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

T-Rex Arms and Dinosaur Noises

So, I’m back in an A5 dot grid notebook for use as a reading tracker. I do love Goodreads, but I also know me, and I need to touch paper. while Melva and I are moving right along on the contemporary front(this fall, we hope to have two contemporaries to shop around) I am keenly feeling the lack of historical romance. Which is a problem.

I am woefully behind on reading and writing historical romance. By my GR challenge above, i can tell that I am, by my schedule, a whopping fourteen books behind on my 2022 reading goal, which is not okay. This has never happened before, and it is not going any farther. As I told my friend, M, during our weekly chat, when it comes to historical romance, both writing and reading right now, I feel like I am flailing with T-Rex arms and making dinosaur noises. Which very much describes my attempts at reading journal-ing lately. I have a Kindle full of historical romance, shelves full of delicious-looking books, and yet I….haven’t. Which definitely takes a toll on the writing.

I know one way to handle is it “maybe historical romance is over (for me.)” Which I know that it’s not. It’s calling me, both writing and reading wise, so I need to do some stuff about that. Especially about my own favorite flavor of historical romance; big, sweeping sagas with adventure and swash and buckle and stories that play out over years before a triumphant HEA. :happy sigh:

cover page for the month of August. A framed label reading "August 2022" sits atop a botanical printed shee tof scrapbook paper.
cover page, August 2022

Considering that i am highly stationery motivated, and/or visually oriented, going back to a reading tracker is the obvious step. I’m not sure if writing tracker will be in this same book or another. I am letting the whole planner and notebook situation work itself out organically, which is probably how the historical writing thing is going to work, including blabbering about it here. That may sound for a while like dinosaur noises that don’t make a lot of sense, but by looking at the books I’m reading and figuring out what sticks out about them for me, both positive and otherwise, ideas are bound to conceive..

two page spread with reading tracker on one side and bookshelf  image on the other
that’s a bookcase on the top of the second page.

I didn’t want to make the first month too ambitious, but I did have to make a chart to track how many pages I read per day. Going by tens this time. On the facing page, that will be a bookshelf image, where I will color in each individual book as I read it. I will probably go month by month on that, and then later move everything to a bookshelf for the whole year. At some point, I intend ot be making sense. Until then, ten pages a day is a lot better than zero

How’s your reading/writing going?

Anna

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: Introducing Christine Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Now that we are at the official unofficial start of the summer season, we hope to see more action from Mama Anna on this page. A good friend of hers once said that when she’s not okay, she goes all quiet. Fair enough, but she is doing okay right now, though she is working on finding the way blogging works best for her now. Mama Anna and summer are not best friends, but she’s got air flow, multiple fans, and lots of liquids. She also has me, and that’s the most important part.

this is Christine. The notebook, I mean. The kitty is me.

As you might expect, there is a lot of journaling involved in working things out, and part of that is trying out new ways of writing for herself, and even new formats of books in which she writes. Originally, Mama Anna had planned to use this Chic Sparrow traveler’s notebook to hold her mini Happy Planner, but the back cover of the planner and the back pocket of the cover do not agree on anything, so now it’s going to be what she calls a fidget book. She hasn’t put much of anything in it as of yet, though there are two lined and two dot grid inserts in there, to give her an idea of what she might like. She has started making her own coloring pages with stencils she already owns. She will probably write about books in the lined pages, and may make or buy some sort of calendar so that one of the inserts can be mostly functional.

I, of course, have been on the job, making sure Christine (the name came embossed on the front cover, so Mama Anna said that must be the notebook’s name; it was very thoughtful of her to tell her name righ tout of the gate) smells right, and has cat hair on it. Can you believe it came with no cat hair at all? I gues that’s because the previous owner did not have cats. Well, I fixed that. It has cat hair now. You’re welcome. Aunt Linda says I am not allowed to make pricky marks on it with my claws, but Mama Anna says that is part of having a cat (she’s right) but will not give me a lot of opportunities to make that happen.

Christine is going to need planner charms, dashboards, a pen loop, some pretty paper clips and probably some other stuff. Mama Anna isn’t sure yet exactly what. She’s going to figure that out as she goes, which is basically what she does with creating the framework of a story, so this is pretty much normal for her. There may be a reading journal in there, but it has to be Mama Anna’s way, because trying it other people’s way doesn’t work that great. Usually what works best is to just blabber, which she can also apply to her blogging here. At least that’s the direction I’m planning to nudge her in; I can do that with headbonks. I am super great at headbonks.

Okay, I forgot one thing. If anyone is wondering, Christine is a B6 size. You can get an idea for that on this page B6 is the green one. Mama Anna will be giving updates on how Christine progresses, so if you are into traveler’s notebooks or stationery in general, drop some recommendations in the comments about what kinds of inserts you like to use. Maybe large capacity pen cases, too. Especially when they have elastic loops to hold the pens in place. Oh, and pen loops that stick on to the notebook. She likes those.

Headbonks!

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

4/21/22

No catchy title this time, because there is literally nobody but me stopping me from playing Sims 4 24/7. This is one of those places where just because you can doesn’t mean that you should (and I hate using “you” like that, but “one” feels too formal, so will deal with it for the moment.) Moderation is the key here, because my first grade teacher really was onto something and as I did far, far better when I brought Barbie dolls for free play period, having a Sims save open, into which I can dip occasionally to let my brain cook the actual fiction when I’m not looking, actually does work.

Another thing that helps is having voices on in the background while I work. Lately, I have been listening to true crime on YouTube when not actually composing new pages, but it’s good for the admin/social media stuff. Am I retaining much of it? Nope. Am I paying attention? Ehhhh….occasionally? Lately, I have been picking by the voice of the narrator. Seems to be working. It’s the sound of the voice, not the words it is saying, similar to channels I listen to when going to sleep. Thought I hated when my mom used to tell me that once I got started doing a thing, I’d want to keep doing it, I now know she was right. Smart woman. She had it pegged super early on; guess first grade was a landmark.

Anyway, what I originally wanted to say was that writing fiction is a funny thing. One minute, I’m talking how romance novels were when I first discovered he genre, which leads to figuring out that my current historical hero had ADHD, though of course nobody knew that in 1784, which leads to blabbering a verbal sludge about the WIP, which then leads to The Thing that was holding the whole MS captive, and then I’m researching Catherine the Great (of Russia) and making a chart so that I can have a ready reference of how far and fast one can travel by coach.

I have also had words with Storm about blogging with regularity. We’d both like to do better with that. I am not entirely sure why I stopped taking pictures (and sharing them) and maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe what matters is picking the picture taking device and starting again.

A black, white, and orange calico cat lays on a red and black buffalo plaid blanket, looking directly at the camera with a guilt-inducing expression
“Pictures, Mama Anna. Now. Preferably of me.”

Cats are always appropriate. Please ignore her disgruntled expression. She’s usually much more chipper than that, and extremely invested in my writing. The more of it I finish, the more I can sell, and the more I sell, the more catnip I can buy. Isn’t that what’s most important? It’s all about the catnip. Oh, and butting on the big girl panties and doing scary things like making time for journaling and buddy-watching This is Us with friends who are similarly not okay with the Kate and Toby split. Like most things, it feels easier if I can talk about it. You have been warned.

An attractive young adult female Sim blows a kiss at the viewer.
This also applies to Sims

How’s it going where you are?

Anna

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

Typing With Wet Paws: Dresser Climbing 101 Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. It’s been a big week around here, and for a few reasons. First of all, I have been having the BEST time with Aunt Linda’s new mattress. It is something called Memory Foam, and it’s super fun to play on. It is a bit of a challenge because Aunt Linda is on vacation this week, and she picked the best place in the world to go: here, as in our home. It’s pretty great. The mattress also came with a big, long box, which I have thoroughly investigated. It is so long, as a matter of fact, that the humans have to store it upright until it goes to recycling, but rest assured, I have been all the way down to the end of it and back out and it was awesome. 10/10, would explore again.

Chilling on my cat tree

You’re probably wondering about the dresser climbing. I am getting to that. In doing so, I will have to talk about Mama Anna’s writing. She will probably like that. Cool. So, anyway, my house, aka big cardboard box, is next to Mama Anna’s desk, and in front of Mama Anna and Papa’s dresser. They keep people clothes in it (and catnip in the third drawer.) Well. For a while now I have been letting Mama Anna know that I would like some catnip, please, by scratching at the drawer where she keeps that catnip. She is usually pretty quick on the uptake.

Where she might be lagging a tiny tad is that I also have another agenda: I want to get to the top of the dresser. Mama Anna says that she and Papa keep things that are Not For Kitties up there, but I am not discouraged. A couple of nights ago, Mama Anna was playing Sims, and Papa was playing his game. I saw my chance. By the time she noticed what I was doing, I had all four paws (plus my tail) off the box (of my house)and was headed upward, reaching for the next drawer up.

Mama Anna told me “NO” and she was so loud that Papa and Aunt Linda came to see what I was doing. Pap was kind of proud of me, but he still didn’t want me to be on top of the dresser because of the Not For Kitties things. (they are things like medicine to help Papa stop smoking)

So flash forward a couple of days later, when Mama Anna has her weekly chat with Aunt Mary. One rthing you need to know about Aunt Mary (besides that she has excellent taste in kittycats and gives the best special mouse toy presents) is that she is very smart when it comes to historical research, as in the stuff that really did happen. She and Mama Anna talked for almost double their regular time this week, part of that being Mama Anna blabbering about one of her historical manuscripts to Aunt Mary, and then

Photo by Burak Kebapci on Pexels.com

Mama Anna was telling Aunt Mary that she was debating one of two ways to have a Thing happen in this particular book. Since it is a Thing in a time period Aunt Mary is familiar with, they had a lot to say about this. In the middle of it, Mama Anna stopped because IDEA. If Character left a Thing that was happening Right Then to go make sure Another Character was okay (she wasn’t) then it is obviously a Day Things Can Happen, so Character and Other Character can do a Thing, too. Aha. Then it was a bunch fo names and dates and family trees. I can’t make sense of much of it, but I know Mama Anna was really super happy about it, and she made a LOT of notes afterwards. Now Aunt Mary is her historical research consultant. Aunt Mary gets to name the occasional supporting character as thanks for her work.

It was also during this long chat that Aunt Mary snitched to Mama Anna when she saw my ears and paws come into frame, aka preparation for ascent on Mt. Dresser. So now I have another pair of eyes on me. No matter. They all have to sleep sometime. Where’s your favorite napping spot?

Headbonks!

Storm

Strange Connections

First of all, I may possibly have Irish blood. I think. My birth mother’s last name could be of English or Irish origin, so we can be fairly sure it’s some sort of British Isles or thereabouts in my bio-ancestry. This has very little to do with today’s blog, except for the fact that A) it’s a starting point for me to blabber, B) I remember being at the house of MJK, well, she was nine, like me, so it was her parents’ home. It was a Victorian house with three stories and a wraparound porch and a triple (or quadruple?) garage that used to be a stable. They still called it the barn. No horses, only cars and a lawnmower, I remember being disappointed about that, even though we were in the middle of a lovely town in Westchester County.

MJK and I went to CCD together (after school religious classes for Catholic kids in public school) The Catholic school was closer to the K family’s house than to mine, so there were times Mama MJK would pick us both up and my mom would come get me from there. Also, my mom and Mama MJK got along well, so they probably considered it convenient that their kids got along, too. As for MJK’s little brother, SK, eh, he was a couple years younger, an energetic lad. All of this comes to mind because I was there on March 17th that year, and we thought it was absolutely hysterical that the weather for the St. Patrick’s Day parade in NYC (I have a lot of initials in this post) did not fit with the season as we saw it. Snow. I remember seeing women holding some sort of banner, in shiny green leotards and I am going to guess pantyhose/nude tights.

We must have seen it on TV or in the newspaper, and I want to say it was the Big Thing for that afternoon. It’s funny the things that stay with us. Right now, I am reading The Woman Behind the Attic, by Andrew Neiderman (aka the VC Andrews ghostwrite. for the last few decades)

While I can’t say I am a fan of the ghostwritten books, the true Andrews canon has a special place in my heart. I remember it being passed around the halls of my school when the books first came out, and even though Foxworth Hall from the Dollenganger series (Jacobean mansion) or Whitefern, from My Sweet Audrina, probably have extremely little with the house I lived in when MJK and I went to CCD together, my brain insists on slotting rooms from that house into those stories. The attic ofr the Flowers in the Attic fame, will always first call to mind my father’s art studio which was also my playroom, and not an attic at all, but the window that looked out on the woods beyond somehow melded with the window on the cover of the book. Don’t ask me how this happens. I don’t make the rules.

For Whitefern, I will need to reread Audrina to remember what the house looked like, but the stairs, on which Important Things Happen will always be the L-shaped stairs from the second story of my childhood home (where the studio/playroom was.) I have no idea how my brain connected those things, as I was several years out of that house when I read those books, but it’s in there, and in there deep. like the memory f being in that kitchen on that day, and the sting of witch hazel on my scraped knee (not the same day, I don’t think, but that same room) or the fun memory games MJK’s dad would incorporate into her birthday parties. The staircase going up all three stories also inserted itself in my reading of Diana Gabaldon’s comments in her Outlander companion, about here being an hombre at the door.

Long story short, writer’s minds are messy places. Aladdin’s caves. There’s also the fact that one of my research rabbit holes is rebooted or spun-off TV shows and their lore. Who knows where that will end up? Wherever it is, I look forward to the journey.

How about you?

Anna

How did it get to be February already? I did not sign off on this. I also did not authorize the dearth of planner/journal decorative items that are wintry but not Christmassy. I love Christmas; it’s my favorite holiday, but I can’t for the life of me make myself use poinsettia and evergreen stickers on January spreads. Good thing it’s now February and I can break out the Valentine’s stuff for the next four weeks. February is too soon for the traditional spring florals. Those can come out near the end of March, though I like to go rain themed for April. Very specific theme, I know, but I did learn how to draw an umbrella for it, so that helps a good deal.

Anyway, it’s Thursday. I’m babbling. Even though it’s not spring yet, I am in strong spring cleaning mode. Since Housemate has a bunch of vacation time she has to use in March, we may use that to bust out some important items out of stuff jail. I’m talking furniture – my beloved secretary desk, a headboard Real Life Romance Hero and I inherited from Maman (Housemate’s mother,) and some things from Housemate’s storage as well. This will, in time, include my all-time favorite romance novels, my Bertrice Small collection first and foremost. I am very much looking forward to putting those back in their place.

Last week, I was able to add to my desk area (pictures to follow) a gorgeous end table from Maman, fiving me another surface next to my temporary desk, meaning I now have someplace to put not only my tea (very important) but reference materials, handwritten notes/drafts, etc, and keep things I love around me. Things for planning and journaling will probably end up in a different area than things for writing fiction, but it is all a work in progress.

This week, I had a wonderful conversation with Melva, and we are back on track with Queen of Hearts, to be followed by edits on Drama King. We also talked about some possible projects for the future, though we are keeping our focus on the stuff in front of us. This now brings me to time to get babck to historiccal romance, which can be…trickier.

Though I hadn’t wanted the first round edits for A Heart Most Errant to have a birthday, well,

Birthday cake covered in white frosting roses, with glittery gold candle in the shape of the numeral one.
Photo by Mohammad Danish on Pexels.com

Yeeeep. It happened. Not that I intend for it to get to the terrible twos, but some years do knock one for a loop. I do have to admit that I am feeling the lack of a local RWA chapter (our local chapter voted to dissolve, though we do have an informal FB group) and being in the same room as others of my kind. I love talking with other readers of historical romance, but the writing of it, well, that’s a different matter.

\Though I know every chapter of any group has its own identity, more often than not, the RWA chapters I have experienced have been very open. Plop self down next to Other Person, chat amiably, find out several minutes in that Other Person is Big Name Author and now you are a writerly version of work friends. There’s also the energy of being in a room full of people who love to write what I love to write, especially when I find a fellow historical romance writer, at which point

Two women, holding drinks and chatting happily
Photo by ELEVATE on Pexels.com

It starts with “what eras?” and goes on from there. Hopefully with an “I loved That Book You Wrote” on at least one side. (Though it be many years in the past, the thrill of hearing “I loved that article you wrote on A Certain Author” across a big ol’ meeting room the first time I introduced myself to a new chapter. If whoever is running the meeting has us go around and introduce ourselves and say what we write, that’s a bonus point I love to find out who writes what. Though there are always chances that a particular chapter will slant heavily towards a particular subgenre (contemporary, erotic, YA, etc) there’s usually a good variety, and one can usually find a kindred soul, or at least be put in touch with one if they do not happen to be in attendance at the moment. An “X, meet Y” email later, boom, connection.

It’ll all work out in time. Writers do tend to find writers (especially when they babble on the interwebs; historical romance writers; hit me up) and the most important part of writing is, well, writing. Butt in chair, pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, etc, etc, and so on until there is Book. Then do it again.

That’s about it for now, but hey, blog post written, so it counts for the week. How are things going on your end?

Anna