Wednesday, 26 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!

Last week, we asked if you’d like to set goals in our WUW posts. The overwhelming response was YES, so from now on, we’ll include a writing-related goal under the "What I'm Writing" heading in hopes of keeping one another accountable. Your goal doesn’t have to focus on word count. It can be whatever you like, as long as it’s relevant to the writing process. Please try to keep your goals reasonably brief. Thanks and good luck!

What I’m Reading:

I'm still crawling through City of Heavenly Fire. Whenever I sit down to read lately, (which isn't very often, unfortunately) I fall asleep. This isn't the book's fault.

What I’m Writing:

Seeing as I was either busy or sick for most of the week, not much. I did some brainstorming and half-hearted mulling, but creativity is being a jerk lately. My head is crammed full of other non-writing things these days, so my story isn’t simmering in there the way it usually does. That’s problematic for me. I need simmering.

My writing goal this week: I want to finish the scene I’ve been working on, which will include some rewriting, and try to get back into the flow of this story again.

What Works For Me:

Like I said above, I need time to simmer, mull, steep like a teabag in water. I’m not a fast writer.  I don’t do well with word sprints or NaNoWriMo. That’s partly by choice (I enjoy taking my time when choosing my words) and partly because that’s the only way I can operate. If I haven’t had time to think about my story during the day—you know, daydream a little, consider what I’ll be working on later, ruminate on some ideas, get in the right mood—then I find it really hard to jump into writing at night when I sit down to work. It’s all about getting in the zone and letting the story come to life, which is usually a gradual process for me.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

David's Salted Caramel tea & a Nordic mug from Jaime. Yum!
Remember last week when I pulled a dozen boxes of books from our shelves to donate? Yeah, it’s now 35 boxes. I found another stack of boxes in the basement that I thought we'd gotten rid of already. And we still have full shelves. We should not be allowed anywhere near used book sales, Indigo, Costco, or Amazon ever, ever again. Naturally, we went book shopping this weekend anyway. I also put together my Christmas list, which, so far, includes only books. I never learn. Someone chain me to a wall in a room far away from any means to buy anything with pages.

Other than that, the house renos continued, I baked banana-cranberry muffins, planned our Christmas baking, binge watched Gilmore Girls, Skyped with my sister, homeschooled the heck out of my kid, opened my early birthday gift from Jaime, and wailed over the amount of snow that dumped on us. Overall, a fairly normal week.

So what's up with you?


29 comments:

  1. I hope you're feeling better soon :)

    Wow, 35 boxes?! I am impressed! I've only managed... er, three, for my pre-Christmas donation run.

    Aw, I want some snow. All we get is rain. I have my fingers crossed for December though!!! Although no snow on one of the days I have to work in London...

    Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Cole! I'm actually feeling much better now. It was some stomach flu thing, but it seems to have cleared up, thank goodness.

      Yeah, I was surprised by the 35 boxes too. That's the result of a really amazing used book sale we go to every spring. We should've cleared out books ages ago, before they built up this much. Ah well.

      As for the snow, I'd give you ours if I could! I like it right around Christmas, but that's about it. Hope your week is great too! :)

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  2. Hope you're back to feeling well soon, Erin. I love the gift Jaime sent you -- such a pretty mug! And your mention of Christmas baking... My favorite part of the holidays. I have about three dozen sticks of butter in my freezer, just waiting to become part of a cookie or bar. :-) Best of luck finishing your scene and getting back in the swing of your story!

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    1. Thanks, Katy! I'm better now, so that's a relief. I love the gift Jaime sent me too. I decorate with blue, white, silver and snowflakes at Christmas, so (as Jaime knows) it's perfect for me. I've got my recipes planned, but I haven't done the grocery shopping to get my supplies yet, so you're one step ahead of me on that. Have a great week! :)

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  3. Sorry to hear you've not been well! I find that I write best when I add in thinking time before I actually start writing, so hopefully you'll have the chance to get back into the flow of things soon!

    35 boxes? Wow, that's a lot of books!

    "Naturally, we went book shopping this weekend anyway" - HA! This sounds exactly like me. Except with me, it's more likely to be Kindle one-click, so I'd need to be chained up in a room without Internet access. :P

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    1. I'm feeling much better now, thanks! The great thing about writing is that all that thinking is necessary to my process, so it gives me an excuse to daydream and claim that I'm being productive lol. Sounds like it works the same way for you!

      Yeah, this book purge is LONG overdue. That's what happens when you've been going to the same used book sale every spring for over a decade. It builds up pretty quickly! The appeal of ereaders has definitely been driven home by this whole experience! :)

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  4. 35 boxes of books? Wow! That is a lot of books. LOL! Ohhh, when's your birthday? Mine is tomorrow! :) I also binged on some Gilmore Girls last Friday. My brain needs that every so often, just to zone out and not have to concentrate on anything for a day. I'm like you on the writing front, too--my stories need time to simmer and I am not a fast writer. I've tried NaNo twice and don't plan on trying it ever again, although I did reach the 50k the first time, but I was so mentally exhausted by the end of it all that I did not write for weeks after. So, nope, it's not for me either. *wink*

    We have a doozy of a storm on the way for this evening and tomorrow--supposed to get between 30 - 40cm. Eek! Might be the same system that you got that is now heading our way. Anyhow, I hope you feel better soon and good luck getting back into your story! Have a good week!

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    1. That's the result of attending an annual used book sale every spring for over ten years. We really should've sorted through them sooner! The funny thing is that they might get donated back to the same book sale. My birthday is on Saturday, so I have a few days to wait yet. As for Gilmore Girls, it's the perfect way to unwind in the evening. I really need that too, although the theme song gets stuck in my head when I sit down to write lol. I've never even attempted NaNo, so you're brave for trying it twice!

      Yikes, that's a ton of snow! I'm not sure how much we got here, but it was steady rather than storming, thank goodness.Enjoy your birthday tomorrow, and I hope that storm isn't too crazy! :)

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    2. Yes, I agree on Gilmore Girls being the perfect way to unwind! And lol on the theme song getting stuck in your head. :) The snow has begun--it's very pretty right now. All light and fluffy. And of course, my son is all excited because he's hoping there's no school tomorrow.

      And, Happy Early Birthday, Erin!!! :)

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  5. I hope you find yourself simmering soon, it sucks when creativity decides it doesn't want to be your friend.

    Wow, that is certainly a lot of books! I recently donated a huge bag of books myself, the amount of unread books I own is ridiculous and I yet I continue to buy them...

    Have a great and productive week! :)

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    1. Thanks, I really hope I do too! I hate it when I want to write, but the creativity and inspiration just isn't there.

      Our book collection has built up over the years mainly because of an annual used book sale we attend every spring. We were long overdue to sort through our shelves, and now I'm wishing I'd gotten on it sooner. The number of unread books I own is ridiculous too. Maybe it'll seem more manageable now that we've weeded some out!

      Hope your week is productive too! :)

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  6. Salted caramel tea??? *drools*

    For months now, I've been helping my dad pack up a box or two a week of books to sell/give-away. Even after all this time, it barely looks like we made a dent. And I may or may not be bringing some of the books home with me, thus sending my TBR-shelf even more out of control :)

    Hope you're feeling better. Have a great week!

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    1. The salted caramel tea really is as good as it sounds!

      I should've taken your approach to packing up books and done a couple boxes a week over time. It ended up being a much bigger job than I thought it would be! That's hilarious that you're helping your dad clear out his books but adding to your own overflowing collection. Maybe he'll have to return the favour someday lol.

      Thanks, and I hope you have a great week too! :)

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  7. I could never bring myself to give away so many boxes of books! You're very brave.

    I can write very fast, or spend more time on a project. It depends upon how much momentum and inspiration I have. Usually the books which have been sitting inside me for so many years come gushing out fastest.

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    1. It's been tough to part with some, mainly because they're from when my son was little, but most were either books we'd read and hadn't enjoyed or ones we knew we'd never get around to reading. It actually feels good to have that much room cleared out! And of course, we'll just fill that space up again eventually lol.

      I suppose different projects might make it to the page faster than others. I've been working on this trilogy for so long now I haven't had a chance to test that theory!

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  8. Salted caramel tea sounds wonderful. (And I have that wonderful tea you sent as part of the bootcamp care package. I'm set for winter!).

    My household tends to keep it lean with books. That is, until I started my writing adventure. I have books coming in all the time--my own doing. I have been on a personal library lending freeze since mid-summer to get through the books I own. Then a friend sent me 3 books, I found a great sale at my indie, and of course I have at least 2 books on my Christmas list. My husband says there are worse vices. He's no help at all.

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    1. It's delicious, and they didn't overdo it on the sweetness, so it suits my taste perfectly. I hope you enjoy your tea now that the cold weather has set in! I don't think I could survive winter without a mug in my hand to keep me warm lol.

      I've been trying to avoid the library too. It tends to lure me in even when I have towering piles of my own books to read. My husband is a major bookworm himself, so he's no help either. I think his collection is worse than mine! :)

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  9. Thirty five boxes!!! That's a ton! I don't think I'll ever learn either. Books have pretty much taken over my house and all I want is more... I love your Nordic Mug!

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    1. You know, I think it might literally weigh a ton, actually! I'm sure you probably have the same issue we do--homeschooling books plus all the pleasure reading on top of that. And thanks! Jaime knows I love snowflakes, so the mug was a perfect pick for me! :)

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  10. Honestly, I'm having a terrible time reading lately, too. Between reading a heaping pile o' cheese and books that are just generally not all that great, I've had a hard time getting into anything. We have to remember to do our WINTERSPELL readalong thingy. I've been holding off on it, but I think I'll have to start it sometime soon if I want to be done by Christmas lol. (You know, at the rate I'm going lately.)

    I'm really hoping that this goal-setting addition will help us both get into our WiPs. Even after writing a bit yesterday, I still don't feel super into it. I really hope you get the itch to write again soon, because some of us want to know how this trilogy ends. ;-) That said, I completely get the whole brain crammed with other junk and not able to focus thing. This time of year is especially bad for that. Word sprints (as they're normally done) and NaNo don't work for me either. I mean, it has been helpful in the past when you and I decided to write for a chunk of time and then check in, but that isn't always the case. Like you, it takes me awhile to get into the zone.

    I can't believe you have 35 boxes of books to get rid of, and I've actually seen your collection! That's insane. I've been doing the library thing a lot more lately, so that has slowed my book-buying down a bit. Even so, I still have a metric crap ton of books on my shelves.I think my book-buying has slowed down also because there just aren't that many books I'm looking forward to lately. I'll probably ask for books for Christmas anyway lol.

    I'm free Thursday through Saturday for Skyping, so if any of those days works for you just let me know. Looking forward to it! :D

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    1. I was thinking about our WINTERSPELL Skype-book-discussion-thing today too and how I'll need to start reading it soon or I won't finish it by Christmas. I just wish I had time to whip through the rest of CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE, so I could get on that. If all else fails, I can put that one aside for WINTERSPELL, especially since I'm looking forward to reading it. We'll have to put on some Tchaikovsky during our Skype session, you know, to create the right atmosphere, since it's a Nutcracker retelling.

      I'm hoping the goal setting will help too, although I also have some other hurdles to jump over in terms of getting back into writing. I think it takes a lot less time to lose momentum than to build it up, unfortunately. A while back, you wrote about how immersion works for you. That's the same for me--big time. Right now, I can't be immersed in my story and that's what's holding me back. And yeah, this time of year is especially bad for that. Lots of distractions and the whole Christmassy atmosphere doesn't mesh with my sci-fi WIP lol.

      Isn't that insane about the boxes? I nearly flipped (or cried) when I found a bunch more hiding in the basement. It's that darn symphony book sale. Our book buying has slowed down lately too, although I have a surprisingly large number on my Christmas list. Not sure how that happened.

      I'll let you know when I'm free to Skype. I'm sure one of those days will work! :)

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  11. I share your pain with the way too many books issue. Good luck meeting your goal.

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    1. While it's hard to part with books, it does feel good to clear out space for new ones. :)

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  12. Purging is a necessary evil, isn't it? I hope you get lots of books for Christmas! Despite my constant pleas for books, my husband is the only one who ever buys any for me...no one else ever does, =(

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    1. Yes, it certainly is. There's something freeing about it too, and now I'll hopefully have more room for those Christmas books! I'm lucky when it comes to getting books as gifts because most of my family are readers. We basically swap book lists. I hope you get lots of books for Christmas too! :)

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  13. I hear you about your mind being crammed full of other stuff. I just keep thinking about all the stuff I need to do these next couple of months that it seems I have no time for writing. And even when I do, I haven't been daydreaming about my WIP either. So I feel ya! I've had to force myself to sit down and write something, even though I swear all of it is crap!

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    1. Sounds like you're going through exactly the same kind of writing slump I am. It's so frustrating when you want to write but just can't because there's no room to even think about it. I've been forcing myself to sit down when I have a chance too, and the few times I've gotten words down they've been crappy, just like you said. There's even been a couple times when I basically stared at the mess on the screen and couldn't get anything down at all. Ugh. I hope it starts to improve for both of us! Hang in there! :)

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