In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writer’s 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.
Please note: Lately, there have been some questions about the time frame for WUW, so we wanted to remind everyone that the linky is only open until midnight. If you happen to miss it this week, don’t worry! You can catch us next Wednesday. This is a weekly blog hop and doesn’t require a one-time sign up.
What I’m Reading:
Last night, I picked up The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, and I couldn’t put it down. I was amazed at how Ms. Yolen managed to cram so much emotion into this little book (it’s only 170 pages) and how invested I felt in the characters in such a short time. It’s a story about the Holocaust, so naturally the gravity of the subject was bound to wring a lot of emotion out of me, but the author still did her job exceptionally well. There were several parts that hit me hard, but one in particular had me bawling because it was just so awful yet beautiful at the same time. I was also impressed with the way Ms. Yolen gave such a gut-wrenching and realistic view of the Holocaust while keeping the story age appropriate for middle graders.
Now I'm reading Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the new additions to her cast of characters.
What I’m Writing:
Last week, I combed through my manuscript one more time to look for any mistakes or inconsistencies after trimming and rewriting. I’m planning on taking it easy this week. No real writing for me, just recharging after my Pitch Wars revisions, toying with my WIP before jumping back into drafting, and mulling over who to query next.
What Inspires Me Right Now:
This article by Jodi Meadows. In it she talks about stressing less and daydreaming more. While she’s coming from the perspective of a published author who gets sidetracked by book tours and such, I think what she says applies to those of us who are going through the whole querying process and trying to break into the industry as well. I found this to be a timely post, because my sister and I were just discussing how to get back that love of writing we had in the very beginning.
What Else I’ve Been Up To:
The hubby and I watched House of Flying Daggers the other night. We saw it a number of years ago, and the beautiful scenery stuck with me (and by that I don’t just mean Takeshi Kaneshiro--see him below). This is one of those movies that you totally forget is subtitled after about ten minutes. Not only is it a love story, which I’m a sucker for, but the gorgeous colours and atmosphere are a huge reminder to try and make my story settings vivid and memorable. The scene in the bamboo forest was also a lesson in using setting in as many ways as possible: the bamboo created a lush and secluded backdrop, characters climbed the bamboo and propelled themselves through the air with it, they used the bamboo for weapons, and they built a cage out of it to trap two fugitives. I recently read an article about introducing setting by showing your characters interacting with it rather than describing it like a home decorating magazine. This scene emphasized that to me in a brilliant way.
I had a very long, very productive Skype chat with my sister. Amongst many other things, we discussed the plot of her WIP. I find that talking through someone else’s story is very helpful to my own process as well. It gets the creative juices flowing, and it’s always a great reminder that two heads are often better than one when it comes to hammering out plot issues. Jaime has helped me untangle many a knot in my plot as well.
My recipe for toffee bars has been a staple since high school, but this week I decided to play around with it a bit. I used Hershey’s Coffee Chipits instead of regular chocolate chips and added some Starbucks Via instant coffee to the dough. The resulting Coffee Toffee Bars were very tasty, and I’ll definitely be adding this twist to my regular recipe collection.