Wednesday, 25 February 2015

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

What I’m Reading:

This week I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue. While I enjoyed the prose and characters (no surprise), this installment of the Raven Cycle was my least favourite out of the three. That being said, I’m eager to read the last book in the series and find out how everything wraps up.

Now I’m about three quarters of the way through Ruby Red, which has been a fun read so far. I also started rereading The Hound of the Baskervilles. My son chose to read it as one of his classics for English, so we’re doing our own little book club.

What I’m Writing:

This has been another tough writing week. I write at night, after my boys have gone to bed, but lately I’m exhausted by that time and it really shows in how the story is coming out. I wrote one full scene and part of another, but then I tore apart the partial scene and started over. I’m not someone who can just get the story out and leave the major work for revisions (I wish). I need to feel like I’m fairly close to capturing the scene how I picture it in my head and the overall feel of it during the drafting stage. That’s not happening these days though, which is frustrating.

My writing goal for this week: I’m going to keep plugging away on my not-so-long-term goal of finishing this WIP before we move. Not sure that’s going to happen, but I’m giving it my best shot.

What Works For Me:

Having a physical reminder to keep working on this story. I love agate, especially the blue kind, and it plays a role in my WIPs. I actually asked for a piece of it for Christmas, but it didn’t show up in my stocking or under the tree. The other day, while going through more stuff to pack in our basement, I came across my son’s old rock collection, which we hadn’t looked at in years. Lo and behold, there was a gorgeous piece of blue agate in it that I’d completely forgotten about. I’m not sure I believe in signs or good luck charms, but it felt like it turned up at just the right moment. So I’ve been keeping it by my laptop as a little piece of encouragement, and every time I see it, I’m reminded to keep pushing on.

What Else Is New:

The moving prep continues, and we got a ton done this weekend. I also spent a fair amount of time ogling historic houses on the internet. Seriously, even though it’s a little Big Brother-ish, Google Street View comes in super handy when you’re shopping for houses on the other side of the country.

On Friday, we took a break from the moving madness and finally went to see Big Hero 6. Kind of funny seeing as it came out on blue-ray a few days later anyway. It was just as awesome and fun as we were hoping it would be. Sci-fi, squishy robots, and super heroes? My kind of movie.

So what’s up with you this week?

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

What I’m Reading:

I’m about three quarters of the way through Blue Lily, Lily Blue. While I’m savouring Maggie Stiefvater’s prose and characters as much as always, I'm finding the plot of this one a bit thin and meandering. Still enjoying it though.

I’ve also decided to join #RubyRedReread, although I’m actually reading Ruby Red for the first time. The series has been on my shelf for ages now, so this is the perfect reason to finally get to it. I’m hoping that will force me to take a few more reading breaks. So far I’ve only read just over two chapters, but I’m hooked.

What I’m Writing:

You know how timing always seems to be the worst? Well, right after finding out we’re moving 4000 km away, I was faced with writing what’s probably the most important scene in my whole trilogy. It was crazy hard and horribly sad (went through half a box of Kleenex while writing it) and I’m not sure how I feel about the result, but I got through the first draft of it anyway. Whew. I also wrote one more very short scene and started the next one. It feels like I’ve been working on this book forever now, and wrapping up the last third is going to be brutal because my brain is being pulled like Silly Putty in a thousand different directions. From here on in, every scene feels like good stuff and I really, really wish I could give it my undivided attention. No such luck though.

My writing goal: Rather than committing to a weekly goal, I’m just aiming to finish the first draft of Enlighten by the time we move, which will probably be later in the spring.

What Works For Me:

While sorting through never-ending boxes of junk in our basement, I came across a few crappy, old manuscripts from before I knew the first thing about writing a novel. Rereading them was both embarrassing and entertaining. They were loaded with clich├ęs, purple prose, heavy-handed messages, and just bad, bad, bad to the point where I was cringing and laughing and snorting on our rec room floor. There were a few promising nuggets buried in the mess but not enough to ever attempt finishing them, so I saved bits and pieces and the rest went in the recycling. It was encouraging to see how far I’ve come as a writer and just how much I’ve improved over the last few years, especially after dedicating myself to this like a job instead of dabbling.

What Else Is New:

On top of the usual homeschooling activities, I’ve been sorting through every last thing we own to decide what makes the cut to get dragged across the country with us when we move. That means a LOT of whittling down.  It’s amazing how much stuff one family can accumulate over the years, a good chunk of it purely sentimental and not overly useful anymore. We aren’t materialistic, but sometimes it feels like getting rid of memories. Has to be done though.

Friday evening, the husband and I treated ourselves to a break from renos and other moving prep and went on an early Valentine’s Day date. Nothing fancy, but it was relaxing. We tried out a new Irish pub and went to see The Imitation Game. Benedict Cumberbatch was predictably amazing in the lead role, and I enjoyed the WWII code breaking aspect, but the injustice done to Alan Turing left me sad and frustrated--which was, of course, the point. I highly recommend the movie.

Well, that was my hectic week. How was yours?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

I’m playing hooky from WUW again this week, folks. Our house is in a state of chaos right now while we try to finish renos, make moving arrangements, and sort out which stuff we want to haul across the country with us. Fortunately, we found out we don’t have to move until later in the spring, so that’s a relief, but there’s still a ton to do and that time is gonna fly by fast enough to give me whiplash.

Hope all is well with you and that the words are flowing this week! Also, good luck to everyone taking part in Writer Recharge! Wish I could've joined you! :)


Here's the linky code for tomorrow:

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

What's Up Wednesday

In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part. Also, please remember to link back to our host blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons. Thanks!

What I’m Reading:

Because I’m an idiot of monumental proportions, I’m now juggling three books when I don’t even have time to read one.  The other night, I was craving pretty prose, picked up my copy of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and got sucked it. Seriously, what did I think was going to happen? Sigh.

What I’m Writing:

Well, I didn’t meet my goal this week. Not even close. I have a good excuse though, which you can read about below. I did squeak out 1600 words, which included rewriting the end of a scene that didn’t even factor into my goal, and I also organized some of my notes for the scenes I was supposed to write. Concentration was pretty much impossible this week, and I’m hoping I don’t get completely derailed in the next while. Again, see below.

What Works For Me:

Um…not much this week, apparently. Sometimes your bag of tricks just runs out or doesn’t have what you need in it. I’m giving myself permission for writing not to work right now though. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, see below. (Hmm, do most people even know what broken records are anymore?)

What Else is New:

So my family just found out we’re moving 4000 km away to New Brunswick. Whether my husband got the job transfer he applied for was the news we were waiting on last week. Remember that trip we took to the Canadian Maritimes back in November?  Well, it wasn’t just for fun. We were actually on a “recon mission” to see if we wanted to move there, and the answer was yes.  There are still a lot of things that have to fall into place in order for this to happen, but hopefully it’ll all work out. Meanwhile, we’re in panic mode trying to finish up house renovations, getting rid of half of what we own, and making all sorts of other arrangements. Let me tell you, prep for a cross country move is beyond insane, especially when you’re not even sure yet what kind of time line you’re working with.  It’s exciting, BUSY, exhausting, and pretty darn scary all at the same time.

And that’s why my brain has been incapable of concentrating on writing lately. I really wish I’d been able to finish this WIP before our life was thrown into chaos and adventure (we’re kind of hobbit-y when it comes to adventures), but things happened a lot quicker than we anticipated. Maybe once the initial surprise wears off and we’ve made a nice dent in our moving arrangements I’ll be able to focus on writing again? Not sure. Crossing my fingers though.

Well, that’s my news. So how was your week?