Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's Up Wednesday (22): ReviseMo Edition

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. Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk are the hosts, and we'd love for you to join in the fun! Just hit up their blogs and sign up on the linky. J
What I'm Reading:

I read WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE (Trish Doller) which was beyond amazing. Here's the good reads blurb
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

Um, yes…THAT.
It's so good, guys. SO GOOD. Like, go get this book NOW.

My reading slows a little during revisions, but I have these on the bedside table.
 
 
must re-read BEFORE I start...



 Thoughts on what I should read next?

How about YOU? What are you reading this week?

What I'm Writing:
Revisions are SLOW. I'd blame it on my yard sale last weekend (had to get ready for that!) and the way too imminent Halloween (still need to finish the son's costume(s)!), but reality: the first fifty are kicking my writerly butt. It's just me, people. I am TOO NEUROTIC about detail. Which, I guess, is a good thing, but still.  

Anyhoo—I'm a teensy bit sad/jealous/blah about not doing NaNo AGAIN this year, but it's okay. a) Despite my back story blues, I so, so love this story and really want to focus on it, and b) I have a revision plan in place I'm calling my own personal NaNoReviseMo.

Nothing too stressful. Nothing too crazy. Just a way to hold myself accountable and get you to help me to do that. I plan to revise eight pages a day, five days a week. Doable, right? I have an overall goal of getting past my midpoint (and really, hopefully to my Black Moment) by the end of November.

I'll post my daily goals on Twitter and Instagram (hashtag NaNoReviseMo) and detail what are hopefully successes each Wednesday with WUW. My awesome friend Katy Upperman's joining me on this revising endeavor, and if you're not doing NaNo because you're crazy revising, I invite you to join us! You can set your own daily goals (1000 words, a chapter, eight pages like me…whatever!). It will be awesome fun and hopefully we'll all get oodles accomplished!

I'll start Monday November 4 and re-blog about this ReviseMo idea. Are you revising this month instead of drafting?
 
What are you writing this week?!

What Inspires Me Right Now:
Soooo, I know this is going to sound all kinds of self-centered and conceited, but my current inspiration is my story. While procrastinating revisions (so bad), I read ahead and stumbled across a line that had me LOLing for a good ten seconds. Guys, I am not a funny person. But sometimes my characters are. And they make me smile.
What Else I've Been Up To:
Soccer playoffs (the husband's team won last night—onto round two!), driver's ed classes started for the fourteen year old (I'm so old), and oh—had a yard sale in which I sold (and got rid of) lots of Barbies. Oh, and my student that won her pageant brought me these flowers. 

 
It's been a good week.
We're also finishing up our pumpkin decorating. Here's one of them. 



My husband carved it. He's the best. J
Hope you've been having a lovely week! What's up on YOUR Wednesday?! Oh, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What's Up Wednesday (21): Catch-Up Edition (PHEW)

I missed the last few weeks of What's Up Wednesday (and missed all of you in the process!) so I have a wee bit of catching up to do. And well, I've been doing a few things so you'll get a very brief (and somewhat pictorial) version of what I've been up to. Here goes…


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. Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk are the hosts, and we'd love for you to join in the fun! Just hit up their blogs and sign up on the linky. J

What I'm Reading:
These awesome books…

 
Kirkus Reviews said that ALL OUR YESTERDAYS is "time travel done right." I say it's time travel done AWESOME. If you haven’t read Cristin Terrill's debut, well what are you waiting for?! It's fast-paced and action-packed and all kinds of amazing.
 
I devoured BURNED a couple years back, and it's one of the few books that made me cry bawl boohoo buckets. SMOKE didn't make me cry, but it was an awesome follow-up to that story. If you've not read anything by Ellen Hopkins, again—you're missing out!
Currently, I'm reading WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE (Trish Doller) and am LOVING it so far.
How about YOU? What are you reading this week?

What I'm Writing:
I have back story blues. I spent the past two weeks revising the first four chapters of my WiP and am trying to strike a harmonious balance of narrative, dialogue, action, and interiority without doing the grand info dump. Rather challenging. My front end is still too back story heavy, IMHO, but I'm moving on. I'm almost to my catalyst (!!!) and am very excited (!!!) to work on that. Can you tell? !!!  ;)

 Also, Alison was a big ol' tease a few weeks back—taunting all of you with my chosen story title without actually revealing it. I'm horrible. So, I'll share. It's not award-winning (some of you might want me to stick with "the blob"), but it is a song from Grease (my story sings of this musical) and it's so appropriate for this story—in SO many ways.

 

See it? Up in the left corner? Oh, and you get a sneaky peek too. You're welcome. ;)

Also, I sent off a few chapters to three of my CPs. My biggest fears are that my main characters will come off as too annoying and abrasive (they have a wee bit of growing to do), so I was beyond relieved when my CPs (who ROCK, btw) collectively said they loved them and the story (especially when my daughter did not! L)

But no matter what, I love my characters and my story. I am at the point where they consume my thoughts and I just really want to clean and polish and revise, like, all the time (another reason I haven't posted in a while—sorry!). I'm in the zone. And it's a fabulous place to be. J

What are you writing this week?!

What Inspires Me Right Now:
Music. I know I've said this, but this current story is most musical (lots of Broadway and classic rock influences), and much to my neighbors' chagrin, I've been singing a lot lately. A LOT. Saturday, I researched tons of songs (there's a reason for this) and memories of my theatre days flooded me, and well, I'm singing even more.

My poor neighbors. *sigh*

What Else I've Been Up To:

Um . . . a lot. Here's a small pictorial recap.
 First day of safety patrol!
 
 The daughter's first high school report card #soproud
 
My crazy husband all dressed for spirit week!
Oh, and a few weeks ago, I told you that one of my former students asked me to teach her a tap dance for a fundraiser pageant so I choreographed her a dance to "I Can Do That" from A Chorus Line. Anyway, she performed it (beautifully) last Saturday, and she won! I'm so proud of her!

Finally, do you know about this?
 
It's so fun and I'm so excited Jess and Kelsey are hosting this again this year! Click here to participate!
Hope you've been having a lovely week! What's up on YOUR Wednesday?! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What's Up Wednesday (20)

Before I begin, I have a special and exciting announcement!

For the past two years, Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Katy Upperman, and I have hosted The YA Superlatives Blogfest, a fun and interactive way to highlight our favorite YA novels, covers, characters, and story elements. We have such a great time hosting and highlighting books and hopping from blog to blog to find out how others awarded their superlatives so OF COURSE we're hosting again! ;)

There will be lots more information regarding the The Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest in the coming weeks (we can tell you that it'll take place the third week of December), but we wanted to give you a heads up now, so you have plenty of time to beef up your books-published-in-2013 reading list (there's a comprehensive catalog of titles HERE). And I encourage you to revisit some of our 2012 posts (here, here, and here. Also, here.) to refresh your memory on the superlative categories we included last year.

Sounds like fun, right?! I hope you'll join us for The Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest!

And now for What's Up Wednesday!


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. Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk are the hosts, and we'd love for you to join in the fun! Just hit up their blogs and sign up on the linky. J

What I'm Reading:

I read these two




FREAKY FRIDAY was disappointing. I mean, I know it was written in the early seventies, but after seeing the movie countless times, the book was just a let-down.

But then, I read FANGIRL and OHMYGOSH. Rainbow Rowell is a writing GENIUS. She's a master at dialogue and awesomely layered characters and fully-developed plot lines and EVERYTHING. If you've ever read or written fanfiction—heck, if you've ever written ANYTHING or have obsessed over a series or heck, if you're a human being, you need to READ THIS BOOK. So, SO good. One of the best books I read this year (and if you've read my blog posts, you know I've read a lot of amazing books)

 How about YOU? What are you reading this week?

What I'm Writing:

I was supposed to start revising/working on the blob/WiP yesterday. Well, I can't wait to start ANYTHING on a Tuesday, so I started Monday. J 

Mostly, I'm doing research. And writing lots of back story. My character's Who's Who descriptions are way longer than the five sentences you may see in a playbill. Anyway, I thought I might be able to complete research/back story in a week. Ha. It will definitely take a few, BUT I do think I'll have enough done by Monday to re-outline and revise the beginning pages. We'll see. J Nevertheless, I AM working on it. And THAT's exciting!

Also, I think I'm pretty sure I have a working title. And by working I mean it works for now. J It's something that's been gnawing at my brain for a while and it's not the most catchy title, but ohmygosh it works for this story. So…WHEW. I don't have to name my docs BLOB this or BLOB that anymore. J

Oh, and I'm like, the world's biggest tease, right? I'm not going to share said title here, but I will tell you that my title is also the title of a Grease song. Have fun with that. J

What are you writing this week?!

What Inspires Me Right Now:

My story. I've had a crazy roller coaster summer of requests and rejections and lately it's been more of the latter and while that in itself can be frustrating and incredibly disheartening, I'm so glad I have another story to focus on. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is, once you've finished and are querying one project, to work on something else.

What Else I've Been Up To:

Another weekend with six soccer games and this time my nine-year-old scored a goal! My children do not score goals often. Virtually never. So, YAY!!!!!

What's up on YOUR Wednesday?!