Wednesday, 4 June 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. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

What I’m Reading:

For the time being, I put aside the book I was reading and picked up If I Stay by Gayle Forman instead. I figure I should probably read it before the movie comes out in August (the trailer looks amazing) and so far, I’m really liking it. I know, big shock, right? 



What I’m Writing:

This week I revised eight large scenes, so I’m pretty psyched about that, especially since I’m now only three scenes away from finishing round two of revisions. After that, it’s mostly nitpicky junk, and I’ll ship it off to Jaime to read. Eek! I also had a couple writing sessions via Skype and text with Jaime, which were productive and hugely encouraging.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

The other night, we had a doozy of a thunderstorm. While my husband was pumping water out of our flooded backyard (at 2:30 a.m.), he found a baby bird floating on our walkway, so I scooped the poor thing into a margarine container and brought it in the house. It's little heart was pumping a mile a minute and it was so waterlogged it hardly even looked like a bird. We put a warm buckwheat bag around the container and some straining mesh that my husband uses for brewing over the top, just in case it was suddenly able to fly.

I stayed up all night to keep an eye on it, because I didn’t want to risk releasing it while it was still dark and rainy out. Plus, we weren’t sure if it was injured or old enough to fly. The funny thing was that the bird got restless unless it could see me. As long as my face was over the container, it was calm and sat there watching  me with its little black eyes, tilting its head back and forth.

So why was this inspiring? Because while this was going on, I just happened to be revising a scene in which my mc wakes up and sees a little bird in the branches above her. This particular scene (and the next one) has a bird motif running through it, so it was very fitting to work on revisions with a bird in a margarine tub on my lap. How’s that for writing “bird by bird,” Anne Lamott?

After getting some helpful advice via Twitter from Kris Oliver (who, being a biologist, is quite knowledgeable about caring for little creatures), I took the bird outside to attempt releasing it. It flew straight to our lilac bush, then up into our pine tree, and went branch by branch toward the top, where another bird was calling. I’m wondering if it was the mother, because I could see a larger patch of yellow farther up the tree, and it stopped calling as soon as the little bird arrived. I’m sure the neighbors were wondering what the heck I was doing in the backyard in my pajamas and rubber boots at dawn.

Anyway, after searching the internet for prairie birds with bright yellow breast feathers, I suspect the little guy/gal might have been some kind of warbler. Seeing as we’re bird lovers in our family, we were happy that we could help this one survive the storm.


 What Else I’ve Been Up To:

My husband and I watched two YA movies this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed both. Continuing with the bird theme, we watched A Birder’s Guide to Everything, which was sad and sweet and funny. We also saw The Kings of Summer and laughed out loud many times. Moises Arias (Bonzo from Ender’s Game) played a character named Biaggio, who has to be one of the most adorably creepy characters I’ve ever encountered. Loved him in it. Both movies were about teen boys, and as the mother of a gangly fourteen-year-old, I got a huge kick out of them. (Warning: Each had incidents involving hunting, so if you’re sensitive to that--I am--then beware. Also, the humour and language in either might not suit everyone.)

There was also book shopping and library visiting this week. I got a copy of The Fault in Our Stars so my son can read it before the movie comes out—I originally read a library copy. We spent some time downtown yesterday, reading under the trees and slurping frappuccinos.

There was more to my week, but seeing as this is loooong, I’ll bump a bit to my next WUW post. So how was your week? Planning on joining us for Ready. Set. WRITE!? You can read more about that here.


46 comments:

  1. I'm so glad the little bird was okay. Funny how life imitates art sometimes, huh?

    It must be so much fun to have a sibling who writes. I'm sure Jaime's gonna love your book ^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was very relieved when he flew off! We were pretty worried at first, because we thought he might be injured, but turns out he was just too wet and tired to fly. While I felt horribly for it, I was glad to have a little writing companion for the night.

      It really is awesome having a sister who writes. It's the best motivation. And I hope she loves my book, because I wouldn't want to bore her to death! :P

      Delete
  2. Aww... Your bird story inspires me too! So glad there was a happy ending. :-) And yay for IF I STAY! I make my love for Gayle Forman's books clear every time the chance arises. :-) One of my writerly heroes! Way to go with your revision success this week. Sounds like you were super productive. Can't wait to see what you accomplish once RSW begins. Have a wonderful week, lady!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was relieved when it all worked out and I enjoyed having a little writing companion for the night. :)

      Earlier this week, I was actually reading another book that was just falling flat for me, so I thought "To heck with this!" and picked up IF I STAY instead. Glad I did, because it's keeping me hooked way more than the other book. I'm loving the characters in it!

      It was a very productive week and I'm hoping to keep up the momentum going into RSW! Looking forward to diving in!

      Delete
  3. I LOVED If I Stay! And the sequels not bad either! So excited for the movie... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to pick up a copy of the sequel so I can read it when I'm done. The trailer for the movie looks amazing! That's what gave me the kick I needed to finally pick up the book. :)

      Delete
  4. Glad to hear the revisions are going well! :) And I'm glad to hear the bird was OK, too!

    I still haven't read IF I STAY yet, but I've heard so many good things about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a successful week on both counts! I'd heard a ton of good things about IF I STAY as well, but that awesome movie trailer is what finally convinced me to pick it up. :)

      Delete
  5. I love your bird story, and I'm glad it turned out happily. And yes, I am excited for Ready. Set. Write. Summers are not usually my best writing months, and I think this will be exactly the motivation I need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My writing session that night took quite the unexpected turn! I was very relieved when the bird turned out to be healthy and able to fly. Glad to hear you're excited for RSW! I'm a bit the opposite in that summer is my best time for drafting. I have way more energy when the days are longer than in the winter when the sun goes down at four o'clock around here lol!

      Delete
  6. I most definitely am planning on joining RSW! I had fun last year and hope to get a ton of work completed this time around, too.

    So glad the little bird was okay, and how fitting that it flew/floated into your life while you're writing this particular story! Seems like a good sign to me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm so happy you've decided to join us! We're going to have a great bunch again this summer, and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone gets accomplished. Hope it's a successful summer again for you!

      The timing for the bird incident really was perfect--not perfect that it was caught in the storm but perfect in terms of inspiration. I was thinking it might be a good sign too, especially since I was having one of "those" weeks. :)

      Delete
  7. I'm so happy that your little bird made it!! And I can't tell you how wonderful it is that you and your family care enough to try and help it. Often during my wildlife rehab days, I would have visitors over to my house that were not only *astounded* that I had baby bears destroying my kitchen cabinets and baby otters in the bathtub, but just could not understand WHY I was so obsessed with them and their survival. ;)

    And how fun that you got to write about birds while caring for your little bird. Just so you know, warblers and some other passerines, are very smart. He/she will remember you. Warblers even teach their children about certain people (like crows do). And they pass that information on from generation to generation. If you are nice to them, their offspring will recognize you as a "nice person" without ever having interacted with you. Pretty amazing, huh? (Sorry, I got off on a little bird behavior tangent there) :)

    Also, I'm super jealous that you get to share some of you favorite reads with your kids. I think that would have to be in my Top Ten Reasons to Have Kids. Getting to read to them and share your favorite books with them...Priceless.

    Hope you have an amazing week! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was so relieved when he flew out of the container! It was amazing how much he perked up once he was finally dry. I think he must have been exhausted from fighting the storm and trying to get off the flooded ground again. We love birds in our family, and we've actually been on fieldtrips to watch bluebirds and owls being tagged, which was an awesome experience. Bears in your kitchen and otters in the tub? Kris, you really should be writing some awesome middle grade stories about that! You rock!

      There was something very magical about having that little bird with me while I was writing. The scene I was working on was my favourite in my WIP too, so it made me feel even more connected to it. That's a fascinating fact about warblers! I'm not sure if these ones have a nest in our tree--I suspect they might--but I sure hope to see them around again! And feel free to go off on a bird behavior tangent any time lol!

      Milestones in our house often surround books. Sharing our favourites with our son is something my husband and I have always looked forward too. Those have been some our best bonding moments. Definitely one of the top reasons to have kids! :)



      Delete
  8. Aww, such a sweet bird! That's amazing that you were able to save it. I love that!

    Congrats on being so close to finishing your revision!

    I loved IF I STAY and I'm excited to see the movie this summer. I'm also excited to watch KINGS OF SUMMER and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a real cutie! While it was a pain that our backyard flooded (again) it was fortunate that my husband happened to find it when he did.

      I'm super excited to finish up my revisions soon, because I'm hoping to get drafting during RSW. Crossing my fingers that progress will be fast so I can do that!

      I can't wait to see IF I STAY and TFIOS too. The trailers for both look awesome!

      Delete
  9. I really need to read IF I STAY again, because I think it fell victim to too high expectations and wrong-book-wrong-time. The trailer looks seriously good, so I think a re-read is definitely in order. The dumb thing is, I think I actually got rid of my copy. Boo. I'll have to check out those YA movies that you mentioned. I've heard of both of them, but didn't know if they were any good or not. Thanks for clearing that up here!

    I think it's so bizarre that both of us were dealing with birds in rainstorms this past week. How totally weird. It's great that you came across that little guy when you did. Also great: that it was appropriate to the scene you were working on. :-) Like I told you, Kris was the first person I thought of when I was dealing with the bird that flew into our window.

    That writing session the other night was AWESOME! We'll have to see if we can replicate it over Skype tomorrow. If that suits you, of course. I'm around all day, so it works for me. Have a great day! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I was definitely in the right mood for it, seeing as I put aside a crappy book to read it. I was primed and ready for something better. I've been in a contemporary mood lately, which must have something to do with the summery weather we've been getting. That stinks that you might have gotten rid of your copy! Oops! I hope you like THE KINGS OF SUMMER and A BIRDER'S GUIDE TO EVERYTHING. Neither were fast paced, but we enjoyed both stories and the kids were funny.

      That's really weird that we both had bird incidents last week! The scene I was working on was actually the one you read recently, only the bird was in the first part. And Kris was a huge help! Even though the bird turned out to be okay, it was nice to know what I should do in case he wasn't able to fly off.

      I agree about our writing session! Tomorrow suits me fine for Skyping. We should just keep a list of things we want to talk about and reward ourselves with some gabbing after, that way we won't ruin our momentum. See you then! :)

      Delete
  10. I still haven't read If I Stay - I should get round to that!

    Wow, sounds like your revisions are going really well! :)

    What a cute little bird! I'm so glad you were there to help him and that he managed to get safely back to his nest. Poor little guy.

    Have a lovely week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm late to reading it too, but after seeing the movie trailer, I decided it was high time!

      I'm really happy with how my revisions are going and I'm hoping to polish off the last of them soon so I can get drafting again during RSW.

      As for the bird, it was adorable and made me feel even more connected to the scene I was writing. I was hugely relieved when he was able to fly away. I think he was exhausted, but all said and done, it was a happy ending! Hope you have a lovely week too! :)

      Delete
  11. I have to read If I Stay soon too. Good to know it’s as good as I’ve heard.

    Love that you two work so close together on your projects.

    Oh that is the sweetest story. Glad the little bird was okay!

    I’ll have to check those two movies out! Hope you have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm only about a third of the way through, but so far I'm really enjoying it--although it's pretty sad too.

      I don't think I could've gotten this far without having a sister as a writing partner. That support and encouragement has been so valuable!

      And I was relieved the bird was okay too and that he was able to fly off in the end. I loved having a little writing companion for the night though.

      Hope you enjoy the movies! I'll warn you they're a bit crude at points, but if you're okay with that then I hope you get a laugh out of them. :)

      Delete
  12. Love the story of the sweet little bird, Erin. Lovely that you were able to save it and it's funny how art can imitate life sometimes. On that note, good luck with your round two of revisions. You can do it!!! I also LOVED IF I STAY (I read it a long long time ago) and reread it quite often. I am sure I will SOB through the film in August :-). And I too saw a YA movie last night -- Judy Blume's Tiger Eyes is on netflix instant. Glad to hear good things about BIRDER'S GUIDE…I really wanted/want to see that one. Hopefully soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The timing on the incident was kind of neat, even though I felt sorry for the poor thing. It was nice to have a little writing companion for the night, and one that was meaningful to my story too.

      Thanks for wishing me luck! I'm hoping to start drafting again during RSW, which is why I want to finish up these revisions quickly.

      I figured it was high time to read IF I STAY and that gorgeous movie trailer was the kick I needed to finally get around to it. I have to watch TIGER EYES some time too. I first read it back when I was in elementary school, so that would be sort of nostalgic. If you watch A BIRDER'S GUIDE TO EVERYTHING, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! :)

      Delete
  13. I loved "If I Stay" and every other book by Gayle Foreman come to think of it...
    Your little bird is so cute! We rescued a robin once and I loved how it would follow me around the yard and sit on my shoulder. It would also dive at intruders (visitors!) with its beak open!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far I'm really enjoying it, despite the sadness of it. It's my first ever Gayle Forman read.

      Isn't it adorable? It's hard to see how yellow its other feathers were in that photo because it's so wet. It's funny you should mention robins, because when my son and I were outside reading yesterday, a whole bunch of robins kind of surrounded us. They were everywhere! Yours sounds very personable! ;)

      Delete
  14. awww, that poor bird, glad you were able to rescue it! And that it helped inspire your scene. Tackling one big scene is hard enough, but eight!?! That's amazing. I REALLY want to see Kings Of Summer, the trailer looked hilarious, will have to get it from the Redbox.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was relieved that it was able to fly once its feathers were dry, and having it with me while I was writing was a real treat, despite the circumstances. As for the eight scenes, it was a really productive week, thanks in part to my text writing session with Jaime. I'm trying to push through my revisions so I can draft during RSW. Hope you enjoy THE KINGS OF SUMMER as much as we did! :)

      Delete
  15. That's so sweet. I'm terrified of birds and all animals, but I do appreciated when someone is kind to creatures in trouble. I'm glad you got inspiration from it. Karma, right? Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's too bad you're scared of birds and other animals. We love animals around here. We've held an anaconda, pet a porcupine, held birds and owls and had lots of other fun encounters. I do wish the circumstances around meeting this little bird had been better. It's great that you appreciate animal kindness even if they make you squeamish though! :)

      Delete
  16. I think I need to re-read If I Stay - I'm pretty certain I read it when it first came out, and I can't remember what happens.
    That bird is so cute, glad you were able to help it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sometimes like it when I forget the ending of a book because it's a good excuse to reread it Hope you enjoy this one just as much the second time around! I'm glad I was able to help the bird too. It was a happy ending to what could have been a sad situation. :)

      Delete
  17. How sweet that you took care of that bird! I wouldn't even know what to do with it- I know zippo about birds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fortunate that my husband happened to be in the backyard in the middle of the night. Not so fortunate that our backyard was flooding, but oh well. We've had a little experience with birds and know people locally that work with them, but it was Kris's advice via Twitter that was most helpful. :)

      Delete
  18. Glad you saved a bird - so lucky for him. It's funny that you just happened to be working on that scene at the same time. But wow, you're getting tons of editing done! Way to go!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was good timing that my husband was in the backyard when the bird needed to be rescued and also good timing that my head was already focused on birds while I was writing! And yep, the revisions are speeding along. I'm hoping to get drafting again soon once these are polished off. :)

      Delete
  19. I remember when my brother finally read TFiOS and kept texting me, especially toward the end. It was a cool thing to share with him, though. (Not sure we'll go see the movie together, though - I probably don't need any witnesses to the sobfest I'm sure I'll be having!)

    I'm glad the bird survived!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I swore up and down that I wasn't going to see TFIOS at the theater, because I know I'll bawl my head off, but I decided I wanted to see it too badly. Plus it's a great opportunity to reward my son for reading the book, which he's loving so far. I plan on wearing a hooded sweatshirt so I can kind of hide my face lol. :)

      Delete
  20. Awww.... sweet little bird - so glad he/she was okay :) I saw something about THE KINGS OF SUMMER the other day (although I can't even remember if it was a clip or ad or what) and thought it looked interesting. I'll have to remember to check it out sometime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a huge relief when it flew off the next morning. I enjoyed having a little writing companion for the night but was glad to set him/her free again. THE KINGS OF SUMMER isn't a fast paced movie, but we thought it was pretty funny. If you watch it, I hope you get as big a kick out of it as we did. :)

      Delete
  21. Lol on your bird by bird reference! That was sorta perfect. =) And, yes, I'm thinking about joining you guys for RSW- I downloaded a button already!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't resist adding that in! Great to hear you might be hopping on board for RSW! It's going to be a productive summer! :)

      Delete
  22. Awwe, that's an amazing bird story. I can tell you have a gentle soul. I heart you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A gentle soul towards animals maybe, but toward humans...ahem...not quite as much sometimes lol. ;)

      Delete
  23. Well I'm glad the bird is okay! What an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing it with us, too. It sounds pretty magical (and a little scary - I'm so glad the bird recovered from it's ordeal!).

    We saw Kings of Summer a couple of months ago, and I really liked it. Biaggio is so fantastically bizarre. He was by far my favorite character. :) The snake part KILLED me though. I couldn't watch. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! It was a relief to see it fly off in the morning, even though I enjoyed having it with me while I worked on writing. It was a whole lot less scary with Kris's helpful advice!

      I'm glad you enjoyed THE KINGS OF SUMMER. I think I'd watch it again just to see Biaggio. He was definitely my favourite too. The snake part had me very worried, but the part about the rabbit almost bothered me more. Poor bunny :(

      Delete