Wednesday, 7 January 2015

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:

While traveling over Christmas, I devoured The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. Fortunately, the sequel is out in March, so I won’t have too long to wait for it. Now I’m in the middle of One by Leigh Ann Kopans, which I’m really enjoying.

What I’m Writing:

I’m still plugging away at a scene I was working on before Christmas. So far I’ve made three
My Christmas Books
attempts to get this sucker right, but it’s being kind of obstinate. Not the easiest scene to jump back into after a break. I know it’ll fall into place eventually, but I’m hoping eventually comes sooner rather than later, especially since I’ve been waiting ages to write the next scene.

My writing goal for this week: I want to finish up the scene I’m currently on and write the next one.

What Works For Me:

During our Christmas visit, Jaime and I came up with a reward system to help motivate each other in 2015. Each week Jaime meets her writing goal, I’ll pick a treat for her, and she’ll do the same for me. After a few months, we’ll compile all the treats we’ve earned into care packages and send them to each other. Not only will this encourage us to meet our writing goals, but it’ll be tons of fun trying to find little things to use as rewards.

What Else is New:

Not a lot other than trying to settle back in after an awesome visit with my sister and her hubby over the holidays. Every day was a pajama day, there were lots of movies, much tea and Christmas baking, good craft beer, an amazing turkey dinner, a day with our parents, snuggling with plump kitties, a nice walk in the snow, a lunch date, slipper shopping, and plenty of great conversation. Jaime and I talked about writing a lot, and that has me geared up for a year full of words. We also made Rememberlutions Jars, a fun project I posted about here.

Other than that, it’s been business as usual: trying to stay warm when the temperatures have plunged and a heap of homeschool planning for the new year. While writing last night, I also cracked into the bottle of Writer’s Tears Irish Whiskey Jaime gave me for Christmas. That should fuel the last third of my WIP nicely! Either that or the last third of my WIP will be totally incoherent. We shall see. Time to buckle down and get lots done.


One final note: I want to chime in on the fiasco surrounding Stacey Jay's Kickstarter
A book & mug match for Stacey Jay
campaign and say that, in my opinion, she did absolutely nothing wrong. In fact, I commend her for coming up with a way to continue publishing her YA books when another door was shut for her. The publishing industry is changing, and writers need to think of innovative ways to promote their books and build their careers. When she did that (and was completely open and transparent about her expenses) people bashed her for it. My household has invested in Kickstarter campaigns before, and I'd be thrilled with the chance to invest in future books I'd like to read. That's my choice. When people slammed her decision to use Kickstarter, they also slammed all those who freely and willingly contributed to a sequel they wanted to read. The way I see it, it's really no different than pre-ordering a book from Amazon. She's approaching her writing career like a small business, and I think that's smart. Anyway, I feel awful for this talented writer who's been badly mistreated lately. If you haven't read Of Beast and Beauty, I highly recommend it. I've been meaning to do a book and mug match for it for ages now, and this situation finally prompted me to get off my duff and do it. Rant over.


So how has your new year been so far?



32 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a great festive season :D

    Haha, I've seen that whiskey here, too. I'm not a drinker, but if I was I'd have to own some.

    The reward system sounds brilliant. I hope you both have a lot of fun doing it.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Our Christmas was awesome--super relaxing once we got to Jaime's house, and that's exactly what we needed. As for the whiskey, I generally put it in Irish coffee, so drinking it straight is new for me. A little bit of inspiration in each sip, or tear I guess lol. Hope your week is equally great! :)

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  2. Happy New Year! Thanks for commenting on the Stacey Jay Kickstarter. I have been in a holiday cave and hadn't heard much about it. I recently read Amanda Palmer's book The Art of Asking and she had a lot of interesting things to say about these kind of issues. Really good! I have also invested in Kickstarters and am happy to support art that I believe in. I will check out her book :)

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    1. Thanks! Happy New Year to you too! I often stay out of writing community politics, but I felt strongly enough about this issue to speak up, especially since it involved an author I enjoy. I wholeheartedly agree about supporting art you believe in. The key word there seems to be "support." I wish the the writing community would live by that word a little more sometimes. Ah well. I guess we can each do our part. :)

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  3. Totally agree on the Kickstarter thing. I feel so bad for Stacey Jay, and I don't understand why people attacked her for trying to fund her book. (Don't even get me started on the perception that artists shouldn't get paid... nope. Just no.)

    Loved THE WINNER'S CURSE! It was one of my favourite YA fantasy books last year.

    I just love that there's a whiskey called Writers' Tears. Appropriate. :P

    Best of luck with that stubborn scene! The reward system sounds like a fantastic idea.

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    1. The whole thing is crazy, isn't it? I find it hard to believe that people would attack an author for trying to make a living, especially when the amount she wanted to raise was completely reasonable and she was totally open about how that money would be used. This whole situation indicates the need for a much broader discussion on art and writers being paid for their work. Yeah, I could get going on it too lol.

      The stubborn scene is coming along better now. I think I've got it figured out (fingers crossed). Hope so anyway, because I want my reward this week! :D

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  4. I'm 100% with you on the Kickstarter thing. And I told Jaime this, but I love that you guys are doing the care packages. Also, I've seen a lot of people talking about The Winner's Curse. Sounds like something I need to pick up.

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    1. Glad to hear it! I think Kickstarter is fantastic, and there's no reason why authors shouldn't use it as a means to reach their audience. Jaime and I have a thing for care packages (who doesn't like to open a box full of goodies?) so this seemed like a good way to boost our motivation. Now to earn all those weekly prizes! You should definitely read THE WINNER'S CURSE! The prose, plot, and characters are all so well done!

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  5. I love your "works for me" idea!

    I've apparently been living under a rock b/c I missed the whole Kickstarter author thing. Like you, I don't see what the big deal is about what she did. I'm adding OF BEAST AND BEAUTY to be TBR-list. I can never resist a fairytale retelling :)

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    1. Thanks! Jaime and I decided some motivation was in order to kick off the year, and this seemed like a good idea, especially since we both love giving and receiving care packages.

      I think a lot of people missed the Kickstarter debacle because it happened on the tail end of the holidays. I didn't actually read the original conversation, but I think it mostly went down on Twitter, and I don't know that I follow any of the people involved. I really hope this doesn't discourage Stacey Jay from writing more and being a part of the writing community, because she's a good author and using Kickstarter was a super idea. Hope you enjoy OF BEAST AND BEAUTY as much as I did! It's a really unique retelling! :)

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  6. The Winner's Curse is one of my favorites!
    I love the care package idea :)

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    1. Isn't it good? I wish I had the sequel in my hands now, especially considering how it ended! The care package idea is one of the perks of having a sister who's also a writer. :)

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  7. I didn't hear about the Kickstar/author thing. I'll look it up now - I have nothing against authors wanting to use Kickstarter for their books, and I'm curious why some people would be opposed against it. I like the whole care package idea! Sounds like a wonderful way to stay motivated.

    My WuW post.

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    1. The whole situation is crazy, if you ask me. Why shouldn't authors approach their writing careers the same way as any other business person who's selling a product? I've heard a lot of hate aimed towards Kickstarter, which doesn't make sense. If people want to invest in a book or any other product, why not? Anyway, Stacey Jay addresses the issue on her blog, so if you look it up, maybe start there. It's always good to go to the source. :)

      I'm going to need to get my butt in gear this week to earn my care package reward! I'm looking forward to whatever treat Jaime picks out for me!

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  8. I've been reading comments by authors in support of Stacey Jay all morning, and it's really heartening to see. There has been a lot of discussion about other authors who have used Kickstarter to fund writing projects without getting any kind of flak for it. The difference here is that it's YA bloggers getting all ragey and spreading their vitriol around the interwebz. Makes me crazy. Anyway, I'm happy there has been such an outpouring of support for her.

    It was so great having you guys here for that chunk of time. It's boring and quiet around here now. :-/ I suppose boring and quiet is much more conducive to buckling down and getting back into some kind of writing routine/schedule, right? I'm glad you liked your Writers Tears too. I'm really looking forward to our care package motivator. I think it should work really well! Hope you're having a good week and that the pesky scene starts cooperating! :D

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    1. I really, really hope she sees all these supportive comments from authors and fans. I know she's stepped back from Twitter and her blog for the time being, but she deserves to know that people agree with her decision to go the Kickstarter route. The fact that it was members of the YA community that verbally attacked her makes me ashamed and frustrated. How many of us have spent time talking up YA and people pull a nasty stunt like that? Unbelievable. Anyway, I hope Stacey Jay keeps on writing and trying to get her books out to readers however she wants to.

      I forgot to mention in my post that the weather turned bad and we were lucky enough to get to stay an extra day at your place. We all had a really fun time too, so thanks again for that! Boring and quiet is definitely better for establishing a routine and getting work done. After all, it would be kind of hard to write if I was hogging your computer to watch Netflix and chomping on Christmas baking over your shoulder lol. I'm excited about our care package system too. I hope I can write well enough with oatmeal brain this week to earn my reward. I think I figured out the stubborn scene now, so that's a good start! Hope you're having a great week even though it's more Funk-free than last week! :)

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  9. I had a whole stack of holiday reads myself. Nothing is cozier than coffee and books!

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    1. Nice! My Christmas list is usually 3/4 books, which makes it extra easy for my hubby to shop. It's super cold here right now, so I could use some coffee and book coziness! :)

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  10. I've heard great things about The Winners Curse. I'm definitely adding it to my TBR.
    I heard about the kick starter controversy but didn't really read up on it. IMO, if people want to start kick starter campaigns, they can go ahead. It doesn't mean I'll fund them and I usually don't.

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    1. It's so good--great characters, prose, and plot! Hope you love it as much as I did! As for Kickstarter, to each his own right? It's all a matter of choice. We've funded two projects before, and both products turned out to be useful and well-designed. I guess I see it as one more handy tool for self-pubbed authors to use. :)

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  11. Haha Writer's Tears Whiskey, that's fantastic. :D Best of luck with that scene!

    Happy New Year, have a great week! :)

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    1. Isn't that awesome? I'm hoping there will be less crying over my WIP if the whiskey does it's job. ;)

      Have a Happy New Year yourself!

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  12. Totally agree with you on Stacey Jay -- I cannot believe how ugly some of the backlash was. The beauty of Kickstarter-type campaigns is that nobody HAS to contribute. Don't like the project, pass. Ugh... people confound me sometimes.

    ANYWAY.

    So glad you liked THE WINNER'S CURSE. It definitely struck me as an Erin Book. :-) I can't wait for the sequel! Best of luck with the scene you're working on, and stay warm!

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    1. The whole situation really is awful and pretty ridiculous when you think about it. Like you said, no one is forcing people to contribute, so what's the big deal? Kickstarter could be an awesome tool for self-pubbed authors, but I think many will be reluctant to use it after this. I'm just glad so many people have stepped up to support Stacey Jay, and I really hope she feels encouraged by that.

      You were bang on with THE WINNER'S CURSE! Definitely an Erin book (and an Arin book lol). I'm glad March is just around the bend because I'm eager for the sequel too. My scene is FINALLY falling into place, so that's a good thing! :)

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  13. I read about the care package idea over on Jaime's blog. What an awesome idea! And how fun it will be for you to each get care packages every few months. Great motivator! I totally agree with you on the Stacey Jay kickstarter issue. It seems so basic to me: if you don't like the idea, don't contribute to the kickstarter. End of story! I'll never understand why people have to tear other people down.

    Have a fantastic week!

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    1. We're hoping that will do the trick to keep us on track. I'm going to have to work hard this week to earn my treat! As for the Kickstarter issue, I'm glad you agree. It boils down to exactly what you said. I wish people would just live and let live. Ah well. :)

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  14. Good luck with the reward system. Sounds interesting.

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  15. I'm going to have to look up that whole kickstarter thing. It's crazy how quickly the internet can just jump all over someone. Poor woman.

    And I am obsessed with this whole care package idea. I'm not sure if I want to do it for writing or for exercising or for both...Now I just have to find someone to be my sister. :)

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    1. Yeah, it was a pretty nasty situation. A lot of people have stepped up to encourage her now, so I really hope she feels encouraged by that and keeps on writing.

      I'm glad you like the care package idea! We're hoping it keeps us on track. I'm very lucky to have a sister who writes too. :)

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  16. I think the Irish Whiskey is a brilliant plan! Also, it will allow you to definitively test the "write drunk, edit sober" thing. And I'd love to read you whiskey-fueled words. Seriously, I loved you idea, we should swap sometime. :)

    Your holiday with Jaime sounds fantastic! I think every day should be pajama day. Make this happen.

    Good luck with your troublesome scene this week! Also, please don't freeze to death. The literary world would be bereft because they hadn't gotten to read your words yet. :)

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    1. I think they should've called it "Writer's Giggles" rather than Writer's Tears because whiskey makes me giddy. If my story suddenly turns into a comedy, you'll know why lol. And yay, I'd love to swap stories! Just let me know whenever it's a good time for you.

      I agree that every day should be pajama day, and seeing as we homeschool, it often is around here. :D

      The troublesome scene has mostly been resolved, although it's waaaaaay too long now. Good enough until revisions! And I'll definitely try to avoid turning into a human popsicle. We bundled up and shoveled the driveway today and it actually wasn't unbearable. I guess that means I'll be around to keep cranking out stories. :)

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