Wednesday, 11 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:

I finished If I Stay by Gayle Forman the other night and liked it a lot. The characters were fleshed out so well, and I enjoyed the way the story flipped between the present tragedy and flashbacks. Now I can’t wait for the movie! Tell me that trailer doesn’t look amazing? I’m now reading The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle.



What I’m Writing:

I completed my second round of revisions, and now I’m working on nitpicky stuff like trimming overused words, making gestures more creative, sprucing up some description details, and smoothing out any little inconsistencies. I find this stage tedious, but I know it’s a necessary part of polishing.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

The way the YA community spoke out against Ruth Graham’s criticism of young adult literature in her article for Slate.com. There were so many things I wanted to say on this issue, but I just haven’t had the time. I will add a couple thoughts though, starting with this: It is NOT okay to undervalue teenagers by claiming books about them are somehow lesser and that adults who appreciate those books are stunted in some way. What’s lesser is being close-minded and thinking you can dictate what others should or should not read.

Kat Kinsman of CNN had this to say about reading YA: “It made me feel things and do things, and for the life of me, I can’t understand [why] that’s inferior to knowing things.” That made me want to cheer. Contrary to what Ms. Graham suggested, YA doesn’t always wrap up with a neat little bow, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to hang on to the hopefulness and idealism characterized by the teen years. Perhaps the world would be a better place if more people did that.

I plan on sharing more things that inspire me about YA over the next few weeks, so please feel free to use this heading the same way if you like!

The other thing that’s inspiring me is the super response we had to RSW on Monday! It’s not too late to join us for a summer of writing. Interested? You can check out the details here.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:



My son finished reading The Fault in Our Stars this week, so on Saturday the two of us went to see the movie. Guys, it was a 3 Kleenex movie for me. I cried so much I had to put the hood up on my sweatshirt to hide my face. Not that it mattered because just about everyone else was bawling too. My son enjoys reading and movies but is usually fairly stoic in his reactions to them. After TFIOS was done and I was sitting there sniffling, he hugged me and said “That was so good. Oh man!” Clearly John Green left an impression on my kid and I’m thankful he did. This was a great bonding experience for my son and me. I’ve read to him since he was a baby, and I love that we’re at the point where we can share and discuss YA. And I won’t let the YA naysayers tarnish that, because they don’t know what they’re talking about, and they don’t know what they’re missing.

We were also lucky enough to watch another fascinating performance. At our local children’s festival, my son and I saw The Intergalactic Nemesis, a LIVE ACTION GRAPHIC NOVEL. If you think that sounds cool, you’d be right! It was done in the style of a 1930s radio show, complete with all the melodrama. The frames for the graphic novel were flashed on a screen, while three actors voiced all the parts at microphones. A Foley artist (sound expert) used all kinds of objects on the stage to create sound effects, and a pianist accompanied the story with music. It was phenomenal! There was so much going on at any given time, I wasn’t sure who to watch. The kids were encouraged to get into the show by booing and cheering too, so it had an interactive element. The story was sort of an adventure sci-fi with aliens and a hypnotic villain named Mysterion. Seriously, this was one of the most unique and creative performances I’ve ever seen. Apparently, they performed on Broadway and they’ve also been on Conan. If you’re curious, you can check out the trailer on their official site here.

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying walks in our neighbourhood now that everything is blooming. I also made chocolate covered strawberries, which were quite tasty.

So how was your week?

35 comments:

  1. It must be lovely to share YA with your son. He must look at it all from a really different perspective.

    Yeah, that whole "don't read YA, read LITERATURE" thing is just ridiculous. What a snob. Reading should be fun, not an exercise in confusion.

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    1. It is! Books have always been a bonding experience for us. I love to hear what he thinks about them!

      I wholeheartedly agree that reading should be fun. Prose doesn't have to be formal or flowery or overly difficult to be meaningful either. Too bad so many people still don't get that! :)

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  2. I'm glad you enjoyed TFIOS! I can't wait to watch it. :D

    Glad to hear people are speaking out in favour of YA. It's so irritating that there have been so many articles popping up where it's clear the writer hasn't actually read any YA or thought of its positive side. And as an English graduate, I definitely got more enjoyment out of YA books than most of my course texts!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! be sure to bring tissues!

      Oh, I know right? They don't read YA, which makes their opinions baseless, but if they spent more time reading YA then they'd be as guilty as the rest of us! Either way their argument is pointless, They're kind of making themselves look dumb really. And hey, if you're an English graduate then clearly you're qualified to say that YA is good stuff, especially since you've read a lot of other literature to compare it to!

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  3. My teenage daughter read TFIOS, but not my son...I wonder if I could talk him into it. Most of the books I love get thrown into one of their piles...anything he likes she wouldn't, and vice versa, but TFIOS might just hook him too. Someone called Ruth Graham's article a "clicker" article--one intended to get annoyed enough at the title to click to their site. I'd like to hope that was really all it was. Are there really people that pretentious in this world?

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    1. My son is pretty eclectic in his tastes, though lately he's been obsessed with Star Wars novels. I find that movies are great rewards for reading books, so maybe you could convince your son that way?

      You know, that's a very perceptive point about Ruth Graham's article. The whole thing could've been orchestrated to cause a stir and create publicity for their site. Whatever the case, I think it backfired on them, because YA has been in the spotlight in a big (and positive) way this week!

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  4. I want to read THE INFINITE MOMENT. I'm glad you liked IF I STAY and the TFiOS movie!

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    1. Both were very good! I'm not all that far into THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US, but I'm hoping I'll enjoy it a lot. :)

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  5. It's a tough thing about the Slate article. I feel like they got exactly what they wanted with the response, but I'll never click on another Slate link again. And it sounds like the movie was great! I'm going to wait to rent it, just because I don't want to cry with a theater full of people. :)

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    1. Yeah, they were likely looking to cause a stir so their site would get more traffic. I won't be reading any more of their articles either. I suppose the YA camp did benefit somewhat from this seeing as a lot of people have been defending it, including other major news outlets like CNN and the Washington Post.

      You know, I swore up and down that I wasn't going to see TFIOS in the theatre because I knew I'd bawl like crazy, but I buckled. Taking my son to see it was the deciding factor. :)

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  6. A live-action graphic novel??? That sounds awesome!

    THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US is in my stack of books to read this summer and I'm hoping I get to it. My stack is VERY tall :)

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    1. It was so cool to watch--and listen to! Just a really creative idea for bringing a story to life.

      I'm not very far into THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US yet, but I'm hoping I really enjoy it. My TBR stack is way to tall too! So naturally, I've been reading library books lately lol. :)

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  7. How amazing that you and your son got to enjoy TFiOS together. I may have to wait for Boy Chris to finish the book first, but I'm IMPATIENT...so I might just drag him to the theater before he's done.

    And I love the idea of a live-action graphic novel! How cool is that?! And I love that they performed it like a 1930's radio broadcast. I love it when people do creative things that mix up all sorts of genres.

    I think it's infinitely hilarious that people are still that misinformed about YA. It makes me wonder if they've been living under a rock, or if they've even read some of the fantastic YA that's out there. "Hello? The Fault in Our Stars anyone?! Did they read that book? Night Circus? The Sky is Everywhere? Everybody Sees the Ants? Dream Thieves? (lists a million other titles) Read those? No?...well do your homework." ~rant complete~

    Hope you have an amazing week, filled with awesome, and lovely words. :)

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    1. This was his first contemporary YA, so it set the standard pretty high! Reading has always been our bonding thing , and even though I don't read aloud to him much anymore, I love that the way we share books has evolved. YOu should assign Boy Chris some reading homework! I hope you get to see the movie soon!

      The Intergalactic Nemesis really was an amazing way to bring a story off the page and to life. Everyone involved in the performance was so talented, and the kids just loved it too. I think they're planning on doing a sequel so I hope they come back here and perform it too!

      It's crazy the way people criticize YA when they haven't actually read any. It makes their opinion totally baseless, and if they did actually read any then they'd see how wrong they are. I'm not sure where they get this idea that the prose is dumbed down or that the issues are childish. Usually it's quite the opposite. Ah well. I think some people will always find a way to make themselves feel superior.

      Hope your week is amazing too! :D

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  8. Ooh, THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US! I liked that book a lot more than I thought I would and holy hell... It is steamy! I'll be interested to hear what you think, especially of the end. Also, I know the grass is always greener and all, but this first-drafter SO wants to be at the nit-picky final stage. This early writing stuff is HARD. And yay for your entire Inspiration section this week. I will never apologize for the books I love, and neither should anyone else. Have a great week, Erin!

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    1. I've been finding it a little slow, but I'm not very far yet and I do really like the characters. I have to confess that rumors of steamy romance may have factored in to me deciding to read it...Now I'm really curious about the ending. Must get reading!

      I agree that the early stuff is so hard, and the crazy thing is, the reason I'm trying to plow through the nitpicky junk is because I want to start drafting again during RSW. I think I might be crazy. I hope you get to the nitpicky stage soon!

      This YA bashing is just silly. Like you, I'm proud to read YA and can't figure out why anyone thinks that being more open-minded about what you read makes you less enlightened somehow. Have a great week yourself!

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  9. I'm glad you enjoyed IF I STAY. I really need to give it a reread, because I'm pretty sure I'll like it more the second time through. Especially if I can get past that ill-informed use of "eh" by that stereotypical Canadian character. ;-) I need to give it another shot before the movie. (It looks so good!)

    I really think the more voices the better when it comes to speaking out against that Slate article. It might seem like enough people have spoken out, but I think we all need to. I had something about it in my post, but not quite as in-depth as you. The more I think about that article the more it makes me crazy. Grrr...

    I'm so envious that you guys got to see TFIOS already. I have another week and a half to go before it shows up here. Ah, the joys of being without a license. Or a husband to cart me around right now lol. I'm hoping by the time I get to see it, the crowds will have thinned out quite a bit.

    Happy to hear that this tedious round of revisions is coming along well. It's a pain in the bum, but your story will be so much better for it. Can't wait to dive into ENVISION again before reading this one! We'll have to touch base about writing again this week. :D

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    1. I was really in the mood for that type of story, which I think helps. Ugh. That misuse of "eh" was my one beef with the book: a) It's only used in questions, and b) it's rarely used at all, contrary to popular belief outside Canada.

      If Slate's intention was to push YA down, I think it kind of backfired because there has been such a huge, positive reaction in favour of YA. In all likelihood they don't actually care but just wanted to stir things up to increase traffic on their site. I had so many things I could've said here but thought I'd better rein it in before I burst a blood vessel lol.

      I cant wait till you see TFIOS so we can discuss it. Even though I cried like a baby, I'm looking forward to watching it again when it comes out on bluray.

      Yep, edits are a pain, but drafting is right around the corner again and then I'll probably complain about that too. Hope you enjoy ENVISION now that it's all polished up! We'll chat soon about writing over Skype. :)

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  10. Mmm, chocolate covered strawberries are my favourite!
    I can't wait to see TFiOS and I'm definitely bringing sunglasses or something for after when my eyes are all red and puffy. I'm such an ugly crier.
    I loved If I Stay and I can't wait for that movie too!

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    1. I figure they're at least a little bit healthy, right?

      Ha! yes, sunglasses will definitely be in order. I actually planned on wearing a hoody so I could hide my face inside it. At the end, everyone started laughing because everyone was crying so hard.

      I think IF I STAY will be less sad than TFIOS but I might cry during that one too. :)

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  11. The Intergalactic Nemesis sounds awesome. I'd love for something like that to come to my area, though it would probably be downtown or lower midtown, where parking is notoriously horrible. I got really into graphic novels since reading some in my YA Lit class a few years ago, and have checked a number of them out ever since.

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    1. It was well worth seeing! Apparently they're planning a sequel, so I really hope they come back and perform it here again. I just though it was a spectacular way to bring a graphic novel to life!

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  12. I loooooved IF I STAY and I can't wait for the movie. I hope it does the book justice! This makes me think I need to re-read it too ... :)

    I think I'll have to be alone when I see TFIOS. I finished the book on a long car ride (my husband was driving) and I was bawling. I'm sure anyone who passed us was wondering what the heck was wrong with me. ;)

    It probably goes without saying, but I'm 100% with you on the whole 'why read YA' thing. It seems so ridiculous to me that it even needs to be said! Gahhhhh.

    Have a great week, Erin!

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    1. I really should've picked up the sequel right away, because I definitely want to read it too!

      You know, I insisted I wouldn't see TFIOS at the theatre because I knew I'd cry, but I wanted to see it too badly. Plus it was too great an opportunity to miss seeing it with my son after handing him the book. Ha! Now I'm picturing you wailing through the passenger seat window. :D

      And yes, it's silly that in this day and age anyone thinks it's okay to bash others for their reading choices. Why don't we just increase censorship while we're at it (insert eyeroll here)? I'll never understand some people.

      Have a great week yourself, Bridgid!

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  13. Yay! For finishing revisions! that nitpicky stuffy will fly by in not time. I saw TFIOS last Thursday, so good. I wanted to hug my mom and never let go afterwards. I'm going to try to read If I Stay before the movie comes out.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yeah, I think the nitpicky stuff isn't actually slow but just feels slow, so that's good anyway. I'm so glad you enjoyed TFIOS too! I thought they were really faithful to the book. Hope you like IF I STAY as well! :)

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  14. Congrats on finishing your revisions! I can't wait to see TFIOS. And If I Stay looks excellent. Chloe Moretz is a great choice to play Mia. Have a great week!

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    1. Thank! It feels good to be done the hard part, even if the nitpicky stuff is tedious. It's so strange to see Chloe Moretz in the trailer for IF I STAY and Asa Butterfield in ENDER'S GAME. I loved them both in HUGO and that seems like it was yesterday! It's interesting to see these kids growing up and starring in some other great movies.

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  15. Yay! I LOVE What's Up Wednesday!!! I keep telling myself I need to do this… and my condolences with the nitpicky stage… it IS tedious… hopefully you'll be DONE SOON… !!!!

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    1. Hello, Morgan!!! It's so great to see you! We would love to have you on board for WUW, so jump in any time! The nitpicky stage is such a pain, but it's worth the trouble in the end. I'm aiming to be done in the next week or so, then it's off to Jaime to read and I'll hopefully be drafting something else! :)

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  16. Awesome that you finished revisions. Congrats! And I'm excited about seeing the live-action graphic novel this fall in my town.

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    1. I sure thought so, even if that leaves all the fiddly little stuff to work on now! I'm so glad you'll get to see THE INTERGALACTIC NEMESIS this fall! I hope you find it every bit as entertaining as I did!

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  17. So glad to hear about IF I STAY! I started it this morning!! 75 pages in and I love it. I saw the trailer before TFIOSs and HAD to read the book soon. Can't wait for the movie.
    So close to being done!!!!! YAY!
    I'm on board with the whole what I love about YA in the inspiration section. Great idea!
    That is the best story ever! I'm glad you two got to share that. And how did I not remember to put seeing TFIOSs in my what I've been up to.
    Have a great week!!

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    1. You know, I got two thirds of the way through my book and it just ended. The last third was all extras like acknowledgements, an author interview, discussion questions, etc. I was like "Hey! I want more story!" I really should have bought the sequel right away.

      And yes, I'm very close to being done, thank goodness. Then it's off to Jaime for some magical CPing and then I'll probably be tearing stuff up again.

      Glad you like the idea of posting what we love about YA in the inspiration section. Jaime and I though it would be appropriate considering all the hoopla lately.

      My son is awesome and I'm so thrilled that he sees the merit of books and that he connected with TFIOS. I can't wait to put another YA book in his hands! Hope you have a great week too!

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  18. The live action graphic novel sounds so neat! And I can't wait until my little man is old enough to do those type of things together, anticipating the day! Though of course I'm enjoying where we're at now w/the two's. (sticky hugs and meltdowns, lol!) Also, you were one of the winners of the guitar charms! Just email me your address to leandrawallaceatgmaildot.com and I'll get it right out. =)

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