Wednesday, 28 May 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. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

What I’m Reading:

I’m about a quarter of the way through Mystic City by Theo Lawrence. Reading time has been rare lately, so I’m working through this one in fits and spurts. The unique version of Manhattan in this story is proving to be an interesting setting so far.

What I’m Writing:

This week, I revised eight scenes, which wrapped up Act 2 of my WIP. Now I’m in the middle of one of my favorite scenes. Pardon me while I squeal a bit. I'm hoping that maybe, perhaps, possibly I might be done round two of revisions sometime in the next couple weeks. That should be feasible, but we'll see.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Check out those pasty legs!

On Sunday, my husband ran his fifteenth marathon and placed 3rd! He’s been aiming to break into the top three at our provincial marathon for a long time now, and he finally did it. He also finished with his best time ever, 2:50:39. For the record, running 26 miles/42k in less than three hours is fast. Of course, I was screaming my head off because I was so excited to see him coming down the homestretch in third place. All right, all right, I scream my head off no matter how he ranks, but this time was special.

My son ran the 10k race in 53:55 and placed 172nd out of 1229 people, most of whom were adults. He inherited his dad’s passion for running and is hoping that maybe next year he can do his first half marathon.

I’ve compared running and writing in blog posts before, because both require practice, dedication, and perseverance.  Watching my boys put their training into effect makes me incredibly proud and inspires me to apply the same passion and persistence to my writing.

Look! It's a teapot tree!
What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Working on more curriculum, going for coffee with the in-laws, getting a crap ton of housecleaning done, going for supper at our favourite 1950s diner, visiting our favourite coffee & tea shop which happens to be just down the street from said diner, Skyping with Jaime, watching Ender’s Game and loving it even more the second time.


How was your week?

Wednesday, 21 May 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. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

What I’m Reading:

This is the first time in a while that I’ve gobbled up a book so quickly. It was a little too easy to put down the last several novels I’ve read, but If I Lie by Corrine Jackson kept me up way past my already late bedtime. I had to find out if Quinn would be vindicated in the end. The characters in If I Lie were real and frustrating and often cruel. Quinn was a strong mc trying to maintain her integrity in an incredibly tough situation. She actually has a couple big things in common with my own mc, which could be partly why I liked her so much. While this book wasn’t the type to be tied up perfectly with a bow, I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it.

Now I’ve started Mystic City by Theo Lawrence.

What I’m Writing:

I got five scenes revised this week. Not bad, but I was hoping to get a bit more done. Things have been super busy around here though, plus it was a long weekend which meant more family time and less being glued to the laptop.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Honestly? Being busy. When I’m up to my eyeballs in other tasks, I find myself craving time to write.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Snackage while watching The Bletchley Circle:
French bread, brie, grapes, and dark chocolate
Okay, so I don’t talk about this much online, because people tend to act like we have leprosy when I do, but in case you were wondering what my day job is (and haven’t checked out my About Me page) I actually homeschool my son (For the record, we think teachers are great and schools are necessary, we believe in social skills, and our son has a choice in the matter). I won’t get into all our reasons for choosing an alternate form of education (there are many) but will mention that flexibility and more time for family and reading are big factors. So why did I bring this up now? Because I’ve been buried under an avalanche of curriculum planning and report writing lately. May is my busiest time of year, and this May has been especially insane. The fun part in all of this? Buying TONS of books, of course! We take a very eclectic approach to homeschooling and use all sorts of amazing resources rather than purchasing set curriculum. It’s a lot more work for me but definitely worth the effort. So when I’m not writing, this is what I spend much of my time on. In this house, LIFE = BOOKS.

As for the rest of my week, my hubby and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with a delicious Italian dinner, wine, and chocolate cheesecake. We also watched Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist this weekend (pretty darn funny) and discovered The Bletchley Circle, a fabulous British show about female code breakers post WWII that use their logic skills to solve crimes. If you haven’t seen it and like historical dramas, I highly recommend it.

Now that the weather is finally nice, I’ve been going for walks with my son and our dog, Holly, instead of trudging away on the treadmill. Must work off all the pasta, focaccia and French bread I scarfed down this weekend. I also Skyped with Jaime and did some sweater shopping, because a girl needs something pretty to wear with her nerd shirts, right?

So how are things with you lately?

Wednesday, 14 May 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. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

What I’m Reading:

I finished The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham. While it didn’t measure up to the show (how could it?) I’m looking forward to reading the next installment in the Veronica Mars series, assuming there is one.

Now I don’t know what to read, and that has nothing to do with lack of choice. I’m just having a bit of trouble narrowing it down. We shall see…

What I’m Writing:

This week, I revised five scenes and I’m smack in the middle of my WIP now. Lots of high-paced action and doing terrible things to my characters. Mwahahaha!

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Cool scientific innovations. (see below)

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

It’s been a big ol’ nerdfest around here lately.

I’ve been enjoying my Mother’s Day gift, which I affectionately refer to as the “Tron Kettle,” because it glows blue when it boils water and looks like something out of The Grid. You know that old saying, “a watched pot never boils?” Well some inventor clearly took that to heart and made this a fun kettle to watch. It may be the coolest appliance ever, and I’m glad my boys picked up on the hint that I wanted it (okay, so the hints were pretty blatant). Now I don't just make tea, I make sci-fi tea.

This week we went on a fieldtrip to the Canadian Light Source National Synchrotron Research Facility, which is basically science geek heaven. In case you’ve never heard of a synchrotron before, it’s a particle accelerator that uses light to study the microstructure of materials down to the atomic level. This thing accelerates electrons at over 99% the speed of light! How freaking cool is that?! Our synchrotron in Saskatoon is the brightest in the world, which means it gives the clearest results. It’s actually 1 million times brighter than sunlight. Some incredible medical and environmental innovations are being made with the synchrotron. We’re talking new treatments like nanomaterials that travel into the brain to destroy tumors or ways that phytoplankton could be used to capture carbon dioxide and fight global warming. Amazing stuff. As you can tell, it was a very informative fieldtrip and one that could inspire shiny new story ideas.

On Mother’s Day we went to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and, no surprise, we enjoyed it a lot. Andrew Garfield was predictably adorable. For any of you Avengers fans, this weekend the hubby and I tried an awesome craft beer called “Thor’s Hammer.” Definitely getting that one again. There was also the usual book shopping, and I managed to score a sweet pile of books from the bargain section, at least four of which were on my TBR list.

Well, those are a few of the fun things I did this week. What have you been up to?


Thursday, 8 May 2014

COVER REVEAL: More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs

There are several reasons why I'm excited to be part of the cover reveal for More Than Music today. The premise sounds captivating and unique. I can already feel the tension brewing in this one. The cover is gorgeous and promises a swoonworthy read. But perhaps the biggest reason is because it's written by Elizabeth Briggs, who was my Pitch Wars Mentor this past winter. Elizabeth is a writer who generously gives her time to the writing community and her advice to those lucky enough to have the chance to work with her. She knows her stuff, and she's an author deserving of huge success!

Cover by Najila Qamber Designs
More Than Music (Chasing the Dream #1) is a NA contemporary and will be released on June 17, 2014. Check out the synopsis:

Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars.

Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.





Here's a bit more about Elizabeth:

Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.

You can follow her at these links:

blog 

If More Than Music catches your interest, you can add it to your Goodreads TBR shelf here. Click the pic to the left if you'd like to see a larger view of the entire cover. And most importantly, remember to get your copy of More Than Music on June 17th!

*Blog tour organized by Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours and Xpresso Reads.

Wednesday, 7 May 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:

This has been a crazy busy week, so I’m still reading the first Veronica Mars novel, The Thousand Dollar Tan Line. So far I’m enjoying it, but it doesn’t beat the show. Just to let any other “marshmallows” who might be interested in reading this know, the book takes place right after the movie, so make sure you see the movie first before picking this up.



What I’m Writing:

I revised nine scenes this week, and I’m coming up to the halfway mark on round two of revisions.  I’m sure there will be many more rounds after this one, but for now I’m reminded of just how much I love these characters, the themes in their tale, and the world they live in.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

The power of true stories. (see below)

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

I’ve mentioned on a couple occasions that my son is learning about World War II this year. Well, this past Thursday, we had the opportunity to hear Robbie Waisman, a Holocaust survivor, share his story.  Mr. Waisman was fourteen, the same age as my son, when he was liberated from Buchenwald. I won’t recount everything he said here, but let me tell you that hearing him speak was incredibly moving. My son read a lot of books about WWII this year, both fiction and non-fiction, but none of them could compare to listening to Mr. Waisman talk about his experience in person. It had a profound impact on both of us. Mr. Waisman opened by saying that he wasn’t telling the kids his story to make them sad but to empower them, and I think he did just that. It’s stories like his that need to be passed on to future generations.

We also attended a 90th birthday party for my husband’s grandma on Sunday, went for coffee with the in-laws, did some Mother’s Day shopping, and lots of other stuff that made the week fly by but isn’t thrilling enough to mention.  Honestly, spring hits here and it’s like the clock speeds up all of a sudden. There’s way too much to cram into our good weather window!

Also, stay tuned tomorrow for the cover reveal of More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs, Pitch Wars mentor extraordinaire! If you're interested in NA contemporary, you won't want to miss this!

So how was your week? Lovely, I hope!