Wednesday, 30 April 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 writers 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:

Well, I finished Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I don’t want to say too much, seeing as I know some of you are either currently reading it or hoping to soon, but I’ll admit that I think it should have been much shorter. This is just my opinion, but I felt there was too much reflection and the plot never really gained momentum. So I guess Daughter of Smoke and Bone is still my favourite in the series.

Now I’m reading the first Veronica Mars mystery, The Thousand Dollar Tan Line and Rae Carson’s novella, The Shadow Cats.

What I’m Writing:

I revised another six scenes this week, plus did some research that involved listening to a lot of classical music. I also scribbled down some new details for the third book in my trilogy. I already know most of what will happen in it but was able to flesh out one major plot point. I’m hoping to sit down, sort through my notes and do some official planning on it soon. But first…more revisions.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Rainy days.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Every year our local symphony holds a used book sale for a fundraiser, and every year for the last dozen years, we’ve gone. We even have our own little collapsible book cart that we bring along and fill to the brim. So far this year, we’ve bought 76 books. Not too shabby! That’s actually low compared to some years, but we’ve learned to be choosier. When the books are generally only a dollar or two, it’s easy to go wild and buy too many that will never get read. Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved shopping for used books. It feels like an adventure because you never know what gems you’ll find. And there’s something very satisfying about “rescuing” books that might otherwise end up in the recycling. As usual, we found a little bit of everything. My son hit the jackpot on the Star Wars novels this year, so that should keep him busy for a good, long while. My favourite find was a lovely, old copy of Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Now, to find space on our shelves for this load!


Also, I fell in love with coconut bubble tea this week, which I’d never tried before. I foresee more of it as my summer writing fuel. Mmmm...

Well, that’s about it for me. How was your week?

40 comments:

  1. Yay for revising, Erin! :-) I'm taking a short break from writing fiction (I need to catch up on emails and stuff)...but will be back to it shortly. And wow that mountain of books looks AWESOME! I loved old books too :-)

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    1. A break sounds lovely! I've been better at taking a day off here and there lately. It's so important to recharge. New books are great, but there's something so inspiring about the old ones. I love the smell of the pages! :)

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  2. Ooh, Star Wars books. Those take me back to my teens in a *major* way ^_^ Hope your son enjoys them.

    Rain is so inspiring. I just love to sit and listen to it. So peaceful.

    Have a great week, Erin :D

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    1. I'm sure he'll love them all! He was pretty excited to find so many. After months and months of snow, I was thrilled to have a few rainy days. Perfect weather for writing and tea! Hope you have a great week too! :)

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  3. If rainy days inspire you, you'd be very happy in my town right now. It's been dumping rain for over 24 hours. My girl's school is closed today due to flash flooding! It might not surprise you to hear that I am NOT inspired by rainy days -- at least not today!

    I can't believe how many books you snagged at the used book sale! I can totally imagine myself going crazy as well. Have a great week, Erin! :-)

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    1. Our rain was fairly steady, but fortunately no flooding so far this year. We've had issues with water in the basement many times before, so I'm crossing my fingers that it won't happen this spring. I hope you guys get some sun soon!

      If you can believe it, we've gotten at least triple that amount of books some years. Back when my son was little and we were still building our library, we really stocked up. This book sale is pretty impressive. We're not talking a few tables, but actual shelves divided into genres like a bookstore. Whatever we end up not liking, we just donate back for someone else to buy. I wish they had a little more YA, but other than that, I'm excited to go every year! Have yourself a great week too! :)

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  4. The past couple of summers I've went to the book sale Half Price Books has at the fairgrounds, and it's so much fun! Hope I get to go this year too. And bubble tea? Must look this up!

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    1. I hope you get to go again too! It's fun shopping for books in a store or even ordering online, but there's something unique and exciting about book sales. Bubble tea is originally from Taiwan (although we bought it at a Japanese place in the mall). It comes in all kinds of flavours, sort of like a slushie, and has tapioca in the bottom. Good stuff--if you like tapioca that is. :)

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  5. I am A SUPER DORK for the Star Wars novels. I won't lie. :P I loved the series with Han and Leia's kids and I was kind of hoping the new movie would be about them…sigh. Lol. I've heard really really mixed things about the last book in Laini's series. I just went to a book signing of hers on tour and LOVED meeting with her. I haven't read the other books so I bought the first one - 70 pages in and liking it. :-) Have a great week, Erin!

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    1. I had no idea just how many Star Wars series there are until he started piling them all into our cart! I've never read any Star Wars books, but now that you mention it, I'd kind of like to see how Han and Leia's kids turned out! That's actually surprising they won't be in the new movies. I think a lot of people would've enjoyed that.

      I so wanted to love DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS but just couldn't all said and done. Still, it's very cool that you got to go to one of Laini Taylor's book signings! She seems like a neat lady. I hope you enjoy DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE as much as I did! Have a great week yourself! :)

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  6. Is that "bubble tea" as in the popular Asian drink? My daughter got us all into bubble tea, though I must say it's a little sweet for me, so I can't take it in large quantities. But it's certainly tasty. :)

    I'm already at the point where I have enough unread books on my shelves to keep me busy for my remaining days... but that won't stop me buying more. Of course! There's always room on the shelves for a few more. I hope you find some gems among your latest haul.

    Have a wonderful week, Erin!

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    1. Yep, that would be the one! The coconut wasn't super sweet, but I can see how some of the flavours would be. I'm not much for overly sweet drinks either. My son tried the passion fruit, and I didn't care for it as much.

      I'm in the same boat with the number of books I haven't read, but it's always too tempting to buy more, especially when they're cheap. Now we have the monumental task of adding our library to some sort of inventory. The folder we used to use has been outgrown! :)

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  7. Loved the Veronica Mars book! They need to hurry up with more! I'm on book 2 of Daughter of S&B series. I already think book 3 is too long.

    You'd really be inspired down here in the south. Going on 16 hours of non stop rain. Come on down!

    That book sale sounds awesome!!

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    1. I'm only about a quarter of the way through it, but so far it's interesting. I really hope they plan on publishing more, especially since there isn't a show to watch now! Yeah, DREAM OF GODS & MONSTERS is enormous. I love a nice, long book but only if the pacing is good and lots happens. Ah well. Maybe you'll enjoy it more than I did.

      I've heard about the crazy rain you guys are getting down south! Sounds like you need a raft to go anywhere right now! And yes, the book sale was the height of awesome! It's one of my favourite times of the year. :)

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  8. I love bubble tea! I haven't tried coconut--I'll have to seek that out.
    Shopping for used books always feels like a treasure hunt. I always have a hard time not coming home with all the books.
    Have a good revising week!

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    1. Isn't it fun? I love tapioca, so I'm not sure why I'd never tried it before. And yes, used book sales feel exactly like a treasure hunt! It's a challenge to see what you'll come up with. I think "all the books" are currently on the shelves in our basement. It's like the Library of Congress down there lol. :)

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  9. Love your book stack! I'm headed to a used book sale at my library the weekend after this one.

    It's been raining for days in Virginia - lots of inspiration here :)

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    1. Ooo, I hope you have as much success as I did! Buying new books is fun, but it's even more fun to stock up on a whole bunch of old ones all at once. You guys are getting pummeled with rain too? Wow, it sounds like everyone is getting drenched south of the border! Buckets of inspiration! :)

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  10. Wow, that looks like a great book haul! It's always fun when you get to give a book a new home. :)

    Have a great week!

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    1. We did pretty well this year! That's exactly how I see it: giving a book a new home. When someone else decides they don't want it anymore, I'm more than glad to give it a place on my shelf. It kind of feels like giving a story a second chance. Hope you have a great week as well! :)

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  11. Rainy days are lovely. Sounds like you got a lot done on the writing end-congrats! But I'll leave all the bubble tea to you. For some reason, I never could learn to enjoy that one ;)

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    1. Rainy days are my favourite! My revisions are trucking along at a decent pace, so I'm pretty happy about that. The first round of revisions was much slower, so it's nice to have finally built up some momentum. I can see how some people wouldn't be big on bubble tea. If you're not into tapioca, it wouldn't be very appealing. Fortunately, I love tapioca though. :)

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  12. As you know, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE is my favourite of the trilogy. It's too bad, because I *really* wanted to like DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS. Ah well. It's a trilogy I will hang onto even though I didn't love Book 3. I read a review of it on Goodreads that was spot on, in my opinion. There were lots of others who felt the same way we did about it.

    I really wish my revisions were coming along as well as yours are. You're making really good progress on this one. It won't be long before you're able to sit down and get writing Book 3. Writing is on hold (again) for me this week. We're heading to Wabigoon tomorrow and won't be back until next Wednesday. Wish I could say I was psyched about that, but 18 hours in the car both directions is...not exciting. Not sure when we're ever going to get back to Skype writing sessions.

    You guys got quite the haul at the book sale. I realized before we moved this last time that a lot of the books I bought at the book sale, with the exception of beautiful old classics, never ended up getting read. I turned around and donated them lol. It's been awhile since I got to look at used books that were priced well, so I'm a little envious. Hope you're having a great week! :D

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    1. Me too. I was so looking forward to it. I saw some reviews that I agreed with on Goodreads as well. I'll definitely read whatever Laini Taylor writes next though. The one storyline was introduced so late in the book, I almost wondered if she was planning a spin-off series, but now that I'm done I don't think that'll be the case.

      I'm feeling better about my progress on this round of revisions. The first one was a bit of a slog, probably because I was trying to get the plot straightened out. You know how tough that can be. I wanted to be drafting book three by May, but seeing as May starts tomorrow, I don't think that's gonna happen. Eighteen hours to Ontario doesn't sound thrilling. Eek. I hope you guys enjoy the trip though. Liam & I have fieldtrips for the next two Thursdays, so our Skype sessions would've been on hold anyway. Good timing, I guess!

      We did pretty well at the book sale this year. We're pickier than we used to be, which is good. I got rid of some that we bought in previous years and never ended up reading too. I figure it all goes to a good cause, so if we risk a couple bucks on a book that doesn't get read, that's okay. Hope you have a great week too! :)

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  13. Do you make your own bubble tea? or get it from a cafe? It sounds like a fun drink! I love collecting used books too. We move to often for me to bring many home but I still have a large collection of classics I gathered when I was a teen :) My son is just getting old enough to read some of them.

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    1. Nope, we bought this at a Japanese sushi place at the mall. I wish I knew how to make it! I might have to see if I can find some recipes. I have some of my favourite classics from when I was a teen too. We're lucky that we've been in our current house for over ten years. It makes it easier to accumulate books. :)

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  14. Holy cow- 76 books! I wouldn't know where to put them all! I used to shop for used books when I was a teenager- it was one of my favorite things to do. :)

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    1. Yeah, it was quite the haul. We used to come home with a few boxes, back when my son was little and we were still building our library. That library is now out of control lol. We have a lot of bookshelves in our basement, so that helps with the space issue. My parents used to take us shopping for used books when we were kids, so I developed an appreciation for it early too. :)

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  15. You and Jaime have very similar opinions about Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Funny! Yay for getting 6 scenes revised, that's awesome. I am revising for a R&R and it is quite a thing to jump back into the book after being away for so long. That book haul is amazing!

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    1. Jaime and I rarely disagree about books. We tend to have very similar taste and take issue with the same things in how books are written. It's nice that we can critique books with each other, seeing as we both try to be discreet on our blogs. It's kind of bizarre even considering the fact that we're sisters!

      It felt good to knock off six scenes this week. My momentum is much better with this round of revisions, probably because I got the tough plot-related stuff out of the way first. I can't imagine jumping back in for an R&R, but that's so exciting! As for our books, we did really well again this year. Our library is exploding. :)

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  16. Seventy-five books? Whoa...
    Glad to see your Wednesday thing is still going even during the chaos of the A to Z Challenge.

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    1. Believe it or not, we've come home with more some years, back before we really built up our library. We're choosier now, but there's still a lot! We've gathered a pretty regular group for What's Up Wednesday, so even with a few people absent, we've been busy during A-Z.

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  17. I want to read the Veronica Mars book but I want to listen to the audiobook. It's read by Kristen Bell. What's better than the Veronica Mars reading Veronica Mars? Have fun revising! Have a great weekend!

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    1. I didn't realize Kristen Bell narrates the audio book! That's so cool! I can see why you'd want to hear the story in Veronica's voice. And thanks, revising is much more fun this time around, seeing as I have all those nasty plot issues under control now! Hope you have a great weekend too!

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  18. Mmm...bubble tea. I love it, though my sister says the balls feel too much like hardened mucus. So, uh, yum. Speaking of sisters, your new profile pic on this site makes you look so much more like Jaime. From your other photo, I had no idea you were sisters, but now it's clear. :)

    Good luck with your revisions!

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    1. Yeah, the tapioca is a little goobery, but the tastiness makes up for the sliminess. That's funny you can see the resemblance between Jaime and me now. We never really think we look alike, but other people often say we do. When we we're together and you hear us talking, it's more obvious. Same weird sense of humour. :D

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  19. Ooh, book sales! I can't help myself in a bookstore on a regular old day. Forget library sales, or second hand bookstores. I'm just unstoppable.

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    1. Oh, I know! Book stores with new books at regular price are bad enough, let alone book sales with dirt cheap books. I look forward to this sale every year. :)

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  20. I just read through the last few weeks of your WUW posts and you're really cooking on those revisions! Way to go! Also, I like your new sidebar pic. I like your longer hair. And your new laptop is soooo dreamy! Lucky!! I hope everything continues to go well this week!

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    1. Wow, that's a lot of reading! I'm really happy with my progress during this second round of revisions, so hopefully that keeps up (fingers crossed). And thanks for the compliment on the new photo. My son took it actually. I've been growing my hair out (again) and thought it was time to put up a pic that looked more like me. :)

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