Wednesday, 5 February 2014

What's Up Wednesday

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.

What I’m Reading:

Remember last week when I said “Bring on the tea and books?” Well, there’s been plenty of tea, but I’m still reading Rush by Eve Silver. I didn’t get much reading done because…

What I’m Writing:

Apparently, I suck at breaks, which is probably while I rarely take them. I know I said I needed a bit longer to recuperate after Pitch Wars, but that didn’t happen because my imagination got antsy. I mentioned in my last WUW post that I needed to brainstorm ways to spice up my WIP’s ending. Inspiration hit me full force, so I sat down for a few hours one night and scribbled out a new and improved outline. I also jumped back into drafting and got 4700 words down. That felt very, very good after working on revisions for my other ms so much in December and January. What didn’t feel good was killing off two characters and spending the better part of last night bawling. Sigh. Had to be done. (Side note: That was always the plan and not part of the brainstorming. Ruthlessly offing characters is not my idea of “spicing up” my book, just to be clear.)

What Inspires Me Right Now:

▪ Lindsey Stirling’s dubstep violin music, which kicked my creativity in motion and resulted in the aforementioned brainstorming. Plus the usual Tron and Oblivion soundtracks. I'm such a geek.
▪ This incredible post on Susan Denard’s Productivity Pyramid. Seriously, this is a must read.
▪ My sister, because so much of this process is a team effort and she always has my back.
▪ My husband, who stayed up until 4:30 in the morning discussing books and writing with me this weekend.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Not a ton, seeing as it's freezing out and the writing gears are back in motion already. We watched The Spectacular Now the other night and found it less than spectacular. It was all right, but I kept waiting for something original to happen and it didn’t. Basically, it was well-trodden teen territory without any sort of creative spin. After three of you mentioned Hero last Wednesday, it happened to show up on Netflix. Perfect timing! So we watched that this weekend too and loved it as much as the first time we saw it. The colors, the scenery, the way the story unfolds through several different versions until they reveal the truth of what happened—just a beautiful movie all around. We also started watching Psych. That show is hilarious.

So what’s up in your corner of the writing world this week?

46 comments:

  1. Wow! Congrats on your WiP progress :-) I really have to check that Productivity Pyramid...and can I just tell you how wonderful I find it that you and your hubby stayed up until morning to discuss books and writing?
    :-) Hope you have a wonderful week, Erin!

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    1. Thank you! I'm almost done my draft and then it's time for a major overhaul during revisions. That Susan Denard post is incredible. Lots of great organizational tips. And I'm very lucky to have an enthusiastic bookworm for a husband. He's super supportive of my writing. :)

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  2. Hooray for sudden unexpected MUST WRITE syndrome XD

    Lindsey Stirling's album is amazing. Every time I return to it after a break, I fall in love with it all over again. I can't wait to be good enough to play some of her stuff myself.

    Psych is such a fun show. I need to catch up with it again.

    Stay warm and have a great week!

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    1. When the story calls, I must answer--and it calls a lot ;)

      I agree that Lindsey Stirling's album is amazing. I love that she's doing something totally unique with her music. Hopefully she comes out with a new album soon!

      I'm so glad we discovered Psych. It's funny and the cases are interesting, which is a bonus!

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  3. I'm terrible at taking breaks too, Erin. But, at least you were productive during your non-hiatus. :-) Hope your weather warms up soon... I am so ready for spring! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Forgoing a break to write is much better than having writer's block, so I'll take that. I'm ready for spring too. The snow and cold here have long since worn out their welcome. Hope you have a wonderful week as well!

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  4. Killing characters is so hard :( What an awesome hubby to stay up late talking books/writing.

    Have fun writing this week!

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    1. It feels like putting an end to an imaginary friend. Not fun. And yeah, my hubby is so supportive about my writing. It helps that he's a huge bookworm himself. Have fun with your writing too!

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  5. I'm bad at taking breaks too. I usually say I need them, then skip them lol
    But, it was for a good cause, right? It seems you're being very productive and happy with it.
    I love everything Lindsey Stirling plays. It's so wonderful ...

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    1. I think there's something therapeutic about writing, which makes me feel like spending my time on it. Not to mention, the moment I stop writing the housework calls, and I'd way rather write than clean house lol. That's great that you're a fan of Lindsey Stirling's music too! It puts me in a great mood every time I listen to it. :)

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  6. Congrats on new ending inspiration! Go you!!

    And "Ruthlessly offing characters is not my idea of “spicing up” my book, just to be clear"... I totally laughed out loud at that! You are hilarious!

    Hope your week is warmer and the inspiration is as copious as the tea ;)

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    1. Glad you caught the sarcasm there lol. Thought I'd better clarify, just in case anyone got the wrong idea about my brainstorming skills: "Wow! This is boring. Let's give some characters the ax!" And thanks, I need all the inspiration I get now that I'm winding down on drafting!

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  7. When inspiration hits, you've got to roll with it--that's what I think. And 4,700 words and a new outline is quite a hit! Well done--even if it meant the demise of two characters. Sad to do, but I'm glad you're willing to go where the story takes you, even if it's not comfortable.

    Have a wonderful week, Erin!

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    1. I agree! If I'm lucky enough to feel like writing, I'd better seize the opportunity. And thanks, I was happy with what I got done, especially since I hadn't planned on writing lol. Have a wonderful week yourself!

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  8. Well, I'm about to check out the violin music ;-) I go through phases in writing where I want music and where I don't want it... Also, the rest of the US is freezing and up in Alaska we're having the warmest, driest, winter on record. Go figure.

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    1. Hope you enjoy it! I'm looking forward to Lindsey Stirling's next album, whenever it comes out. I never used to write with music, but I had to train myself to so I could block out other distractions with it. Often I concentrate best without it though and just listen before I write to create some atmosphere and put me in the right state of mind for a scene. Please send some of that warm, dry weather down here to Canada! We could use it! :)

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  9. I think that's awesome that your are writing your guts out! 4:30 in the morning?! You have an adorable husband to do that. Mine can't stay awake through one five minute brainstorming session. I learned a few years ago they were too painful to attempt anymore. :)

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    1. Thanks, I felt pretty awesome about it myself! And yep, my hubby is adorable all right. He's a big bookworm, which helps when it comes to my writing. I bounce tons of ideas off of him, especially all the techie stuff since I write sci-fi. Plus, he beta reads for me and gives me useful feedback. I'm lucky!

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  10. I love that your imagination took over and ruined your writing break. I think you were smart to listen to the muse and go for it!

    Psych is such a clever show. It really hits its stride in season 2. As a writer, it's a treat to watch that show given the clever, witty dialogue. They make grammar jokes and get away with it. It's awesome. Also, Gus is one of my favorite TV characters ever.

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    1. It was a great way to ruin a week lol! Honestly, sometimes writing is more relaxing than other things I could be doing, like say housework. I figured I'd better go with the inspiration, especially since there are plenty of weeks when I have writer's block and would love to have some good ideas just land on me.

      I agree that Psych is really clever. It's a bit like the Mentalist, only more appropriate because it's supposed to be funny. I always found Patrick Jane's character on the Mentalist to be a little insensitive seeing as it isn't a comedy like Psych. My husband and I were in dire need of something smart and entertaining to watch and Psych is exactly what we were looking for. Well-written shows are so hard to come by it seems. Now I'm really looking forward to season 2!

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  11. Being horrible at breaks is a much better problem to have than being great at them, I would think! I can't wait to check out this productivity pyramid!

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    1. Very true! And I'll take inspiration showing up unexpectedly over writer's block any day! I hope you find Susan Denard's post as helpful as I did!

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  12. writing trumps reading, especially when inspiration strikes! So glad for you!

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    1. Definitely! When I'm immersed in my own writing world, I find it difficult to switch gears and visit someone else's. If a book is too different from my ms, I also find it can change the mood I need to be in for writing.

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  13. The Tron Legacy score is pretty much my favorite writing music ever. I need to check out the Oblivion score - I remember watching the movie and thinking the music was amazing.

    Also, yay for getting so much done on the WIP!

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    1. I honestly don't know what I'd do without all the Tron soundtracks. The remix album (Tron Legacy Reconfigured) and Tron Uprising (from the cartoon) are also big favourites of mine. You should definitely check out the Oblivion soundtrack. It's amazing--no surprise seeing as it's by the same composer. Plus, it's super long so there's lots to write to. As far as the WIP goes, I'm hoping to finish my first draft later this week!

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  14. Congrats on all your writing progress. That's wonderful. I hope the momentum keeps going and you have a great week!

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    1. Thanks! It was a productive week, even if I didn't plan for it to be! I hope the momentum keeps up too because I'm just about to the end of my draft. :)

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  15. Killing characters off isn't easy when they're characters we like. I got really choked up writing the death scene for my dear old Butler Reagan, even knowing he was dying on his own terms and had lived so long he'd been depressed about it for many years. It's even harder to write a death scene for a character who doesn't die peacefully in old age. One of my beloved characters died at 26, leaving two small children, though at least she comes back as a helpful ghost sometimes.

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    1. When you spend all this time with these characters, saying goodbye to them is so tough! The characters who died in my story were both very young, so yeah, that was partly what was difficult about it. I like that your character comes back as a helpful ghost! That's a great way to keep her around a bit.

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  16. Wow you got loads done, congratulations on all that progress :)
    It's not cold here, but it is so wet! I feel like it's rained since Christmas. Hurry up Spring is all I can say.

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    1. Thank you! It felt good to figure out a better version of my WIP's ending and get a nice portion of it down on the page. I can't wait for spring either. Enough of this miserable weather! :)

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  17. What are breaks again? :P

    Congrats on all your WIP progress :)

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    1. Ha ha! Yeah, sometimes breaks do seem like something out of a myth, don't they? :)

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  18. yay on your WIP progress. And on your husband staying up till 4:30am. That is great. I am glad you have your sister and your husband at your back. As writers we all need that.

    Have a great week.

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    1. I'm very fortunate to have two family members so involved in my writing process. Both my husband and my sister are great sounding boards for my ideas, plus they beta read for me. Hope you have a great week as well. :)

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  19. Great job on your writing progress, it sounds like you've got a lot done. Keep it up :)

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  20. Haha, I'm terrible at taking breaks, too. As soon as I finish one project, I usually jump into another one! My brain refuses to let me rest. Congrats on all the progress!

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    1. I think I have this crazy phobia of forgetting how to write if I even take a few days off lol. Glad I'm not the only one that doesn't do well with breaks! I can feel slightly less obsessive now :D

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  21. First of all, I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt that way about THE SPECTACULAR NOW! I also watched it recently and wasn't blown away. I hear the book is much better though so maybe I'll read it one day.

    That's awesome that you were inspired to write so much! I need some of that. And your husband sounds amazing! Between him and your sister, you are one lucky girl.

    Happy writing this week.

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    1. It's a shame really, because the acting was good. It just lacked any real spark or some kind of a plot twist--anything to set it apart from other teen movies that have already covered the same themes. I was wondering how the book might be in comparison too.

      And yes, I'm very lucky! I would never have made it this far in the writing process without both my sister and my husband! :)



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  22. Congrats on the writing! So exciting. Although the tears part doesn't sound so great. ;)

    Both you and Jaime linked to Susan Dennerd's post, which means it must be fantastic. I'll be reading that asap!

    And I love Lindsey Stirley's music. That girl is talented! And it's so perfect to write to.

    Ooh - speaking of M83's Oblivion music - have you seen the movie? Since I love the soundtrack so much, I thought I'd check it out. I didn't love the movie (not just b/c of Tom Cruise, but that certainly didn't help) ... still, the music is fantastic. It sets such a great tone. I loved seeing it with the scenes from the movie.

    Have a great week, Erin!

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    1. Thanks, Brigid! I knew when I sat down to write that scene that I'd end up crying, so I had my Kleenex ready lol. Definitely check out Susan Denard's post, especially if you like new ways to keep organized about writing. Jaime and I talked a bit about it before posting, and we both agreed it was worth putting in our inspiration section this week. I love it when authors share such helpful advice! As for Lindsey Stirling, I can't wait until she comes out with a new album!

      I've seen Oblivion a couple times now actually. I did really enjoy it, although there were some things I thought needed to be fleshed out better in terms of plot/character. I loved the atmosphere (wasn't their house in the sky cool?) so I was willing to forgive those though. It's funny, we always joke about Tom Cruise in my house (My son calls him Little Reacher because he was way too small to play Jack Reacher in the movie based on Lee Child's books), but most of the time we grudgingly end up liking the movies he's in. Darn him! I agree that the music is fantastic. I loved watching the movie the second time when I knew the music well from writing to it all the time.

      Hope you have a great week too!

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  23. Thanks for the heads up on The Spectacular Now. I almost rented it the other day and then opted not to. I did watch About Time and it was cute. Loads of gingers on it...lol. ;-) That's fantastic that you're getting so much done on your writing. Who needs a break when you've got the itch to write? I wish I was in that boat! Trade?

    Thanks again for pointing me in the direction of the Productivity Pyramid. I mean, I might have stumbled across it eventually because I follow Pub(lishing) Crawl in my RSS feed reader, but still. I'm really hoping it will help me get back on track. I'm all about The Routine over here (heehee). Hoping we can chat again soon! :-)

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    1. Yeah, I think you would've found The Spectacular Now lacking too. I've wanted to see About Time for a while now, so I'm glad it's finally on Apple TV and that you enjoyed it. And you can never have too many gingers in a movie! As for skipping the break, I think's it's always nice when you end up writing simply because you feel like it and not because there's pressure to. I hope that clicks again for you too. That Productivity Pyramid post was so full of helpful ideas. Honestly, I think organizing yourself goes a long way in setting up a successful writing time. Knowing how you thrive on organization, I'm sure you agree. Looking forward to chatting again soon too!

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