Wednesday, 16 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 Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield, and while I didn’t find some aspects of the ending believable (from a logical or legal standpoint), I have to say the author’s prose is very evocative and the mystery did keep me reading until the end. Now I’m craving something lighter and funnier, so I’m reading The Queen Geek Social Club by Laura Preble. I also read the new Daily Prophet article J.K Rowling released on Pottermore. It went nicely with a glass of pumpkin iced tea and made me desperately wish for more books in the wizarding world.

What I’m Writing:

I’ve been busy drafting Enlighten this week, and it’s been slow going due to many distractions. I'm now just over the 8500 mark, which is still super considering I've only been drafting this WIP for two weeks, but it took many hours to get that out. What I wrote had a nice chunk of action and also some romance that was actually very much on the sad side. (Does anyone else cry when they read their own stories or is that just me because: A) I’m a softy, B) I'm too wrapped up in my own characters, and C) I'm a weirdo? Or so Jaime tells me.)

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Lately, I’ve been listening to Run by Snow Patrol non-stop. The lyrics and tone of it perfectly fit a scene I’ve been building up to for about two years now and was finally able to write. Also, the flaming motorbike in the video is strangely appropriate.


As for my YA literature inspiration this week, Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol captured it best when he sang this line in Make This Go On Forever:  “The first kiss and the first time that I felt connected to anything.”  That line just screams YA to me and I love it dearly. It's not a line from a book, but it makes me think of so many YA novels I've read and most definitely the ones I've written.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

I had my mouth more or less reconstructed on Thursday. That’s what all those dental surgeries were building up to. It feels strange and distracting, but I’m happy with the result.  One more step and I should be done (at least for the time being). It’s amazing how long this process takes.

After putting it off for far too long, we finally brought our dog, Holly, to the groomers. I couldn't resist taking some before and after shots, because the change is just so funny. I'm pleased to say she no longer looks like a Wookie. Now she'll be nice and cool for the rest of the summer and she'll hopefully stop sweeping pine needles and such into the house with her fur. True fact: Holly is the sweetest dog ever.


Holly (aka Chewie) before & after her epic haircut

We had dinner at our favourite 1950s diner (again) and also visited our favourite tea shop (again) the other day, and I stocked up on some decaf varieties for making iced tea. So far I've sampled the red currant, and it's very tasty. Next up, grapefruit flavoured tea. We also tried a few summery new recipes this week: chickpea, lime & cilantro salad; spinach salad with homemade lime vinaigrette; and white bean dip with cilantro. All were quite good and had the added bonus of being healthy.

What’s up with you lately?


38 comments:

  1. Mmm, tea :D

    Hope your dental surgery days are at an end!

    Have a great week of writing and drafting!

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    1. Mmm, tea is right! Our car smelled heavenly on the way home from the tea shop because we bought so many different kinds! And thanks, the surgery aspect is all done. I just have one or two more appointments to finish things off. The drafting has been on a pretty good roll the last couple days, so hopefully that's a good sign! :)

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  2. It's incredible that you've gotten so much done while having all these mouth surgeries. I would have finished off my netflix queue and that's about all. I'm glad to hear you're almost done. Just imagine how incredibly productive you'll be! It makes me happy to know there is such productivity going on somewhere in the world, but that's just because I'm weird too. :)

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    1. Thanks! It's been hard to concentrate but I've kept at it and I'm happy with the result. We've been scraping the bottom of the barrel for Netflix around here lately, otherwise I might have been more tempted lol. I think it's great that you're happy over other people's productivity, and I certainly appreciate it! :D

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  3. Awww...Holly is adorable!

    I LOVE chickpea salads. I've eaten a few of those this summer myself, although with lemon juice. I'll have to try lime, though, that sounds tasty.

    Nope, you're not the only one who cries at their own stories :)

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    1. She's a real sweetie and we're really lucky to have come across her at our local pet shelter 8 years ago. As for the chickpea salad, my hubby had one at a restaurant recently and loved it so much he decided to recreate it at home. Mmm, I bet it would be great with lemon too! Might have to try that for a variation.

      Good to know I'm not the only one who cries over my own stories! Now I feel like less of an emotional wreck. ;)

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  4. Oh my gosh, yes, that Snow Patrol line is perfection. And Holly looks so cute! She might have to compete with our Daisy for Sweetest Dog Ever. ;-) Hope you have a wonderful week, Erin!

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    1. Snow Patrol's lyrics are full of gems like that one. That's why I love them so much. I suppose Holly and Daisy can share the title for Sweetest Dog Ever. They'd probably get along great with one another! Have a wonderful week yourself! :)

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  5. Great job on being productive, especially with all the surgeries! Hope the worst is over now. :)

    Love that Snow Patrol song. I've only cried once when writing, I think, when I was drafting the end to my series. I did get attached. *sniffle*

    Have a great week!

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    1. It's been tough to concentrate, but slow and steady wins the race, right? The worst is definitely over, so I'm relieved about that.

      "Run" is the Snow Patrol song that first got me into their music, and they've since become my favourite band ever. As for the crying issue, I can totally see why you'd break down at the end of your series! I'm going to be a blubbering mess when I get to the end of my trilogy! Hope you have a great week too!

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  6. I think it's great that you cry while writing. :) As Robert Frost said: "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader." It's only natural that we grow attached to our characters because we know them better than anyone, and to us they're real people.

    I hope your dental surgery days are almost at an end! And your dog is adorable; she has the cutest face!

    Have a lovely week! ^__^

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    1. Oh wow! I've never heard that Robert Frost quote before, but I love it! Thanks for passing it along! And now I feel much better about bawling while I wrote the other day lol. Hopefully that's a good sign that the emotion is coming through in the story. And yes, our characters feel very real, don't they? I suppose when you spend that much time with people, you're bound to be emotionally affected by them even if they're imaginary.

      The surgery aspect is all done (think goodness) and I should only have a couple more appointments to go. I can't wait to be done! And I'll pass your compliment on to Holly. I think she has a cute face too. :)

      Have yourself a lovely week as well!

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  7. Hah! Until I read the description, I thought those pictures were of two different dogs. :) And Holly looks like a totally sweetie, you can just see the love in her eyes.

    And Oy!...more dental stuff. Ouch! I'm glad the end is in sight.

    And no, you are not a total weirdo, I make myself tear up all the time. Then again, I'm not the best case scenario for judging what constitutes a weirdo. (seeing as how I am most definitely a weirdo in all other respects) :)

    Hope you have a gorgeous week!

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    1. Isn't the difference crazy? She's literally half the size once all that fur is gone. Usually we groom her ourselves, but this time we weren't up to the challenge so we left it up to the professionals. She's a very loving dog, and it's hard to resist those big chocolate brown eyes. :)

      The end is definitely in sight on the dental work. No more surgeries and only a couple more appointments. I'll be relieved when it's all done for good.

      I'm very glad to hear I'm not the only one who gets teary while I write. I think I'd have to have a heart of stone not to with what I'm putting my characters through lately. I suspect most writers probably have a pretty good weird streak. We just call it "creativity" instead. ;)

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  8. Holly is adorable!

    And I think it's wonderful to get so invested in your story that you cry, laugh, get angry, or even seriously concerned about what's going to happen to your characters. Those poor souls. We certainly put them through a lot!

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    1. Thank you! She's a very gentle, friendly dog and we're lucky that we found her at our local SPCA several years back. Wouldn't trade her for anything!

      I do have a tendency to laugh out loud when I'm writing too, so I guess crying is just the flip side of that, right? And yes, I've been horrible to my characters lately. Poor guys. ;)

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  9. I hear you on the distractions thing. It's been non-stop distractions all summer around here. If it's not one thing, it's another. Sounds like you've gotten a lot done despite the distractions, so that's good. As you know, I still have never cried over anything relating to my characters, though I have written sad scenes. I get invested in my characters, but I think maybe because I'm working on multiple projects, I'm not able to get quite that invested. Does that make sense? Not sure that I'll ever be that much of a softy either. ;-) Question: Did you pull your hood over your head? (Okay, now I'm just being like back in the day when we used to bug Laurie Mitchell about Alex: The Life of a Child. *snort* We're terrible, Muriel.)

    Love that Snow Patrol line. It definitely feels reminiscent of a lot of YA books I've read. I've always loved that song too. Makes me want to listen to some Snow Patrol while I write today. («-- I'm saying that so I'm bound to actually do some writing today. Yesterday was a write-off. Bleh.) Man, there are so many Snow Patrol songs on our WiP playlists lol.

    Hope you're adjusting to the dental surgery. I still haven't seen it, but I bet it looks good. I'd say send some pics, but we can just Skype sometime and you can show me then. Holly Bear looks adorable with her fancy new haircut. :-) Did she enjoy going to the groomers? I always love walking past the grooming area in Petland and looking at the happy dog faces on the doggies getting trimmed. Anyway, she's a cutie and the absolute sweetest dog ever.

    Well, I hope you're having a great week and that the forest fire smoke we've been plagued with here doesn't make it's way there. (Seriously between fires in the NWT, BC, and a controlled burn in Banff it's grey and smoky here like crazy. We had to sleep with the windows shut when it was almost 30C out. Ugggghhhh.)

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    1. Yeah, it's been tough to concentrate and get on a roll, but I'm not doing too badly for word count, so that's good. And no, I didn't pull my hood over my head, silly. I was by myself, so I could sniffle all I wanted without being embarrassed. Oh geez, if I was to watch "Alex the Life of a Child" now, I'd probably be a blubbering mess too!

      Liam has been on a kick with that song lately, and it's one of my favourites. We were actually listening to it when we were so rudely interrupted by the sling shot incident (which is a travesty in and of itself). I'd meant to use that line in a post a long time ago and when Liam mentioned that the song had been going through his head lately that reminded me to use it for my inspiration. And yes, my writing is pretty much fueled by Snow Patrol and sci-fi soundtracks. Good stuff!

      I promise to grin big for you next time we Skype and then you can see my new pearly whites. I always think Holly looks like a little lamb when she gets her fur trimmed. She's super soft right now and enjoying lots of extra pets. She seemed pretty happy when Trev picked her up with the groomers, so we plan on giving them our business again. I will tell her Auntie Jaime says she's a cutie and a sweetie.

      Apparently, we've had a bit of smoke but not when I was out, so I'm glad it hasn't been too harsh here. Hope you're surviving the poison air and the volcanic temperatures! :)

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  10. I hope your mouth feels better. :( Good luck with your draft. Thanks for sharing. :D

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    1. It's much better thanks, although it still doesn't feel like my mouth which is distracting. The drafting is going well despite the distractions though, so thanks! :)

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  11. Your tea shop sounds divine. It's been too long since I've been over to the local Teavana, which has some nice flavours but can be pretty expensive. I was once suggested a blend of several teas for weight loss, I think, which was something like $72 a pound. I had to pass on that!

    Is Holly a Schauzer? One of my probably useless talents, since about age eight, has been knowing most dog and cat breeds on sight.

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    1. It's a really nice tea shop, and our car smelled so good on the way home because it was so full of tea! Fortunately their prices are reasonable, and while we enjoy David's Tea (and that it's a Canadian company) we do like to support local businesses as well.

      Holly is actually a terrier mix, probably Cairn. Because she was adopted from a shelter, we aren't aware of what other breed(s) she is but it's likely a larger dog judging by her size. :)

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  12. Oh, I would die for a tea shop like that close-by! Current tea sounds really good.Lol! Figures your sister says you're a wierdo - isn' that what sisters are for???

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    1. We're very lucky to have such a nice little shop with so much variety. The red current tea is really tasty as an iced tea. I have yet to try it warm, but I suspect it will be good that way too. And yep, it's Jaime's sisterly duty to tell I'm a weirdo, even though she's every bit as weird. Must run in the family. I make sure I tease her plenty too. :)

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  13. Cute dog!

    Oh, to have a tea shop handy with choices like that. Lemon is about as far out as it usually gets around here. I have to order my blackberry/sage, raspberry/quince, and mint teas.

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    1. She's a real sweetie. :)

      We're fortunate to have more than one nice tea shop close by. This one is our favourite because it's not a chain and it's so fun to go in and pick different flavours from all the jars lining the shelves!

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  14. Count me in the weirdo category. I get very emotional about my characters. And those recipes sound terrific. I love light, summery food.

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    1. I'm very glad I'm not the only one who cries over characters. I've just been so terrible to mine lately lol. It's always great to find some new staple recipes, especially for when the hot weather hits. We'll definitely be making these ones again! :)

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  15. I don't think you're a weirdo at all. That's a very good sign that you are completely attune to your characters. Good job!
    Holly is so cute! And ouch! Mouth surgery. Yuck. I hope you recover quickly!

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    1. You'd think that being so connected to my characters I wouldn't put them through such horrible things, but no lol. While Holly is always cute, she's even cuter now that we can see those big brown eyes of hers. They were kind of hidden under all that fur before. :)

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  16. I agree with you about Amelia Anne and the evocative prose. Something about that book just kept me in its grip! And I love Snow Patrol's "Run." I used to listen to it all the time before finals to calm me down, haha.

    Glad to hear your dental surgery is coming to an end, and OMG Holly is PRECIOUS! She also looks like a different dog without all the fur! She looks cooler already. ;)


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    1. Kat Rosenfield definitely has a way with description, especially where people are concerned. I can see why you'd listen to Snow Patrol before finals, since Gary Lightbody has the best voice ever. :D

      A couple more appointments and the whole dental saga should be done, thank goodness. Precious is definitely a good word for Holly. She's very quiet and friendly and just loves to soak up any attention people are willing to give her. It's hilarious because without all that fur she quite literally looks half the size! :)

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  17. Holly is totally adorable. We have only cats now, and one that is very elderly, so I feel we owe her a nice quiet retirement instead of puppies :) But if ever I end up a full time Writer, I'm getting myself a dog!

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    1. Thanks! I think she's pretty adorable myself! We only have one cat now and she's also old, but since she & the dog have been together for the last eight years, she's content with that. Holly was full grown when we adopted her, so she was a lot less rambunctious than a puppy thankfully! Hope you get that dog someday! :)

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  18. Ah, I keep forgetting to go to Pottermore and read that article!
    I cry too when I read back my own stuff, or laugh when I read my own comedy and giggle at my own kissing scenes. At least I entertain myself, right?!
    I love the song Run. Have you heard the Leona Lewis version? It's good too.

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    1. It really made me wish there was more HP to read. I sincerely hope JK Rowling has a change of heart and writes more in the wizarding world someday.

      I'm very glad I'm not the only crier around here! I laugh a lot at my writing too, so I guess it all balances out. I haven't heard Leona Lewis's version of Run, but I will be sure to check it out! Thanks for the heads up!

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  19. I can be sucked into a story even if the plot is a little shaky if the writing is excellent. You just can't beat good writing.

    I'm not so sure about fruit flavored teas, but I've discovered I have a soft spot for fruit flavored beer. That's probably not considered very manly, but I drink beer for the taste, not the machismo. :)

    Can I get the name of your dog groomer? I need to send my son there... ;)

    Have a great week, Erin!

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    1. I'm the same way if I really love the characters as well. If I feel connected to them then I'm willing to excuse some flaws in the plot. I didn't really connect strongly with the characters in AMELIA ANNE IS DEAD AND GONE, but the prose drew me in, so I feel like I still gained something from the book.

      You know, I'm not a huge fan of fruit flavoured teas either (except for black teas with cherry, black current, or pumpkin, which I guess is technically a veggie, isn't it?) but I've been having issues with drinking caffeine lately, so I thought some herbals might be better for iced tea guzzling during the summer. Today's flavour is decaf Cream Earl Grey, which is my absolute favourite! As for fruit flavoured beers, my husband and I tried cherry Kriek (a Belgian sour beer) on Valentine's Day and it was very tasty!

      Ha! We groomed my son the same day actually. His hair was looking a little on the woolly side (understatement). Hope you have a great week as too! :)

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