Wednesday, 11 December 2013

What's Up Wednesday

Hey everyone! I haven’t been around the blogs lately, seeing as I’ve been taking a break, but I thought I’d check in for this week’s What’s Up Wednesday. I’d also like to say thanks to everyone who left such sweet comments when my cat passed away. You guys are so thoughtful!

What I’m Reading:

Since my last post in October, I’ve managed to squeeze in quite a few books: Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara, Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, The Girl of Fire and Thorns/The Crown of Embers/The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson, Shiver/Linger/Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan, and Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. Out of those I’d have to say my favorites were The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy (amazing) and Untold, which is the second book in the Lynburn Legacy.

Now, I’m reading Champion by Marie Lu, and so far I’m really enjoying it. All except for the awful red font. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater also had red font, and while the books look lovely and it’s a unique idea, it makes my eyes feel like they’re bleeding.

What I’m Writing:

This is a big reason (one of many) why I’ve been absent from the blogs. I’ve been plugging away at the first draft of my current WIP, and I’m just about to the end. I have four more scenes left to write. I had hoped to be done much sooner, but life has gotten in the way, and I had to do some rewriting after finding a plot hole that needed its logistics hammered out (what a headache, but it’s all better now), and changing some aspects of the plot for other reasons. Can I just say that writing a sequel is gruelling? I’m looking forward to revising, but man, am I ever going to have to trim words. This thing is a beast. But it’s a beast with a good heart, I think.

What’s Inspiring Me Right Now:

How about the awesome news that Elizabeth Briggs chose me as an alternate for Pitch Wars? I’m pretty darn psyched about that, and I can’t wait to hear what advice she has for me! I did a happy dance around my Christmas tree when I found out. Actually, I was in the middle of decorating it at the time. I've never done Pitch Wars before, and now I'm very glad I entered.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

For my birthday, my family went to see Catching Fire. I thought it was a big improvement over the first movie, which I liked but didn’t love. In my opinion, Catching Fire was pretty much spot on, other than a bit of extra emphasis on the love triangle, but I get why they did that. I also got books for my birthday, because what the heck else would I want, right? Those included: Origin by Jessica Khoury, Champion by Marie Lu, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, and Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. Oh, and I got a fuzzy, new blanket at the bookstore as well—the perfect accessory for reading. As I'm sure most of you have figured out by now, we do most of our shopping at the bookstore. Now if only they’d add a grocery section.

I also went for dental surgery a couple days ago, and while it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought, I’m not thrilled that I’ll be stuck eating all things soft and squishy for much, if not all, of the Christmas season. I suppose I could put turkey dinner in the blender, but I’m not so sure turkey smoothies are a tasty idea. Right now, I’m mostly eating apple sauce and plain pancakes. Not exactly fine dining. I’m longing for something crunchy, but more than anything, I hope my mouth heals up on time to enjoy some of the Gingerbread Ale and Eggnog Stout my hubby made for Christmas (Can’t have beer with stitches in your mouth or when you’re on painkillers. Bah humbug.)

There’s probably lots more I could add here, but I’ll leave it at that for now. This might not be a full return to the blogs for me yet. You know how the holiday season can be. In any case, I wanted to stop in and say hello, let you know I’m still alive, and share my Pitch Wars news. I hope the holiday season is going well for every one of you!

40 comments:

  1. It's so lovely to hear from you again, yay! And congratulations on being a Pitch Wars alternate. That's fantastic news :D

    I hope you heal up fast. Did they tell you to gargle with warm salt water to help the healing process?

    Best of luck finishing the draft ^_^

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    1. Thanks, Cole! I'm super excited that I got in!

      I've definitely been gargling warm salt water, and I have another medicated rinse as well. I'm really hoping I heal fast too, so I can enjoy the Christmas season a little more.

      Thanks for wishing me luck on my draft! The end is finally in sight! :)

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  2. CONGRATS again on PitchWars! I learned a lot last year as an alternate and I cross my fingers for you :)
    And ouch for your teeth (also hoping it gets better very soon :))
    On your current draft: can't wait to read it!

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    1. And thanks again! I'm looking forward to hearing what Liz has to say about my story. As for my mouth, it's not too painful, so that's a good thing at least. I'm so glad you're looking forward to reading Envision's sequel! It's been a long haul writing it and I'm hoping the result is good. :)

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  3. Congrats on being chosen as a Pitch Wars alternate! That's awesome! :) I didn't make it in but I got some really positive feedback, so it's been a great experience. Great news about your progress on the WIP, too. :)

    Hope you're having a great holiday season!

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    1. Thanks so much! And I'm glad to hear that you got positive feedback on your entry. That's great! I hope you're enjoying your holiday season as well! :)

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  4. That is fantastic Pitch Wars news, congratulations! :D

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  5. Hurrah! That's great news on your sequel progress, too.

    I haven't read "Warm Bodies", but I rather liked the movie. A zombie romantic comedy with heart and brains. ;)

    Nice to meet you!

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    1. Thanks and it's nice to meet you too!

      I really enjoyed the movie of Warm Bodies too. The book was good, but not funny like the movie, so I found that aspect a bit disappointing. Ah well. I think I might have enjoyed it more had I read it before seeing the movie (which is usually how I go about it). :)

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  6. Congrats on Pitch Wars, Erin! I was scanning the list for names I recognized and flailed a little when I saw yours!

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    1. Thanks! I'm always happy when people flail on my behalf! :D

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  7. CONGRATS about Pitch Wars!!! And about being close to the end of your WIP!

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    1. Thank you! I'm very happy about both! :)

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  8. Congratulations on being an alternate! I don't really do contests anymore, but it's always nice to hear from people who are having success with them.

    Good luck with finishing your WIP and revising it. It's probably a drop in the bucket next to my WIP (537K and aiming for 600K), but I've found that my books under 100K are the most difficult to edit, revise, and rewrite than the ones I deliberately planned as long.

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    1. Thanks! From what the mentors said, the competition for this Pitch Wars was pretty fierce, so I was very excited to get in. Yeah, my ms is nowhere near the size of yours, although I feel like I could write forever about this batch of characters. I'm looking forward to revising, so thanks for wishing me luck!

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  9. Welcome back! We missed you. :)

    And holy Congrats on Pitch Wars!!!! That is wonderful. You need something that wonderful to make up for having to eat soft and squishy foods during the holiday season. And if you don't get to try your awesome new home brews, I think I might cry a little on the inside. ;)

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

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    1. Thanks, Kris! And yes, the Pitch Wars news almost makes up for the mushy diet I'm stuck with. My hubby said the home brews should be ready by Christmas Eve, so I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be ready by then too! Hope you have a wonderful week as well! :)

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  10. Love Anna Dressed In Blood, such a great, creepy book! Catching Fire was amazing! I can't believe how long we have to wait until the next installment, even though I already know how it ends. Congrats on PItchWars! I entered, but didn't make it into the next round, but it was still a great experience and I got great feedback from the authors I submitted to.

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    1. I can't believe how long we have to wait either. CATCHING FIRE was so good, I felt like turning around and going back in the theatre to watch it again. I kind of wish that MOCKINGJAY was just going to be one movie instead of two though. Now we have to wait another couple years for it all to be done.

      Thanks for the congratulations on Pitch Wars! I'm glad you got great feedback and enjoyed the experience. The contest had really good batch of mentors, I think, and they seem very helpful.

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  11. I'm curious to know what your Pitch Wars mentor will have to say about your WIP. It's kind of exciting! Who knows? I might actually glean some helpful information from it, too. :-) It's also great to hear that you're so close to the end of your first draft. I don't think I knew that. I really need to get my butt in gear and start writing again, though the New Year is going to be a lot busier for me what with babysitting and potentially subbing.

    I finished up the Lauren Willig books, so maybe I need to get going on Rae Carson's books. I think I need to re-read the first one, but thankfully I have the second one on my shelf all ready to go. And I have UNSPOKEN, so I could read that one too.

    Here's hoping your mouth heals up fast so that the Christmas season (and all of its goodies) isn't a total write-off for you. Especially so you can enjoy that stout and ale!

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    1. I'm curious and excited too! I'm not even really sure what to expect, but I'm sure it'll be very helpful. As for my draft, I've been close to the end for a while now, but keep adding more and more words. You know how it goes. Seriously, this ms has felt like being on a treadmill and never getting anywhere. I'll be both sad and happy to be done it, and I feel ready to jump into revising soon. We can buckle down on the writing together in the New Year if you have time.

      You should definitely read Rae Carson's books soon. I'm pretty sure you'll like the rest of the series--especially one particular character whom I shall not name yet. I think you'll like the Lynburn Legacy books too. They feel like they have a dash of the Secret Garden and Harry Potter in them to me, like the village they take place in is similar to Godric's Hollow or something. Plus, they're funny too.

      I think for Christmas I might have to eat a totally gingerbread diet. Then it won't be so bad. :)

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  12. Congrats on Pitch Wars!! Even as an alternate, that is a huge compliment considering how many people enter. I lurk the twitter feeds since so many of my online writer pals chat about it, and it's leftover curiosity from my contest days last year.

    LIke you, I've been working on writing a lot so I haven't been blogging as much, though I do pick one day a week to visit a bunch in my blogger feed, and I visit the What's Up WEds usually, even if I don't post (it's like an addiction). I can hardly believe it's been several weeks since Catching Fire came out and I still haven't seen it!!! I'm trying to stay focused on some writing deadlines, so this Friday and beyond, at least until January, I am good to go on movies, books, junk TV, holiday stuff, whatever.

    Looking forward to Sarah Rees Brennan's series, I loved Unspoken.

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    1. Thank you! I think there were over 2600 entries this year or something crazy like that, so I feel pretty lucky to have gotten in.

      I guess going to see Catching Fire can be your reward for being so disciplined about your writing. I think you'll find it worth the wait! Good luck meeting those deadlines, and I hope you enjoy kicking back for the holidays once you're done! :)

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  13. Happy birthday, and welcome back. Congrats on your Pitch Wars success, and on all your writing progress. I hope you have a great week (or couple of months).

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    1. Thanks so much! The Pitch Wars news came at a good time. I think it'll be the push I need to finally finish up my WIP. :)

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  14. Hope you get those final scenes done! Dental surgery doesn't sound like much of a birthday present. Hope you get to munch more than mashed potatoes at Christmas.

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    1. Nope, dental surgery definitely isn't much of a birthday present, but it went better than I expected, so I can't complain too much. My final scenes are coming along, but the Christmas season sure isn't the best time to write. If I'm still stuck with the soft diet on Christmas Day, I'll make sure I treat myself to extra gravy with those mashed potatoes. ;)

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  15. Happy Birthday!
    Yay on being picked in Pitch wars and nearly finishing the WIP, well done!
    I hope your mouth is better soon, not being able to eat is no fun.

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    1. Thanks! The Pitch Wars news definitely improved my week after the surgery, and it was a much needed boost to finish my current WIP. My mouth is improving already and it's only been a few days, so I'm hoping that's a sign I'll be able to eat normal food soon. :)

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  16. Congrats on being picked for Pitch Wars!!! I know Liz and she's awesome. She's going to be a wonderful mentor to you. :)
    That's exciting that you're almost done with your draft. Good luck with the rest of it!
    I agree with you about Catching Fire. I really enjoyed it, much more than the first one.
    I hope you feel better soon! And happy birthday!

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    1. Thanks, Ghenet! I'm really looking forward to hearing what advice Liz has for my story. I'm so encouraged that she liked the concept and the writing.

      I'm glad you enjoyed Catching Fire too. I wanted to turn around and watch it again as soon as it finished. It was just an all around better movie than The Hunger Games, and I certainly didn't miss that shaky camera technique from the first one either! :)

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  17. Yay! It's nice to see you again, and wow you read a lot of books! I still need to read UNTOLD, but I love SRB's humor. Her books always make me laugh (before breaking my heart into bitty pieces, hah). I've been in a reading funk, so I'm still slowly plugging away at the same books I've been reading since the last week of November!

    I agree completely about Catching Fire! If the first one had been as good as CF, I would've been a lot more excited about CF going in. But now I'm ready for Mockingjay!

    ALSO, I thought that was you I saw on the Pitch Wars list! Congrats!!! I don't actually know what the whole thing entails, but I know it's kind of a big deal to be picked. So awesome. Good luck with all your writing goals and with the soft food diet! I had to do that when I got my wisdom teeth out. It was yogurt, apple sauce, and mashed potatoes for daaaaaays.

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    1. The only other book I've read by Sarah Rees Brennan is UNSPOKEN, but I might have to check out some of her others now. I love her sense of humour too. Kami cracks me up in the Lynburn Legacies. I'm kind of in awe of how she's managed to make this series both dark and quaint at the same time. The setting is a little like Godric's Hollow or something, which is very cool for obvious reasons.

      Wasn't Catching Fire awesome? Like you, I wasn't super excited to see it, because the first movie was a bit disappointing. I can't wait for Mockingjay either, but I wish they hadn't opted to split it into two movies. Too much waiting in between.

      Thanks for the congratulations on Pitch Wars! I was super excited to get in and it vastly improved my week after the dental surgery. I'm not sure anything can improve the soft food diet during the holiday season though, except maybe some gingerbread. :)

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  18. Happy Birthday and congrats on Pitch Wars!!! So exciting! You're reading list from this past while is impressive.
    I hope that you mouth heals quickly so you can enjoy some Christmas treats.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! While taking my break from the blogs I was able to fit in a lot more reading. That used to be what I did to keep myself somewhat balanced, but things have just gotten so busy. It felt really good to devour so many books! I think I might have to whip up a big pan of gingerbread (the cake kind) so I can actually have something soft yet festive to eat. :)

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  19. Congrats on Pitch Wars! That's awesome. And...is this the sequel to Envision that you're working on??? Oh man, I hope so. And I hope you'll let me beta read again, when the time comes for that, because I totally still think about your characters and wonder what's going on with them.

    Good luck healing and Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks, Jess! And yes, this is the sequel to Envision I'm finishing up. I'm so glad you'd like to beta read it! Your comments on Envision were so helpful. I'll definitely toss this one your way when I've done some revising. And just so you know, it totally encourages me that you still wonder what's happening with my characters. Merry Christmas to you too! :D

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  20. Major congrats on Pitch Wars! That's so exciting. :) It's lovely hearing about what you've been up to. Sounds like a lot of good reading and writing - yay! I haven't read a book with non-black font. The idea just seems silly to me. Why mess with something that works?

    Congrats on the progress you've made with your WIP. *cheers* I hope your mouth heals soon. Happy Holidays, Erin! :)

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    1. Thanks, Bridgid! I've jumped into working on my Pitch Wars ms already. It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

      With taking a break from the blogs I was able to fit in a lot more reading, which was nice. When I'm drafting, I always have less time to read and that means less time to recharge. As for the non-black font, it sounds cool in theory, but definitely isn't practical for large amounts of text. Fortunately, CHAMPION is so good so far that I'm willing to forgive that.

      Happy Holidays to you too! :)

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