Typing With Stuffed Paws: the (Ex)terminator is Coming Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals! It is I, Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, freshly vacuumed and coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. The big news, of course, is that Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick welcomed their first co-written book baby, Chasing Prince Charming, into the world, in both print and electronic release. If you read the book and didn’t hate it, maybe leave a review or something. Writers like that. Also, obligatory cover photo, because release week.

Okay, so there’s that. Special update for this week at Buried Under Romance, but first we will drop the link for last week’s post, on buried treasure romance novels. That’s historical romance novels that are considered buried treasure, not that are about treasures that are buried.

So, the big news over there is that there will not be a regular Saturday Discussion post this week. That does not mean that there will be no Writer Chick. It means that you get Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick, talking about their book, all in one place. With an excerpt, and, for two lucky commenters, prizes. Want a shot at getting your very own free paperback of Chasing Prince Charming? Maybe you’d like to win a fancy notebook and some nifty pens? Stop by Buried Under Romance on Saturday, August 17th, and follow directions.

Speaking of directions, I will now direct you to Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge. Surprise, surprise, she actually read a book this week, so she is now four books ahead of schedule, with sixty-three books read out of her goal of ninety-five, which puts her at sixty-six percent of the way to her goal.

Blah blah writing blah blah, get to the exterminator part. Okay. So. the exterminator is coming. IDK when, but they were here today, gave the official bug sighting signal, and will let Writer Chick know, ASAP, when Bugnarok will occur. This means she will have a few things to do in preparation for that. Part of that is putting us stuffed friends, after a thorough vacuuming, in hazmat suits. IDK what that means, but it sounds cool. Then she has to make sure her books and art supplies are safe, and find somebody locally to plantsit Tudor, Lancaster, and Queen Boudicca. There’s also personal care items/medicines/foods to secure, and then, basically, this:

There will probably be a lot of cleaning after that, but after that, things should settle. It’s times like this Writer Chick is glad that she can tap out of all this for a while and read, or write, a good romance novel. More updates, on all fronts, as they come

Peace out,

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I Will Call Her “Spinebreaker”

Greatest hits picture for today’s header because we are burning daylight, this is Monday’s and Wednesday’s post, and there are a few things to cover. We are now less than one week away from the release of Chasing Prince Charming, my first contemporary romance, my first book written with longtime friend and critique partner, Melva Michaelian. We can’t say “someday” anymore. We can’t say “next year,” or “hopefuly” or even count the months or weeks, because that baby will be here Monday. Eep.

Houston, we have a website!

melvaandanna.com

In addition to the book baby, we are also proud to announce a website baby. Early days yet at melvaandanna.com, but we now have a website. Hop on by, follow us if you are so inclined, and watch us grow. Let us know what kind of content you’d like to see on an author website. Since the webmistress is me, there may be (aka will be) a learning curve, but this is the place where news about future books we write together, and the workshops we teach, in person or online, as well as other hopefully fun stuff in the very near future.

Melva and I are closing in on the home stretch of Drama King, the second book in the Love By The Book series, and I have, as of Monday, started an official notebook section for the third book, Queen of Hearts, so that will be next up for this partnership. After that? We’ve got a few ideas.

August Planner Post

One Book July is now past, and time is coming soon to start setting up my everyday carry (EDC) planners/notebooks/binders for autumn, which has a completely different vibe than spring and summer. This is where Spinebreaker comes into play.

When I first started this whole planner thing, I was pretty dedicated to the cahier size and pooh-pooh’d everything else, but then I started watching planner videos and joined FB groups and a ;whole new world opened. I did not have to be locked into One True Planner, forever and ever, eternity and beyond. That took some getting used to, the same as thinking I could only write one genre, or one way, yappity yap and all that.

Now? Well, now, I’m all about exploring. I had seen mentions of the B6 size in multiple groups, and in multiple videos, and then there was one, right where I get my groceries, in blush pink, and under eight dollars. Yeah. So, that happened. Meet Spinebreaker:

Hi, Spinebreaker!

Why Spinebreaker? I’m glad you asked. I don’t remember if it was in a Facebook group or a YouTube video where I first encountered this, but what I do remember is that the narrator, an artist, knew, in art school, who was going to do well in the class. On the first day, the professor passed out bound, blank sketchbooks. The nice kind. The narrator recounted how they stared at the perfect untouched purity of the sketchbook and how afraid they were that they were going to ruin it with their imperfect art. Other students immediately picked up the books, broke the spines, opened the book to several different pages, wrote their names in the front, and put marks on pages, be they first, last, or random, while the narrator was still staring at the blank perfection and dreading being the source of its ruin.

This resonated with me, a lot. I am very guilty of staring at pages, paper or electronic, fixed on the blankness and the preciousness of the unblemished page…but, as Pable Picasso said, all creation begins with destruction (of the blank page or canvas.) I am not a Picasso fan, myself, but “Picasso in a CafĂ©,” a song by one of my favorite composers, Brian Lowdermilk, is a favorite of mine (gentle readers who prefer not to hear strong language, take my word for it; otherwise, click the link) especially since I followed a series of videos he make, chronicling some big changes in his life and creativity, after a creative disappointment. He and his wife, Anna Levinger, who contributed the portion of the song with the strong language, took a gap year and traveled, exploring the world, as well as creativity, etc.

No gap years here, but learning to create again after a big shift, that I know. I know the feeling of the wandering in the wilderness, and the combination of strangeness and coming home, to come out of it in a different place than one went in; new genres, not instead of, but along with, expanding the sizes and purposes of binders and notebook covers I use. Mushing all of that with the story I wish I had written down so that I could attribute it properly, I like the idea of being a spinebreaker. That’s why, earlier this week, I made myself slip some inexpensive inserts into that pristine new B6 cover, and start swatching watercolors on the first few pages. There. Not blank anymore. Does that make it easier? For me, actually, yes.

Those blank pages are powerful. Sometimes, too much so. That’s why melvaandanna.com (all one word, all lowercase, tell your friends) is up in its tiny, imperfect, baby steps glory. We don’t serve the website. It serves us. That perspective may not be true for everybody, for us, this is just right.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: This Time, It’s Hooves Edition

Hi, everybody! My name is Bo Bison. You may have seen me in the corner of some of Anna’s deskscapes. That’s because I live on her desk. This week, I’m filling in for my good buddy, Sebastian. Sebastian is on a top-secret mission in the master bedroom, making sure Real Life Romance Hero gets some much-needed rest, so I’m filling in for today. Let’s get to it.

First, a little bit of housekeeping. There have been a few change around Stately Bowling Manor. The census shows a marked decrease in the flea population, but things are not flea-free quite yet. In unrelated news, Housemate has taken on a different work schedule, which means, that because Anna’s office is in the great room, which is also where Housemate does her stuff, there may be a change in the blogging schedule. Anna is looking at maybe Sunday/Tuesday/Friday, instead of Monday/Wednesday/Friday, but we will see the difference when theory becomes practice,

Speaking of which, let’s get right to that. Take a look at this badge of honor:

Plunder = Camp NaNo Win!

Even with a week off for real life related reasons, Anna still made it through fifty pages of Plunder, and shows no signs of slowing down. You know that feeling when you have to keep reading so you can find out what happened? That is where Anna is at this phase of the discovery draft, only with writing instead of reading. There will be regular updates here.

Moving along, Anna was at Buried Under Romance, as usual, this past Saturday night. Why does Anna think romance books may be some of the real-est “real books” of all? Click the caption below to find out, and leave a comment if you are so inclined.

Next, we come to Anna’s Goodreads Challenge. Currently, she is at sixty-six percent of her way to the goal of reading ninety-five books this year, with sixty-three books read. She will admit to a bit of a book hangover for When We Believed in Mermaids, by Barbara O’Neal, the newest addition to her favorites shelf. This book has a lifelong sist-mance, childhood traumas, adult healings, and a cuddly flamenco singer who makes one very level-headed ER doctor believe in love.

For those who have been asking if Chasing Prince Charming will be available in paperback, the answer is yes! It’s also eligible for Prime, so place those preorders, no matter your favored format. It’s now less than two weeks until release day, August twelfth. Both Anna and Melva are very excited to have Meg and Dominic meet all of you.

Before I sign off, I have one more achievement upon which to report. That is, that One Book July, the planner challenge to use only one planner in the month of July is now over. Anna considers it a worthwhile experiment, and plans to tell you all about it, and her plans for the turnover of summer planners to autumnal ones on her next blog. There will be glitter, color theory, and the making of inserts from scratch.

Welp, that looks like everything that wax on my list. Until we meet again, I wish you the happiest of days, the best of friends, and a TBR pile that never runs out. That’s how this buffalo roams.

B Minus Fourteen

B, in this case is for book, because the book in question is, of course, Chasing Prince Charming. My math may be off, because I am me, but it’s two weeks out, and stuff is getting real. The hardcopies Melva ordered have arrived (at her place; I have not seen them yet, but I am sure they are gorgeous, and I may squeal and/or cry, when I do.) We are getting ready for our first author visit, at Buried Under Romance, which will go live on release day, and, at some point, it is going to hit home that it’s really happening and the dry spell is over.

As I may have mentioned before, I have anxiety and depression, and both have been tickled by domestic tornadoes this past week, which meant that something had to give, and that something, in this case, happened to be my Camp NaNo work, and I am now kind of squidgy about visiting the site to update my count, when I do have one (after I post this blog, I am off to play with the pirates) but I am going to do that. That’s part of the trick, if there is one, to writing through anxiety and depression.

What works for me is to show up, do the work that I can do, when I can do it. When I look into the well and find it empty, then it is time to focus on filling, once more. This is where planning is a huge help. When I say planning, I don’t mean the bare bones of an agenda or schedule, but hunkering down with pen and paper, optional variety of art supplies, and putting what’s in my head on the page. For me, that helps figure out where the emptiness is, and that’s the first, and often biggest, step in figuring out how to fill it. Though I do this solo, I do think it has something to do with being an extrovert (though introverts and ambiverts can certainly do the same thing, and probably do) because I don’t see this process so much as “journaling” but more “talking on paper.”

Do that for a while, and things tend to fade into focus. That’s what happened today. This is a blog entry because my agenda does say blog entry, and, after I get my Plunder pages done, I get to mess with art supplies, and listen to an audiobook. Lisa Schmidt-Rigby at Buried Under Romance showed me how to turn any book into an audiobook, thanks to text to speech technology, so that has me excited. I’m okay with the robot voice. My brain translates into narrative and character voices anyway, so it’s not even a problem.

Fourteen days doesn’t seem like a lot, sometimes, and then, other times, it feels like forever. It will be the same amount of time, no matter what I do, so that’s one thing off my plate. The passage of time is not my responsibility. I like that. It’s a relief. If I pound keys and write my way through the ink of a dozen pens, between now and August 12th, or if I spend the time contemplating my own toenails, August 12th is the date Meg and Dominic get released on the world. The story Melva and I conceived at that NECRWA conference, that seems both yesterday and foreverago, will go forth into cyberspace and TBR shelves, and people will read that story, some of whom will never speak a word about it, but I still like to think it will be a pleasant experience.

Besides that, I am staring down the finish line for Plunder at Camp NaNo, and have notes to setup a binder for this trilogy, with sections for Abandon and Treasure, and see how these fictional kiddos grow. I am querying my other historicals that are on deck. Melva and I are following Jack and Kelly into the final acts of Drama King, and prepping the soil, sowing the seeds of what will, one day, be Queen of Hearts. All in all, I have to call that good.

Typing With Wet Paws: Writer Chick Is Still Not at Nationals Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. I’m hanging out today with my buddy, Stripey Guy. I am also stripey, and also a guy, but you know me and names. Anyway, the title of this week’s blog entry should tell you the big thing around here. Writer Chick is still not at RWA Nationals, and she is still kind of salty about it. I am attempting to ramp that down a little by recreating some of the atmosphere. Mainly that I block her way to the bathroom, but she does seem to like it when anonymous entities put books on her chairs.

Do I have to do this at every meal?

At least she hasn’t been wearing her name badge from previous conferences, around the house. Yet. It’s important, that “yet.” The weekend is young.

On the domestic front, Writer Chick reports that the grossest thing she has found in her all out war on fleakind, is finding shed flea skins/exoskeletons. Ew. In. One. Of. Her. Notebooks. One of the fancy ones, with special paper. Yeah. It’s personal now.

Writer Chick’s internal reaction

She will not rest until there is total destruction. Of the fleas, that is, not any property, especially property she does not personally own. Everything and everybody who is not a flea is safe. That should be encouraging to those of you who are not fleas. For those of you who are, you are doomed. Consider this formal notice.

With the flea stuff and a couple of other domestic tornadoes, Writer Chick took a breather from Camp NaNo work this week, but, since she is only less than ten pages away from her goal, she’s not that bothered by it. She can make it to goal, easy. She’ll have the house to herself for a chunk of the weekend, so I would not be at all surprised if she used some of that time to hang with her imaginary pirate friends.

No shocker that Writer Chick was over at Buried Under Romance on Saturday, but there is big scandal in Romancelandia, over certain casting decisions in the upcoming Netflix series based on Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series of Regency-era historical romance. There’s kind of two posts in one, this time, because some mysterious person named Lady B (spoiler: it’s Writer Chick) piles on the hyperbole (I’m assuming; I don’t actually read these things; cuts into my naptime.) Hit the link in the caption above if you’d like to read it, and comments are always welcome.

Checking in on the Goodreads challenge, Writer Chick is eight books ahead this week, with sixty-one books read out of ninety-five, and that puts her sixty-four percent of the way to her goal. She has taken advantage of the three month free trial of Kindle Unlimited, and one of the people at Buried Under Romance clued her in on how to turn any e-book into an audiobook. Yeah, that’s a thing, and no, it is not by reading it aloud, herself. Not that she hasn’t tried that, mind you, but it’s a small apartment, and people like to sleep. Note I said people, not Writer Chick. Yeah.

So what is Writer Chick doing? Mostly, she’s writing. That’s a good thing. She is particularly fond of the part of Drama King she and Other Writer Chick are batting around, which lights a fire under her to keep going on the historicals. When not writing, or plotting flea destruction, she is probably doing stuff with her traveler’s notebooks. Spending time with those usually puts her in a good place, so we try to encourage that.

Probably about time for me to slip another book on her chair. Maybe I’ll toss in a pen or some sticky notes. I’m feeling generous.

Peace out,

Not At RWA Nationals (Again)

Welp, it’s that time of year again. July. Middle of summer. The lull between heat waves. It’s also the time for Extroverted Romance Writer Christmas, aka RWA Nationals. Several of my fellow romance writer friends post on social media about shopping for clothes and shoes, asking opinions on makeup or hair, what to pack, who can meet up where, and whether friends who are in the city (I’m in NY state: we have one City and one Island) but not going to the conference, or are going to the public parts of the conference, can meet up for extracurricular activities.

All of that stuff sounds wonderful to me, especially since real life stuff has kept me from the last two NECRWA regional conferences (CT Fiction Fest, this past September, almost a year ago now was a lifesaver) and the fact that this year’s conference is held in my home state of NY does give an extra pinch. It moves around from year to year, often in sunny locations, which are not great for me, as I am heat and sun sensitive, and have had full-on heat stroke in the past, so I have to be extra-careful in choosing summer activities. This could also be a plus, because staying in the conference hotel the whole darned weekend is entirely doable and, for me, the norm.

Spending a weekend, in this case a long weekend, locked in a hotel with a few hundred people who love the books that I love, who love writing the books that I love to write, who know what it’s like to have the voices in our heads translate into words on a page, so we can share the adventures of our imaginary friends, that’s pretty much my idea of the best vacation ever. Not that conferences, for the working writer, are a vacation, because it’s most assuredly work, attending workshops (or giving them) and discussions and networking in hallways, elevators, and hotel rooms, hotel bars, hotel lobbies, and the ever-popular, ever-crowded public hotel rest rooms.

This year, especially, it would have been wonderful to go. Melva and I have a new book, our first together, Chasing Prince Charming, coming out, in less than three weeks. Fewer than three weeks? See, there’s another reason I need to socialize with other writers. They help me do English gooder. I have one historical novella out in the querying process, and two full length historical romances that are getting ready to make the rounds again. A conference is a place where there are tons of other writers who have been in the same or similar positions, and talk stuff out with them. For the extroverted writer, talking things out is absolutely crucial. Sometimes, I don’t know what I’m thinking until I can talk about it. That’s part of the process.

So, what am I doing instead? I wish I could say we are not still fighting the battle of the bugs, but we are. Not at the same intensity as it once was. The few bugs that we see are slow moving and far fewer than earlier generations, so we are hopefully moving in the right direction. There are the normal domestic tornadoes, but manageable ones, and keeping an eye on the aforementioned social media posts from friends who are in attendance, is, in its own way, the next best thing to being there.

What can’t be experienced secondhand, though, is the connections that are only made at conferences. Melva’s and my writing partnership was born at a conference, because breakfast was late. While we waited for the doors to open, we commented to each other what a diverse lot of writers were in attendance. a writer of YA fantasy might be chatting with a writer of m/m contemporary romance, who is sitting next to a writer of erotic historicals, who is rooming with a writer who has been writing category inspirationals for literally decades, who is sitting next to a wide-eyed first-time attendee, who is almost done with the first draft of their first book. They think. How do they find a critique partner and what’s a beta reader, and OMG, that’s Big Name Writer over there.

It’s going around the table, asking what everybody’s favorite book is, answering with your own all time number one, only to be met with a shriek of joy from the total stranger across the table, who of course has to sit next to you now that you have the same favorite book, and, years later, is now a friend. It’s having the opportunity of sitting next to someone who whips out their electronic device to prove that they are actually reading one of your books right the heck now, and you try to be cool because it’s your first time seeing your book on someone else’s device.

It’s going home with an extra suitcase full of swag (Hannah Howell’s iconic purple pens are Pentel RSVP, now one of my favorite ballpoints, for those who hoard her swag pens and wish they came in more colors; they do.) and oh so many books. Some of them were free, right there on plate or chair at every meal, given away during a workshop, or as a door prize, some of them purchased at the literary signing, and personally autographed by an author who is, indeed, a lovely person. There may or may not, depending on one’s luck (I think I once posted about The Year Anna Won Everything, but part of it does happen to Meg, in Chasing Prince Charming) be some sort of gift basket (or other receptacle) to wrangle into the car, or onto some other form of transportation. Some people may be mailing things home.

When I lived in the old country, I Had a post-conference routine. I would lug my bags upstairs, then trot on down the street, to buy myself dinner, with an unsweetened iced tea, and write in my notebook about how I felt about the entire experience (of the conference, not dinner.) Coming back from a conference, I am full of energy, and buzzing, and it’s hard to come back to the everyday routine of living. Now that I’m here, a new ritual will emerge, once I get back in the conference swing. Most of all, a conference, and even writing about a conference, makes me want to write. It reminds me not only that I love to write romance, but why, and shows me ways -there are always ways- in which I might do that even better. Thankfully, when it comes to conferences, there are a lot of them, so if I’m not at this one, maybe next year.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Hot and Humid Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, once again, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. If I look somewhat disgruntled in this week’s picture, it’s because the heat index for tomorrow is going to be above one hundred. That means very, very hot, which is not at all what anybody here wants. Except the fleas. They probably like it, but joke’s on them, because the humans voted, and that piece of furniture where they have been hiding out has been unanimously voted as toast. This will mean A) buh-bye to a large number of the tiny vampires, and B) a new couch in our future. Hopefully one that complements my handsome orange stuffedness.

Chasing Prince Charming

It is now less than one month until the release of Writer Chick’s first book with Other Writer Chick, Chasing Prince Charming. They are both very excited about this, and, this morning, Writer Chick talked to a different human, about her and Other Chick doing their first promotional online appearance as an author team, which means that Writer Chick probably wants to get on the ball with that whole website thing. Watch this space for details as they come.

Buried Under Romance 2.0

The human Writer Chick talked to today is from this blog. We shall refer to her as BUR Chick. Writer Chick is excited about the upcoming changes, because A) having a hand in shaping an online romance community is something she’s always wanted to do, and B) she gets to set up a new notebook and calendar that is only for Buried Under Romance doings. She will probably share pictures of that in a future post, but, for now, suffice it to say that good things are coming. For one thing, Buried Under Romance has a birthday. Mark your calendars, because there is going to be a birthday party, and the readers get the presents. September 13th, save the date.

Also, Writer Chick wrote a thing over there. What book has been on Writer Chick’s TBR list for the longest? Is she going to get to it anytime soon? Follow the link below to find out the answers, and the question a reader left, that gave Writer Chick the idea for another Saturday Discussion post yet to come.

Goodreads Challenge

Writer Chick is kicking tush on this one, with sixty books read out of her goal of ninety-five. This puts her at sixty-three percent of the way to a win, and a whopping nine books ahead of schedule. This is a personal best, as far as I can tell (which is not far in this heat; I am sacked out in front of the fan) and is that a historical romance from her “really should get around to reading that” list I spy as the most recent entry? I do believe it is.

Plunder

Writer Chick says yesterday was a good writing day for Plunder, her project for this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Her goal for this camp is fifty pages, and she is already on forty-four, which is pretty good progress. She says Cornelis and Lydia are chatty, which is a good thing. Writer Chick is writing their story in longhand first, in a notebook that has only this story in it. So far, this is going pretty well. Writer Chick is writing on one side of the paper only, using the other side for notes on things she has to look up or work out, later. Right now, she is plunging ahead and telling the story until it is told.

Other Stuff

Writer Chick’s downstairs neighbor has a great fondness for 1970s soul music, and sharing said music with the world at large. Writer Chick is not complaining; the guy has good taste, and knocks it off at a reasonable hour. As neighbors go, that’s pretty decent, as opposed to Writer Chick’s last downstairs neighbors who were, no lie, a step dance troupe. Anyway, Writer Chick will not have a soul soundtrack tomorrow, because she will be avoiding the heat by taking her show on the road, and stick to air conditioned spaces, where she can read, write, and art journal, with bottomless cold beverages. That may be one of her smarter moves. Right after making me Cat Regent, of course.

Peace out,

Reverse Hibernation (aka My Summer Happy Place)

I am not a summer person. Not even close. Not even a little. I am sun and heat-sensitive, so, on weeks like this, when all of the daytime temperatures are in the nineties, a form of summer hibernation makes a whole lot of sense. Reverse hibernation, as I call it, works very well with the nocturnal phase of summer, when I am more active at night, sleepier in the daytime, which actually is a good thing, because summer usually sees me sadder, less energetic, and all-around-itchy.

Yesterday, I found my happy place, at least where writing during the summer is concerned. My worktable, once my dining room table, faces the living room window, open now, with a view of my houseplants, trees outside, and my beloved notebooks, pens, and a big jar of washi (decorative tape) in shades of pink. There will be a cool drink at my left hand, possibly a salty snack at my right, and a cookbook holder (vintage) holds my tablet. The box fan whirs, cool air on my bare legs. The whir of the fan may be the only sound, as I put pen to paper, or I may have my tablet tuned to music, podcast, or ambient sounds. My favorites in that department tend to be nature sounds, or atmospheric, like “coffee house on a rainy day,” with my all time favorite being a combination of rain, fireplace, and purring cat. One day, I hope that will be the actual sounds in my actual environment, but, for now, that reasonable facsimile will do.

Back to yesterday. I had a scene due for Drama King, and my Camp NaNo work to do, blog entry shoved off until today, because fiction has to come first, and I didn’t so much think about this new sort of work environment; it happened, all on its own. I opened my Drama King notebook, no need for headphones, as I had the apartment to myself, and off I went, the scene spilling out onto the page. After that, I didn’t want to go right back to the computer, and my Alphasmart was right there, so, once again, the bloop effect comes into play.

The writing flowed, the transcription flowed, and the touch of a button moved the transcribed pages from Alphasmart to word processing program. From there, it was a quick spellcheck, a change of formatting, and, once again, bloop, over to Melva, for her approval, in more than enough time for our weekly chat.

This is not a magic switch, by any means, but there is something special about having a creative space that is mine, where writing can be not in the same place where I watch You Tube and answer emails. It’s writing, not typing (sorry, Dad) and, for me, that makes a difference. This feels natural. This feels right. I can get to the end of a writing day, feeling satisfied instead of drained, and I look forward to settling in for the next session, pen to paper first

This kind of thing is organic for me. I have to splash around in the shallows until I start swimming, and then, after that, its’ all potatoes. (Family term, meaning “everything will be easier after X.”) I get to the end of my list, and then it’s time to take a break, most likely to watch aforementioned You Tube videos, mostly about traveler’s notebooks and/or bullet journaling. Sometimes I watch Book Tube videos, which makes me think about how fun it is to make video blogs, and that may happen, but, for now, it’s fiction first. After that? A long summer’s nap sounds lovely.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Midsummer Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, coming at you with all the stuff for the week that was. If you read Writer Chick’s posts, and not only mine, then you may have learned that the answer to the burning question, “Will Chasing Prince Charming come out in print?” is “yes.” Preorder for the print edition is not yet up, but Amazon US is showing the “show other editions” or whatever tag, so that may be coming soon. Watch this space for updates.

Since we are in high summer over here, and still fighting the battle of the bugs (Writer Chick sometimes mumbles something about putting the bugs on the lease, giving them the keys, and heading out to start a new life. She would of course bring me, so I am fine either way.)

Bit of a technical difficulty here, with the site crashing and eating a bunch of this post, but that is not my problem, so I’ll pick up where I was going to pick up anyway. As usual, Writer Chick was at Buried Under Romance this past Saturday, and this time, she talked about the particular subgenre of Americana romance. I have no idea what that is, but she probably covers it in the post.

Moving on to Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge for this year, we see that she is a freaking reading machine, now eight books ahead of schedule. That is fifty-eight books read already, out of her goal of ninety-five. That is sixty-one percent of the way to the finish line, and we are only fifty percent of the way through the year. She is looking to beef up her historical romance numbers, so if you know of any Writer Chick-flavored historical romance audiobooks, drop recommendations in the comments. Audiobooks are a huge part of the surge in Writer Chick’s reading stats, because she can experience a whole story while doing other things, which she considers pretty cool.

Camp NaNo ho!


Writer Chick is clipping right along (ship joke, for those who caught it) with Plunder, with about thirty-five pages written out of a goal of fifty. This is not the whole story, of course, but it’s a good start on the discovery phase, and she will most definitely keep going after Camp NaNo is over. She is kind of antsy (bug humor unintended, but we’ll keep it) about not being able to update every day, which is one of her big concerns about the regular NaNo, as well as having to count words instead of pages. This way, she does get antsy, but it’s not anxiety-provoking, so she’s going to still call that good. The characters are talking to her and letting her follow them around, and that’s what matters most., so Writer Chick is happy about that.

Besides all of the above, work continues on Drama King, and Her Last First Kiss, so, all in all, fleas aside, Writer Chick is going to call this week a good one. As for me, I got plenty of sunbeam, so I’m good, and isn’t that what’s really important here?

Peace out,

Chasing Prince Charming Update and Plunder Progress

Today is hot and gross and sticky. I did not sleep. Real Life Romance Hero slept some, and he, Housemate, and I are collectively choreographing an intricate errand ballet that involves the big washers at the laundromat (again, sigh) flea bombs numbers four and five, the grocery store, possible library run, and other fun doings that come from a household with three adults and one car. It will all work out, most everything will be air conditioned, and since I write my first drafts in longhand, I can write anywhere. When I hit a wall, I have a Kindle Fire and am trying out Kindle Unlimited, because of reasons, so bring it on.

Chasing Prince Charming update

Chasing Prince Charming update first, as we are now only one month and two days away from unleashing Meg and Dominic upon the world. Thanks to everyone who has preordered so far, and,. for those who have been asking whether there will be a print edition available, it looks like the answer is yes. Melva and I are super-duper-pooper-scooper excited over this, and we will be sure to share when the print edition is available for preorder. I am watching Amazon like a hawk. If the physical copy looks half as good as Ginny Frost‘s The Bar Scene, I will be absolutely thrilled. Also probably carrying a physical copy with me so I can show it to random strangers…er, readers. I meant readers.

Plunder Progress

This story, and this year’s Camp NaNo, continue to surprise me. According to my progress on the site, I am either near or just over the seventy=five percent mark of my goal, and it’s really more like grabbing some popcorn and watching the movie in my head instead of “writing” the story, which is not at all a complaint. I show up, the characters do, too, and, so far, it is working out. I would not call this “pantsing” (who wants to wear pants in July in New York?) but more along the lines of “flying into the mist,” in the spirit of the late, great Jo Beverley.

Never mind that, so far, I have important secondary characters named “Confidante,” and “Nun,” who have not yet shown their faces or told me a single thing about themselves, other than what role they play in Cornelis and Lydia’s story. Right now, I don’t need to know anything more than that. I am very much aware that using a pirate haven as a large part of my book’s setting, means that I have an extremely good opportunity to have a diverse supporting cast. Those pirates picked up people everywhere, and dropped them off everywhere, as well. Some of those people got together and created more people, when the original two people would never have met otherwise, because they would have lived out their lives on separate continents, and, boy howdy, if that’s not catnip for a romance writer, I do not know what more I can tell you on that topic.

The way I figure it, these people who inhabit my fictional world, from nuns to pirates (so far, I have both) will tell me who they are, when and how they are ready, and I do not need to worry about that kind of thing. (Part of me wants to protest that these imaginary friends do not know how anxiety works, but I think, probably, that some of them do.) All I need to do is keep showing up, keep following Cornelis and Lydia around, keep making notes on the left hand (my left) page and then remembering to follow through on those notes, because they are probably going to affect the direction the next phase of the story takes.

So far, I do not have a Spotify playlist, or a private Pinterest board, for Plunder, and I am surprised that I do not miss either one. Maybe those, too, will present themselves in tine, but, at the moment, they are not needed. My people have faces of their own when they come to me, for the most part, even if they, like Nun and Confidante, hide them for a while, until they trust me enough to let me see. I am, okay with that. Is this the way every new book is going to work? Probably not. Maybe not even every book in this trilogy, and I am okay with that, too. Bit by bit, as I focus on book one, bits and pieces I did not have of book two, arrange themselves in place, and even the foundations of book three are taking shape.

Don’t ask me if this means I have anything yo say about writing linked books from the outset, or over-arcing plot…things. As we said, flying into the mist here, and happy to go that way until I get Lydia and Cornelis to their form of HEA for this book. They’ll clear another milestone at the end of their daughter, Tamsen’s, book, but that’s a way off yet. For now, it’s me and lined notebook paper, and dark blue ink, and whatever those two crazy kids give me for the given day. They know where we’re headed, and that’s good enough for me.