Monday, 3 August 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week #9

Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, Jaime Morrow, Elodie Nowodazkij, and I hope you’re looking forward to yet another productive summer! If you’re new this year and you’re wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive for writing, revising, or planning your WIP. It’s also a way to keep each other accountable. Every Monday we’ll share our posts, keeping them brief in order to maximize our writing time and minimize on blogging. Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to visit other participants’ blogs to cheer them on as well. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.

How I did on last week’s goal(s)

I wanted to work on revisions for twelve hours, and I spent about fourteen. I also planned to put in at least four hours on querying, and thanks to #MSWL I ended up putting in over six.

My goal(s) for this week

Since 12 hours of revisions and 4 hours of querying seems to be doing the trick, I’m going to stick with that.

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

I stagger to my feet, struggling to stay upright. Then I push off with my boots, thrust myself into the air as hard and far as I can. Black sky soars above me, water glistens green below, and as I plunge through the surface, several blasts shatter the night at once. The force clobbers me, swelling through the water in a powerful wall that bows my spine and smashes me farther out into the lake. Shouting swirls in my skull, murky, too elusive for me to grasp. Underwater, I twist and flail until the harsh current settles. I tear off my mask so I can breathe and break through the surface again.

The biggest challenge I faced this week

Setting up bookshelves in our library (aka the former dining room) took a huge amount of time because: a) we still had over 30 boxes of books left to unpack, b) turns out the floors in 120-year-old houses are horribly crooked and much shimming (not to be confused with shimmying) is required to get shelves even close to level, and c) we ran out of shelf space. Between that, painting the living room (ugh), and working on homeschooling curriculum for this fall, staying up late to write was tough. I am officially fried.

Something I love about my WIP

The romance in my WIP ties in heavily with the sci-fi plot. It’s not this extraneous thing I tossed in there to spice it up. The two go very much hand in hand. I think if a book (outside the romance genre, obviously) is going to have romance—and most of my faves do—that romance should serve an important purpose. In other words, make those kisses count! xxxxx

Which brings me to this…

Once again, guys, thanks so much for your heartening comments, especially on the lines I shared last week. I was nervous to post that particular snippet because I’d never shared part of a kissing scene online before, though I write lots of 'em. The things you said were a big boost to my confidence. I hope I can make all of you feel just as encouraged today. :)

And right on time to show my gratitude, it’s my week to give away a writer’s care package to one lucky participant. Remember to enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a box full of fun goodies. You get one vote for each week of RSW participation, and the contest is open internationally.



Here’s what my parcel contains:

● “Embrace the Journey” journal with cork cover
● “Enjoy the Little Things” notepad
● Ink Joy mini pens
● 2 pack of “Write On!” mini notebooks
● Scrabble pencils that say: jot, note, write, create, compose, and inscribe
● “Do One Thing Every Day That Makes You Happy” pencil case
● 2 packs of paperclips shaped like rabbits and crocodiles
● manicure kit
● Eos Fresh Flowers hand lotion
● Revlon Fashionista nail polish (teal)
● David’s Pom Tango tea  (makes 34 oz.)
● Strawberry Fusion TicTacs
● Cadbury Jelly Popping Candy chocolate bar
● Trident Very Berry gum

Good luck and have a fantastic & productive week!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 27 July 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week #8

Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, Jaime Morrow, Elodie Nowodazkij, and I hope you’re looking forward to yet another productive summer! If you’re new this year and you’re wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive for writing, revising, or planning your WIP. It’s also a way to keep each other accountable. Every Monday we’ll share our posts, keeping them brief in order to maximize our writing time and minimize on blogging. Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to visit other participants’ blogs to cheer them on as well. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.

How I did on last week’s goal(s)

My goals were to work on revisions for at least 12 hours and devote a minimum of 4 hours to querying and/or working on a submission package. I spent around 16 hours on revisions and about 11 on querying and fleshing out my synopsis.

My goal(s) for this week

12 hours on revisions and 4 hours on querying and/or my submission package sounds like a good plan again.

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

I do as he instructs, and a lake the color of turquoise spreads through my mind, fresh and cool. I’ve never seen water so brilliant before, even shadowed as it is by heavy clouds and the snow-capped mountains looming over it. Rain pelts the water, sending a million concentric rings rippling out over its surface. Pines hem the shoreline, and somewhere in the distance, a loon releases a haunting cry. I listen to the water lap against the stone-studded sand, its ebb and flow a tranquil rhythm, and as I imagine raindrops tapping my skin, I realize [boy] is kissing me again and again, pressing his lips everywhere.

The biggest challenge I faced this week

Disciplining myself to sit down and work when I was tempted to devour An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir all at once. Such a gripping, gorgeously written book that totally goes for the gut. Loved it so, so much. It was the best kind of distraction.

Something I love about my WIP

I love that it feels large in scope since the plot involves a global threat, but that it also feels very small because there’s a sense of intimacy between certain characters that draws the focus inward and is ultimately the heart of the story.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your supportive comments each week this summer. Without them, this writing dream of mine might have evaporated entirely. It’s been a precarious summer for me because of all the moving busyness and the frustration of not getting any closer to publishing someday, and you guys have kept me going. I’m so grateful! Hope you all feel encouraged today!

Stay tuned next week for our third giveaway, hosted by yours truly!


Monday, 20 July 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week #7


Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, KatyUpperman, Jaime Morrow, Elodie Nowodazkij, and I hope you’re looking forward to yet another productive summer! If you’re new this year and you’re wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive for writing, revising, or planning your WIP. It’s also a way to keep each other accountable. Every Monday we’ll share our posts, keeping them brief in order to maximize our writing time and minimize on blogging. Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to visit other participants’ blogs to cheer them on as well. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.


How I did on last week’s goal(s)

My goal was to work on writing for 12 hours and send out two queries. I more than doubled my writing time, and I emailed two query letters. Gold star for me.

My goal(s) for this week

I’m going to stick with 12 hours of work on revisions, and I’d like to devote at least 4 hours to querying and/or working on a submission package for a publisher that takes sci-fi manuscripts.

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

A stick cracks beneath his boot and a flock of birds, alerted to our presence, bursts from a thicket in a storm of flapping wings. They bolt through the trees overhead, feathers shaking foliage and wild, trilling cries pealing through the canopy. Startled, I jump back and collide with him. He grasps my shoulders and we watch them disappear, leaving bobbing branches in their wake.
Some deep, desperate instinct stabs me.
I wish we could fly after them.

The biggest challenge I faced this week

When writing sci-fi, it’s sometimes hard to keep science-y info short and simple. No one wants to read long, convoluted explanations, but they still have to be plausible. That was a challenge for me this week. The more concise the science (or imaginary science), the more room for kissing scenes. You know, the best kind of chemistry.  ;)

Something I love about my WIP

That I put my characters through hell, emotionally, physically, and in every way possible. I like hard won victories and agonizing defeats, bittersweet relationships worth fighting for, challenging my characters’ beliefs about the world and themselves, and letting those characters hit rock bottom. To me, the most satisfying stories are the ones where characters are stretched to the limits, where they not only risk losing everything  but often do lose everything while struggling to achieve their goals. That’s the type of story I’ve tried to write.

Okay, now onto our giveaway...

I'm pleased to announce that the winner of Elodie's care package is:


LIZ PARKER

Congrats, Liz! Hope this bundle of treats encourages your writing sessions in the second half of RSW! The Rafflecopter for our next giveaway will go up in two weeks, so keep participating to increase your chances of winning!

Thank you all for your awesome comments last week! Your kind words have been my fuel this summer. Happy writing, everyone!


Monday, 13 July 2015

Ready.Set. WRITE! Week #6

Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, KatyUpperman, Jaime Morrow, Elodie Nowodazkij, and I hope you’re looking forward to yet another productive summer! If you’re new this year and you’re wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive for writing, revising, or planning your WIP. It’s also a way to keep each other accountable. Every Monday we’ll share our posts, keeping them brief in order to maximize our writing time and minimize on blogging. Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to visit other participants’ blogs to cheer them on as well. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.

How I did on last week’s goal(s)

My goal was to work for 12 hours on revisions and send out two queries. I met my time goal, which included rearranging, snipping, splicing, and rewriting several scenes. I'm still working on smoothing this section out, and it's kind of an experiment in progress. As for queries, I only sent out one.

My goal(s) for this week

12 hours of writing. 2 queries. Surprised?

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

He stares unblinking at the flames beyond. They lick the night as though trying to devour the stars.

The biggest challenge I faced this week

Motivation. I've been craving summery walks and time to read, not messy revisions that make me want to bang my head against a brick wall (FYI, my new office has a brick wall, so I literally can do that now). On the positive side, my son stayed up late every night and read in my office while I worked, so that was fun. The company helped and I love spending time with my kiddo.

Something I love about my WIP

My mc is 18 when the story begins, but by the epilogue in book three, about two years have passed. It focuses on a window of time when everything is changing fast, when she grows from teen to adult. I love that it’s a story about discovering who she is and what she wants and not just about her efforts to save the world.

Now, it’s time to announce the winner of our first giveaway…


SUSAN CRISPELL


Congratulations, Susan! Enjoy all those goodies from Jaime! This week’s writer care package was put together by Elodie. If you’d like to win the cute items in the photo, be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below. Remember, it's one entry per week of participation in RSW, and the contest is open internationally. Good luck!


 And here’s what Elodie’s parcel contains:

● Mini Gallery "Believe in yourself"
● to-do list
● Twizzlers bites
● Ritter sport chocolate
● Notebook "Not all those who wander are lost"
● stars stickers
● nail files

Hope all of you had a successful week! I noticed last Monday that a lot of us seemed to be struggling. Hang in there, everyone! We’re reaching the mid-point in the summer, so we’re almost over that hill. Thanks again for your lovely comments. Oh, and a few of you asked what colour I painted my office. I chose a pale blue called “Everclear” (which kinda sounds like a Brodi Ashton novel, ha!), with just a hint of grey in it. I love how it turned out! I'll post pics someday when it's all organized and decorated. Have a super week, people!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 6 July 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week#5


Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, Jaime Morrow, Elodie Nowodazkij, and I hope you’re looking forward to yet another productive summer! If you’re new this year and you’re wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive for writing, revising, or planning your WIP. It’s also a way to keep each other accountable. Every Monday we’ll share our posts, keeping them brief in order to maximize our writing time and minimize on blogging. Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to visit other participants’ blogs to cheer them on as well. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.



How I did on last week’s goal(s)

12 hours of work on writing: Done. Revised four scenes and tinkered with a couple others.
Send out three more queries: Nope. Didn’t get to this.
Paint my office: Finished, and good grief was that hard.

My goal(s) for this week

I’m going to aim for another 12 hours of writing, and during that time I’m hoping to make a final decision on a particular story arc that either needs to be cut or changed. It's been giving me a major headache for a while, so we'll see how that goes. I’ll also try to send out two more queries.

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

At first I’m afraid of falling, but with his arm firmly about me and his hand a reassuring reminder on my hip, I soon let the hushed chatter of leaves relax me, enjoy the feel of my feet dangling in midair. In the distance, tiny cars speed along a thin strand of highway. I try my best to ignore them. They’re our only reminder of the rest of the world, and we both prefer this sense of having slipped through a crack in time and space to a place where only we exist.

The biggest challenge I faced this week

Painting my office was harder and more time-consuming than I thought it would be. Our new (old) house has 10 foot ceilings--almost twice my height--and there’s tons of trim, weird angles and corners. It took foreeeeever, and I was tired and sore from going up and down the ladder. Not much energy left over for writing. Now we only have 8 more rooms plus the foyer, vestibule, and hallways to paint. Kill me. Kill me now.

Something I love about my WIP

I love all my supporting characters, and I’ve tried hard to develop them as much as possible with the limited page time they get. Some of those characters have their own little story arcs that make them feel more layered and real. I wish I could write a book about each of them.

And now, let the real fun commence...

This summer, the RSW hosts are giving away writer care packages to five lucky participants. It's our way of saying thanks and hopefully giving your writing sessions a fun boost. If you'd like a chance to win this amazing parcel put together by Jaime, then be sure to enter on the Rafflecopter below. You get one entry for each week you've participated in RSW. The contest runs until 12:00 am July 12th and is open internationally. Good luck!


Here's what Jaime's care package contains:

• coiled journal with Every Summer Has A Story on it
• to-do checklist pad of paper
• heart-shaped Post-it notes
• Fineline markers (fine tip)
• pencil case with flip-flop pattern
• mini binder clips in fun colours
• two rolls of washi tape
• Revlon sparkly nail file
Haute in the Heat Essie nail polish
• EOS sweet mint lip balm
• Maynards wine gums
• Smarties
• Cadbury Dairy Milk Cookie Crunch bar

So how did it go with your goals this week? Once again, thanks so much for your kind comments, especially about my excerpt last week. That encouragement came at just the right time. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 29 June 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week #4

Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, KatyUpperman, Jaime Morrow, Elodie Nowodazkij, and I hope you’re looking forward to yet another productive summer! If you’re new this year and you’re wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive for writing, revising, or planning your WIP. It’s also a way to keep each other accountable. Every Monday we’ll share our posts, keeping them brief in order to maximize our writing time and minimize on blogging. Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to visit other participants’ blogs to cheer them on as well. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.

How I did on last week’s goal(s)

My goal last week was to put in twelve hours of work on writing, and I ended up spending around sixteen. During that time I tweaked a few things in Envision for consistency with its sequels. I finished rereading Engrave and did some further revisions on it. I reread a few chapters of Enlighten and started some revisions on it as well. I also did agent research and sent out one query.

My goal(s) for this week

I’m aiming for twelve hours of rereading/revisions again, and I’d like to send out at least three more queries. I also plan to paint my office and start getting it organized. I'm super excited about having a more inspirational work space.

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

He brushes off an emerald green stone with an expression of raw admiration that borders on reverence, his insides so beautifully bare, unmasked by this discovery. A pang of bittersweetness hits me. It seems unfair that for their deepest, truest beauty to be exposed, some things, some people, have to be torn open and gutted first.

The biggest challenge I faced this week

I was pretty exhausted again this week, to the point where I conked out a few times after supper. We’re still settling into our new home, so that continues to take up a lot of time and energy. I’m used to writing a lot on weekends, but living in a cool, new city also makes it tempting to do and see everything new instead of staying glued to my laptop.

Something I love about my WIP

Even though my trilogy is sci-fi, the tech in the story isn’t the heart of it—relationships are. It’s about what it means to be human, what it means to live and love in an imperfect world. Without those deep, layered relationships, the stakes in the story wouldn’t be nearly so high. I love that. A lot.

So how did it go for all of you this past week? Thanks again for the accountability and encouragement. Your comments are a real boost for us RSW hosts too!


Monday, 22 June 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week #3

Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, KatyUpperman, Jaime Morrow, Elodie Nowodazkij, and I hope you’re looking forward to yet another productive summer! If you’re new this year and you’re wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive for writing, revising, or planning your WIP. It’s also a way to keep each other accountable. Every Monday we’ll share our posts, keeping them brief in order to maximize our writing time and minimize on blogging. Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to visit other participants’ blogs to cheer them on as well. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.

How I did on last week’s goal(s)

Not spectacular. When I set my goals, I underestimated how long it would take to reread Engrave, book two in my trilogy, and overestimated by brain’s ability to focus right now. I got most of the way through my reread and did some minor revisions, but not as many as I’d hoped.

My goal(s) for this week

Because I’m working on three WIPs this summer and hopping around from task to task while I revise and smooth out inconsistencies between them, it’s kind of hard to determine specific goals, so this week I’m switching to a time goal instead. I usually treat writing like a job and put in several hours a day, but I haven’t fully settled into that again after our move. This week I’m aiming for twelve hours of work.

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

Intense

The biggest challenge I faced this week

Focusing was a huge challenge because I was overtired and distracted. I found myself rereading the same paragraphs over and over. I can’t wait until our house is painted and unpacked and organized (especially my office). I’d much rather be revising than trying to match upholstery and paint until my eyes cross. Has to be done though.

Something I love about my WIP

I love that at this midpoint (book 2) my mc is really starting to come into her own. She’s more assertive, and she’s figuring out what she wants. While I love plotting, I definitely have a passion for character development. It’s so rewarding to see how much a character has changed and grown throughout a series.

So how did all of you do this week? Great, I hope! Thanks for all the supportive comments you've been leaving. Even though it was a tough week, your encouragement helped me to feel less frustrated. :)