Wednesday, 15 October 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’m about two thirds of the way through Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. I can’t even tell you how much I’d love to sit down and gobble up that last third. I love the new characters she’s added to the cast and the way she’s expanded the world in this awesome series.


What I’m Writing:

Since I last posted two weeks ago, I’ve added around 8k to my WIP. I also had the mother of all plot restructuring sessions. While I’ve known for ages what I want to happen in this WIP, I wasn’t happy with how some of those events were hinging together. There was much rearranging, trimming and adding of notes, and a few new ideas tossed into the mix. I also FINALLY worked out this story’s timeline, which was unbelievably hard for different reasons, and spent a chunk of time doing medical research.

What Works For Me:

Getting my husband to beta read for me. He’s an avid reader—in fact, he reads even more than I do—and I value his feedback. Plus, after spending all those hours locked away writing, I like to share what I’ve been working on with him.

He finished reading Engrave yesterday, and his overall comment was that "it rocked and was a killer second novel." I know, I know, he's my husband and he has to say that, BUT he did have more articulate comments about things like plot, pacing, and character development. Comments that made me very happy and boosted my confidence.

Aside from that, he also does encouraging things like drink Coke with one of my characters' names on it and then tweet about it while on his break at work. That made my day. :)

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada, and we filled it with fun and relaxing things. We finally saw If I Stay, and all of us enjoyed it. My son and I agreed that it was adapted well for the big screen.

We also spent time reading at Starbucks and went new and used book shopping. I was hoping to find a copy of Sir Walter Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel because part of it features in my current WIP. I wasn’t expecting to find a copy that was 113 years old though! This sweet little paperback was put out in 1901 by a Canadian publisher, and the cover is decorated with maple leaves. It’s a unique addition to my stack of dusty, old Romantic poetry books.

This year, we decided to have a picnic for Thanksgiving, so we took our turkey dinner to Blackstrap, a provincial park about half an hour away. The weather is still fairly warm for October, but it was really windy near the lake, and I froze my butt off. Still, we enjoyed our little turkey roast (perfect for a picnic for three seeing as it was small enough to cook in a meat loaf pan), sweet potato crisp with cranberry-apple-oatmeal topping, pumpkin cake, and other goodies. It was a gorgeous place for a picnic, but next time we’ll go when the weather is warmer and the boys can take me hiking. They did a trail run there before and were eager to show me how nice it was.


Well, that’s my week. How was yours?

43 comments:

  1. I love the coke idea.. that is pretty cool. :) I will have to give it a try. I enjoyed Sarah J. Maas first book in the series and have yet to read the others.. which i plan to do soon. Yay on the 8k... I am doing a sort of plot/outline thing at the moment as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was a fun idea too and perfect for while he was beta reading. He kept the bottle for me as well. Sarah J. Maas's books just keep getting better, so you should definitely read books 2 & 3 some time. Good luck with your plotting! :)

      Delete
  2. I still need to finish HEIR OF FIRE. I love that series!

    Timelines can be tricky to work out - until I wrote my last draft, I didn't realise just how tricky it would be to coordinate two stories happening at the same time!

    It's awesome that your husband is your beta reader! My boyfriend used to proofread for me when we were at university, but he hasn't read any of my recent stuff... though I do talk about it a lot and sometimes ask for help brainstorming.

    Have a great week! ^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read another big chunk of it last night, and I didn't want to put the darn thing down and go to bed! That series just keeps getting better with every book.

      Oh gosh, I've never attempted a dual point of view book, but I can imagine how much of a challenge that must have been to coordinate. You did a great job of that! I'm hoping to try my hand at dual POV someday, so I guess I'll put myself through that too lol.

      I'm lucky my husband enjoys beta reading for me and that he's a sci-fi nerd too! He helps me when it comes to brainstorming too, especially with tech stuff. That's great that you can bounce ideas off your boyfriend. Have a great week yourself! :)

      Delete
  3. Happy Thanksgiving :D

    I love the Coke idea. Might have to find one for my characters.

    Hooray for great feedback!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! We had a lovely, relaxing weekend! Finding Coke bottles with my characters' names on them never even occurred to me, so I have to give the hubby bonus points for that. :)

      Delete
  4. Great job on the 8K! Sounds like you've become a writing machine this past week!

    Husbands/boyfriends/significant others are just the best for that stuff, right? About 3 years ago my boyfriend beta-read a (horribly written) book for me, and he *still* asks if I'm going to publish it, haha! I think he just liked it because it had a heap of explosions and kickass characters though...

    Best of luck with the restructuring and have a great week, Erin!

    -- Caitie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! That was actually two week's worth, but the story is coming along at a nice pace.

      It helps so much to have a supportive hubby. I honestly don't think I could cope with this crazy, roller coaster writing process without him cheering me on. Explosions and kickass characters are definitely a drawing card. It's great that your boyfriend loved your story enough that he still wants you to pursue publishing it years later!

      Hope you have a great week as well! :)

      Delete
  5. Wow, that picnic looks absolutely stunning and fun! :-) I cannot wait to read ENGRAVE, so don´t hesitate to send it my way when you want :) I loved loved loved ENVISION!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a very scenic spot for a picnic, even if it was a bit on the chilly side! And thanks, Elodie! Once I'm done polishing up Engrave, I'll be sure to fire it off to you! It's so encouraging to know that you loved Envision! :D

      Delete
  6. What a neat way to spend Thanksgiving - guess that's one of the benefits of having it in October. Sounds like you have an amazing husband. Impressive with the coke thing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'd never tried a Thanksgiving picnic before, so we thought this was the year to do it. A little chilly but fun anyway! If we had Thanksgiving in November like in the US we'd have been buried in snow at that picnic table lol. And yep, my hubby is a pretty incredible guy. He kept the Coke bottle for me too! :)

      Delete
  7. Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! A picnic sounds fun. I *try* to take a walk after stuffing my face on American T-Day, but I usually end up curled in a chair, napping :)

    Yay for working out your story timeline. Hope you have a kick butt week of writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It ended up being a little chilly for a picnic, but the scenery made up for it. I think hiking after our meal was wishful thinking too. Once that turkey coma kicks in, I'm curled up in a chair like you lol!

      Working out my timeline was a huge relief. I feel like it paved the way for the rest of the story to flow better. I'll definitely try to kick some writing butt this week! :D

      Delete
  8. I found it satisfying to read the fruits (words) of Erin’s craft while drinking the fruits (homebrew) of my craft :) The hardest part of beta reading Engrave, Erin’s second book, was remembering to try and give constructive feedback and not just get totally engrossed in the great world building and characters! The setting is vividly developed and you feel like you are in the story while reading it. There is no “middle book syndrome” either. Lots of action and emotion throughout the story. It has a polished and cohesive feel; converted it for my Kobo ereader and sometimes forget this is not published (yet!). It had a great action filled and emotional ending that left me anticipating the finale!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're the best! Thanks for all the great feedback and for cheering me on with this whole writing endeavor! I still think you should create a homebrew inspired by my trilogy. That can be my reward when I finish writing book three! :D

      Delete
  9. Aww that's so sweet of him to do! Both beta reading and the coke thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's a pretty sweet guy! I'm very lucky. He kept the Coke bottle for me too, so I can glance at it for inspiration while I'm writing. :)

      Delete
  10. I need to read Heir of Fire. My wallet is crying. Soon. soon...
    Great job with the 8k. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you do! And poor wallet. I hope you get to read it soon and that you enjoy it as much as I am. And thanks! I was pretty happy with 8k over two weeks. :)

      Delete
  11. I love finding old books like that. My parents can't understand why I love used bookstores so much, but there's just something about the old book smell and knowing a book is secondhand or more, with real history steeped in the pages.

    My ex-"fiancé" tried to read one of the past versions of the opening pages of my first Russian historical, and all he did was harp on stupid stuff, like how he wanted me to state the year at the opening, and going on about how he wasn't sure if makeup and nail polish existed in 1917. Um, yeah, they certainly did, and there's a reason they're used by that particular character!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My parents were the ones that got me hooked on used book shopping actually. That was a family event for us when I was a kid. I love knowing there's history in those old copies as well. That's why I like my Romantic poetry books to be vintage rather than new. As for the better half beta reading, my husband is a sci-fi nerd like me, so that helps a lot. I'm pretty lucky!

      Delete
  12. Your husband sounds AWESOME! Love his support of your stories! I'm doing a bit of that restructuring, cutting, pasting thing myself. Good luck with yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's pretty much the definition of awesome! I'm a lucky lady. It helps that he's a bookworm and a sci-fi nerd like me. Hope your restructuring is going well! I feel like the second half of my WIP is clicking into place much better now, so hopefully that means smooth sailing! :)

      Delete
  13. I love the idea of a Thanksgiving picnic, and your photos are beautiful. Congrats on making so much progress with your WiP. I bet it's so much stronger now that you're through your reconstruction. Have a great week, Erin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'd never gone on a Thanksgiving picnic before, so we thought we'd give it try. The scenery made up for how chilly it ended up being, thank goodness! And thank you! I feel like the WIP is coming along nicely. I'm hoping the second half will progress much smoother now that I've ripped apart my outline and restructured it. Have a great week yourself! :)

      Delete
  14. Love the pics!!!! And I'm impressed your hubby reads for you! I think that would cause a lot of contention in our house, LOL…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I was glad there were still leaves on the trees seeing as it was so windy! I'm fortunate my hubby is a bookworm and a sci-fi nerd. His feedback was positive, so I didn't have to smack him with his e-reader, thank goodness lol! :)

      Delete
  15. Love the Thanksgiving picnic and the photos. Congratulations on your WIP's progress! *waves pom poms* Go, Erin, go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rachel! We enjoyed our meal despite the wind and the cold! As for my WIP, I appreciate the cheering on! :)

      Delete
  16. So seeing that pic of ENGRAVE on Trev's Kobo explains something I was wondering about: That little banner with ENGRAVE written on it didn't show up properly on my Kindle. There's just this weird little box and the other cover page info was bumped down to the bottom of the page. I wasn't sure what it was when I started reading lol. Definitely enjoying your book, but then doesn't come as a surprise at all. :D Awesome that Trev loved it so much! And I'm happy to hear that you sorted out so much with ENLIGHTEN. I feel like we haven't chatted in way too long.

    That's so cool that you guys decided to do a Thanksgiving picnic. We went to Todd's dad's place, which was fun. And the food was pretty yummy too. The nice thing is they live so close, so it's not really a hassle to go visit. We do too much driving around the Christmas season. Looks like you had a good day even if it was chilly.

    I totally have Sir Walter Scott book envy right now. (Okay, I can't stop laughing because I totally just typed "Scoot" instead of "Scott". Just picture that for a moment. Nice.) I have a Scott collection going on, mostly thanks to the symphony book sale, but I don't think I have that one. Love the maple leafs on it! I'm realizing that I really need to read more poetry. I have some nice old ones like you, and I'm getting more into poetry lately. I'll have to check out that Scott (totally did it again...) book of poetry. Hope you have an awesome week! And we'll have to visit via Skype again soon! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He did all sorts of weird little formatting things to it when he converted it for his Kobo. That banner sort of makes it look like it should take place during medieval times or something. They need a more sci-fi looking one. Glad you're liking Engrave even though you probably know most of the bigger events that take place during the story. Trev's feedback was really positive even when I grilled him on nitty gritty stuff lol. He said it felt tight and cohesive, which is great seeing as it's 226k. He even liked the romantic bits, so that was a relief.

      It was my idea to go on a picnic and I was seriously questioning that when we got to Blackstrap. Man, was it cold by the lake! There were still lots of leaves on the trees though, so it was nice and scenic. I kept warm by stuffing my face with calories. We opted out of dinner with the extended family this year. It's been so busy and we felt like we needed some time with just the three of us.

      Isn't that a cool copy of Lay of the Last Minstrel? (or How the Minstrel Got Lucky, as I like to call it. Kidding.) I love that it looks so Canadian. Sir Walter Scoot? Okay, somewhere Sir Walter is rolling in his grave right now. Good thing he can't see exactly how I worked his poem into my story. I think I have at least four old copies of his books, and yeah, mostly from the symphony book sale. The nice thing about going on a quest to find poems to incorporate into my WIPs is that I've read a lot more poetry than usual--something that's been on my to do list for years now.

      Let me know when you're free to Skype next. :)

      Delete
  17. I think a picnic thanksgiving is the way to go. Wonder if I can talk to hubbs into that one...

    So I know what you mean by getting props from your other half. Mine is brutal with my writing, seriously brutal, so I know when he likes something, I must be doing it right. (It took a bit to teach him he has to compliment before ripping. ;) Keep at it, awesome lady!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a great way to enjoy the last of the good weather and pretty leaves. A bit on the cold side but still nice. I definitely recommend it for a twist on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner!

      Maybe there should be something in wedding vows about promising to be a supportive beta reader for your spouse lol? It's great that yours gives you feedback too even if he takes honesty to a whole new level. :)

      Delete
  18. My husband hasn't read any of my novels yet. He says he is waiting for the movies to come out... :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Who knows? Maybe he'll have that chance yet! :)

      Delete
  19. Congrats on getting all those words done.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Go you on adding 8K! You deserve a major award. So does your husband for being super-awesome-supportive guy and an excellent Beta reader. *catapults 5 gallons of Halloween homebrew in your general direction* *includes 2 straws*

    Your outdoor Thanksgiving looks amazing! What a cool idea. Though I'm sorry that you kind of froze your butt off a little bit. It looks like it was totally worth it though. I still have my AC on, so I'm more than just a little bit jealous of your fall leaves.

    Hope your week is full of amazing! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would love to know your recipe! My Pumpkin beer will be about ready to try and just brewed a 10% licorice allsort imperial stout!

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Kris! That was over two weeks, but I'm pretty happy with that anyway. The hubby definitely deserves an award for the amount of support he pours into this whole crazy writing endeavor of mine. And yes, homebrew would be his award of choice, lol!

      The outdoor Thanksgiving was a cool idea in more ways than one! I really should have brought a warm jacket along instead of just a sweatshirt, but I forgot how chilly it would be by the lake on a windy day in October. The fact that there were still leaves to enjoy made up for the cold though. Trust me, if I could send you some of our chilly weather, I would!

      Hope your week is amazing too! :)

      Delete
  21. A picnic Thanksgiving - I wonder if enough bugs will be dead we can do that here? (Stays warmer here in the South much longer into the season.)
    Still nice your husband thought the book rocked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No bugs is definitely an advantage to an outdoor Canadian Thanksgiving. Oh wait. Actually there was one on our table cloth. Hearty little guy! I grilled the husband on some of the finer details and he still insisted it was all good. I'll take that! :)

      Delete