Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: ERGH

What I'm Reading
I read Landline by Rainbow Rowell and I've got lots of thoughts about it. First, I'd read anything Rainbow Rowell writes. She does characters and dialogue SO WELL. However, and I hate to even say that word, but I felt like there really was no character arc for the MC whatsoever. It felt more like reading about a week in someone's life. Things happened, but nothing changed by the end. I just got to know a couple of characters really well, that's it. The ending was REALISTIC, but this is a novel I'm reading here and I expected some sort of real resolution and didn't feel like I got that. I don't want to give anything away, so I won't say any more than that. Except, ergh.
Then I read Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison. I saw the movie awhile ago and always wanted to read the book. It was funny like I thought it would be but I felt like something was missing, probably because of the diary format. (Spoiler coming: For example, Robbie suddenly likes her in the end but we get no real reason why because he's barely there and they barely interact and he has maybe five lines of dialogue the entire book.) I did like it enough that I do want to read more of the books sometime.
What I'm Writing Revising
Still JAR OF HEARTS. It's going good. And that's all I've got to say about that.
What Works For Me
Music is huge for me. I know I talk about it all the time. Sometimes songs come up that remind me of my WIPs, but sometimes I hear a song that I want to write a book around. Like Jar of Hearts. I heard the song back when it was first performed on SYTYCD and loved it. Later, I thought it would make a great contemp YA book, but not one I could write. Then on one random listen of this song, I got an idea. I got a wonderful awful idea. (Bonus points if you know what that's from.) And last NaNo, I ran with it. It's YA magical realism instead of contemp and it's been wonderful and awful all rolled into one.
The song that inspired it all

What Else I've Been Up To
My sister has come for a visit from Ottawa which is awesome because she brought her 6 month old son whom I've never met before! It's been great to spend a little time with her and the baby and some other family members this week.
Also, I finished watching the last season of Being Erica. I'm a little sad to say goodbye to the show, but it wrapped up nicely and now I can go back to Doctor Who!
Fan made trailer of Being Erica season 4

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: The Tenth Doctor

What I'm Reading
I finished A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris which was really cute, although I liked My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century better. (They're companion novels, MSSSC came out first and takes place in the past while AToTC happens present time.) Then I read Sisters' Fate by Jessica Spotswood, the last of the Cahill Chronicles. The book was great. I liked how even though I could barely remember what happened in the first two, I jumped back into the series no problem. She wrapped it all up nicely and I wasn't disappointed. (Still liked the first one better, but that's just me.)

What I'm Writing Revising
Still working away at JAR OF HEARTS.

What Works For Me
I'm a very visual person, and I'm also rubbish at describing things. So when I'm trying to describe a character or setting, I like to look up pictures to help me out. On Monday, I got a little side-tracked doing exactly this thing. There's a lot of characters in JAR OF HEARTS and I've already "cast" the four main ones. But there are also four girls who are important to the story and very different from each other in both looks and characteristics. So I looked up actresses to "cast" these girls because I really wanted to SEE their physical differences before moving onto their character differences. It was surprisingly hard, but this is what I came up with... for now.

What Else I've Been Up To
Doctor Who! I watched the first season last year and thought it was just okay. I DID NOT get what all the hype was about. When I finally got around to starting season two, I was hooked almost instantly, and the seasons have just gotten better (so far). I've finished season four and right now I'm waiting (anxiously!) for the specials that happened between seasons 4 and 5 to come in from my library. I'm really going to miss the Tenth Doctor though. I almost don't want to start season five because there will be no more David Tennant. Boo.
What have you been up to?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: SNOW!!!

What I'm Reading
I finished The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell. It was sooo good! The first chapter threw me off a little- it read a lot like an epilogue- but once I got past that, the story swept me up and took me away. Such a great surprise. Then one night I read Just One Night by Gayle Forman, a great little wrap-up to Just One Day and Just One Year. Now I'm reading A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris.

What I'm Writing Revising
Last week wasn't the best for revisions, but I'm back in the swing of things this week with JAR OF HEARTS. (Which is almost exactly what I said last week, but this time, I SWEAR, I'M REVISING.) I'm hoping to get my revisions done before November so that I can do NaNoWriMo again. Also, I have a bigger self-imposed deadline hanging over my head that I talked about here.

What Inspires Me Right Now
Well, I can tell you what DOESN'T inspire me. THIS:
Photo: I think Walmart needs to start selling winter boots, STAT.
Stupid Alberta Weather
What Else I've Been Up To
Trying to get back into the swing of things with school starting and all of the kids after school activities. I also spent three hours yesterday rearranging my kids closets thanks to the unexpected snowfall. That was not fun, and it cut into my revising time. NOT. COOL.

What have you been up to? And don't tell me you've been enjoying hot and sunny weather or I may just send you some evil vibes.

Monday, September 8, 2014


School started this week and there's something about this that makes me verrrry nervous. I'm not talking about the fact that my ten-year-old is starting in a school grades 6-12 (although this freaks the crap out of me, not gonna lie). And it's not the fact that my youngest started kindergarten. What scares me is now I have a DEADLINE.

I've been lucky these past almost eleven years to be a stay-at-home mom to my four kids. But next year, when my youngest starts grade one and therefore is in school ALL DAY, it'll be just me. I'm not nervous to be alone (NO SIREE). It's the fact that since the kids are in school- I should get a job.

But I don't want I job! she wails. I want to write. This is what I want my job to be. But so far, that ain't happening. And I can't selfishly stay home when the kids are all in school at this point in my writing *career*. Which means... DEADLINE. I've got a year to make it further than I am now. Otherwise, job.

This is super scary because while I've progressed in this whole writing thing, I'm still at the same spot I was, oh, a couple of years ago or so. Querying, full requests, an R&R, then nothing. Querying book two, full requests, nothing. I've just started querying book three. This book could be the one. Or I could be in this exact same spot next year. Nothing.

In some ways- this is all up to me. My writing has gotten better. I'm going to keep at it- querying EPONINE, revising JAR OF HEARTS, and then writing the SNI I've had floating around in my brain for forever. I will be working at it, and working at it hard so that hopefully, I can move forward. But that's all I can do. After that, it's out of my hands. And I just may very well be in this same spot next year.

I want to write. It's my dream job. And I feel like time is running out. I know that isn't true- many people juggle writing/kids or writing/dayjob and even writing/kids/dayjob all at once. I'll do that if it comes to it. I'm not quitting writing just because I have to work in an office again. But I still have this deadline I can't escape. It hangs over my head making me all twitchy and nervous. It makes me anxious to get writing and make it happen and at the same time fearful that I'll blow it.

Deadline. It's scary and it's not even real- I've given it to myself. Hopefully I can turn that fear into motivation, into creating my best work possible. Hopefully I can look back at this in a year and laugh at myself for freaking out about it. Either way, I know this deadline will teach me something. Either way, I'm going to make this next year count.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: Back to School

What I'm Reading
It's been a couple weeks since I did WUW but I actually haven't read that much. I finished City of Heavenly Fire- the last Mortal Instruments book by Cassandra Clare. I liked it, but it was too long. I found myself getting bored in the middle, but the end wrapped up the series nicely. After that, I read Teen Idol and then How To Be Popular, both by Meg Cabot, both books I bought from my library for a whole $0.25 each. They were really fun reads. I forgot how much I love her as an author. (PS, I thought Teen Idol was better.) Now I'm reading The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell.

What I'm Writing
The last week of summer vacation was really busy and I did no revising whatsoever. Now that the kids have started school though, I'm getting back into my normal routines. Yesterday I did querying research and today, it's back to JAR OF HEARTS.

What Inspires Me Right Now
So this is the same thing I did for the last WUW I participated in, but I love this song and I think it's especially relevant for querying writers. I'm about to step back into the trenches for the third time and I know rejections are on their way. What am I going to do about them? I'm just gonna shake shake shake shake shake, shake it off, shake it off. (PS, I found out late last night that I did not make it into Pitchwars. What am I doing today? THIS.)

What Else I've Been Up To
I participated in WriteOnCon, had one last beach day with the kids, did some back to school shopping, am making my way through the seasons of Doctor Who (I'm on 4), saw If I Stay (loved it) and When the Game Stands Tall (also good). The kids started school yesterday except the youngest who starts kindergarten tomorrow. I can't believe it- all four kids in school! That means my mornings will be JUST ME. O.O

What have you been up to?