Monday, 31 August 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Wrap Up & Manicures and Manuscripts

Welcome to our RSW wrap up and Manicures and Manuscripts event! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, Jaime Morrow, Elodie Nowodazkij, and I would like to thank all of you for participating with us this year. Huge congratulations to those of you who met your overall summer goals, and even if you didn’t, we hope you made some solid progress on your WIP. It blows my mind that summer has come and gone already, but September is always a time for fresh starts and productivity, so it doesn’t stop here. Wishing you all lots of inspiration on your writing projects as you jump into this coming fall, and even though RSW is done for another year, don’t be strangers!

Let’s wrap things up, shall we?

How I did on my goal(s)

My only goal last week was to tinker with the next scene in my WIP, which I did, and seeing as my boys went to a hockey game on Thursday, I had extra time to work. In all, I got three scenes revised.

Back in June, I didn’t set any broad goals, mainly because I had no idea what this summer would hold for me. Considering it was such a transitional time with my family’s big move, my main purpose for RSW was to stay connected—to writing and the writing community. While I didn’t make as much progress on revisions as I’d secretly hoped, I did continue to write and I did stay in touch with writerly folks such as yourselves, so I think that makes it a success for me. I worried that the change in location, atmosphere, routine, and overwhelming different-ness of everything would evaporate my ability to write, and while it did throw me off and slow me down, you guys kept me tethered to all things writing. So my deepest and sincerest thanks to all of you for keeping me on the writing wagon and sharing this very bumpy ride.

And thank you again for your encouragement on the excerpts I shared this summer. I want to tack all your comments around my office to remind me that I am a writer, published or not, and I can and should do this. I can’t tell you how much your kind words mean to me when I too often feel like I’m an inch from throwing in the towel (or the laptop). You ladies are the best, and I wish you tons of success in your writing endeavors!

That pretty much wraps up the writing portion for me, so I’m going to skip on ahead to Manicures and Manuscripts…

In case you missed the explanation last week, the purpose of our Manicures and Manuscripts event is to:

● pamper your tired fingers after a summer of non-stop typing
● polish your nails in a way that reflects your WIP
● include an explanation for your nail design and/or an excerpt from your story
● share your manicure in your wrap up post, on Twitter (#RSWrite), Instagram, or wherever you like

So I started off with a brown sugar & olive oil exfoliant to soften my hands—one of the recipes I shared last week—and it worked like a charm. For my manicure, I decided to try water-marbling. If you don’t know what that is, here’s a pic and a quick 15 second demo video. It’s a super messy procedure (way harder than it looks in the video), and after trying it, I wouldn’t recommend it for novice nail polishers like me.  It took foreeeeever and I ended up only doing one hand, which turned out sort of wonky. I think it’s an art that requires lots of practice and the perfect conditions to get it to work.

I wanted my nails to look like blue agate, a type of rock that features in my WIPs, and while my manicure doesn’t look as neat or perfectly defined as it was supposed to (not even close), I have to say it does actually resemble blue agate more than the pic/video. I think the imperfect layers and the fact that each nail is different makes it look more authentically rocklike. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

The big chunk of agate in the photo was a gift from my husband for finishing my trilogy, and it’s one of my absolute favourite possessions. While some girls like diamonds, this is the type of rock I prefer. It’s my trophy and it has a special place on my office window sill. Some of you who’ve been following me for a while also know I have a smaller piece of blue agate that was my “good luck charm” while I finished drafting Enlighten.

The excerpt I chose is a longer version of a couple lines I already shared this summer from Engrave:

Hand in hand we cross the room. Up close, I realize the circles aren’t glass but rocks, split in half so their vibrant insides show. I’ve seen stones like these before in a gift shop at a science center, but never so many of them and never in full sun like this. The fireplace is custom made, and someone went to a lot of trouble to construct it. It’s a work of art.
[Boy] scrubs a palm over some of the rocks, sloughing off the dust that clouds them until they glisten even brighter. He wipes his hand on his jeans. “Agate,” he says with breathless appreciation. “It’s a type of volcanic rock.”
Each stone is shot through with layers like tree rings, different hues of the same color in concentric bands. I trace the design within one, ranging from pale blue to dark, rich cobalt. It’s hard to believe someone smashed open a bunch of rocks to find this treasure inside. [Boy] brushes off an emerald green stone with an expression of raw admiration that borders on reverence, his insides so beautifully bare, unmasked by this discovery. A pang of bittersweetness hits me. It seems unfair that for their deepest, truest beauty to be exposed, some things, some people, have to be torn open and gutted first.
“It’s amazing,” I say, though this one word can’t encompass the way I feel seeing [Boy’s] fingers coax the grime from the stones, his eyes hungry for the colors beneath. “It must have looked incredible at nighttime with the firelight flickering on it.”
I wonder about the family that used to live here, imagine them gathered round this fireplace on a winter night, the flames brightening their faces over mugs of cocoa. A child falling asleep in his mother’s arms. Maybe a dog curled on the hearth. I wonder if they were happy once, as happy as I am standing here in the rubble of their former life.

In my trilogy, agate becomes a symbol for what my mc wants. It represents the "someday" she's trying to get to and who she wants to spend that "someday" with. It also symbolizes nature/Romanticism. This is the first time agate shows up, but I wove it throughout the rest of the story in significant ways.

Well, that’s my summer and my manicure all wrapped up! Looking forward to seeing how the rest of you fared over RSW and how you fancied up your nails. Just to let you know, I'll be late commenting on other posts today as we have plans for my son's last day before starting homeschool lessons tomorrow. Best of luck as you continue on with your writing projects, and don't forget to go around and check out how your fellow participants did!


  1. Awe you are a writer! You have had a lot happen this summer but you will always be a writer. Always remember that. Glad we could help in any way. We are stronger together than apart. Also I love your nails. I've seen that before and I know my ability to paint or do that type of craft is below zero so high marks for figuring it out. That is a beautiful way to tie it into your story. I've always thought they were beautiful. I had one of those when I was younger, lost it in one of the moves (military kid) it was purple. Thanks for sharing with us! It's been a great summer.

  2. Yes, you are a writer, and you're a damn good one too! (And I love that excerpt, like I've loved all the others... I'm physically itching to read the story.)

    Your nails came out absolutely amazingly! They really do have a beautifully agate quality about them, and though you say it turned out a little wonky I really can't tell. They look professionally done!

    I feel like I'm going to be bereft next Monday with no RSW posts to read!

  3. Wow!! Your nails look fantastic! Seriously, I'm impressed. =) And I only did one hand on mine too. I'm a horrible nail painter, and when I go to paint with my left hand, well... ;) Thanks for hosting this great summer program, and I wish you all the best in your new place and with completely settling in.

  4. Umm I don't know what your nails were supposed to look like, but they're killer. Lovely excerpt, too. Thanks so much for hosting again, Erin!

  5. I've had so much fun hosting another summer of RSW with you Erin. I'm so impressed by all you've accomplished. Your nails look gorgeous (seriously -- how did you do that?!) and they fit with your excerpt perfectly. Speaking of your excerpt, it's fabulous as usual. So much emotion, and beautifully written. Best of luck with your project moving into fall, lady. I'm rooting for you to find big success!

  6. GAH! Your nails are AMAZING! Almost as amazing as that excerpt! Truly beautiful and I love that agate is such a feature in your story. And thank you so much for hosting again! I think it's been a wonderful and productive summer!

  7. Perfect nails are perfect.

    I also love that the agate is so important for your story, especially if this excerpt is any indication of how beautifully it's woven in.

    Even though your summer has been shaky and lots of things changed for you, I just want to say how much I appreciate you and the rest of the RSW hosts. RSW has been so great for me and my writing these past two summers, and like you, it helps keep me connected to other writers, their struggles and their triumphs, and reminds me that no matter what happens publishing wise, I LOVE to write. Sharing in that love with other RSW participants has made all the difference in my motivation this summer. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting this together. I hope y'all do it again next year!

    Good luck with the writing as we move into fall!! <3

  8. I love the nails and the excerpt. :) Of course you're a writer! You did a fantastic job this summer considering how busy you were.

  9. Your nails are gorgeous!

    I was going through a transitional time this summer, too, but, like you, I was glad to have RSW as a way to stay connected.

    Thanks again for hosting!

  10. Congratulations on an amazing summer. Your nails look phenomenal!

  11. You ARE a writer. I know it can be hard to believe when it feels like stuff conspires against you, but you are. The nails are amazing and look professionally done. And yes, they totally look like agate. I like how it so perfectly harmonizes your excerpt (which is fantastic by the way.) It was great learning about your work and life this summer and look forward to seeing how your fall goes. Thanks for hosting RSW.

  12. Your nails are gorgeous! I love just about all shades of blue, almost as much as I love purple.

    I didn't make as much progress as I'd hope going in either, though 83,000 new words over three months are still pretty decent by my standards, if a bit on the lower end of what I know I can accomplish. Good luck with your writing and revising plans for the rest of the year!

  13. Beautiful nails!

    You did wonderfully, and even around a move! Thank you for hosting and for being here for everybody!

  14. I didn't make any big summer goals either, and like you I felt like RSW kept me connected and kept me doing at least a little when I probably wouldn't have done any. Not that I had your excuse- just summer laziness for me!
    Love the nails. They look gorgeous!

  15. I've already read this excerpt before, but you know I love it and the entire story it comes from. :-) I also love your manicure! It looks very cool! And WAY more ambitious than I'd ever get. LOL I'm so happy you got so much done this summer, especially since you didn't know what the summer would hold what with the major changes you experienced. Can't wait to read ENLIGHTEN when you're ready to send it my way. We'll definitely have to find a time to Skype sometime soon! We're overdue for a chat.

  16. Gorgeous nails!! And I love that excerpt. Sounds like you got a lot done, even with everything you had on your plate this summer, so that's definitely a big win! :) Thanks for co-hosting!