Wednesday, 20 August 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 Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and was sorry to get to the end of it. The protagonist, Andi, was so real in all her prickliness and her struggles to cope with tragedy. I loved how the author twined together the story lines from the past and present and made the events of the French Revolution relevant to Andi’s character. I also thought the author gave a thoughtful and realistic look at depression. A sprinkling of genetics, Andi’s passion for music, and her relationship with Virgil—a refreshing love interest—were also big highlights of this story. I highly recommend this one.

Now, I’m reading The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry. It has elements of steampunk and the main character might be part goblin. So far I’m enjoying it.

What I’m Writing:

I’ve been working away on drafting Enlighten and I’ve now passed the 40k mark. Fitting everything into this book is going to be a huge challenge. There are so many plot threads to tie off and characters who deserve page time. Right now I’m not worrying about how long this sucker is going to be, but I may regret that come time for revisions. I’m just going to tell the story the way I want to tell it and enjoy writing it.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Remembering how much Robin Williams impacted me when I was a teenager through his portrayal of Mr. Keating on Dead Poets Society. My obsession with that movie led to a major high school project on William Wordsworth that in turn led to a deeper passion for writing and all things Romantic. It profoundly shaped my world view, and I think there will always be a seed of influence from that movie in everything I write, including my current WIP.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

My husband was on holidays from work for the last week and we had lots of fun together as a family. For his birthday, we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy (which we loved: I am Groot!) then went to the observatory at the university here. It’s a pretty small observatory, but it was still very cool to see a teeny tiny view of Saturn through the telescope.

We also had an awesome date night, during which we went to two different pubs: The Woods and (our favourite) Winston’s, where we sat on the rooftop and enjoyed a cooler night for a change. At The Woods I had a grilled Halloumi cheese and pesto sandwich for supper and I swear it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. So, so delicious. There was much amazing craft beer, and we also went to see X-Men: Days of Future Past in between. Loved that one too.

Continuing our sci-fi extravaganza, we saw Earth to Echo as well. It was a cute movie aimed at preteens/young teens and we enjoyed it (other than the bouncy hand-held camera effects). We also spent a fair amount of time reading at Starbucks, buying books, having coffee and dinner with friends and family, putting together a new desk for my son (which I want to steal) and just generally hanging out together. My boys also went to a football game out of town, which left me with all day Saturday to write (heaven). It was nice to take a break from the usual routine.



So what's up with you lately?

Monday, 18 August 2014

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week #11

Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, KatyUpperman, Jaime Morrow, and I hope you’re looking forward to 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 with the purpose of writing, revising, or planning like crazy, plus a way to keep each other accountable. We’ll be sharing our goals on Mondays and keeping our posts brief (2-3 lines per heading tops) 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 hop around to encourage other participants. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.

How I did on last week’s goals:

I didn’t set a goal last week, seeing as my husband was on holidays. While I took some time off from other responsibilities to relax, I still managed to sneak in a fair amount of time for writing while my boys were off at sports events.  My word count ended up being 6200.

My goals for this week:

Things are getting busy with the school season just around the bend, plus I have some brainstorming to do for my next scene, but I think I should be able to get out at least 3k.

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

I wish he’d crack a joke right now, mock the hell out of every word I just said, if only so I’d know they hit their mark enough to jolt him out of his shame. His eyes are wide. Two gray moons in his pale face. They look naked without his glasses, too exposed, as though I can peer right inside him and see every foul detail he wants to hide.

The biggest challenge I faced this week:

Keeping up my motivation and momentum when I was writing in fits and starts this week. 

Something I love about my WIP:

Two of my characters ended up becoming close friends, which is something I didn’t originally plan. Their relationship just naturally grew out of their circumstances in the story, and I had fun exploring that this week. I love how you can plan all you want, but sometimes characters have a mind of their own and there are still plenty of surprises along the way.

Please Note: Next Monday will be our final check-in post for RSW. Can you believe it? This summer has flown by! Seeing as RSW will be wrapping up, instead of posting goals we'd encourage everyone to recap their overall writing progress for the summer. Let us know how you did!

Also, on Thursday August 28th, we'll be hosting a beta/CP match-up. Stay tuned for further details next Monday!

Wednesday, 13 August 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!

No WUW post for me today since my husband is on holidays and I’m taking a little break from my laptop. Jaime is off gallivanting around Europe with her kilt and drum, so she won’t be participating either. We’ve posted the linky for you though and hope you have fun chatting amongst yourselves. Have a lovely week!




Monday, 11 August 2014

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week #10

Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, KatyUpperman, Jaime Morrow, and I hope you’re looking forward to 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 with the purpose of writing, revising, or planning like crazy, plus a way to keep each other accountable. We’ll be sharing our goals on Mondays and keeping our posts brief (2-3 lines per heading tops) 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 hop around to encourage other participants. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.


How I did on last week’s goals:

Last week I went with my usual goal of 4000 words and my word count ended up being 5600. I also realized after I posted that I forgot to include another goal, and that was to format my manuscript, Engrave, and send it off to Jaime for some sisterly critiquing. Formatting is a royal pain, but I got it done, and hopefully Jaime had the chance to take a peek on her flight to Paris.

My goals for this week:

My husband is on holidays for the next week, so I have no clue how much writing I'll get done. I know I'll have a chunk of time while the boys are off at a football game this weekend, but that seems like putting all my words in one basket. I think I'll skip a goal and play it by ear. No pressure this week.

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

Her hair falls in a curtain around his face, shielding him from everything and everyone but her.

The biggest challenge I faced this week:

This was a busy week—appointments, date night, the hubby’s birthday—so time was a factor. I also had to rewrite a scene that wasn’t turning out the way I wanted. There’s a lot going on in it in terms of emotion, information, and a major crisis. Getting the pacing and order of everything right is proving to be tough. Grrr.

Something I love about my WIP:

My favourite secondary character has his own romantic storyline in this WIP, and I’m enjoying writing that so much it makes me giddy. He deserves a little action.


Wednesday, 6 August 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 Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman and had to force myself to put it down at times, even though it wasn’t a fast-paced story. The plot was intriguing and creepy and kept me hooked till the end. I enjoyed the characters, flaws and all. This was one of those novels that proves YA isn’t watered down for younger readers. The prose is intelligent and the mc boasts an impressive vocabulary. No surprise, seeing as she spends much of the book translating old, Latin letters. The story also gets into steganography, which I find especially fascinating since my WIP does too. Good stuff.

I was craving something in the same vein, so now I’m reading Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. So far I’m loving the mc, the fabulous prose, the story that bounces between the present and past. I’m having a hard time putting this one down too. Have to sleep sometime though, right?

What I’m Writing:

I managed to solve the plot problem that was plaguing me last week, so that’s a happy thing. The solution wrapped the scene up in a way that plays on one of my biggest phobias, which was kind of scary. It involves elevators (shiver). Drafting is trucking right along again, and I’m pleased to say I was actually nicer to my characters this week. There might have been some unexpected smooching. Seriously, sometimes I need to pry my characters apart with a crowbar.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

The chance to impact readers even it’s only for a moment. Most of us will probably only ever influence a mere handful of people, and maybe our books won’t have a long shelf life or make it into bookstores at all, but we’ve still committed them to paper (or computer), and we’ve still breathed life into them, and they’re still part of that long line of literary history, even if they’re only a blip.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

On Sunday, we went to a local production of Romeo & Juliet and thoroughly enjoyed it. Every summer, our city hosts Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, a festival where two of Shakespeare’s plays are performed in a huge tent on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. This was their 30th summer running and the first time we’d ever attended. My son chose Romeo& Juliet as the Shakespeare play he wants to study this fall for English, so I was thrilled when I found out it was one of the two plays being performed this year. While this version was a classical interpretation (for the most part), the costumes had a sort of punk-tribal vibe to them with tattoos, feathers, and a bird-butterfly-fish motif. Benvolio was also cast as a woman—a very feisty, funny woman—and the guy who played Mercutio pretty much stole the show. The acting was stellar and the two who played Romeo and Juliet had great onstage chemistry. In all, we were impressed and we’ll definitely go back another year.


Other than that, I’ve been listening to Of Monsters and Men (I could listen to Dirty Paws on repeat for hours), playing cribbage with my son, watching the new sci-fi show Extant, and trying to beat the heat wave we’ve been having lately. Helps that I have my own little barista to make me iced coffees.

So what’s up with you this week?


Monday, 4 August 2014

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week #9

Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, KatyUpperman, Jaime Morrow, and I hope you’re looking forward to 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 with the purpose of writing, revising, or planning like crazy, plus a way to keep each other accountable. We’ll be sharing our goals on Mondays and keeping our posts brief (2-3 lines per heading tops) 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 hop around to encourage other participants. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.

How I did on last week’s goals:

My goals were to write another 4000 words on Enlighten and fix a plot problem that was keeping me from finishing a particular scene. I ended up writing 6300 words and worked out the plot issue so I could move on.

My goals for this week:

I’m aiming for my usual 4000 word goal.

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

He swallows hard. “Sometimes when I listen to him talk, I hear these grains of truth, and for a split second I get him. For a split second, I know I could just as easily cross that line to where evil convinces itself it’s good.”

The biggest challenge I faced this week:

Trying to beat the heat and a massive headache that decided to stick around for days. As far as actual writing, since I’m working on the third book in a trilogy, I’m finding it tricky to come up with fresh ways to describe settings I’ve already used.

Something I love about my WIP:

That my main characters question their own goodness.


And now for our last giveaway…

The winner of Alison’s writer’s care package is:

LEANDRA WALLACE

Congratulations, Leandra! Have fun with the goodies in your parcel from Alison! We hope they provide a little pick me up on your way to finishing RSW!


Wednesday, 30 July 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 was finally able to read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and thoroughly enjoyed it. The prose was lovely, the island setting both quaint and haunting, and the plot twist satisfying. I had my suspicions about the latter and was in the right ballpark with my guess, although had I not known there was a big reveal, I doubt my mind would’ve been racing to figure it out. I also read In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg, a fun, sweet book reminiscent of You’ve Got Mail.

Now I’m about halfway through The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman. It’s not a fast paced novel so far, but I’m in suspense. I’ve also been reading a little more Romantic era poetry for research, particularly Byron and Sir Walter Scott.

What I’m Writing:

Thanks to a monster writing session this past Saturday, I’m almost to the 25k mark on Enlighten. I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad seeing as I’m only partway through Act 1. I’m going to go with good and we’ll see how I feel about it come time for revisions. If you read my RSW post on Monday, you’ll know I was struggling with a plot issue. I think I’ve got it figured out now and hopefully the rest of the scene will play out properly. I’ve left my characters in a precarious position and I should probably get them out of it very soon (insert evil laugh here).

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Beautiful storytelling in all its forms.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Yeah, I wrote almost 10k this past week, so I was basically a hermit in the writer’s cave and didn’t do much else that was noteworthy. That’s perfectly fine by me though. Besides the same old same old routine (write, read, walk, curriculum, conquer mountain of laundry, etc.) I did stumble across something on the internet that thrilled me to bits.

It’s become a tradition in our house that every St. Patrick’s Day we watch The Secret of Kells. If you’ve never seen this absolutely gorgeous cartoon, you’re missing out. Every frame is a work of unique, Celtic-inspired art and the story is an original blend of history and Irish mythology surrounding an illuminated text. In short, it’s a feast for the eyes and the imagination. You can probably guess how excited I was to discover that the same director is coming out with another movie in a similar style: Song of the Sea. This tale is about a selkie and judging by the trailer it’s going to be every bit as magical and engaging as The Secret of Kells.


Apparently it’s coming out late in the year, but being a smaller film, I’m not sure if it’ll be released in many theatres. We saw The Secret of Kells at a local vintage theatre that tends to show independent films, so I’m hoping, hoping, hoping they’ll decide to bring in Song of the Sea as well.

So how’ve you been lately? Care to share?