Wednesday, 18 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 just finished The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle and had mixed feelings on it. I enjoyed aspects of the romance but felt like the story focused for too long on the physical relationship between the characters, rather than fleshing out some other parts of the story that could have been more interesting.  Weirdly, seeing as I write sci-fi, there were a couple specific details and one big scene that were similar to my book. The setting and the characters' whole philosophical conversation in that scene were very, very close. I'm always disappointed when that happens, but I also feel a certain affinity with authors whose thoughts run in the same direction as mine.

Now I'm a few chapters into More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs and wishing I could read it straight through in one sitting!

What I’m Writing:

I’ve still been up to my eyeballs in fiddly tasks like correcting little inconsistencies, adding in some final details, and switching out overused gestures and words in my WIP, Engrave. Pretty mind numbing stuff for the most part, but it’s going well. I’ve also been compiling notes for Enlighten, the third book in my trilogy. I’ve been jotting down plot ideas and snippets of dialogue and scenes for over two years now, so you can imagine how many notes I have. Yep. I’m an obsessive planner. Big time. As I’ve been sifting through my notes, I’m realizing that what I put my characters through in Envision and Engrave is nothing compared to what they’re about to face in Enlighten. It’s going to a very bumpy ride.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

In the spirit of celebrating YA literature, Jaime and I both decided to use this section over the next while to share what inspires us most about our favourite teen-oriented books.

One of the things I love about YA is the emphasis on “firsts.” There’s something so inspirational in reading about new experiences, reaching milestones, a fresh outlook, venturing into unfamiliar territory. Sometimes those firsts are wonderful and exciting, and other times they’re harrowing and painful. Either way, they’re a great reminder to approach life with courage and a sense of adventure, to never stop pursuing those momentous occasions, embarking on new journeys, and cherishing what you learn along the way. No matter what age you are.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Cake &
Pomegranate Rosehip iced tea
Making different flavours of iced tea in the new David’s iced tea carafe my husband surprised me with, baking strawberry lemon yogurt cake (never comes out of the pan great but always tastes delicious), watching The Edge of Tomorrow at the theatre on Father’s Day (loved it!), organizing and creating curriculum for my son, Skyping with Jaime, going for walks and getting pooped on by a bird with very good aim, participating in Elizabeth Briggs’s book blitz for More Than Music. If you missed my post on More Than Music yesterday, you can read it and enter one of two awesome giveaways here.

Hope all of you are enjoying your week! And remember, if any of you are looking for some incentive to write this summer, it's not too late to join us for Ready. Set. WRITE!


31 comments:

  1. I really need to get to the cinema to see Edge of Tomorrow.

    Good luck with all the tweaks. They will make your book perfect :D

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    1. It was awesome and actually pretty darn funny in parts! Hope you enjoy it! And thanks! The tweaks are going quite well and everything is polishing up nicely! :)

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  2. Your poor characters! Then again, we rarely create fictional people with the intention to be nice to them, do we? ;) Good luck with the rest of your fiddly tasks!

    I agree, there's something very fun about the 'firsts' in YA. I think one of the reasons so many close-minded people don't like YA is because it's such a fun genre; there are some fantastically gritty and thought-provoking YA reads, but there are also books out there that are there for you when you've had a crappy day and you just want to read something that's going to make you smile. :)

    Have a lovely week!

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    1. Very true! I'm big on lots of conflict and putting characters though the wringer so the sweet moments are all the more satisfying. And thanks, the end of the fiddly tasks is in sight! (At least for now)

      I totally agree with your assessment of YA. There's quite the spectrum in YA, just like in adult books, and sometimes you're in the mood for something that doesn't require a PhD to read. And smiling is always a good side effect of reading. :)

      Hope you have a lovely week as well!

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  3. Augh to that bird! That's a "crappy" way to cut a walk short ;)

    I've heard other people express mixed feelings on INFINITE, too. I just downloaded it to my eReader the other day, so I will see what it's all about soon.

    I love firsts in YA, too. And the fact it isn't all flat-out swoon and sweetness because that isn't real life.

    Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Ha! Yes it was! My son got hit too, which leads me to believe the bird planned the whole thing and was just waiting for us to walk under his tree so he could show off his aim.

      I saw some Goodreads reviews that said the same thing I did. I love some juicy romance, but I really would've like to see more about the main characters' family situations and future plans. I think that would have strengthened the story overall, especially since those aspects were set up to be interesting.

      I have to agree with you that swooniness doesn't make up most of real life. I think it's important to balance those swoony moments with action and character growth, then the romance means more. Have a great week yourself!

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  4. Good luck with your fiddly tasks. you can do it. there's a light at the end of the tunnel. strawberry lemon yogurt cake sounds delicious. thanks for sharing. :D

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    1. I'm nearing the end of the fiddly tasks for now, thank goodness! The cake was so tasty. One of my favourite recipes actually. :)

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  5. Firsts in YA (or MG, in my case!) are one of my favorite things about the category. Whether they are awkward, sweet, or funny--they are always such rich material.
    That cake and the tea both look delicious!

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    1. Yes, "rich" is a perfect word for it! And I wish more adults recognized that. As for the cake, I haven't done a ton of baking in recent months, which made it taste even better! :)

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  6. We really liked The Edge of Tomorrow. Emily Blunt nailed that role. Plus, it was so nice to have a movie to go see that wasn't Fast and Furious 867. I want to shout, "Come on people...new ideas!" to movie producers everywhere.

    I love your take on Firsts in YA. There is something about "firsts" that resonate so deeply, that I think it is one of the reasons people of all ages are drawn to YA.

    Also, your tea and cake looks ultra nummy. *homer drool* And some cultures believe that getting pooped on by a bird is good luck. Go with that. ;)

    Have a marvelous and very lucky week. :)

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    1. Wasn't she awesome and kickass? Loved her in that role! I'm glad you guys enjoyed it too. It had a great concept, lots of humour, action, and just a little hint of romance. We'll definitely be getting that one on bluray for our sci-fi collection. Like you, I wish there were more fresh ideas like that.

      I think there's a sense of wonder that accompanies firsts, and many adults have lost that somewhere along the way, which is frankly kind of sad. I'm glad YA perpetuates that wonder.

      The tea and cake were very tasty. It's hard to go wrong with strawberries or lemon. Ha! You're making me want to watch UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN! Bird poop was very lucky in that movie! Hmm, maybe it was a sign in my case too. Of what I'm not sure though! And a marvelous and lucky week right back at you! :)

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  7. That's one of the many reasons I love YA - there's something endlessly refreshing about the perspective of experiencing things for the first time, rather than a jaded adult's POV. Everyone can relate to it, whether they're a young adult or not!

    Have a great week and good luck with your planning/tweaking! :)

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    1. Yes! Endlessly refreshing versus jaded. That's exactly it! I hope I never stop relating to the issues in teen books, even if it's been a long while since I went through some of those things. Hope your week is great too! :)

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  8. MORE THAM MUSIC sounds great- I can't wait to read it!
    Firsts are definitely one of the great things about YA. I love to re-experience them while reading and you make a good point that we can experience firsts no matter what age we are.

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    1. Yay! Glad to hear that! The writing is really good and I'm loving the characters and the whole premise.

      I love to re-experience those firsts too. I think some adults act like that's unhealthy, but I think remembering and appreciating those moments is very different from being stuck in the past or being immature. I know I could sure use a reminder to try something new once in a while!

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  9. I'd love to try that iced tea and cake!

    A good first scene is something really special. Though much of what I write is adult fiction that just happens to have younger characters, it's been a really special compliment when other writers have told me I'm really good at first-time sex scenes. They're so used to writing and reading characters who've been around the block and know what they're doing, and find it kind of refreshing and sweet to read about characters who are older virgins, or wedding-night virgins in their late teens or early twenties.

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    1. I plan on tanking back a ton of iced tea this summer, so the new carafe will come in handy. I'll go easy on the cake though lol. And I agree that good "first" scenes can be very special. They certainly aren't limited to YA either but perhaps a little more common there.

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  10. That lemon cake looks relish! I was craving something lemony yesterday...but made cookies instead because I'm boring like that.

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    1. It's hard to grow wrong with anything lemon flavoured, and this cake is one of my favourite recipes. You should've made lemon cookies lol!

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  11. I really like what you had to say about firsts in YA. Funnily enough, that was the point I was going to make in my post this week too! Great minds and whatnot... It's so, so true. And one of the things I love most about YA! So I'm going to pick up THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US from the library today. I can't decide how badly I want to read it now. If nothing else, it will be a discussion point for us, right?

    I'm also picking up my DAVIDsTEA pitcher today too. Though, mine isn't quite as sleek as yours. Somehow I just couldn't see myself ordering a glass pitcher to arrive by mail. I trust Canada Post as far as I can throw them. Which is to say, not very far. (The wankers.) Can't wait to make up some iced tea!

    I also can't wait to read ENGRAVE. There's so much I don't know about it, having not read any of it yet. How exciting! You're seriously kicking this series' butt big time. I can't believe you're this close to drafting ENLIGHTEN. We'll have to cheer each other on in our drafting. :-) We'll have to touch base again this week over Skype or text or whatever. :D

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    1. Nice! We're communicating by telepathy again. I'll be interested to know what you think of THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US. It's pretty easy to whip through. I just wish there had been more about the main characters' family situations and future plans because the author set those aspects up to be interesting, then kind of focused on the physical for the bulk of the book instead.

      Yeah, Canada Post doesn't have the greatest track record. Sometimes I think the Pony Express could deliver things faster, like on the back of a sloth, in waist deep snow and 100km an hour wind. My iced tea carafe is going to make beverages very convenient this summer. Trev was right that I'd love it!

      It thrills me to no end that you're looking forward to reading ENGRAVE! I've purposely tried not to say too much so some of it will be new when you read it. I can't believe I'm about to start drafting ENLIGHTEN soon either. I think I might need therapy when I'm done this trilogy, because I'm so attached to the characters and their world. This week I feel like my writing goals are kicking my butt, so I'm glad you think it's the other way around lol. And yes, we'll have to cheer each other on. There might be a fair amount of cussing too. ;)

      Let me know when more Skypage works fo ryou!

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  12. I would like to stop by for some cake and tea, but I'm a little scared of getting pooped on, so maybe a rain check. :)

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    1. Fortunately the cake and tea didn't get anywhere near the bird or I would've been really miffed! :)

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  13. That's both good and bad. Yay that you know your on a good track but boo that someone else went threre.

    I love what you love about YA. First are always fun to explore.

    Sounds like a great week! And that cake sounds/looks SO GOOD!!! Eat a small piece for me. ;) Have a great week.

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    1. Sometimes I feel like it's a race to get my story out there before all the ideas in are taken. Ah well. The premises of the books are pretty different at least. It was a very good week despite how busy it was! I will most certainly enjoy some cake for you! Have a great week yourself! :)

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  14. Oooh - MORE THAN MUSIC looks soooo good. I can't wait to read it! And that cover! *swoons*

    I love how organized you are about your books/the series. I'm working on the first in what I'd like to be a series, and I've had lots of Thoughts about how to organize my thoughts for future books. It's trickier than I expected! The ideas are like slippery eels, and keeping track of my notes (they are in a notebook, but omgeee I wish it was searchable) is a pain. So. Yes. I've been thinking about moving towards using something like Scrivener to keep track of everything. We'll see how that goes! If you have any tips or advice, I'm all ears!! :)

    I love that carafe! A friend sent me a David's Teas sampler thing and mug (with infuser! love!) and I've been eyeing the iced tea carafe. I love making iced tea in the summer. Anyhow - what a wonderful gift! High fives to your husband. ;)

    Have a great week, Erin!

    P.S. Yesterday morning we found a baby bird out of it's nest in our yard. I thought of your post from a couple of weeks ago and emailed Kris straight away for advice. She was a great help, so thanks for mentioning that in your post! :)

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    1. Isn't it a gorgeous cover? I'm loving the characters and the premise so far. Liz is such a talented writer!

      And thanks for the compliment on my organization. I had a pretty good vision for my whole trilogy from very early on, so that helps a lot. But like you say, ideas are slippery! It's amazing how things shift and change through the creative process. And I hear you about notebooks! I colour coded everything I jotted down for each of the three books in my series and that has been a life saver! I really recommend Scrivener. I'm still learning to use many of the features, but it's like my little portable office.

      The iced tea carafe is going to be my best friend this summer. So far this week, I've made Elderberry and Cream Earl Grey. You should definitely get one!

      I'm so glad my bird post was useful to you and that you were able to rescue a displaced bird too! Kris really knows her stuff! Have a great week, Bridgid! :)

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  15. Yay for David's Tea! I think I am going to go make myself some right now. And as for your writing...I may have gone quiet on the blog, but if you need beta-reading for Engrave, I am ALWAYS up for that--I still think about Envision!

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    1. I'm drinking tea from my new carafe as I type this, and it's pretty darn tasty. Thanks for offering to beta again! I'm so glad Envision stuck with you and that you're interested to know more of the story. I'll give you a shout when it's ready to be passed on to betas. :)

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  16. Nice carafe! I've been experimenting with different blends of my sugarfree punch lately.

    I went out to several movies with the Young Gunns in Kansas, but I didn't make it in to see 'Edge of Tomorrow' because it was opening night and the theater was full. :( But I got to see both 'How to Train your Dragon' films (first one on DVD in the dorm, second one in the theater,) and "X-men: Days of Future Past." Loved them all!

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