Wednesday, 6 August 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 The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman and had to force myself to put it down at times, even though it wasn’t a fast-paced story. The plot was intriguing and creepy and kept me hooked till the end. I enjoyed the characters, flaws and all. This was one of those novels that proves YA isn’t watered down for younger readers. The prose is intelligent and the mc boasts an impressive vocabulary. No surprise, seeing as she spends much of the book translating old, Latin letters. The story also gets into steganography, which I find especially fascinating since my WIP does too. Good stuff.

I was craving something in the same vein, so now I’m reading Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. So far I’m loving the mc, the fabulous prose, the story that bounces between the present and past. I’m having a hard time putting this one down too. Have to sleep sometime though, right?

What I’m Writing:

I managed to solve the plot problem that was plaguing me last week, so that’s a happy thing. The solution wrapped the scene up in a way that plays on one of my biggest phobias, which was kind of scary. It involves elevators (shiver). Drafting is trucking right along again, and I’m pleased to say I was actually nicer to my characters this week. There might have been some unexpected smooching. Seriously, sometimes I need to pry my characters apart with a crowbar.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

The chance to impact readers even it’s only for a moment. Most of us will probably only ever influence a mere handful of people, and maybe our books won’t have a long shelf life or make it into bookstores at all, but we’ve still committed them to paper (or computer), and we’ve still breathed life into them, and they’re still part of that long line of literary history, even if they’re only a blip.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

On Sunday, we went to a local production of Romeo & Juliet and thoroughly enjoyed it. Every summer, our city hosts Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, a festival where two of Shakespeare’s plays are performed in a huge tent on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. This was their 30th summer running and the first time we’d ever attended. My son chose Romeo& Juliet as the Shakespeare play he wants to study this fall for English, so I was thrilled when I found out it was one of the two plays being performed this year. While this version was a classical interpretation (for the most part), the costumes had a sort of punk-tribal vibe to them with tattoos, feathers, and a bird-butterfly-fish motif. Benvolio was also cast as a woman—a very feisty, funny woman—and the guy who played Mercutio pretty much stole the show. The acting was stellar and the two who played Romeo and Juliet had great onstage chemistry. In all, we were impressed and we’ll definitely go back another year.


Other than that, I’ve been listening to Of Monsters and Men (I could listen to Dirty Paws on repeat for hours), playing cribbage with my son, watching the new sci-fi show Extant, and trying to beat the heat wave we’ve been having lately. Helps that I have my own little barista to make me iced coffees.

So what’s up with you this week?


19 comments:

  1. Every time I turn my Kindle on, it tells me to watch Extant :P

    Oooh, I might check out the book you read. Sounds very interesting :D And hooray for solving plot problems ^_^

    Have an amazing week! Stay cool.

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    1. I enjoyed the first couple episodes of Extant but wasn't totally blown away. I'll definitely keep watching and see how it goes though. So far it seems like it has a lot of potential.

      If you read THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. As for that plot problem, I was so relieved to finally work the darn thing out and move on! Hope your week is amazing too! :)

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  2. I once got trapped on an elevator for about five minutes with 16 other people. You know, dumb college kid saying, "Let's see how may people we can squeeze in this elevator." Yeah... I don't do tight spaces anymore... Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Oh gosh, I think I'd panic! The whole concept of elevators is just creepy if you ask me. It's like a combination of claustrophobia and fear of heights, which is horrible. I can see why you'd avoid tight spaces after an experience like that!

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    2. Never go on Tower of Terror at Disney. I never did, but I would just freak out. I hate the sensation of falling and I'm scared of heights. Nope Nope Nope.

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  3. Glad to hear the writing's going well! :)

    That production of Romeo and Juliet sounds like it was a lot of fun! :D I've seen a few pf Shakespeare's plays in my time, but I've yet to see that one. I did see Julius Caesar a few years ago and it was really cool. ^__^

    Have a great week!

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    1. I'd seen movie versions of Romeo & Juliet years ago, but this was the first time I'd seen it performed on stage, so that was a real treat. It's amazing how the same story can can have so many different creative approaches taken to it. I read Julius Caeser back in high school, so I'd love to see it too! Have a great week yourself! :)

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  4. Sleep's overrated, you know... at least that's what my teenagers tell me--late at night, not first thing in the morning, mind. ;)

    I think I went to see Shakespeare performed when I was in school... I know we definitely watched productions on video (video TAPE, that is). Anyway, that's the best way to experience the bard's work: performed. That's how he intended it to be experienced, not as words on a page. I'm glad you all had a great time, Erin.

    Have a good week! :)

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    1. Honestly, if I didn't have to sleep, I wouldn't. I'm a terrible insomniac so I've learned to make use of my nights for writing, but that definitely takes its toll. I still try to squeeze in a bit of reading even if it's late though. I wish there were double the hours in the day!

      Ha! Yes, when I saw Shakespeare plays in high school it was on video tapes as well. Scary. We've seen a lot of other plays as a family, but it was nice to finally watch one by Shakespeare. Now I'm wondering why on earth we never went before, seeing as they do two plays every summer. Plus they gave a family discount on tickets, so a big bonus on that!

      Have a great week too, Colin! :)

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  5. My daughter has an elevator-phobia and always opts for the stairs. The books you're reading sound really good...ug! I doubt I'll ever catch up on my TBR list. Lol! Mostly because I love my sleep. And yay to good theater!

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    1. Elevators are just creepy. I make myself use them, but I hate knowing I'm suspended in the air by cables far too many stories above the ground (shiver). I doubt I'll ever catch up on my TBR list either. It's a losing battle. I'm always running low in the sleep department because I have insomnia and the only good thing about that is more time to write and read lol. Even then there isn't enough time to read! :)

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  6. I sort of have a love/hate relationship with book recs. I already have more books than I can read in the next 20 years and it doesn't stop me from buying/borrowing more. But the books you're reading sound so GOOD. I have to put them on my Goodreads TBR. This TBR pile is starting to look like the leaning tower of Pisa...

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    1. I always worry about recommending books because my taste might be different from other people's, and I hate for anyone to buy a book based on my opinion and then dislike it. Ha! I refer to my TBR pile as the Leaning Tower of Pisa too. I'm embarrassed to admit how many overflowing bookshelves we have in our house (not to mention the piles on the dresser, the coffee table, etc) If you read THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOWS and REVOLUTION, I hope you enjoy them too!

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  7. I loved Revolution! It was one of the earliest YA books I read.
    That Shakespeare on the river sounds awesome! I'd love to do something like that, unfortunately I'm the only one in my family who'd be interested. Maybe when my kids get a little older... maybe. ;)

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    1. I'm about halfway through now and groan every time I have to put it down. It's one I'd love to sit down and devour all at once! The Shakespeare play was great, and now I'm really wondering why we've never gone before, seeing as they do this every summer here. I'm lucky my boys like that sort of thing! :)

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  8. I've been reading What's Up Wednesday posts for a few months now, and I am finally joining in today. Just wanted to say "thank you" for doing this. It's a great way to bring writers together.
    Love how you brought in one of your phobias to solve a plot problem—I'm guessing it's an emotionally charged scene.

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    1. So glad you decided to join us! And thanks! Jaime and I originally hoped a few people would hop on board, so it took us by surprise when WUW ended up drawing in a nice, big crowd! As for incorporating one of my phobias, I think it's important to tackle things you fear in writing. It makes the tension feel more authentic. I'm hoping it's an emotionally charged scene--at least it is for me anyway lol!

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  9. Bahaha, sometimes characters just need to kiss, whether we want them to or not, =3

    Glad you managed to wrap up a plot point, and I think it's awesome that it plays with a phobia of yours...adds something really special to the story when it comes from something so personal, I think!

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    1. Very true. Kissing scenes are fun to write, so I don't mind. :D

      I was relieved to get over this plot hurdle so I could move on already. The solution was surprisingly simple, which is usually how it works out, isn't it? As for phobias, I've worked a few of mine into this trilogy. I figure that gives it authenticity, and if it's scary to me, maybe it'll be scary for readers! :)

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