Wednesday, 2 July 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 reading More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs and loved how the whole band competition unfolded throughout the book and the dilemmas the characters faced while competing. I think anyone else who’s ever followed music contests on TV would agree that Liz nailed the setting and atmosphere, while giving a cool glimpse at drama that could be going on behind the scenes.  It felt very real, as did all the characters. Jared’s villain shirts were a favourite detail for me, as was the little reference to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. Maddie was a relatable protagonist, and I really enjoyed seeing her grow and take risks.

I also read One Two Three by Elodie Nowodazkij, which captured that bittersweet quality I love so much. Nata’s pain, both physical and emotional, really came through in the story. I’m often not a big fan of the “best friend” character in books, but I liked Becca a lot. She felt genuine, especially since she had issues of her own to deal with, as did the love interest, Tonio. One of my favourite touches was the way Nata, being a ballerina, often thought in terms of dance positions and used them as comparisons in her mind. There was a great sense of back story throughout One Two Three that connected me to the characters.

I also reread my WIP, Engrave, and spent a chunk of time reading Romantic poetry for research: some Tennyson, Shelley, Longfellow, Wordsworth, and Christina Rossetti.

What I’m Writing:

I fixed a long list of minor details in Engrave, although I’ve discovered a few more little inconsistencies after my reread. Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time imagining and brainstorming to fill in the gaps in my plot for Enlighten. My plot arc diagram and outline are now in place. With my notes integrated into my outline, it’s 46,000 words long. Yikes. My outlines are more like a first draft, but that’s how I roll, especially since I’ve known most of what would happen in my third book--including the ending-- since shortly after I conceived the idea for this trilogy. I can’t wait to transform all those notes into prose.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Continuing on with the theme of what inspires me about YA literature, I’d have to say growth.  While it’s assumed that most adult characters have already learned certain life lessons, one of the great things about teen characters is that they’re smack in the middle of those learning experiences. I love seeing those situations shape a character and who he/she grows into by the end of a book or series. There’s often a lot to reflect on while observing a character make the transition to adulthood.

What Else I’ve Been Up to:

A little baking: Banana cranberry loaf and blackberry apple coffee cake.

A little watching: Seasons 2 & 3 of Sherlock and we introduced our son to the first two Iron Man movies with the caveat that Tony Stark, while funny, is not a proper role model lol.

A little celebrating: Tuesday was Canada Day here. At the risk of being Canadian clichés, we made poutine for supper. If you’re not sure what that is, it’s fries with gravy and cheese curds. Unhealthy and delicious.

A little recuperating: My dental surgery went well, but I can’t wait until this entire process is done because it’s taking forever. It was a long weekend for us, but we didn’t end up doing anything exciting seeing as some health issues cropped up for me and my boys were both sick with nasty colds. Seriously, viruses! It’s July. Go away!

I also took part in the My Character Bloghop. If you'd like to know more about my mc, Naia, you can check that out here.

So that’s it for me. What’s up with you lately?



34 comments:

  1. Sounds like you've been really busy! Engrave is coming along really well! I haven't heard of One Two Three or More Than Music so might have to check them out!! Your baking sounds amazing!! Have a great week :)

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    1. Yep, things have been super busy here. Honestly, I think summer is crazier than the rest of the year! I'm just about ready to send ENGRAVE off to Jaime for some CP magic, so that's exciting. MORE THAN MUSIC and ONE TWO THREE were written by blogger friends and it's great to see their hard work paying off. Hope you have a great week too!

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  2. Wow, that is a long outline!

    Hope everyone in your household feels better soon :) Have a fantastic week!

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    1. Yeah, I've been stashing notes away for over two years now, so it's really added up! I think my boys are on the mend now, which is good. Hope you have fantastic week too! :)

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  3. 46,000 word outline? That's longer than some of my first drafts. ;) My outlines are normally a few thousand words, but I break them into chapters in Scrivener to make them more manageable. I also usually have to re-outline in the first round of edits, too!

    Hope the viruses stay away this week!

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    1. I've been jotting down notes on the last book since I started the first one, so my thoughts have really piled up over the last two years. I use Scrivener too. I gradually sort my notes into files in the binder and then rearrange things once I have a better idea of how each scene hinges together.It's so handy, isn't it? And thanks, I'm hoping the viruses keep their distance too! :)

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  4. I'm impressed with the 46,000 word outline as well. It sounds kind of like you are using the snowflake method, which I love the idea of, but never seem to use. I'm glad you were able to get so much done in spite of everything! Have a great week.

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    1. I knew it was going to be long since I've been storing up notes on this WIP for over two years now, but I didn't realize it would be quite that long! I'm glad though because it feels like I have a decent handle on what I want to happen, which I think is especially important for the last book in a trilogy. I'm not familiar with the snowflake method, although I've heard of it. Basically, I sort all my notes into my Scrivener binder, rearrange the scenes so they hinge together logically, and that's about it. And thanks! It was a tough week and pretty nip and tuck for my goals, but I managed! Hope you have a great week too!

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  5. Honestly, I think imagining and brainstorming is one of the most fun parts of the whole writing process. That's when you start to get *really* excited about your story, either for the first time or all over again. Awesome that you're at that point with ENLIGHTEN. Still think what my current WiP is missing is a crazy detailed outline. If I wasn't being so frigging lazy, I'd have that in place already. Ah well. You're making me want to get that done finally...and read some poetry! As you know, I have some great old poetry books on my shelves too. (Thank you, Symphony Book Sale!)

    Nice to hear you guys had a fun Canada Day too. I thoroughly enjoyed my Canada Day. I didn't even think about doing Canadian foods, but I did make strawberry shortcake ("make" used loosely here lol) and that's red and white. (I didn't really think of that, though, until I was halfway done cramming it into my gaping Canadian gob.) I also had a special coffee with Maple Cream in it, which is basically the same as Irish Cream but with maple flavour instead. Yum! Anyway, I think I enjoy Canada Day more as an adult, not just because of the fun adult beverages, but because I'm WAY more patriotic than I ever was growing up. Would you say the same?

    Holy canoli, this is ramble-y. So what do you think about a Skype date sometime this week? I'm over Todd already...just kidding LOL. But seriously, I think it would be fine if we wanted to squeeze in a writing date one of these days. Just let me know! :D

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    1. I'd have to agree on the imagining and brainstorming. I already had the major events of this WIP in place, but I had a lot of gaps to fill in and had to figure out ways to hinge everything together. I knew I'd have a lot of notes for this last book, but I didn't quite expect that many until I started sorting it into Scrivener. It took quite a while, that's for sure! Maybe an outline should be your next order of business when we Skype next? We could even bounce around a few ideas for that. It was nice making some time for reading poetry, which I hadn't done in ages, and I'm so happy I found the perfect poem for ENGRAVE. And yes, reading out of old copies sets the tone so much more. Drat! I meant to take a picture of my poetry books for this post and forgot. Oh well.

      We were really hoping to do a lot more this weekend, but all of us were out of commission for different reasons, so it didn't work out. And the boys didn't really need to go around spreading their germs lol. We had Canada cookies with maple leaf sprinkles too. They were just store bought and a little on the sweet side but still yummy. Like you said, I'm definitely more patriotic as an adult, so the day means a lot more to me now.

      Ha! Poor Todd! He'll probably just watch football or something anyway. I'll touch base with you about a Skype date soon. I need to get drafting and tackling curriculum more so I can do that then. There's just not enough time in the summer! :)

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  6. Wow, 46,000 outline! That's impressive! Thanks for reading my book too. ;)

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    1. Yeah, I've been scribbling down notes on this last book in my trilogy for over two years, so they've really piled up! I'm glad I'm going into drafting with a good handle on the story though, because ending a series is kind of a tall order.

      I really enjoyed reading about Maddie and Jared, and I'm looking forward to whatever you publish next! :)

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  7. Glad to hear your surgery went well. :) Good luck with your trilogy, it sounds like it's coming along well!

    Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you! This time around was pretty simple, but I still can't wait to be done the process. The trilogy is definitely coming along well, and I can't wait to jump into drafting again this week! Hope you have a great week too! :)

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  8. That outline is crazy long. Good luck. with drafting and edits. Thanks for sharing. :D

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    1. Yep, it's kind of huge, but it'll make drafting a whole lot easier, that's for sure! :)

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  9. I wanted to do some baking this weekend but I never got around to it. I miss it, I need to make more of an effort to fit it in. Good luck with your trilogy :)

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    1. I've been trying to squeeze in a little more baking lately because I tend to let that slide when I'm really busy. Now that it's summer the house heats up when the oven is on though, which is kind of a pain.Thanks for wishing me luck, and I hope you have a lovely week! :)

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  10. Happy (belated) Canada Day! I've got Liz and Elodie's books near the top of my stack to read in the next few months.

    Hope you and the fam are feeling better this week :)

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    1. Thanks so much! I wish we'd been able to celebrate in a little more exciting way, but it was relaxing so that's good. You now, my TBR pile is insane enough, and now with writer friends publishing their books, it's getting even crazier lol! :)

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  11. Yummy! Hopefully, the colds (or dental issues) don't keep you from enjoying some. I've got One Two Three on my TBR list. I love the cover! Can't wait to see how she intregrates the ballet terms. Now, you have me really curious :)

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    1. Fortunately my mouth healed up really quickly, so I was able to enjoy both the poutine and cake. They're nice and soft too, so that's good. Elodie's cover fits her book really well, which I can say now that I'm finished reading it! Hope you enjoy it as well! :)

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  12. Ooh! So many good books! I can't wait to read MORE THAN MUSIC. I think I've said that a million times, but it just sounds so good! :) And a 46K outline? My current manuscript is only 58K right now. Haaa! :) Have a wonderful week, Erin!

    P.S. Love your baking/cooking pics! I've heard of poutine, but haven't tried it ... it seems to have a very strong Canadian fan base! ;)

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    1. I wish there were double the hours in a day so I could fit in lots more reading! Hope you enjoy Liz's book too! As for my outline, I've been jotting down notes on this last book in my trilogy for over two years, so they've really piled up on me. I have a pretty clear picture of how I want this ms to go, so that's good. Glad you like the baking pictures! With being so busy lately, I always feel like it's a huge feat if I get something baked from scratch. Plus it adds a little colour to the blog! Poutine is delicious, but definitely a treat rather than a healthy supper. It's a French Canadian specialty that's kind of spread all across Canada. Hard to go wrong with gravy and cheese! :)

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  13. I'm excited to read both ONE TWO THREE and MORE THAN MUSIC.
    I had poutine for lunch yesterday too! I don't usually indulge but it seems right for Canada Day.

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    1. Hope you enjoy them both! And now that I know you had poutine for lunch yesterday, I don't feel quite so guilty. It's definitely a treat around here too, not a regular meal. Don't you love that Superstore/No Frills carries actual poutine sauce in a can? :)

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  14. More Than Music and One Two Three sound like books I'd love to read. I'm definitely going to try to check them out this summer.

    46,000 word outline? Wow that's impressive! I'd love to be extensive with my note-taking/outlining but my pantser ways won't allow me to do so lol It looks like you got a lot done for your wip though. Keep up the good work! :)

    And I've heard of poutine. I see pictures of it a lot and it does look extremely unhealthy but yummy at the same time.

    Being sick during the summer months is never fun. I hope you guys feel better soon.

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    1. Hope you enjoy Liz's and Elodie's books if you end up reading them this summer!

      I've been scribbling down notes on the final book in my trilogy since I started book one over two years ago, so now they've really piled up. Seeing as I'm a staunch outliner, I feel like I'm going into this WIP with a pretty good handle on things, so that's nice. That blank page can be so daunting in the drafting stage!

      If you ever have the chance to try poutine, give it a go! It's definitely a treat for us and not a regular meal. I don't even want to know how many calories that plate alone has! It was a fun meal for celebrating though.

      I think we're on the mend now, so thanks! Have a great week!

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  15. Blackberry Apple Coffecake?! That sounds/looks amazing! Good heavens I'm hungry right now...

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    1. It's one of my favourite recipes. I found it in a Martha Stewart magazine several years ago, and I've made it a ton of time since.:)

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  16. Happy Canada Day!!

    And go you on all the revisions and plotting! Although how do you have a 46K outline?! Your outlines must be like my ideas folder. (Which is currently breeding like Tribbles)

    I've been loving your "What Inspires Me About YA" features. I think a lot of people who don't read YA, really have no idea what it is about. (or what they are missing) But I think all of your observations are dead on. And I keep saying "exactly!" out loud while I'm reading your posts. (Which is totally normal and *not* crazy at all) ;) *looks around shifty-like*

    Hope you have a spectacular week filled with words and tasty food! (and less dental pain so you can enjoy said tasty food) :)

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    1. Thanks, Kris! It was more of a relaxing Canada Day this year, but still enjoyable!

      Yeah, the 46k outline sounds crazy, but it's almost like a messy, scrambled up first draft that just needs to be translated to prose. I guess you could call it a "pre-draft" and I've been compiling it for over two years so it's gotten kind of big. Ha! I usually say my ideas folder is multiplying like Gremlins, so I guess that's similar to your Tribbles predicament!

      I'm so glad you've liked my YA inspirations lately! I kind of got my back up with that whole Slate kerfuffle, so I decided I'd turn that into something positive instead. And once in a while it's good to remind myself why I write what I do and celebrate that. And hey, I'd never accuse you of being crazy for agreeing with me lol.

      Hope you have a great week too!

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  17. Hi Erin, happy belated Canada Day!

    It may sound un-Canadian of me, but I don't really like poutine. Gravy on fries, sure, but that's one of the things I'd want to hold the cheese on!

    Tony Stark is great, but yeah, not necessarily a great role model. I just watched Iron Man 3 recently, and there's some scenes between Stark and a little boy that are kinda touching in a slightly dysfunctional way.

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    1. I remember when my sister first told me about poutine, way back when we were kids, and I thought it sounded disgusting. To my surprise I loved it, but I can see how some people might not be big on mixing cheese and gravy. It really isn't very healthy either!

      I enjoyed the scenes between Tony Stark and the little boy too. Definitely dysfunctional, but pretty funny. Especially the bits about the Dora the Explorer watch lol. :)

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