If The Ears are on, I’m Working

It’s funny, the things we remember sometimes. This morning, when I set aside time to fully plan out my week (I hear the voice of an aunt in my head: “I don’t mind clutter, but I can’t stand chaos.” I may well be turning into my aunts, which is fine, because they were all awesome.) my brain informed me that the first time I knew (American) football was a fall sport was on my first day of maybe second or third grade, when a fall themed bulletin board included football imagery.

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The reason my brain thought I might like to know this was probably because I had laid down some autumn leaves scrapbook paper, because having an image on the page anchors my attention, making the actual planning a lot easier. Insomnia has been raging this past week, meaning that I do have some ground to recover, and planning is the way I figure out how that happens. Planning is also great for focusing on something that is creative but not storytelling creative, which gives that part of my brain some room to do its own thing without me in the way.

There’s also the fact that I can see my week laid out, mark the family days (two per week) that I will have a full house (not the tv show) so those are very unlikely to have writing time unless I leave the house. This is one reason I look forward to having a dedicated office, with a door I can close, in our next apartment, but we will be here for a while. Not at all complaining about that. I will make do with cat ear headphones. If the ears are on, leave me alone. This actually works because if eyes are on me, then I know I have to actually produce something.

For those who may be wondering, this post has nothing at all to do with football. I neither watch nor play, so it doesn’t affect me in any way I can relate. Why did it show up on my mental feed, then? I am not sure. Maybe because I am training myself to get back into writer mode, after being in survivor mode for so long. There is executive dysfunction, which is basically “I need to do the thing. I want to do the thing. I know how to do the thing. I have the stuff I need to do the thing. It is right over there. I should do the thing,” and then….not doing the thing. Gets annoying after a while, by which I mean immediately, and every time.

The only way through this kind of executive dysfunction with writing is to actually do the writing. Which means writing bad pages. Knowing that I am writing bad pages. Write bad pages until I write good pages. Lather, rinse, repeat. Feels like I have been doing that a lot lately. Probably boring and/or annoying people, because geez, get on with it, woman. Not always that easy, but there is indeed a path through. Insert the maxim about not comparing someone else’s chapter thirty to one’s own chapter five. Even if chapter five seems really long. It happens.

The point of al of this? Eh. An item off my list. Seeing things on a list, especially a visually appealing list, makes the Big Scary Task look and feel a lot more palatable. So. It’s here. So am I. I call that a win. Planner open at the ready, now off to Google Docs and some time with my imaginary friends.

How does your week look?

Anna

The Importance of Stationery Nesting

Note: That is “stationery” nesting, as in nesting with stationery, not creating a nest that remains in one place, though that is probably a good idea, especially if young are involved.

Somewhere in our three room apartment, I have three, maybe four packs of my favorite discbound graph paper. There are not a lot of places this stuff could hide, but after a day of seriously whipping my writing area into shape (including but not limited to planner related things) I cannot find even one pack. This probably means that I put it where I thought it would be a logical place when I was tired or overwhelmed and a very poor judge of such matters.

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Since I am the only one who touches my planner/journal supplies and indeed the only one who goes into my writing area, the list of possible culprits is extremely small. Basically, me, aka I can only blame myself for this development. :looks at self reprovingly: I have no doubt that I will find them in the process of “putting like with like,” as my mother used to phrase it. I hated that term when I was a kid, but as we often find out when we have to start doing my own adulting, Mom was on to something. She would probably be dumbfounded that organizing and planning is one of my passions. Seriously, I have been used as a pole in a scale designed to measure how much someone likes planners/stationery, “on a scale of ‘hate it,’ to ‘Anna,’ how much do you like planning/stationery?” Probably on more than one occasion, but I witnessed the one,

As a dear once upon a time writing group facilitator once said, “the process begets the product,” and I have found that she was also right. In her case, that meant keeping the pen on the paper for the entire span of our writing sprints, but in this case, it means that I remembered where I put an important item I needed while repurposing a languishing notebook into something I actually will use, and rotating out seasonal things that do not jibe with this season. It meant that while I was making the bed, I wondered what would happen if I pre-cut the printable stickers I love, using my slicer, rather than cutting them out one at a time, fussy cutting with small scissors.

I have repurposed my Big Pink traveler’s notebook to focus on some mindful creativity exercises, as a composer I admire terms them. That means doing some hard work regarding what makes me tick as a creator. My pink A5 six ring binder is similarly now for keeping lists of my favorite authors, tropes, settings, etc. This will serve as a handy “hey, you like this stuff; maybe put some of that in there” reference for when I need such a reminder. Please note that is “when,” not “if,” because it will definitely happen. I have known myself for quite a while now, and I may have noticed a few patterns.

I am very happy to be at this stage because it means I am getting ready to Do Business with the writing stuff, and that feels frankly amazing after the last few years. Not that anybody waved a magic wand, but more a series of progressions and setbacks and a lot of little things that all lined up to get me to this place. I have even been thinking about NaNo. If I do go through with it, I will be a rebel (no surprise) but even if I don’t sign up officially, I love the idea of testing how much I can do this time around.

How are you nesting this season?

Scattered Monday Thoughts (but the writing is going well)

Heh. This is the funny kind of thing that happens when the writing is going well and one actually takes the time to do the week’s planning all at once. By “funny” I mean “completely forgets that this is Monday and “write blog” was right there on the top of the list. I was doing well on the rest of it, though, so a quick blabbery post and I will be back at it.

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The “it,” of course, being the writing of actual fiction, which is going in an actually-not-awful direction. This sort of thing does seem to be easier since I have been putting some time and attention to some specific-for-writers journaling thingamaboodles, which I will probably talk more about later. The weather is cool and rainy today. I am wearing real shirts and sweatshirt, but pajama bottoms, and am settled at my desk, after a morning spread out in the soft office (aka on the bed) with planner stuff and some of the YouTube stuff I’ve been meaning to listen to while I do it, feline companion comfortably settled within petting range.

I have the house to myself today. Well, technically, for about twenty to sixty more minutes as of this writing, which is when one or more family members will return. It is true what they say about home being the place that, when you have to go there, they have to let you in. I’m not too bothered by this because A) I love everybody who lives with me, and B) we already have dinner covered, meaning I do not have to cook. I will probably still be the one doing dishes, though, but I don’t mind that. Especially since we have a new set of lovely, grown-up dishes, meaning the stuff we hauled around with us for a year can go into storage and only come out for potlucks and picnics and that sort of thing.

Writing feels good today. Stopping when family arrives also feels good, because I’ve put in a decent day’s work. That feels well, good would be too bland of a word, so I will say me-ish instead. I do feel as though I am getting closer to myself, which is a rather nice sort of feeling to have, especially when my purpose here is to draw on that me-ness to make up stories and blog posts and other related ventures.

That’s probably enough free form babbling for today, especially because I want to get the rest of a scene transcribed before the evening (or prevening, as Sheldon Cooper would call it) settles in and attention turns to family members and filling the creative well. As of late, that has involved a lot of music (surprisingly heavy on the Glee covers, and no, I do not know why) and my new old faithful, listening to somebody summarize horror movies or games that I have no intention of seeing/playing, while playing a very normal suburban version of Sims 4.

trust me, in the background, a mellifluous voice is describing something horrible.

How is your week going so far?

Anniversaries (not the romantic kind) and Other Stories

Yesterday was my and my friend Mary’s 20th friendiversary. It was four days after 9/11. We weren’t sure if the event where we would meet in person for the first time, an American Revolutionary War reenactment, was still happening. It was. I brought Housemate, she brought her hubby and then six-year-old son, who is now a firefighter and a fiancĂ©. It’s been that long. Right away, I knew that this was found family for life. I am glad to see that I was right. Real Life Romance Hero was working that day, but when he was able to meet them in person, he blended in seamlessly. To say we have been through a lot together is an understatement.

Mary and I had our weekly everything and nothing talk. I cannot say how much good one of those chats with a good friend can do. Thankfully, I have a lot of such friends. I know I have been remiss in staying in contact of late, but it’s been, well, a lot in the last couple of years. Things are getting better now. We are coming up on another important anniversary, that of moving into our current home. We are already renewed for another year. It’s time to let out the breath we didn’t know we’d been holding (phrase used ironically) and relax.

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That means reading. That means writing. That means having my special things around me; gargoyle pencil holder, CORW awards, Elaine Duillo print that I need to reframe, and my and Melva’s first book cover together, that needs framing itself. My secretary desk, with all of its cubbyholes, my favorite classic historical romance novels in the bookcase my father built from scratch when I was a baby. It means reading the first paperback I bought in two years because it’s safe to do so. It means Walking through the park and looking for waterfowl, always my favorite neighbors. It means cutting myself some freaking slack because :gestures at last few years: Yeah. That stuff.

Which brings us back to :deep breath: writing. Specifically writing fiction. Specifically writing commercial fiction. Which means walking in that direction even if it feels wooden and rote for a little while. Crappy first drafts, even if those are crappy second drafts. To quote a friend with whom I do need to reconnect, “you’ll suck at first and then you’ll get better.” Wise words, and ones I am more than happy to tell to others.

Where am I going with this? Nowhere, really. It’s a blog post and that’s what I intended. It’s also fair warning that if you haven’t heard from me for a while, it’s because :gestures at past few years: and I will probably be showing up soon. Which will mean taking my own pictures again, which I dearly miss. Taking stationery pictures means figuring out the stationery situation, probably a cull, and definitely some refining. That will be a journey in itself. Stationery isn’t “just” stationery. Few things are “just” anything, for that matter. At least for me.

How about you? What anniversaries do you mark, other than the romantic relationship kind?

Survival Drama Binge Babble

Right now, I am sitting at my laptop with wet hair, because, somehow, in the midst of all the Monday stuff, I am coloring my hair. I don’t remember the last time. I am listening to summaries of horror movies I will never watch, on YouTube, because A) I work better when hearing human voices, ;and B) it’s pretty good at getting my brain in storytelling mode, without the risk that any of it would naturally seep into my own work. Hm. Maybe that’s why I read as my contemporary YA as I do. Hm. I’m going to put a sticky note on that.

Okay, the historicals do get kind of dark. I will admit that. It’s part of my charm. It may also be one of the reasons I have been bingeing on survival dramas on various streaming services. Bonus points if the show is not American. Subtitles are fine, as I would rather listen to the original language and read the English translation than listen to dubbed dialogue. Then again, there are some dubs that are right up there with the original language.

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Currently, the show of choice is season two of Into the Night, a Belgian show where a solar event has ended most life on earth, but for a few plucky survivors (seriously, I am 100% there for a small band of plucky survivors in the midst of a disaster) who were on a hijacked airplane when it all went down. The title comes from the fact that our survivors have to fly during the sunlight hours, always away from the sun (aka into the night) so they can touch down in darkness and scramble to get any fuel they need for themselves and their plane. Sometimes they pick up stragglers along the way. Sometimes those stragglers are Not Nice People.

Case in point: touching down in an airport in Scotland to get more fuel. They have more fuel. Yay. They also have three British soldiers, some of whom can do Plane Stuff. Yay. They can come with. This will take some of the workload off Original Pilot (who only has one working hand) and Substitute Co-Pilot, who used to fly helicopters for the French military, but is new to the plane thing. Once in the air, though, one of our Plucky Survivors learns that New British Soldiers are actually war criminals, recalled for a court martial for Very Bad Crimes. Oh noes. What to do, what to do? Also, if we have a standard for them, what does that mean for Turkish Man who has a shady professional past, but is also bonding big tie with Ill Russian Boy, and IRB’s lovely young mum? Thankfully for IRB, there is a nurse on board, a home health worker who lost her own patient early on in the adventure.

When the first season ended, our Plucky Survivors have found an underground military bunker, where they can hunker. Yay. Only, they are not alone. Uh oh. A politician and soldiers are also hunkering there, but they seem friendly. Yay? Then Bad Things happen, including a fire that wipes out most of their food supply. Oh noes. Suffice it to say that I am not bored. The cast is diverse, not only from country of origin, by walk of life. Every episode, we get a glimpse at somebody’s life Before. I love that stuff, because it’s new information and gives new insight to the choices the character makes now in the worst nightmare scenario.

This is all probably going into the idea soup for my second medieval historical romance, which takes place in the wake of the plague. Other ingredients for idea soup will include medieval romances, because romance. Still backburner at this point, but it’s all part of the process.

Where am I taking this all? I write about survivors. Well, obviously, as otherwise they would be zombies, ghosts, or necrophiliacs. That Thing, though, that people hang on to in the midst of the worst, that Thing that keeps them going; I love finding out what that is for a character. For two characters. Discover the way their Things can work together, make something good even when good things are not the thickest things on the ground.

That’s where the start of this week finds me. How are you doing?

September

The fans are off today, though the windows are still open. I have leggings and a sweatshirt on as well as one of RLRH’s oversize t-shirts. I am making hot tea. Bed is made and laundry put away. I have the first point on my list of edits for A Heart Most Errant running on my brain’s back burner as I do these things, and things I have stressed over since literally February, are falling naturally into place. This feels right.

On Tuesday, I had a wonderful four and a half hour “lunch” with an IRL friend who is now also a writer friend. We both spoke of wanting an in-person writing buddy to talk at(this is extremely important for extroverts, as talking and thinking often happen at the same time) and, well, we were in person, and we are both writers. We don’t exactly write the same sorts of stories, but close enough, and we obviously mesh well, so we are giving biweekly Zooms a try. That starts next week

On Wednesday, I had a three hour video chat with another bestie, Our conversations go allll over the place, and this was no exception. After that I crashed. Hard. Then Real Life Romance Hero came home and ordered delivery (meatball subs from a local establishment, which were amazing) and I spent some time playing Sims 4, then actual sleep. Nine hours. No fan, no earbuds. Also amazing.

Which brings us to today. Not going to lie, I am thrilled that I can wear a sweatshirt (and I will need more as the season progresses.) Abovementioned bestie sent me a treasure trove of perfume samples, which I am wearing every day. We are coming up on the one year anniversary of moving into this apartment. That also means it will have been about two years since I had been presenting myself the way I would prefer to do. As in makeup, clothing, jewelry, hair, etc. That this happens at the same time spooky stuff is showing up in stores is not a bad thing by any means. Not that I plan to suddenly turn this into a style blog, but style is something I love. Being able to express it again is an absolute delight, especially when some areas mean basically starting from scratch.

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The blog I had planned for yesterday would have been about my fascination with survival dramas (Lost, Dark, The Rain, The Walking Dead universe, etc) and I still plan on doing that in the future, but the special thing about today is how regular it feels. I like that about today. I am already thinking of another cup of tea. Maybe. It’s not quite fall enough to start baking cookies but I think it is indeed getting there. I can get used to that. After dinner tonight, I have a date with a good book. Swell, more than one. Reading one on the front burner, letting the writing questions about others sort themselves out on the back burners.

No real point to this post, which is okay. Sometimes a stream of consciousness is what feels most authentic, so that’s what goes on the page.

How about you?

Asking the Right What Ifs

On Wednesday, it will be September. In our family, that means the unofficial start of autumn, and maybe more importantly, the return of my superpowers. It’s also the time for the seasonal turnover of planners, which took up a lovely portion of my Sunday afternoon. I love that ritual, of curating my planning supplies, moving from summer vibes (as much as I do, which isn’t much, as it’s not my favorite season) and into my natural environment. Bring on cool days, warm afghans, hot tea, big books, and all that good stuff.

In a writing perspective, that includes writing those books as well. Another part of the afternoon was me going over my edits letter from Safeword Author Services, which I cannot recommend highly enough for any author looking to hire an editor. Awesome encouragement, excellent insight, and I actually agree with the changes my editor proposed…so why haven’t I made them since February? That’s kind of a while.

First, let me introduce you to my non-besties, Anxiety and Depression, and the common author challenge of mind numbing terror when it comes to working on some of the tough stuff. But is it really? Sometimes, it’s as easy as asking the right questions. When I set up my writing notebook for historicals, I made sections for A Heart Most Errant, and Her Last First Kiss, with another for general tips and ideas for future project. For AHME, the first thing in there is the editorial letter. I read it through, then highlighted the areas I needed to address, color coded for hero (blue) heroine (pink) and general writing (green.) If I had a villain POV, which this book does not, then that would get a yellow highlight, because yellow is my least favorite color.

When I have Character A flip flopping from X to Not X a couple times throughout the story, making that decision for them wasn’t going to do. Instead, I turned to a fresh page and asked myself, “How does Character A feel about X, really?” Pros. Cons. Why they can hold both beliefs at once. Both hero and heroine in this book are trauma survivors (which is probably true for most of my characters in any story) so that is going to play into how they react to things, even good things. There’s also whether Character B would really focus on Y at a given moment. If they don’t focus on Y, then what would catch their attention instead? What would be more important? How does Not-Y fill a more urgent need than Y?

The only way to find that out, for me, is to do what I did when I wrote the beginning of My Outcast Heart, my first published historical romance (out of print right now; stay tuned for reissue talk) — follow my character as they run off on their own and write down what they do. It’s not entirely pantsing, as I can tell them “okay, here’s what has to happen next,” but usually, they figure out how they are going to that on their own, in their own particular way. It’s also not always in order. When I wrote Orphans in the Storm, my fourth historical (also out of print right now) I wrote both ends against the middle. I knew how it started, I knew how it ended, but connecting those two?

That was a matter of connecting “what happened after that?” with “what happened before that?” Repeat until the two ends meet. (I do not recommend the other notable thing about this manuscript, which was losing the whole file, after I had already sold it, but if you do, be sure to have an awesome critique group with hardcopies.) In this case, it’s translating to “okay, if X didn’t work, what could be Y?” Not what is, necessarily, but what could be? In the words of an online writer friend, “it’s just riffing.” Have fun. Chuck some ink on that paper and see what transpires. For my money (and that which I hope comes from it) it’s well worth the trip.

How are you getting ready for September?

Survival Dramas, Historical Romance, and Stationery Love

After a long time of not watching TV (streaming, on devices; we haven’t taken our TV out of storage and don’t miss it) I finally came back to it, when Netflix added Season Ten of The Walking Dead. I binged that very quickly, immersed in the lives of characters such as domestic abuse survivor turned badass at large Carol, can-he-be-redeemed ex (and future?) villain Negan, and waaaay beyond fixing Alpha. Carol/Ezekiel, or Carol/Daryl? (I prefer one, but the other is good, too.) Michonne scarpered off in search of vanished husband, Rick, leaving their children, Judith and RJ in good hands, and into the future of the franchise.

When I got to the end of the season (and will be watching the season premiere as soon as I do the AMC+ thing this weekend) I still needed more. Which led me to the spinoff series, Fear the Walking Dead. When I first tried to connect to that series, I couldn’t quite grasp it. There is also the time I fretted over being too far away to read the English subtitles during a scene in a Mexican church, before remembering that I speak Spanish and could just listen instead of straining my eyeballs.

This time, though, was different. Well, there was the matter of a reboot a few seasons in, trading in the original protagonists for some new arrivals and even some crossovers from the original series This time, I got it. I cried when one of my favorite couples came to the “death do us part” part, annnd un-death, requring the surviving spouse to put down their zombified beloved. That hurt, in the very best way. There’s also a horrible villain, succeeded by their mini-me, who was, somehow, even worse. At the season’s end, there are literally nuclear warheads coming down. How could the apocalypse get even worse? Well, yeah, nuclear warheads would do.

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How does that connect with historical romance? This connection was easy. All that stuff I mentioned above? Put it in historical context. Yesssss. It’s also an essential part of my work on the first round of edits for A Heart Most Errant (finally!) Since the whole concept of this story world is “postapocalyptic medieval,” then it only makes sense to immerse myself in that world.

When I got to the end of the most recent season of FTWD, I searched for other survival dramas. Other shows mean other perspectives,. I binged The Society in pretty much one day, and while I am still salty that season two was cancelled, that doesn’t stop me from figuring out my own end to the story. Not proper fanfic, but maybe fan synopsis. I saw the first two episodes of The Beyond, which has two seasons and a similar premise, but had to take a break because episode three opened with zoo animals, and it’s their wellbeing that pokes my anxiety. Gord, the farmboy, would-be soldier and moral center may get filed away to marinate for character inspiration someday. I’ll talk about other survival shows and inspiration gleaned from them later.

This brings us to the stationery part. Picking the right stationery for a project isn’t wasting time or procrastinating. It’s part of the process, at least for me. Part of that is getting into the groove of the feeling of the piece. Looking through my stash, it’s a symphony of colors and formats and giving the front of my brain something to do while the back burners work their magic and unravel tangled beneath the surface threads.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For getting the historical romance work things out book ready, it means fountain pens. They feel right. There’s a process of filling fountain pens, getting the ink going, and somewhere in it all, the focus shifts. Don’t ask me to explain it more than that. Not that I can’t do anything without it, but it does make it a heck of a lot easier, and more fun. Also, a local writer friend has a ritual of filling three fountain pens before she coposes longhand. When all three are empty, it’s time to transcribe. I might like to give that a whirl.

What out of the box techniques would you like to try?

recommendations of survival drramas also very much welcome

Can Less Pressure Equal More Art?

Today is off and on rainy, but still muggy. Must be the end of August. Next week, I will be setting up my planners for September, putting summery decor away and sliding into fall, my most productive season. That’s a good thing, because I have plans.

Melva and I will be going through Drama King again, to address oncerns that were raised in our good rejection from our current publisher, and make sure the very best versions of Jack and Kelly are the ones that readers meet. Tha’s going to take more time than we had expected, but such is life.

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

If I had my druthers today, I would spend it reclining in front of a fn, bingeing my current Netflix seriess, while I write longhand, throwing messy ideas down on paper and making them pretty later when I can stand to be at the keyboard, preferably at a time when the air is not so humid we have air fish. Apparentlyk I do have a druther or two laying about, because that is exactly what I am going to do. I do also have the task of reading through the first two chapters of Drama King, as we are not letting any grass grow under our feet on this one, Even that works well with paper and pen, and thank God for laptop and their mobility. True, I could read files on my tablet, but eh, laptop is better for the eyeballs.

I can actually do quite a lot of work with paper and pen in front of the TV, even if TV right now means a smaller screen. We have left our TV in storage, and honestly don’t miss it. Streaming can take the place of traditional TV, and it gives me a lot more options, as in shows from all around the world. The current show I am bingeing, is originally in Arabic, dubbed in UK English, and the voice actors are a pretty good match tot he actual actors, so I don’t feel like I am missing anything. Not the survival in the wild type of thing I have been devouring lately, but mean girls in a private school in possibly the UAE? Honestly, does it get any wilder than teenage girls left to their own devices?

I’m still caling this current fixation on survival dramas as research for the second medieval book. Granted, I need ot get the first book’s edits done before I embark on book number two. I know the hero for that one already, but still have s=zero clue as to the hoerine and that’s not usually something that comes this hard for me. Still exploring, and I will find her in time Unless I am wrong about the hero. That would count as overthinking, though, and I am very much not here for that.

Welp, that’s about it for right now, as I have actual fiction writing and editing things to handle, but it feels good to check in on the right day. I like the idea of more art coming from less pressure. How about you?

Mid-August Recalibration

Welp, we are now officially past the halfway mark for August. Shelves are stocked with back to school supplies, which is pure heaven for us stationery aficionados. The fact that loving stationery and being a writer are not mutually exclusive makes this an especially delightful time of year. Well, ecept for the heat. It’s been brutal here in NY for the last while, and temperatures that are in the range of “do not kill the heat-sensitive” are extremely welcome.

August has not been the best month for productivity. Insomnia has been raging, with seven sleepless nights out of the first fourteen. My local RWA chapter voted this week to dissolve. That hit me hard. Harder, even than I would expect. It’s not entirely gone-gone, as there will be some sort of non-affiliated group, though not under the auspices of Romance Writers of America. I’m not sure what the future of the national organization will be, and that’s another big sad. I’m not even over the loss of Romantic Times magazine (the OG RT, not the RT Book Reviews it was at the end.) The thought that the organization that was The Thing back when I was but a wee princess could be floundering into nothingness sticks. A lot.

Melva and I also recieved news about our current submission that was less than we had expected. That doesn’t at all mean that nothing will happen with Drama King. On the contrary, we are meeting tonight to discuss our options. Whatever we choose, I am sure it will make Jack and Kelly’s book an even beteter one. I won’t say more until we have had a chance to talk between ourselves, but we are writers, and writers write.

Photo by lilartsy on Pexels.com

The same applies to historical romance. The best way to feel connected to it is to, well, connect with it. Read lots, and of the sort I want to produce, and then proceed to write horrible first drafts. Then turn those into slightly better second drafts.

There is still the part of me who set up a TV tray in my dad’s living room, propped an electronic typewirter (yes, that long ago) popping the soundtrack from Camelot on his hi-fi, and confidently pounding my way through a set number of pages, because that’s what one of my favorite writers of historical romance did. Easy peasy.

Only not. Part of me wants to stamp my foot and grumble about being here again, not exactly at the start of the road, but boy does it feel like it at times. There is only one way around that, and that’s to wite. Keep writing. Then write some more. Then more than that. Write pages that are steaming piles of poo, because piles of poo can be shaped, but blank pages can’t. For the extroverted writers like moiself, (yes, I know that’s not a word) staring, hands on hips, at the place where my RWA chapter used to be (well, on Zoom now) and tapping foot, this means going back out there into the wilds of other writerdom. Critique group/partner applications are now open. Must love historical romance, grit over fluff, and have a taste for the epic. I’m serious. Talking and thinking happen at the same time with this gal, and talking with other writers of historical romance is now a priority. We will see how that goes.

Well, then. This is the pat of the post where I sum things up in some sort of order and/or sense, but I have to be honest; I am thinking about how many episodes of The Walking Dead I can get in before conference time. I am about three episodes from the end of Season Ten. After that, I can go back to where I left off with Fear The Walking Dead, which isn’t the same, but close enough to scratch the itch. Maybe I can call it research for the post-plague medieval world of A Heart Most Errant. Yeah, we’lll go with that.