Wednesday, 28 January 2015

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’ve been trying to finish up City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, but I’m feeling sort of disconnected from the characters and the story. I also started Two by Leigh Anne Kopans. I really liked Elias in One, so I’m looking forward to reading this sequel since it’s from his perspective.



What I’m Writing:

Writing this week was full of plot twists, tears, and Hans Zimmer. Even though I didn’t do a WUW post last Wednesday, I still set a writing goal for myself. I wanted to finish the next three scenes in Enlighten, which I did. That’s another 6k added to this beast of a WIP. I’m finally, FINALLY at the point where I’m in love with it though. It took longer with this one, but I knew I’d get there.

My writing goal for this week: I’d like to write the next three scenes and outline a fourth. That last order of business is going to be tough because it involves tying up a plot thread that I’ve woven through the whole trilogy. No pressure.

What Works For Me:

The Interstellar soundtrack. Seriously, that pipe organ is transcendent and Hans Zimmer is a genius. Don’t you love how inspiration is like this amazing chain reaction? Christopher & Jonathan Nolan create a breathtaking movie-->Hans Zimmer composes beautiful music for it-->A starry-eyed peon like me writes in hopes that someday, in some tiny way, I can pass a spark of inspiration on to someone else;)

My personal favourite was the Smaug Stout,
but I love the Gollum label on the Precius Pils
What Else Is New:

Not much is new around here…yet. While it’s exhaustingly busy at our house these days, there’s also suddenly the prospect of some exciting new developments in our future (not writing related), so we’re waiting in this hopeful sort of limbo.

Despite being swamped, there have also been some little highlights sprinkled throughout: wintry walks that have temporarily turned into spring-like walks, a lunch date with my son, homemade baked potato chips and guacamole courtesy of the husband (amazing), watching camouflage “ghost bunnies” hop around the park in the middle of the night, trying beer inspired by The Hobbit, long discussions with my son about human rights and all sorts of other important issues during his Civics & Citizenship unit. It's those sorts of things that make homeschooling worth it. Now, if only I could squeeze in a bit more reading and sleep!

So how was your week?



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

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!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you’re all having an excellent week! I won’t be posting today seeing as I’m kind of drowning in homeschool related activities and other busy offline stuff. Hopefully I can catch up on things and join in next Wednesday. In the meantime, I wish you lots of words and productivity in the coming week!


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

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!

If you'd like to snag the latest What's Up Wednesday buttons created by Jaime, you can find them in the WUW tab above. Enjoy!

What I’m Reading:

I’m about three quarters of the way through One by Leigh Ann Kopans. Still really enjoying it, so it’s a good thing I already have the sequel.

What I’m Writing:

I wrote 5400 words this week and finally finished off a stubborn scene that was giving me king-size issues and a headache to match. That required a ton of brainstorming, but, as it turns out, I’m quite happy with the result. My goal was to write the next scene as well, which I did. Three times. It was sad and romantic and challenging all at once. Still not exactly sure how I feel about it, so I expect plenty of tweaking lies ahead.

My writing goal this week: I’m aiming to write the next scene. It’s a doozy, with lots of suspense and information to reveal, so I’m hoping I can strike the right balance between the two. I also want to do a chronological breakdown of the scene after that.

What Works For Me:
Finley stealing my writing spot. Cute little thief.

One of my favourite places to write is on the bed. I find drafting easiest when I’m working somewhere comfortable, plus it’s kind of like sitting on top of a desk with all my writing stuff spread out around me—everything within easy reach. Cozy and convenient. The problem is, I sometimes have to compete for my writing spot. I’m not the only one who finds it cozy.

What Else is New:

Not terribly much, but that’s pretty typical in the dead of January around here. I Skyped with Jaime, spent time reading with my boys at Starbucks, went book shopping with my son so he could use his Christmas gift card from awesome Auntie Jaime & Uncle Todd, and we started watching White Collar, which we’d never even heard of until now.  So far it’s clever and funny, and we’re addicted.

So what’s up with you this week?


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

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:

While traveling over Christmas, I devoured The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. Fortunately, the sequel is out in March, so I won’t have too long to wait for it. Now I’m in the middle of One by Leigh Ann Kopans, which I’m really enjoying.

What I’m Writing:

I’m still plugging away at a scene I was working on before Christmas. So far I’ve made three
My Christmas Books
attempts to get this sucker right, but it’s being kind of obstinate. Not the easiest scene to jump back into after a break. I know it’ll fall into place eventually, but I’m hoping eventually comes sooner rather than later, especially since I’ve been waiting ages to write the next scene.

My writing goal for this week: I want to finish up the scene I’m currently on and write the next one.

What Works For Me:

During our Christmas visit, Jaime and I came up with a reward system to help motivate each other in 2015. Each week Jaime meets her writing goal, I’ll pick a treat for her, and she’ll do the same for me. After a few months, we’ll compile all the treats we’ve earned into care packages and send them to each other. Not only will this encourage us to meet our writing goals, but it’ll be tons of fun trying to find little things to use as rewards.

What Else is New:

Not a lot other than trying to settle back in after an awesome visit with my sister and her hubby over the holidays. Every day was a pajama day, there were lots of movies, much tea and Christmas baking, good craft beer, an amazing turkey dinner, a day with our parents, snuggling with plump kitties, a nice walk in the snow, a lunch date, slipper shopping, and plenty of great conversation. Jaime and I talked about writing a lot, and that has me geared up for a year full of words. We also made Rememberlutions Jars, a fun project I posted about here.

Other than that, it’s been business as usual: trying to stay warm when the temperatures have plunged and a heap of homeschool planning for the new year. While writing last night, I also cracked into the bottle of Writer’s Tears Irish Whiskey Jaime gave me for Christmas. That should fuel the last third of my WIP nicely! Either that or the last third of my WIP will be totally incoherent. We shall see. Time to buckle down and get lots done.


One final note: I want to chime in on the fiasco surrounding Stacey Jay's Kickstarter
A book & mug match for Stacey Jay
campaign and say that, in my opinion, she did absolutely nothing wrong. In fact, I commend her for coming up with a way to continue publishing her YA books when another door was shut for her. The publishing industry is changing, and writers need to think of innovative ways to promote their books and build their careers. When she did that (and was completely open and transparent about her expenses) people bashed her for it. My household has invested in Kickstarter campaigns before, and I'd be thrilled with the chance to invest in future books I'd like to read. That's my choice. When people slammed her decision to use Kickstarter, they also slammed all those who freely and willingly contributed to a sequel they wanted to read. The way I see it, it's really no different than pre-ordering a book from Amazon. She's approaching her writing career like a small business, and I think that's smart. Anyway, I feel awful for this talented writer who's been badly mistreated lately. If you haven't read Of Beast and Beauty, I highly recommend it. I've been meaning to do a book and mug match for it for ages now, and this situation finally prompted me to get off my duff and do it. Rant over.


So how has your new year been so far?



Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Terrible Titles

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been totally cracking up at everyone’s Terrible Titles blog hop posts. Jaime tagged me, and since I couldn’t decide which list I liked better, I decided to post titles from both my WIPs for your enjoyment. In case you haven’t seen this blog hop yet, the idea is that you scroll through your WIP and stop on eight random spots. Whatever phrase you land on becomes one of your terrible titles. Here goes…

This batch is for Envision:

1. Fall Flat On My Butt
2. Away From These Festering Sights
3. I’m Still Decently Covered
4. Living a Life of Crime
5. I Couldn’t Care Less
6. Gonna Stop Touching You Now
7. Nasty Voices In My Head Again
8. It Tastes Better Than It Smells

And these are for Engrave:

1. Like a Bad Hallucination
2. Begging for An X-Rated Joke
3. This Crazy Urge
4. Those Freaking Jellyfish
5. So I Flushed It
6. No Idea How I Got Here
7. Fry Like a Piece of Bacon
8. Don’t Shoot Me!


A few gems in there, but I think I’ll keep the titles I have, thanks. I know a lot of people have already done this blog hop, so if you’re reading this and you’d like to give it a go, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

An Empty Jar Full of Possibility

I’ve never been a big fan of setting New Year’s resolutions. Like many people, I have a tendency to beat myself up when I inevitably break some—or all—of them. Not a stellar way to motivate myself. Am I against setting goals or aiming for self-improvement? Definitely not. It’s just that each new year is a mystery, which makes it hard to set resolutions in stone. Not to mention life has a nasty habit of drop kicking my resolutions into oblivion by February.

That’s why I was totally on board when Jaime suggested something different this year: Rememberlutions Jars. Seeing as we were lucky enough to ring in 2015 in the same place, we thought it would be a fun New Year’s Eve activity to decorate our jars together.

What’s a Rememberlutions Jar, you ask? Simply put, it’s a decorated jar for stashing your memories and accomplishments throughout the coming year. It’s a way to collect all those special details that will make 2015 uniquely yours. Then, at the end of the year, you can read all the tidbits you recorded to celebrate the high points and the little things that warmed your heart or made you proud. Great way to cap off the year and gear up for the next one, don’t you think?


I chose to decorate my jar with starry paper and a couple lines from a Snow Patrol song that are significant to me. Once I get home again, I'm going to toss a handful of silver star spangles inside for good measure, since I have some of those kicking around my craft cupboard. This is what my Rememberlutions Jar means to me as I jump headlong into 2015:

▪ I want to celebrate my successes instead of dwelling on my failures.
▪ I want to build on what I do right instead of tearing myself down for everything I do wrong.
▪ I want to remember the positive and leave the negative behind me.
▪ I want to encourage myself to be optimistic, to seek out exciting changes, and to look forward to a year full of possibility.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and a jar full of possibility and joy in 2015!


Wednesday, 17 December 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!

Just a reminder that there will be no WUW on December 24th & 31st. We’ll be taking a break for the holidays and can catch up in the New Year!

What I’m Reading:

I have about fifty pages left in Winterspell, and unfortunately it hasn’t improved for me. Just to clarify my comments from last week, the reason I’m not enjoying it isn’t because it’s dark. I like dark stories. My stories are dark. Without giving specifics from the book, my problem is when sexual abuse is used as a means to up the heat level, rather than being dealt with as the serious issue it is. That feels gratuitous to me and potentially confusing to younger readers, especially when the mc's responses are unhealthy. There’s a lot more I could say, but I’ll leave it at that. My reason for bringing this up again is because I didn’t want anyone to assume I was just being a prude or that my WIPs are full of sunbeams and frolicking puppies. Definitely not.

What I’m Writing:

This was a weirdly good writing week for me, despite how busy it was. Somehow I managed to get out 6800 words. It’s a Christmas miracle! I met my goal, which was to finish the scene I was on, and I’m really happy with the result. I also finished two more scenes and got caught up to where I was before I went on a rearranging binge. And I wrote part of a new scene. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to cut a bunch of what I’ve written lately, but at least the story isn’t fighting me anymore.

My writing goal for this week: I’m not going to set a goal since it’s the last week before Christmas.

What Works For Me:

Writing by the light of the Christmas tree. It provides the perfect ambience for my nighttime work sessions. Makes me tempted to leave it up year round. Kidding.

What Else is New:

Braving crowded stores to do Christmas shopping, which made me all bah humbuggish.
Braving crowded stores to do winter boot shopping…then ordering a pair online at the mall. And the point of going there was…?
Finally getting around to my Christmas baking: shortbread, white chocolate cranberry cookies, white chocolate topped gingerbread cookies, and cracker candy. Let the face stuffing commence!
Listening to the Interstellar soundtrack nonstop for writing inspiration. Christmas music? What’s that?
Scrambling to cram in as much homeschooling as possible before the holidays. 2014 stuffed my kid’s head good and full.


Happy holidays to everyone! See you in 2015!