Tag Archives: what’s up wednesday

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 :)

What’s Up Wednesday – May 21

Aaaand I’ve missed a couple weeks. But that’s okay! I’ve been fairly busy–preparing for graduation, writing, revising, planning, trying to dig myself out from my TBR pile… But more on that in the post :)

WUW1What I’m reading:

I don’t have much to report here–I’m still plugging away at my TBR pile. I was reading PRODIGY, the next in the LEGEND trilogy, but my ebook check out from the library expired before I had the chance to get halfway… so now’s the wait. Approximately 23 days.

It’s a good thing I have other books to read. I’m currently rereading Patrick Rothfuss’s THE NAME OF THE WIND. Hooray! This story in particular is one of the great ones that is so much fun to reread because you catch something new every time based on what you know. Definitely recommended to read again and again.

What I’m writing:

I just finished the second draft of one of my stories last week! Woohooooo! Now I can dive into planning my next story (witches?!) and finally get into a new world. My last two books took place in the same world, and while I love it to death, it’ll be nice to discover some new things about a new place. I’ve gotten a few thousand words into the new story, buuuut I’m hitting a snag when it comes to plot and voice. This story (we’ll call it WK for short, because I feel like I’ll be talking about it more than just this once) is one that I went into without a ton of knowledge–I was trying something new, and decided that I was going to info dump to my heart’s content. I’ve slightly deviated from that line because I got to thinking too much about plot and ending up with a couple chapters that don’t quite have the YA voice I want. I need to concentrate on the info dump. Definitely–and hopefully that’ll help me get the plot sorted out, in addition to giving me words for this (planned) monster of a first draft.

What inspires me right now:

Long talks with the CP (click!) are the best. They’re so helpful and wonderful. And it’s so fun to be able to talk endlessly (and with as many run-on sentences as we want) about both our stories. Some serious fun right there.

What else I’ve been up to:

I made another Oobie! And… well…

BatmanBasically, I can’t stop screaming at how cute it is. It’s so nice to do something creative that has nothing to do with staring at a computer screen. Also fun is when I’m on a Skype call with Boyface and I type “nananannananannaa” while flying my little Batoobie around.

This week’s WUW is pretty thin, but there’s really not much for me to say today. I hope everyone’s week has been great! Check out other WUWs here.

What’s Up Wednesday – April 30

Hello, all! I hope you week since the last WUW has been fantastic. Can you believe it’s already the end of April? IT’S GONNA BE MAY. *insert N*Sync gif here* *I’m not sure how to get gifs to work in blog posts, so I’m not going to insert one today.*

WHAT I’M READING:

I just finished Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL this morning, and I basically exploded all over my keyboard when emailing my CP about it, haha. It’s really good! I’m not going to spoil it for anyone, but it was definitely an interesting read. There were points when it made me extremely uncomfortable because… well, like I said, no spoilers. But just… AHHH.

I was reading the book as an ebook borrowed from my library (borrowing ebooks, by the way? SO COOL), but there was a point last night when, 85% of the way into the book, the app I was reading through suddenly couldn’t connect to the servers. And then the app crashed. And it did that every time I opened the app. And did I mention I was EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT done with the book?

So yeah. That was pretty torturous. The app got working again this morning, and I finished the book from the comfort of my bed. Sigh.

I’ll likely read Marie Lu’s PRODIGY next, the next book in the LEGEND trilogy, since I also borrowed that on ebook, and it has a shorter check-out time for some reason (two weeks instead of three). I’ll also be trying to finish the other library books that I’ve had for like two months, thanks to renewals. Here’s a promise to myself: no borrowing new books until I finish the ones I have. Also, no more renewing.

WHAT I’M WRITING:

Still working on the revisions I started last week. Nothing much on this front that is of interest, haha. I guess that’s chalked up more to the fact that I’m relatively private about my writing than about my reading… but yes. Revisions. Rereading. Critiquing. All that fun stuff. :)

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW:

Reading a lot–and this week, GONE GIRL especially, has made me look even more closely at character motivations, which I’m currently weaving in more for secondary characters in my revisions. People are very interesting and strange, but there is an element of truth in the fact that truth is stranger than fiction. In stories, everything has to make sense to some extent. It gives you a lot to think about.

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO:

The usual. My friends with whom I started the crafting day the other week (the oobies, remember?) have decided to basically make a club out of it, featuring us three, and possibly a couple more people when summer comes around. Planning that has been ridiculously fun, so hopefully that continues!

How has everyone else’s week been?

Check out this week’s WUW posts here.

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’s Up Wednesday – April 9

It’s been another week! (And I totally didn’t post on Monday like I said I would. Sadface.) This week I’ll just jump right in.

WHAT I’M READING:

I finished THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN (Holly Black) and THE ARCHIVE (Victoria Schwab) in the past week! They were both splendid reads, and I recommend them if you like your fantasy with a little grit, a little gloom, and a lot of wonderful.

I wasn’t expecting to like COLDEST as much as I thought I would because I’m not a huge vampire person, as I shared last week. But really, for this book, it was easy to go with the vampirisms. They’re not overt, they don’t romanticize being a vampire (or not being a vampire!), and it’s a good read overall. My thoughts align pretty exactly with Veronica Roth’s on this book, so rather than rehash all that, check out her review here.

As for THE ARCHIVE, I went in knowing I’d like it. I’m a fan of Schwab’s work (and I’m a fan of Black’s, too, for that matter), but check out the hook: Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. I mean… YES times a million. It’s definitely a great read, and very twisty, which I loved.

Next up are my books on villainy (hehehe) and the assorted books I’ve accumulated on my Kindle app. That is, as long as I can restrain my fingers, which love placing holds on library books.

WHAT I’M WRITING:

I’m still working on the same story I was working on last week, but I’ve added on 3ishK in the last week! Not a ton, by any means, but still. More words!

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW:

Nice weather. Rainy weather. Windy weather. Weather. Our world is so cool.

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO:

I received my SCBWI packet in the mail the other day, so I’ve been poring over The Book that came with it, basically just exploring anything I can get my hands on. I’ve also started exercising again, which is something I sorely needed (keyword here being “sore”), and I’m working on making exercise part of routine. Because if you’re sitting at a desk all day writing words, you need something to make sure your body doesn’t deflate due to lack of muscle.

I hope everyone else’s week has been great! Check out other WUWs at Jaime Morrow’s or Erin Funk’s blog.

What’s up Wednesday – April 2

April, you guys! Can you believe it? And even though I live near the Seattle area, it’s sunny outside. Psh, April showers? More like… like… you know, not. *twiddles thumbs* (I’m a novelist.)

I hope April Fool’s Day wasn’t too brutal for anyone. Personally, I caught 68 Pokemon on Google Maps. I’m putting that in the bank as a win. (More info here.)

I’m a bit antsy because of one of those writer things, but I’m undecided about exactly how transparent I want to be at this point, so I’ll remain vague for now. *twiddles thumbs some more* *chews nails into oblivion*

Anywho. For something I’m not talking about, I’m talking about it a lot. Let’s move on, shall we?

What I’m reading:

My list on this end is the same as it was last week, because that’s what happens when I read many books at once. I’m farthest in Holly Black’s THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN, and I am enjoying it significantly more than I thought I would, given the subject matter. I adore Holly Black, but vampires have never been a strong point of interest for me. She does a great job with them, though. It almost makes me want to read more vampire books. Almost.

I also started the first pages of THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner–by the way, am I the only one who finds it amusing that MAZE was written by someone whose last name included the word “dash”? Yes? Okay. I got the book because I’d heard tons about it, I just found out (during the previews when I went to see DIVERGENT) that it was coming out as a movie, and because it was on sale at the Kindle store. When you gotta jump, you gotta jump, right? So I did.

What I’m writing:

I’m currently revisiting my NaNo novel, which I abandoned in favor of working on my main story, WISPY, and studying for my last week of being an undergraduate. When I left it behind during that first week of December, it was sitting at a cool 54k words. Now, I’m close to crossing the threshold of 60k, thanks in part to the NaNo writing sprints that have (re)taken over my Twitter feed with Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m a competitive soul, though I like to tell myself I’m not. Either way, I’m making progress, and I’m happy about it.

What inspires me:

Even though no one would deign to call me a music buff–this, despite the fact that my brother is a musician and my best friend makes a point to participate in singing things amidst college life–I’ve been pretty hung up on music for the past week. Kina Grannis in particular. (If you click her name, you’ll be taken to her YouTube page.) I’ve been subscribed to her for years and years, and her songs always, always end up working their way into my book playlists. The resemblance her songs have to some of my characters’ situations/mentalities is uncanny. Plus she has a new album coming out this May, and I am just flailing all over the place.

What else I’ve been up to:

I went to the knitting circle last week with my friend, and it was delightful! The group is made up of a bunch of very welcoming ladies, and it was nice to finally make some progress on the sweater I started in December. Even if I only finished one more row. And might have messed up at some point.

Unfortunately, we won’t be going back to the circle for a long while because my friend has school, and I’m not brave enough to venture into that circle regularly all by my lonesome–especially considering the fact that I’m at least a decade younger than the youngest of them. They are lovely, though.

Other than that, baseball season started up again! Boyface (that’ll be my boyfriend, because for some reason I like adding “face” at the ends of words) and I went to the stadium on Monday to watch the M’s first game of the season. Of course, it wasn’t a home game, but our team does this great thing where fans can pay $1 to come to the stadium and watch the first game of the season on the big screen with a bunch of other people. It was fun. Also, mmmmm, garlic fries. Delicious.

(It has come to my attention that I should really start taking pictures so these black and white blog posts can get a little more interesting visually.)

That’s it from me this Wednesday. Check out some of my other recent posts, including Monday’s post, wherein I declare my love for Post-It notes and explain how I use them for outlining.

Head on over to Jaime Morrow’s blog to read her post and wander through some other What’s Up Wednesday posts.

Have a great day, and happy writing!

What’s Up Wednesday

We’ll return to our regularly-scheduled reposting of past blogs on Friday, but for today, we’re saying, “What’s up, Wednesday?”

Except not really. There’s no comma or question mark here. WUW is the brainchild of Jaime Morrow and her sister, Erin, and you can learn more about it here! I was introduced to this blog hop by CP extraordinaire Marika, and you should totally check out what she has to say this WUW, too. Because she’s awesome.

WHAT I’M READING

I have a big stack of books from the library that I’m trying to tear through now, though revisions are getting in the way–more on that later. It’s big enough that I’ll opt for listing them out:

  • THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab
  • THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by Holly Black
  • THE FIRE IN FICTION by Donald Maass
  • I WEAR THE BLACK HAT by Chuck Klosterman
  • SUPERVILLAINS AND PHILOSOPHY, edited by Ben Dyer

And that’s not even including the four e-books I have waiting in the wings. (For those who are curious: TAKEN by Erin Bowman, THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner, BRIGHTLY WOVEN, and NEVER FADE (The Darkest Minds #2) both by Alexandra Bracken.)

Now, I’m not reading all these books at once; for me, that’s a little excessive. But all of them are staring at me from my desk, waiting… waiting… waiting…

Meanwhile, I’m cowering under my revisions. Figures.

WHAT I’M WRITING

Right now, I’m reworking the first pages of my YA Fantasy ms so they can be ready for querying. I’ve gotten some reader feedback that revealed what I had been pretending not to see: my beginning needs to be better, and by better, I mean more accessible. It’s a matter of clearer world building, so I’m working on including some more observations, tweaking some descriptions, and putting more color and substance in overall.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

I found this stellar Finnish watercolor artist on Tumblr yesterday, and the artist’s work is amazing and fantastic. I even made one of her pieces my desktop background. Check out her Tumblr: http://tir-ri.tumblr.com/

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO

Last week when I was writing at the library, I discovered that a little knitting group meets there every Thursday morning. I told my friend, and we basically danced around in circles together via text, so guess where we’ll be tomorrow morning? :)

I also saw DIVERGENT in theaters on opening day, and I have to say that the movie did the book justice. Though I’d still suggest reading the book first (I always do!), it’s definitely a movie you should see.

To check out some other WUW posts from this week, head on over to Jaime’s post here! Have a great day, all.