Wednesday, 26 March 2014

What's Up Wednesday


In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part.

What I’m Reading:

I’m only a few chapters into Unhinged by A.G. Howard. This wasn’t a huge reading week for me, so hopefully I’ll get to sit down soon and really delve into this story.

What I’m Writing:

Jaime and I had two Skype writing sessions this week, during which I continued my first round of revisions. I’m still incorporating my notes into my ms, and I’m also chopping bits and rewriting certain scenes as I go. I’m not paying (much) attention to prose this time through. My strategy is to work from big to small, hammer out the plot and find the overall shape of the story before worrying too much about how things sound or about nitpicky details. It’s hard not to get distracted by all the little things I want to tweak now.

I'm currently working on a section of scenes that plateaus in the middle of the story by attempting to integrate them better so the pacing doesn’t slow too much. This WIP is a sequel, and I’m trying my darndest to make sure it doesn’t have “diaper bum”—as in totally saggy and droopy. Middle books are notorious for that, as I’m sure you know. I'm fairly certain enough happens in this book, so once things are tightened up, it should be fine. What a challenge sequels are! I feel like I’m learning a lot from the experience though.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Authors like Marissa Meyer and Rae Carson who write series that get better as they progress. Obviously, I’d never compare myself to them, but it gives one something to strive for, doesn’t it?

Ozzy the three-legged pug
being adorable
What Else I’m Up To:

Other than watching Veronica Mars and doing my Roswell Challenge on the treadmill, I haven’t been doing much besides revisions and normal day to day stuff. I switched out an episode of Roswell to watch Epic while exercising the other day. It had a redheaded protagonist, a three-legged pug, and Leafmen that looked like miniature Mirkwood elves, so naturally I loved it. I didn’t know until recently that it’s very loosely based on a picture book by William Joyce called The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, which I used to read to my son. William Joyce is a god in our house, considering my son’s obsession with Rolie Polie Olie when he was little. He actually went through a phase where he insisted everyone call him Olie, so this movie made me a tad nostalgic for those days.

Well that’s my severely uneventful week. What’s up with you?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part.

What I’m Reading:

Last night, I finished Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. While I loved Shatter Me, this last book in the series was a disappointment for many reasons. I'll leave it at that.

Next, I think I’ll read Unhinged by A.G. Howard. I’m hoping I enjoy it as much as Splintered.

What I’m Writing:

Jaime and I had our mini writing retreat over Google Hangouts on Saturday, and it turned out to be a very productive day. I rewrote the scene I mentioned I was struggling with last week (once I figured out where to slot it) and I also got a nice chunk of other revisions done. There was plenty of tea, lots of helpful conversation, way too much candy, and loads of fun. We plan on having another joint writing session this Thursday, seeing as this one went so well.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Setting aside Thursday for another writing session with my sister, of course.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Jaime and I started what we refer to as “The Roswell Challenge.” Seeing as we’re both fans of the WB show Roswell, we challenged each other to watch at least four episodes a week while on the treadmill. It’s been quite a while since I last watched this teen sci-fi gem, and I’m enjoying it all over again. Besides Shiri Appleby’s tendency to wear mom jeans (hey, it was the 90s) it’s actually still a great show, and it’s providing the motivation to get off my duff and get some exercise.

For St. Patrick’s Day, my family watched Waking Ned Devine (hilarious) and The Secret of Kells, the latter of which has become a tradition in our house. It’s one of my favourite movies because the art style is just so unique and beautiful. If you want to read more about it, check out my post from last year here. Supper was a team effort. My husband made Guinness beef stew, my son baked Irish soda bread, and I made an Irish tea cake with lemon yogurt on top. Okay, so the lemon yogurt isn’t Irish, but it’s delicious and much healthier than some sugary topping. There was also additional Guinness for the hubby and me.


I know we’re about ten years behind on this, but my husband and I started binge watching Veronica Mars this weekend. With all the hype about the movie, we thought it was high time to try it out. It probably won’t come as a surprise that we’re addicted. Yes, my husband too. We watch almost all of our shows together. I’m already dreading the end of the series, but I’m looking forward to seeing the movie, especially since I’ve heard good things about it.

So what’s up with you these days?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part.

Before I jump into the details of my week, check out the super cute WUW buttons Jaime whipped up for us! If you’d like to snag them for your WUW posts, you can find them in the WUW tab above. With spring (hopefully) arriving soon, these will be a fun way to freshen up our blogs each Wednesday!

What I’m Reading:

I recently finished Alienated by Melissa Landers and really liked it. This book kind of bridges the gap between contemporary and sci-fi. It’s actually quite a bit like the new CW show Star-Crossed, only in this case the aliens are exchange students. The humor in Alienated made me laugh out loud more than once, but I also felt invested in the characters and their dilemma. I’m looking forward to Invaded, the second book in the series and not only so I can put another gorgeous cover on my shelf.

I also finished reading The Star Thief by Jamie Grey, and now I’m starting Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi.

What I’m Writing:

This has been a tough revision week. I’ve been rewriting a particular scene for the purpose of world-building, but as far as the plot goes it feels kind of redundant. I’m at the stage where I need to make some big decisions about which scenes to keep, bump to book three, or cut. It’s a challenge, but I know I’ll get it right eventually.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

My sister, Jaime, and I are planning our own little writing retreat over Skype. I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve had plenty of plot-related discussions lately, and we thought it might be fun to sit down and get a nice chunk of writing/revising done together. Hopefully that will happen very soon.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

I got my stitches out, which is a huge improvement for my mouth. My son turned fourteen this week (How the heck did that happen? I feel old.) so we had fun birthday shopping and celebrating. The festivities included pizza, Thor 2, hockey, cupcakes (some Guinness cupcakes for the hubby and me), Chinese food, presents, and lots of other fun stuff.

So what’s up with you lately?


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part.

What I’m Reading:

The one good thing about recuperating from surgery is that it’s the perfect chance to catch up on reading. I completely devoured Cress, and now I’m mourning the fact that I’ll have to wait so long for the final book in the series. The Lunar Chronicles are so much more than retellings, and Marissa Meyer’s creativity in translating fairytales into sci-fi amazes me.

Speaking of creative storytelling, I also read When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens. I love the idea of finding a secret diary that’s been hidden for years and the many ways that diary could inspire a modern character. That’s precisely the type of premise that would have grabbed my attention when I was Audrey’s age. I thought Alice’s diary entries were very convincingly written for the time period. It was clear that a lot of research went into them, as well as the parts about Audrey living in the White House. Good research always impresses me. I also especially enjoyed the budding romance between Audrey and her crush. Overall, a sweet and inspiring story!

Now I’m reading Alienated by Melissa Landers, and I have to say I think it has one of the coolest covers ever.

What I’m Writing:

I’ve been working on my first round of revisions, and so far I’ve made it partway into act two of my story. Still a long way to go, but I’m starting to feel more settled into revision mode now. I also did a nice chunk of planning for the third book in my trilogy.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

The Ender’s Game soundtrack, which is gorgeous and melancholy and powerful. You know the kind of music where you just have to close your eyes and let it move you? That’s what this soundtrack is like for me. Perfect for writing. If you love violin and cello, you might want to give this soundtrack a listen. The amazing violin starts up around the 1:19 mark.



What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Well, I had my dental surgery. After sleeping off the effects of the anesthetic, I was feeling pretty good and thought recovery was going to be a piece of cake. Yeah, not so much. Later on that night, I swelled up like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man after a fist fight. Seriously, my face was unrecognizable.  I looked like a bruised bobble head with a baseball in my cheek. One of my eyes was even swollen halfway shut. NOT a good look for me. Much to my relief, my face has returned to normal now. I’m still living on squishy foods though—lots of applesauce, yogurt, and pancakes. I sent my husband to the grocery store to pick up a few more soft things for me to eat and he came back with Hello Kitty canned pasta, which totally made me laugh. He thought I’d like something cute to eat. Men are funny.

Other than letting my face slowly deflate (and reading and writing, of course) I haven’t been doing much that’s out of the ordinary. As I mentioned recently, my son has been learning about genetics, so the other night we made DNA models out of licorice, rainbow marshmallows, and toothpicks, then ate them while we watched more Eureka episodes. Well, I only ate the marshmallows. You are what you eat, you know. Anyway, it was a fun snack for watching sci-fi.

So what’s up with all of you these days?