Wednesday, 24 September 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!

Please note that one of our WUW headings has changed. You can find further details on that here.

What I’m Reading:

I finished Phobic by Cortney Pearson and really enjoyed it. Phobic was a perfect spooky read for autumn. If you’d like to know more about it, you can check out this postNow I’m reading Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas and beta reading a fun, unique urban fantasy ms.

What I’m Writing:

This week I wrote 5700 words. My mc is facing some big challenges right now, and that means big challenges for me in the writing department. This may sound crazy, but I actually like that. When I plan a story, I sometimes purposely work elements into the plot that I know will stretch my writing abilities. It keeps writing fresh for me.  I’m getting to the point in this ms when the plot is really going to kick into high gear, and I’m looking forward to that.

What Works for Me:

Writers often stress the importance of psychological triggers that put you in the mood to write. One of those items for me is my writing mug. Actually, I have two like this, which is a good thing seeing as one of them is usually clean then when I sit down to work. Why do I swear by this particular mug? Because it’s dark with a romantic flare, much like my WIP.  I often have a favourite writing tea as well. Right now, it’s wild cherry.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

This past Saturday, the hubby and I made a traditional Scottish dinner for Outlander night. I whipped up some homemade shortbread, decorated with my thistle stamp. The thistle is the national flower of Scotland, in case you were wondering. We also made haggis, clapshot (a potato and turnip dish), and oat bannocks with honey, all of which were quite tasty. Yes, we love haggis, although we made the quick version that only uses liver. Feel free to be grossed out. It’s definitely not for everyone. The husband also put together quite the selection of awesome Scottish craft beers for the occasion (we had Dark Island and Skull Splitter from the Orkney Brewery). Plus, I tried Scotch for the first time. Holy moly does that burn going down! I enjoyed it.

Other than that, we’ve been taking nice fall walks and “squooshing.” That’s what my family used to call running and crunching through the leaves when I was a kid. As you can see in my pics, the leaves here are mostly yellow now. Even though we’ve had summer temperatures during the day lately, it’s cold enough at night to turn the trees.

So how was your week?


24 comments:

  1. You know, despite all the times I've been to Scotland (which, okay, is twice so far :P) I've never had real Scottish food. I'll have to ask my Scottish in-laws to fix that ;)

    Challenging your writing is the best way to improve. Good luck!

    Enjoy autumn!

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    1. You'll definitely have to do that! Not everyone's a big fan of dishes like haggis (for obvious reasons), but who knows? You might find out you really like Scottish food! Make that a goal for your trip!

      And I agree that the best way to improve is to make writing challenging. I also think it's a good way to ensure that your stories are unique! :)

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  2. I love challenging myself when writing - for each book, I always try to do something I've never done before!

    Walks at this time of year are awesome because of all the autumn colours! Enjoy! :)

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    1. Glad I'm not the only crazy writer who does that lol! I think it's a good way to differentiate your stories from others that have already been written as well.

      I'm hoping fall sticks around for a whole lot longer this year. It's not unusual to have snow partway through October here, but I'd rather enjoy the leaves for another month. Of course, they'll probably all have blown off by then anyway. :D

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  3. I love that you made a whole Scottish dinner for Outlander night! It's making me drool for shortbread, that's for sure.
    The hubs came in while I was watching the tail end of Sunday's episode and he had question after question and then was really disappointed when it ended. I think he'll be watching with me from now on.

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    1. It was a lot of fun, and believe it or not, making haggis has been on our to do list for ages now. I usually bake shortbread every Christmas, so I just got an early start this year. That's great that your husband is taking an interest in Outlander. I've been after my husband because I know he'd enjoy Diana Gabaldon's writing. He mentioned that he'd like to sometime, so that's good!

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  4. Back when I still ate meat, I used to love chopped liver. Mock chopped liver isn't quite the same, though I'm not about to be one of those vegetarians who cheats every so often and still thinks it's okay to identify as vegetarian. It is, however, one of the things I miss from the old days.

    Wild cherry tea sounds awesome.

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    1. I'd love to make authentic haggis some time, but it's surprisingly difficult to find the ingredients. I've liked liver since I was a kid, so it's not really a stretch to enjoy haggis. This was the first time my son ever tried it and I was pleased that he liked it. And yes, the wild cherry tea is very tasty!

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  5. 5700 words this week? right on. GAH I want to read of of Sarah J. Maas' books, but I need to read Crown of Midnight first. I'm so behind of reading.

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    1. Thanks! I was happy with my word count. And I hear you on being behind on reading. I'm wondering how on earth I'm ever going to get through HEIR OF FIRE while I'm drafting. I'm always a slow reader when I'm in the thick of writing. Ah well. :)

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  6. Your Scottish dinner sounds amazing! I've never made shortbread, but now I want to try -- yum! Awesome job on your word count this week. I love those challenging scenes as well. Even though they're hard, they're SO satisfying to finally get right. Have a great week, Erin!

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    1. It was a lot of fun making our Scottish dinner--and making a huge mess in the kitchen while we were at it lol! You should definitely try baking shortbread! It's easy and so tasty. My mom always made it every Christmas and that's a tradition I've carried on with. Having it in September was an extra treat.

      And yes, those challenging scenes are one of the best rewards about writing! I'm hoping I haven't accidentally challenged myself too much though, ha! Have a great week yourself! :)

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  7. I love a good theme night! And adding problems to the outline that you don't quite know how you are going to solve sounds terrifying, but probably good advice!

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    1. We're big into theme nights! We've even decorated our living room like Narnia and our dining room like a jungle and a medieval castle for special dinners before. We like to tie food into our homeschooling projects because shouldn't school work be tasty? ;)

      As for adding challenges to my story plans, yep, it can be terrifying! But it keeps me on my toes!

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  8. I love haggis, too! Only had it once, but it was amazing. Is clapshot different from neeps & tatties, or just a regional difference in name, I wonder. Your Scottish meal sounds terrific. You're in Canada, right? How are you watching Outlander? I couldn't find it on our schedule (we have Bell), 'cos we don't subscribe to Starz. I didn't think it was even available up here.

    I like your approach to the challenging stuff in your WIP. I'm sure the (gorgeous) writing mug helps! Is there any shortbread left over, to go with the tea?

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    1. We first tried haggis at a local folk festival here, and we've been meaning to make it ourselves ever since. I'm glad we finally got around to it! I'm pretty sure clapshot is the same as neeps & tatties, actually. My sister and I just had this same conversation the other day. You could be right that it's a regional name difference, or maybe one name just predates the other? Not sure. And yep, I'm in Saskatchewan. Our cable is through Shaw and I think it might be Showcase that's airing Outlander. My husband takes care of all the PVRing and whatnot, so I'm not positive, but I think that's the channel it's on.

      I figure if I challenge myself when I write it'll make my WIPs unique in some way. Plus it just keeps the mental gears turning! Luckily I do have shortbread leftover to fuel my writing sessions with the tea! :)

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  9. I think it's great that you purposefully challenge yourself. I do it accidentally often enough that I haven't done it intentionally yet lol. Wild Cherry tea sounds wonderful! I've been enjoying Mountain Huckleberry. It reminds me of home.

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    1. Thanks! Sometimes I just think it's crazy lol! But I figure if I set up challenges it'll make the story unique in some way. I encounter enough accidental challenges too, so it all kind of snowballs after a while, and then I wonder what on earth I was thinking! The wild cherry tea is really good, and I keep it in a nice, bright red tin. Mountain Huckleberry sounds tasty too! :)

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  10. Homemade shortbread sounds amazing. Perfect for dipping in the mug of mint tea I just downed :)

    The leaves are starting to change in Virginia, too. It's been beautiful during the day and nice and chilly at night. Love this time of year!

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    1. I usually make it at Christmas, so it was a nice treat to have it in September instead. And yes, it definitely goes well with tea! I love this time of year too! I'm hoping it stays like this for a long time. Unfortunately, here on the prairies, winter often sets in all too early. :)

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  11. I love that you challenge yourself with each new MS. I do it on accident and then don't realize it until it's too late. i.e. "3 POV's! What was I thinking?!!" *grin*

    I also love it that you have Outlander Night with traditional Scottish fare. That shortbread stamp is so cool!

    And your mug trigger must be working because 5,700 words is pretty darn awesome. Have fun squooshing in the fall leaves and drinking tons of hot tea. I'm going to live vicariously through you on that one because it's still 80 degrees here. :)

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    1. It always seems like a great idea in the planning stages, and then I hit the challenging parts and want to bang my head against the keyboard. I think it usually pays off though. At least I feel pretty happy once I get through it lol.

      The hubby and I decided we should turn Outlander into an event instead of just a TV show, and it was a lot of fun. We kind of trashed the kitchen though. I usually make shortbread every Christmas, so it was a fun excuse to use my thistle stamp and make it early this year.

      And thanks! The writing has felt slow lately, but I guess it's been steady. As for squooshing in the leaves, it's been cold here at night but in the late 70s to mid 80s here too. I have to pretend we're getting nice crisp weather to match the leaves. Seriously though, we could have snow any day now because that seems to be how it works on the prairies! :)

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  12. It really looks like fall where you live! We just have a few leaves changing colors here in Georgia. Your Scottish dinner sounds good - at least the dessert does! ;0)

    Thanks for stopping by on my Blitz day!

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  13. Your Outlander dinner sounds so fun!! And...while cherry tea? That's a new one for me, but it sounds tasty.

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