Wednesday, 9 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:

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield. I’m about halfway through it and intrigued about how the mystery will play out in the end.

What I’m Writing:

I took the plunge into drafting again this week and managed to get 2800 words out on Enlighten. Yikes, that was tough! So far I’m happy with my story intro, or at least I will be after some tweaking. It’s got lots of action and something happens that makes me weak in the knees to even think about it. In a scary way, not a swoony way. Though there will be plenty of swoon later. That’s a promise.

I also fixed a bunch of minor issues in Engrave after rereading the second half, did tons of brainstorming, and researched things like base jumping, gravity, and acceleration of free-falling objects. I like the “sci” in my sci-fi to at least be believable even if most of what I research never makes it into the book. The near future setting does allow for some pretty good leeway, of course.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

As you’ve probably noticed, lately I’ve been sharing reasons why YA literature inspires me, and here’s another.  There are so many great YA books available now that I wish had been around when I was a teen. Books with characters I could’ve related to so well. Stories that would’ve encouraged me to be braver, more independent, more confident in my teen self. And while teen me might have been around before YA really flourished, I can now pass these books onto my son and hope that he feels inspired by them too.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Picking peonies from my yard, taking advantage of bargain book deals at Indigo, enjoying fresh whole grain bread baked by my son, watching Tiger Eyes (which I enjoyed, though I can’t really compare the book to the movie seeing as I haven’t read it since elementary school), listening to my drunk neighbours host a campfire sing-a-long in their backyard during the wee hours of the morning (they were actually singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” if you can believe it. Awimbawe, awimbawe...), organizing our homeschooling shelf with lots of awesome new books, drinking root beer float tea from David’s, and trying to stay cool in these toasty summer temperatures.

So how was your week?


36 comments:

  1. In the jungle, the mighty jungle...

    Congratulations on all the writing :D Leeway is the best part of writing sci-fi ;)

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    1. I've had that song going through my head ever since, and it's driving me crazy lol! And thanks, I feel like I'm off to a good start on this WIP. One of my favourite things about sci-fi is inventing and naming cool things. :)

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  2. Oh, now I have that song stuck in my head hehe.

    Hooray for getting writing done this week! That is so true about sci-fi (and any genre that's not contemporary, really). There's so much more freedom to write things the way you want to in futuristic worlds and ones that don't exist.

    Writing the swoony parts are always fun. My wip hasn't gotten around to the swoon yet either but I know once I do get to it, it'll be great.

    I like what you said about YA. It's interesting to see how much YA has changed over the years. I don't much about how they were before I started reading them but having books to read about characters my age when I was teen (it feels weird saying that haha) was comforting and it made going through the teen years a heck of a lot easier. And I know that, even now that I'm twenty and no longer a teenager, they'll still continue to help me. But I think that's the beauty of YA. It might be marketed for teens but it's really for everyone. They talk about the years we all can relate to in some way or another.

    Also, root beer float tea? That sounds heavenly!

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    1. Yes, fantasy definitely has that luxury too. I think inventing and naming cool things is one of my favourite parts of writing sci-fi. As for the swoony bits, those are the scenes I live for!

      The only YA authors I really remember reading when I was a teen were Judy Blume, Paula Danziger, and Lois Duncan. There's so much more selection now and I think that's great, although I wouldn't mind revisiting some of my old favourites, and those authors really did pioneer YA. Like you say, YA is marketed for teens, but it's for everyone. I think maybe part of the reason so many adults enjoy YA now too is because we were raised reading it and see no reason to give up something we enjoy.

      The root beer float tea was so good! Have a lovely week, Raven!

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  3. I am enjoying your thoughts about YA literature. YA literature inspires me too! And I'm sorry about the drunk neighbors. How well I remember those days. That's when you put a noisy air conditioner in your window. Have a wonderful week, and get lots of uninterrupted sleep. (Knock on wood.)

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    1. Thank you! After that whole Slate.com debacle I wanted to respond in a positive way rather than stewing about negative YA opinions. As for the drunken neighbours, they only do this sort of thing once or twice a summer and we really did think it was pretty funny. Ha! Yes, a noisy air conditioner would help tune out our tone deaf neighbours and help us beat the heat! Hope you have a wonderful week too!

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  4. Great job on leaping back into drafting! I always find it hard to get back into the swing of things after editing, and beginnings are really tough, so you're doing well!

    I love writing fantasy because I get to make the rules! Lol. I think as long as it has consistent internal logic, there's plenty of leeway!

    Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks! It's daunting but exciting to be drafting again, but so far so good!

      That's a good point about fantasy. I think the rules are even looser in fantasy because you can create your own "science" aka magic, which is totally fun. And I like the way you put that: "consistent internal logic." Hope you have a great week as well!

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  5. Congrats on so much good writing this week! I love it that you want you Sci in your Sci-Fi to be believable. *Scientists & readers everywhere rejoice at your dedication* 9.8 meters per second squared baby!

    And oh your peonies are gorgeous!! That red! Wow, just wow!

    And I just realized, *We* are the annoying campfire neighbors. *facepalm* Though 1) We always invite our neighbors and give them tasty beer... and 2) We would NEVER sing that song. Bowie yes, Awimbawe, awimbawe...nooooooooo!

    Hope you have an amazing week filled with beautiful things!

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    1. Thanks! I feel like I'm off to a good start--slow because of the logistics of my beginning, but solid still. Ha ha! Plot holes or unbelievable "science" drive me bonkers, so even though I don't necessarily have an incredibly thorough understanding of some of the science I incorporate, I at least try to make sure I have the basics right or that things play out properly. I'm sure actual scientists could pick some holes in it though. ;)

      In all honesty, we thought the whole campfire singalong was pretty dang funny. We were actually peeking out the windows and laughing. Our neighbours only do this sort of thing once or twice a summer, so we're okay with that. Your campfires sound like they have better music, which is a major bonus, and it does seem like proper campfire etiquette to offer to share your beer with others in the neighbourhood lol.

      I hope your week is amazing too!

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  6. Good luck with the drafting, it sounds like you've made a great start! :) I know what you mean on the research front - I've learned all sorts while researching for my WIP, and sometimes it can be tricky to find the right balance between what you include and what doesn't need to be there.

    Haha, your neighbours sounds like they just stepped out of a sitcom - I imagine it's not all that funny when you're trying to sleep, though!

    Have a great week! :)

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    1. I'm really happy with how things are going so far, even though I've only put a dent in this ms. I like a good solid beginning because it sets the foundation for the rest of the book. It's definitely hard to decide what research to include, especially since you don't want to be too infodumpy. In this case, I needed to show something happening properly but didn't really need to explain it, so that made it easier.

      Yes! It was exactly like something out of a sitcom! It was the weekend and we were still up (though my son was trying to sleep), so we were listening at the windows laughing. Hope your week is great too! :)

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  7. Good luck with your drafting and writing! It's always a bit hard to get back into a book, or writing period, after you've had some time away.

    Those are beautiful peonies. If I ever fulfill my longtime dream of having my own small hobby farm, I'd love to have a small section of the land for a flower garden.

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    1. Thank you! The first bit is usually hard until I get on a roll. I'm sure I'll hit a wall or two again at some point, but things are off to a pretty good start.

      Peonies are some of my favourite flowers. I just wish they lasted longer! :)

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    1. It is! I tried to make the world in this story recognizably ours but with certain advancements, which was an exciting challenge. :)

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  9. I'm having serious peony envy right now. Those are so pretty! I bet they smell wonderful too. There are so many yards here that have wild roses and peonies in them. It makes going for walks so nice. Also, I think your Root Bear Float tea box is so much cooler than the little grey packets we got in the mail. Boo. Ah well. It smells delicious! I may have ordered another big ole bag of Pom Tango because I noticed it was still available in the sale section. Shhh...don't tell Todd. ;-)

    You've some serious writing in this week, too! I'm happy you were able to sort out the logistics of the opening scene and get going on it. I knew you'd figure it out. I'm a bit worried about reaching my goal this week (we're going to be in Edmonton for two days), so I'm going to have to buckle down hardcore over the next couple of days. I might need either a Skype date or text date to get my butt in gear. Will keep you posted. ;-)

    I like what you had to say about YA. (Again.) So true. I think I spent my teen years checking out books from the church library because there just wasn't all that much YA (unless you were into Sweet Valley High, Christopher Pike, or those god-awful Degrassi books where ALL THE THINGS happen to the teens). I shudder to think of all the Gilbert Morris books I read in that particular phase of my life. The horror... Anyway, it's nice that you have Liam to share the books you love with. Hope you're having a great day! :D

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    1. ...and by "Root Bear Float tea" I actually meant "Root Beer Float tea". ;-)

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    2. Heh, how Freudian of you. The peonies smelled really good but made my allergies go insane, and unfortunately they only lasted a few days. I would love to have wild roses in our yard. Aren't the root beer tea boxes cute? Trev stocked up and I'm glad he did because it's a tasty flavour. Nice as iced tea too, although it seems kind of pointless when you can just drink actual root beer lol. I think you need to go to a Pom Tango support group.

      Yeah, I feel like this story has gotten off to a solid start. My writing sessions have been slow because I'm trying to work out all the logistics of the action and recap, but I'm happy with my progress so far. I'd rather take my time and not have to rewrite this beginning a bazillion times like I did with Envision. I hope you can reach your goal even with your Edmonton trip!

      Ah the church library, or should we call it a closet? Because that's kind of what it was--on wheels. If I'd had the YA books I have now back then, I would never have stopped reading ever. I'm totally snickering about the Degrassi thing. The TV show is STILL on, isn't it? Way to beat a dead horse, Canada.

      Hope you're having a great day too, although I'm pretty sure it's going well, seeing as we were just Skyping. :P

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  10. Your peonies are gorgeous. I love Peonies, but they are murdered by Texas summers. Congrats on drafting again! You are making good progress. It's always good when a project you have been planning comes out like you are hoping.

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    1. Aren't they pretty? They grow on the side of our house where we don't see them often, so I had to trim a few and bring them inside for us to enjoy. They don't last very long, which is too bad.

      I'm happy with my progress so far, although my writing sessions have been kind of slow and painstaking. I want to take my time and get it right from the get go so I don't have to revamp the beginning over and over later on lol. :)

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  11. Root beer float tea?! That sounds interesting! And those flowers are beautiful. Gosh, the only thing that grows around me is cactus! ;( You've got a beautiful life.

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    1. It's very tasty, either hot or cold. My hubby stocked up, which I'm glad about after trying it. Peonies are one of my favourite flowers, although these drove my allergies nuts! :)

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  12. I own Amelia Anne, but haven't read it yet. I had a book mapped out that nearly matched this premise perfectly (I obviously trunked that idea, lol) so I had to read Amelia. Also. I LOVE what you said about YA lit.

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    1. That's really too bad that you had to shelve a familiar story. I hate it when that happens! Sometimes writing feels like a race before someone else comes out with the exact same idea. I'm glad you liked what I had to say about YA. After the infamous Slate.com article I wanted to celebrate YA in a positive way. :)

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  13. Beautiful flowers. And super that your son is baking :) Sounds like your drafting is going great. Lol! Maybe you should lean out of your window next time and join in on their singing. I bet that would surprise them ;)

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    1. I love peonies and I can't wait for ours to bloom every year. The bread maker has always been kind of like my son's Easy Bake Oven, so he's gotten really good a loaf for us now and then. Drafting has gotten off to a pretty good start--a little slow each time I sit down to write, but that's usually how intros go, I think. As for the singing neighbours, we were wondering if they take requests lol :)

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  14. Your neighbors sound like fun. :0) I so hear you about inspiring YA-- what a gift it is.

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    1. They're actually pretty good neighbours lol. We found the whole situation fairly entertaining, especially since we didn't even know they like to sing! And I don't know what I'd do without YA. Getting into YA was a huge revelation for me. :)

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  15. That song is in my head now. It beats the Frozen soundtrack that was there, so I guess it's ok :) Congrats on your writing progress!
    I'm beginning to figure out my homeschool shelf too. I can't wait until it's organized with all sorts of great books for the year!

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    1. It's been in my head almost constantly since I heard them singing it lol. And thanks, I'm happy that this story seems to have gotten off on the right foot. I always feel much more ready to face the new school year once I get our homeschool shelf in order. It's so much fun to see all the new books lined up and waiting to be read!

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  16. My neighbours have been doing the same thing, except without the singing. Guess I should be grateful for that!
    I love that you have something coming up that makes you weak in the knees!

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    1. Although the singing at least made the situation funny! Now if it was happening every weekend it might now be so funny. Those scenes that make me weak in the knees are so fun to write!

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  17. Drunk neighbor campfire sing-a-longs LOL. That's way more entertaining than anything my neighbors have ever done :)

    I just read TIGER EYES this past week! The movie is in my Netflix queue, so I'm hoping to watch it soon.

    I lucked into an ARC of AMELIA ANNE a few years ago and it was a really unsettling read. I still think about it every once in awhile.

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    1. It was definitely entertaining! We were peeking out the windows and laughing really hard because we didn't even know they liked to sing. Fortunately they're usually pretty quiet, because I'm not sure I could cope with a whole summer of off key campfire songs lol.

      It's been so long since I read TIGER EYES, but I do remember that I loved the book in elementary school. I really need to revisit some of my old favourites sometime, I hope you enjoy the movie!

      Yes, unsettling is a good way to describe AMELIA ANNE. I'm getting closer to the ending, and I'm eager to find out whodunnit. :)

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  18. Somehow, I doubt the lion would've been sleeping for long ;)

    Great job getting those words in on your WIP!

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