What’s up Wednesday: The Final Countdown

RobotWUWThank you Jaime and Erin for hosting What’s up Wednesday these last two years! I have met some of my favorite writing people through it. You guys are amazing!

Here’s the last, What’s up with me…

What I’m Reading

I just finished reading Landline by Rainbow Rowell, and it was everything fantastic and awesome that I expect from one of her books, but it also punched me in the gut with emotion. Georgie McCool is a character I identify with in a way that makes me almost embarrassed, and maybe when I was reading I started sobbing like an idiot while my son tried to get my attention and my husband made me a cup of tea. Good times.

What I’m Writing

I started a new story. The voice came to me in the shower and then before I knew it I was writing words. For now, I’m just following her. I don’t really know yet where, but after a few months of false starts on other projects, and feeling like I’m in limbo, it’s nice just to write and not feel bound by anything.

What Works for Me

Like I said above, not feeling bound by an arbitrary goal or a word count requirement. Not looking at the long road ahead littered with drafting and revisions. It’s like walking down stairs carrying a laundry basket. I can’t see the stairs below me, but I can feel them. I can’t get focused on the final step or I’ll lose traction where I’m at. It’s an exercise in living in the moment, writing in the moment, focusing on the day I’m in, the word count I’m at, and that’s it.

What Else is New

Last week was Spring Break for my son. We did a lot of playing, and reading, and going to parks. The weather wasn’t the best the last half of the week, so I took him to the movies and cuddled with him over popcorn.

I also got him a little Spring Break gift at Target. He insisted on having his picture made.

samtarget

I’ve been focusing some (a lot) of my energy on my YouTube channel Books, Booze & Bitches with fun results! Yesterday I did a video about the San Diego Comic Con Hotel Lottery and the resulting CRASH of the website. (Check out the Crazy 4 Comic Con Post about the situation as well, if you’re interested.)

EXTRA: I discussed my experience with another crash when I submitted my application to the HBO Writing Fellowship.

We post new videos every Wednesday, with the exception of this week when we are posting more because Hotelpocalypse 2015. Today we are talking Insurgent Movie!

And finally *sniffle*….What’s up with you?

What’s Up Wednesday: I’m Back!

Castle Button (Final)What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

What I’m Reading

I just finished an ARC of The Winner’s Crime (the sequel to one of my 2014 faves The Winner’s Curse) by Marie Rutkoski. Oh man. This book. It took some turns I was not expecting, and they were all executed beautifully. I am deeply worried right now about Kestrel and Arin. That’s all I will say.

I started on Amy Poehler’s memoir, Yes Please, and already I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I think Amy is fantastic — so funny and smart and snarky. I am gleaning wisdom from her. She has the wisdom. I’m also reading a book called Severed by Frances Larson. It’s about severed heads throughout history. Because why not?

What I’m Writing

I am working up a revision outline for my screenplay. I finished the first draft Christmas Eve. Sent it to two of my CPs after the New Year. I got fantastic feedback last week and am thrilled to move forward with this revision.

I am also drafting a new project. Though, this has had to take a back seat to other things with more urgency. It’s not a YA project, it’s not high fantasy though there is of course a speculative element, and it’s a lot of fun.

My YA fantasy manuscript Of Blood and Promises is doing well in the query trenches. So, my nerves are totally wrecked. Yep.

My goal: 1000 words on the MS. Finish the revision outline for the screenplay.

What Works For Me

Taking time away from the computer to explore. Reading (and watching) nonfiction that is riveting, inventive, educational and vibrant. Paying attention to the small moments. Too often we brush over those, and those are where our humanity is fortified.

What Else I’m Up To

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a What’s Up Wednesday. There was no real reason beyond my own need to recede for a bit, and my own time constraints. I am so happy to be back with you guys! The past week I have been spending time with some baby goats. For years I have guessed that baby goats have magical healing powers related to cuteness, and last week I confirmed my suspicions were not unfounded. goatandsam Also. I injured myself rather dramatically about a week and a half ago. Read about it here. My face is finally starting to look normal, though I’m still dealing with soreness and bouts of embarrassment and shame. Klutz 4eva!

So…how are you fairing this week?

What’s Up Wednesday: The Outlander Edition

RobotWUWWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

What I’m Reading

Finished the adorable How to Get a Love Life by Rosie Blake. It was a fun read, and since it is an e-first the price is quite low. I totally recommend, plus, it takes place in London which just feeds my growing obsession with the UK. I am using Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas as a revision reward. I want to just devour it, but this is better…this is better.

What I’m Writing

Yes. I am revising. It is part revision and part rewrite, which has gotten me thinking about the difference between the two. There is a difference. When I started revising the draft stayed mostly the same with some well-placed additions or subtractions, new scenes, reworking old scenes. Then I made this BIG change, and the BIG change has required a rewrite of the middle third of the book. I am a million times happier with this thing, but holy hell it’s involved. I want to be finished with the revision by the 15th (or somewhere very near the middle of the month) and have it off to my CPs shortly thereafter.

What Inspires Me

Thinking outside the box. I sat with my eyes closed last night pondering out a particular sticking point in the plot, and came out on the other side. Being willing to step back and really look at each element in this book has broadened my own understanding of what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it.

Outlander…in no way does Scotland in the 1700s remind me of the world in my manuscript, but the beauty of the story, the romantic Jamie quotes, the pretty boy in the kilt…

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What Else I’m Up To

Watching Outlander

I don’t have Starz, and where we live (our house is in the woods) we cannot stream very much from the internets because our provider has a bandwidth cap. (I hate them.) So I go to my sister-in-laws on Saturday to watch Outlander. She is a teacher, and with the school year up and running she stays busy during the week. Saturday is our time to catch up, to fangirl and swoon, and to forget there is a world where Jamie Fraser is not real.

quote

 

I’m gonna also need all these outfits, and her tartan with pockets. (My birthday is coming up, FYI.)

 

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Catching up with friends in general after the busy summer. Reading more. Writing more. Overall just having more time, while also somehow having less time. Mom’s with school age children, you’ll know what I mean.

Have a wonderful week!

What’s Up Wednesday

TreeWUWWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

What I’m Reading

I just started How to Get a Love Life by Rosie Blank. I started it about four months ago, forgot about it the hustle of things and it being on my Kindle app which sometimes I hate, and then remembered and opened back up. It was published in the UK and is absolutely adorable. It’s chick lit, which is not normally my bag — I say that, but I have loved quite a few books I’d call chick lit actually — but I’m really enjoying it.

I hope to finish it by the end of the week because as my reward for getting ALL THE REVISING accomplished, I am buying Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas and may not speak to another human person until I have devoured it.

What I’m Writing

I am doing a revision on my manuscript Of Blood and Promises. Mostly, it was prompted by really incredible notes from an agent I’ve been working with (not signed, don’t get too excited), but then as I considered her notes I began to see so many things come clear that it took on a life of its own. I am kind of killing this revision, and now that my son is in school, I have time to really knock it out.

In the last couple weeks I have witten over 9,000 new words and revised a whole lot more. So, in honor, here is a tiny little excerpt that I revised last week:

I hear Aiken move from the bed, shuffle across the room, and then lean against the door. After another moment he opens it. His face is washed in moonlight, revealing eyes hooded with sleep and hair mussed all over. He wears thin pants that hang from his hips and cling to his thighs, and for the smallest moment I forget myself, the reason Malia and I woke him… reason at all. It is work to force my eyes back to his face.

He glances between us, waiting.

What Inspires Me

I’ve been inspired by some really incredible YA high fantasy. I read The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutoski and Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, which are very different brands of high fantasy, and both incredibly well done.

This for tone and emotion:

obandpinspireWhat Else I’m Up To

Still very much adjusting to my son starting Kindergarten. There is no doubt that he is ready, that he will flourish, but it is emotional to realize how big he’s getting, and how fast that’s happening.

I’m started exercising again. I have been mostly eating healthy and not drinking (not having a night cap every night). I really hate working out but I really love the sense of calm I have when I do, and hopefully the result of a cuter ass won’t be so bad either. 😉

Happy Wednesday!

 

What’s Up Wednesday

wuwPLANEBORDER2What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

What I’m Reading

Beta reding, but different stuff now. I feel like I’m starting to get ahead on my reading, which is a wonderful feeling. Betaing is a responsibility I do not take lightly, so my recent reading slump is also not something I am proud of or willing to give in to. It’s good to be coming through it. Still reading If I Stay by Gayle Forman, still slow as Christmas.

What I’m Writing

Still mostly the Screenplay. I love this thing more than I should love something I have no idea what to do with. Screenwriting was my first writing medium. I know, it sounds very weird. I wrote my first screenplay at the age of nine on a typewriter. It was bare bones and unrealistic, but it was a screenplay.

I am also processing some notes on a manuscript and trying to figure out how to revise. It’s not that the notes are complex, or even really that much, it’s more wanting to really do this manuscript justice. So, I haven’t started revising yet, and I am OK with that.

What Inspires Me

Watching TV and Films and dissecting what is seen on screen and what is said in dialog. We were watching Firefly last night, which is incredible for language and character development, and I found myself taking notes.

My writer friends, who have become some of my best friends. I have called on them for advice, encouragement, and distraction in the past couple weeks and they have delivered to no end.

Spending time with a friend I haven’t seen in four years. We’ve kept up over Facebook, which is one reason I still do Facebook, and after four years — and a lot of changes — it was like no time had passed.

What Else I’m Up To

I had dental work last week and then didn’t really let myself recover properly. So I am paying for it. I had to go in to the oral surgeon yesterday for “an adjustment” which is a nice way of saying they had to do work on me that they shouldn’t have had to do.

Going to NYC next week for six days. I haven’t been to the city since last May. So. Excited.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

What’s Up Wedesday

TreeWUWWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done What’s up Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a wonderfully epic summer.

What I’m Reading

Currently doing beta reading. Which is top priority for reading right now as I have a lot to get caught up on and very little reading time this summer. I also started If I Stay by Gayle Forman, and so far am loving it. I haven’t read anything by Gayle Forman yet, but have heard nothing but good things. And with the upcoming movie, I thought I’d start there!

What I’m Writing

I’ve been working on a feature length screenplay pretty much exclusively for the past two weeks. I am over 1/3 of the way through and just so very happy with it. The dialog, which is maybe the most important thing in screenwriting, is coming really naturally. I am taking this to mean I have a firm grasp on my characters. Right now I am just working on the main plot lines, and getting the basic story down. I had some breakthrough figuring out how all the main plot lines will converge at the end yesterday, which was THRILLING.

What Inspires Me

This may sound very strange, but my brother and his family. Three years ago, right before my husband and I moved to Brooklyn, my brother, his wife and young daughter moved to Israel. Right now, they are right in the middle of war in a foreign country. Their faith and bravery to stay in their home in Jerusalem in the midst of this chaos is incredible. Your thoughts and prayers for the peace of that nation are appreciated, personally, by me and my family. This is a terrifying time, it is meant to unsettle and unnerve, to get those who live there out of safety and into harms way. War does that, is touches the innocent and the foolhardy alike. When the war is over the land, over faith and long standing hatred, there are no winners. There can’t be.

What Else I’m Up To

Everything that is involved in having an epic summer with my son.

Also. I got New Hair (that is what all the kids at Sam’s school call it) and Sam asked me what “the hair color doctor” had to do to give me this hair. I explained it was a lot like painting.

new hair

Have a wonderful Wednesday! And drop by comments to tell me what’s up with you!

What’s Up Wednesday: Resubmit

 

RobotWUWWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

Resubmitting a manuscript to an agent is the equivalent of a call back in an audition. Querying is really auditioning. It is your chance to show an agent you are the right one to play the role of their New Client.

When you get the chance to resubmit a manuscript after revision, you take it, and you do your best to hit all your marks.

Even after you have revised, read aloud, sent to a CP, and walked through the book one last time, it can be hard to be sure. And the truth is, it may never be perfect (most published authors will tell you it never is) but you have to resubmit it and have faith that it will be perfect enough to show the agent what you can do, to make the story shine in a new way, and to make them fall in love.

I resubmitted my manuscript today, with excitement and a lot of nerves, and now it is out of my hands.

What I’m Reading

Finally getting back on the reading wagon. I just finished (after far too long) The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas. I loved it, though I did have a hard time with certain chapters and plot points. Definitely recommend if you read The Burning Sky, and if you haven’t read that you really should.

I am finishing up a friends MS, and starting on another tonight. Also, I will begin reading In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis, and I am so excited.

What I’m Writing

Right now I am working on a secret WiP that I don’t know if I’ll ever do anything with. It’s kind of personal, and it’s different from my normal genre, and it’s a little freeing. Also, the Screenplay. I want to get a draft complete by the middle to end of June. That may be my ambition talking, though, and not possible in reality.

What Inspires Me

I had a writing session with my friend Lindsay today. Her debut The Murder Complex comes out in a couple of weeks, and her excitement is evident. We’ve been friends now for about a year, and watching her walk through this process has been not only inspirational but educational. It is such a huge accomplishment, and I am really happy for her.

My own love story. Monday, Memorial Day this year, May 26th my husband and I celebrated our 8th anniversary. There is not one part of me that wonders if I chose my partner wisely. We have grown up together in these eight years, we have made hard choices and faced uphill climbs. I am thankful to have him beside me.

 

What Else I’m Up To

This weekend I am going on a road trip with my husband and son to Houston, TX. We are attending the book launch for my friend and awesome writer Jennifer Mathieu, whose debut The Truth About Alice releases this week. I got to read an ARC back in April, and seriously LOVED it.

We are then planning to take my son to visit NASA. He has wanted to go since he learned about it. My maternal grandfather worked in the aerospace program in the 60s, which makes it extra special to share this with Sam.

The last stop on our trip will be to celebrate with my friend Sarah Penrod, who is a contestant on this season  of The Food Network Star. Everyone watch and cheer her on. She’s a super cool, immensely talented person.

Happy Wednesday to All!