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?


43 comments:

  1. Nice cat picture ;) Maybe she wanted to go on an adventure!

    Don't you love it when a book is SO GOOD you can't put it down... although going to work the next day can be terribly painful.

    Congrats on filling the plothole. Have a great week!

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    1. Either she wanted to go on an adventure or she could smell the tea in the box and wanted a cup. :P

      I read two books in a row recently that I couldn't put down, so I feel very spoiled. The one I'm reading right now is shaping up nicely too. Hope you have a great week as well!

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  2. That mug quote is great.
    What on earth are the purple things?

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    1. The purple things are the kohlrabies I mentioned. They're also known as German Turnips. Aren't they weird? They look like a cross between a turnip and a dragon fruit. Despite their strange appearance they actually taste just like a turnip with a dash of radish.

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  3. Awww I loved that cat picture when you sent it to us and still love it now :) And THE SCORPIO RACES, one of my favorites! :)
    Wishing you a great week, Erin!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the cat picture. I couldn't resist sharing it because she looked so cute. Wasn't THE SCORPIO RACES amazing? I'm ashamed it's taken me so long to read it. Hope you have a great week too!

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  4. Oh, Elfie is adorable! My cat does that too. We made him a four story box house for X-mas last year complete with blinky lights. (Because we're grownups and we can do whatever we want)

    I loved the Scorpio Races. Though the idea of carnivorous horses was hard for me to adjust to. Have you read the Raven Boys? If not, you must. MUST, I tell you.

    And congrats on surmounting those rewrite hurdles! I am right there with you in the rewrite trenches, so I know how hard-won that progress was.

    Also, I love, LOVE that mug. It must make you smile every time you see it. :)

    Hope you have a fantastic week and Happy Birthday to your awesome hubbie. *loads confetti cannon with our latest homebrew* *aims in your general direction*

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    1. My cats would probably go crazy over a cat house with blinky lights. I love that you built one!

      I've read THE RAVEN BOYS and absolutely loved it. I can't wait for the sequel to come out. Maggie Stiefvater released the prologue from it a while back and I so should not have read it because now it's torture waiting for the whole book.

      I'll be sure to pass on your birthday greetings to my hubby! He'll love the idea of a canon that fires beer. Good luck with your rewriting too! :)

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  5. Awww! I love the picture of your cat! And wow! Sounds like you've made some super headway on your project - go you!

    I LOVED Scorpio Races and felt pretty much the same way you did. Have you read THE RAVEN BOYS? That's my favorite Stievater story and I can't wait for THE DREAM THIEVES!

    Have a great week!

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    1. Maybe we should have offered a cat for our RSW giveaway instead? Kidding. As for my WIP, I'm making progress, but not so sure if I like how things are translating to the page. Revisions should be a blast.

      I'm a big fan of THE RAVEN BOYS too and although I want the summer to last a whole lot longer, I can't wait for September and THE DREAM THIEVES to get here either!

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  6. I did the same with The Scorpio Races - except that I stayed up til 7am to finish it and the sun was definitely up. :) So, so good!!!

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who was crazy enough to stay up all night reading it! It was well worth being tired all day. :)

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  7. I'm so glad you loved The Scorpio Races, it's one of my favourites. I just love it. I made November Cakes, they're quite tricky the first time, but now they are a Bonfire Night tradition (I.e I've made them twice!). I'll second the recommendations of The Raven Boys, it's amazing.

    I love your new tea cup and quite agree with the sentiment.

    Good Luck with your writing this week. I hope your husband had a fantastic birthday.

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    1. I love that you made November Cakes a tradition for Bonfire Night! Now I really have to try baking them. And every time I eat them, I'll be tempted to read the book again.

      I agree that THE RAVEN BOYS was amazing and I'm so anxious for THE DREAM THIEVES to finally come out. Maggie Stiefvater is such a talented writer.

      As for the new tea cup, while I'm typing this I'm enjoying some chocolate chili chai in it. So good! I'll pass on your birthday wishes to my husband. Hope your writing goes well this week too!

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  8. Great mug! I love lime with mint, too. Very refreshing. And what a cutie-pie cat you have.

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    1. The cutie-pie cat has found another box to make a bed out of now. She's currently having a snooze while I sip tea in my new mug. :)

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  9. Oh, Woobie. What a little wiener. :P I still need to return to THE SCORPIO RACES, but the plan is to tackle it in November from the beginning. I think I'll time it with a batch of Maggie's November cakes, too. I'm hoping it will be nice and grey and damp then to fit the mood. :D

    It sounds like you've been doing awesome with your story, so that's great! And having fun doing other cool things. I love going to the farmer's market. You'll have to let me know how those veggies end up tasting.

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    1. Yes, she is. I don't know why we ever bought them cat beds, because they prefer cardboard boxes. I think you'll really like THE SCORPIO RACES when you read it too. Sean Kendrick is probably on my list of favourite characters now. Eating November Cakes while you read is a great idea. I was definitely craving some when Maggie Stiefvater described them.

      I've been meeting my goals for my WIP, but I'm not super happy with how it's turning out. I know it's a first draft and many of the issues can be resolved during revisions, but I feel like the writing is in a bit of a rut lately. Probably something a whole lot of tightening up will fix.

      The farmer's market was fun, but there were so many things we wanted to try and couldn't because of Liam's allergy. Ours has an eating area with tables and it would be fun to sit an relax there a while. The veggies are good. Purple beans taste pretty much the same as green beans. And the kohlrabies taste like turnips with a little radish mixed in. Liam liked them, which is funny considering his aversion to turnip & carrot casserole. I told him maybe I'll make him some kohlrabi and carrot casserole this Thanksgiving. :)

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  10. I loved THE SCORPIO RACES. Maggie Stevfater is one of my all time favorite authors and THE SCORPIO RACES is definitely my favorite of her books. I'm so glad you loved it too.

    Also nice score on that great mug. Here's to hoping it leads to many inspiring cups of tea for years to come.

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    1. I wish it hadn't taken me so long to get around to reading it! I think at this point I'd read anything Maggie Stiefvater published, because her writing is just that amazing. And while I'm typing this, I'm enjoying a cup of tea in my new mug. Funny how the right mug can make a cup of tea even better. :)

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  11. Your cat cracks me up. She looks so entitled lounging in that box. :-) Sounds like you've had a busy (but good!) week, Erin. Happy birthday to your husband -- enjoy celebrating together. And best of luck incorporating your new research into your WiP. :-)

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    1. She does look kind of entitled, doesn't she? Maybe she wanted to keep the parcel for herself. Fortunately, she's moved on to another box now. I'll pass on your birthday greetings to my husband. So far the birthday plans include watching a football game and eating green cupcakes (our team colour), so it should be fun. :)

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  12. Gotta love kitties in boxes. Or kitties in suitcases. Cute.

    I need to re-read The Scorpio Races some time. I listened to the audio book and it could not hold my attention, not the book's fault but more that it's not the type that I can listen to well while driving, I need something more straightforward and not prose-y. And I may have been distracted in general, who knows. Same with the sequal to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I loved the first book, but I couldn't tell you a thing that happened in the second one after listening to the audio. Fantasy on audio doesn't work well for me.

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    1. Ours like suitcases too. And they love making nests in my husband's work out duffle bag.

      I can see what you mean about certain books not being ideal in audio form. With a book like THE SCORPIO RACES I definitely prefer reading the words on the page, especially since the prose was so beautiful. I hope you enjoy it more if you ever read it in book form!

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  13. Ooh, I really like your mug! That quote is inspiring! Good luck with your writing goals this week. :)

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    1. I've loved this quote forever, so I was excited when I saw the mug on the bookstore shelf. Oddly, I didn't buy any books that day though. :)

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  14. Love the mug! Good luck with your writing goals for the week. Have a great weekend!

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    1. I'm drinking tea out of it right now. Good luck with your goals too!

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  15. I loved The Scorpio Races so much. I have thoroughly enjoyed every Maggie Stiefvater book I've read. I agree, she is a great writer for boys, and her girls are just as awesome. All around phenomenal author.

    Love the mug too! It sounds like you were productive both in word count and in problem-solving which is just as important sometimes! Well done!

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    1. I actually hugged the book when I was done, because it was just so good. Now, I really need to finish her Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I read the first one a few years ago, but it's due for a reread and then I'll finish the other two. And September and THE DREAM THIEVES just can't get here fast enough. You're right, Maggie Stiefvater is phenomenal.

      It's been a tough week as far as writing goes, but meeting my goal was probably that much more rewarding because of it. I'm not so sure about the quality of the writing, but I suppose that's what revisions are for. I agree that problem solving can be just as important. I really needed to figure out that plot hole before venturing any further into the story, so mulling it over was well worth the time and effort.

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  16. I made November Cakes! It's been awhile, but I remember them being delicious, but a lot of work. I may bust out the recipe again this fall for some nice, cool weather comfort food.

    I love how cats think every box or bag is made for them :)

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    1. Oh that's great to hear they tasted good! If they're a lot of work at least I'll know the end result will be yummy!

      As for the cats, I'm not sure why we bother buying them kitty beds, because they just want to sleep in cardboard boxes and occasionally duffle bags. :)

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  17. Ugh plot holes. I hope everything works out. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I'm sure I'll manage to fill them in eventually! :)

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  18. AAAAAHHHHHH! I'm so glad you loved Scorpio Races as much as you did, and YES Puck was great but Sean and Corr is what really makes the book for me. I just love the whole story so much, and Thisby is such a timeless, richly realized setting. It's such a beautiful book. Thinking on it now, I can just imagine the smell of the sea. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. And if I were more of a book-crier, I totally would have shed tears so don't worry about that. :) [Also, I just read your reply comment from last week when you'd first finished SR and YES, ALL THE FEELS!] I kind of couldn't read anything after because of the massive book hangover I had, haha.

    Sorry to hear your writing was being uncooperative, but yay for figuring out that plot hole. Nothing stops writing faster than finding a plot hole. :P Also, don't you love when research inspires totally new elements for the story?

    Elfie is adorable! And re: your comment on my blog about living in the middle of nowhere - I think that'd be kind of nice too. :)

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    1. If Thisby was a real place, I would love to go there for the festival although I'm not sure I could handle actually watching the Scorpio Races. Flesh-eating horses might be a little scarier in reality than on the page! Really this book was the whole package deal, and it amazes me how Maggie Stiefvater had me wondering what would happen until that very last line. And I definitely know what you mean about the book hangover! So hard to move onto reading something else when Maggie set the bar so high!

      It was a big relief to fill that plot hole. I'm sure I'll find others, but that just adds to the challenge, right? The research I did prompted a new revelation in the plot, so I'm excited about that.

      I'm glad you thought Elfie was cute. She's 16 years old now and pretty much the sweetest most timid cat ever. :)

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  19. I love that mug! It's the type of quote I wouldn't feel silly having on a mug. A lot of sayings on mugs I've seen are either cliché or corny, or otherwise not something I'd want to buy.

    Congratulations on the successful rewriting, and good luck with next week's rewriting. The rewriting process can be among the most fun for me, since it's like the chance to write a book more than once.

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    1. Yes, there are a lot of cheesy mugs out there. I was happy to find this one for my ever-expanding collection, especially since it's a quote I've liked for a long time now.

      I never quite thought about rewriting being a chance to write a book more than once, but I guess it is. Kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure. :D

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  20. that's a really great mug, I wish I drank tea or something so I could get one, but alas, it would go unused. I know exactly how you feel when it comes to the scorpio races, it truly is one of my favorite books. Good luck with your goal this week, hope you can reach it before your husband has his time off, writing takes a back seat when it comes to family stuff.

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    1. I'm glad you loved THE SCORPIO RACES too. It was one of those books that reminds me exactly why I love reading so much. I haven't managed to meet my writing goal yet and the hubby is off already, but I imagine I'll have time to work when my boys are watching sports on TV sometime this week. :)

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  21. Mmm, November Cakes. Delish. My favorite part is the caramel topping. Glad you enjoyed Scorpio Races so much! And glad you are also a David's Tea fan--do you have them near you, or did Jaime tell you about them after I brought her in there in NY? There are definitely times I contemplate the hour+ drive to Toronto just to hit one of their stores. Love them!

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    1. I'm not sure if I'll be able to wait until November to make them, because they sound too good! My husband and I are both big fans of David's Tea. We actually have two of their stores here in Saskatoon, so we consider ourselves pretty lucky! I just got a parcel in the mail from Jaime today and in it was a David's t-shirt, which I happen to be wearing at the moment. I can see why you'd be tempted to drive all the way to Toronto to go shopping there! Now if only they hadn't gotten me addicted to their cherry cola tea and then cancelled it. Ah well. :)

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  22. I'm glad you made it through your rewrite and plot hole. I so know that feeling. I hope this week has been good so far and you're making progress!

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