Against The Current

This is one of those multipurpose titles (hopefully; it’s at least my intent) where one group of words can stand for multiple meanings. It’s been a weird week. Sunday was ugh. A fun Monday outing with Housemate got derailed before it could get started, when her just-“fixed” windshield wipers stopped working while we were driving, in the rain. Yeah. Not fun. Cue another round of Housemate wrangling the car fixer people. We did manage to salvage part of the day but at the cost of most of our collected energy. Crossed wires on the now-weekly video chat with one of my besties, on Tuesday, but we had a great chat, only a little later than usual. Sometime in there, basically our entire bathroom stopped working. Toilet went on perma-flush, and bathtub clogged

Real Life Romance Hero definitely proved why he gets that title, as he shooed me off to Panera so I could chill while he did domestic warrior king duty, dealt with bathroom fixer person, and I could get some work done in peace and quiet. If you thik you sense an incoming “but,” you are right. If you didn’t know, I have a visual impairment, so reading menu boards behind a counter is a big nope. Thankfully, most food selling places these days also have their menus online, which means if I’m on my own, it takes but the click of a button to read the menu. This only really works if I actually put my tablet in my tote. Cue frantic patting around contents of purse. Planner, traveler’s notebook, makeup pouch, annnnd that’s it. Oh crud. Ended up asking counter person to tell me what the three kinds of bagels left by that time were, which sorted out well. I ended up writing ten pages in my traveler’s notebook, and maybe sorted out my wrong turn at Albequerque in Her Last First Kiss. That will be helpful if theory translates to practice.

Speaking of translating, I have a whole scene from Queen of Hearts to transcribe and send off to my contemporary writign partner, I very much want to do this, but when insomnia medication gets confused to the difference begtween AM and PM, we get sleeeeepy summer days, which really, brain? We’re doing this now? Really?

Also throw in guilty looks at the TBR books, annnnd the video I’ve been meaning to film for mmm, two weeks now? Yeah. There’s that. Not an insurmountable thingamaboodle by any measure. Calling back to Anne Lamott and Bird by Bird. In Anna Dreamspeak, wash one dish. This blog is my dish. If I end up transcribing one page at a time, that’s okay. Still gets done, and one page is one page more than didn’t even try. For the reading thing, pick up one book. Read one chapter. That still counts.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Which brings me to another meaning of against the current. A bunch of the library books I borrowed are new releases, because well, one should (if you’re a longtime reader of mine, you know where I am going here) be reading. Well, no. Could read, yes. If one wants to. What I am excited about, as my guided journal I use at the end of the day often asks about, is doing a deep dive into some of the classic historical romances that cemented my love of the genre, as a reader and a writer. Big, sweeping epics that cover years (or even decades) and continents and bore witness to the spirit of the times, which could be anywhere from the ancient world to the early 20th century.

I picked up one new book that I was excited to see, by the author’s name and the cover, then, a few pages in, waaaait a minute. Who are these people the current people are talking about? Oh, right. I have walked into not only the middle of one series, but two (or three?) intertwined ones. This is not a bad thing, as I do want to read all of them, but when spoons are low, I don’t want to have to do research before reading. Still, it also has one of my favorite tropes for that subgenre, so yeah, I’m reading and will figure out the rest later.

I am a big proponent of story in, story out, so getting on that track and staying there is a priority, and I need to do what it takes to keep a firm footing on that route. Again, not a bad thing. I don’t summer well, it’s true, but we are halfway through July at this point, which for me is the middle month of summer, so we are now approaching that nebulous August moment that ushers in pre-fall. The Back to School stuff is making its appearance in stores which I find delightful and energizing. I want all of the stationery, not for school, but to tell love stories, in our time and others.

Someplace around here is where my k-12 teachers would say that I need to put the closing sentence/statement/paragraph. Okay. Tihs week has been weird. I’m muddling through. School supplies are everything. Read more romance novels. Especially mine. Or someone else’s. There’s good stuf fout there.

Typing With Wet Paws: Proper Elevation Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. The big news this week is that Aunt Anna borrowed Aunt Linda’s office chair ,which Aunt Linda uses as a regular chair (no desk) and guess what – no back pain No need for an Amazon box on top of the kitchen table, either, if she wheels the chair out there when Aunt Linda isn’t home. This is a very good portent for the writing that is on her schedule, because there is a lot. All it will take is either getting Aunt Anna’s regular office chair out of the storage unit, or buying a new one. Either way is good, because A) I get to sit in it when she isn’t, B) if Aunt Anna doesn’t need the Amazon box she uses for a laptop riser, then I get it. Also if she goes with a new chair, then it will come in a box, and I can have that one. If she gets the existing one out of storage, then I get to smell Big Sister Skye on it, and learn some secrets from/about her. Anyway, it’s all good, however it turns out.

Fourth of July was pretty quiet around here. Figuratively, not literally. We can hear all the fireworks here, but can’t see them. I was a little confused, but the humans were all chill about it, so I was, too. I wasn’t aound fireworks last years, and I don’t remember the year before that, because I was too young. I guess it makes me fireworks-neutral, which is a good thing for a pet to be. We’ll find out again nest year.

best seat in the house

There was one memorable effect from the holiday, though. It scrambled Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva’s brains, so they spaced on their meeting on Monday, even though Aunt Anna had already written her whole scene -in longhand. SHe’ll have to transcfribe that over the weekend and then send it Aunt Melva’s way, so Aunt Melva can write the next scene. They might move their meeting day, not move it, or keep the original meeting and add a second one. Aunt Anna is also having another video chat with Aunt Mary, because that was super fun and motivating, She may start doing that more with other friends, as well, because extroverts and social distancing are not the best mix.

Good thing there is Aunt Linda. On Monday, Aunt Linda had the day off, and she and Aunt Anna made a huge library haul. She made a big historical romance haul, and will make an Anna Log video all about that. She will talk about here experience with the Historical Romance Readathon over on Buried Under Romance this weekend, so keep eyes peeled for that. Right now, her Goodreads Reading Challenge looks like this.

This puts Aunt Anna firmly at the 2/3rds mark, with 60 books read out of her goal of 90 which means she is at 33% of the way there. The retShe will talk more about that later. The return of the physical library has been a very good thing on Aunt Anna’s reading front. The most imporatan thing is not only that Aunt Anna super loves reading paper bools again, but that it means she can now read in bed with just the bedside lamp and no tablet screen, and she is totally free to cuddle me while she reads. That’s always a big plus.

Okay, that looks about it for my list of the week things, except for some planner stuff, but that is for Anna Log, too. Since Aunt Anna looks to be unpillbugging, that will be soon. k

Headbonks!

Nobody Stop Me, or In The Groove

Have I ever mentioned that I have since single digit ages had a very soft spot for alternate titles. Completely unrelated to the Monkees song, “Alternate Title,” though does have some surprisingly boppy social commentary, and The Monkees are on the top of the list of music to play when I write Heather’s scenes in Queen of Hearts. I have my second scene from that written out in the notebook I have specifically for that, and all it needs is transcription and then it’s off to Melva.

Right now, I am borrowing Housemate’s office chair, with laptop on a folding desk, in front of a fan, and I am almost done with my third bottle of water for the day. The morning passed in a delicious virtual chat with my friend, Mary, whom I can’t believe I have known for almost twenty years. Doesn’t seem that long, and hasn’t she always been there/ Must be right, though, because the adorable little boy she had with her at our first meetup is now a firefighter, and, come October, will become a husband. Time does move.

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

Yesterday, Housemate and I made a library run, to a different branch than our usual haunt, and hit the motherlode of well stocked romance section. Well, well-ish stocked. I’ll take it. I am writing a script for a library haul video after I post this blog, and will flim either tonight or tomorrow. I’m also figuring out how I want to present my current planner/notebooks situation, as I am making some changes, and they are working much better than I had expected. There’s also the reading order to suss for abovementioned library haul, and how I want to figure in ebooks as well as physical books. I have missed paper books far more than I knew, and I know my eyeballs will be thankful for the respite. from all screens all the time. This will also require major surgery on my TBR notebook, but I knew that was coming. I am not a plain paper sort of girl. Never have been.

One thing I definitely need to make time for is writer (and reader) blabber, because after three hours of happily babbling over multiple topics, including historical romance (okay, a lot of talk about historical romance) I didn’t even want to break for lunch (but I did) and instead wanted to make plans for more socializing. Not going to lie, lockdown has not been easy on us extroverts. I love my family but I need to see faces taht do not use my bathroon on a regular basis. I’m thinking about making a regular time to open the discord server or a MSM room, for a regular supply of book blather, of both writing and reading varieties. I am positively starved for historical romacne writing talk. If I had decided to officialy do Camp NaNo this month (unofficially camping this time. Maybe November.) I had decided that I wanted to find a cabin that was historical romance only. Maybe I’m early for November?

No matter. This feels like that’s what was in msy brainpan for right now, so off I go to roll around nekkid in my library haul. Kidding, kidding. I will be wearing clothing, and there may be nappage. There will definitely be many cat headbonks, and calico cuddles.

What are you reading lately?

The Sims, Romance Writing, and Stream of Consciousness

Very quick stream of consciousness post today, since I am most assuredly in the zone for working on Queen of Hearts today. If all goes right, I can have a rough version of the next scene for my weekly conference with Melva. We agreed that this book is going to go a lot quicker than Drama King did, and I want to make sure it does.

Fourth of July was pretty quiet around here. As in I did a lot of napping, and I regret nothing. We cannot see the fireworks from this apartment, but we certainly heard them. This year, hearing them was enough, as I had my eyeballs pinned to my current Sims 4 save. I’m giving the Legacy Challenge a shot. Not doing any scoring whatsoever, as I am not in this for the math, but the basic idea is to start with a single Sim, on a big, empty lot, with very little money, and then use them to build a dynasty that lasts ten generations. I am on the fourth generation now, and having a lot of fun with it.

Fiona and Osvaldo, generation four

There are lots of variations on this legacy. I decided from the start that I wanted this to be a matriarchy, as in everything goes through the maternal line, aka firstborn girl inherits. If there are no girls in a generation, then the firstborn male may hold the spot for his firstborn daughter. Pictured above are my current generation, the lovely Fiona and her (townie) husband, Osvaldo. They currently have one daughter, Alexa who is child age, and fingers crossed she makes it through, because Osvaldo has the “hates children” trait, but he was frequently the one to autonomsously tend Alexa when she was a baby, so maybe he’s a masochist? Anyway, Fiona is going to university for her art degree, so Osvaldo can stay home to tend Alexa and their vast garden.

What does all of this have to do with writing? On the surface, not much. A little deeper, quite a bit. Generational sagas have always been my favorite sort of linked stories/series, especially in historical romance, where we can see the legacy of love build from the first two progenitors, and see how the family progresses thrugh years, decades, even centuries. Follow one family from medieval times to the turn of the 20th century? Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssss. With a gauranteed happily ever after for each individual couple in every story, the sort of HEA that only gets HEA-ier as the young lovers become parents, then in-laws, then grandparents.

This does bring in the issue of character death, since our medieval progenitors are not going to be alive in the Belle Epoque. I’m actually okay with that, as my taste in historical romance hews more to the dramatic than rom-com. In a more lighthearted series, death of a main character (after many years) would seem out of place to a lot of readers, and many lighthearted series tend to focus on one generation at a time, so maybe it doesn’t come up all that much? I have seen the demise of older heroes and heroines done well, and done poorly, but it’s part of life, and those generationgs outside of the current characters’ living memory can take on a legendary tone, so that is actually a plus in my book.

Ah. Aha. Wait. I found a connection. Heather, the heroine of Queen of Hearts, lives in the shadow of her mother’s reputation. Jessica Stewart was a legendary author of epic historical romance, and Heather now has the responsibility of running the publishing house her mother started. Heather is not a writer, but she’s passionate about the historical romance genre, its books, its writers, its readers, its, well, history. She’s trying to figure out where she fits into all of that, while raising a precocious six-year-old on her own, and very gingerly sticking her toe in the dating waters after a painful divorce. For those who love a genuinely good hero, have no fear, her best friend, Rob very much fits the bill. He’s very different from Dominic from Chasing Prince Charming, or Jack from Drama King, which is exactly how I want it to be. The historical heroes, as well, are a whole other story, pun intended.

Okay back to writing I go. Cover me, I’m going in.

Typing With Wet Paws: Heatwoven Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. It’s a cool and sometimes rainy day over here in New York State, which means the heat wave has broken, and Aunt Anna will be re-entering functional adult life. She’s been taking it super-easy for most of the week, staying cool and hydrated. Thankfully, I have been on the juob the entire time. Often on her, because what’s better for heat wave sluggishness than a beautiful calico girl sitting on one’s torso?

Okay, most of the time I was near her rather than actually on her, but being on our humans is one of the ways we kitties show our love, and I love Aunt Anna a LOT. Like really a lot. She’s my favorite. Uncle Rheuben and Aunt Linda are pretty good, too, but yeah. Anyway, this was not the most productive of weeks. and that is okay. Even with all the hotness and the sweating and the hydrating and stuff, she did actually get some stuff done. Here are a few of them:

Reading

Heat waves are pretty good for reading, especially when Aunt Anna can stick in some earbuds, flop in front of a fan, and have a professional voiceover person read her a story. If pressed, she is even okay on the robo-voice that comes with her Kindle’s text to speech function. Even that goes a long way. A friend, Miss Lisa, from Buried Under Romance, told Aunt Anna there is a way she can change the robo-voice if she wants to, to maybe get a male voice when she wants it, or even a British voice, male or female, but she hasn’t looked into that lately. Standard robo-voice will work quite well.

She’s even gone to the library (away from me for an Entire Hour, ahem) to get some paper books for the Historical Romance Readathon. She did pretty well on that front, and will talk more about that on Buried Under Romance. Aunt Anna likes reading challenges like this because not only is it community related, but it’s also a way to try some bokos she might not have noticed on her own.

The fact that it comes during a heat wave is a very convenient coincidence. It also does wonders for her Goodreads Reading Challenge. As of this writing, she has read 58 out of 90 books, which puts her at 64% of the way to her goal. Not bad, if I do say so myself. Keep going, Aunt Anna.

Photo by Cristian Rojas on Pexels.com

Writing

Even though Aunt Anna is only unoficcially camping this year, July is still for getting back on the historical romance hrse while discovery drafting her third book with Aunt Melva, Queen of Hearts. If that sounds like a lot of stuff to writie, that is exactly what Aunt Anna likes best. Keep her on the page, and she is a happy camper, even if she did not sign up for CampNaNo this year. She has a notebook all set up for un-bungling the second half of Her Last First Kiss, and, now that the heat has broken, she has the brainpower to complete her edits on A Heart Most Errant and move forward in that project. Soon, there willl be formatting and cover art and all that good stuff. She’ll figure out what metric she wants to use to track progress. I am betting there will be a paper notebook where she keeps track of all that. I plan to sit on it.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Planning

This is a big week for planner enthusiasts like Aunt Anna, becasue July is the time of year when eighteen month cladendars start. When I say planners, this also includes new notebooks for special reasons, like working on her focus projects for the next few months. Writing about historical romance, Aunt Anna has found, is an essential part of writing historical romance, so she has a notebook set up for that, tracking what she likes and doesn’t like, the history of the genre, and what its future might be. Those are things she will share on Anna Log and Buried Under Romance. There is a lot going on on that front. Trust me on that. I have laid on a lot of these books, so I can vouce for them.

I think that’s about it for this week. Overall, life is pretty good, if uncomfortable for the last several days. Thankfully, we have cooler weather for the next few days, so Aunt Anna is feeling a lot more Aunt Anna-y. How is your week?

Headbonks!

Storm

Pillbugging

This post has nothing to do with actual buts, and probably very little to do with actual pills. In case you’re not familiar with what a pillbug (also called roly-poly) is, it’s this. Armadillidium Vulgare. Basically an armadillo bug that assumes pill shape when it hits a situation where the only acceptable answer is “nope.”

In our family, it’s also a code word for “I need to disengage for a bit. Please leave food at the door and back away slowly.I will emerge when I am rested.” Which is in part how I feel at the moment. Everything is fine, though we are in for a good old fashioned July heat wave, which I plan on observing by slopping in front of a box fan, continuously hydrating, and reading historical romance until I fall asleep. Though, seriously, I have found a YouTube channeo that explains the history of multilevel marketing schemes that actually seems to be perfect for knocking me right out.

This is also the time of yearr where planner aficionados like myself are giddy with joy, because the eighteen month planners are starting, so all of my planner stuff is shiny and new. New formats, new things to track. Household planner and writing planner are acgtually two separate books this time around, with NO household things in the writing planner at all, I think this is going to be a big help in focusing, especially since this is also the month for Camp NaNo.

I haven’t signed up yet, and I may not, because I am not yet sure exactly what I want to track. Maybe time spent on the project? I know I zigged where I should have zagged, and the surgery on the second half of the book is what’s needed, but does it really have to be in the middle of a heat wave? It does? Okay. I’ll deal.

It’s also the time when Melva and I are discovery drafting Queen of Hearts. We have each read each other’s first scene, and it’s meshing. I am looking forward to the rest of the journey. Same with AHME edits. Breaking it down into manageable bites, not geting ahead of myself, and, maybe most of all, knowing that it may be tougher to do in my least favorite season, but making adjustments is totally okay. Good, even.

Photo by Cristian Rojas on Pexels.com

I am excited about my writing projects, and about reading as well, as I’ve been pinpointing exactly what it is that hits my historical romance loving heart straight in the feels –female-led adventure seems to define it pretty darned well at pressent, and yes, the HEA is a must, so still romance.

It may be a little slower and less social media-y than I would normally prefer, but different seasons have different speeds, and that’s probably for a very good reason. I once talked about this sort of thing with an acquaintance, and referenced crop rotation, not sure if they would get the connection, but they had grown up as a farm kid, so it hit home. Basically, let’s say Farmer has four fields and three crops, red, yellow and blue.

Year one, they plant Red in field one, Blue in field two, and Yellow in field three. Field four? Nada. Chill, bro. Year two, Red goes in field two, Blue in field three, Yellow gets to call “first” on field four, and field one can take the season off, rest up, because next time, it’s getting Yellow, while Red goes in field two, and so on. Ebb and flow, in a way, and what’s come before norishes what comes next. I like that idea.

Typing With Wet Paws: Dog, I Mean, Cat Days of Summer Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Pretty quiet week this week, but not a boring one. On Monday, Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva hashed out the basics of the outline for Queen of Hearts, and they are also shooting some questions back and forth. Co-written book number three is officially ON. Secondary characters are getting names (or telling them to the aunts, as it often works) and while there may not be a cat in this book (though the one from Drama King might make a cameo; no promises) ther is probably going to be a d-o-g. I don’t know how I feel about dogs. I haven’t met any that I remember, unless it was when I was really little. My first mom said I came from a house with “a lot of cats,” but she didn’t say anything about dogs.

greatest hits picture of me, because quiet week and all that.

Anyway, there’s prep for July historical writing, and that includes moving the office area in the bedroom from where it is right now to the other side of the bedroom (the bedroom is pretty big) so that Aunt Anna can get near the window, and have more desk room, since Uncle Rheuben claimed the new desk they got recently. I am all for this, because if there is a desk near that window, then I can use athat desk to get into that window. I love sitting in windows.

Wait. I may have misspoken about the dog thing. We have a neighbor who has a puppy who is almost a grownup, but still has a lot of wiggle in her. We haven’t met in person, but I know her when I see/smell her from through the window screen. Her humans walk her in front of our building a lot. She seems okay, but I’ve got my eye on her. The other dogs around, I only have my ears on, because I have only heard them. Also smelled. There are two other units inour building, and the people who live there come on the weekends mostly. When they come, they bring their dogs. I have not met them, but it’s more than one dog in each apartment, I think. They bark a lot when my humans go into the hall and stairway. We’ve been here almost a year now, and still it’s a big surprise every time. Go figure.

So. Aunt Anna. She’s not sure what she’s doing for the Historical Romance Readathon, exactly, but she knows she wants to do something with it. Here’s the bingo card:

The thing that Aunt Anna has about this is that iit does look fun, but she’d already decided that she wants to A) finish the half-read books she’d had languishing on her Kindle forever, and B) devour some of the old school stuff on Kindle Unlimited that she’s always wanted to read. First up is the entire Marsha Canham canon. Maybe she can make that work for the readathon anyway. If you want more information on the readathon, check the link above, and also on Laceybooklovers and RemarkablyLisa. Aunt Anna will probably talk more about this on Anna Log later, but for now, the plans are nebulous. Still counts as a plan, though, which makes her happy.

I, of course, will be closely supervising, as always.

Headbonks!

Talking ‘Bout My Genre-ration

Happy Wednesday, feral and domesticated cryptids. On Monday night, Melva and I hashed out a rough outline for our third co-written (or to be co-written) contemporary romance, Queen of Hearts. I don’t think I would have added contemporary romance to my repetorie on my own, but with Melva, it makes sense. It also has a tie to historical romance, because I need that. Heather, the heroine, is named for Heather, the heroine of The Flame and the Flower, by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, the first modern historical romance as we know it. The Heather in Queen of Hearts is an editor of historical romance, a genre she adores.

I am extremely thankful to Ms. Woodiwiss for writing the story of her heart and putting it out there in the world. I am extremely thankful to Nancy Coffey, the editor who wanted to take only one submission home with her over the weekend, and picked the biggest manuscript from the slush pile. Boom. Kicked the bedroom door (and other things) off the hinges, and things have never been the same. How many of the original Avon Ladies (having nothing to do with cosmetics, and everything to do with historical romance. One of them wasn’t even a lady. His name was Tom.)

Now that Drama King has been put on the schoolbus, as it were, and Queen of Hearts is a darling baby who sleeps through the night and wakes to the playtime that is discovery drafting, it’s time to turn attention back to my troubled teens, aka historical romances that have been on hold for far too long.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A Heart Most Errant is soooo close to being done with the first round of edits. I started John and Aline’s story a long time ago. Not long enough that it was a contemporary when I sat down to write it, but I lived in a different state then, in a time that feels like another life. I won’t say that it doesn’t feel odd to be getting back in touch with characters that, if they were people born when I first put them to page, would be old enough to…well, let’s say cross the street by themselves. Among other things.

Image by Sandra Schwab

They are not that much older than Bern and Ruby (image by the fabulous Sandra Schwab) the hero and heroine of my Georgian romance, Her Last First Kiss, which I have missed like a deep sea diver misses air. Been a while on that one, too, but I am beyond eager to get back to it, and probably use as my focus for Camp NaNo this year. It’s one of those things where I got the whole thing outlined, then the writing-writing got to a certain point and then…stopped. I chalk it up to life being in-bloody-sane for the last few years. We’re back, now, though, and that’s what matters.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Whiiiiich brings me to the whole genre thing. I’ve been watching a lot of You Tube videos about historical romance. Like, a lot. I love watching these mostly young women getting excited about my favorite genre, and doubly excited to see them discovering classic historical writers like Julie Garwood, Judith McNaught, and Johanna Lindsey. Not yet a lot of non-J-named writers, but that will come, I am sure.

It’s this development that makes me think that maybe historical romacne does have a divide that I don’t yet know how to name. Many of these videos mention prefering historical romance that is light and funny and rom-com-y, historical accuracy either not a priority or even a detriment. Can’t say I can get my head around that but if those are the books that get a reader’s motor running, read on.

The historical romances that have a permanent home in my heart are of a different ilk. Darker rather than lighter, historical versimilitude a must, big thick bug squasher books that have heft and weight. Plots where the history is a major player, as in plucking this couple from medieval France and dumping them in modern times, the old west of the US, or ancient Rome, would not work at all, because they are people of their time.

A lot of the shining stars I see in these You Tube recommendations are great at weaving the nineteenth century backdrops with keen observations on the fads and foibles of modern life. The covers of these books have what are commonly referred to as “prom dresses” on the heroines, often with titles modeled after references to popular modern works, and in very modern-looking fonts. I don’t have a problem with that. It’s its own genre, and a pretty darned popular one, so rock on and keep going. Is it my taste, though? Weeeeel….I’m okay with that.

I’m also more than okay with accepting that my personal preference is for those big thick bug squashers, whose covers have historical garb on their humans. Often standalones, and often with authors who not only didn’t stick with one family or friend group, but spread it out over several different centuries and continents. An author could come on the scen with a Victorian historical, but the next book is sixteenth century pirates, then a western, then ancient Rome, then colonial Maine, then the early days of Australian penal colonies, back up to Gilded Age New York, then the English Civil War, and….:happy sigh: I love that. I miss that. I want to do that.

Love can happen any time, any place, as an online historical romance friend often says, and I abundantly agree with that. New school or old, traditionally published or indie, series or standalone. What absolutely must, must, must be there is the love story that is intrinsically intertwined with the time in which it occurs, and bonus points to the couple coming So Close to losing it all that I forget that the HEA is a gaurantee and then, at the last second, BOOM, they make it work. They get to the top of that metaphorical mountain, not without some bumps and bruises along the way, some bittersweet losses likely, and I pump my fist in victory.

At least that’s the plan, and that’s why I am working on my Anna Log You Tube channel, to talk about some of the stuff that I love that may not be the newest kid on the block, but my word, the staying power. Which reminds me, time to get to work on that.

Last week was, in a word, disgusting. Mostly for the heat, though there are most assuredly worse ways to spend days where the temperature reaches the nineties than sprawled in front of a box fan, mainlining coconut seltzer. That’s as close to a tropical vacation as I care to get, as I am pale and heat sensitive. Big plans to plow through my mini library haul were for naught, and I made only slow progress on e-reading as well. That’s all okay, though, as Drama King is now in the hands of its potential editor, and I am currently getting ready for tonight’s video chat with Melva where we will get the ball rolling on an outline for Queen of Hearts. This also means I now have brain space to give back to historicals, whihc I have sorely missed.

None of that is news to the regular readers here, but sometimes the best way to get the ol’ brain in working gear is to write stuff one already knows. That’s not a bad thing at all. Firm footing and all that. Another thing that helps here is to get my plans down in a visually appealing manner. Here is the desk planner for the week, mostly before the pen.

This is my first ever time covering the left hand (my left) side with scrapbook paper and totally ignoring everything pre printed on the page. I have heard this is not an uncommon issue but for some reason I always thought I was “supposed to” deal with what was printed on the page, the way it was printed on the page. This is the same me who would be the first person to tell someone else to white it out, cover it, but don’t stare at the page and feel dumb becuase they’re not making it work. Ahem. Yeah.

So. Part of all that was spending a big chunk of Sunday putting together my first Frankenplanned writing notebook to see me through the stretch from July to January. I’ll share pictures and maybe a flip through later. Don’t ask me about specific goals at this point. Still working on those, and I am pretty sure I know how I want to deal with Camp Nano. Pretty sure I’m going to be in the rebel encampment for that one but very much looking forward to the cameraderie and shaking pompoms in the general direction of any potential cabinmates. Would love to end up in a cabin full of historical romance writers. That hasn’t happened yet as far as I know. Well, for me that is.

For now, I have a hot date with a cool drink and a good book before I get ready for my chat with Melva and the requisite color coded highlighters and index cards. Tonight, we lay the foundation.

Typing With Wet Paws: The Heat Is Broken Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome and this is Typing With Wet Paws. Not much to report this week, because it was a hot one for two and four legs alike, but Uncle Rheuben got his fan network up and going, so we were able to stay cool. Aunt Anna doesn’t summer well, so that of course required me to be on round the clock nurse duty. Luckily that meant I got the fans on my fur a lot, and the humans always make sure my water is full and fresh. There is one big thing Aunt Anna said I have to tell you, and it is a thing that happened yesterday.

That big thing is…wait for it…Drama King, book two in the Love By The Book series, has been officially submitted to The Wild Rose Press, who published Chasing Prince Charming. Not yet an acceptance, but TWRP has first dibs on the next umm…some contemporary romances Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva writer together. That does also mean that they might be the first ones to say no thanks, but the aunts prefer to remain optimistic. Can’t say as I blame them. Did I mention there is a cat in this one? He looks kind of like this:

Photo by Aleksandr Nadyojin on Pexels.com

Kind of. Ish. I don’t know. I haven’t seen him. He lives in a book. Also, he is a grownup and I think that one in the picgture is a kitten. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any kittens, so maybe my memory of what they look like is fuzzy. Heck, I am fuzzy. Anyway, he’s orange, his names is Clawed, spelled exactly that way, and when you meet him, you’ll know why. Definitely my favorite fictional cat so far. Okay, he’s the only fictional cat I know, and I am only three. Clawed is the hero’s cat (actually, Clawed would say Jack is his human, and I stand by him on that one) and he has very strong opinions on sharing. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t like to do it.

So that is the big Aunt Anna thing. The medium Aunt Anna thing is that there is new furniture in the hosue I think she said something about that earlier, but never fear, it all smells like us now. I made sure of that. It’s not where it’s meant to be, because it has been too hot to move furniture around, but the humans will fix that soon. Aunt Anna will try moving her computer area closer to the windows and her nightstand will get a lamp that will let her read paper vooks or write in paper notebooks in bed, while she cuddles me. I was not able to get in any of the dresser drawers (still salty about that) but the humans assure me that my bix cardboard box is staying, no matter what, because I love it. Also, Uncle Rheuben put a paper bag inside my box. Let me tell you, that first time being inside a bag inside a box, I wish every kitty coud have that feeling. It was pretty great.

Another probably medium Aunt Anna thing is that she is getting ready for probably doing the Camp NaNo thing next month. Part of it is admittedly so that she can play with notebooks and Scrivener, and preferably coordinate the two at least aestheticswise, but we’ll see where the road goes.

One more Aunt Anna thing. Since it was soooo hot all week, Aunt Anna gets a little loopy, and now she can’t remember where she put her newer tablet, but it is definitely in the apartment. Our apartment is not that big, so give her a couple of cooler days and she’ll figure it out. She is perturbed, though, because there is a book that she was reading on there, but she can get it on a different device. It’s also the one she uses to take pictures of me. That might bump it up in priority , now that I think of it. Hm. Maybe I can help her look. The world needs more Storm pictures. I’m adorable. Look at me!

and that’s just my HAND

Even though Aunt Anna is grumbly about searching for that one tablet, she is very happily back to reading historical romance. We’ll wait on the Goodreads challenge tally, but here’s the book she is reading now, but the fabulous Marsha Canham. Aunt Anna loves her some Marsha Canham, and she’s thinking of using the summer to read all the Canhams she hasn’t yet read, and most of those are standalones. The one that isn’t, is third in a series where she read the first two already, and would not mind rereading.

One me picture for tax before I race from the room for no apparent reason. There are two boxes in this picture. One is my big box, which I get to keep. The smaller box ,I don’t care about, so it got recycled. Aunt Anna put the rest of the stuff away. She likes a tidy home. As long as it smells right and has my big box, I’m good either way.

a girl and her box, a love story

Headbonks!