Wednesday, 19 February 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.

What I’m Reading:

I’m just over halfway through Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi. It should come as no surprise that I’m enjoying it.

What I’m Writing:

I’m finding it tough to switch gears from drafting to revision mode even though I usually enjoy revisions. I managed to rewrite two scenes this week though, so that’s a good start, and I’m sure I’ll settle into it soon. The next order of business is to go through my ms and tackle the insane amount of notes I incorporated while drafting.  Those mostly deal with plot consistency and important details that need to be added or fleshed out. Hopefully I’ll make some leaps and bounds on that this week.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Watching Eureka with my son. Seeing as it’s tied with Firefly for my favourite show ever, I’ve been waiting quite a while for him to be old enough to appreciate it. Watching him all out belly laugh over the characters’ antics is just about as entertaining as the show itself. The quirky humour, colourful characters, and quaint but wacky setting (think a sci-fi version of Stars Hollow) remind me to add personality to my own stories. To be honest, it was TV shows like Eureka that first inspired me to write sci-fi, not any particular book, and sharing these fun episodes with my son ignites that love of the genre all over again.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

I had a lovely Valentine’s Day. Since last weekend was one big date, we opted to stay home instead. My husband showed up after work with roses and a copy of Cress for me. He also made me chocolate truffle pie and served it with Rogue Double Chocolate Stout mixed with Mort Subite Kriek (basically Belgian cherry beer). Both were delicious. We watched About Time, which was the perfect Valentine’s Day movie despite the fact that it made me cry. There were a couple scenes where the writers took the less obvious route and that totally won us over. If you haven’t watched it yet, I recommend it. Domhnall Gleeson is adorable (yay for ginger actors!) and as my husband so eloquently put it: “None of the characters pooched up enough to spoil the movie.” I’d have to agree.

Other than that, I’ve been doing crazy science experiments with my son. Our kitchen has turned into a mad science lab lately. We had fun extracting banana DNA, our own DNA (seriously cool stuff) and making a model of a cell out of gelatin, fruits & veggies. Very messy and educational.

Also, I should probably mention that phase two of my dental surgery is happening next week, so there’s a pretty good chance I won’t be coherent enough to participate in WUW. Ouch.

So what’s up with you this fine Wednesday?


Wednesday, 12 February 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.

What I’m Reading:

This week I finished Rush by Eve Silver and then read Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossi. I was already a fan of Roar, but this novella made me love his character even more. My copy of Into the Still Blue just arrived in the mail, and now I’m primed to read it!

What I’m Writing:

I finished the first draft of my WIP on Friday! It’s messy and wordy and requires some rewriting and a whole lot of polishing, but it’s done. This one was a long haul, so it was a relief to pour out that last 5000 words. Now I’m excited to get revising and also doing some heavier planning on the third book in my trilogy. Yep, I’m going with the momentum.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Canada’s Olympic athletes.  Am I watching the Olympics despite the issues with Russia’s politics? You bet. My opinion (for what it’s worth) is that boycotting is counterproductive. It makes no sense to withhold my support, because the athletes would be the ones who’d suffer for it, not some Russian politicians. They’ve trained hard and put everything they have into this, not just for the last four years but, in many cases, for a lifetime. And when some of those athletes have had to fight for equal treatment, I think refusing to watch them undermines their right to compete.  I also think a lot of sponsors and athletes (at least in Canada) are doing their part to speak out against the political situation in Russia and in doing so are setting a positive example. Ultimately, the Olympics are supposed to promote peace and diversity (even though that purpose sometimes gets lost in the competition) and I think that’s been a large focus in Sochi regardless of any background politics. That’s just my opinion. Feel free to disagree. I will still be your friend. Promise.

Anyway, the hard work and determination of the athletes is incredibly inspiring. It’s a lesson in discipline to all of us writers, even if no one will hand us a medal when we finish. They might hand us a lovely book, however, and I think that’s just as good.

The picture above is of Alexandre Bilodeau and his brother Frederic. Alexandre won his second Olympic gold medal in the moguls on Monday. Frederic became a Canadian cheering icon at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. If you want to feel inspired (regardless of where you're from), you can read about them here.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Seeing as my son spent most of the weekend with his grandparents and cousins, the husband and I had some extra time to ourselves. On Saturday we tried out a little restaurant called The Honeybun Café. They serve these buns stuffed with all sorts of delicious things. Mine was filled with balsamic vegetables and goat cheese. We spent a little time reading there as well before heading off to do some book shopping.

On Sunday, we went to our favourite pub, Winston’s, for lunch. The bread pudding in the picture has Jameson’s Irish Whiskey caramel sauce on it. Yum. After that, we went to see Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which we both enjoyed. I thought Chris Pine was great in the title role.

I also got a little surprise in the mail from my sister. She sent me an awesome parcel with a very cool typewriter t-shirt and some other goodies. It was the perfect motivation for jumping into revisions! Have I mentioned before that my sister rocks?


Okay, so that was kind of long-winded. Also, how did I not notice the punctuation error in my WUW intro until now? Duh. Anyway, what’s up with you this week?

Wednesday, 5 February 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 writer’s 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.

What I’m Reading:

Remember last week when I said “Bring on the tea and books?” Well, there’s been plenty of tea, but I’m still reading Rush by Eve Silver. I didn’t get much reading done because…

What I’m Writing:

Apparently, I suck at breaks, which is probably while I rarely take them. I know I said I needed a bit longer to recuperate after Pitch Wars, but that didn’t happen because my imagination got antsy. I mentioned in my last WUW post that I needed to brainstorm ways to spice up my WIP’s ending. Inspiration hit me full force, so I sat down for a few hours one night and scribbled out a new and improved outline. I also jumped back into drafting and got 4700 words down. That felt very, very good after working on revisions for my other ms so much in December and January. What didn’t feel good was killing off two characters and spending the better part of last night bawling. Sigh. Had to be done. (Side note: That was always the plan and not part of the brainstorming. Ruthlessly offing characters is not my idea of “spicing up” my book, just to be clear.)

What Inspires Me Right Now:

▪ Lindsey Stirling’s dubstep violin music, which kicked my creativity in motion and resulted in the aforementioned brainstorming. Plus the usual Tron and Oblivion soundtracks. I'm such a geek.
▪ This incredible post on Susan Denard’s Productivity Pyramid. Seriously, this is a must read.
▪ My sister, because so much of this process is a team effort and she always has my back.
▪ My husband, who stayed up until 4:30 in the morning discussing books and writing with me this weekend.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Not a ton, seeing as it's freezing out and the writing gears are back in motion already. We watched The Spectacular Now the other night and found it less than spectacular. It was all right, but I kept waiting for something original to happen and it didn’t. Basically, it was well-trodden teen territory without any sort of creative spin. After three of you mentioned Hero last Wednesday, it happened to show up on Netflix. Perfect timing! So we watched that this weekend too and loved it as much as the first time we saw it. The colors, the scenery, the way the story unfolds through several different versions until they reveal the truth of what happened—just a beautiful movie all around. We also started watching Psych. That show is hilarious.

So what’s up in your corner of the writing world this week?