Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

I'm back to What's Up Wednesday for 2014!

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop with other folks on this writing journey. With that aim in mind, if you want to join, visit a few other WUW blogs each week, get to know other writers, and spread some writerly love.

Please note: I now have links to tumblr and Pinterest in my sidebar!

What I'm Reading

image: Goodreads
I've been slow reading given my time has been taken with edits. I finished Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which I still need to review. Rowell is so great at writing introverted characters. They are often infuriating to me (Cath in particular, as well as Eleanor in Eleanor and Park), but infuriating in a way that the author has done her job well. Her characters are nuanced and rich. Both of her books rely far less on plot which I suppose can be a drawback depending on your reading preference.

I actually tagged lines with post-it flags. I never do this but I tagged a bunch of pages and flipped through them later. Her writing inspired me to go back through my manuscript and add more character detail. Her character observations are so thorough and unique!

I'm wrapping up with this (below). Stay tuned for a review tomorrow!
Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)

What I'm Writing

I finished another round of edits for AMELIA, my summer writing project. My patient and thoughtful agent had suggestions we discussed a month or so ago. Now I'm in that fun little place to wait to hear how well I did on the test :)

One great thing about having a regular, in-person critique group is that we meet once a month. This means I need to produce material to submit. I pulled up my NaNoWriMo novel I haven't looked at since November 28 and read through the first chapter. After a few minor tweaks, I sent it off to the group for review this week. I ended up reading through half of the novel after that and I'm pretty happy with it. (Though to be honest, the second half is where the plot sort of falls apart). So I guess I'm right on to the next while I wait on the other.

ABW, kids. Always. Be. Writing!

What Inspires Me

Good books.
Fangirl was a big inspiration. Tagging those well-written lines, I went back through to see why they caught my attention. What writing devices is the author using that is working? I have a rather sorted TBR list right now, all kinds of books demanding to be read next. I think I'm going with a favorite author, a book I know I'm going to love, to keep that inspiration going.

What Else I've Been Up To

Thanks to the arctic deep freeze last week, I shut myself in for days at a time and worked on edits. I was in the house from Friday night 1/3 until Tuesday afternoon (left the house to resolve a car issue and for a haircut). Then, in the house all day again Wednesday and Thursday. I did actually have to work the day job most of that time, and I'm fortunate I can work from home during severe weather. Cutting out my commute means more writing time. Plus: PJs ALL DAY.

The tag #ChiBeria trended on twitter (that's Chi for Chicago + Siberia) and some really cool (uh, frozen) pictures were posted of frozen Lake Michigan and glimpses of the city in sub-zero temperatures. More polar vortex pics from around the country here on the Instagram Blog.

I was not one of the many who rushed the grocery store for bread and milk before the freeze hit. We had sufficient food, and I can't handle the panic-mode people work up to for two days of potential bad weather. By the time I visited the store Tuesday night, the shelves were ransacked apocalypse-style. Seriously, why bread and milk? Are people just eating cereal and sandwiches when it snows?

OK everybody, what's up for your Wednesday?


  1. Congrats on finishing edits!

    I didn't leave my house during the deep freeze either. Not sure why people always go for bread and milk, though that's exactly what my mom and I bought when we ran to the store before the storm came in. I guess those are just things that people tend to go through quickly.

  2. Loved Fangirl! I didn't want it to end.
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  3. I suppose there's a bit of a silver lining to a cold spell, isn't there? More writing and reading time! I know what you mean about feeling inspired by good writing. I've been feeling like that a lot lately. What a great thing to read so many awesome books back to back. That said, it really does make me stop and look at my own ideas/writing and feel like I should (could?) do better.

    Congrats on finishing this round of edits! That must be such a great feeling. :-) Have a wonderful week, Stephanie!

  4. Congratulations on the edits. I hope your agent gives you top marks ^_^

    Haha, love that macro XD ...And now I wanna watch The Empire Strikes Back...

    Let's Pretend That Didn't Happen has an amazing cover! XD

    Have a lovely week!

  5. Bread and milk because that's the stuff people run out of the fastest. ;)
    I love Rainbow Rowell's books, she does such an amazing job with her characters. I use her too as an example on how to make characters richer and more realized, I just feel like I can never do as good a job!

    1. I am still highly skeptical that MOST people will run out of all milk and bread in two days where they shouldn't go out due to extreme cold. Just eat something else?

  6. Love that you tagged lines in Fangirl. What a great idea. I'm always coming across things I love in books I read, but I never thought to do that. Stay warm!

  7. I completely agree that Rainbow Rowell writes introverts exeedingly well. The MC in my WIP is an introvert and it's hard to pull that voice off! Rainbow should be inspiration for us all. This is possible. I hope you have a wonderful week!

  8. I love Fangirl. Tagging lines is a fantastic idea, and that book really inspired me. Congrats on finishing the edits! :)

  9. LOVED Fangirl!

    Right before the last round of bad weather where I live, I went to the grocery store for regular shopping. Half the shelves were wiped out. In the dairy section there was a perplexed looking man on his cell phone asking the person on the other end what he should do because all that was left was one lonely quart of buttermilk.

    1. lonely quart of buttermilk. Do stores still sell powdered milk? Dry milk? I remember we had a box of that just in case. Another alternative would be almond milk or soy milk in the not-refrigerated section (sold in cardboard cartons). Or you know, don't eat cereal. :)

  10. That's such a great idea to tag the parts of a book that are especially well-written. I need to start putting my post-its to good use. Your comments about the arctic deep freeze and the apocalyptic-style ransacking of the grocery store totally cracked me up. You'd think people would at least go for the canned goods, right? That's pretty much a normal grocery shopping trip where I live. Congrats on finishing this latest round of edits, and I hope work on your NaNo project continues to go well. It's always a relief when you read through a manuscript and realize you're happy with it.

  11. Yayyy for the polar vortex. Not.

    It's really good to hear you say that about your in-person critique group. My best in-person CP and I just set up times and dates for regular meetings--I'm hoping it will help us both to be productive and accountable for our goals!

  12. So, boo for the Polar Vortex, but I do love the idea of being locked down in the house for a few days. Perhaps I should send my husband and daughter on a mini-vacation so I can steal away time alone. :-)

    I love Rainbow Rowell's books. Have you read ATTACHMENTS? It's her first novel (adult) and it is spectacularly good. Same quiet, character-driven sort of book as E&P and FANGIRL, plus even more of her awesome knack for dialogue.

    1. I bought Attachments over Christmas break, so I have it on my shelf :)

  13. Good books always inspire me as well. I haven't read FANGIRL yet but it sounds amazing. And YAY for finishing another round of revisions!

  14. Congrats on finishing your edits! I love the name Amelia. I loved Fangirl. I find Rainbow Rowell's writing fantastic. There's an idea that I have that I want to write in third person and I just want to study her writing to do so. Have a great weekend!

    1. She's a great case study for those who say all YA is told in first person narrative.

  15. Congrats on finishing another round of edits!!

    I loved FANGIRL and agree, there are so many beautiful lines in there! Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

    I'm glad you were able to stay home during the extreme cold! PJs FTW.

  16. Looking forward to reading your FANGIRL review. It was one of my favorite books of 2013, and I agree with you about RR's character descriptions and details. :)

  17. I've been seeing Fangirl around. It looks like I need to read it.

    And awesome you got so much done in this bitter cold. Staying in is such a good idea if you can do it.


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