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,

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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.

One Week Into One Book July

This is the closest I am going to get, this Monday, to having all of my ducks in a row. This weekend just past was a weekend of three (count them, three) flea bombs, over the course of two days. Judging from the peaceful night’s sleep we all had, presumably free of microscopic vampire bugs, that should mean a peaceful Monday morning, but au contraire, it meant a Monday morning of shaking out bedding, moving things back where they go, rescuing things-that-touch-food from their cabinet bunkers, and hauling trash and recyclables to the refuse room down the hall. (For new readers, we live in an apartment building, and this is a magic place where gallant maintenance workers whisk away our rubbish on a daily basis, not that we have a room full of trash in a private residence. Nobody wants that.)

Okay. Focus, Anna. While work continues on Camp NaNo and Plunder, with notes on researching Catholicism in the Caribbean, in the late seventeenth century (yes, that is important for the romance, Karen. (Metaphorical vernacular “Karen,” not any specific person named Karen, even if she does want to see the manager.) because a certain part of the story will be a whole lot easier for me, if not my characters, if I can plop a fictional convent where I want to plop a fictional convent. So far, the answer should be yes, especially in non-British-held islands, and my hero is Dutch, sooooooo……

:deep breath: What was that I said about focus? Right. Okay. One Book July, as it applies to planning, has no official rules, but the commonly accepted guidelines are to use one planner/bullet journal for everything during the month of July. Some participants add other challenges, like using only one pen. That one, I would normally have a hard time doing, but that pen in the picture below? I get two of them for about seventy cents, and they are comparable to Pilot G2s, so yeah, this is the pen I am using as everyday carry for this month.

Webster’s Pages, pocket size, blush cover

Please note, (pun unintended) that I have fallen in love with that flower-crowned vixen (saving that line for a future hero’s lexicon) and, when I fill the insert she graces, I am taking the cover off and putting it on the next one. I know a good thing when I see it. That particular insert comes from a national chain craft store, in packs of three, for about two dollars (less, if there is a sale) and I am already stockpiling them, because, although I was hesitant about A) passport size, which is even smaller than pocket, and B) white pages, when I strongly prefer ivory, these guys are absolute perfection for my daily pages. Bullet point tasks on the right hand side of the spread (please insert my mother’s voice here, clarifying that it is my right, not the viewer’s right. Thanks, Mom.) and then the left/facing side is for notes.

I didn’t mean to set up my daily insert like that. It happened, on its own, as did finding the perfect balance for Li’l Pink (yes, I name my planners, and yes, they have genders) is three passport size inserts, and then I don’t know how to count the pocket sized inserts, because we have some buddy bands in there, and printables and covers I ripped off and covers I made, and it works, okay, does it really need a label, Karen? Ooh, labels.

My name is Anna, and I am a notebook addict.

Even though it is One Book July, it is also the time when I finally caved in to my curiosity about the B6 size of insert/notebook, above. Same company that makes the fox insert (ooh, do they make a B6 version of the fox? Now I have to go in search of; if I don’t return, I love you all.) makes B6 inserts, same paper -plus lined, plus graph (which I did not get, but will, this weekend) – and they were on sale for a mere dollar apiece, so of course I had to indulge, and, well, I love them.

I do not, however, own a B6 traveler’s notebook, so now I will need to start looking in that direction, but, in the meantime, these inserts are looking happy enough in my spare regular size Webster’s Pages, that I was wondering how I was going to use, so that will work out fine until I can settle the cover issue. I didn’t even have to think about what I’m going to use these inserts for, because they presented themselves. I now do have a notebook-notebook, to keep track of all things stationery (if anyone is taking bets on when that would finally happen, whoever had July 5th, 2019, gets the prize.) There will be another insert for household information, one for sketches/doodles/etc, and one for random brain dumps. I know exactly what pens I want to use with it, and it’s rather satisfying to have a whole endeavor land in my lap like that, a single bloop, and there it is.

Writing is like that, sometimes, and when it is, it is wonderful. More often, it’s like that pocket notebook that is my everyday carry/my one book for July. Trial and error. Will this work? No? Well how about that? Oh no, that’s worse. Rip that out, hide the evidence, try this weird thing because why the heck not? Well, look at that. That actually works. Okay, then. Onward we go.

No deep wisdom on writing today, Karen (or is there?) but I do learn a lot, about myself, about visual arts, about creativity in general, and other things, from my notebook adventures, which is why I do see them as part of the writing process.

Oh wait, there is one practical tip. If you see an oddly placed sticker in my July planner pages, there is probably the evidence of a dead bug under it. This gal does not tear out pages from a sewn binding. I’m not a monster. (usually)

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Fifth of July Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws, once again, coming at you with all the stuff on the week that was. Neither Writer Chick nor Dude got a lot of sleep last night, because we are now in high summer, which means that the same part of the country that was butt-freezing cold in winter, is now butt-melting hot in the summer. Yeah, I haven’t figured that out, either. The battle of the bugs continues, but the humans are fairly certain they are winning. That is mildly encouraging.

Anyway, Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick say a big thank you to everybody who has told them they have pre-ordered Chasing Prince Charming and/or are following Writer Chick on Goodreads. Other Writer Chick should have her author profile verified soon. Keep an eye on this space for that, and for the brand new official website for all things Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick. It will probably have their actual names on it, so maybe wait until they tell you what it is before trying to find it.

Speaking of Goodreads, Writer Chick is kicking tush on the reading challenge. She is now six books ahead of schedule, with fifty-four books read, out of ninety-five. That number is a lot bigger than she had expected it to be, largely thanks to audiobooks and insomnia. There is an upside to everything. she does plan to get back to more regular reviewing ASAP, because the only thing as good as reading a book, is blabbering about it.

Or writing a book. That’s good, too. That is also why she is Writer Chick, and not Reader Chick, although she is obviously that, as well. Case in point, her latest post at Buried Under Romance,

Thanks also to those who are looking forward to Buried Under Romance 2.0. New reviews are coming, and Writer Chick is there every Saturday, to blabber about books, so feel free to join her, and even chime in if the spirit moves.

An English lady. A Dutch pirate.
A love that knew no bounds.

Writer Chick is clipping along on her Camp NaNoWriMo project, Plunder, which is her first time planning a series from the get-go. As of right now, Writer Chick is hovering around the twenty-five percent mark (stuffed cats aren’t great at math; we have people to do that for us) with sixteen pages out of her goal of fifty, already written. She did not add any new pages yesterday, because she was flopped in front of the fan, listening to an audiobook, and hydrating. Also, it was a holiday. She is rather impressed with herself that she feels absolutely no guilt about that, and stuff will happen when it happens.

Speaking of things happening when they happen, I am not entirely convinced that Writer Chick’s plan to familiarize herself with the abovementioned connected historical romance worlds, has nothing at all to do with her new desire to try out the B6 size of traveler’s notebooks, but I will give her this one. If that gives her a convenient place to keep track of a new thing, well, who am I to object? Besides, I am fairly certain that size of notebook is big enough for me to nap on, so I will not be adversely affected, and isn’t that what truly matters? I think so.

Anyway, it’s hot, I’m bored, and the fan beckons.

Peace out.

Real Live Girl

Monday’s post on Wednesday again, as it is that kind of week. I wish I could say the delay is due to Canada Day having fallen on Monday, and that I was in a poutine coma, but that was not the case. Housemate and I monopolized the industrial washers at the laundromat, (hopefully) enacting Fleamageddon on the bitey critters in our household linens and such. I am not calling victory until more time has passed, but I am hopeful.

I am also, as of this week, a real live girl, aka official Goodreads Author. That’s my profile, right there.

Many metric tons of thanks to the fabulous E. Catherine Tobler, who is also a Goodreads Author for talking me through the process. Seeing my name and my face on the site, with the official designation, shook me a little. I am still not sure why. N was certainly impressed when I showed her the author page , at our weekly breakfast this morning (another thing that has been different this week. We usually meet on Tuesday, but it was Wednesday this week) and even Mr. N was impressed. We spent most of the morning with me history-geeking out over the English Civil War, and Bretheren of the Coast, and I did give N a quick walk-through of my Camp NaNo notebook.

This is not a post on my Camp NaNo notebook. Nor is it a post on Camp NaNo. Those will be later. It is also not a post on One Book July, which I am deferring from the first post of the month, not because I don’t have anything to say on the matter, because I do. I am liking this experiment a lot more than I thought I would, and limiting the supplies I have for my everyday carry actually give me a lot more freedom in how I use them. There is something in that there, and probably something that relates to writing in some manner, but I am still formulating my thoughts on that.

What, exactly, does being a Goodreads Author mean to me? I get the sense that I want to take a moment before answering this, and reach deep inside to find my scholarship pageant voice (fun fact; I had the opportunity to enter a scholarship pageant in high school, but declined.) and think of puppies, world peace, and hopefully a sparkly crown on my head, if I answer correctly. I would like all three of these things, but, right now, I am still taking it in, and turning my attention to the page.

That page would be my daily page in my planner, because that helps a lot to keep me on track. Get author tasks done for The Wild Rose Press, so they can help spread the word about Chasing Prince Charming. Stick to my Camp NaNo goal, and use the month before me as discovery time for my first planned trilogy of historical romance. Carry on with Drama King with Melva, our beach ball now in the professional arena instead of the backyard sandbox. Nudge Her Last First Kiss further along the way to the end of draft two, and keep an eye on the in-box for news on my queries for A Heart Most Errant (and think of series potential, because marketing, and I can do this, stretching myself is good) and definitely ensuring that Fleamageddon sticks.

For the practical answer, being a Goodreads Author means that A) you can follow me there, B) you can ask me questions. That one is kind of exciting. Okay, they both are, and I really hope those who want to do one or the other (or both) will do so. That’s one of the fun parts of being a writer, interacting with readers, so I am looking forward to that, but for now, my planner says I am writing.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Officially Summer Edition

Greetings, Foolish Mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart- Bowling once again, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. Since today is the Summer Solstice, it makes sense that we have hit that time of year when Writer Chick turns nocturnal. That means zero chance of sleep at night (yep, she is already talking to her people vet about this; should all be sorted soon) but as soon as morning hits, slumber party for one. A few hours after that, we get what Dude calls the “mini-rage,” or Writer Chick’s displeasure that her favorite and most productive part of the day is now past

This will all even out soon, as the days grow shorter once more (aka the darkness returns, bwahahaha, as Writer Chick puts it) and we get ever closer to that wondrous time of year, autumn, when Writer Chick’s super powers come into play. This is perfect timing, because the release of Chasing Prince Charming is on August 12th (12th August if you are British. Writer Chick is not British, but the family’s closest neighbors when Writer Chick was learning some basic life skills -aka toddlerhood- were from Scotland, and Writer Chick’s mom’s best friend was British, so this may explain why Writer Chick naturally writes her dates day/month/year instead of month/day/year, and sometimes puts extra L’s and U’s in odd places.)

That UK influence got in there early.

As you may be able to guess by the different tone of today’s post, and the fact that I have a Greatest Hits picture up top, instead of a new one, we have also hit the very first Sebastian’s Choice entry, which is different from the usual Friday blogs in that I get to talk about whatever I want. For those who have asked about preorders of Chasing Prince Charming, Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick say thank you, and they will get that information to you, as well as the link to their brand new website, ASAP.

Available August 12th, ordering information ASAP

Since having an upcoming release, having stuff out on queries/submissions/etc, preparing for Camp NaNo in July, and One Book July (a planner thing) is a lot to handle, Writer Chick is tearing her planners down to the bare bones and remaking them, to serve her in a more efficient manner. This means some ring binders will no longer be planners, but regular binders, as they get assigned to one particular project, and some may go up for sale, as will some planner guts (aka unused pages) but sorry, readers, no handsome stuffed orange boys are in that lot. Cat Regent is an appointed position, and not transferable.

Naptime is fast approaching, so if you’re here for Writer Chick stuff, her Buried Under Romance post this week is about classic historical romance authors who are still bringing the goods in this modern, indie-publishing age. Click the caption to go to it.

For Writer Chick’s Goodreads challenge, she has passed the fifty percent mark (I think I said that already) and is now fifty-two percent of the way to her goal, with forty-nine books read our of her goal of ninety-five. As you may presume, reading is an excellent way to get through those slumberless parties Writer Chick’s brain throws on summer nights.

Welp, time for me to go watch the birdies/let the breeze blow through my tummy fur/take a nap, so catch you on the flip side. If you see a black-garbed wraith roaming the stacks of a Barnes and Noble (maybe craft stores, too) with a water bottle in one hand and a planner in the other, that is probably Writer Chick.

Peace out,

People I Know Are Reading My Books (and it’s weird)

“My mother says she’s going to buy your book when it comes out.” Housemate told me this, last night, during our weekly grocery run. My cart stopped in mid-aisle. Housemate’s mom (we shall call her Hmom) does not, as a rule, read, and she has never, to my knowledge, read romance. Best as I know, when Hmom does read, it’s old Hollywood biographies, and Chasing Prince Charming is…not.

“Your mom knows this is a romance novel, right?” I asked Housemate, trying to sound casual. Housemate assures me Hmom does. She wants to see what I write. Um, she does know there is adult content in this book, right? She does. This led into a discussion of how I am usually the first one to say that I find it funny when people get squidgy about women of a certain age reading mature content, because, well, they are mature. Since Housemate is older than me, she is literally living proof that Hmom knows what sex is, and was having it before I was born. She was married for multiple decades, and so there is very little chance that Melva and I are going to shock her.

Neither, for that matter, is there a lot of sex in this book. Neither is sex the entire point. That would be erotica. I write love stories. Contemporary or historical, alone or in collaboration, I write love stories. Romance. Sometimes there is sex on the page, sometimes there is not. It all depends on the story, and on the line and/or publisher where the particular book appears. I know, very well, that Hmom knows what love is, so I should be fine, but, still, this is the first time I have ever been squidged about knowing somebody I know in real life is going to read one of my books.

This has not come up with Hmom before, because history is not her thing, and has not come up with others, because I have not had a lot of romance readers among my IRL people. For those about to comment, “hey, I know you, and I read your books,” A) thank you, and B) I mean people whose reading of my books would squidge me. Housemate? Total non-squidge. Real Life Romance Hero does not read my fiction, and, anyway, I prefer to leave his reading of my anything on the high note of the time he came out of the bathroom, with a copy of a newsletter that I then wrote for, asking if I had read this amazing article (I think it was about Star Trek: The Next Generation) and if I knew who wrote it. I told him I did. It was me. We will leave his reactions at that, because let’s face it, hard to top that one.

Pastor squidge is not even a thing. My pastor knows what I write, and, while I don’t think he’s going to read any of my books, his wife or mom might. His daughter, well, check back in seventeen years. His mom’s only admonishment was that she wishes I would write a Victorian romance, because that’s her favorite era. Miss Lana, if I ever write a Victorian, that book will be for you. I do have one Edwardian, Never Too Late, which is as close as I have come so far, but who knows what the future holds?

Right now, I am watching the email for both the release letter from The Wild Rose Press, and word on my submission of A Heart Most Errant to another house. We will see how that goes, but it feels good having stuff in the works, and it reminds me that I really do want to add a submission/release tracker to either my traveler’s notebook or my writing planner. I had originally planned for this post to be about refining my visual aesthetic, which ties into author branding, aka what kind or write I am, both on my own and with others.

That’s going to be a different post, because a) Hmom reading my book (Housemate assures me that yes, Hmom plans to actually read the book, not just buy it and have it, and b) I want to take my planners down to the bones and build them back from the ground up, closer to the way I want and actually use them. insert profound comment about how starting the second half of the year being a good time for a new start here. Speaking of which, it is now time for the actual fiction writing part of the day, so I that’s it for this post. At least one reader is waiting.

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Bookish Updates Edition

Greetings, foolish mortals. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling, once again, coming at you with all the stuff from the week that was. Before I get into the stuff Writer Chick wants me to talk about, I have even bigger news. This week, I had a fan meetup. That’s right. Writer Chick had a surprise friend visit, and that friend wanted to see me. I was not in the room where they were, so Blonde Chick asked Writer Chick to go get me, and Writer Chick did, and that turned into my first ever photo op.

Anna’s note: “Blonde Chick” is Sue Ann Porter.
She writes stuff.

Writer Chick insists that the speech bubble was my addition to the photo, but please. That face says it all. That is proper excitement there, people. Blonde Chick and Writer Chick talked about life and books and writing and how they want to do a video blog about something called Poldark. I wasn’t paying attention until the part where Blonde Chick said she wanted me to be in the video and apparently, I may be getting a hat out of the deal. Sweet.

They’re all Buried Under Romance…

Okay, on to the compulsories. Writer Chick was doing a lot of Buried Under Romance stuff this week, talking to the other chicks who do stuff there, about how they are going to do things in the 2.0 version. She also wrote her weekly blog entry, which is here, about big stories that come from small presses. Keep a sticky note on that small presses thing, because it will come up later in this post.

Goodreads Challenge

No graphic this week for Writer Chick’s Goodreads Challenge, because we’re burning daylight and I don’t feel like making one, but Writer Chick has most assuredly come from behind and burst out ahead. Like five books ahead, but that is not entirely accurate, because she has yet to record a couple of recent reads. On record, Writer Chick is now forty-nine percent of her way to her goal of reading ninety-five books, with a total of forty-seven recorded books so far. The actual number is higher, so she is hovering right on the halfway point, and needs only read a book and a half a week to make her goal on schedule.

Won’t be long now, …..

Chasing Prince Charming

Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have signed off on the finalest final that ever there finaled galley of Chasing Prince Charming. Editor Chick said okay, and it is now out of their hands, and soon to be into yours. All Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have to do now is to wait for the release letter. Also get cracking on swag and promo and getting that website up and running. Also writing the next book, because readers are going to want more, and also they are too far into this thing to back out now. It says right on the cover page or something that this is Book One in the Love by the Book series, so the Chicks better get a move on if they don’t want to look lame. Lamer? Lame. Moving on.

Submissions

Yeah, you read that right, and if you guessed that this is where that sticky note from above goes, you are right. One of the Buried Under Romance Chicks told Writer Chick that a certain indie author had started her own press, and Writer Chick had to check that out. So, Writer Chick did, and, while chatting with her friend, actually got into A Heart Most Errant, did the edits, wrote a cover letter, and sent it off. Keep an eye on this space for more news. If this place is not a match, then Writer Chick is sending it out again. If this works, she may have to conscript that friend into chatting with her while she writes other query letters. When something works, I say stick with it.

For me, what always works is a decent nap, preferably on fresh laundry, Writer Chick’s keyboard, or that newspaper Dude was thinking of reading. Clearly, I am going to have to get my beauty sleep to keep up with all the stuff going on around here. I do take my Cat Regent duties seriously.

Peace out,