Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What's Up Wednesday!

What's Up Wednesday is hosted by Jamie Morrow as a means for writers to check in with each other.

What's Up Everyone! My news: I finished NaNoWriMo! And I finished early!!

The other two years I did Nano I was absolutely writing up until the midnight Nov. 30 deadline. This year, I sort of accidentally crossed 50k without realizing. OK, I realized I was close, but I figured I had another session ahead of me. The book itself isn't finished, but I wrote to a pretty good stopping point.

What I'm Reading

Not much since I'm focused on writing. I started Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, but I haven't made much progress with it. I was the first to get it from my library branch, and I'm ashamed to say--a travel mug spilled all over it. The pages are all wavy and stained. Yeah, I'm THAT person who ruined a brand new library book. I kind of feel like buying them a replacement.

What I'm Writing

I finished 50k in SUNSET SUMMER. I'm most impressed that I came up with a title before I started the book. That never happens.

First drafts are tough. I wanted to go back and fix stuff a hundred dozen times, but Nano, got to keep pressing forward. I allowed myself one quick re-read and tweak of each scene right after I wrote it, but no going back chapters. I did have to re-do a couple scenes once I realized I was being too nice to my characters and the ending would never work if I didn't set it up right. So where I left off, I still need an ending, but I should be able to pick that up in a few weeks.

Because I have a revision to get to, and a manuscript to enter into RWA's Golden Heart. Part of why I was so driven to finish Nano is these other projects waiting for me.

What Inspires Me

Deadlines. Seriously.

Other than that, it's a season of giving and I'm glad to see how generous people can be. Tornadoes wrecked entire towns in my state and across the Midwest last week. My workplace has a community service committee at work who researched different reputable charity agencies and my team is donating to relief efforts here in Illinois and also to the Philippines (one of my coworkers is from the Philippines and still has family there--they are all OK). It shifted my focus at the right time from: what can I buy for Black Friday? to: how much and where can I give?

What Else I've Been Up To

Our downstairs was gutted for weeks after a water heater leak. Workers have been in and out, the cat's litter box was relocated into a not-very-desirable area, my home office was stuffed with things that belonged elsewhere, and my living room has been crowded with guitars, amps, and stuff I'm not sure of (though the cat enjoyed climbing the boxes). Now all the work is done and I can have my space back!

Planning for holidays. I'm the potato queen this year, cooking up this fabulous and easy Bourbon Sweet Potatoes recipe, along with mashed. I'm also doing a croissant and brie appetizer which makes me feel fancy.

Additionally, I'm stoked for a new Muppets Thanksgiving special (with Lady Gaga-OMG). It airs Thanksgiving night on ABC! I would attach a link but everything I found had slow buffering video content and pop-up ads. UGH. So just know: MUPPETS.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Please visit the other blogs and check in! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

Hey everybody! I'm checking in for What's Up Wednesday, a writerly check-in started by Jaime Morrow.

What I'm Reading

Not much reading because I'm Nano-ing: that is, National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo. BUT, of course I am reading SOMETHING:
Jennifer Echol's Endless Summer, which is keeping me in the right mindset for my summer-set YA contemporary.

What I'm Writing

I'm at the halfway point! 25k words! My Nano project is tentatively titled SUNSET SUMMER set in a coastal Oregon town. I just tried and failed to come up with a cute pitch, so let's just say the story is in the vein of Second Chance Summer or My Life Next Door (two YA contemporaries set in summer with strong themes of family).

What Else I've Been Up To

My RWA chapter brought in a forensic anthropologist (like Bones!) for a workshop on CSI for writers. There was a fake crime scene and everything. We analyzed blood spatter (spatter, not splatter) and discussed some basics to cover and some No-nos to avoid (like cops touching evidence without gloves--derp).
Forensic Anthropologist & author Mari Freeman
While most TV and movies are pretty inconsistent with realistic crime scene investigations, she said Castle is one of the worst offenders. Though the premise itself is ridiculous; famous crime writer tags along with the NYPD on their investigations? At least they realize their own ridiculousness by putting Nathan Fillion in this:

What Inspires Me

I want to publish a book. I need to write book for book to be published. So I am writing book. Sometimes it's just the facts, folks.

Also, today is my anniversary! Nothing fun going on today, though we celebrated last weekend with a few nights at a funky little inn in Wisconsin. We even at cheese and drank beer for dinner one night.

Stop over to Jaime's blog to see the other What's Up Weds posts!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Book Review: Game. Set. Match. by Jennifer Iacopelli

Game. Set. Match.
Jennifer Iacopelli
New Adult Contemporary
Published: May 2013

image: Goodreads
I read this over the summer--my first foray into New Adult, the genre readers and writers pushed for through indie publishing. Essentially, New Adult is fiction involving college-age characters, most of which is contemporary romance themed, but that is evolving as the genre develops.

Game. Set. Match. is set an elite training facility for burgeoning tennis pros. I loved the tennis details, tennis being one of the only sports I know pretty well from playing and watching it. The story is told from three character points of view: a high schooler with raw talent who is need of an attitude adjustment; the daughter of two tennis pros who has everything to prove, and a current star going pro who is not happy to share her coach with the player had a regrettable fling with. Each have their own romantic entanglements, but the female friendships are explored as well. I think the author knows tennis because the action felt authentic. I even read part of this while at the gym with Wimbeldon on in the background, which was pretty cool.

Here's a link to by on Amazon and B&N