Wednesday, 24 July 2013

What's Up Wednesday/Ready. Set. WRITE!

Let’s get the ball rolling with some fun news, shall we? The winner of the Ready. Set. WRITE! giveaway is…

Raven Moore

Congratulations, Raven! We hope you enjoy your writer’s care package and that it gives you lots of encouragement and motivation to plow through the second half of RSW. You’re doing awesome and this prize is much deserved! Thank you to everyone who entered our giveaway!

What I’m Reading:

I just finished The Summer I Became a Nerd  by Leah Rae Miller. I thought it was a cute, sweet story and I thoroughly enjoyed all the nerd humour. There were tips of the hat to all things sci-fi/fantasy/comic book related, so if you’re into that sort of thing, I recommend this book for a light, fun read.

Now I’m reading Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. Devouring books has turned into nibbling books lately for me though, so hopefully I’ll be able to work in a nice chunk of time for reading somewhere.

What I’m Writing:

My goal last week was to experiment with ways to incorporate some agent advice I was lucky enough to receive. So far I’ve drafted two variations on a new addition to my ms, and I’m pretty sure which one I’ll use. This required a lot of pondering and slow, painstaking writing. I’m still not sure if I’m accomplishing what I need to in this portion of the story, but it’s a start. Anyway, I met my goal and this week I’m aiming to revise/tighten/tweak my favourite out of the two options. I also need to keep moving forward with my current WIP, so I’m setting a goal of 1000 words.

What’s Inspiring Me Right Now:

Spending some much needed time with my son this week has brought me a little clarity of mind.  I’ve been spreading myself too thin, and I need to find some balance again. A hard thing to admit, but necessary. So right now, I’m inspired to get focused on the things that matter most to me and commit to them whole-heartedly, namely my family, my health, and my writing.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

There was a lot of running around this week to put together my part of the writer’s care package for our giveaway. It was weirdly difficult to find what I was looking for and ended up feeling like a scavenger hunt. You wouldn’t think purchasing a mug would be the equivalent of a quest for the holy grail, but it kind of was. No, I didn’t want to buy something resembling 1960s Corelle, or Victorian china that someone’s great-aunt Mabel collects (okay, I actually like that sort of thing…), or a mug with a handle shaped like an electric guitar, but apparently that’s what stores around here are stocking lately. Eventually, when I stumbled on something both cute and a little funky, I was very relieved and excited.  I also found a couple more that I’ll be adding soon to my mug and book match project. (If you haven’t seen that, you can click the tab at the top of my blog for a peek.) A few other stops, including a visit to McQuarrie's, my favourite tea shop, and my parcel was complete. Now, I can’t wait to ship it out to our lucky winner!


I also put together a Love List for ENVISION, the story I’m querying, which I’ll likely post sometime soon. I’m currently looking for a couple beta readers, so if you think you might be interested, please give me a shout. I’d like another opinion or two before I continue with the querying process. If you want to know what my story is about, there’s a description in the Current Projects tab, or you can stay tuned for my Love List to see if anything on it catches your eye. I’ll also mention that while my story is sci-fi it’s definitely light sci-fi and although technology plays a major part in the plot, it isn’t a “techie” book.  There’s some action, romance, Romanticism, a bit of humour, a few plot twists…Am I selling you yet?


So what’s up with you this week? If you’d like to participate in either WUW, RSW, or both, you can sign up on the linky at Jaime Morrow’s site. We’d love it if you’d join us!

42 comments:

  1. If you need a beta reader, don't hesitate to send me an email :D I'd love to read your work!

    And can I just say this refocusing part is ringing a bell with me? I need to find ways to refocus and make sure I do what's important to me.

    Congrats on the progress you made on your writing!!!! Very impressive :D

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one struggling with the focus issue lately, Elodie. I hope we both find that much needed balance! :)

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  2. I can't wait to read your love list, they are such fun!

    I also love your book and mug match, what a fantastic idea. I love the mug that's goes with MATCHED. I also really want to visit tea & coffee - my kind of shop.

    Good luck with your writing this week and finding some balance, it can be tough.

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    1. I really enjoy reading people's love lists too. They always have such great little details. I think it would be so much easier if instead of querying we could submit love lists to agents instead!

      I'm happy you enjoyed my book & mug matches! I thought the idea was a bit crazy at first, but I had fun with it. And McQuarrie's is such an awesome little shop. It's just small, but it's sort of antique looking with jars and jars of tea lining the shelves. Love it! :)

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  3. I'd love to beta, if you're interested.
    Refocusing sounds good. It's so easy to get caught up in the avalanche of everything else. I think you've just inspired me to do the same.
    Congrats on your writing progress. You're busy, busy, busy!

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    1. Yes, it has definitely felt like an avalanche lately! And a reassessment of my priorities and schedule are long overdue. Good luck with your refocusing efforts as well! :)

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  4. Wow, sounds like you've had a busy week! Congrats to Raven, and how awesome that you went above and beyond to find the perfect mug. :-)

    Good feedback is pretty invaluable, so congrats on the agent feedback! Sounds like drafting two alternates was a great idea. I hope you get the balance you need in the coming week!

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    1. The whole search for a mug was very strange. You know how things are always available in stores when you aren't looking for them, but you can never find what you need at the right time? That's what this was like. It was all the more rewarding when I found what I was looking for though.

      I was very happy to get feedback from an agent even though it was just a small tidbit. Small, but important and so helpful! Drafting two alternate scenes was time-consuming, but seemed like the only option to make sure I get it right. Hopefully one of them will work out! :)

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  5. This care package is going to be a writer's dream! So happy for Raven!

    Also, I know that struggle with balance thing all too well. It's great that you're stepping back to refocus and prioritizing what's most important. :)

    And if you're still in need of a beta reader, let me know! I'd love to read for you!

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    1. I know right? It's going to be like Christmas for her! I can't wait for her to get all our parcels in the mail!

      Isn't it funny how a little extra time with your kids (or kid in my case) can totally put things in perspective? I've been running on empty for quite a while now, so refocusing is long overdue. Hope you find some balance this summer too! :)

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  6. I love your description of your Mug/Grail Quest! Of course, now I have Holy Grail quotes rattling around in my head.

    And I think this week was stretched thin for a lot of people, myself included. I applaud your efforts to find some balance and focus on the important things. Why is this so hard sometimes?!

    And go you on your writing goals! I can't wait to see your Love List. What a fun idea. :)

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    1. I haven't watched Monty Python in years. Might have to remedy that soon! I could use a good laugh! As for refocusing, I've had to make some tough decisions on that front, but I know in the end it's for the best. I hope you find some time to relax in the coming week! :)

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  7. Revisions are always tough! Espicially when you need to change something you are unsure of wanting to change. It'll get there. Good luck this week!

    Son time is awesome. I'm there with you on the spreading too thins. I think most moms do this!

    Have a great week!

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    1. Yes, that's exactly it! I'm still not sure I'm going the right route with this particular revision, but I don't want to squander good agent feedback! Time will tell, I guess!

      And I agree that son time is awesome! A good conversation with my boy puts everything in perspective for me. I guess that's one of the best things about being a mom--there's always someone to remind you of what's important. Hope you have a great week too!

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  8. Wanderlove was one of my favorite YA books I read last year. I immediately scanned through it again after I finished to study how she set up the book and got me hooked so easily. I suppose it's just good writing.

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    1. I'm really enjoying it so far, and I had a hard time putting it down last night so I could get some sleep. The writing is very good!

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  9. Ooh, your tea and coffee shop is so cute! You have such a lovely town, it seems like!

    And I'd love to beta, if you want me to! Shoot me an email!

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    1. The inside is even cuter! It's just small, but it looks very antique and all the tea is in big jars on dark wood shelves. When we went there this last time, I discovered they're now carrying my favourite tea (Cream Earl Grey) in decaf. I was absurdly excited over that! :)

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  10. Your quest for the mug made me smile. Also, if you're still looking for beta readers, I'd be willing. I don't write sci-fi and only read the lighter stuff, so I might not be the best beta reader. But if you want this book to be more of a light sci-fi crossover that appeals to the general market, maybe I would be a good beta reader. My email is katherine.elliott.scott@gmail.

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    1. The quest for a mug was just crazy! Why is it that things are always available in stores when you have no need for them, but the moment you try to find something specific no one seems to be stocking it? I mean, a mug really shouldn't be a hard thing to find. Ah well, it all turned out in the end, and I love the one I found for the giveaway!

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  11. Yes to committing whole-heartedly to the things that matter, Erin. It's tough to keep them all in balance, but you have to find a way. I hope you do! :)

    All the best with revising and querying!

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    1. Thank you, Colin! It feels like a never-ending struggle, but I think it helps to at least stop and acknowledge that it's time to reassess. This summer has been crazy so far and I'm hoping to recharge at least a bit before fall! :)

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  12. That tea shop looks awesome! I wanna goooooo!!!

    Good luck when you start querying :) How exciting.

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    1. It looks sort of antique inside, and the tea is in all these big glass jars. It smells wonderful too! I love going there! Thanks for wishing me luck! :)

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  13. I'm glad you've made the decision to prioritize things in your life. Balance is so important. I need to sort out a few things too. McQuarrie's is a pretty great little shop. We don't really have anything cool here. I'm still hoping David's will show up in The Shmear soon. I'd offer to beta for you, but that would be redundant now wouldn't it? :P

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    1. Well, you know how stressed and unhealthy I've been and how my writing time keeps getting shifted later and later (or maybe that's earlier and earlier?). It's high time I got things back in order. I really need to recharge a bit before fall too, or I'm doomed for this coming school year.

      Did I tell you McQuarrie's has Cream Earl Grey in decaf now? I practically started drooling all over the store when I heard that. I had to buy some to fuel my late night writing sessions with something that won't keep me from sleeping for a week. I hope you get a David's too. In the meantime, if there's anything you want us to order for you, just let us know. I seem to recall that your birthday is coming up too...

      And yes, that would be very redundant if you offered to beta read for me. :P

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  14. Erin,
    I know, reconnecting with my son is usually exactly what the doctor ordered for me whenever I start to feel lost. My son is my touchstone for all things. It's important to choose beta's carefully, and you don't really know me, but I would be happy to. I think, among this crew there are some very good options.

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    1. I think one of the best things about being a mom is that you always have someone to remind you of what's most important. That top slot on the priority list is permanently filled and everything else just has to come after. And yes, choosing betas carefully is definitely important. I'll keep your advice in mind. :)

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  15. 1000 words is an awesome goal. That's where I set mine, and I find if I can keep it consistent for about two weeks, my average is more like 1200 to 1500 a day. Eventually I'll bump the goal up to match productivity, eh?

    Write away, woman! And way to go on incorporating suggestions!

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    1. It's so hard to predict what kind of week it's going to be or how "in the zone" I'll get, especially with dividing my time between some ms revisions and my current WIP. So I figure 1000 words should be doable. Usually I start off the week worrying and then a couple good writing sessions clear that up pretty quick. Hope it's a productive week for both of us! :)

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  16. "I’ve been spreading myself too thin, and I need to find some balance again. A hard thing to admit, but necessary." This is very wise, and good for you for actively seeking a better balance!
    1,000 words is a great goal. And I hope you enjoy WANDERLOVE--I read it last year, and it was a favorite.

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    1. Thank you! It's amazing how long I let myself stay stuck in a rut instead of just doing something about it already. I'm hoping I'll get some serious recharging and refocusing done over the rest of the summer.

      So far I'm really enjoying WANDERLOVE! I stayed up way too late last night reading it. But that's all part of the recharging strategy, I guess. :D

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  17. I adore WANDERLOVE. It's a great summer read. Looking forward to hearing what you think of it, Erin. And I can't wait to read your Love List! So fun to find out about the significant little bits of everyone's stories. Best of luck with those revisions... Such a tedious process, but almost always worth the headache!

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    1. So far I'm really enjoying WANDERLOVE. I was very reluctant to put it down when I finally had to go to sleep yesterday. I'm glad Alison suggested doing the Love Lists. It's such a great morale booster during revisions and the querying process!

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  18. I feel you on the need for balance. My life is way out of balance right now because I just spent the most surreal 4 days of life in San Diego, and I'm still trying to recover from that. (What is sleep?) But I'm eager to get back on the writing track and catch up on my reading when I'm awake enough to do so!

    Your mug adventure reminds me of every time I've ever needed to buy something for an event/ present. It's like every time you NEED something, you can't find it even though a few weeks ago, you remember seeing tons of good candidates. *SIGH*

    Good luck with your writing goals! Looking forward to seeing your Love List (those are always fun to look at)!

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    1. Isn't that always the case? It drives me bonkers that I always see cool things in stores when I don't need them and then they're never around when I actually have to buy something! That's part of the reason we started doing Christmas shopping year round. Way easier!

      Hope you start to settle back into a routine again soon too! :)

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  19. I've had issues with mug-seeking as well. Last year, for teachers gifts, I completely gave up because all I found were so run of the mill. I thought, at the time, that maybe it's just not the thing to make cute mugs anymore. Which, I found nuts because I'm such a coffee drinker and I have two shelves full of mugs! Hahaha

    Wishing you luck and patience with your revisions. It's so tough, but you can do it. A word at a time, right?

    And re: family time. I know that all too well. It's good to come back and re-prioritize. Even that, I believe makes all the difference.

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    1. Every time I found something cute it was part of an actual dish set and an entire place setting isn't really appropriate for a giveaway lol! I wonder if maybe the stores stock more mugs in the fall when the weather starts to get cooler and hot beverages are more popular. Not sure.

      Thanks for wishing me luck! The revision is going well so far, and since it was just a small bit of agent feedback the issue shouldn't be too hard to remedy. :)

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  20. Major kudos on recognizing a need for balance, Erin. Speaking from experience, I know how easy it is to find yourself doing so much multitasking that everything in your life begins to suffer. I had to make a few challenging decisions this week in an effort to re-prioritize family. It was hard to do, but oh, so rewarding. Good luck finding that balance - I know that good things come from it. :)

    Have a great week, and best of luck with your writing goals!

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    1. I wish there were more hours in a day and that I had a lot more energy to do all the things I'd love to do. I hope it all works out with the tough decisions you had to make this week too, Bridgid. Best of luck with your writing as well! :)

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  21. I love your mug and book match project. So fun! Looking forward to see what new mugs you got.

    Congrats on meeting your goals last week, and good luck with your revision and drafting this week.

    I've had WANDERLOVE on my TBR list for a long time now. I need to finally read it!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the mug & book matches! I thought the idea was a little wacky at first, but I had fun with it and the project stuck. I'm really liking WANDERLOVE so far. I'm about halfway through and I didn't want to stop reading so I could get some sleep last night! :)

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