Wednesday, 12 November 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 reading City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. Since it’s gimongous though, I couldn’t bring it on vacation with me. Seriously, I would’ve needed an extra suitcase for that sucker. Instead I opted to read Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout on my ereader. Much smaller and lighter for airplane reading. My son and I also finished Romeo and Juliet for school.

What I’m Writing:

At the moment? Zippo. As I mentioned in a previous post, October was a stressful month and that resulted in putting writing aside for a while. I can’t even tell you how hard that was to do. Of course, when the going gets tough, the tough go on vacation, so while I haven’t been writing, I’ve been recharging my inspirational batteries. Plus, while we were off on our adventure, a new story idea was percolating in my mind—one that branches off of my current WIP. I guess technically I did write a little then because I scribbled out some snippets of dialogue in my handy dandy notebook at the hotel. Jaime and I also had a monster Skype session when I got back in which there was much discussion of our WIPs. Super helpful as always.

What Works For Me:

Most times the Butt in Chair philosophy is good. I’ve worked hard to establish a routine where I write almost every single day, BUT sometimes I need to stop myself from writing. When the inspiration isn’t there, when the creative well has run dry, when I’m burnt out or distracted, I need to remember not to force the story. I need to remind myself that I could be doing more damage than good to my WIP and step away from the laptop. That’s frustrating when I want to get words on the page, but I know ultimately the story will be better for it. Discretion over duty will result in quality words and not just crappy words that were written for the sake of writing.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

As I mentioned, my boys and I took off on a spur of the moment vacation at the start of November. We went to New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, two of Canada’s beautiful maritime provinces. I’d been there when I was a kid and wanted to go back again ever since. Tourist season is over there by this time of year, so some of the landmarks we visited we had entirely to ourselves. In a word: peaceful. Here are some photos of our whirlwind trip. There are a lot, so don’t feel obligated to look at them all, but if you’re interested feel free to browse.

These are the St. Martins sea caves on the coast of the Bay of Fundy. We were the only ones there and these pictures couldn't possibly capture how gorgeous the caves are. We wrote our names in the sand for fun, and the tide will have washed them away by now. What a refreshing and memorable afternoon!
Here we're at the Hopewell Rocks, also on the Bay of Fundy. These are called flowerpot rocks because of the trees growing on top. At low tide, the eroded bottoms of the rocks are exposed and you can walk on the beach around them. Unfortunately neither of the low tides the day we visited were during daylight hours, so we hiked on the trails above the cliffs instead. It was rainy and quiet, except for the sound of the water. Amazing.
This is at Green Gables on Prince Edward Island. As a quirky redheaded writer, I've always felt that Anne Shirley and I are Kindred Spirits. I first visited Green Gables when I was eleven years old, but this time I got a kiss while hiking on "Lovers Lane." FYI, my husband has read further in the Anne series than I have. We also wandered through the Haunted Woods and visited L.M. Montgomery's grave.
I've never been to a Canadian city with as much character as Saint John, New Brunswick. The historic architecture, especially in Uptown Saint John, is incredible. This is the Saint John City Market. The centre of the building is a farmer's market, while little restaurants line the outside. We went for tea and scones at the Infusion tea room there. Delicious and quaint. We also spent some time walking along the harbour.
More photos of Uptown Saint John, including dinner at the fabulous Saint John Ale House. We basically did a pub crawl across New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Great food and craft beer!
And last, but certainly not least, this is the main branch library in Saint John. It's so cool I could've sat there and stared at it all day. Seriously, look at those huge, awesome books beside the doors! Couldn't resist sharing some pics of it!


Well, that was our trip. I have loads more pictures, but I've overdone it as it is. It's hard to adequately convey how beautiful New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are: the history and architecture, the ocean, the abundance of trees, the lighthouses and covered bridges, the friendly people who made us feel so welcome there. I wish we had more time to enjoy it!

So what's up with you lately?

40 comments:

  1. Lovely photos! I really need to visit Canada beyond Toronto's airport :P

    Taking a break is sometimes the best cure. There's no point writing when it's not working and you're worn out from it all. Rest, recharge, and then get back to writing ^_^

    Have a great week!

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    1. Yes, you should definitely visit Canada! From coast to coast it's pretty diverse in terms of geography, history, and culture. As for the airport in Toronto, after this very long trip, it's not one of my favourite places in the world lol.

      I'm usually reluctant to take writing breaks because I'm worried about losing motivation altogether, but that seems kind of silly when the process isn't working anyway. Best to take a step back once in a while. Have a great week too, Cole! ;)

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  2. Green Gables is one of my dream trips! Beautiful photos - thanks for sharing :)

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    1. I hope you get to visit there one day! Glad you enjoyed the photos! :)

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  3. Amazing photos! I'm jealous of the trip to PEI - I love Anne Shirley :)

    Your "works for me" also works for me. There are some days where the words just aren't there and when I do try and force them, I end up cutting most of them later anyway.

    Have an amazing week!

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    1. Thanks! I couldn't resist sharing a whole bunch because we had such a great time. PEI is a gorgeous island. If you ever have the chance to visit, definitely go. I could easily live there!

      That's a good point about having to chop words later when you forced the writing. So true.

      Hope your week is amazing as well! :)

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  4. Oh wow! I'm loving the pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. That looks like an awesome trip. I'd love to visit Canada someday.

    Taking a break from writing is the right thing to do if you're not feeling enough inspiration or motivation. It usually comes back stronger than ever after some time away.

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    1. If you ever get the chance to visit Canada, do it. There's a ton to see here. It would definitely take much more than one trip though!

      I'm hoping my writing will come back stronger than ever, as you say, now that I've had some time away. We'll see, I guess!

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  6. Love the "what works for me" section - sometimes you can't force the words, and it's best to take a break and recharge! Awesome photos! Hopefully, you'll have come back with some inspiration! :)

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    1. I think when I force the words, those are the parts that I end up having to rewrite anyway, so why bother? Granted, I'm still guilty of doing that far too often though. I really need to start embracing the whole break concept more. I'm happy you liked the photos! It was fun making them into collages. I'm hoping some time away filled up the inspiration tank too! :)

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  7. LOVE your trip pictures, Erin. I can't believe you went to all those fun, beautiful places and it sounds like it was a GREAT trip!!! Good luck recharging and hope you come back soon with some great inspiration. Have a good week!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! It really was a great trip and none of us felt like coming back yet (if ever lol). I'm hoping all those beautiful places will give me lots of inspiration too. I can think of at least one part I'm adding to my WIP because of them, so that's good. Hope your week is good too! :)

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  8. Amazing photos - thank so much for sharing! It really looks lovely. I haven't been to Canada yet (I know - *big gasp*) but this makes me want to head up there even more. Someday *dreaming*

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    1. Thanks! I'm happy you liked them! You should definitely visit here someday. While I'm biased, I can honestly say Canada is a beautiful country and well worth spending time in. :)

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  9. Lovely photos - it looks like you had a great trip. :) And I agree, sometimes you just need to take a step back from your writing and recharge your batteries!

    Have a great week!

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    1. We did have a great trip, thanks! I'm hoping my batteries are recharged now and that I can get back to writing soon. Have a great week yourself! :)

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  10. Looks like you had a great time! Hope you get back to writing soon :)

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    1. It was awesome! I'm rereading my WIP first to get back into the right mindset, and then hopefully the words will start flowing again! :)

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  11. I loved perusing your NB and PEI photos the other night. Though, I'm noticing that some of these didn't end up in the batches that Trev sent to me for whatever reason. I'm so happy you guys had such a great time and that the weather (mostly) cooperated. I spend a bunch of time at our library as it is, but I would probably live there if it looked like that one!

    I found our Skype session most helpful, so thanks again for that! We'll have to make sure that our Skype visits have at least a chunk of time dedicated to working through WiP issues and just generally cheering each other on, because I think that really works well for both of us. :-) I really have to agree with you about writing quality words and not crappy words just for the sake of writing. I think that's why I can't get 100% on board with NaNo or Anne Lamott's whole poopy first draft thing. To each his own, I guess, right? Hopefully you and I will both be back to writing good words regularly. Have an awesome week! :D

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the pictures! Honestly, the photos don't do it justice. Everything was so much brighter and prettier--probably because of the damp weather. It's funny that you didn't see some of these pics because I was pretty sure when Trev initially showed them to me (on the TV) some of these were missing. I was nodding off though, so I figured I missed them while I was dozing. Maybe not. Isn't that library awesome? We sat there with Starbucks coffees in the mall area and just stared at it. I wanted to hug those giant books. Don't worry, I didn't do that lol.

      That Skype session was so important for getting me back into even wanting to write. It's exactly what I needed after getting back. It'll still be hard to start up again, but it's a prod in the right direction. And yeah, we definitely need to set aside time during each conversation to focus on writing. That would be a big motivator. As for writing quality and not crap, I really have to stick to that philosophy. There are far too many times when I force the words and end up rewriting anyway. Maybe that works for some people, but I'd rather do it right the first time too. We'll talk some more about setting goals for ourselves soon! Have an awesome week too! :)

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  12. I've never been to New Brunswick or PEI and I'd definitely like to go one day. They both look beautiful. And visiting Green Gables? That's a must! My daughter watched the movies recently which made me want to rewatch them something fierce!

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    1. You really should! It's pretty darn far though, so it really does give you a sense of how huge Canada is. Because we went so late in the year many of the tourist attractions were shut down for the season, but we still crammed a ton into one week. I've been feeling like watching the Anne movies again since we got back. I'm going to have to make time for that! I love them so much!

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  13. Oh your vacation photos are gorgeous!!! I love the St. Martin's caves and the flowerpot rocks. So amazing!! I'm glad you got some vacation time and some peace and quiet after a stressful October. You deserve it. :)

    And Anne Shirley....hah, yes! You so totally are. I loved those growing up. Everyone in my family cried when Matthew died, my father included. (He's a softie when it comes to books.)

    And I love your advice about not forcing the writing sometimes. Since I've been in that boat lately (a few too many times), it reminds me that instead of feeling racked with guilt, I should just consider it Brain Resting Time.

    Hope you have an amazing week! :)

    p.s. I can't wait to read your MS some day. Just so you know.

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    1. Glad you liked them! Much of New Brunswick is actually a UNESCO geosite called Stonehammer Geopark. My son is learning about geology right now, so it was pretty much the best fieldtrip ever. As for peace and quiet, there were several times when the three of us just stopped to soak in the silence because we were so far from anyone else. It was wonderful! And thanks, we really needed the break.

      It's kind of funny because the first time I went to Green Gables when I was a kid, all the ladies who worked there kept patting me on the head and saying, "Oh look! She's an Anne girl!" Anne was one of the characters who convinced me to be a writer. And yes, I get sniffly over Matthew too. :(

      I like that label: Brain Resting Time. I might have to use that! Thanks for the encouragement about my WIP. I hope you get to read it someday too! :)

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  14. I read Obsidian a couple months back. It wasn't my favorite but I did find it entertaining. I love all of the pictures! I grew up reading the Anne Books and have always wanted to go to Green Gables.

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    1. I've had some trouble getting into OBSIDIAN, but wasn't sure if that was because I was reading it on the plane. So far it's different than what I was expecting. We'll see I guess. Glad you liked the photos! I had fun compiling them into collages. I hope you get to visit Green Gables someday because it really is a beautiful place! :)

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  15. Having a routine works for me too. I seem to only be able to write in the mornings or late at night. That works best for me. Have a great week!

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    1. Yeah, I'm definitely a night writer. My brain doesn't kick into creative mode until the house is quiet. Plus, I'm naturally a night owl. Hope your week is great too! :)

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  16. What an amazing trip it looks like you had. I hope it helped you to get in the right space for writing again, but even if it didn't, it was certainly worth it. Good luck with this week!

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    1. It was awesome and long overdue! I'm feeling somewhat refreshed but still kind of distracted since I'm settling back into normal life again. I'm really hoping the time away will help me get back on track with writing too. We'll see, I guess! :)

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  17. Your vacation photos are beautiful, Erin! I especially love the beach stones. You're making me want to take a vacation. :-) I hope you're able to pick your writing mojo back up soon. I'm cheering for you! Have a wonderful week. <3

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    1. Thank you! It was fun turning them into collages. We brought some of the beach stones back with us as a souvenir actually. I'm hoping after recharging I'll be able to build up some writing momentum too. Hope you have a wonderful week as well! :)

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  18. Oh my gosh… you are STUNNING!!!! And all the landscape pics are stunning too… I LOVE pictures. I'm such a picture person.

    I've had a slow month writing wise too… just need to force myself to get that BIC time. Loved all of this! What a fun post. <3

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    1. Ha ha, thanks, Morgan! I'm not so sure I felt stunning while mucking along the beach in little boys' rubber boots lol. You're too sweet! I'm a huge picture person too and there were definitely lots of photo opportunities on this trip. I hope writing picks up again for you too. I'm hoping to dive back in, but we'll see how that goes! :)

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  19. Hi, Erin! I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time visiting the Maritimes. Have you ever been to Nova Scotia? If ever you do make it down here again, you have to spend some time there. Lunenburg is a place where you feel like you walked back in time--the entire city has been declared historic. Peggy's Cove and Mahone Bay are also so picturesque. I actually have pictures of our summer visit over at my blog, too: http://grleblanc.blogspot.ca/2014/09/summer-catch-up-and-our-trip-to-nova.html It's one of our favourite places to go. :)

    And, I agree with you, we all need time to recharge and refill the creative well. I'm sure you'll be back into the writing swing before you know it. Hope you enjoy the rest of your week and have a lovely weekend! :)

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    1. Hi and thanks! I haven't been to Nova Scotia (unless we did a day trip on our Maritime vacation when I was a kid and I don't remember) but I'd love to go there. I've seen pictures of Lunenburg and it looks absolutely beautiful. My husband and I watch the show Haven and it's filmed there. I'll have to check out your vacation photos too for a closer look at the area. We're in Saskatchewan which is pretty different! It was a huge treat to spend time where there were so many trees and the ocean.

      I'm hoping to dabble in some writing today, so hopefully after recharging the words will get flowing again! Hope you enjoy the rest of your week too! :)

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  20. Food and craft beer? I'm sold! (Also, it would be nice to see more of Canada than Victoria and Vancouver. I only live an hour from Vancouver, so it's not like it's *that* much of a trek.)

    Good luck getting back into your writing! Hopefully the time away helped :)

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    1. Canada is so huge it's hard to see all of it. I've only been to 8 out of 10 provinces and none of the territories, so there's still more for me to see as well. What's funny is that I've never been to Victoria or Vancouver, so you've got me beat on that! Someday!

      And thanks, I'm hoping the time away will help with the writing inspiration too. :)

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