooler and darker, I’m looking forward to these changes. When my regular coffee house order slips from iced tea to hot, I’ll know we’ve turned the corner.

Her Last First Kiss continues to show me new things, some of which require the ripping out of previous things, but I think it’s going to be worth it. Sometimes, we think progress should be a straight line, like the monorail at an amusement park, where it’s more like a giant roller coaster with loop de loops and ups and downs and maybe a tunnel or water slide or two. Does this mean the book is going to be perfect? Nope, but it will be worth the journey.

It’s easy for a writer to get down on themselves after a laughably low royalty check or bad review, or realizing exactly how long it’s been since the last (or first) release, but dwelling on those things doesn’t help. Acknowledge the fact, do something different and move forward. Yes, you will fall on your face. Probably more than once. The thing is to get back up and keep going. Even if that means banging out some babble for a blog post when you don’t have the slightest idea what to write.

Hey, showing readers random stuff near my desk is still content, and it’s more than I would have had if I never opened the file. One step at a time, liebchens, that’s what it’s all about.