Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

Hi Wednesday-ers! I've been away from posting because of involvement with some other blog challenges, but I've tried to stay connected when I can. Glad to be back.
What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, to help connect writers on this writing journey. With that aim in mind, if you'd like to join us, we encourage you to visit other WUW blogs each week, get to know some of the other writers taking part, and spread some writerly love! 
What I'm Reading

I'm back to 3 books in 3 formats:

Print: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale, pitched as a YA Fargo. This book is not for everyone, but halfway in I love the writer's voice and the northern Wisconsin setting is integral to the story.

E-book: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack. This is a New Adult book in the vein of Friday Night Lights. Last week some big storms caused a power outtage and wrecked my evenings plans. So I read half of this on my Nook.

Audio: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen. For eons I've seen people gush about this author. After reading The Sugar Queen last month, I'm hooked.

What I'm Writing

I just finished up three months of Spring Writing Bootcamp that kept me on track. I finished a manuscript, and now on to the next which I'm in a second draft-ish stage, a YA contemporary I drafted for NaNoWriMo 2013. I even wrote a revision outline, ya'll. It helps so much. I color-coded subplots and everything. I just cannot write outlines before I start a story, beyond scribbled notes at least. Ambitiously, I'd like to get this to readers before I go on vacation in June.

I have a revision to work on this summer and intend to do a similar outline as my plan of attack. Depending on how that goes, I'd like to do do Camp NaNoWriMo in July and start on something else. We'll see how many projects I can juggle...

My critique group at RWA's Spring Fling
What Inspires Me Right Now

Other writers' successes! I say this a lot, but it keeps being true. From recent book deals my agent has made for her other clients, to writers in my critique group, one having just pubbed with a small press, and another who will pub in Fall 2015 and has been a part of two panels at two different writing conferences this spring.

I pitched the idea of a writing retreat for just the four of us which I'm super geeked about. That's to come in the fall when cottage rentals are a little more flexible with scheduling and rates than they are in the summer.

(That's us to the left at Chicago North RWA's Spring Fling; me in purple tights)

What Else I've Been Up To

So I mentioned a book that's a YA Fargo? I've been watching the Fargo TV show on FX. It's very dark--really dark (though if you've seen the movie you probably get that already), but it's really great as a writer to see how they put together the story, and the dialogue and character choices they make. It's one of those shows that keeps me guessing (unlike Castle, which I may have to delete from my DVR for being so completely stupid in that season finale).
Molly is so the best.
Here's the thing; not every show has to push boundaries like Fargo or Hannibal (which is also amazingly dark and artistic). But I hate it when shows change a character for the sake of plot (Castle's Beckett waxing poetic about her "dream wedding", her [spoiler] forgotton "whoopsie!" Vegas wedding just days before her own wedding to Castle), or do such totally expected things (again with Castle: [spoilers] ruined dress, whoops-already-married! and the very end scene with the car crash). At least Hart of Dixie knows what it is and plays the fluff well. When I want to see cute clothes and quirky small town characters and ill-advised love matches--HoD delivers!

All right folks, what's up with your Wednesday?


  1. I would hate seeing a familiar character changed just to fit better with a new plot!

    That cottage writing retreat sounds fabulous. My parents stayed by a cottage on Cape Cod for their honeymoon and possibly at least one after that, before I was born or when I was very young. It would be lovely to have a retreat in a quiet, peaceful place like that.

    1. I got the idea for planning my own writing retreat from a girls weekend trip a friend of mine has planned for the last few years. We've rented a house near a small tourist type town about a 2-hour drive from us. It's nice to have a full kitchen and space to spread out that you don't get with a hotel. The only thing missing for me was writing time :)

  2. I'd looooove to go on a writing retreat. Have an amazing time! And congratulations on hitting your targets ^_^

  3. I love the three books in three formats idea! I'm usually three or so at once (often with an audiobook in the mix).

    Have a great time with your writer's retreat! That sound amazing. Someday I want to do one in a beach house.

  4. Hart of Dixie is on my Netflix queue - it looks so fun/fluffy. I haven't watched the Fargo TV show, mostly because I could never get into the movie for some reason. I am totally down with a New-Adult-meets-Friday-Night-Lights book though :)

    1. Hart of Dixie has sort of a Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls) vibe with the townsfolk's stories intertwining. Though it's not as cleverly written as GG it's still funny.

  5. A writing retreat sounds so neat! Here's wishing you a great time-

    1. Thanks! It's not even planned yet. We got excited for a summer weekend but most of the rentals were requiring 4-7 night stays, and the ones who had 2 night stays either were booked or jacked the price up so much it was kind of obscene. So fall will probably be better.

  6. Congrats on all your achievements in the Spring Bootcamp! :) A writing retreat sounds like so much fun!

  7. Sounds like bootcamp was very productive! A writing retreat sounds amazing.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that felt that way about the Castle finale. I didn't actually see the last two episodes, but I let a friend who did spoil it for me (the ongoing conflict stemming from her mother's murder was already wearing on me). As soon as she told me about Beckett's "forgotten" marriage, I was done. I may have to check out Hart of Dixie and Fargo, though.

    1. Castle hasn't exactly been a groundbreaking show from the start; the premise is absurd, but Nathan Fillion is so dang likeable, he's half or most the reason anyone watches anyway. Beckett has been set up as a tough cop, tough even when it comes to Castle with all the tension they dragged out in the earlier seasons. So when she suddenly turns wedding-obsessed and these other details came into the plot, it was just so, so stupid. It felt very much like "this is the wedding episode!" never mind the character's behaving unlike they were written for five seasons. Frustrating!

  8. Hi, Stephanie! I haven't read Sarah Addison Allen's books yet, but they've been on my to-read list for a while. I'll have to move them up on my list!

    Good luck with your writing!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  9. Just requested THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON from my library. I'm not sure why I haven't done that sooner, because I have this amazing quote from it on my bulletin board above my desk. It sounds really good! Sounds like Spring Writing Bootcamp was exactly what you needed. I'm hoping that this year's round of Ready. Set. WRITE will get my butt back in gear. I've been floundering so badly this year.

    You know, I love Nathan Fillion so much, but I haven't watched any of this season's Castle (or most of last season) and I have to say I haven't missed it. I agree with you about shows like HoD that know they're fluff and run with it, versus shows that try to pass themselves off as serious, then get super ultra ridiculous. I can definitely see Castle falling into that category. They just need to can Castle, revive Firefly, and call it a day. :-)

    Hope you're having a wonderful week! (Oh, and I love the purple tights, by the way.)

  10. Colour-coded subplots sounds very exciting! I know what you mean about outlining before writing a story - sometimes it kills the magic, I think, so it's better to just scribble down whatever you can and leave the rest to the seat of your pants ;)

    I started Castle a while ago, but just couldn't get into it once I knew about the season finale - maybe because I knew what was coming? Sigh. I'll just stick to Firefly rewatches for my Fillion Fix. Have a great week, Stephanie!

    - Caitie

  11. I LOVE Fargo! So, I think I may need to check out that book. :)

    Also, congrats on all the YAB success! I hope that momentum continues!

  12. I'm in the process of figuring out how many projects I can work on this summer. I'm doing a rewrite right now, but I also want to do something for Camp NaNo. I guess I'll have to see :)

  13. Oh no! That doesn't sound good with Castle! I'm completely behind with the latest season, I desperately need to catch up.

    I find that my other writer friends are an inspiration too. Most of them have got to the stages where they're happy with the story and have sent their queries off to agents. Seeing them work hard to get to that stage really helps to push me to getting all finished and ready. :)

  14. Good luck with all your writing!
    I like the idea of reading a book in each format. Maybe I can finally get used to reading more often on an eReader...


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