Wednesday, 17 December 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!

Just a reminder that there will be no WUW on December 24th & 31st. We’ll be taking a break for the holidays and can catch up in the New Year!

What I’m Reading:

I have about fifty pages left in Winterspell, and unfortunately it hasn’t improved for me. Just to clarify my comments from last week, the reason I’m not enjoying it isn’t because it’s dark. I like dark stories. My stories are dark. Without giving specifics from the book, my problem is when sexual abuse is used as a means to up the heat level, rather than being dealt with as the serious issue it is. That feels gratuitous to me and potentially confusing to younger readers, especially when the mc's responses are unhealthy. There’s a lot more I could say, but I’ll leave it at that. My reason for bringing this up again is because I didn’t want anyone to assume I was just being a prude or that my WIPs are full of sunbeams and frolicking puppies. Definitely not.

What I’m Writing:

This was a weirdly good writing week for me, despite how busy it was. Somehow I managed to get out 6800 words. It’s a Christmas miracle! I met my goal, which was to finish the scene I was on, and I’m really happy with the result. I also finished two more scenes and got caught up to where I was before I went on a rearranging binge. And I wrote part of a new scene. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to cut a bunch of what I’ve written lately, but at least the story isn’t fighting me anymore.

My writing goal for this week: I’m not going to set a goal since it’s the last week before Christmas.

What Works For Me:

Writing by the light of the Christmas tree. It provides the perfect ambience for my nighttime work sessions. Makes me tempted to leave it up year round. Kidding.

What Else is New:

Braving crowded stores to do Christmas shopping, which made me all bah humbuggish.
Braving crowded stores to do winter boot shopping…then ordering a pair online at the mall. And the point of going there was…?
Finally getting around to my Christmas baking: shortbread, white chocolate cranberry cookies, white chocolate topped gingerbread cookies, and cracker candy. Let the face stuffing commence!
Listening to the Interstellar soundtrack nonstop for writing inspiration. Christmas music? What’s that?
Scrambling to cram in as much homeschooling as possible before the holidays. 2014 stuffed my kid’s head good and full.


Happy holidays to everyone! See you in 2015!


30 comments:

  1. Oooh, the baking looks so good! Yum :D

    Writing by Christmas tree lights sounds lovely. Maybe I should give that a go... And congratulations on getting so much done.

    Have a brilliant Christmas! See you in 2015 :D

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    1. I'm trying not to use too much of the baking for writing fuel lol. As for writing by the tree, I might have to set up some white twinkle lights for after the Christmas season. I'll be sad to part with them come January. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas! :)

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  2. Hm, I appreciate your thoughts on Winterspell - it's something I've considered reading, but even though I like dark stories sexual abuse is something I don't like to read. It doesn't trigger me or anything, thankfully I've never gone through anything like that, but I just don't like reading about it even though I know reading about characters who do need to find a way to deal with it is very important.

    Well done on all 6800 of those words, that's fantastic! :)

    Have a lovely week!

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    1. I don't usually share negative thoughts about books on my blog, but I made an exception in this case because I thought the subject matter was handled so badly. Judging by other Goodreads reviews I've read, I'm not alone on that. It all just seemed very contrived, and the crazy thing is, I'm not even sure the author would consider those parts of the story abuse. In the real world they would be though, and the fact that they take place in a fantasy world is no excuse, in my opinion. Anyway, I'm glad you appreciated my thoughts on it.

      And thank you! I'm still not sure how it was such a productive week in the writing department! Hope your week is lovely as well! :)

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    2. It's always a real shame (and rather concerning!) when people include abuse for the shock factor, and not much better when people write abuse and then try to say it isn't abuse (AKA Benioff and Weiss, who don't know how to treat any Game of Thrones characters well unless they're white straight men). I can understand why you don't tend to share your negative thoughts here, but in this case I think it's good that you did! I think I'm probably going to give Winterspell a miss if this is an issue a number of readers have picked up on.

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  3. Great job on all the words! ^_^

    Haha, I'd rather listen to the Interstellar soundtrack than Christmas music. :P But this is coming from someone who spent last Christmas writing about the end of the world.

    Have a fantastic Christmas! :)

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    1. Thanks! I was shocked when I tallied up my word count for the week. Not sure where I squeezed it all in!

      The Interstellar soundtrack is incredible! I find Christmas music distracting because it pulls me out of the mood for my story, so I kind of avoid it until the last minute. And hey, writing about the end of the world is a great way to remind you about all the things that really matter, right? So in a round about way it's kind of appropriate for the time of year lol.

      Merry Christmas! :)

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  4. I have to brave the stores this weekend to finish my shopping. I'm sure that'll be fun :)

    Hope you have an amazing Christmas!

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    1. I have a few things left to pick up, and I'm not looking forward to it. Wonder how fast I can snag a few last stocking stuffers. Good luck finishing up your shopping and I hope your Christmas is amazing too! :)

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  5. Ugh, we had to go to the mall yesterday, and it was horrid....me and crowds definitely don't mix!

    Congrats on the awesome word count for this week, a nice early Christmas gift :)

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    1. I hear you! I hate crowds any time of the year, and Christmas crowds make me want to hibernate lol. We try to do most of our shopping online, but there are always a few stray gifts we need to pick up.

      And thanks! A nice word count definitely makes me feel festive! :)

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  6. I so don't feel like finishing WINTERSPELL, but I would like to have a book discussion with you about it, so I probably will at some point. It was killing my Reading Challenge because I wasn't getting into it, so I set it aside. :-/ I think it's good to share your thoughts about a book, especially when it evokes such a strong response. Authors shouldn't be let off the hook simply because we don't want it to come back and bite us in the rear for saying something, you know? Bugs me.

    You had a fantastic writing week! I'm certain I could have gotten more done if I hadn't been piddling around on my computer doing other things and, of course, just having a super busy pre-Christmas week to boot. Speaking of busy, Todd and I ended up at Chapters, Marks, and Future Shop the other day and it was completely brutal. So crowded with people. We do almost all of our Christmas shopping online now, so I had forgotten just how ridiculous it gets.

    Your baked goods look super yummy! I'm going to make anisette cookies and cracker candy before you guys come. I haven't gotten around to it yet, so I might as well wait so it's all fresh, right? Can't wait to see you guys! Wheeeeeee! :D

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    1. The only reason I've kept reading it is because I felt strongly that I should if I was going to express my opinions about it (however vague) in my post. Otherwise, I would've given up. I hope you finish it sometime so we can discuss it too. I need someone I can rant to lol. It bothers me that writers have to be so hush hush about their opinions too, but I guess it helps avoid some awkwardness if you should ever happen to cross paths with an author you criticized. Even so, when I think a book is a really negative influence I feel kind of compelled to say something. I guess that must be the parent in me.

      I really don't know how I wrote that much. I think it's because I had the big action scene planned pretty thoroughly in advance and the rest of what I wrote included a lot of dialogue. I find dialogue easy to write--to the point that my characters have too many conversations. You and I should set out some time line goals for ourselves for the new year. That might help us both. As for Christmas shopping, we do most of ours online too. We left it kind of late to have things shipped this year though, and there were a few things that were easier to pick up here. What a pain. Good thing we don't buy into the whole commercial aspect of Christmas and stick to things we mostly need or would've purchased anyway lol.

      I was an idiot and did all my baking in one day. It was a little on the busy side, but I wasn't sure when I'd have more time. Yay on the anisette cookies! I wanted to make some but didn't have the right ingredients (or the time to go get them) and I considered asking if you'd make some. You must've read my mind! Can't wait to see you guys too! :D

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  7. I feel exactly the same way about the Christmas crowds. I've managed to avoid them for the most part this year, but I don't think I will have such good luck in the coming week. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

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    1. We try to shop online, and we never go overboard on gifts at Christmas, but somehow we still always get stuck in those crowds. It's inevitable, I guess! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New year as well! :)

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  8. I'm actually thinking about hanging Christmas lights in my room year round. That might be an idea!

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    1. There's something mellow and magical about twinkle lights that's perfect for creating a nice writing atmosphere. I need to get some to put up year round too, although I don't have an office to write in so I'm not sure where they'd go lol. :)

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  9. Re: writing by holiday lights, I've long enjoyed writing by the candlelight of the chanukiyah. You're officially not supposed to use the light for anything other than the commandment to light, but when the lights are in the majority, five and over, the light is so strong I can't help using it to write by.

    Your baked goods look very tasty!

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    1. Candlelight is lovely to write by, so I can see why you'd enjoy that. And thank you! The gingerbread cookies were a new recipe this year, but the others have become a tradition. :)

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  10. Maybe you need some of those decorative lights that are year round? Then you could have a glow for writing all the time:) Congrats on the great writing week!

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    1. I think so, although I need to come up with a good place to put them up seeing as I don't have an office. Not sure how they'd look on the palm tree in our dining room lol. And thanks! I was surprised at my word count because it was such a busy week! :)

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  11. I rebel against Christmas Shopping by buying EVERYTHING online. I hate people. And crowds of people. And lines of people. Merry Christmas! Haha

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    1. We usually order as much as possible online too, but we left the shopping too long this year for some things to be delivered on time. I'm giving a "bah humbug" on people and crowds too. I'm a Scrooge about that any time of the year lol. Merry Christmas back at ya! :)

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  12. That baking looks yum. I've never thought to write by the light of the Christmas tree but I do read by it. Way to go on all the words!

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    1. Thanks! I made things difficult for myself and whipped up all my Christmas baking in one day. In hindsight, that was kinda crazy. And I totally recommend working by Christmas tree light--so mellow and magical! :)

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  13. Go you on writing so many fantastic words with all the Holiday rush going on! That is fantastic. I laughed at the "my story's not fighting me anymore" part, because that's exactly how my story feels sometimes. It's an Old Man and the Sea-level battle of wills.

    And shopping? I avoid stores like the plague this time of year. It just depresses me to see how commercial everything is. All this want, want, want just seems greedy and excessive to me. Instead I try and surround myself with nature and bring the woods indoors. Go back to simple. And revel in the joy and magic of how Christmas was when I was a kid. (And it was magic.)

    And writing in front of the Christmas tree for ambiance! Yes! You should be able to do this year-round. (and not seem like a crazy person) Also, your Christmas cookies are so beautiful and tasty looking.

    Another also, found a very fun Christmas sciency-craft project your kids might love. Making icy epsom salt crystal luminaries.(Tried them yesterday and they turned out so neat.) Who says Christmas and science can't mix? :) http://www.craftiments.com/2013/01/icy-epsom-salt-luminaries.html

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    1. Still not sure where all those words came from, but hey, I'm not complaining! This story has put up a major fight and I've been trying hard to show it who's boss. Maybe it's finally giving in lol. I hope yours cuts you a break too.

      A huge YES on everything you said about Christmas commercialism. We feel the exact same way in our house. We're all about simplifying, and the materialism surrounding the holidays makes us kind of queasy. A big part of our Christmas morning is sitting down as a family and choosing projects to donate to in developing countries--a lot more useful and satisfying than tearing up wrapping paper and accumulating more things for ourselves. And the presents we buy are usually things we need or things we would have purchased anyway.

      I'll have to find a way to rig up some twinkle lights for year round writing ambiance, but I'm not sure they'd suit the palm tree in our dining room lol. As for the Christmas baking, it's quickly vanishing.

      Thanks for the link to the epsom salt luminaries! Those are perfect! My son is wrapping up his geology unit, and a project with crystals fits right in! I showed him and he thought they looked awesome, so we might tackle this next week! Have a happy holiday, Kris! :)

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  14. Yes to writing by the Christmas tree!!! Love. And amazing with your word count… I hope you've been able to keep it up this past week. Love the pics. You and your sis always post the best pics!!! <3

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