Wednesday, 28 August 2013

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

Happy Wednesday, everyone! As I mentioned last week, it’s now the end of Ready. Set. WRITE! This summer flew by so fast my head is spinning, and while I’ve gotten a lot written, there are still tons of words rattling around in there waiting to get out. I hope you all enjoyed our summer writing incentive and that you’ll continue to be dedicated to your WIPs and encourage one another throughout the writing process. Speaking of encouragement, my RSW co-hosts and I are offering 10-page critiques to five RSW participants. If you’ve been hard at work this summer and would like a fresh set of eyes on your story, feel free to enter the giveaway with the rafflecopter at the end of this post. We’ll be announcing the winners next Wednesday. Thanks again to everyone who participated and made our summer writing challenge a huge success!

What I’m Reading:
Seeing as I had a good writing week, I didn’t get much reading done. I’m still poking away at Siege and Storm and regret that I’ve had to read it only a few pages at a time, because I really am enjoying it. Seriously, it’s taking me so long to get through it’s embarrassing.

What I’m Writing:
My goal last week was to outline the next string of scenes in my WIP and write 1000 words. Once I sorted out a couple details, my outline fell into place very quickly. Love it when that happens. That freed up the rest of my week to focus on actual writing. I wrote just over 5300 words, and I’m now in the thick of the scenes I’ve been waiting ages to write. I’ve pictured these scenes for so long, and I hope I can get them onto the page the way I’ve played them over in my head. That’s always the challenge, isn’t it?

What’s Inspiring Me Right Now:
Weirdly enough, glow bracelets.  They factor into the scenes I’m writing these days, so wearing a couple gets me in the frame of mind for my story’s setting. Plus, THEY’RE FUN!

What Else I’ve Been Up to:
Tinkering around with the new Kobo Arc tablet my hubby bought me.  I’m not a techie person, but this thing is so cool, and incredibly handy while I write. How nerdy is it that the first app I downloaded was for

Watching episodes of New Girl. I’m not-so-secretly infatuated with Schmidt.

Drinking pretty sparkling juices imported from England. My husband rides his bike to work during the summer and often comes home with fun beverages in his bike bag. You name it: tea, beer, wine, juice. I should start calling his bike the Beverage Mobile. If people knew what he had in there, I’m not kidding, they’d shove a stick in his spokes and mug him.

Getting ready for the school year. Still can't believe summer is almost done.

Waiting for my sister and her hubby to arrive from Alberta. By the time this posts, they’ll already be here, and I’m super excited! Jaime and I will be able to discuss story stuff in person and that’s always awesome! The guys will likely be banished to the man cave aka the rec room. Oh wait! Their car just pulled up! Yay!

So what’s up with you this week? If you’d like to share, go ahead and leave your link on Jaime Morrow’s site. Also, if you participated in RSW, remember to enter our critique giveaway on the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

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

Summer is very quickly winding down, and that means the end of Ready. Set. WRITE! Next Wednesday is the finish line for our writing challenge, and we want to cap things off with another giveaway. Seeing as you’ve all been hard at work for the last couple months, my co-hosts and I are offering critiques to five RSW participants. None of us are pros at this, but if you’d like a fresh pair of eyes on the first ten pages of your story, then feel free to enter the contest with the rafflecopter during What’s Up Wednesday next week. Thank you so much to everyone who took part in our writing incentive this summer. We hope you’ve found it as helpful and productive as we have, and we encourage all of you to keep plugging away at writing and supporting one another through the process.

What I’m Reading:

I’m still working my way very gradually through Siege and Storm.  I keep hearing people say they love Sturmhond, and I’m eager to find out why. So far he seems like an interesting addition to the cast of characters.

What I’m Writing:

The goal I set last week was to write 2000 words, which I did, thanks to an out of town football game that kept my boys busy on Saturday and gave me some much needed writing time. My word count for the week was just over 4100. That's a good chunk right there, but I have to confess it was a bit of a slog. The middle section of my story has hit a plateau in terms of what’s happening, and it’s feeling a little muddled to me. Must fix that.

My goal this week is to outline the next string of scenes. In my original outline, I treated this all as one big scene, but it’s become clear to me that it needs to be broken down and also that I really need to think through the logistics of it. I’ll also aim to get 1000 words written.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Feedback from betas. Since I don’t know if I’ll ever be published, each time someone reads my manuscript it makes the work feel just a bit more worthwhile. It’s also supremely cool that Elodie read my book on the beach in Italy this past week. How awesome is that? I didn’t go away on vacation this summer, but at least my book did!

Snow Patrol has also been inspiring me lately. Not a big surprise since they’re my all-time favourite band. The songs Make This Go On Forever, Open Your Eyes, and New York all perfectly fit the tone of a particular scene I just wrote.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

This week mostly involved a massive purge of our house. And when I say massive, I mean we got rid of a huge chunk of what we own. The problem with basements and closets is that they tend to fill up over the years. I’m also horribly sentimental about things, especially anything that belongs to my son. Considering he’s now taller than me, it was high time to part with more of the baby/little kid stuff that was hanging around. So picture me sniffling—all right, even bawling my head off at one point—while sorting things into the garbage, recycling, or donation pile. Who am I kidding? That “pile” filled our entire living room and then some.  While it’s hard to part with certain belongings, we’re big on simplifying things around here, and so diminishing the clutter was also very freeing in a sense.

Now I need to apply the same principles to my writing: simplify, reduce the clutter, get rid of parts I’m hanging onto for purely sentimental reasons!!!

Not the most exciting week, but a very productive one. Care to share what’s going on with you lately? If you’d like to take part in What’s Up Wednesday, you can sign up on the linky at Jaime Morrow’s site.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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

Hi everyone! This is going to be short and sweet today. My husband is on holidays from work, and we have a ton of stuff to get done, so...

What I'm Reading:

A few days ago, I finished Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel. I thought it was a great follow up to This Dark Endeavor, and I can't wait for the final installment in the trilogy. Now, I'm very gradually poking my way through Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. I wish I could sit down and gobble the whole thing up all at once, but things are busy so it's been a few pages here and there. So far I'm enjoying it.

What I'm Writing:

My goal last week was to add in some research that I did. I met my goal although the
particular chapter I worked on is going to need some serious revising.

I'm aiming to get 2000 words done this week. The boys are headed to a football game this weekend, which means some writing time for me. Hopefully, I can get back into the swing of things!

What's Inspiring Me Right Now:

The Oblivion soundtrack. We watched the movie the other night and really enjoyed it, despite its flaws. I absolutely loved the music, especially the main theme. I've been listening to it while dejunking our basement, and it's making me want to write.

What Else I've Been Up To:

We're trying to sandwich work around the house between two weekends of fun stuff while my husband is on holidays. Here's a quick list of what my week has included: a wonderful parcel from my awesome sister, my husband's birthday, cupcakes, coffee with the in-laws and an old friend of ours, the bookstore, out for supper at Boston Pizza, watched Oblivion, chocolate covered strawberries, wine, coffee porter, visiting friends, Irish cream and sticky toffee pudding ice cream cones, Chinese food, watched Star Trek Into Darkness (which was amazing btw), went to Winston's English Pub, Fuller's London Porter, Stir Stick Stout, Guiness beef stew in a bread bowl, reorganizing and dejunking our house.

So how has your week been? If you'd like to share, go ahead and sign up on the linky at Jaime Morrow's site. We're winding down for Ready. Set. WRITE! now, and I hope all of you have had a successful week working on your WIPs. I apologize in advance for the likelihood of being very slow at responding to comments and getting to other blogs this week. :)

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

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

Hello, everyone! Hope you’re all having a wonderful week. If you’d like to share what’s going on in your corner of the world lately, feel free to sign up for What’s Up Wednesday on Jaime Morrow’s blog. Also, if you’d like to join in the last few weeks of Ready. Set. WRITE! you can sign up on the same list.

What I’m Reading:

Earlier this week, I finished The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I actually finished it at 5:30 in the morning, because I couldn’t put it down. And I cried at the end. Maybe that was the lack of sleep talking, but I don’t think so. There are too many things I could say about this book for one post. I was completely drawn in by the timeless feel of it and the way the island setting seemed steeped in Celtic mythology. I loved feisty, ginger-haired Puck, but really it was the relationship between Sean and the water horse Corr that stole my heart. Maggie Stiefvater had me hanging on every word right to the very last sentence. This is a new favourite for me, and one I plan on passing on to my son, because I hope he’ll love it too. I also need to try Maggie’s recipe for November Cakes. They sound delicious and I’d love to celebrate this book every November with some special treats.

Now, I’m finally reading Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel. It’s the sequel to This Dark Endeavor, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have high hopes for this second installment in The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series.

What I’m Writing:

Last week, my goals were to rearrange several scenes, rewrite parts of those scenes according to their new order, smooth out the transitions, and write three new scenes. This was way, way harder than I thought it would be. Rewriting took much longer than I anticipated, plus I discovered a plot hole that brought one of my new scenes to a complete standstill. I spent three of four days trying to come up with a solution, and for a while it seemed like nothing I tried worked for this situation. Finally, I figured out the logistics of it and was able to finish the scene in the nick of time. So I met my goal, but just barely. And I fully admit that last scene is a steaming pile of manure at this point and will need some drastic revisions. I have no idea what my word count was this week, seeing as the rewriting involved bits and pieces here and there. The three new scenes I wrote added up to around 3800 words though.

While I was rewriting, I ended up doing some research that added a new element to my story. My goal for this next week is to work that research into a couple of scenes. I’m keeping my goal simple, because my husband’s birthday is Friday and he’s kicking off eleven days of vacation. Lest that sound too exciting, at least some of that time will be dedicated to our never-ending house renovations.  Fun fun fun.

What’s Inspiring Me Right Now:

After complaining a few weeks ago about how I couldn’t find any good mugs to buy, I found this
one with one of my favourite C.S. Lewis quotes on it at the bookstore. In case you can’t read the quote in the picture, it says “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” Perfect for setting the mood with a nice cup of tea while I read or write.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Besides diving into some major reorganization and decluttering in my house, I mailed off my parcel for the RSW giveaway, went out for dinner with my in-laws, visited our local farmers market where we loaded up on veggies (including purple beans and kohlrabies, neither of which I’d ever tried), experimented with new recipes for flavoured water (my favourite was lime and mint) and went to the bookstore (as usual).

I also prevented my cat, Elfie, from mailing herself in my giveaway parcel for Raven. Apparently, she thought she should be included in my part of the RSW writer’s care package. It’s a good thing I used a gift box inside of the bigger cardboard box, so she didn’t end up squishing anything. Honestly, I can’t leave an open box unattended for thirty seconds or one of my pets makes a bed out of it.

So what have you been up to this week?