Wednesday, 25 February 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:

This week I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue. While I enjoyed the prose and characters (no surprise), this installment of the Raven Cycle was my least favourite out of the three. That being said, I’m eager to read the last book in the series and find out how everything wraps up.

Now I’m about three quarters of the way through Ruby Red, which has been a fun read so far. I also started rereading The Hound of the Baskervilles. My son chose to read it as one of his classics for English, so we’re doing our own little book club.

What I’m Writing:

This has been another tough writing week. I write at night, after my boys have gone to bed, but lately I’m exhausted by that time and it really shows in how the story is coming out. I wrote one full scene and part of another, but then I tore apart the partial scene and started over. I’m not someone who can just get the story out and leave the major work for revisions (I wish). I need to feel like I’m fairly close to capturing the scene how I picture it in my head and the overall feel of it during the drafting stage. That’s not happening these days though, which is frustrating.

My writing goal for this week: I’m going to keep plugging away on my not-so-long-term goal of finishing this WIP before we move. Not sure that’s going to happen, but I’m giving it my best shot.

What Works For Me:

Having a physical reminder to keep working on this story. I love agate, especially the blue kind, and it plays a role in my WIPs. I actually asked for a piece of it for Christmas, but it didn’t show up in my stocking or under the tree. The other day, while going through more stuff to pack in our basement, I came across my son’s old rock collection, which we hadn’t looked at in years. Lo and behold, there was a gorgeous piece of blue agate in it that I’d completely forgotten about. I’m not sure I believe in signs or good luck charms, but it felt like it turned up at just the right moment. So I’ve been keeping it by my laptop as a little piece of encouragement, and every time I see it, I’m reminded to keep pushing on.

What Else Is New:

The moving prep continues, and we got a ton done this weekend. I also spent a fair amount of time ogling historic houses on the internet. Seriously, even though it’s a little Big Brother-ish, Google Street View comes in super handy when you’re shopping for houses on the other side of the country.

On Friday, we took a break from the moving madness and finally went to see Big Hero 6. Kind of funny seeing as it came out on blue-ray a few days later anyway. It was just as awesome and fun as we were hoping it would be. Sci-fi, squishy robots, and super heroes? My kind of movie.

So what’s up with you this week?

52 comments:

  1. I think that's a perfectly reasonable use of Google Street View ^_^

    Best of luck with the writing goal. I do know what you mean about wanting a scene to come out right the first time. Sometimes I won't move on until something feels right, but half the time editing forces me to change it anyway :P

    Have a great week!

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    1. It's come in very handy, although it feels a little like spying.

      This is true about changing scenes anyway during editing. I'm not sure I want to know what this WIP would look like during revisions if I didn't tackle at least some of the issues now though! Hope you have a great week too!

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  2. Haha I am so glad we didn't have Google Street View when I was younger as I would certainly have spent hours staring at pictures of cute boys' houses. I think using it for moving is totally legit! I devoured the first two Raven Cycle books but am having a hard time getting into Blue Lily. I'm not sure why but I think I might need to come back to it later :) Good luck with the moving prep!

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    1. My son loves spending time on Google Street View, though he doesn't look up the houses of any cute girls lol. At least not that I know of. I suppose it has many uses.

      I felt the same about the first two Raven Cycle books. Those I couldn't put down, but BL,LB dragged a bit for me. Ah well, still eager for the last one! :)

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  3. Oo, agate is very pretty - how lovely that a piece of it turned up just when you needed it. :D

    I feel you on the writing front. It's no excuse because plenty of writers work, some of them probably work longer than I do, but working 9-5 5 days a week does often mean that when I get home from work on an evening all I want to do is lie on the sofa and vegetate for a little while. I need to get myself into the habit of writing every day, but it's easier said than done!

    As always, best of luck with your writing goal - you can do it! :)

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    1. Isn't it beautiful? I admit to staring at it a lot when I'm stuck on writing.

      Establishing a regular writing routine is tough, and I've been pretty diligent in the past, but sometimes things come up that make it hard to stick to. I hear you on wanting to veg on the couch. By the end of the day, my brain just wants to power down lately. Thanks for wishing me luck! You too!

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  4. Good luck with your goal! That agate is beautiful.

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  5. Yay for getting you blue agate! It is beautiful :)
    I've heard that a lot of about Lily Blue, Lily Blue. Which makes me a little wary of it.

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    1. Good thing I didn't get it for Christmas, right? Although I wouldn't argue with two pieces of it. As for BL,LB, it was still worth the read, I think, but didn't live up to the other two. It felt like it was setting up the final installment more than anything. I'm looking forward to the last book still, so that's good.

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  6. Writing and moving is a tough combination, but you have a beautiful inspiration! I just couldn't get into the Raven Cycle, but Ruby Red sounds good.

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    1. It's almost impossible to concentrate on writing with a whole house to pack up! Judging by some of the other books you've mentioned on your blog, I think you'd probably really enjoy RUBY RED. I'm looking forward to the sequel!

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  7. I'm actually reading BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE right now. I figured it was time to pick it up before I got spoiled. The prose is great (no surprises there), but I'm not sure I'm 100% in the right mood for this book right now. Hope that doesn't ruin my experience with it. Happy to hear you got a bit of writing done this week, even if it wasn't as much as you would have liked. I hope that you're able to reclaim that ability to shape the scene in your head and get it out on paper, and that you have the energy and time to do so. That must be pretty frustrating for you.

    Hope you're finding some cool possibilities house-wise. That character house we were interested in is no longer on the market for one reason or another. We aren't in a place to buy just yet, but I was hoping it might still be around when we were. :-( Timing with these things can totally suck. You'll have to show me any really cool ones you find!

    Love the agate. So pretty! Hope it does the trick and totally inspires you. Have a great week! :D

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    1. Probably a good idea. I picked it up when I was in the mood for Maggie Stiefvater's prose, but started to waver on my interest as the story went on. I hope you enjoy it, even though it feels more like the purpose was to set up the last book. And thanks, it's been one of those bumpy weeks for writing, but I'm trying to keep calm and carry on typing. I've been working on this trilogy so long, I just want to do the ending justice, you know?

      There are a few houses we're interested--one that I'd be really happy with, that I think I already showed you--but I'm hoping when spring arrives there will be more selection. I kind of have my heart set on a brownstone. Love them, and they're pretty affordable in the neighbourhood where we're hoping to live. That's too bad about that character home. Maybe it'll be back on the market in the spring? Or maybe something even better will turn up.

      I couldn't believe it when I found that piece of agate in Liam's old rock collection. I dug it out for his current geology unit, and it felt like unearthing a buried treasure. Hope you have a great week too! :)

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  8. Google Street View is amazing! When we went to London a few years ago, we used it to track our path from the Tube to our hotel...made our arrival so easy, =)

    I hope that agate does bring you writing luck, or at least some great motivation!

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    1. We used Google Maps to plan our last vacation, but I didn't think of using Street View. In hindsight, that would've been really useful! I can see how it would make things go much smoother, especially when you have limited time to go places.

      And thanks! If nothing else, it gives me something pretty to look at when I'm stumped. :)

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  9. I'm the same way with scenes - I can't move on, I have to get them right. So I feel your pain. It took me three weeks to get one scene right, earlier in January. So frustrating. Especially since there's always the possibility, further down the editing/revising road, of some scenes like that getting cut or rewritten again!!! But finding the blue agate, that was definitely a good omen!!! I don't believe in omens/signs, either, except, well, I guess I do! :)

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    1. To me it feels like the rest of the story will be on a shaky foundation if I let plot issues sit. And if I can't capture the right atmosphere, it feels like the story is on the wrong track. Glad I'm not the only one who obsesses about these things before moving on! And I kind of hope the agate is a good omen! If not, it's still encouraging!

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  10. I loved Big Hero Six! Best of luck with the writing goal. I wish I could get scenes right the first time, but stopping to edit slows me down too much. Glad to hear you found some encouragement in that piece of agate! :)

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    1. Wasn't it awesome? I can't wait to see it again.

      I'm generally a slow writer anyway, so maybe that's why I feel the need to stop and fix things. With the rate you write at, I can totally see why you wait for the editing stage! And thank you, the agate showed up at just the right time! :)

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  11. I bought Big Hero 6 for my kids yesterday and my youngest watched it three times in a row! We love that movie over here.
    BLLB was my least favorite as well- it just didn't grab me like the other ones and I felt it could've been shorter. I'll definitely read the last one though because I love the characters.
    I have no problems moving on from something, unless I know exactly what needs to be changed, then I'll go back and fix it. But if it's just- this sucks and needs to be better- I save that for revisions. Have a great week!

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    1. I can see why your kids want to watch it over and over, because I kind of do too! Such an awesome show, and great for all ages.

      I agree wholeheartedly about BL,LB. It dragged a bit for me and felt in need of a trim. I definitely plan on reading the final book for the same reason you are. Plus, I love the prose.

      Ha! That's a great way to put it. If it's something minor or if it's a matter of just sprucing things up, I leave myself notes and move on. Have a great week yourself!

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  12. Are you going to go with a historic house? We had one a few years back (built in 1801) and while it was gorgeous, it was SO antiquated that updating would have cost us a fortune.

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    1. We're not absolutely sure what kind of house we'll buy, but considering the neighbourhood we want to live in, there's a big chance it'll be historic. Fortunately the area has heritage status, which means the houses have been kept up very well. Wow, 1801? I can see how that would be expensive to maintain!

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  13. I can't wait for the last book in the Raven Cycle books! It's amazing just how mentally exhausting writing can be, but you still got work in and that's awesome! Hope you have an awesome writing week.

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    1. I'm looking forward to it too, especially since BL,LB really set it up.

      You're right about writing being mentally exhausting. With so many other things to think about and do lately, my brain has been drained before I even sit down to work.Like you say though, it's great that I got at least a bit done. Hope you have an awesome writing week as well!

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  14. Cool agate! Looks like a slice from a geode. Also, Google street view is the best, isn't it? Good luck with your ongoing prep. I'm sure the writing will come back to you once this period of madness concludes.

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    1. Isn't it pretty? I have an unbroken geode sitting here too. My son and I are waiting for a special occasion to break it.

      And yes, Google Street View is awesome. We've already eliminated houses from our list based on their surroundings.

      I'm hoping to finish up my WIP before we move, seeing as I'm not sure how my mindset will change once we're in an entirely new place. If I at least have something on the page, I think that should make revising in a new home much easier!

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  15. I loved Big Hero 6! I was surpassed by the character depth and the storyline, well done. I loved your agate story. I haven't seen any blue agates IRL, but yours is gorgeous. Good luck this week, and I hope you find time to get some reading and writing done!

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    1. It was so awesome! And I agree, it was really well written in all areas, not to mention the animation was super.

      Glad you enjoyed the agate story. It was perfect timing to come across it. And even if it doesn't bring me good luck or prompt lots of words, it's pretty to look at. Good luck to you too! :)

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  16. I want to see Big Hero 6. I'm with you. I've tried writing and then not going back and revising. I'm not that type of writer. I read an interview that Meg Cabot gave once about her writing process and she does the same thing. She revises while she writes. If it works for Meg Cabot it'll work for me. Ha! Have a great week!

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    1. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did when you get to see it!

      My philosophy is that problems compound the longer they're left, and I don't want to keep writing if I feel my story's foundation is shaky. And there you go! If Meg Cabot works that way, it's gotta be good, right? Hope you have a great week too!

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  17. We bought Big Hero Six and have watched it no less than a million times! Pixar sure knows how to tell a story, don't they? Heartbreaking and Funny...

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    1. I can see why! I'm sure we'll pick up a copy of it soon too, and I can't wait to see it again. I love it when "kids" movies don't skimp on the real life lessons or take the easy way out with the story telling.

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  18. Good luck with the goal. The agate is lovely. I still need to see Big Hero Six

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    1. Thank you! Hope you enjoy Big Hero 6 as much as we did!

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  19. I totally use Google's street view when we're house-hunting. It's creepy to know someone could be looking at MY house, but it's super helpful when I can't do an actual drive-by. Also, I didn't know you were moving! I do not envy you, but I hope it goes very smoothly. Love your story about finding the agate -- that definitely seems like a good omen. Best of luck with the writing this week, Erin!

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    1. I know right? It makes me feel kind of stalker-y, but when you're looking for a house 4000km away, you do what you have to do! We've already eliminated houses from our list based on what their surroundings looked like. A factory behind the backyard? No thanks! We found out we're moving about a month ago, so that's why I've been absent from the blogs a lot lately. Basically, we're getting rid of a ton of stuff to make the transition much easier. Glad you liked the agate story! I'm hoping it's a good omen, and if not, it's pretty to look at. Best of luck to you too this week, Katy!

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  20. "I’m not someone who can just get the story out and leave the major work for revisions." <--Yes, this. I wish I could just write like mad and know I'll make it all pretty later, but I can't.

    Oh, and I also used Google street view while house shopping. It was really useful at an early stage when I just wanted to see if a house should be on the list--or if the surrounding area wasn't right for us.

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    1. I always wish I could speed through the drafting stage too, but no such luck. Those problems nag me until I fix them. And I like to savour the process of choosing just the right words rather than filling in the blanks temporarily.

      That's exactly what we're using Google Street View for too. Photos on the multiple listing service and realty websites are always strategic in their perspective. It's nice to see the actual neighbourhood to help narrow things down.

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  21. Good for you, pushing through this hard/slow spot in your book. I always feel the pull to give up when it gets like that, but you never get it done that way.

    That agate is so pretty! I love keeping a piece of inspiration next to me (or as a picture on the desktop) while I work. It helps.

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    1. Thanks! I'm on book three of a trilogy and I still feel like giving up after all this time, so it's been tough.

      Isn't it beautiful? I was so happy to stumble across it and just when I was in need of extra inspiration too! :)

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  22. See? If you hadn't been packing and sorting for the move, you wouldn't have found that rock.

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    1. I guess there's a bright side to all the moving prep. :)

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  23. Definitely a sign :)

    I know what you mean about writing at night. Some days it's the only time I have to do it, but when I'm tired, I don't really get much done.

    Hope you have a great week!

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    1. I'd like to think so!

      Yeah, that's why I write at night too. Daytime is too busy and the house is finally quiet enough for me to concentrate once everyone else is zonked out. Hope you have a great week too! :)

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  24. I just watched Big Hero 6 in second run the other day. I love our super cheap discount Tuesdays here. Can't beat $1.50 for a movie on the big screen. Did you see the short that they plated before it? It was called Feast and was wonderful. I would like to watch it again, but apparently you have to pay $2 to see it online which is silly, because I just watched it for free with my $1.50 movie ticket.

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    1. We went to see it at our local cheap theatre too, which we tend to do way more often these days. For some reason the audiences there are often quieter and more conscientious, so we prefer it. The Feast was awesome! I love it when they include short films at the beginning. I hope it's included on the blu-ray!

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  25. What a lovely piece of agate! I think having something next to your computer to inspire you like that is a great idea. I'm now wracking my brain to think of what would help me with my current WIP. A monkey would do the trick, but sadly I don't have a monkey right now. ;)

    Good luck with the move prep. Every time we move, I am amazed at how much junk we accumulated since last time. Where does it all come from?

    I'm impressed that you can get any writing done before bed. Especially when you are trying to move. Moving takes a lot out of you. The rest of us would just flop down on top of the covers and go into a coma. I think you should consider any progress a major win.

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

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    1. Ha! A piece of agate is definitely less distracting and better behaved than a monkey. Maybe you'll get lucky and a monkey will wander in your window one day or follow you home after a kayaking trip lol.

      We can use all the luck we can get for this move, seeing as we're headed 4000km east of here. We've managed to get rid of an absolute ton of stuff lately, so that's good. Having to haul things across the country definitely puts their value (or lack of it) in perspective.

      As for writing at night, I'm a major insomniac, so a while back I decided to put that time to good use instead of staring at the ceiling for hours. I tend to be most creative at night too, so that helps. Normally, that works for me, but with moving prep it's been harder lately. And thanks, I'll try to think of my little bits of progress as big wins! Hope you have a wonderful week as well! :)

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