Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: Reading... And Not Much Else

What I'm Reading
So I was sure that after finishing Cress last week, no book would live up. WRONG! I read two great books this past week- Open Road Summer by Emery Lord which was such a great contemp summer read. Made me wish I was going to a Taylor Swift concert this summer! Then I read The One by Kiera Cass which is the last of the Selection Trilogy and it lived up! (I still love the first one best, of course.) Great ending to the trilogy. Now I'm reading Dreams of Gods and Monsters. So far so good, but I'm a little daunted by the length.

What I'm Writing
So last week I was supposed to start my revisions and didn't. This week I was supposed to start my revisions... and didn't. *sobs* I got my last set of beta notes back last Friday but then life got in the way the past few days. But TODAY. I AM STARTING TODAY.

What Inspires Me Right Now
My awesome CPs/beta readers. They gave me such great notes that I've been turning around in my brain and getting really excited about and I want to get going on my revisions now. RIGHT NOW.

What Else I've Been Up To
Preschool graduation. Grade 6 orientation. Sharing Time lessons. And this.
It was goooood.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Writers On Writing

Both Alison Miller and Kitty Hietala tagged me for this Writers on Writing thing that asks questions about our writing process. So here we go...

What Are You Working On?
I've just started a last revision (hopefully) on my YA Urban Fantasy MS called EPONINE. Once that's done, I'm finally going to go back to my NaNoWriMo MS. I haven't even glanced at the thing since typing THE END, and I'm a little frightened at how bad it might be.

What Makes Your Work Different?
Oh gosh. This should be easy, right? But this is one of those things where I stress- am I really all that different? Does my writing stand out? I think I'm pretty good at voice- I've had a goofy time-traveler, a slightly sad pianist, and now a dark and not-so-likeable magic user and all three of those voices have been quite different. My NaNoWriMo MC is a drama queen but I'm not sure if I nailed her voice yet.
Why Do You Write What You Do?
Four out of the five manuscripts I've written started with characters that SPOKE to me. The fifth was the story idea- the character came after. Four of the five are YA, one adult. The adult is contemporary romance, and the YA are time-travel (x2), urban fantasy, and magical realism. So why do I write all that? It's all about the ideas that come into my head. The characters that won't shut up. The storylines or scenes that get me excited. I won't rule out any genre or age group because you just never know what kind of inspiration will hit (although I'm preeeeetty positive I will never write erotica or picture books).

What's Your Writing Process?
I used to be a total pantser but I'm learning that plotting is a good idea and I need to get better at that. I plotted the most with my NaNoWriMo MS but I still think I can do a bit more before I actually start writing. My biggest issue with plotting is that I itch to sit down and start writing those scenes that are already coming to me. I need to learn to put them aside until I have the story better mapped out. Not that I will ever become a full-on plotter, but just more.

So there's me. I've tagged one of my amazing CP's, Ru, and you can check her post out next week at And Then She Was Like Blah Blah Blah or you can feel free to do your own Writers On Writing post if you want- consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: Season Finales! (without spoilers, I swear)

What I'm Reading
I read Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi. I can't say I was blown away- I am a first book kind of girl- but it was a great end to a great trilogy. Last night I finished Cress by Marissa Meyer which was AMAZING. An un-put-down-able book, and I had to stay up late last night to finish it. It's been awhile since I've read a book this GOOD. Seriously. SO GOOD. Next up, Open Road Summer by Emery Lord.

What I'm Writing
So last week I said I was going to start my (hopefully) last revision on EPONINE. Yeah, I revised not at all. I've been busy and I'm still waiting on notes from a CP, but really those are excuses and I should get moving on it, STAT. Maybe next week I'll have a better report.

What Inspires Me Right Now
My ten-year-old daughter has such an imagination and seems to be following in my I-love-writing footsteps. Last November for Remembrance Day, she wrote and submitted a poem to the Royal Canadian Legion and just barely heard back that it won first prize! Here it is:
In our two minutes of silence I will remember that you fought
I will remember that you fought for the right
I will remember the blood that fought with you
I will remember you fought against your own friends
I will remember the heartbreaks, the sad faces of kids and crying mothers when a loved one was lost
I will remember that you fought for me and for us and for peace

What Else I've Been Up To
TV! Season finales!
Agents of Shield, StarCrossed, and The Big Bang Theory were good. Arrow had this one MOMENT and then they totally ruined that moment in the end. DISAPPOINTING. Once Upon A Time was excellent and my kids (who don't watch it but will probably start) are just as excited as me for next season. We still have to catch up on Reign though (we're 3 episodes behind). 
The Vampire Diaries was HOLY CRAP WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! My husband (who watches although I have no clue why because he spends every episode mocking it or pointing out plot holes and just be quiet and let me enjoy my vampires please) said that there is no possible way they can come back from this. To which I replied, they'll find a way. Translation: THEY BETTER FIND A WAY.
This was me when the second last episode was over
And then this was me after the season finale
I've also finished season two of Being Erica while treadmilling and I'm starting season two of Friday Night Lights (I'm doing a back and forth switcheroo thingy with these two shows).
What have you been up to?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What I'm Reading
I read Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout which was the last of the Covenant books. I love her writing and characters, love the humor especially, but I did feel like the ending dragged out a bit. I don't remember much of what happened in Apollyon (book 4) though, so maybe it couldn't have been condensed into one less book. Who knows. Next up- Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi.
What I'm Writing
I finished a minor rewrite on Sway. Next up- revise Eponine for all the wonderful and helpful remarks I got from betas (thanks Alison, Kitty!)
What Inspires Me Right Now
I found this song via a fellow A-Zer (can't remember who) but I really love it.
Even Though I'm A Woman by Seeker Lover Keeper

What Else I've Been Up To
It was Mother's Day on Sunday. I had a phone chat with my mom who was in Ottawa visiting my sister, and then picked her up at the airport yesterday and gave her a gift. My kids all made me something at school and I'm happy to say none of the gifts were plants. (I know, I sound super ungrateful, but I hate getting plants as gifts and it usually happens on Mother's Day for some reason. There are women out there who don't garden, you know.) They also went shopping with the hubs and got me- thanks to a very obvious nudge- a book that I wanted.
A painting, bath salts, a necklace with thumbprint, decorated plate, and The One by Kiera Cass

What have you been up to?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Happy Book Release Day!!!

Michelle Merrill, one of my awesome CPs, has a book coming out TODAY!!! I'm excited to participate in her blog release party!

All Kate wants is to live. Battling cystic fibrosis is hard enough, dying from it is even harder. When her mom moves them closer to the hospital in the middle of her senior year, Kate’s determined to isolate herself—saving everyone the trouble of befriending a dying girl. It’s a difficult task when cheerful optimist Giana insists on being Kate’s friend.
Kate’s resolve falters even more when curly-haired Kyler captivates her with his sweet melodies. As her emotional walls collapse, Kate realizes the people she’s been pushing away may be the ones giving her a reason to live. But it might be too late.
Changing Fate book trailer
Sounds awesome, right?! Want to win a free copy? Visit each participating blog and find all 16 key phrases—2 in each fun fact about the author. Put them together and answer the question in the giveaway on Michelle’s blog for extra points! The giveaway is open to everyone no matter where you live!
Carol Riggs (3 & 4)
Kelley Hicken (7 & 8)
Annette Larsen (9 & 10)
Rachel Pudelek (11 & 12)
Here are 2 fun facts about Michelle:
 13. I do laundry on Mondays and eat pizza on Fridays. Laundry takes all day, lots of loads, and I don’t fold them until nighttime when I can watch a movie to pass the time. Friday night homemade pizza: one cheese, one pepperoni, and a pan of breadsticks. They’re sooooo yummy!
 14. I never get enough sleep. Ever. I’ve been a night owl since I was little. In fact, I think I’m part zombie. It’s the only explanation on how I can run off so much steam. Or maybe that’s a train. And now I’m rambling…that’s a side effect of this ongoing problem.
And a little bit about Michelle: Michelle Merrill loves kissing her hubby, snuggling her kids, eating candy, reading books, and writing first drafts. She names her computers after favorite fictional characters and fictional characters after favorite names. To learn more about her, visit

If you'd like to buy a copy of Changing Fate, go here to buy it on Kindle or paperback. 1/2 of all proceeds will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the book will be on sale for $2.99 for the month of May to celebrate CF awareness month! This is a really sweet, sometimes heart-wrenching YA romance and I recommend it to everyone! Read it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: The Impatient Edition

What I'm Reading
I read Bunheads, which was good. I loved getting into the backstage world of ballet. It reminded me a lot of the reality show Breaking Pointe which I hope comes back this summer for a third season. Last night I finished Torn by Erica O'Rourke (Team Colin!). Today I'm starting the last Covenant novel- Sentinel by Jennifer Armentrout.
What I'm Writing
Still revising SWAY. I don't have major revisions to do, but there are some things I want to change before I do one last batch of queries.
What Inspires Me Right Now
At the moment, I'm more impatient than inspired. It's just one of those weeks where I wish things would move quicker because I have PLANS that I can't get on with until other things happen. Patience, Melanie, patience.
What Else I've Been Up To
I saw The Amazing Spider-man 2 on the weekend. It was kinda cheesy but I liked it. I know a lot of people like these newer Spider-man movies better than the Tobey Maguire ones. I don't know anything about the comic books, so for me, I like both sets of movies equally, just differently. It's weird to me that they'd redo them so soon- especially starting back at the beginning again.
My kids school also had their annual Spring Fling dance. Each grade performs a choreographed dance so it was fun to watch the kids perform (I have kids in grades one, three, and five). They had a blast at the dance except my youngest who wanted to go home and ended up falling asleep on my lap.
Also, tomorrow I'm participating in Michelle Merrill's book release party. She's one of my amazing CPs and I'm so excited that her book is coming out! So come back tomorrow and check it out!