Tag Archives: what i’m reading

What’s Up Wednesday – March 18

It’s been far too long since I’ve done one of these! Now that I’m back on the horse, so to speak, and have pulled my blogging pants back on, I figure now’s a good a time as any to jump back onto the WUW train. So–hello!

WHAT I’M READING

Over the past year, I’ve been reading more than I ever have, and it’s been absolutely fantastic. Since April last year, I’ve read almost 100 books in a wide variety of genres, and it’s so great, if super time consuming. But I figure if I’m going to spend a couple hours a day poking at my crocheting or otherwise wishing I was doing something else, reading and listening to books is a great option.

Currently, I have a few books on my plate. I always end up reading more than one thing at a time, so this is nothing new. On my library Overdrive App, I’m in the middle of ANCILLARY JUSTICE by Ann Leckie, and I might actually break through and finish Veronica Roth’s ALLEGIANT–less than half the book left! I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get through the entire book, but gah, it has. A couple months, not including the time in between check-outs when I’ve had to wait through all the other holds again and again. And I’ve already been spoiled on (as far as I know) the biggest thing in the book, so that doesn’t help matters. I also have TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE (Jenny Han), STRANGER (Rachel Manija Brown), and THE BITTER KINGDOM (Rae Carson) loaded up and ready to go. And then we get to the physical books I have–I recently got A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC (V.E. Schwab, aka Victoria Schwab) and GOING POSTAL (Terry Pratchett–my first of his, though I wish I’d read it before :( ). So, yes. Lots to read, and I’ll likely be repeating myself with most of these books next week.

WHAT I’M WRITING

I’m currently in the middle of a week-long light revision pow wow for draft 4.5 of WELL. (I call it 4.5 now, but just watch it be called draft 5 in the future for ease of reference and also because saying I have 5 drafts instead of 4.5 will make me feel better about myself.) Hoping to wrap this up by Sunday, and then I’ll be diving into planning for Camp NaNoWriMo in April! Yayyyyyyyyy!!!

WHAT WORKS FOR ME

My blog post from a couple days ago details a lot of what’s working for me lately, but here’s the short version: Writing prompts, and using them to exercise my creative muscles. It’s worked wonders! Lately I’ve also been exposing myself to more critique and participating more in the writing community, namely on /r/YAwriters on Reddit, Twitter, and the SCBWI Blueboards. That’s been fun, too!

WHAT ELSE IS NEW

Not much. I started the Couch to 5k running program, and it’s been a strange experience to actually look forward to exercising. Of course, I’m only in the second week–so it could just be that I’m being tricked into the whole thing with easy workouts. ;)

I hope you all have been well! If you want to comment, I would love if you could post a writing prompt for me or others to work with in the future–it’s always fun to have something new come to the table! Maybe I’ll add a new tab to this site featuring some weekly writing prompts to share :)

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What’s Up Wednesday – April 23

Another week, another WUW post. Let’s get right to it!

WUW1

WHAT I’M READING:

Please excuse me while I remove the foot in my mouth to say that I loved LEGEND by Marie Lu, and that I am slightly more open to the dystopian train. To be honest, somehow, LEGEND felt more like a fantasy to me than a dystopian. It totally isn’t fantasy, though, so I’m not sure where that feeling came from. The world building was solid, and I think that helped submerge me into the story.

Many of the emotions and circumstances within the story seemed much more visceral than some of what I’ve been reading lately, and it helped pull in my reader mind a lot more than it engaged my writer mind–which is a good thing, as it means I am unconsciously thinking more as a reader who enjoys the story, instead of as a writer who picks up things that could be written better. Thinking about it, I feel like my immersion has to do with the characters’ roles within the world, as both are (sort of) in positions of power in their social classes. Lu also created a world that I feel like is a lot closer to ours than other dystopians I’ve read, at least when it comes to the concept of free will. Even if the government could be in control, many of the actions of the citizenry can be classified as being in their hands, rather than being dictated by rules and the like.

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone. It’s a really great book. I borrowed my copy from the library, but I’ll be adding it to my collection the next time I go to a book store.

WHAT I’M WRITING:

I’m working on revisions for one of my stories, and starting to plan another one. Because the other book I was planning for the last couple weeks is a sequel, I’m still on the fence about actually writing it. It could just turn into one of those projects that I turn to when I need a break from what I’m working on at a particular time. But still… more writing! Pushing on!

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW:

Reading books like LEGEND is definitely up there. Also: video game lore.

I started playing World of Warcraft back in November, and it seriously amazed me how much lore there is within the world. Though I haven’t been playing as much for the last couple weeks, all the storytelling still fascinates me. WoW has been around for years and years, and people don’t pay as much attention to the world as they used to before the expansions, but if you take it slow–and with all the WoW expansions, you’d be playing the game really slowly if you want to get all the lore–the game is really built around an entire story that encompasses years and worlds. It’s seriously amazing how much work goes into just the storyline, and kind of saddening in a way that so many players grind through all the story to gain levels and items–which is fun, but it kind of seems like a waste of the story.

However, there are books and things published about the WoW world, and some YouTube people have compiled video playlists that go through the world and explain the lore, so it’s not like the story is lost on those who grind through the game. I still don’t know most of it, and it almost makes me wish that I’d played with years and years ago, when it was still “vanilla”–basically WoW version 1.0, without all the extra expansions. Back then, everyone was in it for the story as well as the gameplay. It would have been fun to get a better understanding of the world from the beginning, and even more enjoyable to do it in the company of everyone else discovering the game for the first time.

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO:

I’ve been consistent with my exercising for the past week, which is fantastic! *flexes muscles* *deflates* (I don’t have flex-able muscles.) I’ve also been watching anime, sewing Oobies (little plush monster things), and avoiding cleaning my room. The Oobies are especially fun–my friend and I are planning to make an entire army of Oobies in different costumes. The first one I made is wearing a haz mat suit with a green visor. It is super cute.

Oobie Haz Mat

I mean really.

Check out other What’s Up Wednesday posts here. If you’re interested in my outlining/writing prep process, take a gander at my post that compares outlines to ghost hearts. Ghost hearts are seriously awesome.

Have a great week, everyone!

What’s Up Wednesday – April 16

I’m late today! So we’re jumping right in:

WHAT I’M READING:

I just got back from the library to turn in my copy of MATCHED by Ally Condie (which I borrowed from the library… yesterday). Suffice to say that I enjoyed the read. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite read, since I, like a lot of people nowadays, have gotten a little tired of dystopian, if only because they come with many similar themes (most often the horrifying notion that not everything in the characters’ lives is under their control), and pretty much always lead to rebellion. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing… but it does start to feel like you’re reading the same thing over and over, despite the beautiful, diverse, and feel-inducing situations of each book. Maybe I would feel differently if it had been a while since I read/watched my last dystopian. (Looks at DIVERGENT, THE HUNGER GAMES.)

I’ll probably be totally throwing away that whole last paragraph by admitting that after I returned MATCHED, I checked out LEGEND by Marie Lu. Sue me.

WHAT I’M WRITING:

I’m currently planning out my next book! Hoorayyyyyy! I am totally an outliner, no question about it, and I love this part of the process. What I like about the planning stage is that I have the freedom of discovering my world right away. There are some writers who love the joy of discovery while writing first, and I love that, too… but somehow, knowing some of what’s coming and exactly what I have to look forward to helps keep me going, and keeps me excited about my projects. It also helps me write scenes with much more impact from the get-go, and I can be more precise about how much emotion should be shown in a particular scene, and just how much of a future plot point I can give away/foreshadow in an earlier bit.

I don’t outline chapter by chapter, but I do work with a synopsis and the bones of the work. I saw a post on Tumblr the other day with the picture of a heart that is translucent white–it was a whole heart, but all of the blood had been–actually, I’m going to stop talking about this here and start drafting a post about outlining. I hold you in suspense! *clings*

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW:

If you can find it, check out Delicate by Kina Grannis. (Music). There’s also another song of hers, but it won’t be officially released until May 6. I’ll probably write up a whole post about Kina someday.

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO:

Basically I’ve just been doing a lot of reading and some writing. Attending baseball games, though I won’t be going to another one for another month. (GO MARINERS! Hometown pride! I hope they actually do well this year!) (cough) Not much else. I should really do some cleaning…

Anyway.

I hope you’ve all been well! If you want to leave a comment, I’d love to hear about some of your favorite recent reads, and whether you have any book recommendations for me–any genre. If you haven’t read them, here are books I recommended to my friend just today:

– CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein (YA historical; very good and feel-inducing)
– ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins (YA contemporary romance. Lovelovelove. It was published in 2010, so if you haven’t read it, get on that!)
– ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell (YA contemporary set in the 80s. Amazing.)
– GRACELING by Kristin Cashore (YA fantasy. Fantastic. And not just because it’s fantasy.)

Pretty much all of these have already been published for a while, which is all the more reason to check them out. Maybe you won’t even have to wait on the holds list at your library when you put in a request! Oh man. I love libraries.

As always, check out the other WUW posts HERE.

What I’m reading (1)

I don’t remember a moment in my life when I couldn’t read.

All right, that’s a little lie. There was this one time that I was in Costco with my parents, and my mom caught me in the movie section holding a VHS copy of The Lion King upside down. Pretending to read. But it’s one of those memories that I only “remember” because someone told me about it.

I’ve always been an avid reader of fairy tales, and if I can find a new one, I like to jump on it (if, given my college schedule, I have time). In the meantime, that’s what I write, as well. I like to put twists of tales of old and give them new life from different perspectives.

But we’re not talking about what I write. We’re talking about what I read.

In the past couple weeks, I finally picked up THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss. I’ve had this book for years–my best friend got it for me as a Christmas gift back in 2011. And I can’t believe I hadn’t picked it up before now. I’m currently on page 484 out of a whopping 722, and I have got to say, if you’re not reading anything that’s blowing you out of the water right now, pick up this book as soon as you can get your pretty little hands on it. At this point, I would read Rothfuss’s grocery lists and be incandescently happy. (Thank you, Pappy!)

The book I read most recently before NAME was ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell. Utterly fantastic book. Up there on my favorite-book-o-meter (soon to be joined by THE NAME OF THE WIND when I finish it, I’m sure) with John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. After I finish my current read, I’ll probably pick up CINDER by Marissa Meyer. I actually have a signed copy of that book, and I’ve had it for a while, but it’s been sitting sideways on my bookshelf for the longest time! (Perhaps not as long as NAME, but pretty long nonetheless.) But it’s a twist on Cinderella with cyborgs and gahh, excitement!

What’s that I said? “Sitting sideways”? Well, that has to do with how I organize my bookshelves. For one, all of my books are ordered alphabetically by author, and then by publication date. So it goes A–>Z / earlier pub date –> later pub date from right to left, no matter if they’re read or unread. If they’re sitting sideways–that is, if they’re shelved horizontally with the spines up–I have yet to read them. It’s an easy way to see what wonderful book worlds I have yet to visit.

I’ll probably do these “What I’m reading” posts every now and again. But until next Sunday…!