Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday? I mean, what's up?

What I'm Reading

On my long weekend road trip, my husband and I listened to the audio book for World War Z (the movie FINALLY comes out this weekend--overbudget, delayed, curious to see how well it does). The cool part was it was narrated by well-known actors and some great voice actors (the format is interviews recounting the zombie apocalypse). The not so cool part was the audiobook was abridged so my husband's favorite chapter wasn't even in there. I hadn't realized it wasn't the whole book until I saw the bizarre line on the front: Unabridged Selections. So, "selections" not edited. Right.

If you haven't yet seen movie trailers for World War Z, the fast zombies are terrifying. I mean, they are SO FAST. Not like the shamblin' "walkers" on The Walking Dead.

What I'm Writing

Here's my weekly check-in for Ready. Set. Write! (details in the link)

Last week
I wanted to edit 3 chapters of my current WIP. Success!
I also wrote 750 new words for a new chapter during a weird downtime that I normally would not have used to write. I need to do that more often.

This week 

  • Edit 5-6 chapters of WIP
  • Step 1 on New Project--brainstorming, drafting out the idea
  • Brainstorm a tagline/brand (this ties into order business cards and putting something up on my web domain--was considering "Vintage-inspired YA" but not sure if that works (thoughts?). My finished YA is set in the 1960s, and saying historical makes me think of older historical, so I thought vintage might work. However, my WIP is contemporary, although my other idea for a new project is inspired by a vintage movie. Ack!)

What Else I've Been Up To

Family stuff: honoring my grandmother in a memorial service. She was a fun, compassionate, and totally unique lady.
Road-tripped my new 2013 Honda Civic--the first car I've ever truly chosen (not out of desperation or substantial financial limitations). Moonroof, heated seats, working A/C--Yes!
The Hubz and I are making our way through The X-Files on Netflix. We're now into the later years where Scully's hair is finally not tragic and David Duchovny wrote and directed a stinker of an episode. Stick to being droll and mysterious, Mulder!

What's Inspiring Me

I got this in the mail:

I signed with Agent Sarah LaPolla back in February, but she recently switched agencies to Bradford Literary. Even though we were just getting started, I had to sign a new agency agreement after she moved. Something about a handwritten note really makes a difference. Right now, this is my motivation to keep working, and to set new goals.

So what's up with you, readers? Goals, inspirations, outdoor grilling failures?


  1. I so want to see World War Z - I haven't read the book so I'm going into it with a clean slate. :)

    I recently did the same thing re writing in a strange downtime period. Definitely something I'm going to keep in mind, too.

    Love that handwritten note! I'd pin that up on my bulletin board. :)

    1. I have the note on the fridge (a true hallmark of a noteworthy item). So far I've heard WWZ is pretty commercial and not like a typical zombie film, so they are going for wider appeal. The book is not really a story, it reads like a history book or collected memories of an alternate history, so I'm super curious how they will turn that into a movie.

  2. I usually hear the term contemporary historical to describe books set in the Sixties and beyond, so that's the term I use. For the 1990s and later, I use the term late contemporary historical.

  3. Super cool that you got Sara AND the Bradford agency.

    Branding our sites can be tricky, but you are, at least, staying in the YA genre. I think vintage could work well. Obviously, in the early 60's, we thought of ourselves as being in the space age, and all that entails. We were oh-so-modern, with plastic jello, Tang and all that. Then in the later 60's we became flower children and so on.
    But looking back on it now, it all looks fashionably vintage, rather than truly historical. A YA novel came out a couple years ago called, "Vintage Veronica." I bought it for the library but didn't read it. You might want to read some reviews and see what era of clothes she was wearing, in that she called herself vintage. Or check out the author's website.

    1. I will check out that book! Definitely thinking some more on this whole branding thing. I started to do this awhile ago but I had less of an idea of my brand and got kind of stuck.

  4. Nice note and belated congrats on signing with an agent. Good luck on the tagline/brand front. I'm terrible at that sort of thing.

  5. What a brilliant note!

    Congratulations on meeting your goals and good luck for next week. I need to get better at using those little pockets of time to write rather than mess about on Tumblr!

    I saw the trailer for World War Z last week. It looks really good.

  6. I'm so sorry about your grandmother, but she sounds like an awesome lady!

    You really weren't kidding about staying organized! You've got a lot of work ahead of you, but I'm sure you can do it!!! Good luck :D

  7. Way to go, meeting all of this week's Ready. Set. Write! goals! Sounds like you're moving right along. And I love that note from Laura Bradford. Taking the time to send a hand-written note says so much. Best of luck with your goals for this next week!

  8. What an awesome thing to get in the mail!

    Eeeee The X-Files!!! One of the best shows of ALL TIME. Gillian Anderson's just been in the most amazing drama called The Fall. You should watch that if you ever get the chance. She is fantastic.

  9. Oh wow, sounds like a great week overall! You are killing your goals--well done! And congrats on the welcome letter to your agent's new agency. <3

  10. Congrats on making your goals last week! Sounds like you're doing really well.

    I love that note from your agency - so sweet!

    I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. It's nice you were able to honor her.

  11. Awesome! Congratulations on meeting your goals and good luck with the new ones! And the X-Files? *sigh* I was so in love with David Duchovny and that show. I may have to find it on Netflix - if I can tear my teenager away from Total Drama Island. Jeez.

  12. World War Z looks really good. And I didn't know that it was a book first! Exciting!! :) I'll have to go read it.

    I loooove thinking about branding stuff. I did a lot of that when I worked as a copywriter and, later, as a web designer. Here's my two cents: Since you write multiple types of YA (historical, contemp, vintage) have you thought about describing what your YA stories have in common? As in, "I write stories about boys and kissing" or "coming of age stories, with a twist" or "modern day fairy tales for teen readers".

    Bad examples, perhaps, but by focusing on what all of your stories have in common (i.e. what readers can expect from you) instead of the book you're writing/having published at the moment, you can avoid having ten million different business cards or changing your website every time you write a new book.

    I hope that helps! Feel free to email me if you want to discuss!

    Kudos on making (and meeting!) your writing goals! :) And I love that note - I'm with you on the power of personal touches!

    1. Thank you Bridgid, I may contact you. One of my fellow RWA chapter members taught a wonderful workshop on branding last year and she mentioned what you said about finding common themes in the stories--she writes several different subgenres of romance so she did the same thing.

  13. As a fellow Civic driver, a functioning AC is SO wonderful (and was one of my reasons for buying a new car, haha). Keep up the awesome work with your WIP!

  14. I'm curious about World War Z. The trailer looks good. I know what you mean about historical books. My story that got me my agent takes place in 1959/60 but the one that I'm plotting out right now takes place in the 80s, around a central event that occurred. And the 80s doesn't sound historical to me. Mainly because that would mean that I'm historical. Ha! Good luck with your writing goals for the week!

  15. I'm surprised my son has bugged my about World War Z yet. He's usually all over those zombie things. Congratulations on reaching those writing goals! And that note is amazing. :)

  16. I finally watched the World War Z trailer after you mentioned it. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out, although it's been so long since I read the book I won't be able to do any sort of comparison. I do love me some zombies, though, so I'm totally onboard.

    Congrats on making your goal last week and good luck making it this week!

  17. Congrats on meeting your goals! :) Love it that the agency sent you a handwritten welcome note. Really cool .:)

    Oooh I love X-Files! I have the DVDs, and never get bored of watching them. It's like a minefield for story ideas.

    Good luck with your goals this week! :)


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